According to federal court filings from 22 years ago, more than a half-dozen Rhode Island mobsters traveled to Boston to get inducted into the New England mafia at the same time in a fall 1977 making ceremony conducted by legendary Beantown-based underboss Jerry Angiulo at his North End “Office” headquarters located at 98 Prince Street (seen above in a photo from today). Some of those made into the mob that day have tangential connections to recent developments in the Patriarca crime family involving the possible solving of a cold-case gangland murder from the early 1990s.

On the late afternoon of October 5, 1977, two car loads of eager wiseguys containing Raymond Patriarca, Jr., Nicola (Nick the Zip) Leonardo, Antonino (Nino) Cucinotta, Matthew (Good Looking Matty) Guglielmetti, Frank (Bobo) Marrapese, William (Billy Blackjack) DelSanto, Pasquale (Pat the Piece) Galea and Rudolph (Captain Rudy) Sciarra, made the short trip from Providence to Boston to receive their buttons from Angiulo, the longtime undisputed mob king of the North End and his then-East Boston capo Joe (J.R.) Russo, per a 1995 court record. Angiulo died peacefully in his sleep in 2009. Russo passed away in prison in 1998 from a bout with a cancer.

Patriarca, Jr. is the scion of the crime family’s namesake, notorious snarling and icey New England Godfather Raymond Patriarca, Sr., who was incarcerated at the time of his son’s making and unable to attend the ceremony. Nino Cucinotta helped Patriarca “make his bones” the year before he got his button in 1976 as an admitted co-conspirator in the murder of mobbed-up drug dealer Johnny Carr, according to court filings. Billy Blackjack DelSanto, a retired capo in the New England mob once closely aligned with disgraced former Providence Mayor Vincent (Buddy) Cianci, is also considered a suspect in the never-cracked Johnny Carr homicide probe.

The younger Patriarca, known simply as “Junior” or alternatively “Ray Rubber Lips,” succeeded his father as don upon the elder Patriarca’s death from a heart attack in 1984, but by the end of the decade had lost a power struggle with J.R. Russo and was forced to step down. He’s a real estate agent today and no longer associated with the criminal empire his dad built.

Galea, Cucinotta and Leonardo were native Sicilians. Galea arrived in the United States when he was 13, while Cucinotta and Leonardo didn’t get to this country until they were in their twenties. Cucinotta served as Patriarca’s driver and bodyguard. He entered the Federal Witness Protection Program after shooting fellow Providence Mafiosi Ronnie Coppola and a Coppola lieutenant named Pete Scarpellino to death in a fight over a card game in March 1994. Nick Leonardo, Cucinotta’s best friend, was present when Coppola booted a distraught Cucinotta from his Hockey Fans Social Club in Cranston, Rhode Island and Cucinotta returned guns blazing, killing Coppola and Scarpellino with shots to the head at point-blank range in front of a room filled with poker players. Pat the Piece Galea died of a sudden heart attack in 2015.

Ronnie Coppola is believed – maybe unknowingly – to have acted as the “set up man” in the September 18, 1992 slaying of mob enforcer Kevin Hanrahan, hosting Hanrahan for dinner at a posh Federal Hill restaurant called The Arch in the hours before he was killed. Hanrahan, 39, was gunned down by two masked assailants as he left the high-end steakhouse to retrieve what he described as a “big score” before intending to reunite with Coppola and his dinner party at nearby Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Restaurant, another Federal Hill eating and drinking establishment. Instead of meeting back up with Hanrahan, Coppola, reportedly the right-hand man of the Patriarca clan’s underboss at the time, Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca, was seen huddling in a booth at Jimmy Burchfield’s with DeLuca and Edward (Little Eddie) Lato, a veteran racketeer and in the area and future capo.

Bobby the Cigar DeLuca was arrested in the witness protection program last summer and has since admitted his involvement in the Hanrahan murder and the 1993 Stevie DiSarro hit. The 44-year old DiSarro was allegedly killed by New England mob boss Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme and his son, partners of theirs’ in a South Boston nightclub, for their belief that DiSarro was cooperating with law enforcement.

Francis (Frankie Boy) Salemme, Jr. died of complications resulting from the AIDS virus in 1995 at just 34. Cadillac Frank Salemme was pulled out of witness protection himself this summer and charged with the DiSarro homicide. The 83-year old former don has pled not guilty and is awaiting trial. DiSarro’s remains were unearthed in Providence last spring when one of DeLuca’s former mob pals flipped following a drug bust in early 2016.

DeLuca has admitted to burying DiSarro’s body and planning the Hanrahan murder along with deceased Patriarca Family consigliere Rocco (Shaky) Argenti. He was inducted into the Patriarca Family in a fall 1989 ceremony, also overseen by J.R. Russo, which was famously recorded by the FBI. WPRI TV’s Tim White, the resident mobologist in Providence, revealed on a segment regarding the Hanrahan homicide inquiry that his sources pegged Argenti, who was promoted to consigliere in 1998 and lost a battle with cancer in 2002, as one of the triggerman in the hit. Hanrahan angered his superiors in the mob by trying to shakedown an already-spoken for bookie in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Shaky Argenti and Little Eddie Lato came up in the mafia under the tutelage of “Rudy Earl” Sciarra, a top enforcer in the Rhode Island wing of the Patriarca syndicate for years eventually promoted to a captain’s post. Lato and Bobo Marrapese were indicted together on federal extortion and racketeering charges in 2011 and both are in the midst of decade-long terms behind bars. Sciarra died of natural causes in 2012.

The menacing 72-year old Marrapese has an equally fearsome reputation in Rhode Island underworld circles than Sciarra did. At the time of his arrest in 2011, he was on parole from a 21-year prison stint for killing mob associate Dickie Callei at Marrapese’s own Acorn Social Club in Federal Hill and then dumping his body at Massachusetts’ golf course. Besides the Callei slaying, Marrapese is suspected in carrying out several other murders – he was acquitted at trial of the 1982 mob execution of fellow enforcer Anthony (Tony the Moron) Mirabella and the 1984 road-rage killing of civilian Ronnie McElroy, the unfortunate victim of a vicious fatal beating after allegedly cutting Marrapese off in a drag race. Hanrahan was also considered a suspect in Mirabella murder.

Good Looking Matty Guglielmetti, 67, was released two and a half years ago from a near-decade stay as a guest of the federal for his own racketeering offenses related to labor union activity and the protection of cocaine shipments through the state of Rhode Island. Mob watchers on the east coast tab Guglielmetti the New England mafia’s current underboss.

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