Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Philly Rogue Cops Case: The Pizza Connection

Veteran crime reporter Ralph Cipriano is covering the federal trial of six Philadelphia police officers accused of corruption for bigtrial.net.

On cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney asked former Officer Michael Spicer (seen in the above photo) about an allegation contained in "Episode #4" of the government's indictment of the rogue cops.

On Nov. 26, 2007, the indictment charged, while hanging out at drug dealer Michael Cascioli's 19th floor apartment on City Line Avenue, Officers Spicer, Linwood Norman, Perry Betts and Jeffrey Walker allegedly took money from the drug dealer's nightstand and "used it to purchase pizza" for the four cops "without [Cascioli's] permission."

"That would have been a staple of our diet," Spicer conceded with a half-smile from the witness stand when asked about the pizza.

Sensing weakness, the prosecutor pressed in for the kill. Who bought the pizza, she wanted to know.

"I don't know," Spicer replied. "I don't know who paid."

It was exchanges like this during the three-hour cross-examination of Spicer, the only one of six defendants to take the stand, that had the defense camp smiling and laughing when it was all over.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Monday, May 4, 2015

Ex-Mobster John Alite: Gotti Family Ordered Cyber "Hit" On Me

Gary Busio at the New York Post reports on a new kind of mob war.

He’s no Facebook friend of ours.

Instead of using brickbats or Berettas, relatives of notorious Mafia boss John Gotti are delivering a beatdown to a former Gambino enforcer the 21st-century way — on the Internet.

“U go to war with one of us u go to war Witt [sic] all of us simple as that,” declared John “Junior” Gotti’s son John Gotti Jr. on Twitter March 25.

The tweet is just one example of an escalating and bizarre online barrage — which includes phony Twitter accounts, altered Wikipedia pages and doctored YouTube videos — targeting John Alite, who says the Gottis have relentlessly bullied him online ever since he was featured in a book titled “Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia,” which came out Jan. 27.  

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


You can also read my Philadelphia Inquirer review of George Anastasia's book on John Alite via the below link:


Another NYPD Officer Shot - And No One Will March To Protest

The New York Post Editorial Board offers a piece on the latest NYPD officer shot.

No demonstrators will block traffic to protest the ambush of Police Officer Brian Moore in Queens Saturday evening — the fifth New York City cop struck by gunfire in the line of duty since December.

Ironically enough, Moore was serving on a detail targeting illegal guns in Queens Village when he was shot twice in the face.

The officer, 25, was in a medically induced coma Sunday. The alleged shooter, 35-year-old Demetrius Blackwell, an ex-con with a violent history, was in custody.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Once N.Y's 'Prince Of The City,' Robert Leuci Found True Calling As Writer In R.I.

Andy Smith at the Providence Journal offers a piece on Robert Leuci.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Robert Leuci is 75 now, an adjunct professor teaching writing at the University of Rhode Island. He's written six novels, a memoir, a play, short stories, screenplays. He hasn't been a New York City cop since 1981.

But for some, he'll always be the Prince of the City, the corrupt cop who ultimately decided to expose the rot within law enforcement. In 1978, retired New York Deputy Commissioner Robert Daley told Leuci's story in his book "Prince of the City." In 1981, Sidney Lumet adapted the book into a movie of the same title, starring Treat Williams.

He looks back at his former self with mixed emotions, at best: "I have no respect for that character," he said. "There's no excuse for some of the things I did in those days ... I have five grandchildren now. They're going to read about the guy who was a corrupt cop in his day." But Leuci identifies not as a cop, or an ex-cop, but as as a writer.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


You can also read my interview with Robert Leuci via the below link:


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Former Bodyguard Unmasks Fidel Castro's Corrupt Double Life

The New York Post offers an excerpt from Juan Reinaldo Sanchez's book on Fidel Castro, the man he said he longed served as a bodyguard.

For 17 years, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. But when he became disillusioned with the Cuban dictator’s hypocrisy and tried to retire in 1994, Castro had him thrown in prison. Sanchez made 10 attempts to escape the island, finally making it to Mexico by boat, then across the Texas border in 2008. Now he reveals all in his new book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro.” In this excerpt, Sanchez explains how he lost faith in the revolution — and “El Jefe.”

You can read the excerpt via the below link:


Note: I believe Satan has a special spot all warmed up in Hell for this commmunist dictator, murderer and criminal.

Trove Of Letters Of San Francisco Shed Light On A Young Newspaperman Named Mark Twain

Steve Rubenstein at the San Francisco Gate offers a piece on the finding of letters from a young Mark Twain when he was in San Francisco.

San Francisco police officers ought to be made of wax, said one of the most famous men ever to set foot in town.

“Wax figures, besides being far more economical, would be about as useful,” the fellow wrote. “Punishment of lawbreakers is, in some favored cases, almost obsolete.”

So said none other than a 29-year-old newspaperman named Mark Twain, in a cache of writings that Twain scholars at UC Berkeley have recently uncovered, authenticated and promulgated upon the public.

... The writings — most of which are marking their 150th birthday — shed light on one of America’s greatest writers while he was a young buck who, during his year or so in San Francisco, was still figuring out whether he wanted to be a writer at all.  

In one letter, Twain picked a fight with the San Francisco police chief, one Martin Burke. Twain wrote that the chief was like a dog chasing its own tail to “show off before his mistress.” Following an outcry from Burke's cronies, the young Twain wrote an “explanation” in which he said he was referring to the dog, not the chief.

“Chief Burke don’t keep a mistress,” Twain wrote. “On second thoughts, I only wish he did. ... Even if he kept a mistress, I would hardly parade it in the public prints. Nor would I object to his performing any gymnastic miracle ... to afford her wholesome amusement.”

The chief's cronies shut up after that, wisely wishing to avoid any further “explanations.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Philly Rogue Cops Case: The Milkman Delivers

Veteran crime reporter and author George Anastasia (seen in the above photo) is covering the federal trial of six Philadelphia police officers accused of corruption.

It was a primer on police narcotics field work, a street-level view of the war on drugs.

And it was given by an unassuming former milkman who worked the dairy beat in South Philadelphia for 11 years before going to the Police Academy.

For nearly five hours today Michael Spicer, one of six Philadelphia Police Department narcotics officers charged in a federal corruption case, testified in his own defense -- and by extension in defense of his five co-defendants.

Calm and confident, and at time self-effacing, Spicer, 49, walked the federal court jury through a series of incidents that are at the heart of the corruption indictment. Again and again, he denied the allegations, responding to questions from defense attorney Jack McMahon with short and clear answers.

"That's not true . . . That never happened . . . That's a lie," Spicer said, never raising his voice or showing any anger.

It was a steady mantra of denials sprinkled through hours of testimony that included quips, asides and a detailed account of his 12 years working narcotics, including five with the Narcotics Field Unit where prosecutors contend Spicer and his co-defendants became bandits with badges.

Contradicting the testimony of more than a dozen admitted drug dealers and one dirty cop, Spicer said cash and drugs seized during raids were always accounted for, never pocketed. He said police always wore bullet proof vests label POLICE during raids and always announced themselves, sometimes forcefully. And he said he never, ever saw any member of the squad hide his face behind a ski mask during a raid as several prosecution witnesses have contended.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: