One victim, an admitted drug dealer, described the treatment at DiPasquale's hands this way: "They took me over to the chain hoist and put a chain around my neck and hoisted me so my toes were barely touching the floor. I began to cough and gag . . . and they took me down.
"I was again placed on a chain; this time, they hung the chain around my legs. My head was hanging down. I was hit with what I thought was a board and a rubber hose. I was left hanging there for some time. I don't know how long."
DiPasquale, 49, formerly of Kenwyn Street near Large, blamed his past crimes on his addiction to the drug methamphetamine, also called "speed" and ''monster."
"I became the 'Mad Dog' with the 'monster' constantly in control of my faculties," DiPasquale wrote.
"This destructive powder completely stripped away my conscience and morality."
Now working as an orderly in the education department of a federal prison in Memphis, Tenn., DiPasquale noted in the letter that he is studying typing, bookkeeping, accounting and computer programming behind bars.
He misses his wife and four children and seldom sees them because of the distance from home.
"Only a man possessed by monstrous drugs could have so irrationally traded off these joys of life for $28,000 gained through extortion," wrote DiPasquale.
DiPasquale has a job offer with a collection agency in Memphis, and plans to settle there if he's released from prison, according to a letter from his would-be employer, J. Ross Hamilton, of Federal Investors Recovery Corp.
Hamilton said he met DiPasquale years ago in Atlantic City when DiPasquale volunteered to fix a flat tire for him.
The job in Memphis will keep him away from temptation, DiPasquale suggested.
"I wish to avoid Philadelphia's sphere of criminal influence which originally lured me into wrongdoing," DiPasquale wrote.
DiPasquale got his high school diploma and completed a Bible study course in prison.
The prosecution reports, submitted to the Bureau of Prisons in the early 1980s, contend DiPasquale was a close associate of imprisoned mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and "has been a suspect in numerous unsolved murders."