A Tangled Webb: Did the FBI leave a Cop-Killer on the Street?

A Miscarriage of Justice

December 4, 2020, marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania Police Chief Gregory Adams. Shortly after the Chief’s brutal murder, police identified Donald Eugene Webb, a jewel thief and bank robber with ties to the local Patriarca Crime family, as a suspect.

Saxonburg, PA Police Chief Gregory Adams

At the crime scene, police found evidence linking Webb and his wife, Lillian, to the murder; a bloody driver’s license in the name of Albert Portas, Lillian’s long-dead first husband. They found other evidence suggesting Webb suffered severe injuries in the struggle.

Several days after the murder, police found Webb’s rental car, used during the crime, abandoned at the old Howard Johnson’s in Warwick. In the car, investigators found blood matching Webb’s type. But no one ever arrested or charged Webb.

According to the FBI, they couldn’t find him.

Despite having this evidence, the FBI did little to catch Webb. They set up a surveillance camera on the house—at first, on the wrong place—to watch Lillian. But other than that, did little else to suggest they were doing everything they could to catch a cop-killer.

Webb made it to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list (later joined by Whitey Bulger), where he remained for twenty-five years. Yet despite this high-profile designation as a fugitive, he wasn’t out of the country, or even out of New England. He was hiding in his own home, in Massachusetts, aided by his wife, using a hidden room in the basement. It was one of two locations where Webb and his wife lived while he was a fugitive.

Stanley Webb, a former New Bedford Police officer and Webb’s stepson, co-owned one house with his mother. He is now under indictment in Massachusetts on an unrelated 2018 gambling case linked to Organized Crime.

Other than the early attempts to gain Lillian’s cooperation—which failed—the FBI never tried to obtain a search warrant for Webb. The first time the FBI executed a search warrant at Webb’s home was in 2016, thirty-six years after the murder. They used much of the same information available to them decades earlier to justify the search.

The search yielded little results other than a hidden room used by Webb.

In 2017, investigators from the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania State Police, relying partly on information in the FBI search affidavit about the secret room and the Bureau’s contact with Lillian in 2016, executed a search warrant. They found Donald Eugene Webb, or at least his remains. Lillian Webb finally admitted her husband died in 1999 after suffering several strokes. She claimed she buried him, by herself, in the backyard when she was sixty-two years old. She then led investigators to the grave.

The search uncovered more than just Webb’s remains. Investigators also found more evidence related to the hidden room he used to hide out for almost nineteen years—the facts of this miscarriage of justice shock the conscience.

It took the FBI thirty-six years to get a search warrant to search a location intimately connected to Webb.  It took thirty-seven years and the assistance of two State Police agencies to do what they should have done all those years ago.

The FBI told Chief Adams’s family they were doing everything in their power to catch his killer. It would seem they put his name on the most wanted list and forgot about it.

Then hoped everyone else would.

A strikingly familiar story about the FBI back in the 1970s and 1980s, echoing the saga of Whitey Bulger. For almost nineteen years after the murder, Donald Eugene Webb was alive and living in Dartmouth, MA. Yet the FBI never looked for him in the most likely place. They were grossly inept in ignoring the evidence, or they intentionally left a cop-killer on the street for reasons known only to them.

Why is it known only to them? Because the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant is sealed in a case over forty years old where the only known suspect is dead. The only indication of the existence of the search warrant is the reference to it in the affidavit used by the State Police in their search warrant.

It gives one pause.

But this is not the end of the story. In 2017, Chief Adams’s widow, now remarried, sued Lillian Webb and her son, Stanley, for the Police Chief’s wrongful death.

This case, given the revelations out of the Boston FBI office handling of Whitey Bulger, raises questions about why it took the FBI all those years to find a cop-killer. After the fatal struggle with Adams, Webb spent time in a hospital under an assumed name. Despite the evidence of Webb’s injuries, which common sense dictates would spark an inquiry at hospitals in New England—Webb’s home turf—investigators never found him.

Or they never looked.

Despite many reports of Webb being seen in New England, it took almost thirty-seven years for them to focus on Webb’s wife and son. After finding the remains, the FBI never filed charges of harboring a fugitive. Instead, the FBI sought immunity for Lillian’s cooperation, thus avoiding messy complications of disclosing the content of their investigation in discovery.

Was this another case of the FBI turning a blind eye to criminal activity in their single-minded pursuit of Organized Crime? Did the FBI let a cop-killer walk free in exchange for information on the mob?

Had you asked me these questions in 1980 when, as a young police officer on the East Providence Police Department, I learned of the cop-killer’s connection to Rhode Island, I would have thought you insane.

But now, knowing what transpired with the FBI and Bulger, it screams for the truth to come out.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice derailed by an agency such as the FBI is an injustice for which we should all demand a full accounting.

Time to untangle the troubling story of Donald Eugene Webb.

Captain (Ret.) Joe Broadmeadow East Providence Police Department Lieutenant (Ret.) Tom Denniston Rhode Island State Police

Please share this and let the Chief’s family know we will never forget or rest until the truth comes out.

Using Apple to take a Bite out of Crime

As most of us know, (and if this is news, you should pay more attention), the Justice department sought Apple Computer’s assistance in bypassing the security encryption on an iPhone.

Not just any phone, but the phone used by the two shooters in the San Bernardino case.

The FBI contends there is probable cause to believe that the phone contains evidence related to the case, may contain names of unidentified co-conspirators, and is a matter of national security. They cannot break the encryption without Apple’s assistance.

Now at first blush, this is a no-brainer. Apple should decrypt the phone and turn over the evidence.

However, upon more contemplation, I think Apple’s position is better for our cherished freedoms.

Now, for those of you who may not know my background, I was a police officer for twenty years. Every job has it fun moments. Ours often consisted of having a search warrant in one hand and a sledgehammer in the other.

Knock, knock we are coming in. One way or the other.

Over time it was inevitable I would see abuses of this system. Warrants obtained on the flimsiest of information. Governmental fishing expeditions usually in the cause of the Holy war against drugs.

Now, that Holy war has a new cause. Terrorism.

In the cause of fighting terrorism, we have lost sight of our original founding principles.

To force Apple to defeat the encryption designed to protect personal data is to start down a road from which we cannot return. The government wants companies to design a “backdoor” into encrypted devices. A door controlled by government.

That is a frightening thought. Imagine the potential for disruption of the political process, privacy violations, and abuse.

To invoke the specter of Orwell’s 1984 has lost some of its once chilling effect. In this world 32 years after that date, it fails to convey the dire warning it once did. Yet we should keep this in mind, Orwell’s warning of “Big Brother” may have been premature, but he was not wrong.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”





Avoiding the Ugly Circumstance: Sound Advice from Nigeria

“There’s a sucker born every minute…”

This phrase, popularly attributed to P.T Barnum, was most likely spoken by David Hannum, in criticism of both P. T. Barnum and those that patronized Barnum’s shows.

No matter who said it, there is a great deal of truth in it.

I happen to enjoy reading the various scams promulgated on the web. Although, these have been around for as long as mankind.

But I particularly enjoy this one. It is so official sounding, so convincing, so tempting to believe…if you are a total idiot.

Yet, there must be some success to it. It continues to circulate.






After proper investigations, we, the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) discovered that your impending (over-due contract) payment with Central Bank of Nigeria is 100% legal and has been approved for release to you.

We recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the person of Mr Godwin Emefiele and other top officials of the concerned Ministries regarding your case and we were made to understand that your files have been held in abeyance pending on when you personally apply for the claim.

Investigations also revealed that a lady, by name Mrs. Joan B Melvin from New York has already contacted Central Bank of Nigeria with a power of attorney and some documents, which stipulated that you have mandated her to claim your fund of US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars) on your behalf due to your ill health.

In view of this, we have been urged to warn US citizens who have received information pertaining to their outstanding contract payment to be very careful and not to be a victim of ugly circumstance.  In case you are already dealing with anybody or office from the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are strictly advised to STOP further communication with them in your best interest and thereby contact the real office of Central Bank of Nigeria via the below information:


OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria, Central Business District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, Federal.

Capital Territory, Nigeria.

Email: cenbnkng015@e-nautia.com

NOTE: In your best interest, you should ignore any message that does not come from the above email address and phone number for security reasons. And to enable Central Bank of Nigeria to process and release the fund to you, you are required to re-confirm your full details such as

FULL NAMES: __________________________________

CITY: _________________________

STATE: __________________________________

ZIP: ______________

COUNTRY: ________________________________

SEX: _______________

AGE: __________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________

Ensure that you follow the Central Bank of Nigeria due process as enshrined in International Banking Secrecy Act to avoid any form of discrepancy, which may hinder your fund transfer.

Thanks for your understanding and co-operation as we earnestly await your urgent response.

Best Regards,






E-MAIL: jjbcomeyjr@aol.com

I mean how can you not resist? They are preventing you being a victim of  “ugly circumstance.”

After all, it is from the FBI and they are, “seeking to wiretap internet”, we all know they are always watching out for us. How can this not be true?

If any of you are tempted to respond to this obviously wonderful opportunity, please follow these steps after you send your information as requested.

  1. Write the words “I am an idiot” on a large piece of cardboard
  2. Stand outside your home holding the sign high for all to see
  3. Say goodbye to all your worldly assets, some scammer in Nigeria thanks you.