Apparently, while some old memories die hard, some just never go away. Police today are using DNA science and other modern crime investigation techniques to re-investigate cases from the past, some as far back as several decades. This is part of a renewed effort against organized crime, an entity that some say does and other say doesn’t still exist in America, at least in the sense of the traditional Italian Mafia. Regardless of this current debate, there is no doubt that the crime organization known by mane names certainly did exist and thrived in the 20th century, but not without its public spillover. This list presents 10 notable public “hits” by the mob. And no, there is nobody from the Sopranos on this list
Warning: there are some graphic images on this post.
10. Joseph Colombo
June 28, 1971. The body of mob boss Joseph Colombo is put in a police vehicle minutes after being shot by a non-gangster during a rally of the Italian American Coalition at Columbus Circle. Colombo lingers in a coma for years. Rival Joey Gallo was suspected of arranging the hit but was never charged. *story here*
9. Fred Weiss
Mob associate Fred Weiss’ body was found outside his girlfriend’s Staten Island condo on September 11, 1989. He was murdered by the DeCavalcante crime family hit team. John Gotti ordered the hit fearing Weiss, facing fraud charges, would turn informant. More than a half-dozen gangsters have been jailed in this one crime.
8. Joey Gallo
The casket containing legendary gangster Joey Gallo exits Guido’s Funeral Home in his old neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Gallo was gunned down at Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy on April 7, 1972, after a night out with actor Jerry Orbach and his wife. Orbach was prepping for his role in a movie version of Jimmy Breslin’s “Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” Gallo’s execution came 10 years after he first ignited an internal war in the Colombo family. coincidentally, Jerry Gallo was the name used by Joe Pesci’s character in the movie My Cousin Vinny. *story here*
7. Paul “Big Paulie” Castellano
On Dec. 16, 1985 the “Boss of Bosses” was shot in the street by his lieutenant John Gotti and “bull” Sammy Gravano, who had different plans on who would be head honcho for the family. The body of Gambino crime family boss, Paul “Big Paulie” Castellano, was found on the sidewalk in front of Sparks Steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan. Bodyguard Thomas Bilotti lies at the far left. it was later revealed that John Gotti orchestrated his assassination to become the new boss. *story here*
6. Carmine Galante
Carmine Galante, a capo in the Bonanno family shown with a cigar in his mouth, was murdered in the backyard garden of Joe & Mary’s Restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn on July 12, 1979. The hit was orchestrated by rival Philip “Rusty” Rastelli. *story here*
5. Nicholas “Nicky Black” Grancio
Crime scene detectives examine Nicholas “Nicky Black” Grancio, a Colombo soldier shot behind the wheel of a car at Avenue U and McDonald Avenue in Gravesend, Brooklyn on January 7, 1992. Grancio was killed during the Colombo crime family internal war by murderous Greg Scarpa Sr.’s crew in a dispute between two factions vying for control of the family. *forensics report here*
4. Anthony DiLapi
The late Anthony DiLapi was found in the garage of his apartment building outside Los Angeles on February 4, 1990. The Lucchese family soldier had moved out to the West Coast to get away from the mob, but was found and murdered on the orders of Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso. Mob cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa obtained information of DiLapi’s whereabouts from California police.
3. Nicholas Guido
In a tragic event on Christmas Day in 1986, police discovered the body of Nicholas Guido, an innocent victim of a Mafia mistaken identity killing. Guido was murdered on the orders of Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who believed another man with the same name had tried to kill him. Information on the wrong NIcholas Guido was provided to the Lucchese family by mob cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa. *story here*
2. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
Young ben Siegel began his career extorting money from Jewish pushcart peddlers on New York’s Lower East Side; he then teamed up with Meyer Lansky about 1918 and took to car theft and later bootlegging and gambling rackets in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia; he and Lansky also ran a murder-for-hire operation, the forerunner of Murder, Inc. Long story short, he – or his lady-friend Virginia, the details have never been verified – played much too high profile a role in the development of the first major Las Vegas casinos and along the way allegedly withheld money from the mob as they built Las vegas, and Benny Siegel as a result, was shot to death in his home in June 1947. *story here*
1. Albert Anastasia
Albert Anastasia was born on September 26, 1902 in Tropea, Italy. His original name was Umberto Anastasio, but he later changed his name slightly to prevent his family’s reputation from his illegal activities. When he was young, he hid on a cargo ship headed for America with his brother Anthony. They arrived and immediately began taking control of small criminal operations in the Brooklyn area. When powerful crime boss Lucky Luciano decided to knock off Joe Masseria and form the National Crime Syndicate, Albert jumped at the chance to take part. Luciano invited Masseria to Scarpato’s on Coney Island for a sit down and quickly excused himself to the bathroom. As he did so, Albert, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel walked inside and filled Masseria with bullets, ending the old era of organized crime in New York. Luciano and the others formed the National Crime Syndicate, which controlled nearly all of the rackets in New York City and had branches in other large cities. To keep other gangsters in line, Luciano needed an organization of tough gangsters. Albert Anastasia was placed in charge of a group of crazy hit men that later became known as Murder Inc. It turns out that his daily routine worked against him, since everyone knew where he would be at a given point in the day. On October 25, 1957, Albert was sitting down for a haircut and shave in the barber shop of the Park Sheraton when two men walked in and gunned him down. Anastasia, the head of Murder Inc. and boss of what would become the Gambino crime family, was found on the barbershop floor of the Park-Sheraton Hotel on W. 55th St. Following his death, Carlo Gambino took over as family boss. *FBI Freedom of Information files here*
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