Dispatches from mob trial.

Notes from different corners of the world.
March 17 2006 3:27 PM

Dispatches From a Mob Trial

Anatomy of a Mafia mole.

(Continued from Page 2)

While the once burly, now fat Eppolito remained a precinct detective, the thin, mustachioed Caracappa was assigned to a joint NYPD-FBI task force, where he was privy to much better information. Informants within the mob like John "Otto" Heidel were unmasked and rubbed out. Others, like Anthony Dilapi, who'd evaded Casso's dictates, were found and murdered as well.

It all went fairly smoothly until the feds came looking for Casso and Amuso in 1990. Kaplan got advance word, tipped them off about their impending arrests, and they both ran. Casso was on the lam for two and a half years. In 1993, the FBI found Casso living in New Jersey. That was inevitable. But the shocker came a year later, when Kaplan got a call that Casso had fired his lawyer and "gone bad."


"How did that make you feel?" asked Robert Henoch, the assistant U.S. attorney. "Sick," Kaplan testified. "If anyone in the world was a stand-up guy I thought it would be him." He also testified: "I knew how many bodies that he had," and he felt that the government wouldn't "take a guy like Casso who had so much baggage unless he could give them something spectacular back," meaning the crooked detectives.

Kaplan hid out in Vegas for a few years, but by 1996 he felt safe enough to return to Brooklyn. He was, however, arrested soon after and convicted for marijuana smuggling. Throughout all his arrests and his whole life, Kaplan testified that he had refused many offers to turn. And when in 1998 he was sentenced to 27 years, it was the same deal.

But in 2004, with the investigation of the detectives heating up again, he changed his mind. Kaplan wanted to get out of jail and spend some time with his grandson, since Judge Kaplan had adopted a baby in Russia. But the big reason he finally flipped, he insists, was something else: "I felt that once nine years had passed, plus three that I was on the lam and I seen a lot of things happening in New York with guys rolling," he testified. "I felt that Steve and Louie were going to be indicted [on state charges] and if they were indicted in the state I felt that one or both of them would make a deal and I would be the defendant."

With one card left to play—and most of his old friends dead, missing, or in jail—Kaplan finally took his fate into his own hands and became a witness instead. "It was a very hard decision," he said.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.