Suspect #2: Member Of Patriarca "DeCologero Crew" Suspected Of Participating in Whitey Bulger Slaying

A second suspect has emerged in the killing of James (Whitey) Bulger -- Paul J. DeCologero, a member of a violent Patriarca crime family crew in Boston that robbed and kidnapped rivals, and murdered and dismembered a teenage girl.

Paul J. DeCologero.
Paul J. DeCologero.


More details in the Whitey Bulger murder Tuesday morning at Hazelton federal penitentiary in West Virginia also have come to light -- and Fotios “Freddy” Geas confessed to committing the brutal murder by himself.





Law enforcement sources say suspect Paul J. DeCologero also participated in the vicious murder of Whitey Bulger, according to the Boston Globe.

DeCologero is serving a 25-year sentence for racketeering and conspiracy.

(Some Boston officials believe prison guards allowed the inmates to attack Bulger.)

Law enforcement officials “with knowledge of the matter” said that DeCologero and Geas attacked Bulger less than 12 hours after he arrived at the prison.

The two men allegedly beat Bulger to death inside his cell with a padlock stuffed inside a sock. Bulger was then wrapped in a blanket and placed in his bed to make it look like he was sleeping, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News Thursday.

Bulger’s killers even rested his head on the pillow after killing him.

The Burlington-based DeCologero Crew robbed and kidnapped drug dealers and sold drugs.

In 1989, the crew reportedly threw in with Boston mobster Robert F. Carrozza, aka "Bobby Russo," who led an internal rebellion against the leadership of the Providence-based Patriarca crime family. Carrozza, his stepbrother/consiglieri Joseph (JR) Russo, and mobster Vincent Ferrarra challenged the leadership of boss Raymond Patriarca and Francis Cadillac Frank Salemme. Carrozza and the others sought to control illegal gambling and the extortion of bookmakers, drug dealers and restaurant owners in Massachusetts. The civil war lasted until 1996 and claimed more than a dozen lives.


DeCologero crew members were arrested in 2001.

In 1996, they strangled Aislin Silva, 19, then dismembered her body. Her remains were unearthed from a shallow grave behind an elementary school in 2006.

Federal authorities said Silva had become a liability to the DeCologero Crew after police searched Silva's Medford apartment in November 1996 and discovered a cache of weapons and drugs stashed by a crew member with whom she was friends. Silva was not involved in mob activity.

Aislin Silva
Aislin Silva


Testimony at trial regarding Silva's killing came primarily from Stephen DiCenso, a former member of the DeCologero crew who was closely involved in the murder. According to DiCenso, in November 1996, the police found a stash of guns that the DeCologero crew had hidden in Silva's apartment. The crew's boss, Paul A. "Big Paul" DeCologero, decided to kill Silva because he was afraid that she would implicate him and his associates if the police interrogated her about the guns.

Initially, Paul A. planned to get Silva to overdose on heroin, and he instructed Paul J. to acquire some high-grade heroin for that purpose. DiCenso and another DeCologero crew member, Kevin Meuse, then gave Silva the heroin and told her that it was good cocaine. She took the heroin but did not overdose.

Big Paul' DeCologero, of Burlington, was sentenced to life in prison for a range of crimes, including ordering Silva's murder. Paul J. is Big Paul's nephew.

The crew was found guilty of assorted RICO crimes, including robbery, drug dealing, witness tampering, firearms, and related conspiracy convictions. After a 39-day trial on eighteen counts, each defendant was found guilty on some and acquitted on other of the charges.


crew member Derek Capozzi
Crew member Derek Capozzi



In September 2012, crew member Derek Capozzi was sentenced to an additional 51 months after pleading guilty to a federal escape charge as reported by The Associated Press.

Capozzi kicked out the door of a van during a 2010 transport in Central Kentucky. He was apprehended after three days on the run, and claimed he made the break to seek medical treatment for cardiac problems.


It was unclear how Geas and DeCologero learned about Bulger’s arrival at the prison, which has a reputation for being dangerous.

The 89-year-old Bulger, former Boston crime boss and longtime FBI informant, was transferred to USP Hazelton after causing problems at the prison in Florida, where he was serving a life sentence. Bulger, who ran a largely Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and '80s, ratted on New England mobster rivals to the FBI while simultaneously committing loansharking, extortion and murders.

Last week, five members of Congress wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about what they called "dangerous continual understaffing" at federal prisons in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and stated their alarm about the deaths at USP Hazelton.


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