BOSTON (WHDH) - A key witness and former mobster took the stand Wednesday in the murder trial for former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.
Joe DeLuca, a Providence wiseguy turned government witness, described how Salemme buried the body of Boston nightclub manager Steve Disarro in 1993.
DeLuca told the court that his brother got a message from Salemme, which read: “He got off the phone and said Frank had a package for us, and he was bringing it down the next day.”
The package turned out to be Disarro’s remains.
DeLuca testified that he met up with Salemme and transferred the body from his Jeep to the trunk of a rental car, where it sat for a day as the mob decided how to dispose of it.
Disarro’s widow shed tears as DeLuca described how he, his nephew and a friend they called “Harpo” decided to dump the body behind a Providence mill. They were in a hurry to get to a pit that had been dug in the back, according to DeLuca.
“Harpo fell down and the body fell off the hand truck. We dragged it across the lot,” DeLuca said.
DeLuca also talked about he and the mill’s owner filled in the hole but they had to dig up the body with a backhoe days later to remove a tarp, which may have had fingerprints on it.
“The blue tarp was hanging on the end of the shovel. So I jumped down there and grabbed it,” DeLuca said.
Salemme’s attorney, Elliot Weinstein, attacked DeLuca’s credibility because he had once admitted to fixing horse and dog races, in addition to violating an oath of silence and loyalty he made to the Mafia.
DeLuca will continue his testimony Thursday morning in federal court.
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