Notorious mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr passed away on Tuesday in a prison in Butner, NC while serving his life sentence.
Calabrese now 75 died of apparent cardiac seizure according to his longtime attorney Joe Lopez and he said the former mob boss had been in ill health. He was nicknamed “The Breeze” and was known as an unforgiving and bloodthirsty killer. According to federal authorities, Calabrese personally had a hand in at least a dozen murders and had a long and violent career in the Chicago mafia. Calabrese rose through the ranks of the Chicago Outfit and was pursued by law enforcement for years. They finally caught up to him in the 2007 Family Secrets trial when he received life in prison with no hope of parole.
“Frank Calabrese Sr”
Calabrese was indicted along with fourteen other Chicago Outfit members on various charges that included 18 murders and one attempted murder. Along with Frank Sr two other leading members of the Chicago mob were given life sentences James “Jimmy the Man” Marcello and Joey “The Clown” Lombardo. It was a landmark case against the Outfit and two of Frank Calabrese’s closest relatives were keys to the indictments and Franks downfall. His brother Nick Calabrese a mob assassin and enforcer and son Frank Calabrese Jr turned against him. It was the cooperation and testimony of Frank Jr which led to his uncle Nick also agreeing to cooperate.
In 1997 Calabrese sr was sent to prison along with his son for various racketeering charges. Now that he was facing a long prison term the younger Calabrese sent a letter to the feds offering his help to bring down his father. Calabrese Jr said that he asked for no kind of deal and only wanted to make sure his father was locked up and away because he claimed he was manipulated and abused by him. Frank Jr agreed to wear a wire while he spent time with his dad in federal prison in Michigan and caught Frank Sr on tape admitting to rackets he ran and murders he committed. Frank Jr would then go on to testify in court against his father in the Family Secrets trial. Along with the testimony of Nick Calabrese who was a participant and witness to many of the mafia murders Frank Sr had done it was a slam dunk case for the feds.
Some of his last words as a free man were threats against the federal prosecutors who put him away uttering the words “You are a f—ing dead man” in court toward Asst. U.S. Attorney T. Markus Funk. This threat lead to Frank Sr spending his final days in prison isolation but no harm would come to Funk. Frank “The Breeze” Calabrese is now gone but his family and “The Family” will all still go on now with one less ghost of Christmas past.