Carbo Cops a Plea
The whimsies, both gay and sinister, of Frankie Carbo, underworld commissioner of boxing, have included happy half hours in front of a television set watching Mr. District Attorney, during which Frankie roots for the hoodlums and snarls at D.A. David Brian: "I'll put ya in a hole, ya rat!"
Last week New York's Mr. District Attorney Frank Hogan, who is no half-hour Hollywood fantasy, had Hoodlum Frankie himself in a hole. Carbo had a hard choice. He could plead guilty to indictments charging that he had been an undercover fight manager and matchmaker or he could try to prove that he was no such thing.
If Frankie Carbo chose the latter course and attempted to defend himself in court, some important people might be embarrassed by evidence the district attorney would probably introduce. Prominent among these would be notorious James D. Norris, onetime president of the now-dissolved International Boxing Club, who had successfully pleaded that his heart might not stand the strain of an appearance in court. As Assistant District Attorney Alfred J. Scotti told the jury, Carbo's power in boxing "stemmed largely from his great influence over the IBC"—i.e., over Norris.
Thinking things over while the jury was selected, a wan Carbo made his decision. He pleaded guilty to three counts that can jail him for three years and thus saved his sportive old pals from being exposed in court. There was reason to believe that this decision was not so much romantic adherence to the Mafia code of silence as submission to orders from his superiors in the mob.
After copping his plea, Carbo went back to the jail hospital (he is a diabetic) to await sentencing on November 30. After that he will be delivered up to Los Angeles to face a federal felony indictment charging him with attempting to extort a share of Welterweight Champion Don Jordan's purses, a charge he will share with Truman Gibson, Norris' executive officer.
When that is all over, Frankie Carbo will face a civil suit for collection of back income taxes totaling $750,719.57. He has been known to bank as much as $300,000 in a single year (1946) and fighters he has controlled have been known to end their careers deep in debt.
Now it seems certain that Frankie Carbo, the old Murder, Inc. trigger-man who has gotten away with murder more than once in his career, is about to pay an installment on his debt to society.
Some big hunks of ice fell out of cloudless skies over the eastern part of the country the other day, and almost certainly a reasonable explanation of the phenomenon will be forthcoming at any moment. It took no time at all last week to identify that vehicle from outer space streaking across the New York skyline. It was just a new kind of weather balloon. Most sensations of this kind evaporate between newspaper editions. But who is going to explain away that mysterious thing that's been running loose in the State of Maine for weeks now?