An informant told the FBI that deposed New England mob don Raymond Patriarca, Jr. backed and financed Kevin Hanrahan’s unsuccessful plot to assassinate a pair of Patriarca Jr.’s successors from behind bars two and a half decades ago, according to a court filing last week related to an upcoming federal murder trial involving one of the intended victims. In a 2016 phone conversation with his FBI handler the informant stated that Patriarca, Jr. sent $100,000 in cash to Hanrahan through an intermediary with instructions to kill then-New England mafia boss Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme and his then-underboss Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio, who would go on to replace Cadillac Frank atop the mafia in the Northeast in the years to come.

On Friday, WPRI’s Tim White first reported that a filing in federal court referenced the informant saying that in the weeks preceding Hanrahan’s own gangland slaying in the fall of 1992, the Providence mob enforcer and reputed experienced hit man purchased a package of plastic explosives he was going to use to blow up Salemme in his house located in the Boston suburbs and Manocchio inside his Euro Bistro restaurant headquarters in Providene’s Federal Hill neighborhood. Salemme and Manocchio got wind of the plot and Hanrahan’s himself was slain instead.

The filing was made by defense attorneys in a first-degree homicide case set to begin this week in Boston where the 84-year old Salemme is charged with murdering his business partner, nightclub owner Stevie DiSarro in 1993. Salemme had taken over the Patriarca crime family in 1990 in the direct aftermath of Patriarca, Jr. and other top syndicate administrators being imprisoned. Patriarca, Jr. led the crime family named in honor of his dad for the last half of the 1980s, a rocky time period across the New England underworld in which he faced an insurgence to his regime from within and was for all intents and purposes forced to step down in the months before his incarceration for fear that he was going to be slain by a crew of angry underlings.

Leveraging support from the Gambino crime family in New York, Patriarca, Jr. took over the New England mob following his father’s death in 1984 from a heart attack. Upon Salemme getting sprung from a 15-year prison sentence for attempted murder in 1987, he was inducted into the crime family by the younger Patriarca and immediately began politicking his way up the ranks.

Salemme cut his teeth in the mafia under the elder Patriarca, acting as the Providence-stationed mob chieftain’s main muscle in the Boston area until he was convicted and jailed in the early 1970s for blowing up the car of an underworld attorney on orders from the ornery Godfather. Manocchio also tied his rise in mafia circles to the elder Patriarca – the two were indicted for two murders together in 1969.

Partially due to resentment over Salemme’s rapid ascension, the crime family’s East Boston crew — headed by Joe (J.R.) Russo — declared war on Patriarca, Jr., killing his underboss William (The Wild Man) Grasso and seriously wounding Salemme in coordinated attacks on the same day in June 1989. Russo threatened to kill Patriarca unless his resigned. Eventually, the Gambinos interjected and with Russo being promoted to consigliere and heavily-respected Providence wiseguy Nicky Bianco stepping in for Patriarca, Jr. the tensions between the two factions halted for the time being.

When Patriarca, Jr., Russo and Bianco were indicted in a roundup of several powerful Patriarca clan mobsters in March 1990, Salemme became boss. With Salemme living in Boston, Manocchio became his underboss, running the Rhode Island wing of the crime family. Salemme’s best friend, Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca, acted as his eyes and ears in Providence.

Shortly after taking the reins, Salemme went back to war with the remnants of the East Boston crew that had tried to clip him and is believed to have ordered the slayings of at least a half-dozen enemies in his five-year tenure as boss. Kevin Hanrahan, 39, upset Salemme by trying to extort bookmakers in Massachusetts linked to his regime. He was gunned down on the night of September 18, 1992 leaving a Federal Hill steakhouse.

Patriarca, Jr. served eight years in prison and was released in late 1998. Deciding against returning to the streets, Patriarca, 73, retired from the mob and today is a real estate agent. Russo and Bianco died behind bars.

Salemme was busted for racketeering in 1995 and joined the Witness Protection Program in 1999. In his initial debriefing with the FBI, Cadillac Frank denied any knowledge of Hanrahan’s murder and the strangulation killing of DiSarro, his co-owner in a South Boston nightclub, who had begun cooperating with authorities and testified in front of an April 1993 grand jury regarding Salemme’s business and financial practices. DiSarro disappeared on May 10, 1993. Prosecutors allege he was strangled to death that afternoon by Salemme’s son (now deceased) inside the Salemme family’s Sharon, Massachusetts home.

DiSarro’s remains were found in March 2016 on property in Providence owned by an associate of Bobby DeLuca’s. By the end of the summer, DeLuca had agreed to implicate Salemme in both the DiSarro and the Hanrahan homicides and Salemme was ripped out of the Witness Protection Program and charged with DiSarro’s murder.

Local mob watchers speculate he could be slapped with charges in the Hanrahan murder soon, too. DeLuca, 72, flipped in 2011 after he and Manocchio were arrested for shaking down Rhode Island strip clubs. Bobby the Cigar told prosecutors that the 90-year old Manocchio, retired from mob affairs since 2009, planned the Hanrahan hit at Salemme’s behest. A grand jury probing the Hanrahan case has been convened for more than a year.

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