PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Notorious Providence mobster Frank L. Marrapese Jr., a convicted killer known as a one-man crime wave, is about to rejoin society.

Marrapese, better known by his nickname “Bobo,” will leave the Adult Correctional Institutions prison complex in Cranston on Wednesday after serving 25 years.

He’ll be fitted for an electronic monitoring bracelet, which he’ll wear for a year, then be on parole for the rest of his life. Local police tell The Providence Journal they’ll be paying extra attention to Marrapese, now 65, to make sure he doesn’t reunite with his mobster friends – which is forbidden without clearance from his parole officer.

“Hopefully, he’s seen the error of his ways and he will lead a productive life,” said State police Major Steven O’Donnell, a longtime mob investigator.


Marrapese was convicted in 1987 of murdering mobster Richard “Dickie” Callei after shooting him five times in 1975. But he was acquitted of two other murders and was in and out of jail numerous times on various charges, from machine gun possession to bank robbery, that never seemed to stick.

“Just the word, ‘Bobo,’ would instill fear,” retired state police Capt. Brian Andrews, former commander of the detective division and intelligence unit, told the Journal. “He was a major player as far as we were concerned, and he was into everything.”

Marrapese grew up in Providence and became a thriving member of the Patriarca crime family during its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.

He ran the Acorn Social Club, which was a key meeting spot for mobsters from across New England. Callei visited the club during the final hours of his life in March 1975. His bullet-riddled body was found the next day buried near an area golf course.

The murder went unsolved for a decade. Meanwhile, Marrapese’s criminal career continued, and police got closer to putting him away.


In October 1981, Marrapese and an associate were arrested for receiving and possessing a truckload of stolen La-Z-Boy lounge chairs. Marrapese was eventually convicted, imprisoning him while authorities worked to convict him on more serious charges.

By 1984, Marrapese was indicted for the 1975 murder of Callei. He was also under indictment for stealing asphalt from the city and using it to pave driveways and parking lots. Marrapese spoke about the pressure on him in a secretly recorded conversation that was played in court.

“How do you think I feel?” he said on the tape. “I got three houses, five businesses, five kids, two girlfriends and a wife, and now I’m right there. I’m almost at the top, where I’m set for life.”

At the Callei trial, two of Marrapese’s former underlings cooperated with the state and testified against him. One witness, William Ferle, said Marrapese shot Callei five time in the back.

“Bang, bang, bang, bang. There were five or six shots and Callei fell to the floor shaking,” Ferle testified. “I picked up the stool. I was going to hit him (Callei) with it. Bobo said, ‘No, I’ll have enough of a mess to clean up around here.”‘

Marrapese worked at the ACI as a porter, emptying trash and performing other menial tasks.

Inside prison, his record was also far from spotless. Records show that he was disciplined 35 times between October 1997 and December 2005 for infractions such as refusing to obey orders, refusing to work and violating security procedures.

AP-ES-04-12-08 1355EDT

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