At last week’s sentencing hearing in federal court where former New England mafia don Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme got saddled with a life prison term for ordering the murder of his business partner, Boston nightclub owner Stevie DiSarro, back in May 1993, U.S. Attorney and famous mob buster Fred Wyshak told Judge Allison Burroughs that the government suspected Salemme took part in at least another half-dozen first-degree homicide conspiracies in his days as boss of the Patriarca crime family. The 85-year old Salemme led the New England mafia from 1991 until he was jailed in 1995, a tumultuous period in Patriarca syndicate history marked by internal warfare pitting Cadillac Frank against mob crews headquartered in East Boston and the North End (Boston’s Little Italy) headed by Joe (J.R.) Russo and his protégé Vinnie (The Animal) Ferrara, respectively.

Salemme was living in the Witness Protection Program when authorities unearthed DiSarro’s remains behind a converted textile mill in Providence in 2016 and arrested him for the crime. He was convicted in June of having DiSarro killed for the belief that he was cooperating with the FBI and stealing from their co-ownership in a nightclub-turned-strip joint called The Channel located in hardscrabble “Southie.”

Below is a list of seven gangland slayings spanning 1991 to 1994 that Salemme is believed to have either ordered or sanctioned.

Howard Ferrini (August 16, 1991) –The Russo and Ferrara loyalist and Fall River, Massachusetts bookie is beaten and stomped to death at his Berkley, Massachusetts home. Ferrini’s badly-battered corpse was found at Logan International Airport on August 21, 1991, stuffed into trunk of his blue colored Cadillac, his hands bound and a plastic bag placed over his head.

*Early on in his regime, Salemme sought to expand outside of the Greater Boston area into cities like Fall River, Framingham, Lowell and Milford. Ferrini, 53, was linked to Fall River crime lord Timothy (Timmy the Bat) Mello and Salemme enforcer Gordon O’Brien.

Robert (Bobby D) Donati (September 24, 1991) – Vinnie Ferrara’s driver and close friend, Donati was longtime low-level mover-and-shaker in the Beantown underworld and jack-of-all-trades mobster and is beaten and stabbed to death at his Revere, Massachusetts home. Bobby D’s body is found in the trunk of his own Cadillac automobile, hogtied and heavily battered.

*Donati,50, died one of the top suspects in the still-unsolved Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist (the daring 1990 armed robbery of the prestigious private museum in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood yielding a cool half-billion dollars in precious artwork). He was a paid informant for the Massachusetts State Police too.

Barry Lazzarini (October 3, 1991) – The Russo and Ferrara loyalist is beaten and shot to death inside his Manomet, Massachusetts home. His body is left hogtied in his kitchen. Lazzarini had formerly owned a restaurant that was a known hangout spot for gangster types in Boston

Kevin Hanrahan (September 18, 1992) – The notorious Irish mobster, an enforcer and reputed hit man for the Patriarca crime family for years, is slain as he’s leaving a Providence, Rhode Island steakhouse, shot dead by two assailants.

*A federal grand jury has been impaneled in Providence for the last two years looking into Hanrahan’s murder. Salemme’s one-time best friend and “kingsman’s capo” in Rhode Island during his reign has told the grand jury that Salemme ordered Hanrahan’s killing because Hanrahan was plotting to assassinate him and his underboss Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manoncchio and that then mob soldiers Rocco (Shaky) Argenti and Edward (Little Eddie) Lato were the triggermen, with Manocchio acting as the hit’s planner. Argenti rose to consiglieri before dying of cancer, Manocchio succeeded Salemme as boss and is now retired and Lato, currently a capo, is finishing up a prison stint for extortion. 

Rocco Scali (October 2, 1992) – The Russo and Ferrara loyalist and North End restaurant owner is shot in the back of the head as he sat in his car in the parking lot of a Dedham, Massachusetts International House of Pancakes.

Vinnie Arcieri (December 8, 1992) – The Russo and Ferrara loyalist and restaurateur is gunned down in the driveway of his Orient Heights, Massachusetts residence.

*Arcieri had allegedly gotten into a verbal altercation with Salemme’s East Boston capo Mark Rossetti at Arcieri’s restaurant in the weeks preceding his murder.

Michael (Little Mike) Romano (September 2, 1994) – The young Russo-Ferrara loyalist is slain changing a flat tire in front of an East Boston bar, only months after his father and Russo crew heavy Michael (Big Mike) Romano, Sr., had seemingly negotiated a peace treaty with the Salemme camp in a sit down at an East Boston tavern.

*Big Mike Romano killed Joe Souza on October 31, 1994, shooting him 11 times as he stood using an East Boston phone booth for the belief that Souza, a Salemme loyalists, was part of the hit team that killed his son the previous month.

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