By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
As Schiro put it, Scarpa later did what he did. With Lampasi out of the picture, the new manager of the bus company gave the mobsters niece what she wanted, Schiro said. She does the best neighborhood in Staten Island. And she takes the bus home. So that Lin didnt do, Schiro told us. She added: I know that for a fact.
So this man died because of a fight over a job assignment? Schiro said that was beside the point. At the time, Scarpa was suffering from AIDS, which he contracted after receiving tainted blood in a transfusion. Gregs attitude at this time, she told us, was he was going to fuck everybody. He dont give a fuck who he kills.
But DeVecchio had nothing to do with it, she insisted. We were sitting there when she told Greg all about Larry Lampasi, she said. Lin did not tell.
A week later, we raised the Lampasi murder again after his name came up in a court hearing. Had she ever heard anything about a note that Lampasi had supposedly sent Scarpa, one that accused Scarpa of being a rat?
No, she said. I told you about Gregs niece.
Its possible, as prosecutors have suggested, that Linda Schiro previously hid her knowledge of DeVecchios role in these murders simply because she was frightened of him. The agent is a big man who served 33 years with the bureau, where he made powerful friends. Moreover, DeVecchio had already escaped punishment after an internal Justice Department probe of his handling of Scarpa.
But if she was scared of himand she never said so on the stand MondaySchiro showed no sign of it in 1997. When she talked with us about the FBI agent, she sounded unconcerned. I was friendly with Lin, she said at one point. She even put him in lesser crimes, claiming that Scarpa had sometimes passed cash to DeVecchio and, on one occasion, gave the agent a couple of baubles from a jewelry heist.
And if fear made her hide the agents role in the murders of Bari, DeDomenico, and Lampasi, it seems strange that she didnt hesitate at the time to put DeVecchio directly into another murder, that of Patrick Porco, the teenager who had been her son Joeys best friend until Greg Scarpa decided he was a threat who needed to stop breathing.
On the witness stand Monday, Schiro said she has told the sad story of Porcos murderand DeVecchios roleto several writers. Its because I love Patrick, she said. He was like a son to me.
Porco was just 18 when he was shot to death on May 27, 1990. His mistake had been to spend the previous Halloween cruising the Bensonhurst streets in a white stretch limo with Joey Schiro and two other pals. Along the way, theyd been pelted with eggs by a rival gang of kids. The teens decided to imitate their adult role models. They returned with a shotgun and blew away a 17-year-old standing on the steps of Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church.
Greg initially ordered Joey and his friend to get out of town, sending them to a New Jersey farm owned by relatives. Bored, the boys returned to Brooklyn. Police soon brought Porco in for questioning about the homicide.
Last week, at the DeVecchio trial, a prosecution witness named Rey Aviles, who was present at the Halloween shooting, testified that it was Porco himself who told Joey Schiro and his old man about his encounter with the cops.
But Linda Schiro told us in 1997and testified on the stand this weekthat the information came from DeVecchio. Lin called, he said the kid was going to tell the detectives what happened, Schiro told us. She remembered that the agent was unusually secretive. Usually, she said, DeVecchio was willing to chat on the home phone with his informant. This time, Schiro said, he insisted that Scarpa call him back from an outside line. I drove him to the pay phone, Schiro said. They used what she said was a special, untraceable number to call DeVecchio. Greg got back in the car and told me that this kid Patrick was going to rat on Joey, said Schiro.
Scarpa initially wanted one of his crew members, a man named Joe Fish Marra, to do the job on his sons friend. But Joe Fishs car broke down, and Schiro said Scarpa didnt want to waste any time. He ordered Joey, along with Schiros cousin, John Sinagra, to do it themselves.
Schiro said Joey pleaded with his father. Joey was saying, Dad, you dont know what youre talking about. Patrick wouldnt do that. Schiro said Scarpa refused to listen. She said Scarpa slammed his hand on the table. Joey, listen what Im telling you, she quoted Scarpa as saying.
When her son came back home after the murder, she said, he told his father that hed pulled the trigger. But I dont know if Joey had it in him to do that, she said. They left his body by the Belt Parkway.