Francis Salemme, the Boston mobster known as Cadillac Frank, was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 85 last Thursday on murder charges.
The sentencing not only marks the end of Salemme’s criminal career, but also, as US Attorney Andrew Lelling said, “in some ways ends a long and dark chapter in the history of our city.” He was referring, of course, to Salemme’s association with Whitey Bulger, and the corruption between the mob and the FBI in late 20th Century Boston.
The murder for which Salemme will serve life in prison is the 1993 killing of Steven DiSarro, a nightclub owner. Salemme and co-conspirator Paul Weadick murdered DiSarro because they suspected DiSarro would become a federal informant.
Salemme’s last couple of decades have been particularly turbulent, as the mobster fled from Boston in 1990s, then returning to testify against FBI agent John Connolly in 1999, and returning to prison before heading into witness protection in 2003. Earlier in his life, Salemme served 16 years in the 1970s and ‘80s on murder charges. He almost ended up on the other side of a police report, when he was nearly assassinated outside of an IHOP following his 1988 release.
Salemme’s likely final return to prison represents a landmark is Boston’s efforts to put its mob history to rest.
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