Law and Legal

Boston Federal Court Pits Geriatric Gangster vs. Geriatric Gangster

Today in Boston federal court it was geriatric gangster vs. geriatric gangster.

Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, came into court disheveled, looking like the eccentric uncle you don’t want at a wedding, and smiled at his former criminal compatriot Frances “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. Then he recounted the 10 murders he committed, many with Salemme, which included two of his girlfriends, Debra Davis and Deborah Hussey, who was also his stepdaughter.

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Salemme was back in court a day after he fell out of his wheelchair on his way in and was excused. Both wrinkly wiseguys are 84, frail shells of their former feared selves.

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Flemmi has been working for the FBI since 1968 – the same year he and Salemme blew up an Everett lawyer with a car bomb. The attorney, John Fitzgerald, climbed into his car after work, turned the key and detonated two sticks of dynamite beneath the vehicle. He lost his right leg below the knee.

Crooked FBI Agent Paul Rico told Flemmi he was the prime suspect, and he went on the lam with Salemme and hitman John Martorano. Salemme went away for the attempted hit but Flemmi, with the help of the FBI, was cleared.

After Flemmi’s testimony was done for the day and was being led out, Cadillac Frank Salemme twirled his finger at his temple to say the Rifleman is nuts and mimicked a stroke victim drooling. “He’s soft,” he said to the media pool as Flemmi led out of court. “He had a stroke.”

Michele McPhee is a best selling true crime author; three-time Emmy-nominated television investigative producer in Boston for ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Unit; award-winning columnist; magazine contributor.

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Michele McPhee

Michele McPhee is a best selling true crime author; award-winning columnist; magazine contributor.McPhee spent more than three years investigating the Boston Marathon attacks and that work is contained in her new book Maximum Harm, the Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing.She has also written five other true crime titles: A Professor's Rage; A Date Date With Death; Heartless – The True Story of Neil Entwistle and the Brutal Murder of His Wife and Baby; When Evil Rules; and A Mob Story.She lives in Jeffries Point, East Boston and isn’t leaving.Her book A Date With Death was adapted by Sony Pictures for the Lifetime TV movie the//craigslist.killer that aired in January 2011 She was also a story consultant for Sony Pictures Lifetime TV movie based on the Clark Rockefeller case “Who is Clark Rockefeller?” that aired on March 13, 2010. A Mob Story is in development as a feature film titled “UnMade Man” was the Police Bureau Chief for the New York Daily News, the paper where she covered murder, mayhem and the Mafia for nearly ten years. She was at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 – the terrible morning when 23 NYPD officers, 37 Port Authority police officers, and 343 FDNY members were slain. She was the recipient of the 2002 New York Society of the Silurian’s Feature News Award for a body of work entitled: “The Days After.”She has covered high-profile crime cases across the country and has been a commentator on breaking news for national programs on ABC World News Tonight, NBC Dateline, CNN; MSNBC; and the Fox News Network. She is also a frequent guest on ID Discovery and A&E regarding high-profile crime cases and was a host on the Travel Channel hit series America Declassified.She was the only full-time female host of a four-hour New England market talk radio program, the Michele McPhee radio show, and she continues to provide commentary on radio shows around the country.McPhee returned to her native Boston in 2004, where McPhee she was awarded first place for “Serious Column” by the New England Press Association in 2007 for her work in the Boston Herald. McPhee’s true crime stories have appeared in more than a dozen national magazines including Newsweek; Maxim; Stuff; Cosmopolitan; New York; ESPN the Magazine; Gotham; Manhattan File; and other international publications.She continues to contribute to Boston magazine and Newsweek. She is the recipient of many journalism awards, including the Society of the Silurian’s Feature News Award for her New York Daily News 9-11 coverage. She was awarded First Place for Serious Column in the Boston Herald by the Associated Press. Her work for Team 5 Investigates at ABC affiliate WCVB earned her a 2012 nomination for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and her work with Ross Investigative Unit led two other nominations: Best Business Reporting; Outstanding Investigative Reporting in News Magazine.She was also honored with an Il Migliore award by the Pirandello Lycei Society of Boston.Web: Twitter: @MicheleMcPhee LinkedIn: Facebook: lives in Boston.

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