Tuesday, April 28, 2009
With his brother Albert's position in Murder, Inc., Anthony Anastasio held free rein throughout the Brooklyn waterfront. During this time, while helping establish Anastasia as a major force on the New York waterfront, Anastasio's power was at its height. It is said he would severely damage foreign shipping and sabotage ships as a means of intimidation (presumably on orders from Anastasia
After Albert Anastasia's murder in 1957, Anthony Anastasio's influence began to fade. However, Vito Genovese (the main suspect in his brother's murder) did allow Anastasio to retain control of the Brooklyn docks until his death. In 1962, Anastasio started suspecting that Genovese meant to kill him and decided to meet with FBI agents. While discussing Carlo Gambino, Peter DeFeo, and Thomas Eboli with the agents, Anastasio reflected on his deceased brother: "I ate from the same table as Albert and came from the same womb but I know he killed many men and he deserved to die."
Anthony Anastasio died from natural causes on March 1, 1963. He is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, New York City. Anastasio's grandson John Scotto, the son of successor New York waterfront racketeer Anthony Scotto, later became an informant for the Los Angeles Police Department between 1993 and 199
Thursday, April 23, 2009
He had close and powerful contacts within the Sicilian Mafia, initially with the Porta Nuova family of Pippo Calò. He was one of the few Camorra bosses who were also initiated in Cosa Nostra. Together with Lorenzo Nuvoleta and Michele Zaza he was sworn in to seal a pact on cigarette smuggling in 1975
While the Nuvoletta brothers were allied with the Corleonesi headed by Luciano Liggio and Salvatore Riina, Bardellino was allied with Rosario Riccobono, Stefano Bontade, Gaetano Badalamenti, and Tommaso Buscetta, all heads of fallen Palermo families which were defeated by the Corleonesi in the Second Mafia War, and forced to flee.
In the 1980's, Bardellino realized that cocaine, not heroin, would become the more profitable drug and organized a trafficking operation smuggling it from Latin America to Aversa via a fish flour import-export business. Heroin was smuggled as well, and shipments to the Gambino crime family were concealed inside expresso filters. When one shipment was intercepted by the authorities, Bardellino reportedly called John Gotti and told him; "Don't worry, now we're sending twice as much the other way"
According to the official version of the story, on May 26, 1988, Antonio Bardellino was murdered by his right hand man, Mario Iovine in his Brazilian home at Buzios, a beach side resort for the rich and famous in the State of Rio de Janeiro, as part of an internal feud within the Casalesi. However, this story has never been clarified because his body was never found and the alleged assassin, Iovine, was himself murdered in Portugal in 1991 while using a phone booth. These circumstances have fueled a legend that Bardellino is still alive, and has left power in the hands of the other families within the Casalesi clan in order to ensure the survival of his family.
When his old friend, Tommaso Buscetta who later became a pentito was asked about the status of Bardellino during a testimony before the Antimafia Commission, he replied: "Is it already obvious that Bardellino died? I do not know, but I do not believe that he is dead." After the news of Bardellino's death spread, his family left their homes and native areas to take refuge in Formia where they still reside. After the disappearance of Antonio Bardellino, the five families (Schiavone, Iovine, Bidognetti, De Falco and Zagaria) took control, each with their own army
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Flemmi was arrested in 1995 on charges of racketeering and extortion, but fought the charges on grounds that the FBI had granted him and Bulger permission to commit certain crimes short of murder while they worked as informants. The ensuing court hearings dredged up some of the Boston FBI’s darkest secrets, including revelations of agents accepting payoffs and leaking information to help protect Flemmi and Bulger from prosecution. A judge ultimately ruled that the gangsters had received no promise of immunity, and Flemmi was sentenced in August 2001 to 10 years in prison for extortion and money laundering as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. However, the revelation that he was an informant prompted his old cohorts to turn on him, the discovery of secret mob graves and new charges of murder against him.
Under a deal that spared him the death penalty, Flemmi pleaded guilty in 2004 to 10 murders -- including one in Florida and one in Oklahoma -- in exchange for a life sentence and began cooperating with the government. He alleged that he and Bulger had paid their former handler, Connolly, $200,000 while they were working as informants, gave cash and gifts to other agents and police officers, and offered details of corruption and murder. His cooperation led to Connolly's indictment in Florida on murder charges.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Meet Daniel Leo, 65, a reputed member of the violent, East Harlem-based Purple Gang during the 1970s who now resides in a $2 million home in Rockleigh, N.J., a town on the Palisades that boasts the highest median household income in the state, according to the 2000 census.
There is scant public record on Leo, but several top law enforcement sources told Gang Land this week that he is currently at the pinnacle of the crime family whose members and rackets surpass all the others. The officials disagree about his title.
"We're carrying him as the acting boss," a law enforcement official who has been involved in several major investigations into the family's sophisticated labor racketeering schemes said.
Two other highly placed mob busters said they were not sure about Leo's official mob rank, but agreed that Leo is a low-key and "well-respected" family leader who has beaten the system. The lawmen agreed that in the wake of Gigante's death — and after the recent prosecutions of many top Genovese mobsters — no other family gangster now has more power and influence than Leo.
"Leo is a heavyweight, a major player, and he may be the acting boss, but we don't know for sure, yet," one source said. "This is the family that didn't tell the other four families for years that Chin was really the boss and that ‘Fat Tony' Salerno was merely a figurehead."
All the sources do agree that Leo has served for many years as a top official in the crime family with little fanfare.
Leo, whose two-story brick house sits on a 1-acre plot on Rockleigh Road that in the 1680s was rich Colonial Dutch farmland, also owns a condominium in Boca Raton, Fla., according to real estate records. He did not respond to a call to his home for comment.
During the 1970s, according to a 1976 Drug Enforcement Administration report, Leo was a member of the Purple Gang, a loosely connected group of 127 drug dealers that includes dozens of gangsters from East Harlem and the Bronx who became Luchese and Genovese family mobsters, including Leo. The original 20-member East Harlem gang included several current Genovese mobsters,The Genovese have long been one of the most insulated of the major Mafia families that includes capo Angelo Prisco.
Leo suffered his only known arrest in 1980, when he was hit with a criminal contempt indictment for refusing to testify before a grand jury that was investigating loansharking, drug trafficking, and four murders, two in East Harlem and two in the Bronx.
Leo, who has used the names Leonelli and Leonardo, according to investigative reports, was found guilty at a bench trial the following year. His felony conviction on two counts was upheld on appeal, but he spent no time in prison, according to a docket entry about the case in Manhattan Supreme Court.
In October 1999, the FBI secretly listened in as Genovese capo Salvatore "Sammy Meatballs" Aparo described Leo's role in a recent Mafia induction ceremony that included Aparo's son, Vincent, and 14 other inductees. Leo assisted Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico and Ernest Muscarella, who like Sammy Meatballs are currently serving federal prison terms for racketeering charges.
Aparo stated: "Larry, Ernie and Danny conducted the induction. Danny was the individual who pricked the fingers and told them what to say during the ceremony," according to an FBI summary of the tape-recorded conversation that was obtained by Gang Land.
A year later, in October 2000, another capo, Alan "Baldy" Longo, glowingly described Leo and Dentico as close associates of Gigante who were running the family following Chin's racketeering conviction in 1997, according to an FBI report on that conversation.
"You got Danny Leo, you got Larry. … A few other guys," Longo said. Chin "loves them," he said. "They're gentlemen. They got money. They're men and a half."
During the same conversation, Longo told mob turncoat Michael "Cookie" D'Urso that even though Chin and other family members were incarcerated, the family was in relatively good shape and "much stronger than the other families in the event there was a war," the report said.
"We got thirty, forty guys. Don't let anyone tell you that we're dead. Cause we're here," Longo said. He later pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 11 years.
Longo and dozens of other wiseguys were ultimately convicted and jailed in large measure because of D'Urso's undercover work, but Longo wasn't just blowing smoke about the Genoveses during his rant, two top New York mob analysts say.
"The Genovese crime family is still the best organized, and has the deepest bench," said Daniel Castleman, the chief of investigations for the Manhattan district attorney, whose office has sent Genovese capos Alfonso "Allie Shades" Malangone, John "Johnny Sausage" Barbato, and Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi to prison in recent years.
"They continue to take part in traditional organized crime activities of gambling, loansharking and labor racketeering in New York and New Jersey," Mr. Castleman said.
"The Genovese family is the most secretive, criminally diverse, and powerful family in the country," the acting special agent in charge of the FBI's organized crime branch, FBI agent Michael Campi, said, noting that "the power stems from the control of unions and major industries."
Mr. Campi declined to comment about Leo's status, or that of another powerful capo, Tino Fiumara, who recently relocated to Long Island from the Garden State following his release from prison nearly two years ago. Sources say Fiumara, 65, is a ready and willing contender for the top spot, but the prevailing wisdom is that he won't become a serious threat to reach for it until he concludes his federal supervised release in 13 months.
Mr. Campi would not identify any of the FBI's specific family targets, but made it clear that agents have their sights on other family members. Recent defections by mob lawyer-family associate Peter Peluso and soldier George Barone have provided considerable help to the feds, he said, "and will pose additional future problems to the power base of the Genovese family."
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Boxing careerDominick started out as a boxer with future Genovese crime family boss Thomas Eboli ("Tommy Ryan") as his manager. Cirillo gradually drifted towards the criminal side of the neighborhood, along with another boxer and associate, Vincent "Chin" Gigante. He was a unsuccessful professional middleweight boxer in 1949. His first professional fight was against Matt Ward on March 9, 1949 in White Plains, New York which he lost. During his short lived boxing career he boxed sixteen rounds and lost three matches, withdrew from one and won just a single match. While he was a boxer Dominick weighed between 152 and 154 pounds. His last professional boxing match against Johnny Kohan on December 19, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey. He suffered two knock outs by Matt Ward on March 9, 1949 which was also his first professional match and once again by Emerson Charles on March 23, 1949. His one disqualified match was against Bobby Holt on April 6, 1949.Genovese crime family
His first conviction came in 1952, when he was imprisoned on narcotics charges. In subsequent years, he grew closer to Gigante, who was seen, in the mid 1980s, as the de facto boss of the Genovese crime family. While Gigante served as boss on the streets, Cirillo served in a 'messenger' between Gigante and the other caporegimes of the Genovese crime family, as Cirillo's low-key style earned him his nickname "Quiet Dom", and helped him avoid the gaze of the authorities for many years.Gigante's acting boss
After Gigante was imprisoned in 1997 for racketeering and conspiracy charges, the leadership of the Genovese crime family passed to a committee/ruling panel, known as the "Administration", ostensibly led by Cirillo. In this capacity, Cirillo represented the Genoveses in their dealings with the other Mafia families of New York City, though Gigante remained in overall charge of the family. In this way, Cirillo served as "acting boss", and was seen by US authorities as the most powerful member of the Genovese family. However, in 1998 Cirillo stepped down as acting boss because of a heart attack, and recovered his position as Caporegime of the Genovese crime family that same year.Nick Cirillo missing
Cirillo's son, Nicholas, who was not believed to be a made man, disappeared on May 9, 2004. Three weeks later his abandoned car was discovered, but Nicholas Cirillo has never been found. Investigators believe the younger Cirillo was killed after he insulted the son of acting Bonanno crime family boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano and caporegime Dominick Cicale. It remains unclear whether this would have been allowed to happen without the explicit permission of Dominick Cirillo.Trial and guilty pleaOn October 18, 2005, Cirillo, who again was recognized as acting boss for Gigante, and three Genovese capos, Lawrence Dentico ("Little Larry"), John Barbato ("Johnny Sausage") and Anthony Antico ("Tico"), pleaded guilty on charges of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. Cirillo was sentenced on March 3, 2006 to 48 months in prison and forced to pay $75,000 restitution.Reputed consigliere
As of December 2007, Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo was still imprisoned prior to his conviction in 2006. However, on August 22, 2008, the 79-year-old Cirillo was released from federal prison after serving more than three years.  Due to his former title as acting boss after the death of longtime family godfather Vincent "Chin" Gigante in December of 2005, he may be a candidate as Consigliere of the Genovese
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Longo ran his Brooklyn crew out of a social club in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn. During the 1990s, Longo, his mob superior Alphonse Malangone and DeCavalcante crime family captain Philip Abramo organized lucrative stock scams on Wall Street, earning the men and their crime families millions of dollars. Longo and Abramo were involved in manipulating the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Mayfair stock. Investigators alleged that Longo and Abramo came to dominate and control Bahamian companies involved in financing such IPOs and similar.
On April 25, 2001, Longo and Colombo crime family acting boss Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico were indicted on racketeering charges, including charges of pump-and-dumpscams and loansharking. Prosecutors gathered much of their evidence through the undercover work of mob informant Michael D'Urso. D'Urso wore a wire during a four-hour sitdown meeting with Longo at a cafe concerning Longo's influence at the Fulton Fish Market. Longo also indicated that he planned on meeting with Persico upon his release from prison regarding money owed to the Genovese family by the Colombos for crimes committed at the Market.
Longo was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in federal
Monday, April 6, 2009
Louis Capone (left)
Louis Capone (1896 – March 4, 1944) was a New York organized crime figure who became a hitman for the notorious Murder Inc. Louis Capone was not related to the boss of the Chicago Outfit, Al Capone.Murder, Inc., was a network of Jewish and Italian-American hoodlums from Brooklyn, New York, who performed murder contracts for crime families in New York and other cities from during the 1930s. Murder, Inc., was directed by Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia.In 1936, Buchalter was trying to silence potential witnesses against himself and Murder, Inc and ordered the murder of Joseph Rosen. In 1941, Capone, Buchalter, and Emanuel Weiss were all convicted of murdering Rosen and were sentenced to death. On March 4, 1944, Louis Capone was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. He was immediately followed by Weiss and Buchalter.Capone was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, New York City.
Friday, April 3, 2009
After leaving school, Reles began hanging out at pool rooms and candy stores in and around Brownsville. He soon teamed up with two of his childhood friends who would eventually rise to power with him in the Murder Inc., Martin Goldstein and Harry Strauss. His first arrest came in 1921 for stealing $2 worth of gum from a vending machine, and he was sent to the children's village at Dobbs Ferry, New York, for four months.
Physically, Reles was short, but he had long arms and hands with short, stubby fingers. His small physical size did not deter him from committing ruthless acts of violence. When carrying out murders, his weapon of choice was an ice pick, which he would ram through his victim's ear right into the brain. Reles became so adept at using the ice pick that many of his murder victims were thought to have died of cerebral hemorrhages.
Reles became known as a particularly cold-blooded and psychopathic murderer. On one occasion, in broad daylight, he killed a worker at a car wash for failing to clean a smudge from the fender of his car. Another time, Reles killed a parking lot attendant for failing to fetch his car fast enough. On another occasion, he brought a guest to his mother's home for supper. When his mother left after the meal to go to a movie, Reles and another gang member murdered the guest and then removed the body
. Reles reportedly got the nickname "Kid Twist" after an earlier New York killer, Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach. Another theory behind the moniker is that it was the name of his favorite candy. Yet another theory is that the nickname described his method for strangling people.
Reles was a bootlegger who rarely touched alcohol. . During the Prohibition days of the 1920s, while still teenagers, Reles and friend Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein went to work for the Shapiro brothers, who ran the Brooklyn rackets. Soon, Reles and Seigel were committing petty crimes for the brothers. On one such occasion, Reles was caught and sentenced to two years in an Upstate New York juvenile institution. The Shapiro brothers failed to help Reles, prompting Reles to plan revenge.
After his release, Reles, Seigel, and George Defeo entered the slot machine business, the province of the Shapiro Brothers. Through Defeo's connections with Meyer Lansky, Reles and Seigel were able to make a deal with the influential crime lord. Lansky needed access to the poorer neighborhoods of Brooklyn and thus agreed to the deal. Both parties prospered: Lansky was able to get sizeable footholds in Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill, while Reles gained the backing he needed to keep both his business and himself alive
Reles, Goldstein and Strauss were partners in all of their criminal activities which had primarily been the slot machine business and quickly expanded to include shylocking (loan sharking), crap games and labor slugging in connection with union activities, especially the Restaurant Union.The slot machine business thrived and soon Reles and Goldstein were on the Shapiros' hit list. One night, the two men received a phone call from a "friend" saying that the Shapiros had left their East New York headquarters. Hopping into a car with Defeo, they headed to East New York. However, when they reached the Shapiro's building, the three men were ambushed. Reles and Goldstein were wounded, but all three managed to escape.
To avenge the ambush and his girlfriend's rape, Reles enlisted the help of fellow Murder, Inc. killers Frank "Dasher" Abbandando and Harry "Happy" Maione. The two killers were glad to help; they hoped to kill the Shapiro brothers and take over some of their operations. After several futile attempts by each side to eradicate the other, the Murder, Inc. group finally caught up with Irving Shapiro. On that occasion, Reles dragged Irving from the hallway of his home out into the street.
Reles then beat, kicked, and then shot Irving numerous times, killing him. Two months later, Reles met Meyer Shapiro on the street and shot him dead in the face. Another three years would elapse before Reles finally got the last Shapiro brother, William. William was abducted off the street and taken to a gang hideout. Once there, William was beaten nearly to death, stuffed into a sack, and driven out to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn and buried. Before the gang could finish burying William, a passerby spotted them and they had to flee the scene. William Shapiro's body was exhumed shortly thereafter, and after being autopsied, it was determined that he had been buried alive. In 1940, Reles was implicated in a number of killings. Realizing that he faced execution if convicted, Reles became a government witness. During one discussion with prosecutors, Reles described a typical murder:
" Pep has an ice pick. Happer has meat cleaver It is the kind you chop with, you know, butcher cleaver. Abby grabs Rudnick by the feet and drags him over to the car. Pep and Happy grab it by the head. They put it in the car. Somebody says "It don't fit." Just as they push the body in it gives a little cough or something. With that, Pep starts with the ice pick and starts punching away at Whitey. Maione says "Let me hit the bastard one for luck." And he hits him with the cleaver some place on the head."
Reles implicated his boss in Murder, Inc, Louis Buchalter in the murder of Brooklyn candy store owner Joseph Rosen; Buchalter was eventually convicted and executed for this crime. Reles' information also implicated Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, Mendy Weiss, Harry "Happy" Maione, Frank "Dasher" Abbandando, and even Reles' childhood friend Buggsy Goldstein. All of these men were convicted and executed. Following these convictions, Reles' next target was Albert Anastasia, who had been co-chief of operations of Murder, Inc. Reles was to implicate Anastasia on the murder of union longshoreman Pete Panto. However, unlike other members of Murder Inc.,
Anastasia was a high-ranking member of the Cosa Nostra. The trial, based solely on Reles' testimony, was set for 12 November, 1941. Until then, Reles was under constant guard by six police detectives at the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island. To protect the New York crime families from exposure, boss Frank Costello reportedly raised $100,000 to bribe these guards to kill Reles. It is alleged that Charles Burns, one of the police bodyguards, was involved in the disappearance of Judge Joseph Force Crater in 1930.
In the early morning of November 12, Abe Reles fell to his death from a hotel window. It is not known whether he was thrown or pushed out the window, or if he was trying to escape. The angle of trajectory suggests that he was in fact pushed
Because of his mob status as a "stool pigeon" and the circumstances surrounding his death, Reles gained another moniker after his passing. In addition to "Kid Twist," Reles became known as "the canary who sang, but couldn't fly."