Family Secrets mobster moved to halfway house after serving time for murder linked to Chicago Outfit

ByChuck Goudie and Ross Weidner, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel WLS logo
Thursday, November 3, 2022
Family Secrets mobster moved to halfway house after serving time for murder linked to Chicago Outfit
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Chicago Outfit mobster Paul Schiro has been moved to a halfway house after serving time for the 1986 murder of Arizona businessman Emil Vaci.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The last major "Family Secrets" mobster is out of federal prison.

At age 85, Paul Schiro has now moved to a halfway house.

He had been locked up Butler Federal Penitentiary in North Carolina and, as the I-Team first reported, he said he wanted out because the jailhouse was a breeding ground for COVID bugs.

Schiro was put away after being among those convicted in the government's "Operation Family Secrets" mob murder trial.

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In 1986, he murdered Arizona businessman Emil Vaci, whom Outfit bosses had feared was cooperating with law enforcement in a casino death case.

But, Vaci's daughter told Judge John Blakey that, "We are the victims, not Paul Schiro because of his failing health and COVID-19."

"This is an 85 year old. He's probably, unless he is broke -- maybe he is -- he's probably looking for a quiet retired life," said John Binder, who is a Chicago mob historian and author. "Again, if they think he is not of any great use to them, they may well just let him move on a retire."

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The judge said Schiro needed to stay in prison "to provide just punishment" for his role in "the cold-blooded murder of an individual thought to be a potential witness" against the infamous racketeering enterprise to which Schiro belonged.

Schiro has now finished his prison sentence and has been assigned by authorities to a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona.

He will finish up his time there and will be fully free next April, just as he is pushing 90.

"Either your life ends or they let you go and say, 'Okay, Paulie,' you know, 'You're not good any more, you're sick --you can go retire. We really don't need ya,'" Binder said.

RELATED: 'Family Secrets' mob tour riles gangland victims

Schiro may be the last man to carry a family secret out of prison, but he's not the last Family Secret man in prison.

That blue ribbon goes to Outfit boss Jimmy "The Man" Marcello, who will remain locked up in America's supermax Colorado prison until the day he dies. He is serving a life sentence for being a top operator of the Outfit.

Other top mob bosses who went away in the Family Secrets trial died in prison. And for all of them, at least at the end, crime paid with taxpayer meals and a pint-sized mattress.

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