RI mobster Joe DeLuca testifies on grisly disposal of mob murder victim
BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) – Joe DeLuca had a problem: he forgot to remove the tarp that was wrapped around the body.
The admitted mobster took the stand Wednesday in the trial of Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme and codefendant Paul Weadick, who are both charged in the 1993 gangland slaying of Steven DiSarro.
DeLuca, 78, of Providence, calmly described how he retrieved the body from Salemme in North Providence in May 1993, then drove to meet his brother, capo Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, to figure out what to do with it.
The day before, Joe DeLuca said, his brother’s pager had gone off. It was Salemme, and he needed to talk to Bobby, his trusted underworld friend.
“He said that Mr. Salemme had a package for us and he was bringing it down the next afternoon or morning,” DeLuca said.
Joe DeLuca didn’t want his brother – who had a criminal record – to be involved in getting the body.
“There is no sense in both of us going,” said DeLuca, who had a clean record. “One of us [has] got to stay on the street in case something happens.”
When Joe met with the then-mob boss in North Providence, Salemme wasn’t pleased to find Bobby missing, he said. But the two men reached into the car Salemme was driving and removed a body, wrapped in a tarp, and put it in the trunk of a rental car DeLuca was using.
Salemme had a specific instruction for Joe DeLuca.
“Make sure the tarp comes off,” Deluca said Salemme told him. “There are a lot of prints on there.”
DeLuca said Salemme then handed him a bag containing pepper to sprinkle on the body so “the animals wouldn’t get it.”
At a meeting with his brother later in the day,