Wiretappers, don’t forget to hit me up on your Venmo app. In this week’s episode, I interview retired East Providence (RI) Police Captain Joe Broadmeadow. He is a skilled and prolific true crime author who has written several non-fiction books and articles on members of the New England Crime Family, headed by the infamous Raymond L.S. Patriarca. In this episode, we discuss his book Choices: The Jerry Tillinghast Story. Joe met Jerry Tillinghast after he served a very long murder sentence. He was a bit wary at first, but Jerry wanted his story told and was so sincere, that joe was won over and agreed to help a man who had once been on the wrong side of the law in a major way.
Joe Broadmeadow weaves the good, the bad and the ugly of Tillinghast’s life into a remarkably personal and intimate account. Jerry grew up a hardscrabble life on the
streets of Providence. We learn he escaped by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps and fighting in Vietnam. In a pivotal moment in his life, he becomes a victim of the politics of that war and his learned behavior of never talking to authorities. He returning to Providence an angry young man and made a choice to hang with the wiseguys. He was a tough young guy who rightfully earned the reputation of a “feared mob enforcer.” Raymond L.S. Patriarca and his chief crew leader, Gerard Ouimette would become his mentors and father figures. Joe tells the inside story of the famous Bonded Vault heist and how Jerry beat that case. But a much more serious case awaited Tillinghast and Joe tells how Jerry Tillinghast was caught up in a mob murder known as the George Basmajian Homicide. We learn how his brother, Harold Tillinghast was falsely accused in that murder and Jerry refused to cooperate with the authorities in a manner that could exonerate his brother but would then implicate another mobster. As a result, his brother, Harold, served a long sentence for a murder he did not commit.
Joe Broadmeadow is a skilled writer who uses his insights as a cop who investigated Organized Crime to tell compelling stories about life in the New England mob. He has a new book being released on October 8, 2019, It’s Just the Way it Was; Inside the War on the New England Crime Family and other Stories. He writes this with Brendan Doherty, a retired Rhode Island State Police Officer who worked the mob for the majority of his long career.
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