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Richard J. Castucci attended the wedding of Sammy Davis Jr. with Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas in 1960.
Revere nightclub owner Richard J. Castucci was not just a victim of the FBI’s corrupt relationship with longtime informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi

Yesterday, as a trial began in federal court on his survivors’ wrongful death suit against the government, three of Castucci’s children wept on the witness stand as they remembered him as a generous and beloved father who always had time for them. He brought them to a local racetrack to ride horses, taught them to play golf, tutored them in math, and hosted big family dinners, and pool parties at his home on Revere Beach.

But those days were shattered Dec. 29, 1976, when the 48-year-old father of four was shot in the head, wrapped in a sleeping bag, and stuffed in the trunk of his Cadillac.

His eldest son, Richard Jr., testified yesterday that he was 24 years old when he got a call the day after his father disappeared, telling him his father’s car had been found at the Northgate Shopping Center parking lot in Revere.

As a crowd of police officers and reporters gathered, Castucci said he watched in horror as the trunk was opened.

“I saw my father in a sleeping bag with his head blown off,” said Castucci. “It was horrible.” 

Castucci said his father had paid for him to go to rehabilitation to overcome drug addiction, but the murder sent him into a downward spiral as he started using drugs to forget his pain.

It destroyed me,” said Castucci, a father of three, who lives in Australia. He said he receives disability and takes medication for a variety of ailments, including post traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

His sister Denise of Malden testified that she has never recovered from the loss of her father, who had been a constant source of financial and emotional support. “It ruined all our lives,” she said. “No one was ever the same.”

In prior court proceedings, Flemmi testified that FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. warned him and Bulger in 1976 that Castucci was an informant and had told the FBI where two fugitive members of their Winter Hill gang were hiding in New York. Flemmi said the tip prompted them to kill Castucci, who also was a bookmaker

A third member of the murder plot, former hit man John Martorano, testified in prior proceedings that he shot Castucci in the head as he sat in a Somerville apartment with Bulger counting money he was collecting for a New York bookmaker.

Connolly is serving a 40-year prison term for plotting with Bulger and Flemmi to kill a Boston businessman in Florida in 1982. Bulger, a fugitive since 1995, has been charged in 19 murders

US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay, who died in March, ruled last year that the government was liable for Castucci’s murder because of the FBI’s negligent handling of Bulger and Flemmi. US District Judge William G. Young is presiding over the nonjury trial and will determine how much should be paid to Castucci’s widow and his four children from two marriages

Boston attorney Michael A. Laurano, who represents the Castuccis, is seeking unspecified damages for the loss of income suffered by the family and their loss of Castucci’s companionship and monetary support.

He described Castucci as “an entrepreneurial businessman,” who owned three nightclubs in Revere: The Ebb Tide, The Squire, and Jaws. Photographs are expected to be presented at trial that show Castucci posing with singer Frank Sinatra while attending entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.’s wedding in Las Vegas in 1960.

Castucci lavished his family with everything they wanted, and his death “destroyed their standard of living,” Laurano said.

But Castucci’s children said the loss of his love and support hurt most. “It was a great relationship,” said his son Brian, who was 17 when his father was slain.

He recounted a 1972 trip to Miami with his parents and getting an excited call from his father telling him to hurry down to the hotel lobby. World Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was waiting with his father and gave him an autograph. “I still have that autograph,” Brian Castucci said    thanks Shelley Murphy

 

Castucci lived high off the hog  from crooked cash he made in the underworld.  He  associated with dangerous animals to do it.  Everyone loves life in  the jungle, until  the Lions turn on them.   

Anthony “The Animal”  Fiato

 

 

 

 

 

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