Man Found Dead in Waltham in 1970s Killed By Associates
John Sponza was found dead in the trunk of a car in Waltham in 1972.
It’s now the Shaw’s parking lot on Lexington Street, but in 1972 it was briefly the site of a grizzly scene where an alleged gangster was found dead.
John Sponza was found face down in the trunk of a car parked in the lot after a Waltham Police officer found it. Sponza had three bullets in his back.
Members of his bank robbery crew allegedly killed Sponza five years after Sponza killed the mother of actor Dylan McDermott, according to the second of two-part series recently published in the Republican-American, a Waterbury, Conn. newspaper.
Police in Waterbury recently re-investigated the murder of McDermott’s mother, Diane, and concluded Sponza killed her, according to the Republican-American. The police also re-investigated the murder of Sponza and concluded his associates killed him after he double-crossed them.
In June of 1972, Sponza hatched a plot to kill Peter Ladas, a member of his bank robbery crew, according to the Republican American. Sponza lured Ladas, and three other associates, William McNellis and Alexander Dziadowicz and James Lata to a secluded section of the woods in East Connecticut. Sponza told them he wanted to divide up the contents of a safe. Sponza, who was in the car with his associates, suddenly turned from his front passenger seat and shot at Ladas, McNellis and Dziadowicz. Sponza spared Lata, but Dziadowicz died from his wounds. McNellis emerged unscathed while a bullet grazed Ladas.
As a result of this incident, police think Ladas asked McNellis and Lata to kill Sponza, according to the Republican-American. Sponza’s body was later found in the trunk of a Dodge Charger in the Lexington Street lot in Waltham. Police are not sure where and when Sponza was killed but believe Lata and McNellis were the killers, according to the Republican-American.
Police also believe Lata’s girlfriend, Linda Ziomek, lured Sponza to Lata, according to athe Republican-American. Lata was spotted in Waltham days before Sponza’s body was discovered.