Like a bad novel: Four Were Framed With The FBI’s Help
When a flurry of gunshots ended Edward “Teddy” Deegan’s misspent life more than 40 years ago, there should have been no mystery about who pulled the trigger.
FBI agents had been listening to the murder plot unfold for five months through a microphone hidden in a mob office and through reports from informants. They knew that Vincent “Jimmy” Flemmi and Joseph “The Animal” Barboza, two hoodlums the bureau was recruiting as informants, were behind the conspiracy.
But what should have been an open-and-shut case turned into a legal nightmare. Thousands of recently disclosed U.S. Justice Department records show that the FBI, in order to cultivate Flemmi and Barboza as informants, allowed them to frame four innocent men for the Deegan murder.
Armed with those newly obtained records, the framed men – or their estates – are now seeking more than $100 million in damages from the federal government, arguing that they spent decades in prison because of a morally bankrupt conspiracy between FBI agents and gangsters.
Of course, nothing like this could possibly happen today. No way. No how.