PART TWO No 'Solid Evidence' Supports Dols' Alleged Crimes: Former NYPD Detective

"Joe Waverly" Cacace
In my earlier post on NYPD officer Ralph Dols, I noted that he had been accused of selling steroids and having connections to Russian and Italian organized crime. But no details were ever released about Dols' so-called crimes.

I spoke with a detective who was part of that small team working the Dols' homicide. The detective said there was "nothing solid, nothing concrete" about any of the charges "that said Dols was a corrupt cop."
Investigators, after spending years chasing a couple of gooses (more on that coming), finally came to believe Dols ran into problems with the Italian mob in the late 1990s for simply marrying Kimberly Kennaugh, the ex-wife of Joel Cacace, another Colombo boss. Cacace later supposedly gave the order to Gioeli to put someone on the job of going about the murder of the cop.

The chosen hit man -- turncoat Dino Calabro -- and another assassin wearing baseball caps and gloves confronted Dols outside his home after the cop had returned from his after hours' job and was emerging from his parked car.

"What's up?" Dols said. He was shot several time and lay in the street bleeding. It took him a long time to die, apparently. In the hospital, while the doctors were frantically working on the young, well-built officer, he was using every ounce of quickly draining energy to give cops standing by, pads open, pens wobbling, leads on his killers, which weren't very helpful but clearly said a lot about Dols' determination and bravery; he was a cop doing his job to the very end...

Dols' reputation got slimed after his death. He is alleged to have sold anabolic steroids in Brooklyn's 70th Precinct, the same place where Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was dragged into a mens' room and sodomized with a busted broom handle by ex-officer Justin Volpe in 1997, the same year Dols was slain, reported.

NYPD officer Ralph Dols, killed in 1997 at the age of 28.

It was during the years-long investigation into the Dols' killing that, ironically, caused the police to end up shunning one of their own.

The basis of the steroid accusation, that Dols was a dealer, was the fact that Dols was heavily into working out and there were rumors that he had used steroids, not sold them, but used them on himself. "Did he use steroids? That doesn't make him a corrupt cop," the detective said.

As for the "Russian connection," the detective on the Dols' taskforce said this part emerged owing to an "incident" Dols had had with a Russian in a short time period prior to his murder.

"Dols had argued with a Russian who had nearly drove over him in his car [Dolls had been walking across the street; the car narrowly missed him]. Dols just argued with the guy, saying to the driver that he [the driver] could've killed him [Dols, by running him over with a car]," the detective added.

Lastly the Mafia connection was worked. The detective was amazed that the investigation had not begun with Cosa Nostra, considering the fact that Dols had married the ex-wife of a high-powered Mafioso, "Joe Waverly" Cacace, who has a reputation for toughness.

"That was Dols' only connection [to the Mafia], his wife, Kim," the detective said.

After wasting years shadowing Russians around, the group finally decided to start looking into the Italians. Considering who Dols' was married to -- and, more importantly, that his wife's ex-husband was a well-known violent Mafioso with an army of killers at his disposal, all of whom had taken a blood oath to follow orders.

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck..." the detective said.

The team swung the telescope around, found Cacace and kept him in their sights until they identified the players involved in the shooting, doled out indicments and had the first trial, for Gioeli, who got a mixed verdict, both guilty and non-guilty.
As for Dols, his reputation had been muddied from several corners. The rumors about steroids; overblown theorizing about what caused a simple argument in the street; and the fact that Dols' was married to a Mafioso's former wife -- who was hesitant to cooperate, offering very little information that law enforcement was seeking -- was enough for the NYPD to decide to turn its back on one of its own and whisper into the media's hypersensitive ear.

"The assumptions [brought about by the investigation into Dols' murder, meaning he was never under any shadow with the department while alive] tainted him," the detective told me.

Kimberly Kennaugh: Her love for Dols
caused his Mafia-organized hit.
The NYPD refused to put up a memorial plaque for Dols in Police Headquarters, but his housing bureau colleagues did honor him in their Coney Island, Brooklyn, station: His locker remains a shrine in the Police Service Area No. 1 locker room. Locker-shrining is common practice in the NYPD when a cop is slain.

"Ralph had that locker and no one else can ever use it," said officer Anthony Cerenzio in a Daily News article.
"I want his name cleared. It was unjust what they did to him," [Dols' wife] Kennaugh said.

As noted former Colombo boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli and sidekick Dino "Little Dino" Saracino beat federal charges related to Dols' murder, which were the worst crimes with the longest sentences; the two were however found guilty of planning the murder among other Mafia-related crimes.

I should add, however, that according to widely published reports, including in The Daily News, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is mulling levying a state murder case against Gioeli and Saracino, sources have said.

And, no, it would not be double jeopardy, because murder charges brought in state court would differ from the federal racketeering murder charges, former federal prosecutor Brad Simon said. Charging individuals for the same crimes twice happens often when Cosa Nostra members have a seat at the defendant's table.

But Gioeli and his fans are making the most of their "victory."

The aging, sickly gangster reportedly received a standing ovation from fellow inmates at his home at the Metropolitan Detention Center. "For killing a cop," one of my sources, a retired NYPD detective who worked organized crime in New York City, said disgustedly.