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The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin

Casey Sherman

Publication Year: 2013

"Joseph Barboza is the most dangerous individual known."--FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, 1965

Joe Barboza knew that there were two requirements for getting inducted into the Mafia. You had to be Sicilian. And you had to commit a contract killing. The New Bedford-born mobster was a proud Portuguese, not Sicilian, but his dream to be part of La Cosa Nostra proved so strong that he thought he could create a loophole. If he killed enough men, if he did enough of the Mafia's dirtiest biddings, then they would have no choice but to make him a Made Man.

Barboza's brutal rise during one of the deadliest mob wars in U.S. history became the stuff of legend, both on the bloodied streets of Boston and in the offices of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney General. He took sick joy in his crimes, and it became increasingly difficult for the mob to keep the Animal on his leash. But soon the hunter became the hunted. Betrayed by the mob and now on the run, Boston's most notorious contract killer forged a Faustian bargain with two unscrupulous FBI agents--a pact that would transform the U.S. criminal justice system. From false testimony and manipulated evidence that sent mob leaders to death row, to the creation of the Witness Protection Program so the feds could protect their prized, cold-blooded witness, this was the horrific, dramatic first act in a story of murder and FBI corruption still being played out today in the news and the courtroom with the capture and trial of Whitey Bulger. Barboza's legacy, buried for years thanks to the murders or deaths of its participants, is finally coming to light and being told in its unvarnished brutality by one of America's most respected true crime writers.

Published by: Northeastern University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

Casualties of the Boston Mob War, 1961—1967

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiii

...° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °Joseph Barboza is the most dangerous If Joe Barboza felt out of place, he certainly didn’t show it. He was the lone Portuguese mobster swimming with a school of Sicilian sharks in the dark, dangerous water that was the Ebb Tide Lounge. It was their hangout after all—not his. Barboza’s dream was to become the first ...

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1. Thacher Island—September 1967

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pp. 1-6

Joe Barboza found it hard to believe that his life might end here—in this place. New England Mafia boss Raymond L. S. Patriarca, known simply as the Man—a moniker that grew out of the respect he had built up among gangsters far and wide—was coming for him, and he would not give up the hunt until Barboza was dead. This Joe knew. Given the life he had ...

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2. Deviltry, Dirt, and Degradation

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pp. 7-19

The second son of first-generation Portuguese-American parents, Joseph Barboza, Jr., was born on September 20, 1932, in New Bedford, Massachu-setts, the historic whaling city made familiar to readers around the world by Herman Melville in his epic novel Moby-Dick. Portuguese fishermen, mostly from the Azores, had been immigrating to New Bedford en masse ...

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3. That Pig on the Hill

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pp. 20-31

Raymond L. S. Patriarca balled his hands into tight fists as he stared across the committee room into the hard-bitten eyes of the bootlegger’s son. The air was thick with the acrid stench of cigarette and pipe smoke, and the blood pumping through the mob boss’s veins was fueled by a seething hatred for his inquisitor. It was a bitterly cold day in February 1959, and Pa-...

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4. Wild Thing

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pp. 32-39

On New Year’s Eve, 1949, Joe Barboza was arrested for the break-ins he had committed in New Bedford as leader of the Cream Pie Bandits. He was now seventeen and considered too old for the Lyman School, and too young for state prison, so the judge sentenced him to five years and one day at the Massachusetts Reformatory in Concord. Opened in 1884, the ...

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5. Top Echelon

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pp. 40-53

It had now been two full years since Bobby Kennedy was verbally skew-ered by Raymond Patriarca during the McClellan Hearings, but the newly appointed attorney general of the United States treated the insult like a festering wound and deemed that the only remedy was amputation. Ken-nedy had already issued a letter to Internal Revenue commissioner Mor-...

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6. Skullduggery

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pp. 54-62

Named after his father, Boston Fire Department captain Dennis M. Con-don, the younger Condon was born and raised in Charlestown, Massa-chusetts, on Bunker Hill Street in the shadow of the famous monument. Condon’s parents, most notably his mother, Nora, instilled a sense of duty and the need for education in her nine children from an early age. ...

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7. Uncaged

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pp. 63-68

Following his parole in 1960, Joe Barboza carried over his bookmaking business from prison to the street. Starting with a $2,000 loan from his boxing manager, Eddie Fisher, Barboza managed to parlay the money into $25,000 in just one year. Fisher also kept Barboza on the books as an employee at Scooterland, a scooter sales showroom behind the Hotel ...

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8. War

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pp. 69-84

It all began with a trickle of blood dripping off a young thug’s face inside a quaint little cottage on Salisbury Beach at the northernmost tip of Mas-sachusetts. Once it hit the ground, the trickle of blood formed a small stream that gained strength as it flowed southward, eventually growing into a raging river of red when it finally reached the streets Somerville ...

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9. Ruthless Men

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pp. 85-94

Following the murder of Ronald Dermody, there would be seven more mob-related slayings on the streets of Boston and the surrounding sub-urbs from October through December 1964. The killings were particu-larly gruesome, and of course most involved alcohol. Gangster William Treannie, a small-time gangster, was shot twice through the back of the ...

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10. Deegan

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pp. 95-106

It was Teddy Deegan’s greed that killed him. In early March 1965, a North End hood named Charlie Moore told Deegan about the Lincoln National Bank in Chelsea, which was a prime target for a big score. Moore ex-plained that the finance company, which was located on the second floor of the building, kept a pile of money in its safe and that they would have ...

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11. Turning Up the Heat

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pp. 107-116

Out of frustration and no doubt a little embarrassment, Barboza sus-pended the pursuit of the Hughes brothers, at least for the time being. Joe understood that the law of averages was on his side—the Animal only had to be lucky once, while the Hughes brothers would have to be lucky every day from now on. With his friend the Bear hospitalized and out of ...

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12. The Mickey Mouse Club

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pp. 117-124

...° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °Don’t fear the reaperIn the fall of 1965, H. Paul Rico and the fbi had come to the realization that their ignoble experiment with Jimmy Flemmi had failed. The feds had decided they would happily turn a blind eye to Flemmi’s crimes as long as he did not get caught, but the Bear could not keep up his side of ...

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13. The Hit Parade

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pp. 125-132

Less than a month after the fiery murder of Connie Hughes, another Bos-ton gangster would also die in his car. The hit on Rocco DiSeglio was a classic case of what can happen when you bite the hand that feeds you. DiSeglio was yet another in a long line of boxers turned mobsters in the New England underworld. DiSeglio had first come to the Mafia’s attention ...

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14. Double Cross

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pp. 133-143

The Animal could dream all he wanted, but Raymond Patriarca had other plans. The Irish mob war had cost the Office countless millions in lost revenue. The Wild West had shipped East during the war, and what was once a mob boom town had now become a ghost town as the steady flow of money slowed to a trickle. Fear of violence had kept people away from ...

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15. Deal Makers

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pp. 144-154

While H. Paul Rico was still considered the Golden Child of the Boston fbi office, his partner Dennis Condon had fallen out of favor with his superiors. Condon had recently been written up for failure to properly disseminate information that had been obtained by an informant who had told him that a particular suspect in another fbi case carried a ma-...

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16. Deegan Part II

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pp. 155-170

Following Barboza’s testimony, a convoy of police vehicles escorted him back to Walpole without incident. Word of his betrayal had not been Law enforcement officials feared that this news would inevitably trig-ger a bloodbath within the walls of Walpole State Prison, where Raymond Patriarca maintained a high level of influence over inmates and, in some ...

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17. Baron's Isle

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pp. 171-183

Barboza had spent the past several months in solitary confinement, and now he was having a tough time transitioning back to life as a husband and father. This certainly wasn’t an Ozzie and Harriet type of arrange-ment, but it had never been. Barboza was no domesticated animal. Pre-viously, when the boredom of married life became too big a burden, Joe ...

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18. Ka-boom!

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pp. 184-192

If Joe Barboza’s fragile mind wasn’t shattered yet, it soon would be. He had slipped into a minor depression after the Angiulo trial, and both Con-don and Rico did their best to keep his spirits up. They told him that he had performed well during the trial but that the case was the weakest of the three. They promised him that he would get his revenge in the ...

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19. The Lying Game

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pp. 193-204

The Patriarca verdict was a watershed moment in the federal government’s war on organized crime. For the first time in history, a major Mafia figure had been taken down solely by the testimony of one of his men. It proved the fbi’s theory that the only way to defeat La Cosa Nostra was to destroy it from within. The significance of the verdict and the Animal’s contribu-...

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pp. 205-212

Joe Barboza returned to Suffolk Superior Court in November 1968 to be sentenced for his role in the murder of Teddy Deegan. Thanks to his co-operation with the fbi, the carnage he had caused would cost him only a year and a day in prison. He was also indicted on charges of being a habit-ual criminal. However, the indictments would not be carried out as long ...

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21. A Murder in the Woods

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pp. 213-222

Joe Barboza left town shortly after the murder of Ricky Clay Wilson and traveled back East to continue his negotiations with the Mafia. He was broke now and was looking to make a quick score with the stolen securi-ties, which were now in his sole position, and by recanting his testimony. He had given the government fair warning. Months before leaving Cali-...

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22. California Dreaming

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pp. 223-232

Joe Barboza’s return to prison was the final straw for his wife, Claire, who packed up the couple’s two young children and their belongings and qui-etly returned to Massachusetts. The Animal was truly on his own now. Fortunately for him, his friendship with Edward Harrington continued to grow, and the government lawyer pressed the Justice Department to help ...

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23. The Ghost of Joe Barboza

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pp. 233-239

The investigation into Joe Barboza’s assassination began with promise but stalled quickly. Three months after the murder, fbi special agent John Connolly fingered James Chalmas for helping to plan the gangland hit. Connolly claimed this helpful information was delivered to the feds by Top Echelon Informant bs 1544-cte, the code word for James “Whitey” ...

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Where Are They Now?

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pp. 241-242

Died in 2009 at the age of ninety and given a full Mafia boss funeral, complete with nearly two hundred floral arrangements. Angiulo was also given a full U.S. Navy honor guard for his service in the Pacific during World War II. “He is probably the last very significant Mafia boss in Boston’s history,” said retired State Police colonel Thomas J. Foley. “In these times you don’t have anybody ...

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Author's Note

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pp. 243-244

To complete this book, I had to stand on the shoulders of those great writers and journalists who covered the FBI’s relationship with organized crime dating back to the midway point of the last century. I tip my cap to all of them.I would also like to thank Donald Barboza, James Southwood, and John Cavicchi for their insight and guidance along the way. My goal was never to ...


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pp. 245-251

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Image Plates

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pp. 270-281

Raymond L. S. Patriarca. The Godfather of the New England Mafia, who was both idolized and later reviled by Joe Barboza. Courtesy of the Buddy McLean. Boss of Somerville’s Winter Hill Gang, McLean presided over one of the bloodiest mob wars in American history. Courtesy of the Massachusetts Vincent “Jimmy the Bear” Flemmi. A cherubic psychopath whose goal was to ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781555538217
E-ISBN-10: 1555538215
Print-ISBN-13: 9781555538224

Page Count: 274
Publication Year: 2013