FBI Used Mobster to Help Solve KKK Murders

October 31, 2007 12:35 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
New testimony in the trial of a former agent confirms long-established rumors that the FBI hired mafia enforcer Gregory Scarpa Sr. to step outside the law in the search for civil right activists murdered in 1964.

30-Second Summary

On Oct. 29, Linda Schiro told the New York State Court that the FBI employed her former boyfriend, Gregory Scarpa Sr., to find the bodies of the three men killed in Louisiana’s “Mississippi Burning” incident.

The mobster allegedly applied himself to the task with gusto. According to his ex-girlfriend, Scarpa extracted the whereabouts of the dead men from a Ku Klux Klan member by “putting a gun in the guy’s mouth and threatening him.”

The public outcry that followed the killings helped bring about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the incident inspired a 1988 movie starring Gene Hackman.

Shiro was testifying as the principal witness in the trial of R. Lindley DeVecchio, a former FBI agent accused of aiding Scarpa in four murders in the 1980s and 1990s.

Such collaboration between a federal law enforcement agency and the mob is not without precedent.

In 1944, the precursor of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services, is meant to have called on legendary mob boss Lucky Luciano for help contacting the Italian mafia prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily.

In the 1960s, the agency sought assistance from the underworld in attempts to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Headline Links: Schiro’s testimony

Background: The R. Lindley DeVecchio trial

Reference Material: The Klan, the Civil Rights Act and 'Mississippi Burning'

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Related Links: The CIA's 'Family Jewels'

Updates: Linda Schiro perjures herself


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines