Hello, welcome to the Mafia Cop Conspiracy Podcast, Episode Five. My name is Dan Gordon. I’m a screenwriter by trade. I’ve done such movies as “The Hurricane” starring Denzel Washington, and “Wyatt Earp” with Kevin Costner.

In the previous episode, I described how roughly a year before I was hired to write the movie version of Mafia Cop: The Story Of An Honest Cop Whose Family Was The Mob, by Louis Eppolito, I was also hired by a premium cable company to write and produce a documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing. I told you about the first suspects in that crime, John Doe Number One and John Doe Number Two. I discussed how the composite drawing of John Doe Number One looked exactly like Timothy McVeigh — who was subsequently caught, tried and executed for the crime of blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing hundreds of men, women, and children — which was at that time the biggest terrorist attack ever perpetrated on US soil.

 

Johndoe2 tmbJohn Doe Number Two, however, looked absolutely nothing like Terry Nichols, McVeigh’s accomplice. John Doe Number Two was described as five-foot-eight-inches tall, of stocky build, with an olive complexion of Hispanic, Filipino or Middle Eastern nationality, and thick jet-black hair. Terry Nichols could not possibly have been mistaken for John Doe Number Two; Nichols was tall, thin, and of fair complexion. In addition, Nichols was balding and wore glasses.

Within days of the bombing, the feds said they had been mistaken and there was no John Doe Number Two — he had never existed. The problem with that was there were some 20 witnesses who swore under oath and penalty of perjury that they had seen Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City on the night before, on the morning of, on the way to, and at the scene of the bombing in the Ryder Truck — all in the company of some half a dozen Middle Eastern men, one of whom exactly matched the description of John Doe Number Two. And why didn’t the feds want anything to do with John Doe Number Two or the other alleged Middle Eastern men? Because they had all gotten away.

Terry Nichols tmbSo, they had a choice: they could say the worse terrorist attack in US history was carried out by two in-bred Right-Wing Christian Militia hicks whom they had caught in record time, case closed…. or they could say it was a Middle East Terrorist operation with two in-bred hicks for patsies whom they had caught while they let the real terrorists get away. Which do you think they chose? And just in case you think these were phantom Middle Eastern terrorists who, like the feds’ version of John Doe Number Two never existed, remember I was informed during my interview with McVeigh’s attorney that he had discovered a terrorist in the Philippines named Edwin Angeles who claimed to have been at a meeting in the Philippines attended by none other than Terry Nichols, and one of the most notorious Middle Eastern terrorists in the world — Ramzi Yousef, who was the architect of the first World Trade Center bombing, head of al-Qaeda in the Philippines and the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man. And what was the subject at that meeting? Bomb making.

The attorney also told me that another person allegedly present at the meeting was Abdul Hakim Murad, Ramzi Yousef’s trusted deputy. Edwin Angeles drew a composite drawing of the tall, thin, bespectacled, and balding American who, he said, met with the terrorists. It looked exactly like Terry Nichols. On the morning that Timothy McVeigh’s lawyer was arguing before the court to have Edwin Angeles brought over to testify at the trial, the Philippine government said they no longer had any reason to hold Angeles and they released him. He was subsequently murdered. So, what does this have to do with the Mafia Cops case?

If you remember, the guy who supposedly hired the two detectives to be informants and hitmen for the mob had written two letters to US Attorneys completely exonerating the so-called Mafia Cops. His real source of information, he alleged, was an FBI agent, whom he later identified as Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio. On the same day that this revelation was made in the Mafia Cops’ case, former Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio was being indicted in State Court on four charges of second-degree murder for leaking confidential information to the mob, which was used to kill rival Mafia figures by one Gregory “The Grim Reaper” Scarpa Sr.

gregory scarpa jr tmbAnd here’s where it ties into the Mafia Cops case: Gregory Scarpa Jr. (Scarpa Sr’s son), was a captain in the Colombo Crime Family. In 1995, he had been arrested on charges of racketeering and ultimately sentenced to 40 years in prison, which he was serving at the Manhattan Correctional Center [MCC] federal lockdown in the cell next to none other than Ramzi Yousef, who, according to Edwin Angeles, together with Abdul Hakim Murad, had allegedly taught Terry Nichols how to make the Ryder truck bomb used to kill hundreds of men, women, and children in Oklahoma City.

Greg Scarpa Jr., realizing that he had access to Yousef, believed he had not one, but two potential “get-out-of-jail-free” cards. The first bargain opportunity came because DeVecchio, the allegedly corrupt FBI agent who Scarpa Jr. knew worked for his father, was under investigation in 1995 and was at the heart of another notorious mob trial, that of Victor Orena, who claimed he had been framed for murder and racketeering by none other than Lin DeVecchio and Greg Scarpa Sr.

Lindley DeVecchio tmbIn addition, news had leaked that DeVecchio was under investigation by the FBI for providing confidential information to mobster Greg Scarpa Sr., which the latter used to kill his opponents. The mobster claimed he was framed for the very murders Scarpa had committed with DeVecchio's help. And who knew more about his father’s dealings with the allegedly corrupt FBI agent than Greg Scarpa Jr., who was set to testify at that trial? He had reason to hope that if he helped in the investigation of DeVecchio, the FBI would see him as a cooperating witness and he would go free. But Scarpa Jr. wasn’t taking any chances; he found himself in the cell next to one of the most notorious terrorists in the world. So, he had his lawyer approach the FBI.

I personally interviewed Scarpa Jr’s lawyer when I was doing research for the aforementioned documentary that began with the Oklahoma City bombing, and which led me to suspect that there had been a possible government cover-up of immense and truly horrific proportions and consequences.

ramziyousef tmbScarpa Jr.’s lawyer confirmed to me that a deal had indeed been made with the FBI: Scarpa Jr. was to ingratiate himself with Ramzi Yousef and milk him for information. He was assigned an FBI handler who regularly debriefed him, and provided Scarpa Jr. with a miniature camera to take pictures of the messages that Yousef passed to him from the adjacent cell. Yousef was no fool and demanded that the messages be sent back so he could destroy them; hence, the camera. Scarpa Jr. began supplying the feds with a treasure trove of information gleaned from the terrorist. He went so far as to convert to Islam and became Brother Greg. Yousef drew a diagram for him, of the bomb he had used to blow up a Japanese air liner; it was part of an al-Qaeda plot called Project Bojinka, which if it had been carried out successfully, would have killed more people than 9/11. The plot was to blow up in mid-air twelve 747 airplanes flying from the Far East to Los Angeles.

Yousef got his code name “The Engineer” because he was, in fact, a graduate engineer, and expert bomb maker. He knew he could never smuggle on board a bomb big enough to blow up a 747. But he could smuggle on board the components of a bomb big enough to detonate its central fuel tanks and turn them into the bomb that would blow up the plane. He smuggled on board the explosives: nitroglycerin and PETN in shampoo bottles. What Scarpa learned from Ramzi Yousef is the reason you can’t bring more than three-ounce containers of liquid onto an airplane today. Yousef’s plan was to go into the restroom with the components of the bomb, pretending to shave before landing. During a test run using JAL Airlines Flight 434 from Manila to Los Angeles with a stop in Narita, Japan, he proceeded to soak cotton balls contained in a plastic bag in the liquid explosives. His Cassio watch would be the timer; he ran a copper wire lead from the watch to a 9-volt battery which acted to magnify the electronic impulse, and pulled a second copper wire lead from the 9-volt battery to the plastic bag containing the nitroglycerin and PETN explosives. He tied it all up with duct tape and hid it underneath his airplane seat, which he believed to be over the central fuel tank. He got off the plane at Narita Airport because Ramzi Yousef was anything but a suicide bomber — he wanted to live to bomb another day. The timer was set to blow the plane up somewhere over the Pacific. Unfortunately for Ramzi Yousef, he missed the central fuel tank by several rows of seats and succeeded only in blowing the ass off a Japanese businessman, killing him in that grisly fashion, and blowing a hole in the fuselage of the plane, which in spite of the damage was able to make a successful emergency landing.

When Yousef was caught and arrested, the authorities found the plans for Project Bojinka on his computer. They thankfully had caught him before he could carry out what would have been the deadliest terrorist attack in history. And in the MCC, as mentioned, he drew a diagram of it for Greg Scarpa Jr., who dutifully passed it along to his FBI handler. Scarpa Jr.’s work product was amazing. He sold Yousef on the notion that the Mafia hated the US government as much as the terrorists. Anything Yousef wanted he could get for him: passports, bombs, guns, you name it. What Yousef said he really needed was a way to talk to his boss who was in Afghanistan, a man named Osama bin Laden.

Now in 1995, Scarpa Jr. had never heard of Osama bin Laden. He couldn’t even pronounce the name and mangled it to sound something like Osama yo Mama. But Scarpa Jr. was street-smart. He told Yousef that his uncle had a front company and they had a scrambler that could foil FBI wire taps. All Yousef had to do was call his uncle on one end and have Osama yo Mama listen in on the other. Yousef would speak in code to the uncle and Osama would hear it and pass along his part of the conversation through the uncle.

Osama bin Laden tmbThus, Scarpa Jr. set up a situation where the FBI wasn’t tapping Osama bin Laden’s phone, THEY WERE HIS PHONE LINE! Scarpa Jr. must have felt he was James Bond, his country’s protector and hero and that he would not only get out of jail, he’d get a medal for his service and his choice of where to go in the witness protection program. Yousef told Bin Laden about his mob connection Brother Greg, and Bin Laden said he needed thirteen passports. Yeah you heard right — thirteen passports, exactly the number of terrorists who would carry out 9/11, which we now know had been five years in the planning. And this was 1995. You do the math.

Around that time, Anthony Casso had been caught and offered to make a deal with the feds. He was willing to give up a high-ranking FBI agent who supplied him with confidential information. Casso would later tell our investigator that he shared that FBI agent with Greg Scarpa Sr.

Now I know there are a lot of names with vowels in this story but you’re going to hear one more: Special Agent Chris Favo.

Agent Favo worked for Lin DeVecchio and believed that his boss was crooked, supplying information to the mob; specifically, to Greg Scarpa Sr. He went to see Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso soon after Casso was arrested. Now we believe there could be only one reason for Favo to want to talk with Gaspipe: he wanted information confirming that his boss was supplying information to the mob. Favo evidently knew of Gaspipe and Scarpa Sr.’s arrangement of sharing confidential information from the source they called the “Crystal Ball” or “The Girlfriend.” Casso would say in his telephone call during the Mafia Cops’ trial that he was ordered by two US Attorneys to deceive Favo, and not reveal any information about his FBI connection. The FBI and DOJ were covering for DeVecchio because they knew if word got out that he was crooked, it would undo every major mob conviction for the past 15 years including that of John Gotti; indeed, by 1995, that’s exactly what had happened.

Victor Orena tmbSorry for adding yet another name, but a mobster named Vic Orena claimed he had been set up by both Scarpa Sr. and his FBI stooge, one R. Lindley DeVecchio. He was demanding a new trial, and he got one. And the judge in that trial was none other than the Honorable Jack Weinstein, the same man who would later be the judge in the Mafia Cops trial and disallow anything coming from Gaspipe Casso from being admitted into evidence.

By this time, Scarpa Sr. was dead and the key witness at the trial was set to be Greg Scarpa Jr., the man the FBI had made a deal with to spy on Ramzi Yousef, the man who gave them the phone connection to none other than Osama Bin Laden. If Scarpa Jr. was trustworthy enough to be the nation’s most valuable source of information on the most dangerous terrorists in the world, surely his word would be trusted against an allegedly crooked FBI agent named Lin DeVecchio.

And as the noose began to tighten around DeVecchio, with Chris Favo wanting to interview Casso and word leaking that DeVecchio was under FBI investigation and Vic Orena asking for a new trial (saying he was framed by Scarpa and DeVecchio), it had to become apparent to the feds that if Vic Orena was released from jail because DeVecchio was a crooked cop — if the FBI investigation turned up evidence (which couldn’t be denied) that DeVecchio was working for mobster Greg Scarpa Sr. — then every mob case he was involved in, and he was involved in almost all of them, would fall apart.

Is it just a coincidence then, that right around the time all of this is coming together in the perfect storm, Casso says his handlers leaked a story to the New York Daily News claiming that Detectives Louis Eppolito and Steve Caracappa were the real source of the mob’s confidential information, and had actually participated in murder? The story was sensational! More importantly it took the spotlight off any allegedly corrupt FBI agent. Interestingly, no charges were filed against Eppolito and Caracappa for another ten years. Why?

JackbweinsteinMaybe it's just another coincidence, but the FBI investigation against DeVecchio ended in him being exonerated and retired with a full pension. At the trial of Vic Orena, the Honorable Jack Weinstein said Greg Scarpa Jr. was a totally unreliable witness (similar to what he would say about Casso, ten years later in the Mafia Cop trial). Scarpa Jr would wind up getting flushed down the toilet and Vic Orena got sent back to prison for life. Judge Weinstein said of the relationship between DeVecchio and Scarpa Sr. only that it was "troublingly cozy." Case closed. Perhaps nobody would need a patsy for another ten years the next time there was an investigation of R. Lindley DeVecchio allegedly leaking information, used for murder, to the mob.

What’s the old saying? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then chances are it’s a duck?

Quack, quack, quack.

 

Mafia Cops Conspiracy Podcast Episode 5

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The September 11, 2001 Attacks

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Oklahoma City Bombing

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TWA Flight 800 Bombing

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1993 First World Trade Center Bombing

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The Bojinka Plot

The Bojinka plot (Arabic: بوجينكا‎; Tagalog: Oplan Bojinka) was a large-scale, three-phase attack planned by terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh...

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A telephone conversation between Anthony Casso and the Mafia Cops' alternate attorneys where Casso exonerates the defendants.
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