Former mobster Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme came face to face with a friend turned government witness in court Wednesday.
Prosecutors called Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi to the stand to testify against Salemme in federal court. While the two men were part of Boston's organized crime for decades together, when Flemmi took the stand he could not recognize Salemme, who is now 84.
"I don't know where he's at," Flemmi told prosecutors as he stood up to scan the room.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The moment seemed to please Salemme, who later told radio host Howie Carr — who has covered Salemme extensively — that Flemmi was no longer mentally stable.
"He said, 'He's soft. He had a stroke,'" said Carr of the exchange, which took place in the courtroom.
Salemme could be seen occasionally shaking his head throughout Flemmi's testimony, which detailed multiple murders and cover-ups over the years that Salemme allegedly took part in with Flemmi. According to Salemme's defense team, the government witness, who struck a deal with prosecutors years ago, cannot be trusted by jurors.
"In Frank's mind, Flemmi doesn't exist. He's a past memory," said Salemme's attorney, Steven Boozang. "Flemmi's looking to get out, and this is his last hurrah."
During the proceedings, Salemme even slipped Carr a note, suggesting his optimism. It read, "Blue Jay is looking over us." Blue Jay, according to Carr, was in reference to another Boston gangster.
"It's just interesting to see it. This is it," Carr said. "This is the last hurrah, you know, this is the last time we'll see definitely Stevie Flemmi, and probably Frank Salemme, too."
Salemme is charged in connection with the murder Steven DiSarro in 1993.
Flemmi will return to the witness stand Thursday.