Tuesday, July 28, 2009

William "Willie the Rat" Cammisano, KC Crime Family

William "Willie the Rat" Cammisano was a Kansas City, Missouri, mobster and enforcer for Nicholas Civella's Kansas City crime family.

By 1929, Cammisano had an extensive rap sheet. He been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, bootlegging, pistol whipping a robbery victim, running an alcohol still, being AWOL from the U.S. Army, disturbing the peace, and gambling.
It was said that he had stolen everything from the wheels off a truck to the rings off a woman’s fingers

. Cammisano once served a felony sentence at a federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma. In the 1940s, he opened a tavern and called it the El Reno Bar, stating that had been the name of his favorite prison.
He is the father and namesake of William Dominick Cammisano Jr. born May 8, 1949 in Kansas City, Missouri.

A high ranking member of Civella's organization, Cammisano was called in 1980 to appear before a U.S. Senate Subcommittee investigating organized crime activity in Kansas City.

During the investigation, government witness Fred Harvey Bonadonna described how Cammisano's used strong arm tactics in the River Quay neighborhood redevelopment project to turn the area into a red light district with brothels and other vice.

Bonadonna stated that Cammisano murdered his father, a business associate of Cammisano's, for refusing to obtain liquor licenses for mob establishments in River Quay: "Willie [Cammisano] told my father that he would kill me.
My father (David) said he'd have to kill him first."

During the Senate investigation, Cammisano was serving a five year prison sentence for extortion in Springfield, Missouri. Cammisano refused to cooperate with the committee; he was cited for Contempt of Congress on May 14, 1981 and received added prison time.

With Civella's conviction in 1983, Cammisano became the new leader of the Kans
as City organization. Because of the unfavorable publicity of recent criminal trials, the Chicago Outfit officially disowned Kansas City as an affiliate.

This gave Cammisano the opportunity to establish new operations in California, Florida and Washington, D.C without Outfit approval or interference. This expansion reinvigorated the Kansas city organization.On January 26, 1995, William Cammisano died of multiple organ failure related to lung disease.