WBUR

Evidence Of Misconduct: The Documents

WBUR Series: Evidence Of Misconduct

Two 1991 police reports, both attributed to the same Boston detective, tell very different stories of a murder pinned on local Mafia captain Vincent Ferrara. An original, handwritten version of the report reveals exculpatory details that never made it into a mysterious typed version of the report — or into trial. Compare the documents side-by-side in this interactive feature. Click each slide to advance.

In 1989, a witness, Walter Jordan, testified that he had watched as his mob-wannabe brother-in-law, Pasquale “Patsy” Barone, killed a man under Ferrara’s order. Later, Jordan told Boston police Det. Martin Coleman he had lied. Ferrara did not order the hit; his brother-in-law  acted on his own. Coleman’s handwritten notes are captured above as Exhibit 17.

Years later, during court hearings, a typed version of Coleman’s report turned up — labeled above as Exhibit 16 — but the detective says he didn’t write it. The fabricated report contains none of the most damaging statements captured in Coleman’s handwritten notes.

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