January 25, 1965 –
Joseph R. Francione was murdered on a Monday. His death was reported in the newspapers on the next day. They told how he had been shot twice in the back of his head at his apartment at 49 South Street Revere. The newspapers noted that Henry Reddington had been found murdered on the preceding Saturday.
The last time Francione was seen alive was around two in the afternoon the day he was murdered. He was clearing the snow from around his parked car. A short time later his landlord heard three shots, ran to the basement, and found him.
Francione, from the North End, was reportedly in trouble since he was twelve years old. The longest stretch he ever did in prison was 2 ½ to 3 years in Walpole. He was paroled in July 1963. In May 1948, at age 21, he was arrested in Revere with a stolen car and stolen plates. On May 12, 1964, around 11:30 p.m., he was caught at the Old Newbury Golf Course with Joseph Pannagara with about $2000 worth of golfing gear and sports clothing that had been put in boxes ready to be carted away. After the golf course, he was caught breaking into a fur store on Newbury Street in the Back Bay of Boston. He was out on bail on that breaking and entering charge when he was murdered.
The Monday before his death he was in Chelsea District Court to give aid and comfort to his wife Theresa. She had been charged with passing bad checks. She showed up with two black eyes and bruised cheek. She told police it was a result of an argument she had with Francione.
Those were the dark days when it was all right for a guy to smack a woman around if she was his wife. I recall meeting with a judge who sat in the Stoughton court when my office was first trying to educate the judges about domestic violence. I was with Sandy, the woman in charge of the domestic violence counselors. She asked me to go with her because her counselors in that district court complained that the judge did not seem to understand the plight of the women who were being assaulted.
Sitting in his lobby, the judge’s biker-type leather jacket hanging noticeably in his closet, he explained his philosophy. He said he would “throw the book” at any guy who hit his wife if he came home and dinner was not ready. That pleased Sandy. He then paused and said: “But on the other hand if the guy finds out his wife has been running around on him, he has every right to give her a beating.” I thought she would fall on the floor.
When Francione’s wife’s case was called, Francione paid the $200 restitution which she owed. The judge asked her how she came into possession of a forged driver’s license. She replied: “If I told you where, I’d end up with two broken legs.”
Francione had been part of a conversation intercepted by the FBI between Raymond Patriarca and Henry Tameleo. Patriarca was told that an East Boston man murdered him. Francione, like some of the others, was a heavy gambler raising money to pay his losses by his other criminal activity. His wife told the police he was heavily in debt to the loan sharks.
That is amazing. At the Delahunt Superior Court dedication, the establishment of the victim witness department has mentioned several times. Reading those anecdotes highlight what an accomplishment it was to get it started.
A woman with a black eye appeared before Judge King in Dorchester Court to testify against her husband who allegedly assaulted her. The judge asked what she had done to make him hit her? The same mentality existed in Stoughton.