Guilty: Sacco and Vanzetti
Upton Sinclair's biographer, Anthony Authur, stated in 2006:
"But I have to admit that this sounds as though (Upton) was more knowledgeable and more certain about the guilt (of Sacco and Vanzetti) than he appeared to be in his published statements and, indeed, in his private communications as well."
There are 6-7 letters, as well as additonal information, inclusive of verbal confirmation, which detail knowledge of Sacco and Vanzetti's guilt, by those with known involvement in the anarchist groups of Sacco and Vanzetti and/or those who had inside knowledge of the anarchist movement, in regard to Sacco and Vanzetti.
Based upon these revelations, they were both guilty.
Massachusettes Gov. Michael Dukakis, in support of Sacco and Vanzetti: “any disgrace should be forever removed from their names.”. (1977 proclamation)
Gov. Dukakis should have investigated more thoroughly and showed some respect for the two innocents murdered, paymaster Frederick Parmenter and his guard, Alesandro Berardelli.
Gov. Dukakis wrote to me on 8/27/13, via email, " . . . one thing is very clear. Under today’s rules of evidence and trial procedure, neither one of them would have been found guilty. Mike Dukakis"
Governor, all this new evidence was available to you, prior to your August 23, 2013 participation in the rememberance of the "wrongful execution" of Sacco and Vanzetti.
First, I am not certain that all of this new evidence would not be admissable.
Secondly, and more important, let's cut the sophistry. At this stage, we are talking about the truth, not a new trial.
Arguably, with the evidence we have today, Sacco and Vanzetti would both be convicted, based upon the perjured alibi witnesses, the new revelations about Vanzetti's gun, supported by Vanzetti's lies about the gun, in addition to the testimony of their anarchist comrads, as well as their own attorney stating that Sacco and Vanzetti are both guilty and that he fabricated their alibis.
Even though Sacco and/or Vanzetti's guilt was known to a few anti death penalty and anarchist folks, they still allowed riots and other violence to take place, based upon the fraud of their innocence, a scenario similar to anti death penalty cause celebre cases, in more recent history (1).
Even today, those supporting the Sacco and Vanzetti fraud still try to further it, as can be seen throughout the web, even though ballistics tests confirmed Sacco's guilt in 1927, 1961 and 1983 and Sacco and Vanzetti's own lawyer, as well as anarchists, knowledgeable of the events, and additonal evidence, confirmed their guilt, to varying degrees, in 1927, 1929, 1941, 1952, 1955, 1961, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2005 and 2006, as reviewed below.
Recently, a number of letters have been discovered, including by Upton Sinclair, the famous author and activist, stating that he had met with Sacco and Venzetti's defense counsel, Fred Moore, who told Sinclair that Sacco and Vanzetti were both guilty and that Moore had concocted alibis for both of them. Other letters and confessions, by involved parties state the definitive guilt of Sacco, with varying degrees of involvement or not, by Vanzetti.
NOTE: I am in the process of getting full copies of all the letters.
1) "Sacco and Vanzetti: Guilty After All?" NPR, March 4, 2006, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5245754
last viewed 8/27/2013
Sinclair's biographer, Anthony Authur:
"Well, what it tells you is that (Sinclair) had confirmed by an independent source who was involved in the case the doubts that he had come to have himself."
"He was certain of their innocence when he went into it. He became doubtful of their innocence as he went along. And according to this, he became convinced of their guilt by the conclusion."
"But I have to admit that this sounds as though he was more knowledgeable and more certain about the guilt than he appeared to be in his published statements and, indeed, in his private communications as well."
2) "Sinclair Letter Turns Out to Be Another Expose", Jean O. Pasco, LA Times, December 24, 2005, http://articles.latimes.com/2005/dec/24/local/me-sinclair24
last viewed 8/27/2013
"Soon Sinclair would learn something that filled him with doubt. During his research for "Boston,"
"Sinclair met with Fred Moore, the men's attorney, in a Denver motel room. Moore "sent me into a panic," Sinclair wrote in the typed letter that Hegness found at the auction a decade ago."
"Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the full truth," Sinclair wrote. " ... He then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them."
Sharp: According to Sinclair, during the trial, Sinclair had observed some troubling problems with the alibi witnesses, Because of that, Sinclair questioned two of them, both of whom confessed to fabricating the alibi. Either one of them, or an additional alibi witness, has since publically come forward to confirm this. Read below.
Sharp: It is most likely all of the alibi witnesses lied. No defense has 3-4 truthful alibi witnesses and then goes out and recruits 2-3 lying alibi witnesses, which may only destroy the credibility of the truthful ones. You stick with the truthful ones. Ergo, they all lied. No one has any reason to doubt Sinclair's credibility on the two lying alibi witnesses.
"I faced the most difficult ethical problem of my life at that point," (Sinclair) wrote to his attorney (Beazley). "I had come to Boston with the announcement that I was going to write the truth about the case."
"My wife (Sinclair's) is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book," Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.
(Sharp: The Minor letter is in the Upton Sinclair archives at the Lilly Library, Indiana U, with a correct date of Feb. 8, 1928.)
"(Sinclair) also worried that revealing what he had been told would cost him readers. "It is much better copy as a naive defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public," he wrote to Minor."
Sharp: Even knowing this, Sinclair, published "Boston", a novelized version of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, which proclaimed them framed by the capitalist system - the mantra of leftists supporting S&V.
So for profit and the cause, Sinclair kept this information secret and more innocents died. Again, similar to anti death penalty efforts in more recent history, even today. (1)
As reviewed below, there was much violence, and some deaths in riots, worldwide, based upon the fraud of Sacco and Vanzetti's innocence. Sinclair, as others, throughout, withheld this knowledge.
"Ideale Gambera, whose father was a Boston anarchist in the 1920s, said he could empathize with Sinclair's angst about revealing his doubts."
"Gambera, 80, said there was a strict code of silence to protect the group and hide the nature of their activities. He said his father, Giovanni Gambera, a member of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, told him before he died in 1982 that Sacco was one of the killers."
"They all lied," said Gambera, a retired English professor living in San Rafael. "They did it for the cause."
3) The Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, by Doug Linder (2001), updated through 2005, http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/SaccoV/s&vaccount.html
last viewed 8/27/2013
Read the full review, from the link, just above.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR GUILT OR INNOCENCE (AS BEST WE KNOW IT)
"No historian has more closely examined the evidence in the Sacco-Vanzetti case than Francis Russell."
"Like most intellectuals of the time, Russell entered into his research assuming that both Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent. Decades of studying the transcript, examining physical evidence, and interviewing those close to the case convinced Russell that his initial assumption was half-wrong: Vanzetti was innocent, but Sacco was guilty."
"There was so little evidence against Vanzetti--almost none in fact--I believed that there was a good chance of acquittal if I should push home the fact. But I felt sure, in that case, Sacco would be found guilty. I thought there was a fighting chance the jury would disagree as to the two but if they acquitted one I knew enough of juries to feel sure they would soak the other. So I put it to Vanzetti: "What shall I do?" and he answered, "Save Nick, he has the woman and child."
"Many people interpreted the Lowell report, while leaving no doubt as to where the Commission stood on Sacco, as hinting at some uncertainty as to Vanzetti's guilt. A. Lawrence Lowell rejected that suggestion in a letter to a friend in England. Though he admitted the case against Vanzetti was "wholly circumstantial," the "final impression" of the Commission "was that Vanzetti was the plotter and Sacco an executioner."
"In 1941, two years before his death, anarchist leader Carlo Tresca, provided the first inside confirmation of Sacco's guilt when he told Max Eastman, "Sacco was guilty but Vanzetti was innocent." Eastman's article recounting his conversation with Tresca appeared in National Review in 1961. Others would later confirm being told the same information by Tresca."
"In October 1961, ballistics tests were run using Sacco's Colt automatic. The results left little room for doubt that the bullet (Bullet 3) that killed Berardelli in 1920 came from Sacco's gun. Some scholars continue to dispute the conclusiveness of the tests, arguing that Bullet 3 might have been planted by prosecutors. The planted bullet theory, however, is implausible for a number of reasons. (Among the reasons: Bullet 3 matched perfectly with the autopsy report on Berardelli, the prosecution witnesses were much more tentative about identifying Bullet 3 as coming from Sacco's gun than they would have been if part of a conspiracy to frame Sacco, and the risks to Katzmann of falsifying evidence were greatly disproportionate to anything he might have gained.)."
Sharp: The ballistics test were confirmed in 1961 and 1983. See "Comparison microscope", below.
"Further word on the Sacco and Vanzetti case came in November, 1982 letter from Ideale Gambera to Francis Russell. In his letter, Gambera revealed that his father, Giovanni Gambera, who died at age ninety-three in June 1982, was a member of the four-person team of anarchist leaders that met shortly after the arrest of Sacco and Vanzetti to plan for their defense. In his letter to Russell, Gambera said "Everyone [in the anarchist inner circle] knew that Sacco was guilty and that Vanzetti was innocent as far as the actual participation in killing." Vanzetti undoubtedly knew who the Braintree bandits were; he may have had some limited role in planning the crime, or perhaps had advance knowledge of the crime--but it seems likely that Bartolomeo Vanzetti was, as he told the jury, selling fish in Plymouth on April 15, 1920."
Sharp: It is possible that defense counsel did not tell the committee about fabricating the alibis.
2005 brought another stunning revelation when a letter written in September 1929 by Upton Sinclair, author of the muckraking classic The Jungle, was discovered.
"In a letter to his private attorney John Beardsley, Sinclair described a meeting he had with Sacco and Vanzetti defense attorney Fred Moore in a Denver hotel room. Sinclair arranged the meeting with Moore when he uncovered troubling information while researching a novel that condemned the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. "Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the whole truth," Sinclair wrote. What Moore revealed "sent me into a full panic....He told me the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them." (Sinclair pondered the possibility that Moore's drug use and quarrels with other members of the defense committee might have led him to assign guilt to his former clients beyond that indicated by the evidence. But, in the end, he seemed convinced that Moore spoke the truth.) Sinclair asked Beardsley to "stick [his letter] away in a safe, and some time in the far distant future the world may know the real truth in the matter." Sinclair worried that revealing the truth about the guilt of Sacco and Vanzetti might "make things harder for the victims" of some future "frame-up" by government officials."
"In 1952, one of the seven alibi witnesses for Sacco, Anthony Ramuglia, admitted that he had perjured himself for Sacco at the request of a Boston anarchist group."
Sharp: Some commentary re: The Beazley letter, which is in private hands.
There is an alleged copy of the letter online, for which I am trying to confirm its authenticity.
From a full reading of that online Beazley letter, it appears that Sinclair is sure that Sacco was guilty of some bombings and that two defense witnesses lied about their aliby testimony in the robbery/murders. Sinclair is more agnostic on S&V guilt, in the robbery/murders, questioning Moore's credibility.
The online Beazley letter appears edited, as the full letter shows no doubts as to S&V's guilt.
Moore's statements are, repeatedly, supported by other anarchists.
I am not sure where this above commentary came from "(Sinclair pondered the possibility that Moore's drug use and quarrels with other members of the defense committee might have led him to assign guilt to his former clients beyond that indicated by the evidence. But, in the end, he seemed convinced that Moore spoke the truth.)"
"I (Sinclair) asked Roger Baldwin, who is, himself, an anarchist, and knows the whole crowd. He told me there was no possible doubt about the guilt of Sacco and Vanzetti, and that militant anarchists had financed themselves that way for years."
Although Robert Minor dismisses this, it appears credible, particularly with regard to Sacco, the evidence against him, as well as the claims of Socco's guilt from additional known anarchists.
Back to Linder's article
"Eugene Lyons, (defense counsel) Moore's young assistant at the time, later criticized his boss: 'Moore had no conscience once he decided his client was innocent. He would stop at nothing, frame evidence, suborn witnesses, have his people work on witnesses who had seen the wrong things--I pity anyone he went after.' "
Sharp: Except in this case, Moore stated he knew them to be guilty.
"In an article appearing in the Atlantic Monthly in the spring of 1927, Frankfurter added his voice to the protest: "Outside the courtroom the Red hysteria was rampant; it was allowed to dominate inside." Soon, largely because of (Felix) Frankfurter's widely reprinted analysis, it seemed to many intellectuals that every right-thinking person in America was convinced that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent. Among their supporters: Walter Lippman, John Dewey, Robert La Follette, H. L. Mencken, Norman Thomas, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Arthur Schlesinger."
Sharp: This is just like we have, today, whereby celebrities just jump into any false presentation by anti death penalty activists, such as with the Troy Davis case or the 142 "exonerated" innocents frauds (1). Of course, Frankfurter did not have the benefit of all of these new revelations.
"More petitions poured into the Governor's Office from around the world (for Sacco and Vanzetti's clemency): 474,842 names on one, 153,000 names on another."
Sharp: This should sound familiar to anyone knowledgeable about recent similar efforts by anti death penalty activists, within their deceptive campaigns (1).
Sharp: And there was this coincidence:
A witness had seen one of the murderers take the gun from the murdered guard.
"For Vanzetti, the major embarrassment at trial was the gun found in his possession on the night of his arrest. He had considerable difficulty in explaining why he initially told police a false story about having purchased the gun four or five years earlier for $18, why he said the gun had six chambers when it in fact had five, and why he lied about where he got the five bullets found in its chambers. At trial, he testified that he bought the gun from a friend for four or five dollars shortly before his arrest. The prosecution offered what may have seemed to the jury a plausible explanation for Vanzetti's lies: the Harrington & Richardson revolver found on Vanzetti was the very Harrington & Winchester (.38 caliber) revolver that Berardelli was thought to be carrying when he was murdered."
"In the initial period following the trial, protests over the convictions of Sacco and Vanzetti were seen in several working class districts in the United States and in European and South American cities. The largest rallies occurred in France and Italy, where thousands took to the streets. A bomb exploded at the American embassy in Paris and a second bomb, intended for the American consulate in Lisbon, was intercepted."
"As the end drew near, in August 1927, hundreds of thousands of people--from Boston and New York to London and Buenos Aires--took to the streets in protest of what they perceived to be a massive miscarriage of justice."
"News of the executions sent hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets of six continents. Tanks ringed the American embassy in Paris to fend off a riotous mob. In Geneva, over 5,000 protesters destroyed all things American: cars, goods, even theaters showing American films. Violent demonstrations in Germany resulted in six deaths."
4) "We Know the Truth About Sacco and Vanzetti", Richard Newby, http://hnn.us/article/120369 , viewed 9/7/13
"Temkin omits Dexter, Maine, the origin of two documents confirming Vanzetti’s guilt.
Dexter is the hometown of defense witnesses on Vanzetti’s revolver: Elbridge Atwater and Rexford Slater. The first document is the letter of 17 June 1921 from Maine State police officer C. C. Palmer to the District Attorney [Frederick Katzmann], Dedham, Massachusetts. (Palmer’s letter is in Dudley P. Ranney’s file at the Harvard Law School Library, Sacco-Vanzetti Case Records, Box 23, Folder 2. The Sacco-Vanzetti Case Papers were put on microfilm, as noted by Robert D’Attilio, in Microform Review, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Fall 1986), pp. 273-276. Sally Vermaaten of HLS Library listed for the author libraries holding a copy of the microfilm. Temkin cites the SV Case Records on pp. 225, 300.)
Palmer tells Katzmann that Slater and Atwater left Dexter on June 17 “to be in readiness to testify in the defense of Sacco and Vanzetti.” He says that Slater has been working in a shop in Norwood, Massachusetts, with “an Italian” and that Slater sold the Italian a revolver and that Slater and Atwater intend “to identify this revolver” when they take the witness stand. Palmer says an Italian came to Dexter “[s]everal weeks ago” and tried to get Slater and Atwater to testify. Both men refused. Palmer says Mrs. Fred Moore, wife of a defense attorney, came to Dexter “several days ago” . . . “and labored with them until they agreed to go to Dedham.” Palmer says “Slater told me to-day [June 17, 1921] that he would be unable to identify the revolver which he [allegedly] sold the Italian. . . .”
The second Dexter document inculpating Vanzetti is the news item in The Eastern Gazette, March 5, 1964). Here is document 2.
Dexter Man Took Part in Famous Case
Dexter--Quite possibly Elbridge Atwater of Dexter is the only living person in this state to have testified at the much publicized Sacco-Vanzetti trial.
Atwater, who is a retired worker at the Fayscott Landis Machine Cohporation [sic] of Dexter, once owned the revolver with which the two men were accused of killing the paymaster and guard of a South Braintree, Mass., shoe factory.
After the death of Atwater’s father-in-law, Frank Morgridge, Mrs. Morgridge went to visit a daughter and son-in-law, the late Rexford Slater at Norwood, Mass. When she unpacked her trunk, the Harrington and Richardson revolver was at the bottom, so she gave it to Mr. Slater. He in turn sold it to a man named Oceana [Orciani], who figured in the trial. Oceana allegedly sold the weapon to one of the two accused men. Both Oceana and the wife of the defense lawyer came to Dexter and finally persuaded Mr. Slater and Mr. Atwater, who had handled his father-in-law’s revolver many times, to go to Massachusetts three times: first to identify the revolver, next to testify at the trial and the third time . . .
This truncated news item has context. Governor Fuller summoned Atwater and Slater to Boston and interviewed them, as reported in the Boston Herald, July 1,1927, p. 6, col. 6. On Dec. 28, 2004, the author signed the Guest Book, Dexter Historical Society, to request information on Elbridge Atwater. In 2005 Frank Spizuoco of Ripley, Maine, sent the author a clipping of this news item he got from Atwater’s cousin. Slater testified on July 1, 1921 (Transcript, p. 1635) that his mother-in-law, Abbie Morgridge, visited her daughter and him in Norwood about January 1, 1918. He said he paid his mother-in-law four dollars for Exhibit 27, Vanzetti’s revolver, and a holster (Exhibit M) and sold both gun and holster to Orciani (Transcript, p. 1638). In his closing argument, defense attorney Jeremiah McAnarney describes an innocent H. & R. revolver. He tells the jury: “We have gone back and faithfully brought that revolver from Maine. . . . Atwater . . . knew that H. & R. revolver, . . . knew it was in the family of the brother-in-law and testified to it. Orcciani got it. Orcciani sold it to the Italian fellow [Luigi Falzini], and the Italian fellow sold it to Vanzetti, a clean, straight transaction” (Transcript, p. 2168). In his closing argument, Katzmann says the H. & R. revolver which police took from Vanzetti on May 5, 1920, belonged to the slain guard Berardelli (p. 2183); and he reminds the jury four times that Orciani did not testify (Transcript, pp. 2187-2188, 2197, 2229, 2233). The Dedham jury did not know of the 3:00 A. M. fire that gutted Frank Morgridge’s grocery on Feb. 1,1914. Two newspapers reporting the fire (The Eastern Gazette and Bangor Daily Commercial) say Atwater and his wife narrowly escaped from Morgridge’s apartment over the store. Frank died on Oct. 30, 1916.
The Orciani in these Dexter documents is the very Ricardo Orciani that prosecution witness Ruth Johnson, testifying on June 16, 1921, identified as the motorcyclist who brought Mike Boda with him in his sidecar to meet Sacco and Vanzetti at the Johnson house in West Bridgewater on May 5, 1920 (Transcript, p. 683). On this night, police arrested Sacco and Vanzetti on a streetcar.
In his Postscript (p. 221) Temkin says his topic “. . . deserves . . . less detective work, more history. . . . more research.” But his book reconfirms the defendants’ guilt.
5) Sacco and Vanzetti, Wikipedia, viewed 9/7/13
Russell had originally written about the case, arguing that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent, but further research led him to write a 1962 book, asserting that Sacco was, in fact, guilty. Russell used the Gambera revelation as the basis of a new book in 1986, in which he claims that the case is "solved," and presents his view that Sacco was one of the shooters, while Vanzetti was an accessory after the fact. While Russell's 1962 book was praised, even by those who disagreed with his conclusion, for being balanced and well-reasoned, his 1986 book was much more negatively received. In the latter, the accessory after the fact legal theory is incorrect: Massachusetts law, now and at the time of the crime, allowed both men to be charged as joint principals in a robbery-homicide, for which they were convicted; from a legal standpoint, it does not matter how many shots, or even if, Vanzetti fired, to establish his legal culpability for the robbery and murders. This distinction is a source of much confusion to laymen, and of most claims that Vanzetti was "innocent" or had no "actual participation in killing."
Before his death in June 1982, Giovanni Gambera, a member of the four-person team of anarchist leaders that met shortly after the arrest of Sacco and Vanzetti to plan their defense, told his son that "everyone [in the anarchist inner circle] knew that Sacco was guilty and that Vanzetti was innocent as far as the actual participation in killing."
last viewed 8/27/2013
Sacco and Vanzetti case
Calvin Goddard innovative Forensic ballistic identification evidence offered in 1921 to help secure convictions of the accused murderers and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. On April 8, 1927, Sacco and Vanzetti were finally sentenced to death in the electric chair.
It raised a worldwide outcry and Governor Alvin T. Fuller finally agreed to postpone the executions and establish a committee to review the case. At that time, firearms examination had improved considerably, and now you know a semi-automatic pistol could be traced by several different methods if both bullet and casing were recovered from the scene.
Automatic guns could now be tracked by the unique markings of the grooves of the bullet, by firing pin indentations on the fired primer, or unique ejector and extractor marks on the case. The committee appointed to review the case used the services of Calvin Goddard in 1927 - Goddard used Philip Gravelle microscopy and helixometer fangled comparison, a probe hollow, lighted magnifying glass to inspect used guns, to make an examination of Sacco's Colt 0.32 The bullet that killed Berardelli, and the spent casings recovered from the crime scene.
In the presence of one of the defense experts, he fired a bullet from Sacco's gun in a cotton ball and then put the ejected casing on the comparison microscope next to casings found at the scene. Then he stared. The first two cases of theft not found Sacco's gun, but the third did. Even the defense expert agreed that the two cartridges were fired from the same gun. The second original defense expert also concurred.
The committee upheld the convictions.
In October 1961, were conducted ballistic tests with better technology with automatic Colt Sacco. The results confirmed that the bullet that killed the victim, Berardelli in 1920 came from the same Colt .32 automatic pistol taken from the possession of Sacco. Subsequent investigations in 1983 also supported the findings of Goddard.
1) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy