Dating game murder
"It's a business world today," Battaglni said on another tape that underscored the defense position in the case."Nobody wants trouble." But prosecutors hope that stories like the murder of Long John Martorano provide the jury with a look at a darker side of that business.But he did offer a bleak economic picture of the bookmaking business circa 2002. Other comments by Battaglini, however, seemed to support the defense position that Battaglini and the other defendants in the case were not part of a broad mob conspiracy, but rather independent operators."It's a broke mob, that's the bottom line, and it's gotten worse every year," he said in one conversation."Broke, broke." In another, he complained that gambling customers had gotten more sophisticated and state-run casino gambling was eating into the bookmaking market. That defense is aimed at undermining the principal charge, racketeering conspiracy, that the seven defendants face.
Kercher was found dead on the floor of her bedroom.Jurors in the ongoing racketeering conspiracy trial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi (long suspected of ordering the hit) got a sampling of what authorities know Tuesday when a secretly recorded conversation involving mob bookmaker Gary Battaglini, one of Ligambi's six co-defendants, was played as the trial entered its sixth week. Back on the streets and in his 70s, most underworld and law enforcement sources thought the tall, thin and always dapper wiseguy would go into retirement and enjoy the final years of his life out of the limelight.Battaglini was speaking with his brother-in-law Peter Albo, a convicted gambler, drug dealer and thief who was then about ,000 in debt to what authorities say was a mob-controlled bookmaking operation. There was even some speculation that he intended to relocate of Sicily. He remained in the house where he lived around Sixth and Fitzwater Streets in South Philadelphia and despite medical problems -- he had a heart condition for which he was being treated -- he apparently wanted to get back in that game.He remained in critical condiction for three weeks and died on Feb. The murder is one of three that investigators have long hoped to tie to the Ligambi organization.The others were the 1999 murder of Ronald Turchi and the 2003 murder of John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto.