John William Tuohy
Aleman Harry: Born Harry Peralt Aleman on January 19, 1939. Died May 5 2010. Harry Aleman drew up an impressive early rap sheet. In 1960 he was arrested for malicious mischief, in 1961, gambling, in 1962, possession of burglary tools assault and criminal damage. In 1965 he was arrested for aggravated assault. In 1966, grand theft auto and armed robbery. In 1968, criminal damage to property in 1969, aggravated kidnapping. In 1971, violating Federal Reserve Act and in 1975 keeper of gambling place
Aleman’s mother was Italian, his father a native of Durango, Mexico, who became, as Aleman put it "sort of a Mexican godfather" who was allegedly involved in narcotics trafficking. Aleman grew up in an apartment building at 917 S. Bishop Street in Chicago that was owned by his maternal grandmother and full of uncles, aunts and cousins.
"My father was hard on me, extremely hard," Aleman said "He beat me every day until I left home. He used his fist or a horsewhip. If I looked at him the wrong way, he beat me. My mother . . . would intervene and consequently got hit herself."
The beatings stopped from age 7 until age 11, when his father went to prison on a robbery conviction. While he was gone, the family was often poor but t got by.
Aleman seemed to excel in high school. He was a halfback on the football team, a member of the physics club and took up boxing, where he earned his nickname The Hook. He graduated in 1955, rare for a hoodlum of that generation, and enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 1958 with a commercial art diploma. Afterwards he hustled race track tout sheets and working at the produce markets on the Near West Side. "I sold produce. I sold drawings," Aleman said. "I hustled in general."
In 1962 Aleman, his brother Freddie and two other men were arrested in the beating of Howard Pierson, the 23-year-old son of the commander of the Chicago police robbery section. Police said the four were in a bar on North State Street when Aleman pushed a woman through a plate glass window. Pierson said he chased Aleman and the others out, then flagged down a police car. Police were questioning Aleman and the others when Pierson caught up with them. Without warning, Aleman attacked Pierson, breaking his jaw. For that incident, Aleman received two years' probation.
Joe Ferriola, a rising power in the mob, had married a sister of Aleman's mother. He took the young Aleman under his wing and as Ferriola continued to rise in the mob, so did Aleman. He joined up with the so-called Taylor Street crew with Butch Petrocelli, Louis Almeida, Leonard Foresta and James Inendino. The group made their headquarters the Survivor's Social and Athletic Club, on Taylor Street. In the 1970s, about the time that Joe Ferriola became the Outfits underboss, he and Aleman started to reorganize sports betting operations, and force independent bookmakers to pay tribute for the right to operate. Aleman said Ferriola had instructed them "to organize Chicago the way it was back in the '30s and '40s.” As an added source of income, Aleman and the others started to commit home invasions and burglaries. Each hood was paid $500 for his work and the proceeds were turned over to Aleman
In 1964, he married, in a civil ceremony, Ruth Felper Mustari, a widow with four children. Ruth's first husband, Frank Mustari, had been a mobster as well. He was killed in 1957 in an attempted robbery of a tavern. Ruth was the ultimate mob wife. She stood by her husband’s story that he was a commercial artist and that, in true mob tradition, the family was dead broke most of the time. In 1976 after Aleman was indicted for the murder of Billy Logan, Ruth came to the Cook County Jail with a suitcase containing $250,000 to bail him out, not realizing that she needed only $25,000.
The couple had no biological children, but Aleman focused instead on being a real father to Ruth’s children "I raised them," Aleman said. "I consider them my own. I couldn't be any closer if they were my own blood. I love my kids. I love my wife. I have six grandkids--this gives me hope."
"He was wonderful to my children," Ruth Aleman recalled. "He took the kids to Kiddieland, to dinner, on picnics, camping. He always had time for the kids.
Ruth died in 2002.
Although he was slightly built, -5 feet 8 inches tall and 145 pounds, Aleman became so feared in underworld circles in the 1970s that small time hoodlums trying to collect gambling debts simply invoked his name to collect. Two Chicago loan sharks were convicted of extortion and sent to prison in 1978 for collecting a $6,500 debt from a South Side tavern owner by saying that Aleman would come after him if he didn't pay. Prosecutors said it was a ruse and Aleman was not involved in any way. However,
authorities publicly linked Aleman to at least four murders, although he was formally charged with only one of them and was acquitted on that charge. He was suspected, probably not correctly, in the murder of Richard Cain, a made member of the mob who
infiltrated the Chicago police before being exposed in 1964. Cain, a protégé of the late mob boss Sam Giancana, was slain by masked gunmen in Rose's Sandwich Shop in Chicago in 1973. Aleman was also a suspect in the slaying of Orion Williams, 39, a meat thief whose bullet-riddled body was found stuffed in a car trunk in 1974.
According to the Chicago Crime Commission, Aleman was involved in the following deaths;
Oct. 19, 1971: Samuel Cesario, AKA Sambo, clubbed and shot to death by two masked men as he sat with his wife in lawn chairs in front of 1071 W. Polk St in Chicago
Cesario was Aleman’s uncle. Butch Petrocelli was said to assist in the killing. Police suspect that Cesario had secretly married the girlfriend of Felix "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio after he was sent to prison.
Sept. 27, 1972: William Logan, 37, a Teamsters union shop steward and ex-husband of Aleman's cousin, shot to death with a shotgun in front of his home at 5916 W. Walton St.
Dec. 20, 1973: Richard Cain, 49, a top aide to then-high-ranking organized-crime boss Sam "Momo" Giancana, shot gunned at point-blank range by two masked men in Rose's Sandwich Shop, 1117 W. Grand Ave.
Feb. 24, 1974: Socrates "Sam" Rantis, 43, a counterfeiter, found with his throat slashed and with puncture wounds in his chest in the trunk of his wife's car at O'Hare airport.
April 21, 1974: William Simone, 29, a counterfeiter, found in the back seat of his car near
2446 S. Kedvale Ave., with his hands and feet bound and a gunshot wound in the head.
Sept. 28, 1974: Robert Harder, 39, a jewel thief and burglar who had become an informant, found shot in the face in a bean field near Dwight, Ill. He once escaped an assassination attempt by Aleman and a partner, James Inendino.
Jan. 16, 1975: Carlo Divivo, 46, a mob enforcer, cut down by two masked men who opened fire with a shotgun and a pistol as he walked out of his home at 3631 N. Nora Ave.
May 12, 1975: Ronald Magliano, 43, an underworld fence, found blindfolded and shot behind the left ear in his burning home at 6232 S. Kilpatrick Ave.
June 19, 1975: Christopher Cardi, 43, a former police officer who made high-interest loans to gamblers, shot eight times in the back and once in the face by two masked men as his wife and children looked on inside Jim's Beef Stand in Melrose Park.
Aug. 28, 1975: Frank Goulakos, 47, a federal informant, shot six times by a masked man who stepped out of a car as Goulakos walked to his car near DiLeo's Restaurant, 5700 N. Central Ave., where he was a cook.
Aug. 30, 1975: Nick "Keggie" Galanos, 48, a bookmaker, found shot nine times in the head in the basement of his home at 6801 W. Wabansia Ave.
Oct. 31, 1975: Anthony Reitinger, 34, a bookmaker, shot to death in Mama Luna's restaurant, 4846 W. Fullerton Ave., by two masked men.
Jan. 31, 1976: Louis DeBartolo, 29, a gambler deeply in debt, found shot in the head and with his neck punctured four times with a broken mop handle in the rear of the store where he worked at 5945 W. North Ave.
May 1, 1976: James Erwin, 28, an ex-convict who was suspected in the murders of two other reputed mobsters, cut down by two masked men with a shotgun and a .45 caliber pistol. He was shot 13 times as he stepped out of his car at 1873 N. Halsted St.
July 22, 1976: David Bonadonna, 61, a Kansas City, Mo., businessman, fatally shot and found in his car trunk there. His murder was one of several unsolved mob-related slayings that year in an apparent mob attempt to infiltrate nightclubs featuring go-go girls.
March 29, 1977: Chuckie Nicoletti, one of Sam Giancana’s favorite men, he was shot three times in the back of the head while sitting in his car parked at Golden Horns Restaurant, 409 E. North Ave., Northlake Illinois.
June 15, 1977: Joseph Frank Theo, a burglar involved in stolen auto parts, found with two shotgun wounds to the head in the back seat of a car parked at 1700 N. Cleveland Avenue in Chicago
Lou Almeida was a small time thug who went to prison for robbery and was released in 1970. Aleman gave him a $2,500 loan and hired Almeida on as his driver. “He told me, `Come around, don't get lost,' “Almeida said. “He was looking for armed robberies and burglaries and was trying to get people to go on them. He was also bragging that he wanted to be a hit man. I guess he had to announce to everybody that he was starting to kill people for money or kill people who didn't listen to him."
Almeida, a Fifth grade dropout who had served time for armed robbery, grand theft, burglary, and bond jumping, recalled “We (He and Aleman) grew up together near Taylor Street and Racine. He used to hang around on Bishop Street and I used to see him and talk to him," Almeida recalled. "Everybody looked up to him because his family was supposed to be in the Mafia. We hung around in the pool hall, in the park. He liked to bet on the horses and I think he was bookmaking, too. He always had money . . . nice clothes. We called him `The Sheik' because he dressed nice. He said he had it rough at home, that his father beat him, handcuffed him to a radiator. I don't know how much of it was true"
When asked if he thought Aleman really killed twenty people, Almeida replied "I don't know. He liked to kill things. But sometimes, the police, if they didn't know who did a hit, I think they would just put it on Harry." When asked what type of cars Aleman drove as a teenager he replied “I don't know--you mean legit cars? I don't know, everybody drove stolen cars."
He recalled how Aleman met his wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1964 "She worked in this club on State Street. We used to go there quite a bit. Everybody loved Ruth, she was beautiful. Harry broke off an engagement to an Italian girl from the suburbs to marry Ruth and he was thrown out of the house because she was a cocktail waitress. It was a terrible argument. His father wanted him to go to college, to marry this other girl. Harry didn't want to."
He said that Aleman was a strict father to his adapted children Ruth's four children by a previous marriage, Almeida said. "One of his sons, he wanted me to beat up one time. The kid was getting drunk and staying out late and Harry didn't want to beat him up because Ruth would feel hurt. So I gave him a couple of light taps on the head with a rope. I was going to scare him, tell him I was going to tie him up with a rope and throw him in the trunk."
He said that he broke away from Aleman in 1974 after escaping what he believed was an attempted murder by Aleman and Inendino. In 1972, when, standing outside Aleman's Melrose Park home, Aleman told him he had just talked by phone with two of his robbery crew members and learned they had kidnapped a Hillside Policeman named Anthony Raymond, taken him to Wisconsin and tortured him to death. “I said, `What are you telling me this for? I don't want to hear it. I don't want to be involved. That was one of my bigger mistakes. Harry didn't like that. He just looked at me. I thought he was going to have me hit." Two years later in 1974, Almeida said he was sitting in the front seat of a car next to gangster Jimmy Inendino. Aleman was in the back seat. "Harry put a gun to my head," Almeida said. "I looked back and he put the gun down. He and Inendino started arguing and then it seemed Harry sort of forgot about it. The person we were there to shoot didn't show up. I never really trusted him after that. Another time, right after that, we were in an alley and Harry got out of the back and got a shotgun out of another car. He told me to look straight ahead," Almeida recalled. "All I could see was windows with white shades drawn down. I really believed he was going to try to hit me. I left and I went my own way."
In 1975, Almeida was arrested in Ohio on route to a murder “Some guy” in Pittsburgh. (“I used to get my ammunition from Harry. He said once “He used to make his own ammunition in the garage of his house.") State police stopped his car on suspicion and found a loaded pistol with a silencer. He was sentenced to ten years in prison where he attempted suicide. He began cooperating with the government shortly afterwards, cutting a deal for early release and entry into the witness protection program.
According to Almeida, teamster’s steward Billy Logan refused to cooperate with the mobs plans to steal cargo from his trucks. However, authorities believe that Logan was killed while involved in a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife, Phyllis, who testified that she was Aleman's second cousin and that after divorcing Logan, she had had an affair with Petrocelli. Logan had a fist fight with Petrocelli, made threats about making Petrocelli miserable. When his wife warned him to stay away or she would ask Aleman, her second cousin, for help, Logan was said to have replied “Fuck that guinea," A few nights later on September 27, 1972, Almeida drove Aleman to Logan's home and waited. Almeida said that in August of 1972, he and Aleman discussed plan a to kill Logan and that Aleman gave him two license plate numbers and Logan's home and work addresses, writing "Death to Billy" on the same piece of paper. Almeida then trailed Logan to learn his habits and schedule.
Billy Logan, then 37 years old, had grown up on Chicago's Near West Side, an area known as "Little Italy." He lived on the second floor at 5916 W. Walton St. with his sister, Betty, who was divorced. His sister, Joanna, and her children, lived on the first floor. Logan, part time cab driver, awoke for his night shift at Interstate trucking, dressed and stopped to say good night to Betty. He also stopped on the first floor to talk with Joanna. Logan's nephew William Dietrich was on the front porch and watched his uncle walk across the street to his parked car and then heard a voice say, "Hey, Bill, come here." Almost simultaneously, three gunshots rang out: two from a shotgun, a third from a pistol. He heard his uncle yell out "Oh, my God," Logan’s sister Betty raced out the street where he lay dying. "He was still alive. He mumbled something. His keys fell. I held his head. I said, 'I'm not getting up. I don't want his head on the ground.' It was like in the movies."
"This killing was personal, not business” she said years later "When you come from the old neighborhood, people tell you things."[Aleman] didn't get an OK to kill my brother. We found out."
Eleven days before the murder, on Sept. 16, 1972, Aleman directed Almeida and another hood to burglarize a home in suburban Oak Lawn where Aleman believed $40,000 in cash was kept in the basement. But after tying up a woman in the home and terrorizing her baby, Almeida and Foresta left with only $1,800 and some jewelry.
Almeida said that had driven mob killer Harry Aleman to Logan's home. Logan’s crime was that he refused to allow the mob to steal truck cargos driven by his drivers.
"I pulled up so the back door was where he was," said Almeida. "He was stepping off the curb. Harry seen Billy Logan coming out of his house. "Harry told me to start up the car, and I pulled the car to the car Logan was getting into . . . so Harry could get a clear shot at him.
Then Harry called to him."
"What did he say?" asked an assistant Cook County state's attorney.
"Hey, Billy," Almeida replied. "Billy walked up the curb between the two cars. That's when Harry shot him. Billy flew back and was crawling to some bushes,"
Almeida heard the shotgun blast and Logan cry out, "Oh, my God!" There was another shot, said Almeida, then Aleman got out and fired a third time. When Aleman got back into car, Almeida testified, he said, Drive slow. He's gone."
The government had another witness in the case, a young man named Bobby Lowe who was walking his dog just at the moment that Logan was gunned down. Lowe did not want to be a witness in the case. Right after he saw the shooting, he says, his father told him it was possibly a Syndicate killing and "to shut up and get inside" the house. When the police interviewed him that night, Lowe never volunteered that he saw the murderer. But Lowe kept worrying about what he knew and felt that he had a responsibility to speak up. "I didn't feel it was safe for my kids on the street. Did you ever watch a horror movie? You'd be sleeping, and then parts of that movie would come back and scare you? Well, this was the same way. I'd be trying to sleep, and I would see that face. I was always looking behind me, looking for a car to pull up alongside me."
Three months after the murder, Lowe went to the police and, after examining photos, picked out Harry Aleman, although he had no idea who Aleman was or that he was suspected in taking part in at least twenty mob murders, maybe more. But no case was brought against Aleman. The police however, later said that Lowe was lying. He hadn’t come into headquarters and no one showed him photos. They later changed the story and said that they had lost Lowe’s identification.
After Almeida’s statement was made, Assistant State's Attorney Nicholas Lavarone
found Bobby Lowe and got him to cooperate on the case. But, understandably, when Lowe found out who Aleman was, he backed out. His family, his wife, mother and father, urged him to stay away from the case. However, his brother, who had been shot in a gas station holdup and later was helped by a witness who agreed to testify for him, told him "think for yourself, be your own man." Lowe agreed to be a prosecution witness.
He was forced to leave his job as a gas station manager and give up his apartment. The family was put under 24 hour guard. He was given a $250.00 a month allowance by the state and the strain began to show and his marriage started to come apart and he lost weight and couldn’t sleep.
With great fanfare, then-Cook County State's Atty. Bernard Carey announced the indictment of Aleman in the fall of 1976. The case came to trial in May 1977 before Cook County Circuit Judge Frank Wilson.
On the witness stand Lowe testified "Me and that man (Aleman) just stared at each other." They were perhaps four feet apart. Remarkably, the judge in the case, who was paid $10,000 by the mob to throw the case, noted the discrepancies between police records and what Lowe said in court and declared that "The fact Lowe lied on the witness stand must cast a pallor over the testimony of this witness." He then pronounced Aleman not guilty. The prosecutor, Nick Iavarone, said ''It was incredibly frustrating. I convicted people on half the evidence that we had for this case.''
The state of Illinois gave Lowe and his family new identities and moved them to another undisclosed location. When asked if he was sorry for what he did Lowe said
"No. If there would be a new trial, I would testify again. I stood up for what I believe."
Lowe drifted into substance abuse and petty crime, which resulted in two years in prison. He eventually overcame his addiction and reunited with his wife and children.
The police said that several days after he was acquitted Aleman took part in the murder of Joseph Theo, a burglar involved in the stolen auto parts business.
In March of 1989Aleman was paroled after serving nearly 11 years of a 30-year sentence for the home invasions. Boss Joe Ferriola, his uncle, would leave Aleman $100,000 in his will shortly after Aleman's release from federal prison. He moved in with family members in Oak Brook. He began working for his son-in-law's concrete cutting business, Accurate Coring Company, 825 Seegers Rd., Des Plaines, as the personnel manager and would later describe the next nine months as "the best time of my life." "We were whole again,” his wife Ruth said. "We cooked together, shared meals--years ago, Harry taught me how to cook, how to make the gravy for the meatballs."
Aleman wasn’t free for long. In 1990, Aleman Ernest Rocco Infelice and 18, essentially the Ferriola street Crew, others were charged with using bribery, beatings and murder to run and protect the Outfit's multimillion dollar gambling, extortion and juice loan operations. The primary witness against them was one time mob gambler Bill Jahoda. The charges against Aleman involved extorting money from two bookmakers whose betting operations competed with the Ferriola-Infelice family. Aleman pleaded guilty in return for the negotiated sentence. Given time already spent in custody, Aleman was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Aleman, an accomplished artist, asked the judge to send him to the federal prison near Oxford, Wisconsin, so he could pursue his painting hobby. The judge agreed. Aleman said that he had been in Oxford before and enjoyed the "artwork" there and that as prison painting programs go, he said, Oxford's ranks among the best for landscape and still life.
In 1997, Aleman was tried a second time for the Logan murder a judge ruled that
the rule of double jeopardy didn’t apply in Aleman’s case since the first trial was fixed by a $10,000 bribe to the presiding judge in that trial. It was the first time ever in U.S. history that a citizen acquitted of murder would go on trial for the same murder a second time.
Right after he was indicted, a guard at Oxford prison watched Aleman meeting with two men, whom he couldn’t identify. He Aleman pass notes to the pair and say, "The two will be taken care of if this goes to trial, one after the other." The government suspected that Aleman could have been referring to witnesses poised to testify against him. The notes were destroyed before guards could seize them.
One day into the trial, it was also declared a mistrial when a juror, described only as a
suburban woman who works as a flight attendant and nurse, called the prosecutor and said she feared for her life and would like to be excused from the court.
"Well, to be honest, I was just worried about this case and where it's going and what could happen to me as well as, you know, family members," the woman told the prosecutor "I just wanted to know if there was anything that I could do to take myself out of it. When they (say) there are many witnesses who are not here to be able to testify these days," she said. "I mean, I don't know if that's all because of natural causes."
Just basically, you know . . . `I hope we're around after this. We'll exchange Christmas cards and hopefully we are all around at Christmastime.' Just things like that. We just kind of lightheartedly, you know, talked about it." The juror was dismissed.
Aleman’s lawyers cleverly muddied the waters by suggesting that noted mob killer William "Butch" Petrocelli had actually gunned down William Logan in 1972.
To solidify the point, the defense called Phyllis Napoles, Logan's ex-wife, who told the jury that six months before he was murdered, Logan was involved in a fist fight with Petrocelli during which Petrocelli threatened to kill Logan.
Petrocelli, a longtime friend of Aleman's, couldn’t argue the point. He disappeared on December 30, 1980. His body was found in March of 1981 in the trunk of his car parked on a Southwest Side street. The reasons given for Petrocelli’s killing vary. Some in law enforcement believed he was murdered for stealing mob money, some suspect he was trying to take over gambling operations that belonged to someone else, and still others suspect Aleman ordered his death for reasons unknown.
Logan’s wife (They were estranged at the time he was killed) said that in March of 1972, six months before Logan was killed, that Petrocelli came to her home to pay his respects because her mother had died several weeks earlier.
"It was a very sad marriage," said Napoles "He (Logan) drank a lot. He was abusive to me and the children."
After divorcing Logan in 1967, she said she became “intimate” with Petrocelli and that
Petrocelli asked her to marry him, although he was still married himself.
"I had a great deal of respect for his dark side” She said about Petrocelli He had a very violent nature in him."
While they were drinking coffee, Logan arrived and when he was refused entrance, Logan became abusive and attempted to kick the door in, Napoles said. "He had been drinking heavily and he started to kick in the door," she recalled. "Butchie (Petrocelli) asked him to leave and they went to the alley. They struck each other physically and there was a lot of profanity."
Under cross-examination, she conceded that she did not see what went on in the alley, but added, "You could hear them. They were fighting. . . . They threatened to kill each other." And later added "I had a great deal of fear for Mr. Petrocelli. That's why I didn't marry him." She was stunned however, when the prosecution presented her with the fact that one of her daughters (by her third marriage) had visited Aleman in prison to which she replied "We were as close as cousins could be."
Aleman’s lawyers complained that much of the evidence from the 1977 trial was missing including the defense trial file; shotgun wadding and pellets recovered from Billy Logan's body were gone, as was Logan's bloodstained clothing; diagrams and photo displays used in the first trial were also gone. Worst yet, many of those who could have provided testimony beneficial to Aleman were dead.
The judge had barred any references to organized crime and as a result, Aleman background as a noted Mafia killer suspected in 15 to twenty mob murders, was unknown by the jury, as was Petrocelli’s. Nor were they allowed to learn that Petrocelli died because his face had been burned beyond recognition and he had been stabbed twice in the throat. His death, however, was caused by suffocation due to tape covering his nose and mouth, authorities said at the time.
Robert Cooley, a former lawyer who represented mob figures and later became a federal informant, testified he delivered the $10,000 bribe to Judge Wilson at the mobs request, although he was forbidden by the court to use the word mob, he instead said that he paid on bribe on behalf of “Officials in the 1st Ward.”
Cooley said he delivered the bribe to Wilson on orders from the mob who told him that they could arrange to get Aleman's case sent to Wilson if Cooley could arrange the payoff. It was odd because in 1977 Wilson had a reputation as a "hard-nosed, state-oriented judge who had no empathy" for criminals.
How Wilson got the case is a mystery. It was originally assigned to a Judge James Bailey, but Aleman’s lawyers filed a motion for substitution of judge, naming Bailey and Wilson as unacceptable because they were allegedly biased. The case was then reassigned to a judge named Fred G. Suria Jr, but the lawyers also objected to Suria contending he was biased, too, but the motion was filed beyond the deadline.
Suria recused himself because the motion contained information that could have been the basis for a reversal had he continued to hear the case. Suria then called Chief Judge Richard Fitzgerald office to get the case reassigned and was told the new judge would be Wilson even though Wilson had already been named by Aleman's lawyers as unfair.
However, by that time, Aleman’s lawyers didn’t object and Wilson was left with the case.
Wilson committed suicide in 1990.
According to Cooley and later, Aleman’s cellmate, a former Cook County Judge named
Thomas Maloney was involved in the payoff as well. At the time, Maloney was a lawyer.
He said that working on behalf of Boss Joe Ferriola, Maloney reached out to Pat Marcy and told Marcy to contact Wilson about throwing the case, since it was weak anyway.
“He’s a good friend,' “Cooley quoted Aleman as saying of Maloney.” `I've been with him for a long time. You can trust him. "
Monty Katz, Aleman's cellmate at a federal prison in Wisconsin claimed Aleman told him the same thing. Katz also said that Aleman bragged that (Butch) "Petrocelli was (Aleman's) lifelong friend who he had flattened--he meant killed" because he feared Petrocelli was going to become a government witness against him. Katz, a narcotics dealer whose father was gambler David Zatz, a bookmaker who was murdered by Lenny Patrick in 952, was a lifelong criminal with 15 conviction behind him.
Cooley said he approached Wilson at Greco's, a restaurant Cooley co-owned in Evergreen Park, while the judge was drinking, just in case he reacted angrily to the proposed fix. Cooley said he figured that if Wilson beefed publicly, "nobody would believe him." It was generally agreed that Wilson as an alcoholic. Wilson wasn't offended, Cooley said.
Cooley recalled "Who would question a judge like that if the facts were relatively weak and he found him not guilty? I told him (Wilson) `It doesn't look like a strong case. It's a real weak case. These are very dangerous people we're dealing with. . . . You can't take it and change your mind. You have a problem and I'll have a very serious problem,' He indicated OK, he would take the case."
When Cooley raised the issue again with Wilson, the judge said he didn't think the case could be assigned to him because of the defense lawyer's opposition, Cooley testified. But Cooley assured he could have it transferred to his court.
A couple of days later, Cooley said Wilson agreed to fix the case as the two met in a bathroom at Greco's. Cooley said he gave Wilson a $2,500 "down payment" in an attempt to keep the judge from backing out. Cooley said he didn't know how the case was transferred to Wilson, but that Pat Marcy, a corrupt politician, had told him he would take care of the reassignment.
Cooley recalled meeting Wilson in the bathroom of a restaurant after Wilson had acquitted Aleman. "I gave him the money," Cooley said. "The seventy-five hundred. He was a broken man. He said, `That's all I'm going to get?' I started to tell him -- he turned his back on me -- that I would give him more. He said, `You destroyed me. You've killed me,' and he walked out. I knew what had happened to me and to the judge."
"What was that?" the prosecutor asked.
"We had been used," Cooley replied. "I destroyed him."
On February 5, 1990, Wilson, retired to Arizona, walked into his back yard with a pistol and fired a fatal shot into his head.
Bobby Lowe testified again. He said that he saw a car with its engine idling, then a shotgun protrude from a back-seat window. He heard gunfire. He saw Logan fall and then a man open the car door carrying a pistol and fire the killing round. Lowe said he and the killer stared at each other for a fleeting 4 seconds, and then he ran back to his house.
On October 1, 1997, twenty years after his acquittal in the same case, Aleman was found guilty of murdering William Logan. He was found guilty and given 100-300 years in jail.
In December of 2005, Aleman was up for parole and insisted that he didn’t kill Billy Logan, but that Logan’s killer was his former business partner, William "Butch" Petrocelli because Petrocelli, who was involved with Logan’s ex-wife, said that Logan "used to knock Phyllis around and give her black eyes all the time."
Aleman believes that Petrocelli was in trouble with the government and that a relative in law enforcement persuaded him to flip. And then the government didn't want to admit Petrocelli was the Logan killer.
Aleman also denied he was part of the Mafia or organized crime, and insisted he was set up by government "stool pigeons". When asked if he had read mob lawyer Robert Cooley’s book on his life in crime, Aleman spat out "Bob Cooley, the stool pigeon guy?"
"He's the lawyer who allegedly carried the $10,000 to Frank Wilson, the judge," replied board member David Frier. "Oh, now I know who you mean, yeah. No, I never read his book. He's a rat. He's going to say anything they want him to say, sir. C'mon. A rat, that's what they do. Give him a script, and he reads it."
Aleman also said of his 100- to 300-year prison term "Serial killers get that. I caused no problems for anybody, and I'm no threat to anybody. And 27 years is a long period,"
Scott Cassidy, the Cook County prosecutor who helped put Aleman behind bars, urged the board not to show any leniency toward Aleman who snapped at Cassidy "Look at me and say that. I got 27 years in prison, almost half of my life,"
"Harry” continued Cassidy “should be denied parole because the fact he escaped justice for so many years, and he lived the best part of his life while Billy Logan was dead,"