Joseph Green, head of the regional division of the FBI’s Witness Protection Program, held a press conference yesterday to publicly apologize to the friends and family of Anthony “Tony” Battaglia, who was found murdered in his Roxboro home late last week, in the city’s first major “old-fashioned” gangland slaying in nine years.
Battaglia, formerly of New Jersey, was moved to our city for safety after testifying against a captain of the notorious Fortinero crime family. Agent Green and his colleagues placed Battaglia into an apartment on Klein Street, and provided him a new identity.
Unfortunately for Battaglia, the identity given to him was that of another marked man.
Police responded to a 911 call last Thursday and arrived at Battaglia’s domicile to find a gruesome tableau. Battaglia’s corpse lay spread-eagle upon a billiard table, with gold coins on his eyes, a deceased canary on his chest, his pinkies removed and shoved into his mouth and his feet spray-painted purple. In The Evening Press, accounts of the number of gunshot wounds Battaglia sustained ranged from “approximately twenty-four” to “too numerous to count.”
A rookie cop who was a first responder at the scene spoke with The City Desk on condition of anonymity, explaining, “I heard from some older guys on the force that the coins, the bird, the pinkies and the purple feet are all signature moves of the Cusumano mob. This guy was whacked vendetta-style. Just like something out of the Sopranos. It was awesome.”
Said Agent Green at the press conference, “Anthony Battaglia was given the identity of Edwin Terrazzi. Now, Edward Terrazi is another individual we are protecting. Terrazi is wanted by the Cusumano mafia not only for testifying against (boss Luigi) Cusumano, but also for allegedly sleeping with Cusumano’s wife and publicly slapping Cusumano’s nine-year-old daughter in the face. This, ahem, may explain the severity of the violence Mr. Battaglia suffered. So, it appears to be an awful case of mistaken… ah… identity.”
Agent Green continued, “It was a small clerical error by our department, coupled with an apparent foul up on the case of the assailants. The individuals responsible on our end have been suspended with pay indefinitely pending further investigation.”
Green ended the press conference by revealing that the FBI is also currently seeking the whereabouts of Edward Terrazi, because “We’re about 55 percent sure there may be a problem with the identity we gave Mr. Terrazi.”
- Ray Ingraham