Forecast: July 2010
The month in preview.
7/26 FINAL VINDICATION, WITH INTEREST
Three years ago today, a U.S. District Court judge handed down $101.7 million in damages to four men the FBI scapegoated for a 1965 murder in a Chelsea alley. It was the largest award ever granted in a wrongful-conviction case.
The murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan, a small-time crook and ex-boxer, took place in the middle of Boston’s Irish mob war, in which dozens of people were killed in the ’60s. The four falsely accused men were fingered for Deegan’s shooting by Joe "The Animal" Barboza, a ruthless mob hitman who was covering up for an associate. Barboza was a useful guy, so his FBI handlers knowingly – and cold-bloodedly – decided they would accept his lies. Two of the men died in prison, but Joseph Salvati and Peter Limone survived long enough to see their names cleared – and now their payback has come due.
This spring, in one of then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s last moves before becoming a headline, she declined to appeal the Massachusetts verdict rather than pass the case to the Supreme Court. As a result, the feds are on the hook for the full $101.7 million – plus several million more in interest that has accrued since the original decision.
As much as the government would like to close the book on the whole ordeal, its embarrassment isn’t over yet. Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks studios bought the rights to film Salvati’s life story seven years ago – "something as special as this, you don’t rush it," a DreamWorks producer noted – which means the Boston FBI still has a fresh round of outrage to face in its future.
CONFLICTS: THE TROUBLES WE’VE SEEN
7/29 FROM PAPER TO SCREEN
For those who missed Globe writer Geoff Edgers’s new film, Do It Again, at the Independent Film Festival Boston in April, here’s your chance to finally see it. The movie, about Edgers’s ill-fated attempt to reunite British rock band the Kinks, is part of the Roxbury International Film Festival, which opens today. roxburyfilmfestival.org.