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  • Most Unwanted

    Most Unwanted
    S.I.: Don't let cop killer move here


    If convicted cop killer Thomas Trantino, who becomes a free man tomorrow, moves to Staten Island, he's likely to find a blue wall instead of a red carpet.


    Thomas Trantino is to be paroled after serving 38 years.
    The soon-to-be-paroled pariah, who turns 64 today, is slated to be freed after serving 38 years for the infamous 1963 slayings of two New Jersey cops.

    Trantino, who lived in Brooklyn at the time of the killings, told the New Jersey State Parole Board last week he might settle on Staten Island, where his father, brother and sister live.

    That doesn't sit well with Staten Islanders, including many current and former cops.



    "If I were him, I wouldn't want to come here," said Jerry Harris, 47, a retired detective and former Fraternal Order of Police president. "You have more cops and ex-cops living here than anywhere else in the city and I just don't think he'd be welcome."

    Trantino's longtime lawyer Roger Lowenstein acknowledged his client is not likely to be welcome anywhere.

    'He's Got to Go Somewhere'

    He has been living for the last year in a halfway house in Camden, N.J., where elected officials have been trying to get rid of him. A deal to send him to a similar facility in Washington State after he was released from prison last year broke down when leaders there balked.



    "He's got to go somewhere," Lowenstein said. "This is a broken-down old man. Leave him alone."

    But still fresh in the minds of Trantino's foes is a horrific double murder that occurred in a Lodi, N.J., bar on Aug. 26, 1963.

    Trantino and Frank Falco were celebrating the robbery of a bookie when Sgt. Peter Voto, 40, and Gary Tedesco, 22, an unarmed probationary officer, responded to noise complaints at the Angel Lounge on Route 46.

    Cops Shot in the Head

    Cops say the officers were forced to their knees and shot in the back of the head. Lowenstein says his client shot Voto during a struggle.

    Falco was killed two days later in a shootout with cops.


    Sally Tedesco, cop's mom, decries release of his killer.
    Trantino turned himself in and was convicted and sentenced to death. But his sentence and that of 21 other Death Row inmates were commuted when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972.

    While in prison, Trantino earned a college degree, took up painting, wrote a book and married and divorced an English professor who was the former wife of one of his lawyers. He even saved an 8-year-old girl while on furlough, plucking her from the ocean at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey.

    "He's an extraordinary man," Lowenstein said. "He just wants to fade into obscurity and I hope people will let him."

    But his victims' families can't believe he is on the verge of freedom. "The man shouldn't be breathing," said Jerry Voto, 51, son of Peter Voto. "Let alone let back out on the streets."

    "How could they let a killer like that go?" said Sally Tedesco, the mother of the slain officer. "I'm really sick."

    Thomas Grant, special assistant to New York State Parole Board Chairman Brion Travis, said the agency is reviewing Trantino's application to come to New York. But Lowenstein said the board has no say on where Trantino settles.

    Still, Trantino will remain in Camden awaiting a ruling on his bid to move to New York.

    Be Safe Wear Your Vest

  • #2
    I am a firm believer in carrying out death sentences within a year of the sentence being handed down & I am not a deeply religious person, but then something happens like this man being given a furlough of all things & saving a little girl's life. There is nothing else you can say about it other than God works in mysterious ways. Should the death penalty have been carried out? I would have to say yes. But then the little girl might not be alive. Should the sentence have been commuted to life without parole? I would have to say yes to that too. After all, he did (whether in a struggle or not) kill a cop.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pigskin:
      Should the death penalty have been carried out? I would have to say yes. But then the little girl might not be alive.
      Should the sentence have been commuted to life without parole? I would have to say yes to that too. After all, he did (whether in a struggle or not) kill a cop.
      Very good post/answer. you said it all.

      [ 02-11-2002: Message edited by: jellybean40 ]
      "You did what you knew how to do...and when you knew better, you did better." ~~Maya Angelou

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