Mob mistress Linda Schiro captivated a packed courtroom in Brooklyn today with her testimony that an FBI agent regularly supplied her gangster boyfriend with information that was used to kill people.
The 62-year-old prosecution witness, a longtime belle of deceased Colombo crime family captain Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa Sr., described three decades of sitting in on mob meetings where murders and other crimes were plotted and discussed.
Schiro also testified that Scarpa, a government informant, supplied his FBI handler Lindley DeVecchio with wads of cash, jewelry, and other gifts at twice-weekly meetings at her home.
Sitting in the kitchen at two of her homes in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, DeVecchio either gave his approval or assisted Scarpa with information that was used by the mobster to kill four people, according to Schiro.
Schiro also gave her own version of the notorious story that Scarpa was paid by the FBI to coerce a Ku Klux Klansman into revealing the burial site of three slain civil rights workers in 1964. According to Schiro's testimony, she and Scarpa flew down to Mississippi, where an FBI agent handed an inch-thick wad of money and a gun to the mobster. While she waited in their hotel room, Scarpa tracked down a Klansman who sold TVs and bought a set from him before sticking a gun in his mouth and getting him to reveal the location of the graves.
She described Scarpa's 30-year relationship with the bureau, including his meetings with a previous FBI handler, Anthony "Nino" Volano, during the 1970s. The relationship was a contentious one and Schiro claims that the mobster once punched a drunken Volano in the face and threw him out of his home.
Scarpa got along much better with his next FBI handler, according to Schiro.
On Sept. 25, 1984, Schiro says, DeVecchio was told by Scarpa that a fellow mobster's girlfriend might be ratting him out. The FBI agent responded with a smirk, "You know you have to take care of this or there'll be a problem," Schiro testified.
Mary Bari, the stunning mistress of Colombo family underboss Alphone (Ally Boy) Persico, was lured to a job interview at a bar, where she was shot and killed by Scarpa. Her body was dumped in the street close to Schiro's home, to the consternation of Schiro.
Soon after, DeVecchio dropped by the house and told Scarpa with a laugh, "Why didn't you just bring the bodies to the house, it was only two blocks away?"
Two years later in March 1986, Scarpa told DeVecchio that one of his crew, Dominic "Joey Brewster" DeDomenico, was committing burglaries unsanctioned by the mob, abusing drugs and becoming a born-again Christian, and asked him to find out more information, according to Schiro.
She testified that DeVecchio came back and told Scarpa that he was right about DeDomenico doing drugs, telling him, "You gotta take care of this guy before he starts talking. We can't keep a guy around like that or he'll end up talking. We gotta take care of this."
The following year, DeDomenico was shot and killed by Scarpa's son, Gregory Scarpa Jr., according to the father's account.
In late May 1990, DeVecchio told Scarpa that Schiro's son Joey was about to be ratted on by Joey's close friend Patrick Porco, according to Schiro. When Joey disputed the allegation, Scarpa told him, "Where this came from, Joey, it's high up."
On Memorial Day, Porco was found shot dead -- once in the mouth, a mark that signified him as a rat.