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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Jailed New Jersey Lucchese wiseguy says his dental records were switched and he is innocent of murder

The tooth shall set him free!

A real-life Tony Soprano who has been cooling his heels in prison for decades in connection with the 1984 golf club beating death of a Toms River used car salesman is now reportedly claiming he was at the dentist at the time of the slaying — and his dental records were secretly changed to sink his alibi.

Martin Taccetta, 72, of Florham Park, insisted he was framed by prosecutors for any evil deeds related to the rub-out of Toms River auto dealer Vincent “Jimmy Sinatra” Craparotta, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Craparotta, 56, was beaten to death by men with golf clubs at his Route 9 car lot on June 12, 1984, reportedly to scare his nephews into paying tributes to the Lucchese crime family from earnings on their video poker machines, the report said.

Taccetta was a capo in the Lucchese crime family running the gang’s NJ operations. 

In a 2000 Post story about “Goodfellas Who Might Be Role Models,” mob experts — who formerly worked with New Jersey’s Organized Crime Task Force — said iconic TV mob boss Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini, closely resembled the charismatic Taccetta.

Taccetta and two other reputed members of the Lucchese crime family were charged with Craparotta’s murder.

They stood trial in Superior Court in Ocean County in 1993, along with two other alleged mob associates charged with racketeering and extortion offenses.

Taccetta beat the murder rap, but the jury found him guilty of racketeering, conspiracy, and extortion.

He received the harshest penalty of all the defendants — life plus 10 years.

The government presented testimony from former Mafia underbosses that Taccetta told them he and an associate “whacked” the victim “over some Joker Pokers” and used golf clubs rather than baseball bats to do the job because “bats break,” the Jersey media outlet reported.

Taccetta claims the assistant attorney general who prosecuted him in 1993 hid from him an FBI report that concluded his dental records — which he says proved he was at his dentist’s office an hour away when Craparotta was killed — were secretly altered, the report said.

Taccetta claimed he learned of the FBI report in recent years through a Freedom of Information Act request and he deserves a new trial, the published report said.

“The evidence at trial included testimony that co-defendant Thomas Ricciardi, another member of the Lucchese crime family, had beaten Craporatta to death with a golf club while yelling, “pay your debts,” according to NJ Appellate Division court papers.

Ricciardi, described as a high-ranking enforcer for the Lucchese crime family, was the only one of the three charged with Craparotta’s murder to be convicted of it, the Asbury Park Press reported.  



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