Organized Crime Expert Says JFK Assassination Wasn't Mob Related

ByABC News
August 30, 2004, 2:45 PM

Nov. 20 -- Widely recognized as one of the nation's leading experts on organized crime, Ralph Salerno investigated the mafia's link to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

After working in the New York City Police Department for 20 years, Salerno rose to the position of supervisor of detectives. Following his retirement in 1967, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice and to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

The following is an excerpt of ABCNEWS' interview with Raplh Salerno, who offers his insight regarding the mafia's rumored involvement in the assasination of John F. Kennedy.

ABCNEWS: Did the Mafia kill President Kennedy?

Salerno: I would have given a great deal when I was working with the [House Select] Committee [on Assassinations] to come up with any kind of evidence that would indicate that. I felt that would have been a singular event which would have raised the hackles of the entire nation against organized crime. So I would have loved to have found something. But in the work that I did, and the work that I saw the committee do, I didn't find that. And if you look very carefully at the report of the committee itself, they don't say that.

I reviewed for the Committee the electronic surveillances that the FBI had on organized crime figures all over the country at that time high-ranking members of organized crime. And there was no indication at all of their involvement. Since that time, since that time, up to the current day, you have had a large number of high-level members of organized crime, have made a deal with the government and testified against their fellows. None of them has ever suggested that they knew of, or even heard of involvement by organized crime in the death of President Kennedy.

ABCNEWS: Robert F. Kennedy's biographer, Evan Thomas, has written that after the assassination, RFK feared that his fight against organized crime as attorney general might have gotten his brother killed.

Salerno: I don't think so.