Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Billy In Philly -- Recalling Billy Graham's 1992 Philadelphia Crusade

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

America's most famous preacher was tall, 6-foot-3, with a regal mane of graying hair, and bright blue eyes. And he seemed frail and unsteady as he walked across the spongy Astroturf at old Veterans Stadium.

Twenty-six years ago, I was standing in line to meet Billy Graham, who was about to launch a historic five-day crusade at the Vet.

I was a 38-year-old reporter  for The Philadelphia Inquirer who had wound up on the religion beat as a fluke. And I was not all that thrilled about meeting Richard Nixon's favorite preacher. But in person, the 73 year-old evangelist disarmed me by how gracious he was.

When it was my turn to greet him, Billy grabbed my hand, held it, and thanked me for all the wonderful stories I had written about him. I wondered if he was kidding, but he seemed so sincere about it, and went out of his way to be kind.

“Why I never knew you were so young and so handsome,” Billy gushed. Ok, he may have been a bit corny, but one on one, this world-famous celebrity would much rather talk about you than himself. I was struck by his humility. He made me wish I’d been kinder to him in print.

Mob Talk Sitdown: A Mistrial In The Merlino Case


In the latest episode of Mob Talk Sitdown, veteran crime journalists George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser have the latest on Philadelphia Mob Boss Joey Merlino.

He dodged another bullet in federal court on Tuesday when a jury failed to reach a verdict on gambling and healthcare fraud charges after a three-week trial. A mistrial was declared. So where does that leave the 55-year-old gangster?





Monday, January 29, 2018

Joey Merlino Rolls the Dice


By George Anastasia

Same game.

Different venue.

Philadelphia's only celebrity gangster, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, goes on trial this week in federal court in Manhattan for racketeering and conspiracy charges that could land him in jail or a good part of the rest of his life.

He's been there before.

But this time the stakes seem even higher.

The rest of the story can be read HERE.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

How Vince Fumo Saved The Eagles From Moving To Phoenix

From Target: The Senator;
A Story About Power And Abuse of Power

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Motorcycle cops in South Miami were stopping traffic at every intersection, to let a long black limousine go by without having to brake for any red lights.

Inside the limo, Leonard Tose, the flamboyant big spender who owned the Philadelphia Eagles, was on the way to his super box at the Orange Bowl.

On the afternoon of November 11, 1984, the Eagles were playing the Miami Dolphins. And riding in the back of the limo along with Tose and his daughter, Susan Fletcher, were their VIP guests: Pennsylvania Senator Vincent J. Fumo and his fifteen-year-old son, Vincent E. Fumo II.

The Eagles owner had invited the senator to the game because he wanted to get something off his chest. Up in the super box, Tose told Fumo about his recent negotiations with the City of Philadelphia. The Eagles owner wanted to build luxury skyboxes atop aging Veterans Stadium, to bring in new revenues. But Philadelphia officials had blown him off, and Tose wasn't happy about it.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Msgr. Lynn's Lawyers: D.A. Knowingly Put Liar On Stand

New D.A. Larry Krasner Scopes Out His Options In The Lynn Case
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn have accused the district attorney's office of dishonesty and cowardice, for attempting to escape the consequences of knowingly putting a lying witness on the stand.

The lying witness, of course, is "Billy Doe," AKA Danny Gallagher, the lying, scheming altar boy.

In a testy five-page reply brief filed yesterday in state Superior Court, Lynn's lawyers took issue with the D.A.'s contention that there was no so-called Brady violation that resulted from the testimony last year in Common Pleas Court of retired Detective Joe Walsh, who came forward to expose Gallagher for the fraud he is.

Walsh testified that when he prepped Gallagher for trial in 2012, the detective quizzed the former altar boy about the numerous factual discrepancies in his many imaginative and vastly differing tales of abuse. According to Walsh, Gallagher responded by claiming he was high on drugs, hanging his head and saying nothing, or telling some new stories.

None of Gallagher's evasive activities were reported to Lynn's lawyers, as required by Brady v. Maryland, the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case that held that prosecutors must turn over any evidence that might be beneficial to a defendant.

Monday, January 22, 2018

"Hey Fredo -- Bring Out The Peppers And Sausage"

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Last week, I took a virtual tour of the new merged Inquirer-Daily News-philly.com newsroom, thanks to a brand new feature on their website that's accessible to even hardcore non-subscribers like myself.

It's been 20 years since my last day at the Inquirer, when I was escorted out of the building by an editor. So, I figured I was due for a return visit. But I emerged from my virtual tour feeling like Frank Pentangeli.

Remember the scene in Godfather II where crusty old Frank [AKA "Frankie Five Angels" and "Frankie Pants"] attends the first communion of the late Don Corleone's grandson. It's a big fancy party on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada back in 1958; quite a contrast with the old-fashioned Sicilian wedding scene set on Long Island  in 1945 that opened the original Godfather.

"Hey Fredo," Frank says, "What's with the food around here?"

"A kid comes up to me in a white jacket, gives me a Ritz cracker, and uh, chopped liver, he says canapés  I say uh, uh, can o' peas my ass, that's a Ritz cracker and chopped liver! . . . Bring out the peppers and sausage."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New D.A. Krasner Going Forward With Retrial Of Msgr. Lynn

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It didn't take long for our new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, to screw up big-time.

In a 24-page brief filed Tuesday in state Superior Court, Krasner, who's in his first month on the job, has decided to go forward with an ill-advised appeal in the case of Msgr. William J. Lynn. He's the former secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia whose 2012 conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child has twice been overturned by the state Superior Court.

In the brief, which is filled with all sorts of official dishonesty in a case that is already a travesty of justice, the new D.A. pretends that a trial judge last year didn't find the D.A.'s office under Krasner's predecessor, Rufus Seth Williams, guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. When the judge clearly did, and stated so in open court.

The D.A. also attempts to pave over the main issue in the case, mainly that one of the prosecutors, former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen, had no qualms about putting a star witness on the stand, Danny Gallagher AKA "Billy Doe," the lying scheming altar boy, when she knew he was a liar. Even though she had been repeatedly informed by Detective Joseph Walsh, the lead detective in the case, that all the evidence Walsh had gathered during his investigation contradicted the fables Gallagher was telling, but they were politically correct fables that the prosecutors wanted to hear.

D.A. Won't Press Charges Against Teacher Who Cursed Out Cops

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A Philadelphia schoolteacher who yelled and cursed out police officers during a protest last August over the Frank Rizzo statue will not have to face any legal consequences for his actions.

Police have been informed by the D.A.'s office that Progressive Larry Krasner, our new D.A. bought and paid for with more than $1 million of George Soros money, has dropped the charges against John Sheerin, who had been arrested and charged with harassment and making terroristic threats.

Police said that Sheerin, 63, a teacher at Julia De Burgos Elementary School in North Philadelphia,  got into an argument with the cops and cursed them out. It happened at a rally where protesters were chanting "Tear it down." Sheerin, standing at a police barricade in front of the statue, was recorded on a cell phone video yelling obscenities at white "racist" cops who were guarding the Rizzo statue at Thomas Paine Plaza.

Sheerin was suspended by the school district, pending an internal investigation. But now that Krasner has let him off, he can return to his job and teach our kids how to curse out cops and get away with it, all in the name of social justice.

 

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