A Witness Who Grew Up In A North End Cold Water Flat

DSC_0880Another special character comes on after the ballistics experts. Frank Capizzi, another one of those witnesses who will be long remembered. He came in after two ballistics guys went through the guns again and showed a couple had obliterated serial numbers, were machine guns, and were not properly registered under the law.

Frank Capizzi grew up in North End in a cold water flat – he tells how he was in the car in back seat with Al ‘Bud’ Plummer in front driving – Hugh Shields next to him, both being guys he hardly knew. Suddenly Martorano and others started firing at his car – he said it felt like a “firing squad” and it  seemed the shooting lasted “a day and a half” – he was hit in head and felt warm blood flowing down neck and in the back – took 11 bullets out of him at hospital – after being shot said he was in excruciating pain and said “let’s get the fuck out of this car” – he put his hand up to get out and “my hand went into [Bud’s] neck where his head should have been.”

Asked if he saw who shot him he said, “when you get hit in the head and neck you don’t see anything.” 18 to 19 pieces of  glass and metal fragments still in him. A bullet lodges one millimeter from his heart. Got out of Boston and never came back saying in a resentful loud voice “my wife [married for 52 years] and children [2] “were living in the throat of the dragon for 40 years without help from anyone.”  Lived under many aliases because “first for the safety of my wife and children “ and “because I never wanted to be killed.” There’s more but it’s recess so I’ve summed up.

On cross-examinationo Carney began by asking him about the gangs that were around at that time.  He said one was headed by Genaro Angiulo – Capizzi said “that’s what the papers said” Carney said did you not know it. Capizzi looks at him like he has two heads and says: “Did I know it?  Who didn’t know that.”

Carney said another gang was headed by Al Notarangelli. Capizzi previously testified he went into a ski lodge with Al. Capizzi said “Al didn’t have a gang.” Carney goes on to name some people and suggests they were into illegal activities such as being bookmakers. I can’t figure out where he’s going.  He’s already told the jury his client was a big bookmaker and he seems to be stressing the illegality of the bookmaking business.  Carney then asks him if he was involved in criminal activities in the ‘70s and he claims his rights which results in a bench conference.

When court comes back he is no longer on stand and another witness is called.  He’ll come back on stand after morning recess I assume. He looks like a free spirit tough guy with a mind of his own with his long white hair, sunglasses, a long white beard. He tells us he is a screen writer and also has sold several of his oil and water-color paintings.

I saw him getting out of a taxi this morning with his wife outside the court and again in the café. She seeed to be explaining things to him. He has some sort of disease that requires him to pause sometimes because he said when he hears something he hears it in both Sicilian and English.

I’m looking forward to his return





  1. More observations. Slate’s coverage: