Skip to comments.IL: Reputed Mobster Lives Up to 'Clown' Tag ("Joey The Clown" Lombardo)
Posted on 01/17/2006 4:14:57 PM PST by NormsRevenge
CHICAGO - The reputed mob boss known as "Joey the Clown" lived up to his nickname Tuesday, making wisecracks in court as he pleaded not guilty to conspiring in the slayings of 18 people.
"Joey," whose real name is Joseph Lombardo, had spent nine months on the lam from federal agents before the hearing. Federal Judge James B. Zagel asked if he had seen a doctor lately.
"I was supposed to see him nine months ago, but I was what do they call it? I was unavailable," rasped Lombardo, who appeared in an orange prison jumpsuit and leg irons.
Laughter erupted from the courtroom, which was crowded with reporters, law enforcement officers and others eager to get a glimpse of Lombardo.
He and 13 others were indicted in April with conspiring in at least 18 unsolved murders, including that of Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, once known as the Chicago Outfit's man in Las Vegas, and his brother Michael.
The Spilotros were beaten to death and buried in a cornfield. Joe Pesci played a character based on Tony Spilotro in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film "Casino."
Lombardo was captured Friday night when FBI agents swooped down on his car in an alley in suburban Elmwood Park. Agents said he was carrying a considerable amount of money.
But defense attorney Rick Halprin said Tuesday that his client is broke and urged the judge to appoint him to represent Lombardo at public expense.
Defense attorney Rick Halprin motions to reporters gathered at Federal Court Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006, in Chicago, after his client, reputed mob boss Joseph 'Joey the Clown' Lombardo pleaded not guilty to taking part in a conspiracy that included 18 murders. Halprin said Lombardo, who was captured last Friday by the FBI after nine months on the lam, is broke and urged the judge to have Halparin appointed by the court to represent Lombardo at public expense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
This photo provided by the Chicago Police, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006, shows reputed mob boss Joey 'The Clown' Lombardo. FBI officials said Lombardo, who has been on the lam for nine months, was arrested Friday on racketeering and conspiracy charges. Lombardo had been missing since April when he and 13 others were indicted in connection with at least 18 unsolved murders. (AP Photo/Chicago Police)
Seen in these undated photos released by the U.S. attorney's office Monday, April 25, 2005 in Chicago is Joey 'The Clown' Lombardo in the photo at center and in a more recent photo at left. Lombardo is long known as one of the top leaders of organized crime in Chicago. Lombardo, 76, was caught in suburban Elmwood Park Friday Jan. 13, 2006 and was expected to spend the night in a Chicago jail, said FBI spokesman Ross Rice. (AP Photo/HO, U.S. Attorney Office)
"Am I a clown? Do I amuse you? What do you mean, funny? Funny how?"
"Funny in whatever way you want to be!"
That's a mob boss?! He looks like a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman in the photo on the right.