Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Shondor Birns & Danny Green: Cleveland's Killer Celebrities

Bomb City, U.S.A.

The Press labeled Cleveland "Bomb City, U.SA."

Thirty-six bombs exploded around the city in 1976 alone.

Still, Greene and his ally John Nardi survived. Bullets didn't work any better than bombs. Somebody fired six shots at Nardi as he entered his parked car outside the Italian-American Brotherhood Hall in Little Italy. Somehow, all missed Nardi.

Meanwhile, the Mob got an almost unbelievable break in April.

Geraldine Linhart, a clerk in the Cleveland FBI office for nine years, was having trouble with a lawsuit. Her fiancée, Jeffery Rabinowitz, approached a friend of Anthony "Tony Lib" Liberatore for help. Liberatore was an official of the Teamsters and — like many Teamster leaders — the Mob.

Anthony 'Tony Lib' Liberatore
Anthony 'Tony Lib' Liberatore

For what turned out to be $1,000, plus a $15,000 loan and a false promise to help her with her suit, she managed to copy a list of confidential informants from her blissfully ignorant FBI employers.

Among the names Mob leaders were surprised to find on the list: Jackie Presser, who was being groomed to succeed his father, Bill Presser, as head of the Cleveland Teamsters. Also listed was Tony Hughes, the liaison between Presser and Licavoli.

They were less surprised to find Danny Greene's name.

Jimmy Fratianno held his breath, but he wasn't named. He was on the informant list at the FBI office in San Diego, not Cleveland.

He breathed a sigh of relief and called his FBI contact there to tell him of the leak in Cleveland.

Finally, the Mob found a bomb that worked.

Nardi varied his daily routine, parking his Cadillac in various locations. On May 17, though, he left it in the lot outside Teamsters' headquarters. When he returned, he paid no attention to the Pontiac parked next to it.

Somebody watching from nearby pressed a detonator.

"The Pontiac disintegrated as it blew up, firing its shrapnel cargo and its roof into the victim," the Press reported. "Fragments of metal were found atop roofs of several four-story buildings surrounding the parking lot."

Now it was just Danny Greene against the Mob.

Next: "I'm Not Hard to Find"  

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