My senior year in high school I had this teacher who devoted part of the semester to Rhode Island history. The syllabus read "You Can't Make This Up". He covered the Dorr Revolution when RI was at war with itself having two Governors one of which gave freed slaves the right to vote before the Irish and the white women (they were promptly dispatched to the front lines to earn that right before being told "psyche"). He covered the trolley riots, the Woonsocket riots, the Pawtucket riots, the riots over not being allowed to drink on the job (no really, it happened), and of course Federal Hill: the Mob Capital of New England.
Thirty years ago Joe "Onions" Scanlan (read Scallion) gets wacked in a Providence "social club" (probably one of the most dangerous places on the planet) and buried in a shallow grave in some Portuguese neighborhood. This was not an uncommon occurence in RI when I was youngster. Two wise guys who lived in our plat got it good (shot, set on fire, drowned, bludgeoned, decapitated, and finally dismembered) instantly cementing their legacies to the pride and joy of the neighborhood. If I seem a little RI-phobic from time to time this is one reason why. The Italians in my neighborhood might as well as have been from another universe- but back to Onions.
Well thanks to Onions' old flame, Sandra Surprise (yup, read the article) and her impeccable memory of witnessing her boyfriend get his head blown off we have a reopening of the case. RI-ers love this shit. It makes them feel like they're not alone in the world. Like somehow, through some consecrated endomorphic event they feel they are resolutely linked to this cultural depravity. It's like the fantasy football pandemic except the players are maniacal socio-paths that are good at crime. It's the reason RI-ers would pay a state trooper exorbitant overtime wages to stand in front of a hole in the ground all night long just for effect. Every Dunkin Donuts in RI is filled right now with joyous salt of the earth types reeling with fantastic tales of how Onions was disposed of. "I heard they cut his dick off and shove it up his ass- hahahahahaha." Well, RI, congratulations- today you replace Georgia as the land that evolution forgot.....and old Joey Onions finally has his place in the RI sun.