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Hello, welcome to the Mafia Cop Conspiracy Podcast, episode seven. My name is Dan Gordon, and I’m a screenwriter by trade. I’ve done movies such as The Hurricane starring Denzel Washington, Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner, and the newly-released Rambo V: Last Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone.

But nothing I had ever written nor researched in a career spanning four decades—with over twenty feature-length movies and literally hundreds of hours of television credits—could have prepared me for the labyrinth of lies, cover-ups and national tragedies which I believe were all a part of what we’ve chosen to call the Mafia Cop Conspiracy.

In the last episode, I described how around 1995 a perfect storm was growing which I believe threw the Justice Department and the FBI into panic mode.

Recapping Episode 6

 First, in 1993, Special Agent Chris Favo had initiated an investigation into his boss Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio, on suspicion that DeVecchio was leaking confidential information to Colombo Crime Family Mobster and hitman Gregory Scarpa Sr.; Scarpa Sr. then used this information to murder some of his rivals and frame others for the crimes he himself had committed.

Lindley DeVecchio tmbIf true, that would make Special Agent DeVecchio the head of the Colombo Family Crime Squad in the FBI, guilty of second-degree murder and, more importantly, could possibly result in every major Mafia conviction in the last fifteen years being overturned—including that of John Gotti Jr.

Second, Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, acting head of the Lucchese Crime Family, had just been arrested and (according to Casso), had told his Justice Department handlers that HE had a corrupt FBI agent on his payroll, whom he later identified to our investigator as…Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio.

Third, as word of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility’s investigation against DeVecchio leaked out, Mafia bosses and soldiers began filing appeals and motions to have cases overturned or charges dropped, on the grounds that the evidence was tainted because it came from DeVecchio. Almost twenty different organized crime figures would have their cases overturned or charges dropped for that reason. One of those seeking an overturned conviction was Vic Orena, temporary acting head of the Columbo Crime Family. The FBI and Justice Department had every reason to be in full damage-control mode.

To make matters worse for the FBI and the Justice Department, in the most bizarre twist of fate, Gregory Scarpa Jr. (son of Scarpa Sr.), was tapped to testify about his intimate knowledge of his father’s dealings with the allegedly corrupt FBI agent. There was seemingly no question about his credibility as a witness against DeVecchio; no one knew more about Scarpa Sr.’s dealings with DeVecchio than his son. At the same time, Scarpa Jr. was the FBI’s sole top echelon informant against the third most wanted terrorist in the world, Ramzi Yousef, nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—head of al-Qaeda in the Philippines, protege of Osama bin Laden, and the man responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and mastermind of a plot to detonate twelve 747’s en route from Asia to Los Angeles. Had that plot succeeded, it would have claimed more lives than even 9/11.

Brother Greg, The Engineer, and bin Laden

Ramzi Yousef tmbScarpa Jr. was proving himself to be a master spy, providing the FBI with a veritable treasure trove of information about not only Yousef, but the inner workings of al-Qaeda. Scarpa Jr. even converted to Islam, in order to convince Yousef of his loyalty. Now known as “Brother Greg” to the terrorist, Scarpa Jr. incredibly got Yousef to draw a diagram of the bomb Yousef had used to attempt to detonate a PAL 747 en route from Manila to Tokyo.

The bomb was ingenious; Yousef was known as “The Engineer” because he was in fact a graduate engineer, and now the world’s leading expert on detonating 747’s. He knew that he could never smuggle a large enough bomb onboard a 747 to destroy the aircraft; but he deduced that he COULD smuggle the components of a bomb big enough to detonate the central fuel tanks of the 747, turning the fuel tank itself into the bomb which would down the plane.

Yousef did a dry run with the aforementioned (PAL) Philippines Airlines Flight 434 on December 11th, 1994. He boarded the plane in Manila, smuggling onboard nitroglycerin and an explosive called PETN in toiletry bottles. (Yousef is the reason you can’t bring bottles of liquid larger than 3oz onto a plane today, and Scarpa Jr. was the one who supplied the FBI with that intelligence).

More importantly, Scarpa Jr. enabled the FBI to not merely tap the phone between Yousef and bin Laden—he devised a plan that allowed the FBI to BECOME the phone link between Yousef and the architect of 9/11, the most dangerous terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden. Yousef told Scarpa Jr. that he needed to find a way to communicate with his boss, bin Laden. Scarpa Jr. had never heard of bin Laden, but if the man was Yousef’s boss, he knew he’d be important to his FBI handlers.

Greg Scarpa Jr tmbScarpa Jr. fed Yousef a story that the Mob had a scrambler the FBI couldn’t break. If Yousef called Scarpa Jr.’s contact at a supposed Mafia-run company, his contact could patch bin Laden into the call, so bin Laden could eavesdrop. Yousef and the Mob contact would speak in code and bin Laden could listen in from his end, relaying questions to the Mobster, who would then relay them to Yousef in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

But the truth was, there was no Mafia front company. Thanks to Scarpa Jr., the FBI was the direct line between the two terrorists, and the supposed Mob contact was an FBI agent. Greg Scarpa Jr. was proving to be the Mozart of counter-terrorism.

Scarpa Jr. had convinced Yousef that the Mafia could get anything Yousef needed, from weapons to fake passports that were undetectable. And that was one of the first things that bin Laden asked Yousef to obtain from his new Mob connection, “Brother Greg” Scarpa Jr.: thirteen passports. How many hijackers were there on 9/11? Thirteen. I believe that was the reason bin Laden wanted those passports. Scarpa Jr. told his handler they should supply the passports and hide a chip in them. That way, they would be able to track the terrorists who possessed the passports. It was a brilliant idea. But according to Scarpa Jr.’s attorney (whom I personally interviewed), the FBI handler said, “Are you crazy? If we give them the passports and the terrorists use them to commit an act of terrorism against the United States, and we were the ones who gave them the passports, we’ll look fools!”

So, the FBI vetoed the very plan that I believe could have allowed us to track and stop the 9/11 hijackers BEFORE they ever made it onto one plane.

Yousef’s Plan to Get Out of Jail

In the late spring of 1996, Yousef told Scarpa Jr. that he had a plan to get out of jail. He had confederates on the outside, who would smuggle the exact bomb he had diagrammed for “Brother Greg” onto a 747 leaving JFK. The plane would detonate over Long Island Sound, killing hundreds of men, women, and children.

Then Yousef would march into court and tell the judge that he wanted a change of venue. What was he on trial for? Attempting to detonate a 747, killing a Japanese businessman, and plotting to destroy twelve more 747’s. What had just happened? A 747 had been detonated, killing hundreds of innocent people. Yousef clearly didn’t do it, because he was in jail. But with so many innocent people killed, there was no way he could get a fair trial in New York. Then when he was being transported to the new venue, bin Laden would bust him out.

Scarpa Jr. quickly wrote up a report for his FBI handler. Here was his get-out-of-jail card: he was in the process of preventing a major terrorist attack. But instead of acting on the information, Scarpa Jr.’s attorney told me that Scarpa Jr’s FBI handler reprimanded him and said, “Don’t ever put something like that in writing again! What if they actually blow up a plane and there’s a written document showing we had advance knowledge and didn’t prevent it? Again, we would look like total incompetents!”

I believe what happened next wasn’t a conspiracy; it was just what the FBI handler said—“total incompetence.” According to Scarpa Jr.’s attorney, the FBI evidently just sat on the warning and did nothing. Airlines weren’t warned, JFK airport wasn’t warned, and no one took any of the steps that could have prevented the bombing, such as not allowing liquids in excess of 3oz onto a plane.

TWA Flight 800

TWA800300px On July 17th, 1996, TWA flight 800 exploded twelve minutes after takeoff, killing all two hundred thirty passengers onboard. Shortly thereafter, Yousef filed a motion for a change of venue based on the contention that in the wake of the TWA disaster, he could not get a fair trial in New York. The motion was denied. But immediately after the crash of TWA 800, FBI Special Agent Jaimie Kallstrom held a press conference, claiming that there was no indication whatsoever that this was an act of terrorism.

That could certainly be possible—the identities of top-echelon counter-terrorism informants were supposed to be known to only a handful of people. It would even be logical to assume that Kallstrom had no knowledge of Scarpa Jr.’s written warning only a few months earlier, that one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world and the world’s expert on detonating 747’s had threatened to do exactly that to a 747 taking off from JFK.

The problem with that logical supposition, is that the minute TWA 800 went down, Scarpa Jr. (who was nothing if not street smart), realized that he would be the fall guy. He had warned the FBI and they had done nothing; thus, the solution would be to eventually flush him down the toilet. Scarpa Jr. played the only card he had left: he told his attorney to tell the FBI that he was through working for them, and he would no longer provide any intel on Yousef.

The attorney did as his client instructed and shortly thereafter (according to what Scarpa Jr.’s attorney told me when I interviewed him), he received a phone call from none other than Kallstrom, the same FBI agent who had just assured the public there was no evidence of any kind linking the disaster of TWA 800 to terrorism. And what was the gist of the phone call? Kallstrom, again, (according to what the attorney personally said in our interview), told Scarpa Jr.’s attorney, “You tell your client to get back in there with Yousef, because this is a matter of national security.”

Question: how did Kallstrom know Scarpa Jr. was an informant against Yousef? Kallstrom wasn’t Scarpa Jr.’s handler; in fact, Scarpa’s identity was supposed to be a closely-guarded secret. I believe that the Justice Department and the FBI were now in total panic mode. The fazool had hit the fan.

Scarpa Jr. complied and continued providing the FBI with intelligence against Yousef. But a curious thing happened in the investigation of TWA 800: the NTSB recovered almost all the parts of the 747 and reconstructed it in an airplane hanger. And guess what? They discovered traces of nitroglycerin and the explosive PETN. But the FBI knew about Scarpa Jr.’s warning that a top al-Qaeda terrorist was planning to blow up a 747 leaving JFK; they were also in possession of the diagram of a bomb Scarpa Jr. had provided his FBI handler. That diagram, drawn by Yousef himself, was for a bomb designed to explode the central fuel tank of a 747, using nitroglycerin and PETN. And now they had found traces of those two explosives on the wreckage of the plane, completely consistent with Scarpa Jr.’s warning.

And what was the FBI’s explanation? The traces of nitroglycerin and PETN were not evidence of a terrorist plot—they were simply left over from a bomb-sniffing dog test! And what did the FBI/NTSB determine as the cause of the explosion of TWA 800? There was, they said, an incident in the central fuel tank.

I believe that’s true, except that incident was Yousef’s bomb and the feds buried it, because they had been warned and did nothing! Two hundred thirty men, women, and children were killed by actions linked to a terrorist by the FBI’s own informant. This terrorist, Ramzi Yousef, was also linked to the Oklahoma City bombing, a terrorist attack in which twenty eye witnesses placed Timothy McVeigh in the company of Middle Eastern men, including the man known as John Doe #2. The Oklahoma City terrorist attack began, (according to at least one witness named Edward Angeles) with a meeting between Terry Nichols and Yousef in the Philippines.

“A Troublingly Cozy Relationship”

But more was still to come. Scarpa Jr. was set to be the star witness against Special Agent DeVecchio, detailing his father’s alleged dealings with DeVecchio. Scarpa Jr. would testify that DeVecchio was actually a snitch for the Mob, specifically for his father, Scarpa Sr. This legal proceeding was an attempt by Vic Orena, head of the Columbo Crime Family, to get his conviction overturned on the grounds that he had been framed by DeVecchio and Scarpa Sr.

Jackbweinstein tmbWho was the judge? None other than the Honorable Jack Weinstein, the man who would later be judge in the trial of the so-called Mafia Cops. Weinstein would refuse to admit into evidence the letters from Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who had allegedly told his handlers that DeVecchio was working for him. Casso later told our investigator that he shared DeVeccio with Scarpa Sr.

Weinstein was the one who would seemingly do anything and everything in order to ensure that Casso never testified in the trial of Louie Eppolito and Steve Caracappa. Why? Because Weinstein said that he found Scarpa Jr. a completely unreliable witness and that at worst, DeVecchio and Scarpa Jr. had a “troublingly cozy relationship.”

The result? Orena went back to prison for life, DeVecchio was at least publicly exonerated and continued to enjoy his retirement with full pension, and Scarpa Jr., just as he had feared, got flushed down the toilet. The government said that Scarpa Jr. had made up all the intelligence he supposedly got from Yousef, and that Scarpa Jr. had actually drawn the diagram of the alleged bomb himself. The truth was, Scarpa Jr. was a growing liability. He had warned the FBI about a 747 about to be destroyed and a few months later, TWA 800 went down with traces of the explosives Scarpa Jr. warned would be used to detonate the central fuel tank. So Scarpa Jr.’s sentence of forty years was upheld, his co-operating witness status terminated, and he was sent to a facility in Kansas City, where he is to this very day.

I believe the feds had a problem. If Scarpa Jr. was a liar, if he had made up all the intelligence which supposedly came from Yousef, why then were they still using the phone hook-up Scarpa Jr. created between Yousef and bin Laden? I believe that the feds now—covering not only for DeVecchio, but also any possibility that TWA 800 was a terrorist attack about which they had been warned and did nothing—pulled the plug on the telephone connection with bin Laden and, having flushed their top informant down the toilet, closed the door on the U.S. being able to prevent 9/11.

How the Mafia Cops Tie In

So now you know what I believe the trial of the Mafia Cops was all about. When Angela Clemente and Dr. Stephen P. Dresch began working with Democratic Congressman William Delahunt to build a case against former Special Agent DeVecchio, I believe the feds now had an additional reason to cover up for the former head of the Columbo Family Crime Squad. Because if someone went after DeVecchio, they could call Scarpa Jr. as a witness, who could tell a terrifying tale connected to the possibility that the Oklahoma City bombing had been a Middle East Terrorist attack; to the fact that Scarpa Jr. warned the FBI about the downing of a 747 with exactly the same explosives found on the remains of TWA 800; that once, it was possible to monitor bin Laden’s calls, but the feds pulled the plug, resulting in three thousand people dead on 9/11, two wars, tens of thousands dead and wounded, trillions of dollars spent…and it could all have possibly been prevented.

NYPD Mafia Cops tmbI believe when the feds saw that DeVecchio was going to be indicted at the very least by the Brooklyn DA, and that Scarpa Jr. would be on the witness stand, they needed their old reliable patsies, Louie Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa—the so-called Mafia Cops.

The problem was (as the feds later admitted to Judge Weinstein), they didn’t have any evidence and the statute of limitations had expired, unless they could prove there was an “ongoing criminal conspiracy.” That is why they turned to a corrupt accountant named Stephen Corso to entrap Eppolito, Carracapa, and Eppolito’s son. No one was investigating Eppolito because they thought he was guilty of some crime. They sent Corso after him to manufacture supposed crimes, to prove there was an ongoing criminal conspiracy on which they could hang a Rico indictment.

I believe they continued covering up not just for DeVecchio, but three terrorist attacks, two of which could have been prevented. In the case of the Oklahoma City bombing, I believe they allowed the real Middle Eastern terrorists, linked to Yousef, to get away completely. I believe they did it by selling the American public the story that the then-deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history had been committed by Terry Nichols, whom one witness placed at a meeting with Yousef in the Philippines, and Timothy McVeigh, who twenty witnesses swore under oath and penalty of perjury that they had seen in Oklahoma City on the night before, the day of, and at the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing with Middle Eastern men, one of whom they identified as John Doe #2.

We’ll talk about Stephen Corso and the laughable ongoing criminal conspiracy in the next episode of the Mafia Cops Conspiracy podcast.

Episode 7 of The Mafia Cops Conspiracy

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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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