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Meet the Former New England Mobster That Makes John Gotti Look Like a Wimp

Ralph DeMasi, who had ties to 'Whitey' Bulger, had rap for the ages.

Crime By

This wiseguy makes John Gotti look like a lightweight.

Ralph DeMasi, the focus of a recent New York Times feature, was once one of the most notorious gangsters in New England, and actually got shot multiple times by James “Whitey” Bulger and an accomplice—only to end up becoming pen pals with Bulger once he was sentenced to prison for life.

In and out of prison and under constant surveillance by the police, DeMasi was a career criminal, with a rap sheet like no other. As the Times notes:

“In the brazen ranks of the Providence underworld, Mr. DeMasi distinguished himself as a dedicated family man who approached crime as a 9-to-5 job with the occasional late night. The police routinely watched him drive off in the morning to lay the groundwork for a planned robbery, then return home in the evening, leaving the carousing to others.”

But one case followed him around, well into his 70s: the death of 52-year-old armored car driver Ed Morlock, who was murdered during a heist in 1991; and the young detective, who would later become police chief, who was assigned to the case. What became of him? Find out in Dan Barry’s must-read feature in the Times.

Read full story at The New York Times