‘Monk’ sentenced for planned robbery of another mobster
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:12AM
After a lifetime of stealing, clashing with mobsters and ducking the cops, high-line Outfit thief Joseph Jerry “The Monk” Scalise of Clarendon Hills had it made.
He was consulting and writing for one of Hollywood’s top directors, Michael Mann, according to Scalise’s legendary defense attorney, Edward Genson.
He was writing plays, which had caught Mann’s eye, Genson said. He was getting his picture taken with the likes of Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman.
But at the same time, Scalise — a graduate one of the best private schools in Chicago, St. Ignatius College Prep — just couldn’t stop scheming.
The man who more than 30 years ago stole the Marlborough Diamond from a London jewelry store — a 45-carat gem that has never been recovered — just couldn’t stop planning the next heist, when many people his age are wondering what the early bird special will be.
Scalise, 74, was sentenced to nearly nine years in prison Aug. 29 for planning the robbery of an armored truck in La Grange and the break-in of the fortresslike Bridgeport home of a late mob boss, Angelo “The Hook” LaPietra.
Scalise was arrested in 2010 with two other senior citizens and partners in crime. On Wednesday, Robert “Bobby” Pullia, 71, got the same sentence as Scalise — 8 years and 10 months behind bars. In June, their partner, Arthur “The Genius” Rachel, 74, was sentenced to 81/2 years.
Scalise had nothing to say to the judge, but in a recent letter to his attorney, he acknowledged he had wasted his life. “I’m glad my stupid life is relatively over,” Scalise wrote, calling it a “relief.”
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber sentenced Scalise to the minimum sentence after Genson asked for him to do it as “a favor.” Genson admitted Scalise probably didn’t deserve it.
Federal prosecutor Amarjeet Bhachu certainly didn’t think Scalise deserved any consideration, noting that Scalise had a lengthy criminal record with long ties to the mob.
“For him, something robbed is twice as sweet as something earned,” Bhachu said.
Scalise has long been tied to the group of mob killers called “The Wild Bunch,” Bhachu noted.
During the historic Family Secrets mob trial, Scalise was accused of taking part in the July 1980 murders of mob enforcer William Dauber and his wife, Charlotte, in rural Will County. William Dauber was murdered because he was suspected of cooperating with investigators, and his wife happened to be in the car with him when they were gunned down from a passing van.
Scalise has never been charged with the murders and Genson on Wednesday said Scalise was never part of any group of killers.
“It certainly was a wasted life,” the judge told Scalise before sending him to prison.