The one night he’d spent in the joint facing armed robbery charges was life-changing. When Gregory walked out of jail on the 21st of March, 1962, he was a new man. That wasn’t to say that he’d turned over a new leaf and would walk the straight and narrow. As a matter a fact, if anything, he would henceforth ply his trade with even more élan. What changed that morning was his status, for a deal was made with the devil. Just which side in the transaction played the role of Satan and which side lost its soul has still proven to be ambiguous.
Over the next thirty years, Gregory Scarpa “informed” - he informed the FBI - of plans and crimes and conspiracies, of conversations and rumors and goings-on among the Five Families of organized crime. Gregory Scarpa also committed assault, supervised bookmaking operations, hijacked trucks, trafficked in cocaine, loan-sharked, stole mail, laundered money, ran credit card scams, extorted, kidnapped, and tortured. And he personally murdered no less than a dozen people. From that day in 1962 when he was first “turned” until the very end of his long reign of terror in 1992, only when his behavior could no longer be hidden, Scarpa had spent a total of 30 days in jail. He had been known by other wise guys as the Grim Reaper; as the man who’d leave 666 as his calling card with his victims. And he’d collected over $150,000 in informant fees from his “handlers” while he was being protected.One is naturally led to ask the question, like concerned citizen and freelance investigator Angela Clemente has done in a 300 page report to the Justice Department: Which is worse, a mafia that operates outside of the law or a government that knows no law?