Brooklyn native Paul Clark was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life for the 1980 murder of a cab driver. At the time of Clark’s arrest in 1983 he was serving time for another murder — he shot dead a teen at an East Flatbush block party four months after Fraser was killed — he admits committing. Clark says that he has been suffering in silence and innocence until he found out that the detective who arrested him moonlighted as a Mafia hit man.
Mob Cop Stephen Caracappa, and his partner Lou Eppolito, were convicted of committing eight murders for the Luchese crime family.
Stephen Caracappa had worked in the NYPD’s organized crime unit in Brooklyn, New York, since the late 1970s before he eventually retired on a disability pension in 1992. He subsequently worked as a private investigator and retired in the mid-1990s, moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, along with Eppolito , where he worked inside the Las Vegas Women’s Correctional Facility as a correctional officer. While on trial in 2006, both he and Eppolito claimed that they were discriminated against during the proceedings.
“All the evidence in this case came from a detective who was a serial killer for the Mafia,” says James Henning, of Clark’s attorneys. “That alone is enough to warrant a new trial.”
Craig Phemister, another Napoli Shkolnik lawyer for Clark, and Henning say that the police file for this murder is missing. Even more disturbing to the attorneys is the troubling inconsistencies provided by a NYPD office worker who testified at the 1984 trial. The NYPD has not responded to questions about what measures they took to review Caracappa’s and Eppolito’s cases after they were convicted.
“I believed him (Clark) after meeting with him,” says Phemister. “I didn’t even make the connection (to Caracappa) until speaking with James later and reviewing the detective names.”
Clark says that there are individuals ten times worse than him in prison but that he is there because of Caracappa. He does feel like he has gotten a raw deal because of a corrupt officer and was angry for a long time. However, he says he is a man of faith now and has to forgive.
He has been behind bars at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Dutchess County for over thirty years but hopes that this discovery may let him finally walk out of prison, vindicated. Waiting for him would be his wife and his mother, whose dream it is to see her son walk through the front door of her apartment.
Caracappa and fellow NYPD cop Louis Eppolito were convicted of murder and other charges in 2006, and both men were sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said the pair were involved in at least eight contract killings for the Lucchese family between 1986 and 1990.