FBI Agent: Mob Discussed Killing Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani was targeted by the bosses of New York's five mob families, who considered killing him in 1986, an informant told the FBI at the time, according to testimony given in the murder trial of retired FBI agent Lindley DeVechio.

Late Gambino family crime boss John Gotti, the flamboyant "Dapper Don," and the Colombo family boss Carmine Persico, suggested the idea of killing Giuliani, who as Manhattan U.S. attorney led the government's prosecution of the mob. But bosses for the other families -- Bonnano, Lucchese and Genovese -- disagreed and the idea was rejected, according to the informer.

The FBI was informed of the purported plot by Gregory Scarpa Sr., a captain in the Colombo family, according to testimony given Wednesday afternoon by FBI agent William Bolinder in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The information was included in a September 1987 debriefing report filed by DeVecchio, who was Scarpa's handler in the FBI. Bolinder discussed the report while describing the contents of the agency's file on Scarpa, who died in prison of AIDS complications in 1994.

Sitting in court under a neon red-and-blue light that depicted the scales of justice, Bolinder testified as a prosecution witness in the DeVecchio trial. Prosecutors claimed that DeVecchio was a rogue agent who supplied Scarpa with inside information, which the mobster used to plot several murders.

The mob bosses had plenty of reasons to target Giuliani, considering his staff had prosecuted four of the five mob bosses. In October 1986, Persico, Lucchese boss Anthony Corallo and Genovese street boss Anthony Salerno were convicted during the Commission trial, so named for the "Commission," a loose affiliation of New York mob operations. The case against Bonnano boss Philip Rastelli was dismissed and Gambino boss Paul Castellano was gunned down and killed outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan in December 1985.

During a break in the testimony, Judge Gustin Reichbach asked Bolinder about a notorious story that Scarpa was recruited by the FBI in 1964 to intimidate a Ku Klux Klansman into giving up information about the "Mississippi Burning" murders of three civil-rights workers.

Bolinder said there was "some vague reference to Scarpa going to Mississippi" in the mafioso's file. He added that there was "mention of an investigation down South but no document specifically relating to that."