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May 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: mobster

Famed Mobster Jerry Tillinghast dies at Age 75

Jerry Tillinghast, via Adult Correctional Institutions.

By Steve Neavling

Convicted mobster Jerry Tillinghast, who wrote a book about his life after spending nearly 30 years in prison, has died. 

He was 75. 

The Providence Journal reports that Tillinghast had been battling several illnesses.

Tillinghast was an enforcer for the Patriarca crime family in the 1960s and 1970s and wreaked havoc in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He also was accused of participating in the infamous Bonded Vault heist in Providence in 1975. 

He was later convicted of killing mob loan shark George Basmajian in 1978. He was arrested less than an hour later at a Providence bar. 

When Tillinghast was 39 years old in 1985, he was stabbed in the neck in a maximum security prison. 

In 2005, he was paroled. 

While out of prison, Tillinghast wrote a book titled “Choices: You Make ‘em You Own ‘em” that was released in 2018.

Newly Released FBI Files Bring Probe of Whitey Bulger to Life

James “Whitey” Bulger. Photo: The Boston Police Department.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI released 300 pages of newly declassified records on Boston gangster and murderer James “Whitey” Bulger, revealing his role in loan sharking and horse fixing and how he “slapped around” an informant. 

The heavily redacted records were released to The Boston Herald as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

In 1974, the FBI was trailing Bulger and other “different hoodlum groups in the Boston area,” the records state. According to the files, the bureau was fully aware of Bulger’s “street-thug tactics as the New England Organized Crime Strike Task Force targeted gangsters and the mafia,” The Herald reports. 

In November 1974, an FBI informant lived “in constant fear for his life” for failing to pay “debts” as ordered by the bureau. The idea was to trigger Bulger’s anger. 

The informant was “willing to testify” and consented “to be equipped with a body recorder in order to obtain corroborative evidence,” the records state. 

The files also identified New York City and Las Vegas mobsters who were part of a horse-racing scheme that involved bribing jockeys and drugging horses. 

Bulger eventually fled to elude the FBI and made the bureau’s Top Ten Most Wanted List for his involvement in 19 murders. Bulger was later tracked down to an apartment in California and sentenced to two life sentences before he was beat to death inside his prison cell in 2018.

Rhode Island Mobster “Bobby” DeLuca Granted Early Release from Prison

Rhode Island mobster Robert P. “Bobby” DeLuca.

By Steve Neavling

Rhode Island mobster Robert P. “Bobby” DeLuca will be released early from prison because of the health risks during the coronavirus pandemic. 

U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper granted compassionate release to DeLuca, who had four months left on his sentence for lying to investigators about the gangland murder of a Providence native in 1993, The Providence Journal reports.

Casper citied DeLuca’s age – 75 – and his heart condition and chronic kidney disease. 

DeLuca, a onetime capo in New England La Cosa Nostra, will be on probation for three years. 

In 2016, DeLuca pleaded guilty to making false statements and obstruction of justice related to the death Boston nightclub owner, Steven A. DiSarro, who authorities say DeLuca helped bury in Providence. 

Mobster Wanted for 37 Years in Police Chief’s Death Found Buried & Long Dead

Donald Eugene Webb, mug shot.

Donald Eugene Webb, mug shot.

By Steve Neavling

A 37-year search for a fugitive with mob ties wanted in connection with the killing of a Pennsylvania police chief came to a shocking end Friday when authorities announced Donald Eugene Webb’s remains were found buried in his former wife’s backyard in Dartmouth, Mass.

The remains were found Thursday night in the back of a property owned by 82-year-old Lillian Webb, whose former husband, it turns out, died in 1999 while still on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, the Boston Globe reports

The discovery of Donald Webb, a career career with connections to the New England mob, ended the longest cold case involving a slain officer in U.S. history. Webb was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list from 1981 to 2007.

Webb had been charged in the brutal beating and fatal shooting of Saxonburg Police Chief Gregory Adams during a traffic stop in December 1980.

“For almost 37 years, the family of Chief Adams and the citizens of Saxonburg have been awaiting news of Donald Eugene Webb’s whereabouts. The FBI is grateful to have been able to play a role in helping to resolve this case. Although it’s unfortunate Mr. Webb will never be brought to justice to pay for his crimes, we’re hopeful the family can find some closure in knowing that this alleged murderer has been located,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston division, CNN reports

Weekend Series on Crime History: Documentary on Mobster Whitey Bulger

Suspected Mobster Arrested Over Boston Club Owner’s 1993 Death

Suspected mobster Robert DeLuca.

Suspected mobster Robert DeLuca.

By Steve Neavling

A suspected Rhode Island mobster who is accusing of interfering in a federal probe of a 1993 murder has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly interfering with the investigation.

UPI reports that Robert DeLuca was arrested in South Florida, just three months after authorities found the remains of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro in Providence. He disappeared in 1993.

DeLuca, 70, was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators about the death of DiSarro.

Prosecutors believe DeLuca was involved in the nightclub owner’s death and lied to FBI agents about what he knew.

“We look forward to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation so we can learn as much as possible about what really happened to Steven and finally get some closure for our family,” widow Pamela DiSarro said in March.

DeLuca is expected to face extradition to Massachusetts as early as Thursday.

FBI Searches Home of Aging Gangster for Evidence of Unsolved Boston Art Heist

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is searching the backyard of an aging mobster in Connecticut for evidence of art that was stolen two decades ago from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

ABC News reports that this is the third time the FBI has searched in and around the ranch house, owned by Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile, who is serving 2.5 years in prison for drug and gun charges.

Gentile’s attorney said his client is surprised the FBI is back at the ranch.

“He laughed and he couldn’t believe they were, that they were at his house again, and he said, this is a quote, ‘They ain’t gonna find nuttin,’” attorney Rome McGuigan said.

During the 1990 heist, 13 paintings were stolen.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mobster Sam Giancana