Articles by Hayley Dean

On This Day in 1955 Louis Campagna Died, Aged 54

Reading Time: Louis Campagna was born in Brooklyn in 1900, little is known about his early life however his first spot of criminal lifestyle was when he was just a teenager, when he joined the infamous New York Five Point’s Gang of Manhattan. Al Capone, who later brought Campagna to Chicago was also a one time member of the same gang. In 1919, New York mobster Al Capone had moved to Chicago to help out…


On This Day in 1957 Eliot Ness Died, Aged 54

Reading Time: Eliot Ness was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 19th 1903, and he was best known for destroying the multi-million dollar breweries operated by Al Capone, also in part for Capone’s downfall, including his arrest and conviction of Tax-evasion. Ness, in the mid-1930s was responsible for turning around Cleveland, Ohio when the city was overcome with crime and corruption, he weeded out roughly 200 crooked Police officers and brought down 15 other officials…


On This Day in 1928 Greg Scarpa was Born

Reading Time: Greg ‘The Grim Reaper’ Scarpa was born May 8th 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the second born, his parents being Italian Immigrants. At the age of 7, Scarpa was working as a coal deliveryman alongside his father, this gave Scarpa an itch for a better life for him and his family. Greg’s older brother Sal was the first of the Scarpa family to hook up with mob associates, by the age…


On This Day in 1965 Owney Madden Died, Aged 73

Owen Vincent Madden was born in Leeds, England on December 18th 1891. Due to the fact the family wanted work, they moved first to Wigan before moving on to Liverpool, his father’s intentions were to finally move the family towards the United States, this was fulfilled in 1901. However tragedy struck the family, and Owney’s father died before he could complete his ambition. The family moved to Manhattan before finding a new home in New…


On This Day in 1924 Philip Testa was Born

Philip Carlo Testa was born on April 21st 1924 in Mistretta, Sicily, and immigrated to New York City. Whilst in the States he befriended mob boss Angelo Bruno, who would soon become an opening into the Mafia world for Testa. It was believed that Testa’s income was solely from winnings as a common gambler, seeing himself as a statesman similar to Julius Caesar gaining him the nickname ‘The Julius Cesar of the Philadelphia Mob’. He…


On This Day in 1951 Vincent Mangano was Killed, Aged 63

Vincenzo Giovanni Mangano was born March 28th 1888 in Palermo, Sicily, he was nicknamed by the Brooklyn newspaper ‘The Executioner‘ and was the head of the Mangano Crime family (Mineo Family in 1931, then more commonly known as the Gambino’s from the mid 1950’s). He reigned as family boss from 1931 until his death in 1951. His brother, Philip, was a capo/consigliere during this period. Vincent was one of the bosses who retained the old…


On This Day in 1996 Jimmy Burke Died, Aged 64

James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke was one of the most notorious Irish-American gangsters of all time, a violent, ruthless criminal responsible for countless murders and one of the largest cash robberies in American history. Ironically Burke was never a member of the Mafia, but did spend most of his career working closely with made mafia men and the associates of two of the New York Crime Families. Born James Conway on July 5, 1931, in…


On This Day in 1914 Aniello Dellacroce was Born

Aniello “Mr. Neil” Dellacroce was born March 15th 1914 in New York City, being 5’10 and broad shouldered, Dellacroce was often seen with organized crime figures such as the likes of Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese and Albert Anastasia. His stare was menacing, NYPD detective Ralph Salerno once told the media “You looked at Dellacroce’s eyes and you could see how frightening they were, the frigid glare of a killer.” In the 1930s, Dellacroce joined the…


On This Day in 1929 Nicky Scarfo was Born

Nicodemo ‘Little Nicky’ Scarfo was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1929, the child of mob connected parents. Scarfo had his first major run-in with the law in 1963. During a fight at a Philadelphia restaurant, he reportedly stabbed a man to death. He and his associates fled the scene, but Scarfo later pled guilty to manslaughter. In 1964 Scarfo was released after serving less than a year in prison. After his release, Scarfo was…


On This Day in 2005 Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski Died, Aged 70

Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski known as ‘The Iceman’ due to the fact he would often freeze his victims to obscure their time of death, was described as one of the most violent contracted hitmen who worked for numerous prominent Mafia crime families. His death toll was widely believed to be between 100 and 200 men. He was born 11th of April 1935 in the Polish section of New Jersey, born to a devout Catholic mother…


On This Day in 1965 Jack Dragna Died, Aged 64

Jack Dragna was born in Corleone, Sicily on April 18th 1891, he was known to be active in both Italy and the US. On November 18th 1898, Dragna came to the US, and stayed in New York for ten years before returning to Sicily. As a young man, he joined the Italian Army and then later the Sicilian Mafia. In 1914, Dragna returned to America and was a suspect in the murder of Jewish poultry…


On This Day in 1997 Joey Aiuppa Died, Aged 89

Joseph Aiuppa was born December 1st 1907 in Melrose Park, Illinois, Chicago, and in 1918 at the age of 11 Aiuppa dropped out of school and started work as a gardener. He was first linked with John Dillinger and the Alvin Karpis gang, rumor has it that Aiuppa supplied guns to Dillinger’s gang and even helped bury slain bank robber John “Red” Hamilton. Soon he would find himself hooking up with the Italian mob, specifically…


On This Day in 1910 Carmine Galante was Born

Born 21st February 1910 in East Harlem in Manhattan, he was rarely seen without a cigar, earning him the nicknames ‘The Cigar’ and ‘Lilo’ (an Italian slang word for cigar). Galante was explosive, and whilst in prison in 1931, doctors diagnosed him as having a psychopathic personality. He was described as having a dead-eyed stare, his stare scaring law enforcement and other mafia members alike. Ralph Salerno, a former NYPD detective, once said, “Of all…


On This Day in 1973 Frank Costello Died, Aged 82

Francesco Castiglia, better known to many of us as Frank Costello was born in 1891 and would go on to become “The Prime Minister of the Underworld” and one of the most powerful and influential mob bosses of all time with key political influences and control of a large network of gambling operations. He escaped an assassination attempt in 1957, and led the Luciano Crime Family as an acting boss whilst Luciano was behind bars….