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Evidence Of Misconduct: The Documents

This article is more than 10 years old.
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.

This program aired on February 18, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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


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