Paradiso was also known for his conviction of the 1979 murder of Marie Iannuzzi. He was also implicated by authorities for the 1981 murder of Joan Webster. Paradiso maintained his innocence of both crimes up until his death in 2008.
A new book, Mommy’s A Mole: Unraveling the Joan Webster Murder & Other Secrets in a CIA Family, researches the unresolved 1981 murder of Joan Webster and related cases. Author and Webster’s sister-in-law, Eve Carson, presents documents that she contends point to a wrongful conviction in the Iannuzzi case and a fabricated explanation regarding Joan Webster.
“I think North End residents would like to see an injustice righted against one of their own,” says Carson. “The state’s investigation targeted Leonard Paradiso, and speculated Joan Webster was murdered onboard his boat. There is no evidence the boat even existed when Joan disappeared.”
The book describes how Paradiso became inextricably entangled with Joan’s case. Personal experiences in the Webster family, and a published account by the former prosecutor, motivated a closer look at the presumed culprit.
“Recovered files exposed an obsessed effort to incriminate Paradiso for numerous crimes,” according to the author. “Records reflected the same misprision prevalent in Boston’s broken system at the time of Joan’s loss.”
There are numerous references throughout the book to the North End, such as in this excerpt:
Here is a second book excerpt referencing the North End: