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Feb. 19, 1965: Pascal Calabrese, later the first federally protected witness, robs City Hall

It was fifty years ago this week that Buffalo Police named Pascal Calabrese as a suspect in the gunpoint hold up of City Hall on Dec. 29, 1964.

The robbery was the start of a chain of events that turned mob-connected Calabrese into a government witness. He was among the first protected by what became known as the "Federal Witness Protection Program.”

Calabrese’s story became the basis for the 1980 film “Hide in Plain Sight,” starring James Caan and shot primarily in Buffalo.

"Pascal Calabrese named as suspect in City Hall holdup"

"Police and the district attorney’s office today announced the name of the man wanted in the $299, 130 holdup of the Buffalo city treasurer’s office in City Hall on Dec. 29.

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