By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
The murder of Colombo crime family underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo was one of the most high-profile gangland killings of the past few decades. Known as charismatic and powerful, he was deemed untouchable. Until, of course, he was killed. Now, you can take a virtual tour of the wooded no-man’s land where his body was buried.
Chris Kasparoza likes to keep busy. He’s the producer of Witsec Mafia and currently directing a documentary. All those activities were put on hold, however, when the coronavirus hit. But rather than sitting still, Kasparoza decided to combine taking a safe walk with creating new content for his YouTube channel.
Watch the video and take the virtual tour of Cutolo’s gravesite below:
“I had an idea for a crime novel, ‘GRAVEDIGGERS,’ percolating in my head over the last 4 or 5 years,” Kasparoza tells Gangsters Inc. “A black comedy about a crew of gangsters in Brooklyn and Long Island, who bury a number of bodies over two decades. So, I started typing, and some scenes take place in the same woods where they found "Wild Bill" Cutolo's body.”
- READ: The Christmas Verdict: How Colombo Mafia family leader “Wild Bill” Cutolo got the present he wished for
For research purposes, he just had to take a look. Being there in person gives you another feel for the subject than if you just read about it in news articles or books, he says. “I'd never been in those woods before and had no idea what to expect. Reading the trial testimony and news reports [about the murder], I got the impression it was a tiny area, some brush behind a building by the railroad tracks. I had no idea there was a whole forest back there, where people rode dirt bikes. In all honesty, I was wondering if there's a bunch of other bodies back there that the Feds never found. It's a great spot for it.”
The murder of Colombo Mafia family powerhouse “Wild Bill” Cutolo (right) is one of the more interesting chapters in New York’s mob history. But Kasparoza is especially intrigued by what happened after, during the 2012 trial which aimed to punish the men responsible for his death. “There, two government cooperators, Joe Competiello and Dino Calabro, testified that they were a soldier and a captain in the Colombo family and that they carried out the murder with the two people they were testifying against, alleged former Colombo boss Tommy Gioeli and accused Colombo soldier Dino Saracino.”
- READ: Colombo Mafia family legend “Sonny” Franzese dead at 103 – A man must have a code
Kasparoza: “After they were all indicted on RICO charges in June 2008, Competiello flipped and led the Feds to the location where the body was buried. The others were charged with Cutolo's murder, plus other murders, which were not part of the original indictment, based on Competiello's cooperation. Calabro flipped soon after and another alleged Colombo figure, Vinny Manzo, was even caught on a wiretap talking about how he drove Cutolo's body in his trunk from Brooklyn to Long Island where they buried it.
- READ: Legendary New York Mafia boss Carmine Persico was the ultimate survivor, up until his death behind bars
“Yet the two men on trial for the murder, Gioeli and Saracino, were acquitted of that murder and a host of others, including the murder of a cop in 1997, in large part because the government's witnesses, specifically Competiello and Calabro (right) were exposed in a series of major lies and contradictions,” Kasparoza concludes.
“Frankly, with all the misconduct in that case, it would have been un-American to convict them. Here you had two guys on trial for their lives, facing six and three murders, respectively. Yet even in a major RICO trial costing tax payers millions of dollars, the jurors, also tax payers, were not allowed to hear their defense attorneys discuss how previous FBI informants from the Colombo family like Greg Scarpa and Frank Sparaco were on the FBI payroll while murdering people (and framing others for murders they didn't commit) because it would ‘unfairly prejudice the jury against the government,’” says an exasperated Kasparoza.
“The prosecution even said the jurors should not be allowed to hear that the star witnesses, Competiello and Calabro, were originally charged with murders in that June 2008 case that they later denied having been involved in after cooperating. So - think about this - the government admits that after a multi-million-dollar, multi-decade investigation, they wrongly charged two people with murders they didn't commit. But they still asked the judge to disallow the jury from hearing that they wrongly charged their star witnesses with two murders, while allowing these star witnesses to accuse others of murders, without any hard evidence to back up their claims.”
Kasparoza: “That being said, on the witness stand, Competiello (right) even acknowledged that his testimony didn't match what was in the reports summarizing his FBI debriefings, indicating that either he was lying on the stand, or, more likely, if you followed the whole case, that the agents typing the reports made things up and or left things out to fit the theory of their case. In addition, Competiello and Calabro admitted on the witness stand that they told outright lies in their FBI debriefings. About murders! But, to save their own skin, they're still allowed to swear under oath that they're now telling the truth, and accuse others of participating in murders? How is that American?”
While he is in lockdown like the rest of the world, Kasparoza continues with his creative business. He wrote a short story which he will publish on Amazon in May and has many more videos planned for his YouTube channel.
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