Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hitting the Hitman

Hitting the Hit Men

Even alleged killers can be beaten up by a gang of thugs.
by Brendan McGarvey
Two reputed Mafia hit men got their asses kicked in a bar brawl on Delaware Avenue two weeks ago. The brawl started inside a Delaware Avenue club on a Thursday night when younger members and associates of the Philly Mafia started mouthing off to members of a gang from 10th and Oregon.
The men badly beaten in the brawl are both suspects in the murder of Raymond "Long John" Martorano. Martorano was gunned down in his car during rush hour Jan. 17 and died several weeks later. The two alleged hit men are brothers.
According to underworld sources, the brothers were in the club with several of their friends when they got into a verbal disagreement with members of an Italian-American drug gang known as the 10th and Oregon crew.
"The older brother was mouthing off and the 10th and O guys just started swinging," said one mob source. "The brothers and another friend got their asses kicked. Both brothers were knocked out, and one lost a piece of his ear in the brawl. The brothers were beaten so badly that they're still walking around with black eyes and swollen lips."
Underworld sources claim the young mobsters feel they have to retaliate to save face.
"Something bad is coming," another Cosa Nostra source told City Paper in an interview earlier this week. "Somebody is going to get killed over this."
The two brothers had been riding high since the murder of Martorano. "People have been treating them like mob royalty," said the source. "Everybody on the street knows they killed Long John."
The older brother has been openly dating the wife of a high-ranking gangster who is serving a sentence for racketeering. According to police and mob sources, the brother and the gangster's wife have been seen at several trendy restaurants in Old City over the last two months.
The 10th and Oregon crew responsible for the beatdown of the Mafia goodfellas are themselves new neighbors in South Philadelphia.
The former leaders of the 10th and O crew had numerous run-ins with the Mafia and with the Pagans motorcycle gang, but they've recently relocated to South Jersey, hanging out at a restaurant near the Deptford Mall.
The 10th and O crew is now under new leadership and appears to be as violent and as fearless as the previous generations of crew members, who sometimes worked hand in glove with the local Mafia and sometimes waged war against them.
In a related story, a former member of the Northeast Philly mob, also known as the K&A gang, claims that no one in the underworld wants to buy Martorano's Lincoln Towncar -- the car he was riding in when he was shot three times.
Last week the source told City Paper in an interview in Cosí in Old City that the Martorano-murder car is spooking potential buyers.
According to the source, the former head of the K&A gang was given an opportunity to buy Martorano's car. The former crime boss was once best friends with Godfather Angelo Bruno and had worked closely with Raymond Martorano.
"Look at that car," the retired K&A gangster told a friend. "Long John died in that thing. There's still cigarette butts in the ashtray. It's scary. I don't wanna buy it. It's too weird. It feels like Long John is still there."
Coincidentally, Martorano may have been killed in part because of his friendship with members of the old K&A gang.
Underworld rumors were rampant, according to both law enforcement and gangland sources, that Martorano was planning to take over the local Cosa Nostra with the help of North Jersey gangsters and with local muscle provided by the K&A gang.
"Martorano thought it was his turn to be boss," one mob insider told City Paper. "But the current boss disagreed. Martorano lost that argument Goodfellas he ain't. ."