Thoughts On Rico Before I Go Back To Whitey

The Big Day In The Big Apple

The  temptation is to continue writing about H. Paul Rico who was maliciously maligned by the media, prosecutors, investigators and courts if the highly informative book Rico is to be believed. I must avoid that and return to Whitey’s life from which I have strayed like a lamb in Ireland standing in peril of falling over the cliff into the wild sea. There are a couple things I want to mention about Rico which I ask you to consider.

The first because it is a theme running through everything we are confronted with in these matters surrounding Whitey. It is the acceptance of gangster sensationalism over reality. The acceptance that  people who are on the record as having lied under oath are now to be believed. Almost all the evidence against Rico came out of the mouth of two lying gangsters, over 90% from one in particular, Steve Flemmi. He is on record as having used the truth as often as a member of the WCTU used a church key. It is basically his word against Rico’s — there is no corroboration for any of Flemmi’s statements against Rico — yet the above mentioned people prefer to believe him over Rico who served honorably in the FBI for about 25 years.

The second is the idea that Rico was involved in the night club scene and was some sort of roué. We never hear of his personal life. That silence is because it mocks the suggestion he was other than a hard working guy who brought down the leader of the Patriarca Mafia family and his Mafia buddies.

Rico dropped out of high school and volunteered to fight in WWII. He saw combat in Italy and earned three bronze stars. He returned went to college and played three years of semi-pro football while at college. He married his high school sweetheart Connie on the day he graduated from the FBI academy. They were  married over fifty years. They had five children. The oldest, Joy, graduated from Florida State with a biochemistry degree, earned a pharmacy degree, and  then a medical degree as a doctor. The second daughter, Melissa, earned a degree in nursing from the University of Florida and went on to the University of Cincinnati to earn a law degree. His next daughter, Suzanne entered the University of Florida at age 16 without graduating from high school. She earned a degree in engineering. The last of the girls graduated from American University and earned a masters in New Hampshire. The youngest, a boy, became a lawyer like his sister.

If the sins of the father fall upon his children, looking at his family you’d have to have grave doubts that he was running around jeopardizing his children’s future. Even more would you doubt the slander of Frank Salemme who was convicted of lying about a murder suggesting the FBI intercepted members of the McLaughlin gang talking on the telephone saying  Rico was gay and that J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson and Rico had a manage a trios  whenever he went to DC.

The basic reason to doubt it is Rico’s family life. Next, the FBI most likely didn’t intercepted these gangsters who were not Mafia so those conversations don’t exist. Finally, it makes no sense FBI agents telling Rico this, he then telling Flemmi this. What makes it absolutely ludicrous is that had it happened, Rico wanted the McLaughlins killed. He supposedly asked for a throw away gun so he could do the job himself if he had to.

This nonsense of course is accepted as truth and gleefully repeated by Howie Carr. We are supposed to believe because the gangsters may have been overheard by the FBI in a phone call saying that Rico was gay he wanted to murder them. The gangsters had to come up with some reason for their far fetched story that Rico teamed up with them. This is the best they could do.

That is what has happened to all the events surrounding Whitey. With nothing to back it up gangsters like Flemmi and Salemme, toss out lie after lie and gullible prosecutors and naive or willful judges mindlessly gobble them up like seagulls engorging themselves on the carcasses of filet fish dumped by a fishing ship. The improbability if not impossibility of their stories is never doubted. Rico is corrupt because Flemmi and Salemme say his is. And for saying that, they get a wonderful deal from the government. It sounds more like fiction that reality.

Now I must return to Whitey. I’m in the middle of doing my review of his life. I’ve called this period the Learning Years which is in the Seventies and will run up to the end of that decade until Whitey takes over Winter Hill.  Tomorrow I’ll briefly go back over the highlights of what I have suggested and then will move on.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts On Rico Before I Go Back To Whitey

  1. “The first because it is a theme running through everything we are confronted with in these matters surrounding Whitey. It is the acceptance of gangster sensationalism over reality. The acceptance that people who are on the record as having lied under oath are now to be believed.”

    My question is based upon your earlier observations with building blocks. In the RICO book, it is pointed out that the early premise was that Mr. Wheeler wanted to purchase the Jai Lai company because he was looking for a ‘cash cow’. But, the book also points out that he personally owned a soft ware company that went from $0 to $165 million. I am not sure what Mr. Wheeler’s ‘cash’ needs were, but what if the premise as to the motive of Mr. Wheeler’s has also been ‘sensationalized’, and misdirected? Has there been a review of the initial motive?

    Although, I have just begun the RICO book, the implications are that perhaps there is another set of facts that have not been introduced into evidence or to the public about the Wheeler and Callahan murders. Perhaps, I would suggest, as we have already seen in your blog, that these other facts that may rise to the surface may show that in reality the serial murder witnesses have already ‘lied under oath’, and are prepared to do it yet again?

    That ‘the moving finger once have writ, moves on’ has been the mantra for the past 20 plus years. But, if there is an ongoing cover up, then the moving finger continues to write into the future. There is still time for the government to get this right.

    1. Jean:
      Good post.
      As I understand Wheeler was a smart businessman. He examined the books of World Jai Alai and saw a good deal and went ahead and made the purchase. It was just another company in his portfolio of companies. He put one or two of his boys into running it and depended on the people who were there to keep in place the operational safeguards they had.

      I don’t think Wheeler needed cash but did like the amount of cash that the company brought in based upon the amount he would have to invest.

      In Rico they talk about alternative motives to his killing. Knowing Martorano did the killing, you have to look at the possible reasons he would have for doing it. Callahan was Martorano’s friend. Why is Callahan going through Winter Hill for Martorano to do the killing when he could have gone directly to Martorano. Maybe he never did. There are lots we don’t know. Does it make sense to fly to Oklahoma and wait for someone to send a gun from Boston when you can go into a store and buy one? If Callahan hired Martorano then Martorano may have got worried after he did it that Callahan would deal him out after Halloran learned from Callahan he had done it. Lots of things can be questioned and reanalyzed. The last thing one should do is believe these guys who are gangsters and liars.

      There is no doubt the serial murders have lied under oath. Weeks said the guy in the back seat of the shooting car was masked when he wasn’t. Weeks has said on one occasion he drove his sisters car to the killing and on another it was Whitey’s. I’m inclined to think the guy in the back seat shooting was Weeks and there was no second car.

      Flemmi was called a liar by Wyshak. He lied continually in front of Judge Wolf. Salemme was charged with perjury. He was convicted of blowing up Fitzgerald and lately denied he was involved. I’ve shown it is probable that Martorano lied about Whitey being involved in some of the murders especially getting the facts in some of them wrong.

      There is another story to be told. The true story. That’s why Rico is an important book. It shows a handful of FBI guys are willing to look at the facts and not be afraid to tell about what they find. I’ve always been amazed at the timidity of the FBI agents who all ran and hid once the bad publicity came out.

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