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‘Cadillac’ Frank wrote the book on bent G-men – Boston Herald

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Stipulated, Cadillac Frank Salemme was a murderer and a thug.

But at least he had impeccable taste in reading materials, as you can see from this photo the feds took of the back seat of his Mercury when he was lugged for the last time in 2016.

On top of the dictionary and the thesaurus is my New York Times bestseller, “Hitman.”

Now Frank Salemme is dead at the age of 89 in a federal prison hospital in Missouri, and it makes me sad.

I always hate it when I lose a customer.

But Frank left behind at least one remarkable document, an interview he gave to a US House committee back in April 2003 on, among other subjects, FBI corruption over the generations in Boston.

The lesson from the late Francis Patrick Salemme is that the FBI has always been corrupt, a disgrace.

Nothing has changed. These Twitter files being released are incredible – in 2020, the G-men paid Twitter $3.4 million to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop, which the feds knew was legit, because they wanted to rig the election for the senile, corrupt vegetable who was the Democrat nominee.

It’s right there, in Twitter’s own records. Undeniable. Under the guise of battling “disinformation,” the Democrats’ secret police were using taxpayers’ money to violate the same taxpayers’ own First Amendment rights to free speech.

Horrible, but nothing new for the FBI, as Cadillac Frank knew only too well from personal experience. Only the scale of their corruption has changed. The feds used to just want to steal and whack their enemies.

Now the G-men’s ambitions are more grandiose. They’re trying to overthrow the Republic for their comrades in the Democrat party.

When he testified in 2003, Salemme had just been a witness in the corruption trial of an FBI agent named Zip Connolly who moonlighted as a Mob hitman (or was it the other way around?) Salemme described Zip perfectly as a “windbag.”

But even a bigger crook than Zip Connolly in the local FBI office was the agent who was in effect his mentor, both in the FBI and organized crime (but I repeat myself).

H. Paul Rico and his partner, Dennis Condon, framed four North End guys for a 1965 murder they did not commit. Two of the innocent men died in prison and the others served more than 30 years. In 2007 they or their estates were awarded a total of more than $100 million for wrongful imprisonment.

After the conviction of the innocent men in 1968, Rico and Condon stopped by Salemme’s garage in the South End on what amounted to a victory tour.

“They were ecstatic that they had pulled this off,” Salemme recalled.

Condon was the more excited of the two bent feds. Condon would later go on to get a big job with Gov. Mike Dukakis, who always knew how to pick ‘em.

One of those falsely convicted by the FBI was a low-level hood named Louie Greco. He was a World War II combat veteran who’d been in Florida on the night of the murder he’d been convicted of in Boston. Salemme described Condon as “elated.”

“He made the statement, I wonder how Louie Greco likes it on Death Row, and he wasn’t even there. I was thinking, why was he saying this?”

Why, Frank? The answer is… FBI. Condon was a bigshot in the Knights of Columbus, and Salemme pointed that out to him, that as a Knight he was supposed to observe certain moral standards, you know, like, thou shalt not lie.

Rico was even more corrupt than his partner. He set up gangland hits for his favorite hoods. When Salemme was having problems lining up Punchy McLaughlin, Rico gave him the address where he was hiding out.

One time Rico needed a throw-down for a hit he was planning himself on Punchy’s fugitive brother. Salemme got him the gun (although Flemmi also took credit for it). There were a group of five feds who were going to whack out McLaughlin and then claim that he had resisted arrest. But in the end, instead of killing him the feds arrested McLaughlin.

The next day Flemmi asked Rico what had happened with the planned hit.

“There were five of us going in,” Rico told him. “Four of ‘em, I knew I could trust, but the fifth one, I couldn’t be sure of. So we couldn’t kill him.”

In other words, back then, maybe 20% of the G-men weren’t totally corrupt. Those were the good old days.

When Salemme et al. blew a hit, Rico would critique them – “boy, that was a sloppy piece of work,” the decorated G-man told them one day.

In 2003, Rico was called before a Congressional committee and asked about framing the four guys including Louie Greco.

“What do you want from me?” he sneered. “Tears.”

A few months later, Rico was dead – in a Tulsa prison hospital, after being arrested for yet another Mob murder he’d arranged, on his post-FBI boss.

At least, though, Rico paid somewhat of a price for his horrible crimes, which is more than you will probably be able to say for any of the FBI’s current miscreants.

As for Salemme, in 1993 he was trying to take over the Boston Mafia, so the feds planted a story in this newspaper about him wanting to muscle in some of the East Boston crews. The Eastie guys responded to the FBI-planted story in the traditional way.

They machine-gunned Cadillac Frank as he walked into the old IHOP in Saugus.

“I got shot,” Salemme explained to Congress. “I got riddled, and I didn’t say who did it.”

No he didn’t. But eventually he did get to testify against Zip Connolly, if not Paul Rico.

In his testimony, Salemme also went on at some length about the old days in Boston organized crime. It’s pretty good stuff. Maybe I’ll get into some of that testimony over the Christmas break. I know I used some of it in Cadillac Frank’s favorite book, “Hitman.”

By the way, “Hitman” remains available at fine bookstores everywhere. And what better recommendation could it have than from Cadillac Frank himself?

FILE – This 1995 file photo taken in West Palm Beach, Fla., and released by the FBI shows Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. Salemme, the once powerful New England Mafia boss who was serving a life sentence behind bars for the 1993 killing of a Boston nightclub owner, has died at the age of 89, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Salemme died on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, according to Bureau of Prisons’ online records. (Federal Bureau of Investigation via AP, File)
MEETING OF THE MINDS: Mobsters, from left, Darin 'Nino' Bufalino, Francis 'Cadillac Frank' Salemme, the late Richard 'Richie the Hatchet' Devlin and Bobby 'Cigar' DeLuca talk shop in this undated photo.
MEETING OF THE MINDS: Mobsters, from left, Darin ‘Nino’ Bufalino, Francis ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme, the late Richard ‘Richie the Hatchet’ Devlin and Bobby ‘Cigar’ DeLuca talk shop in this undated photo.
Law enforcement surveillance caught a picture of, from left, Steven DiSarro, Frank Salemme Jr., Thomas Leonard Hillary and New England Mafia godfather 'Cadillac Frank' Salemme in 1990.
Law enforcement surveillance caught a picture of, from left, Steven DiSarro, Frank Salemme Jr., Thomas Leonard Hillary and New England Mafia godfather ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme in 1990.
BACK HOME: 'Cadillac Frank' Salemme, seen here with his wife, Donna, returned to Boston after a stretch in the Witness Protection program after being charged in the May 10, 1993, murder of Stephen DiSarro.
BACK HOME: ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme, seen here with his wife, Donna, returned to Boston after a stretch in the Witness Protection program after being charged in the May 10, 1993, murder of Stephen DiSarro.
NAMING NAMES: At the trial of Francis 'Cadillac Frank' Salemme, Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi testified that he paid off former FBI agent John Connolly, shown here, among others. (Herald file photo.)
NAMING NAMES: At the trial of Francis ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme, Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi testified that he paid off former FBI agent John Connolly, shown here, among others. (Herald file photo.)

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