HARRY ALEMAN (L) FOUND INNOCENT, WITH HIS ATTORNEY ED WHALEN. DAILY NEWS PHOTO/PERRY RIDDLE (5-24-77)
Updated: May 3, 2013 6:24AM
On the night of Sept. 27, 1972, a cowardly Harry “the Hitman” Aleman waited in the dark to gun down my uncle, William Logan.
My family will never forget that day, especially since yet another offensive TV reality show, “Bo$$ Ladies,” seems intent on making those memories painful.
As my mom was getting ready to go to work that evening, Uncle Billy, who lived upstairs with his other sister, my aunt Elizabeth Romo, came in to say goodnight. He was a Teamsters union steward, and he was headed to work, too.
No sooner did Uncle Billy walk out the door than we heard gunshots.
My mother, Johanna Dietrich, ran out the door, calling out “Billy!” All she heard was moaning.
At that moment, my aunt came running down the stairs. She ran outside to Billy, who was lying on a neighbor’s front lawn. My mom came back inside, dialed 911 and told my brother to grab a blanket. When
she ran back outside, she found her sister holding their brother in her arms as he lay dying.
That was my last memory of my uncle, a loving and caring family man who was always there when you needed him. He would give you his last dollar.
He was a hard-working man who didn’t take innocent lives to make a living.
I feel the need to tell you, right here, that my uncle was not affiliated with the Chicago mob. And although he was involved in a bitter custody dispute with his ex-wife, the motive for his murder remains unclear. The only connection between William Logan and Harry Aleman was through Billy’s ex-wife, who was related to Aleman.
Whatever the motive for the hit, Harry Aleman took it to his grave.
In 1977, Aleman was brought up on first-degree murder charges for the killing of my uncle. The evidence was overwhelming. But a crooked judge, Frank Wilson, in a stunning verdict, declared Aleman not guilty. It later was revealed that Wilson had accepted a bribe to rule in Aleman’s favor, which led to a second trial in 1997. As for Wilson, he eventually committed suicide in Arizona.
In the 20 years spanning the two trials, my family lived day to day fearing Aleman would never be punished for his crimes. Only when he was re-indicted — after a court ruled that this did not constitute double jeopardy because the first trial had been fixed — did our family finally feel that justice would be served.
This time, thankfully, Harry the Hitman did not escape. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 100 to 300 years in prison. He spent the rest of his life behind bars, dying in 2010.
But now Harry Aleman is back, in a way, which is revolting. Franky Forliano, whose only claim to fame — or, rather, infamy — is that she is Aleman’s daughter, is starring in a new reality show “Bo$$ Ladies.” Last year she was on “Mob Wives of Chicago.”
How does a hitman’s daughter end up starring in a reality show? I get more and more disgusted with how these shows glorify the mob and disgrace the Italian name. Not every Italian — and I am part Italian — feels that a mob affiliation is such a wonderful thing.
I guess people like me don’t have much to say about what gets put on television, but we do have the option not to watch it.
Let’s stop glorifying these women and their mob families and show some compassion for the victims and their families.
Johanna Dietrich is a homemaker who lives in the north suburbs.