One just walked out of jail. The other just went back in. Both are suspects in the unsolved September 1992 murder of New England mob associate Kevin Hanrahan, a feared Irish enforcer and collector for the Patriarca crime family for well over a decade slain gangland style in Providence’s historically mafia-run Federal Hill neighborhood (seen above).

Per exclusive Gangster Report sources, 75-year old New England mob captain Anthony (The Saint) St. Laurent and 83-year old former Patriarca syndicate boss Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme are considered top suspects in arranging the Hanrahan hit, which according to ace Rhode Island mobolgist and award-winning television reporter Tim White of WPRI Target 12 News back in August, is getting a fresh look from federal and state investigators these days. White previously reported two FBI informants have told the government that Salemme ordered Hanrahan’s murder because of Hanrahan’s attempted extortion of an already-protected bookmaker operating in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The bookie that the tall, broad-shouldered and quick-tempered Hanrahan was trying to shakedown “belonged” to St. Laurent, per federal court filings. The Saint accepted a large payment of cash from the bookie in the 48 hours before Hanrahan was clipped, according to court records.

St. Laurent got released from a 10-year prison stint for extortion and attempted murder in October. Salemme, who headed the mafia in New England mafia for the first half of the 1990s and entered the Witness Protection Program in 1999, was arrested this past summer for his alleged role in another mob execution, the May 1993 murder of Boston nightclub impresario and FBI informant Stevie DiSarro, a partner of Salemme’s in a Southie bar and live-music venue called the Channel.

A law enforcement source tells Gangster Report Salemme’s former underboss Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca recently provided new details surrounding the Hanrahan hit after being pulled out of the Witness Protection Program back in July and charged with lying to investigators in his initial 2011 cooperation debriefing about his knowledge of the DiSarro slaying. The 71-year old DeLuca cut another deal for himself and has admitted to burying DiSarro’s body in Providence, where he acted as the Boston-stationed Salemme’s representative until Cadillac Frank was imprisoned in 1995.

DeLuca and St. Laurent, another Salemme loyalist headquartered in Providence, experienced a falling out in the subsequent years resulting in the Saint getting convicted behind bars in 2010 for trying to take a murder contract out on his rival. St. Laurent offered the job to three different FBI informants.

Another main lieutenant of Cadillac Frank’s in Rhode Island (and sometimes Connecticut) was strapping Kevin Hanrahan, who at only 39 years old was already a legendary leg breaker and hit man in east coast underworld circles. When he was 22 he was shot at a popular nightspot in Providence called Club Aries and refused to identify the assailant to police cementing his reputation as a standup guy.

Hanrahan was suspected in taking part in at least a half-dozen mob murders, attempted murders and conspiracies, including the 1982 gangland homicide of Providence wiseguy Raymond (Slick Ray) Vecchio inside Vincent’s Italian restaurant in Federal Hill literally steps away from where he would meet his own fate a decade later and the 1984 killing of Joan Carroll, a female co-conspirator of his in a narcotics ring found strangled to death on the side of a Massachusetts road. He was charged in the Carroll murder but beat the case. Informants told authorities Hanrahan garroted Carroll inside a North Attleboro, Massachusetts hotel room.

Kevin Hanrahan

Kevin Hanrahan

Not long into Salemme’s reign as don, Hanrahan, according to sources, began to chafe under his leadership methods – he complained to associates that Salemme and his inner circle were greedy and that he was being undercompensated for his services. At this same time, St. Laurent began butting heads with an extortion victim of his who sought to stop paying protection or at least lower his tribute installments on his bookmaking activities.

In the days after Labor Day 1992, according to federal court documents, Hanrahan approached the Saint’s bucking bookie and told him that he now belonged to him and that he owed him $100,000 in back compensation.The bookie went to St. Laurent for help and was sent to see seasoned mob associate Gordon O’Brien, who looked after the Saint’s territory in Taunton, Massachusetts where the bookie operated. With the bookie present at his house, O’Brien (since deceased) phoned Salemme in Boston and appraised him of the issue. The bookie, who went on to become an FBI informant, was ordered to deliver St. Laurent $25,000, which he did on September 16, 1992, and resume protection payments of $300 per week on his sports gambling business, which he did as well.

He was told he didn’t need to worry about Hanrahan anymore. Two days later nobody did.

Late on the evening of September 18, 1992, Hanrahan was shot at point-blank range in the face and head by a pair of assassins as he walked on Atwells Avenue in the heart of Federal Hill en route to pick up what he thought was a “big score.” Hanrahan was felled at the corner of Atwells and Pequot and died at the hospital shortly thereafter.

Earlier in the evening, he dined with prominent Providence mobster Ronnie Coppola at the Arch, an upscale Federal Hill eatery, and bragged to the crowded table he had a “big score” in the works. According to people at the meal, Hanrahan made plans to meet Coppola and his entourage at nearby Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Restaurant, for an after-hours drink following a meeting he had. Hanrahan never returned from the meeting and Coppola was seen congregating with Bobby the Cigar DeLuca and fellow New England mob power Edward (Little Eddie) Lato in a booth at Burchfield’s instead in the minutes after Hanrahan was shot. Lato, 69, is currently in prison for extortion. Coppola was DeLuca’s top lieutenant.

DeLuca and Coppola were both groomed in the mob world by longtime Patriarca clan Providence capo Edward (Eddie Mulligan) Romano. Coppola was killed in the spring of 1994, shot in a dispute over a card game. Salemme, O’Brien and Hanrahan had been indicted together in 1990 in kidnapping conspiracy. When he was arrested in August, Cadillac Frank was living in suburban Atlanta under the alias Richard Parker. DeLuca pled guilty to conspiracy in the Hanrahan murder late last week.

 

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