Contract killer “Mad Dog” Joe Sullivan started out life as a good Irish Catholic boy in a squarehead family in Queens. In part one of this two-part special, we cover how the sudden death of Joe’s detective father, and the horrendous effect it had on his family broke something inside young Joe. And when Joe broke, he broke bad.
Mad Dog Sullivan spent most of his teen years in Juvenile Detention for petty crimes, before graduating to armed robberies and murder. After escaping from Attica maximum security prison, in 1971, Joe hit up made man John Sullivan for a job. Through John, Joe became a contract killer for “Fat Tony” Salerno and the notorious Genovese crime family. He is said to have disposed of Jimmy Hoffa’s body for them and murdered two of Mickey Spillane’s top gunman Tommy Devaney and “Eddie The Butcher” Cummiskey.
Under the tutelage of his murder mentor, George Barone, over the next several years Joe would go on to murder an estimated 30 people.
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Thank you to Isabel Taylor for her True Crime Nerd Time on the podcast “Dr. Death”.
True Crime Nerd Time, a segment on Bloody Murder, needs your help because it stars you! We want you, our listeners, to submit your recommendations for anything true cime related! It could be books, TV shows, movies, documentaries, exhibitions, graphic novels, art, music etc. So send us your brief story (we’ll read it out) or record your story (it can just be a recording on your phone, and we’ll play it!). We will also publish it on our website. Keep it to about 2 mins please or 200 words. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh and if you give us your postal address we’ll send you some stickers as a reward!
Aussie As: Carl William’s widow’s hopes for a glamorous reality TV show are jeopardised when she and her gang allegedly bash and blackmail the producer.
Sources Joe Sullivan: Mobsters; Mad Dog Sullivan. www.biography.com. Tears and Tiers The Life and Times of Joseph”Mad Dog” Sullivan the only man to escape Attica Prison, the true story of a legend by Gail Sullivan. Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster by T.J. English. streetlogicblog.com June 16, 2017, Death of a Mad Dog, by T.J. English.Village Voice, Secrets of the Mob by Tom Robbins, May 8, 2007. Notorious Rochester mob hit man ‘Mad Dog’ Sullivan dies in prison. Gary Craig and Sean Lahman, Democrat and Chronicle Published, June 15, 2017. Salt Lake Tribune, Ex-mob hit man ‘Mad Dog’ Sullivan dies in NY state prison, June 16, 2017. The Irish Mob, Joseph Sullivan The Only Man To Escape From Attica by Owen Forsyth, February 21, 2019. britannica.com; Attica Correctional Facility by Linda Dailey Paulson. Archive.org; Attica Uprising, Official Report. mafia.wikia.org; Tony Salerno; Edward Cummiskey;Antonio Caponigro; Mickey Featherstone; Jimmy Coonan. SULLIVAN AND A 2D MAN GUILTY IN 2 L.I. MURDERS, New York Times, Nov 25th 1982. PEOPLE STATE NEW YORK v. MARCO TEDESCO Court Records (08/08/88). Ex-mobster Torpey arrested on drug charges, Democrat and Chronicle, Steve Orr, Aug 25, 2015. Notorious Rochester hit man dies in prison, The Five of New York City, Dapper Don, June 16, 2017. Who’s Who Part Two, The Rochester Mob Wars. Whitey’s Payback: And Other True Stories of Gangsterism, Murder, Corruption, T.J. English, 2013. Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing But the Truth, edited by Tim McLoughlin, Thomas Adcock, 2008.
Sources Aussie As: ‘Talk and we’ll kill you’: Roberta Williams allegedly kidnapped TV producer, The Age, John Silvester, July 19, 2019. ‘I thought I was dead’, the Daily Mail, Wayne Flower, 24 July 2019. au.gofundme.com/f/roberta-williams-tv-series.