1) For more than 30 years, every FBI Director from J. Edgar Hoover to Louis Freeh personally received the debriefing memos on Gregory Scarpa Sr., a Top Echelon Criminal Informant (TECI) for the Bureau, known as “The Killing Machine” and “The Grim Reaper,” who later admitted that he’d “stopped counting” after committing 50 murders; making him the most prolific killer in Mafia history at the same time he was informing for the Feds.
2) Between 1962 and 1992, the FBI paid Scarpa Sr. what is monetarily equivalent to more than $1 million in 2013 in fees and insurance rewards as he wreaked havoc with a $70,000-a-week drug operation, put down bank heists that netted millions in a single weekend, ran the largest stolen credit card ring in New York and hijacked millions of dollars in every kind of swag from gold bullion to liquor & cigarettes to negotiable bonds worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3) In 42 years as a “made” member of the Colombo crime family while executing multiple murder & racketeering felonies, Scarpa Sr. only served 30 days in jail. Despite the efforts of 3 separate Justice Dept. Organized Crime Strike Forces (in Chicago, Newark and Brooklyn) to indict him for his crimes, he was repeatedly protected by the Bureau and insulated from arrest and prosecution.
4) Meanwhile, as a brilliant Machiavellian strategist, Scarpa Sr. manipulated everyone around him including his FBI contacting agents, senior Bureau officials in Washington and members of the Colombo family who he routinely “ratted” on in order to advance within the borgata. In an effort to maintain his cover, he actually ordered the murders of his own brother Salvatore and “Joe Brewster” DeDomenico who was his “second son.”
5) From 1980 to 1992 on the watch of his third “control” agent, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio, Scarpa Sr. committed or directly ordered 26 murders, yet the U.S. Attorney General Guidelines explicitly forbid any confidential informant from committing violent crimes.
6) Startling evidence suggests Scarpa Sr. rubbed out his own nephew Costabile “Gus” Farace, the object of a 500 man Federal agent manhunt, after Farace murdered hero DEA agent Everett Hatcher in 1989.
7) Using FBI intelligence, Scarpa Sr. personally instigated and waged the third war for control of the Colombo family from 1991 to 1992—a conflict that left 14 dead and dozens injured. In fact, as I learned, Scarpa Sr. was personally responsible for up to six of the homicides.
8) Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, onetime boss of the Lucchese family, told me that he got the address of several victims he murdered not from the so-called “Mafia Cops,” Lou Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, but from Scarpa Sr., who got them from FBI sources. Casso claims that he offered to testify against DeVecchio at his 2007 murder trial, but the Brooklyn DA turned him down.
9) New evidence I uncovered demonstrates that Linda Schiro, Scarpa’s mistress—whose challenged testimony led to the dismissal of the murder charges against DeVecchio in 2007—did not clear DeVecchio in three of the four homicides in the indictment, as initially reported.
10) More than 20 years after J. Edgar Hoover pledged to end the FBI’s illegal Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), a covert operation aimed at disrupting domestic targets, the Bureau continued to operate a de facto COINTELPRO against the Mafia using Scarpa, who acted as an agent provocateur to destabilize La Cosa Nostra from within.
Peter Lance is the author of three previous works of investigative journalism, 1,000 Years for Revenge, Cover Up and Triple Cross. A former correspondent for ABC News, he covered hundreds of stories worldwide for 20/20, Nightline, and World News Tonight. Among his awards are the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Prize and the Sevellon Brown Award from the Associated Press. In 2010, he was appointed Research Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies. He lives in California.