"I'M NOT GOING TO BE CONVICTED. I WON'T HAVE THAT ON MY EPITAPH,"
SAYS ANGRY ACCUSED MAFIA COP STEPHEN CARACAPPA, DENYING THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM IN HIS FIRST INTERVIEW -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY
"Everybody Gets Caught," He Tells Ed Bradley, and so Will the Real Killers
Former New York detective Stephen Caracappa, accused of committing murder for the Mafia, says he didn't do it and that someone will eventually pay for the outrageous crimes he and his ex-partner are charged with. Caracappa appears in his first interview in an Ed Bradley report to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Jan. 8 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The raft of charges against him and ex-partner Louis Eppolito include 10 homicides that prosecutors say made them paid Mafia hit men. If convicted next month at trial, they would go down as some of the most corrupt cops in history. "That's true, Mr. Bradley," says Caracappa, "but�I didn't do this�so I'm not going to be convicted. I won't have that on my epitaph."
Perhaps the most brazen killing he and ex-partner Louis Eppolito are accused of is the daylight drive-by murder of a mobster named Eddie Lino on New York's Belt Parkway in 1992. "I have pride in myself�. Put my life in jeopardy, my family? Disgrace the badge?" he asks Bradley. "Take everything that I had worked for my whole life and throw it away? Killed somebody in the street like a cowboy? That's not my style, it's not me," says Caracappa.
At this point in the interview, Bradley asks if Caracappa could do such a thing if he thought he wouldn't get caught. "Get caught?" shouts Caracappa. "Everybody gets caught and the person who did this is going to get caught," predicts the ex-detective.
Prosecutors say that the ex-cops' involvement with the mob also included providing information on one of the mob's enemies, Nicholas Guido. They say Caracappa ran the name through a police computer and gave the mob the address of the wrong Nicholas Guido, who was shot to death soon after. "I don't remember running Nicholas Guido in the computer, but if they have a printout saying I did, I probably did. I ran countless names in the computer," he tells Bradley. "If I did anything and I had to run a name, it's down on paper and it's documented why I did it," says Caracappa. "And I definitely didn't do it for any wiseguy."
The "wiseguy" is Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, former underboss of the Luchese crime family, who, while serving life for admitting to 36 murders, told Ed Bradley in 1998 that he had paid Caracappa and Eppolito to commit murders and other crimes for him. He also told authorities this information in hopes of reducing his sentence, but they couldn't prove his charges then.
Now, prosecutors have witnesses who say they can corroborate Casso's charges, including his claim that the two detectives delivered a murder victim, Jimmy Hydell, to him for execution. Prosecutors say Hydell's mother says the detectives came to her home looking for her son a few hours before he was abducted and killed.
"I don't know Hydell, never met Hydell. I never met Anthony Casso. I don't know Anthony Casso," says Caracappa.
Other witnesses, many convicted criminals, are expected to provide additional evidence against Caracappa and Eppolito. "What I think the prosecutors are taking are the lies of informants," says Caracappa. "It's totally ridiculous�ludicrous. Anybody that knows me, knows that I love the Police Department. I couldn't kill anybody," he tells Bradley. "I shot a guy once on the job and I still think about it. It bothers me," he says.
Caracappa says he speaks for his ex-partner as well. "[Eppolito] is not the monster the newspapers portrayed him to be. We'll put up the evidence to show that we couldn't have done these crimes."