Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kaboni Savage: Tears Of Rage, But No Regrets

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

It was poetic, but in a dark and frightening way.

Kaboni Savage was trying to explain to an inmate in the cell adjacent to his how he felt about the drug case pending against him and the cooperating witnesses who were lining up to testify for the prosecution.

“Tears of rage,” the violent North Philadelphia drug kingpin said.

“I’m flooded … internally from’em. Almost drown myself every night man. Tears of rage cause these sons-of-bitches gonna pay, man! They gonna pay … They kids gonna pay. They momma gonna pay. I know you get tired of me saying it, man, but that’s the kind of conviction I got for this shit, man. I’m dedicated to their death, man.”

This was in February 2004

Savage was awaiting trial on drug charges that would eventually result in his conviction and a 30-year prison sentence. Dozens of his conversations -- angry, belligerent, vile and vindictive – were secretly recorded by the FBI and played at his 2005 drug trial.

Now they’re being reprised, played for another jury that could determine whether Savage lives or dies. The “tears of rage” tape is one of nearly 300 conversations that have been or will be played for the jury in Savage’s racketeering-murder trial in U.S. District Court. Most came from a listening device hidden in his prison cell. Others came from phone wiretaps.

In its 11th week, the trial of Savage, 38, and three co-defendants has offered the jury a gritty, uncensored look at life in the Philadelphia drug underworld.

The charges include 12 murders. Six victims were killed in a rowhouse firebombing allegedly ordered by Savage in Ocrtober 2004, several months after his tears of rage rant. The victims, two women and four children, were relatives of one of the witnesses against him.

On another tape, he joked about how the feds should have provided “barbecue sauce” at the funerals of those “burnt bitches.”

Defense attorneys for Savage, who faces a possible death sentence if convicted, have tried to put a damper on some of the more vitriolic declarations of their client.

In a motion filed last week they were able to block the introduction of two tapes and a portion of a third, arguing that the government was engaging in overkill.

“Mr. Savage’s feelings toward cooperating witnesses have already been made abundantly clear to this jury through hours and hours of tape recordings,” argued William Purpura, one of Savage’s two court-appointed lawyers.

Purpura and his co-counsel, Christian Hoey, argued that the excessive use of tapes that focused on the same topics should be barred because of the cumulative impact they could have on the jury. They also argued that the overuse was potentially prejudicial.

“The government has cherry-picked the most prejudicial minutes of the recordings from thousands of hours available to them,” Purpura argued in his motion.

Prosecutors countered by contending that the tapes showed “Savage’s intent, motive and consciousness of guilt.”

Most of the tapes have been introduced with FBI Agent Kevin Lewis on the witness stand. Lewis and Philadelphia Police Detective Thomas Zielinski have spent the better part of the last decade building the cases against Savage. Lewis has been on and off the witness stand several times during the trial. He was back this week as more tapes were played.

Savage has threatened to kill both investigators, according to transcripts of several tapes cited by the prosecution. He also lashed out at an unidentified captain at the Federal Detention Center, gleefully promising a particularly brutal end for the law enforcement official.

“That captain, motherfucker, man,” Savage said in a conversation recorded on Dec. 12, 2004. “He gonna die a miserable death and I hope I’m there. I hope I’m the cause of that mother fucker. I’m gonna torture his ass. I’m gonna set him on fire. Alive. That’s what I wanna do to a nigga. I wanna set a nigga on fire alive. Watch him jump around like James fuckin’ Brown. Get a metal chair and some cuffs. Douse him with that gasoline. Set his ass on fire. Say welcome to hell, bitch …”

Savage’s brutality – a police official once called him “pure evil” – has been part of the case from the start of the trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer flashed pictures of the firebombing victims on large television screens for the jury to see during his opening statement back in February.

The photos were shown again when Eugene “Twin” Coleman took the stand. Coleman, a former drug-dealing associate of the Savage organization, choked back tears as photos of his mother, his infant, 15-month old son, two nephews, a niece and a cousin appeared on the large television screens set up at either end of the jury box.

A second tape of Savage joking about barbecue sauce (one had already been played) was one of the conversations the defense unsuccessfully tried to block this week. It is just one of dozens in which, prosecutors contend, Savage’s cavalier cruelty is exhibited.

In September 2004 he was heard talking about the daughter of another cooperating witness.

“I gonna blow here little head off,” he said. “She like five.”

On another tape, Savage again spoke of killing the children of cooperators.

“Their kids gonna pay for making my kids cry,” he said. “I want to smack one of their four-year-old sons in the head with a bat … Straight up. I have dreams about killing their kids … Cutting their kids’ heads off.”

Or blowing them off.

"Open her head, wide open with 40s dumb-dumbs, man," Savage said of plans to use particularly lethal bullets to blow away the young daughter of another cooperator. "That's all I dream about."

While the defense may claim that the conversations are the irrational and emotional ramblings of a prisoner locked for months in solitary and while they may argue that the words were never going to lead to action, the prosecution has contended throughout the trial that Savage knew what he was doing and what he was saying.

Authorities allege that Savage made millions flooding North Philadelphia with cocaine; that he lived well, and that he used murder and other threats of violence to control his business operations.

On Nov. 13, 2004, a little more than a month after the firebombing that wiped out Eugene Coleman’s family, Savage was recorded talking philosophically about his life as a drug dealer.

“I ain’t got no regrets for nothing I did,” he said in a five-minute conversation that was almost a soliloquy. “I ain’t complaining about my lifestyle.”

From there he went on to talk about how he was able to put both his sister Kidada (a co-defendant in the trial) and his wife through school; about how his mother Barbara never had to work, and about how he bought his older sister a house.

“Fruits of my labor,” he said proudly.

“Been everywhere I wanted to go,” he said, boasting about a trip to California -- “Cali” – and laughing about how the prison guards at the Federal Detention Center could only dream about something like that.

“These guards ain’t never gonna experience that,” he said.

“They wanna be us. They just ain’t got the heart. They can’t stand this … They can’t. But trust me, then niggas ain’t never gonna know how it feel to go to a car dealer, say, `Give me that.’”

“Niggas don’t know that feeling where you go buy what you want … That’s a hell of a feeling. For a young nigga to have …. Like, wake up in the morning, right. And say, `Damn, it’s hot as shit. Let’s go down to Wildwood and see my man. He got two jet skis.’ Man you need to get on these joints …. That fun.”

Sex was also a part of the package.

“Spend a dime on some bitches,” Savage said. “Twelve thousand…just to trick. That’s half these nigga’s salaries…You just spunt six months of their salary having fun. See what I’m saying. Like what kind of regrets can you have?

“You drove the finest cars. You fucked the finest broads … And you shopped at the finest, fucking … clothing stores. Rodeo Drive. None of these guards been to Rodeo Drive. They don’t even know what the fuck that is.”

From his isolated prison cell, a six-by-ten foot room with a sink and toilet and a slot in the door where meals arrived three times-a-day, Kaboni Savage talked about better times and the life he had lived.

Drugs, money and murder, authorities said, were what that life was all about. But Savage offered a different perspective.

“So I sit back in here and I ain’t got no regrets,” he said, ending the conversation the way it had begun. “Look at the watch. You pay fifty ($50,000) for a watch … These motherfuckers ain’t got fifty thousand houses or cars and you got this on your wrist.”

No regrets.

George Anastasia can be contacted at George@bigtrial.net

Look for an audio report of actual Kaboni Savage conversations (with transcripts as well). Appearing soon on bigtrial.net


  1. Keep up the great work George. Hopefully when this trial is over you can work on the Tommy Hill story?

  2. I agree, the tommy hill story should be very interesting, nobody seems to care he was killed, alot of enemies out here, i just seen his old partner boy backs, he's now working on a book.

  3. Boy, it has been a long time between updates. This one was really good. Please, more updates during the defense caseif possible, thanks.

  4. This guy is a stoned cold coward, I remember when he first came in the game, my brother knocked him and his friend out, one after another, and his older sister, snitched on my brother and tried to get him arressted for it, and that's when the coward got into boxing, from that Tony Clark knock out..., I hope the Govt. fry or inject, this baby killer coward, and the Muslims shouldn't protect him either.

    1. I have been really surprised that more people that knew Kaboni have not been commenting. I'm not local, but have been following the trial for several years. I think it's very ironic that his older sister snitched on your brother, considering his obsession with killing rats! If your family was like his family, the Savages would have been wiped out years ago, huh?

  5. I wish he knew how his actions have affected his young relatives. A young lady revealed that her mother doesn't sleep fearing her children will be killed as payback for his violent killings. This little girl is plotting her move to another state to protect herself and brother......teenagers should be consumed with music, dating, and social media.....not moving and changing their names to cheat death!

  6. Yeah he was a coward growing up he always got his ass whipped and that is why he think he tough now, but trust he will not get away with this one fucking child killing I really don't like this Guy

  7. I,hate kaboni, and his whole family,they killed my family the kids were innocent,and my aunt and cousin,that bitch shot the kids first then burn them, what kind of sick bitch would do that.I hope they all die, but be tortured first.

    1. Your fucking cousin eugene was a rat he got what he deserve you ever heard your family pay dearly snitches end up in ditches oh well my name is rafeeq miller i am 20 i am from 22nd berks savages are like my family you need to hate twin for snitching

    2. You should just call federal prison and make reservations...

  8. this thing is truly a despicable monster. you dont kill children. to destroy all these families while at the same time destroying your own family and their future. he cant die fast enough for this world. may all the innocent children rest in peace when his life is taken from him.

  9. Who needs the Klu Klux Klan if members of the African American community are willing to respond to a person seeking justice (so called snitching) with violence, especially against innocent women and children.
    When did protecting criminals become a good thing? SMH.

  10. Hey,I see it like this,an eye for an eye,he liked threatening lil kids,but look what happened to his lil girl!!! Hopefully that°ll
    grew him up!!!

    1. He does not understand reaping & sowing and never will.

  11. These are the kinds of people America produces because this country is corrupted and therefore, this what you get.

  12. Rafeeq Miller your friend kaboni is dead they executed him last night


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