Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vigilante Justice, Mob Style

Pictured are Anthony Clemente and his son Damian at their arraignment in December 1995, just a few weeks after they allegedly murdered four local mobsters at the 99 Restaurant in Charlestown. They did the hit at lunchtime, inside a popular eatery full of potential witnesses - including two off-duty Boston cops, who arrested the pair as soon as they left the restaurant, with the help of two other cops who were "on foot patrol at the Bunker Hill Mall". Clever lads, those Clemente fellas. The police commissioner at the time dismissed the notion that the shooting had anything to do with organized crime, saying, "If it was a hit, it was a very sloppy hit in broad daylight in a very crowded restaurant." Sources reported later on that the victims - members of the Luisi and Sarro families - were figures with a local reputation for extreme violence who had threatened and even shared blows with the younger Clemente. When Damian encountered the victims at the restaurant, he called up his father and asked him to come over with the words, "They're here, all of them." When the elder Clemente arrived at the restaurant and confronted the victims in their booth, one of them apparently reached for a weapon in his "fanny pack" (a most unmanly place to be packin' a rod, if you ask me), and Clemente had no choice but to open fire. Or so he claimed, during an abortive 2008 appeal of the Clemente murder convictions.

I don't know. The whole thing smells "Mob" to me.

The Luisi family was unquestionably connected to the Boston Mafia. According to one article, one victim, Bobby Luisi "had been implicated in the recent beating of a reputed Mafia associate, Joseph (Joe Black) Lamattina" and that "law enforcement sources described Bobby Luisi as a former associate of the Angiulo brothers, who ran the local Mafia until their arrests in 1983." He also had dealings with the Salemme family, a local offshoot of the Patriarca mob in Providence. His son, Roman, with whom Damian Clemente had tussled, was no angel either, having been "acquitted of murder in the shooting deaths of two men in a nightclub in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bouncer." Mmmm... As for the hapless Damian Clemente, he "was described by sources as 'a wannabe wiseguy,' a chubby young man with an earring and an attitude."

I guess, for some with mob pretensions, revenge is not always "a dish best served cold."

Father and son who killed four in 1995 Charlestown massacre to remain behind bars, court says (Boston Globe)
Gunmen Kill Four in Front of Stunned Customers at a Boston Restaurant (New York Times)
2 convicted in '95 Charlestown killings ask SJC for new trial (Boston Globe)
Mobster confesses to murder, sings to feds on Philly Mafia. (Boston Herald)
Greatest hits: The 99 Restaurant & Pub Massacre (Boston Globe)

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