According to the Bureau of Prisons, Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, a once-powerful New England Mafia boss who was serving a life sentence in prison for the 1993 murder of a Boston nightclub owner, passed away at the age of 89.
Online records for the Bureau of Prisons show that Salemme passed away on Tuesday. When asked for additional details through email on Sunday, bureau representatives did not answer right away. WPRI-TV was the first to disclose Salemme’s death on Sunday.
Cadillac Frank oversaw the Patriarca crime family in Boston in the early 1990s before learning that other mobsters had been talking about him to law enforcement and assisting in the conviction of a dishonest FBI agent.
When the bones of the nightclub owner were discovered in 2016, Salemme—who has acknowledged a number of other gangland killings—was residing in Atlanta as Richard Parker, making the elderly former Mafia don a new target of the government.
Cadillac Frank’s Arrest and Trials
Cadillac Frank 2018 trial served as a throwback to a time when the mob in New England was a powerful and feared force. Salemme insisted he had nothing to do with the death of Steven DiSarro, but he was found guilty after his former closest buddy gave a defiant witness statement.
Salemme spent 16 years in prison for attempting to murder a lawyer whose car was blown up in 1968 but who survived but lost a leg.
He took part in numerous killings during the gang wars in Boston in the 1960s. Cadillac Frank suffered significant injuries in a shooting outside a pancake shop in a Boston suburb after being released from jail.
When he, infamous Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, and other defendants were accused in a significant racketeering case in 1995, his reign as Mafia leader came to an end. After John Connolly Jr., Bulger’s FBI handler informed them of the imminent indictment, Salemme and Bulger escaped.
Salemme was apprehended in Florida
A few months later, Bulger eluded detection for 16 years before being found in Santa Fe. At the age of 81.
Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, Bulger and Salemme’s best friend, was found to have been an FBI informant in the racketeering case. Salemme, who was angry that his fellow mobsters had turned on him, decided to confess and work with the police.
Cadillac testified against Connolly in 2002, and Connolly was found guilty of assisting Bulger in avoiding justice. Salemme received an early release from prison and was accepted into the witness protection scheme in return.
The big feared mob boss jurors saw in hazy surveillance photographs from the 1990s was practically unrecognizable in Salemme’s 2018 Boston trial due to his slicked back, wispy grey hair, and slender build.
Salemme stood up from his chair, referred to the proceedings as “crazy,” and claimed that the truth hadn’t been disclosed to DiSarro’s family before receiving a life sentence in 2018. But he appeared to have foreseen that his own tale would come to an end in prison years ago.
Earlier life of Cadillac Frank, Where was he from?
Cadillac Frank was born on August 18, 1933. His birth name is Francis Patrick Salemme. He was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, USA. He was of American nationality and white ethnicity.
Cadillac Frank’s Early years as a Mafia
While incarcerated in 1957, Salemme met Patriarca family gangster Anthony Morelli. Following his release from prison. He began collaborating with Morelli on criminal activities, and after a short while, he rose to the rank of associate in the Patriarca family. Albeit he was unable to attain made man or full membership.
Salemme was revered by Patriarca leader Raymond Patriarca for his loyalty to the family and his business acumen. But he only permitted full-blooded Italians to become made men, and Salemme was partially Irish through his mother Anne Salemme.
Salemme took part in Boston’s Irish gang fights at the beginning of the 1960s. In 2003, Salemme testified before Congress and acknowledged killing many members of opposing gangs in Charlestown, Massachusetts:
The Hugheses, and the McLaughlins, were all eliminated, and I was a participant in just about all of them, planned them, and did them.
As a lawyer for Patriarca mafia informant Joseph Barboza, John Fitzgerald’s automobile was bombed in 1968 by Salemme. The incident was intended to intimidate Barboza into withholding testimony against mob bosses Raymond Patriarca and others. Fitzgerald lost his left leg after the attack but lived.
Later, it was proven through the testimony of numerous witnesses and the Organized Crime unit investigation of the U.S. House of Representatives that Salemme was connected to the bombing but did not actually carry it out. Salemme retreated after the attack’s failure. His apprehension in Manhattan by FBI agent John Connolly in 1972 ended his runaway status. After being found guilty, he received a 16-year prison term.
Cadillac Frank pleaded not guilty to the 1994 murder of Steven DiSarro
A nightclub owner, during the trial of former FBI agent John Connolly. But two years later, Steve Flemmi, who had received his vaccination, admitted to seeing Salemme take part in the murder to U.S. attorneys Fred Wyshak and Brian Kelly.
After completing his testimony against Connolly. Salemme returned to jail, where he boasted to a fellow prisoner that the prosecutors had instructed him to lie. After that, he had done so much lying that he deserved a 100-year prison term. The prisoner served as an informant and recorded his confession, which was preserved in police reports. Wyshak and Kelly only charged Salemme with the attempted murder of DiSarro.