By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
But Lori Wagner said that on the day of her brother's death, she had learned about his murder in a phone call from her sister Donna. Wagner said she immediately went looking for answers from Patrick's best friend, Joey Schiro.
She testified that she found him not crying in his room at home but at Romano's Restaurant, an old-world neighborhood favorite on 13th Avenue and 71st Street. Wagner said Schiro was dining with three other members of the gang that he and her brother ran with.
"I walked in and he was sitting there having dinner," Wagner testified. "And I just said to him, 'You killed my brother. You're sitting here having dinner and my brother is dead.' "
Joey Schiro didn't say anything in response, she said.
There was one more piece of testimony about Joey Schiro's behavior immediately after he'd killed his best friend that also doesn't seem to square with his mother's description. A friend of Joey Schiro's named John Novoa, who was partners with Schiro in a cocaine and pot sales business, took the stand during the Sinagra hearings last summer.
Novoa, who was with Joey Schiro when he was killed five years later in a drug deal gone bad, testified that he'd encountered Schiro and Sinagra in a corner store in Bensonhurst immediately after Porco's murder. Sinagra, claimed Novoa, who testified under a cooperation agreement with the government, was standing there playing a Joker-Poker video game, presumably one of the many illegal, mob-controlled devices that can still be found in Brooklyn shops. Joey Schiro was "pacing up and down the store, looking outside," Novoa testified. "They were panicking all over the place, and Joe was just screaming that he wanted to get out of there."
Novoa said that the pair told him about shooting Porco. "That they clipped Pat," as Novoa put it. "They thought he was a rat."
Much later, Novoa said he heard separate and competing accounts of the murder from the killers. He said Sinagra told him that Joey had been driving, while Sinagra sat in the front passenger seat, with Patrick in back. Sinagra told him he'd "spun around and shot Pat," Novoa testified. "Pat was pleading for his life, and he shot him in the mouth."
A couple years after that, Novoa testified, Joey Schiro insisted to him that he was the trigger man, not Sinagra. Novoa said their stories jibed on one ghoulish aspect: that they'd had a hard time throwing the body out the door onto a Sheepshead Bay street.
"[Porco's] foot got stuck on the seat belt," Novoa testifed. "And they were pulling and pulling and they couldn't get him out."