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New England underworld looking for a new leader

New England's organized-crime syndicate is leaderless for the first time in four decades following the death Wednesday of reputed underworld boss Raymond L. S. Patriarca.

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While no obvious successor is in sight, law enforcement officials predicted a successor to Mr. Patriarca would be named by a national organized-crime commission in New York City that oversees the so-called organized crime ''families'' throughout the country.

North Kingston, R.I., police chief John Leyden said organized crime in New England was in a transition period and that law enforcement officials hoped there would be ''no problems in terms of people trying to take over. That's what we're going to have to keep an eye on.''

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