The man accused of shooting and killing Gambino crime boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali on Saturday appeared in court yesterday with writings on his hand that featured pro-Trump and pro-QAnon messages.
During Anthony Comello’s New Jersey courtroom appearance yesterday, he flashed a palm toward reporters. Scribbled on his palm was a large “Q” surrounded by the phrases “Patriots in Charge,” “MAGA Forever,” and “United We Stand.”
Here’s a close up shot of the messages on his hand (via AP) pic.twitter.com/hptIcWFwDn
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) March 18, 2019
Additionally, The New York Post confirmed with law enforcement sources yesterday that Comello had been researching QAnon conspiracy theories online. NY Post reports:
Anthony Comello, 24, who even yawned during the highly anticipated appearance in a New Jersey courtroom, held up his left palm and revealed a large, bold “Q” written in blue ink in the center of his hand.
Comello has been researching QAnon online and often wears one of Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hats, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
The QAnon conspiracy theory alleges that President Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are secretly working in concert to topple a global network of pedophiles and human traffickers involving prominent political, entertainment, and business leaders. Q believers think that clues about the progress of this secret mission are shared in the form of cryptic riddles on anonymous image boards and that it is their duty to translate those riddles into digestible tidbits of information.
Right Wing Watch searched QAnon communities online for mentions of Cali, the Gambino crime family, and his nickname, “Franky Boy,” and found no indication that the mafia figure had been a focus of QAnon community prior to his killing. No “Q” posts or Voat forum posts had mentioned Cali by name prior to the killing and a site search of 8chan—the imageboard hosting QAnon posts—using Google’s search engine did not provide any results.
“QAnon followers often liken ‘the cabal,’ Democrats, or the Clintons to the mafia, but the Gambino crime family isn’t really part of the QAnon narrative,” Travis View, a QAnon researcher and co-host of the podcast QAnon Anonymous, told Right Wing Watch.
The account posting as “Q” on 8chan addressed Comello’s court appearance directly, appearing to suggest that the stunt was part of a larger objective to delegitimize the conspiracy theory. Q wrote, “Nothing to see here.”
Meanwhile, “Q” has acknowledged the connection to the Mafia case but claims, predictably, that it’s just a deep-state setup. Law enforcement sources told @nypost that the suspect has been researching QAnon. pic.twitter.com/6DXuCr2vea
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) March 18, 2019
The QAnon community followed in dismissing the writings on Comello’s hand.
View explained, “QAnon followers were quick to call ‘fake news’ on the report that the accused killer researched QAnon, which should be expected every time there is a connection between a QAnon follower and violence. This is how they maintain the belief that QAnon is a wholly peaceful movement, regardless of what is reported.”
Initial reporting suggested that the suspected gunman had been motivated to kill because Cali did not approve of him pursuing a romantic relationship with his niece, but Comello wouldn’t be the first QAnon believer to allegedly commit an act of murder. Earlier this year, The Daily Beast reported that a QAnon believer in Seattle had called the police after he murdered his brother. Prosecutors said mental illness led him to believe his brother was a lizard, a conspiracy theory spread by Alex Jones, among others.