Wednesday, April 12, 2017

John-John Veasey Guest Lecturer At West Chester University

By Ralph Cipriano

It was advertised on posters all over campus.

At West Chester University on Tuesday night, the Department of Criminal Justice was presenting the latest in their "Crime & Justice Lecture Series."

Previous lecturers included the former leader of the Pagans motorcycle gang. And a former member of the Mexican Mafia.

On Tuesday, the latest attraction was a former Mafia hit man:

"A poor kid from South Philly" who "survived three gunshots to the head, to become a federally protected witness who brought down the Philly mob," the posters said. "And then reinvented himself as a wildly successful car salesman."

Yep, "John-John" Veasey, the former high school dropout, was appearing live at West Chester University to talk about his life in the Mafia and the witness protection program. And his current reincarnation as a born again, right-wing Republican, and millionaire car dealer.

Veasey autographing his book for a student
Veasey was the invited guest of Al DiGiacomo, a former Philly cop who is a criminal justice professor at West Chester U.

"He's real," DiGiacomo warned the students before Veasey spoke.

Back in the 1990s, DiGiacomo was captain of detectives in South Philadelphia. The captain's guys were busy chasing Veasey around town during a mob war that featured hits "downtown," as the locals refer to South Philly, and shootouts on the Expressway.

At the lecture Tuesday night, DiGiacomo told some 200 students about the first time he ever laid eyes on John Veasey.

On the frigid night of Jan. 14, 1994, an unconscious Veasey was lying in a bed in the emergency room at Jefferson University Hospital.

Veasey was all bandaged up and had tubes attached to him. He had just been shot three times in the head in an attempted gangland assassination.

Standing with DiGiacomo at the bedside vigil were some FBI agents, DiGiacomo recalled. Veasey's doctors weren't optimistic.

"We don't expect him to live," the doctors told the cops and FBI agents.

But John Veasey survived that assassination attempt to become a government witness against the mob.

Veasey was a street fighter who, by the time he was 29, had been arrested 60 times. During his brawling career, Veasey said he had been hit so many times in the head with metal pipes and baseball bats that doctors told him he had developed a protective layer of calcium deposits on his skull.

That may have been why, Veasey told the students, he survived three shots to the head.

The mob retaliated by murdering John Veasey's older brother, Billy, days before John Veasey was scheduled to take the witness stand.

Veasey did testify, however, and was extraordinarily effective. The judge was amused by him; the jury loved him.

To familiarize the students with the legend of John Veasey, DiGiacomo played the 60 Minutes segment from 2013 that recounted Veasey's life and times. On the screen, they recounted how attorney Brian McMonagle, defending one of the mobsters accused of shooting Veasey, began his cross-examination of the government's star witness.

McMonagle asked Veasey about the new suit and pair of glass that the government had just bought for him.

"What do you wear those glasses for," McMonagle asked.

"After I got shot in the head" by your client, Veasey told McMonagle, "my right eye is a little bad."

McMonagle was the first of eight veteran defense lawyers to cross-examine Veasey. They didn't lay a glove on him.

"It was like he was standing on a corner telling a story," one juror told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "He was sincere. He was down to earth. He was believable."

The jury convicted former mob boss John Stanfa and seven associates of racketeering, extortion, and a dozen gangland murders. The judge sentenced Stanfa to five consecutive life terms; his seven associates also got life sentences and long prison stretches.

But John Veasey is still sorry about his starring role in putting Stanfa away. He told the students he never wanted to be "a rat."

"I like John [Stanfa]," Veasey said. "I like him to this day. I'm sorry I testified against him."

Veasey blamed Stanfa's associates for talking the mob boss into signing off on the plot to kill Veasey.

"They poisoned him against me," Veasey said.

He didn't express as much regret, however, about the two men he shot to death while working as Stanfa's hit man.

It was in the middle of a war, Veasey told the students. Killing people was his job.

"I don't lose sleep over it," he told the student who asked him about it. He still gets upset, however, about the murder of his older brother, Billy.

But Veasey played down those old underworld rumors, publicized on the 60 Minutes episode, that he would return to South Philadelphia some day and kill the mobsters he blames for murdering his brother.

Even though in South Philly, there are some protective orders out against him, "I'm not going to
kill anybody," Veasey told the students. "I'm done with that."

The day before, however, when he was in Philadelphia, Veasey did cruise around the old hood. But he wasn't hunting down any mobsters. He was ordering a cheesesteak at Pat's.

One student asked Veasey what he thought about mob movies.

Veasey had to explain that back in the days when he was a drug addict and criminal, he was too busy stealing TVs to watch them.

But since he got out of jail after serving ten years for two murders, he has watched all the old mob movies. His favorite is Goodfellas. But he didn't like Black Mass, the movie they made about Whitey Bulger.

"Johnny Depp sucked," Veasey said.

Veasey explained how in prison he met a couple of hit men who used to work for Bulger's mob. Hollywood didn't tell the real story, Veasey said.

Veasey told the students how he grew up fatherless in the projects of South Philadelphia. How his mother, who ran a South Philly bakery, was also a meth dealer. Mom had John-John making deliveries on his bike. Along with poundcake and cannoli from the bakery, you could also order meth.

John-John was smoking marijuana and snorting angel dust at 11. At 12, he was shooting up. That same year, he was arrested the first time, for assault.

By the time he was 15, John had already fathered two kids. Then he got arrested for pulling a knife on a teacher at Furness High School.

"I was obviously not a good person," Veasey said. He told the students about how the ex-husband of his first wife died after John-John gave him a beating.

Veasey told the students he didn't really have much of a conscience until 2005. That year, Veasey was fresh out of jail, and a member of the witness protection program who was wandering around the Midwest, while feeling homesick for South Philly.

Then, he fell in love with an administrator at a hotel he was staying at. An illegal immigrant from Mexico named Norma.

As a felon, Veasey had a rough time finding a job. Until he discovered that car dealerships don't do background checks when they hire salesmen.

People in the Midwest thought Veasey talked funny and looked like a member of the Mafia. But Veasey could talk to anybody, and nobody intimidated him.

On Midwest car lots, Veasey discovered he was a natural car salesman. In his past life, Veasey had only paid attention to cars when he was stealing them.

The former mobster became a family man who went to church every Sunday as a born-again Christian.

John and Norma have been married for 12 years. They still live in the Midwest. And Norma is the reason why John changed his violent ways.

After he got arrested a couple of times for beating people up, Veasey told the students, he realized he had to stop it because, "I didn't want to hurt her."

He turned 50 last month. His health has been a problem. He's had Hepatitis C since he was a kid. Then his liver went, because of all the years he'd abused drugs.

He had a liver transplant, but his body rejected his new liver.

He needed costly experimental drugs to survive. Black pills that cost $1,000 each. Veasey, who lost his job, needed 168 of those pills to go on living. But he didn't have any health insurance.

That's when an old friend stepped up to save John-John.

Paul Hayes was the FBI agent who had prepped John Veasey for the Stanfa trial. Hayes and Veasey became friends while hanging out at safe houses and playing cards and chess.

Hayes raided his pension plan to come up with the money to save Veasey.

If it wasn't for Paul Hayes, Veasey told the students, he wouldn't be here today.

"I guess God's got a plan for me," Veasey said.

He returned to the car lots. But this time he went into business for himself, buying two car lots now worth more than $1 million.

"I work every day," he said.

And then it was time to sign autographs for the kids who bought the book Veasey co-wrote about his life. After they had listened attentively for 90 minutes, the college kids lined up to meet the former mobster and shake his hand.



  2. Yeah your right johnny chang did put his wife on 60 minutes. To rat on veasy it's a disgrace!!!

  3. All theses guys are telling!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Johnny didn't MAKE me do anything. You all should be ashamed of yourselves supporting That PUNK is such a fake. I'd like to have my say at West Chester and speak about him John Vito even has to pick a face Italian name. He is as fake as Ralph Natale. Me & my husband walk around with our heads up high. 60 minutes was my forum to let it be known what a punk he is. Write what you want just easy he still texts cause he so scared !!!!! Kathy Chang

  6. A rat rating on a rat!!!!

  7. Kathy you and your husband are RATS! I thought he was a gangster ? Gangsters never put there wifes on 60 Minutes Too tell on another RAT!!!!

    1. we are gangsters, we know who we are, you are anonymous, a keyboard gangster...a nothing

    2. Wow. I just read the article and comments. I am flabbergasted by the tone of the comments. Some of the comments give the impression that the Ciancaglini family and others are proud to be violent gangster thugs. I truly hope the comments come from a place of anger and not a place of truth. If it is a place of truth then the ones that will pay the price are the innocents involved with any of them. I am all for turning over new leaves so if those involved have done that then kudos to them. If not? Then hopefully something will happen to show them that living ugly lives will eventually leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Hopefully before it is too late to become the kind of people that others truly find pleasure in knowing.

  8. What was he thinking!! putting his wife on 60 minutes! Wow!!

  9. and all of you are ANONYMOUS......KEYBOARD a woman and I put my name lol


  11. Kathy you and your husband put a RESTRAINING ORDER!!! On John John Veasey that's not RATTING? Gangsters don't do that!!! That's not RATTING GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

  12. I was at the lecture and Veasey never mentioned Johnny Chang or his wife. So I don't quite get what all the hubbub is about. The hostilities expressed here are old grievances that were aired at the time of the 60 Minutes episode.

    Also, does it really matter how Italian the guy is? Don't quite get that either.

  13. Ralph the bottom line is that Johnny Chang and is wife are RAT'S!!!!!

    1. Watch out. Anon@ 10:26 a.m put the Caps Lock on. Couple exclamation points too.

  14. Another wannabe lol^

  15. Kathy i just re-watched 60 min, sorry for any miss understanding,but you keep saying john john veasey is a punk that threaten you, but after seeing it again he was clearly talking to your husband not you at all. he even says john you hear me.. he is a rat that is a fact, but i don't see where he is a me see that please. it looks like your obsessed with johnjohn. im friends with him on facebook and he has not posted anything in years about your husband.. i think he moved on.. and it looks like you know his name and where his,so why is he still alive if he is a punk!!!! kathy please help me with this so i can understand. thank you..

    1. you did not get to see the Facebook post, that is my phone he calls & still texts, went to my news stand and went to my work place. All of this is a violation of his Parole & Witness Protection Agreement, which the feds agree, but let go cause he testified against John Stanfa.. FACT...IS HE THE RAT????? CORRECT!! I'd love to show all the stuff I have pertaining to him, frankly, Im so sick of him and every one who says he "turned his life around" while he still harasses me you think we will ruin our beautiful life for him??? not a chance.....that is why he is still alive...the drugs will kill him or maybe an act of God.

    2. wow you just said you talk to the feds. that is forever in print now.
      you clearly just told the world you spoke to the feds and they agree with you!!!! i agree he ratted but you did too now.. so your no better. and going to the beach is not traveling the world..

  16. Ralph I was there to mr.veasey was talking to us on the side.and telling us alot.

  17. For all of you really smart people out there...RATS CHANGE THEIR NAMES, ADDRESSES, MOVE & GET A WHOLE NEW LIFE, they get new JOBS, NEW FRIENDS, NEW FAMILY, NEW WIVES, NEW EVERYTHING, EVEN PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO IDEA WHO OR WHAT THEY ARE, THEY EVEN GET TO WORK WITH CHURCH GROUPS, RIGHT JOHN VEASEY, I MEAN, VITO, AND THEY CAN ANONYMOUSLY SEND TEXTS TO PEOPLE LIKE ME ALL THEY WANT... I WILL RING ANSWER EVERY TIME HE RINGS THE BELL...I AM NOT ARAID OF HIM..I DO NOT DO ANY THING ANONYMOUSLY. None of that happened with the CHANGS, I still work at the same place for 14 years, I still live in the same house 20 years, Johnny sill walks the dogs, we still have the same beautiful friends and family, we are happy we have a great life and 2 amazing houses, travel the world, we laugh at all of you rat calling, dumb people and as I write this my husband is downstairs laughing his ass off on the phone, saying I'm a nut for playing into all of this..BUT JUST REMEMBER RATS CHANGE EVERY THAAAANG.... you all know where to find me & him xoxoxox

  18. does anyone want to see the stuff he has sent to me??? I'll gladly show you all, I would like to speak at West Chester also and show the text where he says very unkind things just last week...

    1. i think you should go head to head with him.

  19. Johnny Chang Is A Chump.And A Rat!

  20. no point is let me tell you how he came to my work asking for me... and my news stand....and the things he wrote on Facebook about me...ALL VIOLATIONS OF HIS PAROLE AND WITNESS PROTECTION AGREEMENT BUT THE FEDS JUST KEEP KISSING HIS ASS CAUSE HE RATTED ON JOHN STANFA....RATTED!!!!

  21. Kathy can't explain!

  22. Kathy stop covering up for your rat! husband.

  23. Johnny Chang Your Lucky! You Don't Live In New York. You Would Be In The Hudson River! For Putting Your Wife On That Program.

  24. Ok, it's time to shut this down. Everybody's had their say and we're getting nowhere here, except deep in the mud.

  25. Why do you keep refusing to post my comments? ... Everytime someone mentions something negitive about these lying indivduals they seem to be removed.

    1. Because you were practicing character assassination without revealing who you are.

      Also, we are done here. This is the last comment I am allowing. It's time to bring the curtain down on the circus.

  26. Ever ask Paul Hayes , or any Phila OC how Bill Veasey was gunned down picking up his son after stopping in Dunkin Donuts. 100ft from front door. The same routine for seven weeks deiving his son to school. OC was first on scene, the car seat was reclined, Billy may have died from choking on his own blood. I WAS THERE. Close to both families. And if ur gona schedule speaking engagements for JJ. Tell him humility goes a long way. He'll be clueless, but for ur own peace of mind. And ask JJ , when's the last time talked to his nephew. Simple as this Billy cleaned up one mess after another for JJ. Mildy. John was a a tough, angry kid., who by the time he was 17 deep in throws of addiction, robbing his own neighborhors. Knocked on everybodys door for money, not just bookmakers. I'll take you to generations of the same scenario, 28th & Tasker . Admit , havent read ur book. I'm gona.

  27. I told ya all on Youtube, this guy's a good guy. Yea, he's had his share of trouble. Put a wolf in a Wolves Den, what do ya expect? A fight for survival!!! Ol John John did what he had to do. Day by Day!


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