Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Progressive New D.A. Larry Krasner Off On Wrong Foot

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Attention Philadelphia: your newly-elected District Attorney, Progressive Larry Krasner, is already getting started on his new job, but it may not be a good thing.

According to a Nov. 29th mass email sent out to hundreds of employees in the D.A.'s office, Krasner sought and was granted permission by interim D.A. Kelley Hodge to have his transition team review the personnel files of those hundreds of employees, presumably to help decide who's going and who's staying in a  Krasner administration. The review,  according to the mass email, was supposed to be conducted last week, but one union official, FOP President John McNesby, said he did not believe that any of the reviews had actually been done yet.

That may be because of an ongoing ethical problem. Krasner, a longtime civil rights lawyer who's sued the city's police department 75 times, and provided pro-bono representation for the likes of ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy Philly, isn't officially the D.A. yet, and he won't be until he's sworn in on Jan. 2nd.

Krasner, who could not be reached for comment, apparently has tasked a lawyer from the firm that he is now of counsel to, Patricia Pierce of Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores, to help review those personnel files at the D.A.'s office. Krasner also has been seen visiting the D.A.'s office at Penn Square a few times, along with members of his transition team, who supposedly have been given office space by the interim D.A. The reaction among some employees at the D.A.'s office has been paranoia.

"People were freaking out," said one source familiar with the process. "I think everybody's worried about being fired."

Monday, December 11, 2017

What John Gotti Did To The Mob


Even in death, John Gotti suffers indignities. A Gotti biopic starring John Travolta was scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 15th, only to be not only suddenly yanked from release but reportedly dumped by Lionsgate completely . . .

"It's a dark comedy" -- George Anastasia


Story from realclearlife.com can be read HERE.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

On Tour With The Original Gangster

Courtroom sketch by Susan Schary
From Target: The Senator, Chapter One

By Ralph Cipriano

In the back of a prison bus, a U.S. marshal was sitting in a steel cage, armed with a shotgun. He was watching over forty men dressed in blue paper jumpsuits and shackled in handcuffs, belly chains, and leg irons.

Most of the inmates were tattooed young drug dealers with buzz cuts and shaved heads. The oldest guy on the bus, however, looked like somebody’s hippie uncle with his scruffy mop of silver hair and the full white beard he had sprouted in prison. Fellow prisoners called him “Pops,” “Daddy-O,” and “OG,” as in the “Original Gangster.”

As the bus rumbled over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia, many young drug dealers were catnapping in their seats. The OG, however, was peering through security bars and tinted windows at a skyline that reflected the glory of a past life.

They used to call him “The Senator.” In the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania, mayors and governors came and went. But from his stronghold in the Pennsylvania Senate, where he held the purse strings to the state budget, Vincent J. Fumo reigned for nearly a generation as a power broker.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I Did Not Deserve "The Scarlet Letter"

Updated to include "Fast Eddie" Rendell

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The "Vince of Darkness" is back with a vengeance.

Philly Voice ran a long interview this morning with former state Senator Vincent J. Fumo.

Fumo, who spent four years in jail after he was convicted on 137 felony counts, came out swinging, saying he was the target of "an avalanche of negative publicity," and "prosecutorial over-agression," and that he did not deserve to be branded with "The Scarlet Letter."

In Fumo's case, instead of an "A" like Hester Prynne, he got an "F" emblazoned on his forehead as a convicted felon.

Philly Voice also ran an excerpt from my new book, Target: The Senator; A Story About Power and Abuse of Power.

That's on top of an 8,000 word Philly mag profile of Fumo that also discusses the book, which is out on Kindle, and is now available in a paperback, and hardback.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Newsweek's Cover Story On Philly Archdiocese: "Sins Of The Fathers"

By Ralph Cipriano

It took a near death experience to convince retired Philadelphia police detective Joe Walsh that he couldn't keep quiet anymore about what he knew.

On June 11, 2015, just another sunny day down at the Jersey Shore, Walsh suddenly felt severe pain in his jaw. An old Army who noticed the color had drained from Walsh's face told him to "Sit down" while he called 911.

In the ambulance, a paramedic asked Walsh if he liked the T-shirt he was wearing. "Not particularly," Walsh told him. "That's good," the paramedic said, before he cut it ff with scissors. "He hooked me up [to a monitor] and that's all I remember," Walsh says. "Everything went white."

The rest of the story about Detective Joe Walsh's amazing journey through Philadelphia's pedophile priest scandals can be read here.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Another Sandusky-Related Victim Of The Abuse Myth

By Mark Pendergrast
for BigTrial.net

The Jerry Sandusky case continues to make news and ruin lives and careers. It is so toxic that even the most blatantly fraudulent hearsay becomes national headline news. Now Greg Schiano, Ohio State's defense coordinator, has been vilified without any justification whatsoever and has become a pariah.

Schiano had been selected as the next head football coach at the University of Tennessee.  His hiring was to be announced on Sunday night, Nov. 26, 2017. Instead, after a series of rumor-mongering tweets and political grandstanding, and a graffiti-covered rock on campus proclaiming “SCHIANO COVERED UP CHILD RAPE AT PENN STATE,” he was abruptly dropped like a hot potato.

Why?  Because of Mike McQueary, who changed his memory from hearing slapping sounds in a shower (of Sandusky snapping towels with a 13-year-old boy) to witnessing sexual abuse, ten years after the event.  And because McQueary then massaged his memory yet again two years ago in a deposition for a civil case, and recalled someone else (assistant coach Tom Bradley) allegedly telling him that Schiano, who was an assistant coach at Penn State from 1990 to 1995, had supposedly said that he saw Sandusky doing something bad to a boy in a shower. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Return of Vincenzo

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Former state Senator Vincent J. Fumo is back in the news.

Fumo, who has kept a low profile since his 2013 release from prison, is the subject of an 8,000-word profile in Philadelphia magazine's December issue. "The Vince of Darkness" is also the subject of a book I've written, Target: The Senator; A Story About Power And Abuse of Power, now available on Kindle on amazon.com, and also for sale as a paperback, with a hard cover on the way.

I met Fumo back in 2008, when I covered his corruption trial that ended with him getting convicted on all 137 felony counts. I've been working on the book on and off for the past eight years. I'll say one thing about Fumo as a subject -- he may be the devil to some, a brilliant politician to others, but he's never been boring.

The Philly mag story, if you can find it after nearly a hundred pages of ads, makes for an interesting read.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Memory Issues In the Jerry Sandusky Case

By Mark Pendergrast
For BigTrial.net

Like most people, I assumed that Jerry Sandusky must be guilty before I began to research the case in depth.  After all, there was that eyewitness of shower abuse, and all those accusers.  But I soon came to realize that memory malleability and suggestibility were central to how the allegations against Jerry Sandusky arose, and after in-depth research, I concluded that Sandusky is probably innocent. 

What really alerted me initially was reading the trial transcript for June 13, 2012, where I found Dustin Stuble (“Victim 7”) explaining why his testimony had changed from what he said under oath at the grand jury the previous year. “Through counseling and through talking about different events, through talking about things in my past, different things triggered different memories and [I] have had more things come back, and it’s changed a lot about what I can remember today and what I could remember before, because I had everything negative blocked out.”

Aha! I thought.  It is obvious that he was in repressed memory therapy.  I was right, as Struble himself told me later, and it turned out that repressed memories lay at the core of the case against Sandusky, while other memory issues lay at the heart of the infamous shower scene that got Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier fired.

 

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