WBUR Special Report: Evidence Of Misconduct

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Auerhahn joined Boston's war on organized crime, he turned his focus to an up-and-coming mobster named Vincent Ferrara. The operation was called "Tunnel Vision," which would prove a fitting description for Auerhahn’s alleged rule breaking to bring down his target. Auerhahn thought he had a smoking gun in a witness who testified that Ferrara ordered a hit. Problem is, the witness lied. Worse, a judge ruled Auerhahn knew he lied — and covered it up.

The case raises troubling questions from critics — including judges — who worry that withholding evidence has become a tactic of some federal prosecutors. Those critics question whether Justice can police itself. In three parts, WBUR’s David Boeri examines the case, the actions of the Boston prosecutor and how it was handled by the Department of Justice.

Part I: A Prosecutor, A Mobster, A Witness Who Lied

In 2003, a judge found that a federal prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office in Boston, Jeffrey Auerhahn, intentionally withheld evidence that could have cleared two men charged in a murder case. In the first report, we consider the crucial evidence Auerhahn never turned over. Full story »

Part II: 'The Smokingest Gun'

The Department of Justice has never taken public action to discipline Auerhahn. Now the chief federal judge here has set local proceedings in motion to do what Justice hasn’t: publicly punish him. In the second report, we dive into the misconduct case against Auerhahn. Full story »

Part III: The Judges' Rebellion

In the third report, we consider how the Department of Justice dealt with Auerhahn, and how it's come to the point that federal judges in Boston could suspend or even disbar him. Full story »

Follow-Up: Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

We follow up on our story about Auerhahn as he faces disciplinary proceedings. Full story »

Interactive: Compare The Documents

Two 1991 police reports, both attributed to the same Boston detective, tell very different stories of the murder. 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. Compare »

Interactive: Meet The Characters

Many of the main characters still play a role in the tangled, 20-year-old murder case against Ferrara. Meet the prosecutor, the mob boss, the detective, the judge, the attorney, the killer, the witness and the U.S. attorney. Explore »
WBUR's Lisa Tobin, Andrew Phelps and Jesse Costa produced this series for

Headshot of David Boeri

David Boeri Senior Reporter
Now retired, David Boeri was a senior reporter at WBUR.



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