Feds: At Salemme Mafia Trial, Turncoat to Implicate Baby Shacks in Murder

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Federal prosecutors in Boston say former New England Mafia capo Robert "Bobby" DeLuca will testify about more than the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

mob enforcer Kevin Hanrahan

While his testimony could spell trouble for New England Cosa Nostra wiseguys, DeLuca has worse than the usual baggage, which could mitigate his testimony.

Deluca, whose brother also is slated testify, will directly implicate former mob boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, who allegedly played a key role in a 1992 gangland slaying of a mobster who allegedly plotted against Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme.

The centerpiece of Salemme's upcoming trial is the DiSarro murder, but as per court files, DeLuca also will testify that Salemme, 84, ordered the murder of mob enforcer Kevin Hanrahan in 1992. The motive apparently was that "Hanrahan was suspected of (participating) in a plot to kill Salemme."

"DeLuca passed Salemme's order to then [New England Cosa Nostra] underboss Louis Manocchio who organized the murder of Hanrahan," prosecutors wrote.

On Sept. 18, 1992, Hanrahan was shot three times in the head as he left what was then the Arch restaurant on Federal Hill.

In 2016, DeLuca pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy for his role in the killing.

While the actual shooter has never been identified, investigators allegedly have been eyeballing imprisoned capo Edward Lato, 70, who is in federal prison for a separate case since 2011 and will be released next year.

Target 12 reported last month that several unsolved New England Mafia-linked murders started to heat up last year, after DeLuca pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI.

 Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio
 Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio

DeLuca is cooperating with Rhode Island law enforcement authorities in the Hanrahan murder as per his plea deal with federal prosecutors in Boston.

As for the Hanrahan case, the attorney general's office has recommended DeLuca's 10-year sentence be suspended, meaning he won't serve any time for the murder as long as he toes the line.

Target 12 also revealed that on the night of the Hanrahan murder, an informant working with law enforcement spoke to Target 12 anonymously about events.

"Earlier in the night, Hanrahan joined the informant and a group of others for dinner at the Arch restaurant. It wasn't until the next morning that he heard Hanrahan had been gunned down."

"I was extremely, extremely shocked [and] definitely shook up by it," he said. "It's not every day that you have dinner with a guy who gets shot in the head 20 minutes after you leave."

Hanrahan was gunned down leaving the Federal Hill restaurant on Sept. 18, 1992.

An Irish gangster, Hanrahan allegedly was a longtime Patriarca enforcer and a key suspect in numerous gangland slayings in the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, supposedly, whenever Rhode Island police had an unsolved killing on their hands, Hanrahan was always at the top of their suspect list. The Irish mobster was the main suspect in the notorious gangland slaying of Raymond “Slick” Vecchio in the Federal Hill section of Providence in the early 1980s.

In 1990, Hanrahan tried to quietly rob from the Patriarca family and was caught red handed!

He attempted to orchestrate the abduction and extortion of associate Blaise J. Marfeo, a major Patriarca bookmaker, outside a restaurant in Providence. The plot was foiled when a single Providence police officer spotted the trio slouching in a car that had been tricked out to resemble an undercover police vehicle.

The trio were arrested, and one of them implicated Hanrahan, who surrendered to the police a day later and was charged with conspiring to kidnap Marfeo.

Hanrahan's murder was allegedly part of a long-running mob war.

The troubles started with William P. "The Wild Man" Grasso, 58, of New Haven, who had strong ties to the New York crime families and was considered the real power in New England by law enforcement. 

On June 16, 1989, Grasso was found beside the Connecticut River with a bullet in his head.

Five hours after Grasso's body was found, Salemme was shot after arriving at a Saugus, Mass., pancake house. Salemme was once a rising star in the Boston faction of the New England crime family.

Law enforcement considered the two hits, hours apart, a coincidence. Grasso was hit by pros, the thinking went, and the Salamme shooting was amateur hour.

One investigator said, "The hit on Frankie was too sloppy, and it endangered too many innocent lives to be LCN La Cosa Nostra."