Judge Gertner in her decision awarding over a hundred million dollars to Mafia guys and a guy who associated with them was correct in many respects. One was that Joe Barboza the witness for the government switched the identity of people involved in the Deegan murder. He told his FBI handlers he would never incriminate his friend Vincent “Jimmy the Bear” Flemmi in any criminal activities. They were all right with that. After six men were indicted by state prosecutor Jack Zalkind from the Suffolk County DA’s office they would have known that Barboza was true to his word. He left out Jimmy Flemmi as one of the people involved in the Deegan murder. They would also have known he included others who should not have been included. They did nothing about it.
Two of those people were Louis Greco and Joseph Salvati. Barboza made them part of the team that went out to murder Deegan on March 12, 1965. He substituted Salvati for Jimmy Flemmi and Greco for Joseph Martin. Salvati was a hang around guy in the North End and at bars frequented by the wise guys. He was arrested in June 1960 when he was at an illegal gambling operation run by Fiore DeChristoforo; he was working at a North End night club on October 7, 1961 at 5:15 a.m. when he let DeChristoforo out the door of the club only to have him gunned down when he walked by the next doorway.
Frank Salemme said Salvati was a runner for “the banding of the misfits” a group of guys like Cassesso who “couldn’t hook on anywhere else, they hooked on with themselves, . . .” Salemme said that Barboza threw Salvati into the murder because he wouldn’t corroborate Barboza’s testimony. As far as what happened to Salvati, Salemme said: you want to be a gofer, opening and closing the doors in the after hours joints, that’s the price you pay.”
Louis Greco 38-years-old at the time seems to come out of the blue. There’s no indication he was involved in prior criminal activity that I found nor is he included in the charts of the Mafia guys unlike Limone and Tameleo. Frank Salemme said he didn’t know Greco other than he was a member of the Mafia. Salemme told of a conversation he had with Dennis Condon who along with Paul Rico met with him on the day the six Deegan defendants were convicted. He said they came in delighted and that Condon said, “I wonder how Louie Greco likes on death row, and he wasn’t even there.” Salemme said he got into an argument with Condon over that.
How did Greco get involved by Joe Barboza? He testified he met him in Florida in February 1965, told him he was planning to kill Deegan, and offered him a cut of the deal if he would contact Roy French to help set up Deegan. He then says he met Greco the day before the murder in Boston to tell him who would be involved in it. On the day of the killing he went to an apartment where Greco was present. He said he told them Salvati would have to be involved. Greco was to be in the alley waiting for Deegan. At a 7:00 p.m. meeting Martin was given a .45 caliber to give to Greco.
At 9:00 p.m. Barboza, Cassesso, Martin, and Chico Amico left the Ebb Tide restaurant to do the job. Anthony Stathopoulos who drove French and Deegan to the location testified he : “heard a volley of shots.” French reappeared and was joined by a “quite heavy” man with a gun in his hand who looked like Greco. In earlier reports he said it was Cassesso and Martin that he saw. As for Greco he said he had never seen the man before. A while later Barboza returned to the restaurant and saw French. They went into the backroom where Cassesso, Martin, Amico, and Salvati were present. Greco wasn’t seen there either before or after. Nor did any subsequent information developed by informants place him there.
French testified he was in the alley, he did not have a gun, and he had not seen Greco at all in 1965 because he was in Florida. Limone testified he did not know Greco at the time of the murder. Salvati testified he did not know Greco. No one seemed to put Greco anywhere near the murder except Barboza and the “Looked like” statement from the well-coached Strathopoulos.
It is difficult to pin a murder on a guy who testified he was in Florida at the time of the murder. You have to believe he flew up just to murder a guy he had no beef with even though his presence was unnecessary. Add to that no one could associate him being there other than Barboza who we know was lying about those who were present,
I have to go with Judge Gertner on her findings that Greco and Salvati were wrongfully convicted and confined. Then there are the other two, Limone and Tameleo.