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March 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

A Mob Tape, an FBI Gaffe and Some Murders

By Allan Lengel

On the big screen and on TV, sometimes we forget the twisted plots aren’t simply made up, but actually come from real situations in the wiseguy world.

Here’s a real story worthy of the big screen involving a mob hit and a secret recording in which an FBI audio expert accidentally taped over it for about 18 seconds.

Mob expert Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News reports that the feds plan to use that the tape recording to help try and convict  mob associate Christian Tarantino in the killing in 2003 of his business partner Vincent Gargiulo in Manhattan.

It was Garagiulo who made the secret recording in 2000 in which Tarantino admits killing two people in 1994, Gang Land News reports.  Gargiulo allegedly had tried to blackmail Tarantino and wanted him to pay $500,000 for the cassette tape, Gang Land reported. Instead, he ended up dead.

In 2008, the feds used the tape to help charge Tarantino with the two murders in 1994 and the one involving Gargiulo in 2003. Prosecutors used it last year at the first trial, but while they were able to convict Tarantino of the 1994 murders at that trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the killing of Gargiulo, Gang Land reported.

Capeci reports that the judge in the upcoming retrial in the murder of Garigiulo is allowing the tape to be used again.

Interestingly, the FBI audio expert mistakenly recorded his own voice over the tape for 18 second.   Despite arguments from the defense, the judge has ruled that the tape can be introduced as evidence.

Gang Land News reports that the tape mysteriously surfaced after someone mailed it in 2004 to the New York cops, who turned it over to the FBI.


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