By Lisa Babick – aka “MS” | May 25, 2020
“…like a script for a made-for-tv-movie”
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announcing the attempted escape charge against Christopher Londonio in 2017.
On September 13, 2017, Christopher Londonio, who was incarcerated on a previous indictment which you can read about here, was charged by the federal government of planning an elaborate escape from the MDC in Brooklyn where he was being held.
The charge barely made a blip on the news front, but in October 2019 after Gang Land News obtained the 10-page detailed report taken by FBI agent Ted Otto, who seems to be well-versed in creating fictional reports, this sick, made-up fantasy story by the feds made headlines around the world.
And they were vile and indecent (sans The New York Times, which at least tried to maintain a modicum of decency.)
Not one of these outlets ever questioned the validity of such a ludicrous story. Nor did these news outlets bother to look deeper and investigate when this bogus charge came to light.
Instead, they took the government at its word and took a man to task for something he didn’t even do because presenting the “story” the way they did was nothing more than an easy way to make a buck off an innocent man.
These outlets also seemed to forget that this man had a family, including a young daughter, who was forced to see her father’s name and picture blasted all over the world. No one here can say, that there wasn’t some sort of after-effect for the vileness of these reports when she went to school the next day. We all know how mean kids can be.
In addition, this insane story included co-starring roles by Londonio’s mother, father, wife, and a family priest. So not only did the media make a mockery of an innocent man, they also made a mockery of his innocent family members.
So, what was this insane story?
Christopher Londonio was in the MDC after being charged (one of five defendants) for the November 13, 2013 murder of former Purple Gang leader, Michael Meldish, a man who had been described by police as a “stone-cold killer.”
During the time Londonio had been incarcerated on that charge, and while other wired-up government informants were trying to get him to implicate himself and others in the murder (the evidence was sketchy, to say the least), a documented liar and jailhouse snitch by the name of David Evangelista befriended Londonio. Within a week of meeting, Londonio reportedly confessed to his new best friend his role in the Meldish murder and his detailed plans to escape from the MDC.
You can read all about Evangelista and his sordid background here as well as find more information about Londonio’s charges, which was tied into Steven L. Crea’s case – who himself was wrongly convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, have knowledge about or participate in.
But what exactly was in that 10-page detailed report taken by hookah-smoking FBI Super Agent Ted Otto? Here are some highlights:
• David Evangelista was housed in the same cell block as Londonio – three cells down. Londonio wanted to attempt to break of the window in Evangelista’s cell because he apparently knew that when the MDC was built, there was shoddy work done on that particular window. How did Londonio know this? Apparently he knew some of the people who helped build the MDC and somehow he remembered exactly which window was shoddy and was lucky enough to make friends with someone who lived in that exact cell.
• Londonio recruited his mother to sneak in dental floss that he was going to use to saw through the bars on that shoddy window in Evangelista’s cell.
• Londonio also was going to recruit his family priest to sneak in a hacksaw so he could alternate between the hacksaw and dental floss to cut through the bars.
• He also apparently had razors to cut the caulk around the window and was collecting bedsheets, hiding them under his bed which he was going to wet and tie up to climb down to freedom. He also had a pipe that he was going to use to break the window.
• Evangelista’s cell faced the MDC staff parking lot, so Londonio had his wife go to the parking lot and dance in front of the cameras to see if anyone was monitoring them.
• After Londonio escaped, his father was going to be waiting for him to whisk him into hiding. But before that they were going to make a pitstop at Matthew Madonna’s house and kill his wife because of a bogus “perceived slight” at a hearing.
• And let us not forget the most important thing: Londonio went on a strict diet so that he could fit through the window. This included only eating bran flakes (his and others) and running up and down stairs and exercising like crazy to lose the weight he needed to fit through that window.
It does indeed sound like a script for a made-for-tv-movie, doesn’t it? Well, here is the flipside with facts that contradict everything stated above:
• Evangelista claimed he saw the pipe and dental floss, but when Londonio’s cell was searched after Evangelista informed prison officials, none of these items were found – not even the hacksaw. The only thing they claimed they “found” was a boxful of sheets which the government proudly displayed at trial.
• At the time of this supposed dancing in the parkling lot by Londonio’s wife, she was in Las Vegas.
• After the incident was reported to prison officials, they nor the FBI ever checked camera footage of the parking lot or the general cell area to see if Londonio’s wife was indeed dancing or even if Londonio had indeed entered Evangelista’s cell.
• Prison officials and the FBI also never questioned Londonio about the alleged incident, only relying on their jailhouse snitch’s story.
• Also during the time of this alleged escape plan, Londonio’s father who had triple bypass surgery in December 2016, had multiple stents put in at the beginning of 2017 and spring of 2017, making it virtually impossible that he would have the time or energy to be involved in such a plan.
• About that diet…During the trial, Agent Geier from the MDC was questioned by Londonio’s attorney, John Meringolo, about an email Londonio sent to his mother at the time when Londonio was eating nothing but bran flakes and running up and down the stairs like a man on a mission:
MR. MERINGOLO: Could we blow up this part. If you can kindly blow up that part. Thank you very much.
Q. And, sir, do you see Christopher Londonio writes on July 30th, 2017 at 9:35 p.m.?
Q. He’s writing to his mother, Mrs. Londonio?
Q. And isn’t it true he says see you tomorrow get me 2 hot dogs and 2 burgers please love ya goodnight? Right?
Q. That’s not someone who’s trying to lose weight eating two hot dogs and two hamburgers. We could agree?
MS. ROTHMAN: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained. Save it for your closing argument.
MR. MERINGOLO: No further questions.
And then there’s this which is taken from our other article Guilt for the Guiltless: The Story of Steven L. Crea:
Just FYI something similar to this happened in upstate New York in 2015 when two guys used a hacksaw to escape from jail. But they didn’t cut through solid steel bars on a window. Instead, they cut through a metal steam pipe and then crawled through it to get to freedom. And in 2012 at a federal prison in Chicago, a couple of guys escaped using tied-up bedsheets to get out of a window. It was a bit more complex than Londonio’s plan, though.
But in regards to Londonio using dental floss to cut through the steel bars… In a 2009 MythBusters episode, they conducted an experiment to see how long it would take using that same exact scenario. Their results:
“Grant built a flossing robot, applied toothpaste to the bars (the grit used to clean your teeth, they reasoned, could be used to aid the floss), and let it run for a week. After a week, the bar had been worn away a fraction of an inch, which, by Grant’s calculations, mean that you can cut through one bar in less than 300 days if you flossed 8 hours a night.”
This was a robot sawing away continuously for 8 hours a night and it took almost a year to get through one bar
So, was this story a figment of the government’s imagination? Most likely. The jury didn’t believe it and acquitted Londonio of the charge in November 2019.
But perhaps more disturbing than the government making up ludicrous lies like this, is that the very media outlets that reveled in sharing the details of Otto’s false report and shouting it from the rooftops through headlines online and in print, never even bothered to give Londonio his due when he was acquitted – relegating that fact to only one simple line at the bottom of their coverage of the results of that October 2019 trial.
No apologies to Londonio for printings falsities. No apologies to Londonio’s mother, father, or wife for pulling them into a web of lies for which they had no part. And most importantly, no apology to Londonio’s young daughter for how they might have made her feel or how they put her in an awkward position when they first printed the government’s lies.
Every single one of those above-mentioned media outlets should hang their head in shame. And maybe even refresh themselves about the basics of Ethics 101. Even better, maybe next time, they should take a step back and think about what they’re publishing and investigate as the media should before printing something so vile and cruel like they did in the case of Christopher Londonio and his bogus escape charge.
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