Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Murder victim's son testifies during Lufthansa heist trial

When mob murder victim Paul Katz was getting ready to leave his house after getting a mysterious phone call, his worried wife told him to take one of the kids along — as protection.

“He said no,” Katz’s son Lawrence testified Tuesday at the trial of a Vincent Asaro, the 80-year-old Bonanno hood and Lufthansa heist leader accused of helping strangle his father with a dog chain.

“She said at least take the dog, but he said no. He said, ‘If I'm not home in a couple of hours, call the cops.’”

And those were the last words, the younger Katz testified in Brooklyn federal court, he ever heard his father say.

The remains of Katz, who Asaro suspected of being a rat, were found buried in Queens basement in June 2013 — 44 years after his death.

Investigators were led there by mob turncoat Gaspare Valenti, who has already testified that his cousin Asaro and James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke murdered Katz.

Burke was the brains of the spectacular 1978 robbery at Kennedy Airport that netted nearly $6 million in cash and jewels — and was dramatized in the mob movie “Goodfellas.”
Vincent Asaro is accused of helping strangle Paul Katz with a dog chain.

Valenti, the government’s star witness, testified earlier that Katz had a warehouse in Ozone Park, Queens where Burke’s crew stashed stolen property from truck hijackings.

Burke began to suspect Katz after the warehouse was raided in 1968 and all the members of the crew, including Asaro, were arrested.

In his testimony, Lawrence Katz said after his father was busted an NYPD officer cop began calling the house and he recalled arguments between his dad and mom. He recalled his father drawing a picture of a house at the dinner table.

"He said, ‘Soon we are going to move into the country,’” testified.

On Dec. 6, 1969, when his father disappeared, Lawrence Katz, who was 5-years-old at the time, testified that he and his siblings were watching TV when his dad got the call. He described his mother, Dolores, as “nervous” and “panicking.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicyn Cooley asked the witness what their mother made them do after their dad left.

Vincent Asaro (l.) looks on as Sal Vitale testifies during Asaro's trial.

"Hide in the dark," he replied.

Later, the family moved out of New York City.

Katz’s corpse was buried under the concrete floor of a new home in Ozone Park on 102d Road. About 20 years later, the remains were removed by Asaro's son, Jerome, and taken upstate where they were put into paint cans and buried, Valenti said.

When Valenti returned with the feds to the basement, all they found was small bones, teeth, and hair.

An FBI agent who followed Lawrence Katz on the stand testified they were positively identified as belonging to his father.

Asaro, who had sat quietly through the testimony, piped-up when prosecutor Nicole Argentieri showed the G-man an enlarged photo of the basement floor.

“Excuse me, could I see that please?" he asked.



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