Monday, May 25, 2009

Joseph,"Skinny Joey" Merlino

Joseph S. Merlino, nicknamed "Skinny Joey" (born March 16, 1962 South Philadelphia), is an American mafioso, member of the U.S. Cosa Nostra, and former head of the Philadelphia crime family which controls organized crime as far as Southern New Jersey. He is the son of former Nicky Scarfo underboss/soldier Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino. He is also the nephew of deceased former Capo Lawrence Merlino.While Merlino was the boss of the Philadelphia crime family, it engaged primarily in extortion, bookmaking, drug trafficking, and loan sharking.
Merlino has been described as a particularly vicious mobster, obsessed with his own public image, and another version of New York's John Gotti, after whom he patterned himself. He is flashy, stylish, flamboyant, and "in your face." “Joey was a party guy,” said "Big Ron" Previte, cop-turned gangster-turned government witness. “He liked to go out. He liked to gamble. He liked the high life.” He invited TV crews to his annual Christmas party for the homeless, and was a fixture at the city's nightclubs, restaurants, and sporting events. With longtime buddies Salvatore Scafidi, Michael Ciancaglini, and George Borgesi he was known to beat up girls, rob people, and start fights in clubs.In the late 1990s Merlino allied himself with Steve "Gorilla" Montevergine, boss of the Pagans MC motorcycle gang. In June 1999, Merlino was indicted on charges he conspired with the Boston mob to purchase and distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison on December 3, 2001, on racketeering charges, including extortion and illegal gambling. He was acquitted of murder charges, attempted murder, and drug dealing. [9] "Ain't bad," Merlino said. "Better than the death penalty

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Joseph "Joe" Colombo SR. Mafia Boss

Joseph "Joe" Colombo Sr. (December 14, 1914 - October 1, 1978) was leader of the Colombo crime family, one of the "Five Families" in the American Mafia.

Colombo was originally part of what was called the Profaci family in New York. In 1961, a gang war broke out in the family between the family leadership and the renegade Gallo brothers. During this conflict, boss Joe Profaci died and his supporter, Joseph Magliocco, succeeded him. Later in the conflict, Magliocco decided to murder Tommy Lucchese from the Lucchese crime family and Carlo Gambino of the Gambino crime family for their support of the Gallos. Magliocco gave obthe job to Colombo, who promptly notified the intended With their support, Colombo became family boss after Magliocco died of a heart attack

On June 28, 1971, the morning of the second Italian Unity Day rally, Joe Colombo was approaching the podium to address the crowd. An African American street hustler had somehow managed to obtain press credentials from the league. Disguised as a photojournalist, the gunman approached Colombo and fired three shots from an automatic pistol into his head.

Colombo's son and several others wrestled the gunman to the ground. At that point, a second man stepped out of the crowd and shot the gunman dead. The second assailant managed to escape and was never identified. The dead gunman was positively identified as Jerome Johnson.

The crowd in attendance quickly dispersed, although some made a feeble attempt to continue the festival. Colombo was seriously wounded, but survived the shooting. He lingered in a coma without regaining consciousness for nearly seven years (he was "vegetabled", in the words of Joe Gallo). On May 22, 1978, Joe Colombo died at his New York estate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gerado "Jerry" Catena

Gerardo "Jerry" Catena Gerardo "Jerry" Catena. Consiglieri: Michele "Mike Miranda" Miranda .... "Ernest Muscarella" Friends of Ours; was a New York mobster and a top member of the Genovese crime family during the 1950s and 1960s, ... Gerardo_Catena- along with Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli, Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo and Michael "Big Mike" Miranda. Little is known of Catena in his early days of the Luciano crime family, but reportedly he was a soldier in the crew that became the powerful Genovese crew during the late 1920s, headed by later Underboss, Vito "Don Vito" Genovese. As the time went, and Charles Luciano went to prison and later deportation in the 1940s, Genovese would organize the shooting of the Boss of Luciano crime family, Frank Costello in 1957, which forced Costello to retire. Apparently, Catena is to have rose through the ranks, as he was listed as the Underboss in the late 1950s, heading the New Jersey faction of the Genovese crime family, under the leadership of Vito Genovese.Catena was allegedly attending the so called Apalachin Meeting in 1957, and was one of the hundred mafiosi who were indicted after the convention, following the arrest of Vito Genovese in 1959. As Genovese and many others of the Genovese crime family were under indictment, Catena began cooperating with longtime captains Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo, Michele "Big Mike" Miranda and Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli, and were unofficially running the Genovese crime family. After the imprisonment of Genovese in 1959, a "Committee/Ruling Panel" was to run the Genovese crime family, which consisted of Catena, Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo, Thomas Eboli and Michele Miranda. This administration continued to run the family throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, as Catena was indicted in 1970, and jailed from 1971 to 1972.

After his incarceration, Catena was allegedly semi-retired due to illness, and became officially retired after his releasement in 1972, as he moved to Florida that same year. Gerardo Catena died in 2000 of natural causes, as he wasn't named in any indictments for almost 30 years, and died in retirement at the age of 98

Monday, May 4, 2009

Charles "Cherry Nose Gioe

Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe (died August 18, 1954) was a lieutenant in the Chicago Outfit criminal organization and a partner in the Hollywood extortion scandals of the 1930s

.Gioe became a high ranking lieutenant for the Outfit, specializing in extortion and blackmail, under Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti after Al Capone's 1931 tax evasion conviction. In 1936, Gioe went to Des Moines, Iowa to expand syndicate operations. He eventually returned to Chicago, leaving underboss Louis "Cock-Eyed Louie" Fratto in control of the Des Moines operations. During the mid-1930s, Gioe, Paul "The Waiter" Ricca and Louis "Little New York" Campagna, began financially supporting extortion operations by Willie Morris Bioff and George Browne against Hollywood movie studios. In exchange for annual payoffs to the Outfit, the mob-controlled projectionist unions would refrain from labor strikes and disruptions
.In the late 1930s, the extortion racket was busted by law enforcement. On March 18, 1943 Gioe, Ricca, and Campagna were indicted for extortion; Bioff and Browne agreed to testify against them. On December 31, 1941, Gioe was convicted of extortion and sentenced to ten years in prison. Gioe was later paroled in 1947, despite protests from Senator Estes Kefauver, along with the other syndicate members whereupon his release becoming, second to Ricca and Campagna, as the top Chicago syndicate leader. During the 1950s however, with the death of Campagna in 1952 and Ricca's retirement, Gioe became involved in a power struggle with rivals Anthony Accardo and Sam "Momo" Giancana.
On August 18, 1954, Charles Goie was murdered by his former protegé Fratto, supposedly under orders from Giancana.