THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Illinois Mobster's Stash... 'Treasure Trove'" reads the AP headline on March 25th of this year. It's over a year since the Operation Family Secrets trial ended, but now there's a new discovery. Here's the story:

Chicago--Nearly $730,000 in cash, about 1,000 pieces of jewelry and loaded handguns found hidden alongside recording devices in a mobster's suburban home show there are still plenty of mysteries to unravel about the notorious Chicago Outfit.

The discovery in a secret compartment behind a family portrait in Frank Calabrese Sr.'s home--a year after the massive Operation Family Secrets trial sent Calabrese and several other to prison--may trigger a fresh look at everything from unsolved shootings to a jewel theft ring once run by the former Chicago police chief of detectives.

"I would say it's a treasure trove, really," James Wagner, one-time head if the FBI's organized crime unit in Chicago and the Chicago Crime Commission.

FBI spokesman Ross Ross would not comment extensively on the investigation or search of Calabrese's home in suburban Oak Brook, which was revealed in documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court. But he said investigators would run ballistics tests on the weapons and attempt to trace the jewelry and track down owners.

Calabrese, 71, was one of several reputed mobsters convicted last year in a racketeering conspiracy that included 18 decades-old murders. he was blamed for 13, sentenced to life in prison and was one of four defendants ordered to pay more than $24 million, including millions in restitution to the families of murder victims.


The Chicago Outfit's family secrets aren't so secret any more.

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