On This Day in April…
On this day 91 years ago today plain-clothed police officers were sent in to polling booths across Cicero. They were sent to help restore order as Al Capone’s South Side Gang were making sure local residents “voted right” in order to keep the gangs political control over the area. The plain-clothed officers were mistaken as North Side mobsters by Capone’s men, and in a long shoot-out, Frank Capone lay dead on the floor filled with dozens of bullets.Some witnesses say Frank never pulled a gun out, others say he did. What we do know is that Al went on a rampage after his brothers death killing one official and kidnapping others. Read more: http://thencs.org/1yB4jkt
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On this day in 1869, in New Orleans, the leader of the Palermo faction Raffaelle Agnello is murdered on Tolouse St. near Joseph Macheca’s produce shop.
On this day in 2000 Tommaso Buscetta died of cancer at the age of 71. He was said to be one of the first mob bosses to turn informant, when he was under interrogation by the late Giovanni Falcone. Buscetta, a Sicilian based mobster was the main star of the Maxi Trial and with his help 350 Mafia members were sent to prison.
On this day in 1971 Joseph Valachi passed away in El Paso, Texas at the age of 67 from heart attack. Joe was of course the mobster who made Cosa Nostra a household name, and front newspaper headlines as he lifted the lid on the inner workings of the mob. Valachi outlived Vito Genovese by 2 years and the $100k bounty Genovese put on Valachi’s head went uncollected. Read more: http://thencs.org/29DF5wrView more from this date in history
Beauregard Miller Sr.
Gretna Louisiana Police Chief Beauregard Miller Sr. dies. In 1951 Miller testified to the open gambling he allowed in his town saying “Plenty of people working in them and making a living out of it. Without the gambling it would be a dead town.” Miller was a known associate of Carlos Marcello.
On this day in 1958 Johnny Stompanato was fatally stabbed by Lana Turner’s daughter Cheryl Crane, who was just 14 years old at the time, who was deemed to have been protecting her Mother. Johnny Stomp was an ex-Marine who became Mickey Cohen’s bodyguard. He was 32 at the time of his death.
Anthony Francis Caterine
On this day in 1936 Anthony Francis Caterine was born, who was better known as either Paul or Tony Caterine. He is a former member of the Dallas crime family who owned one of the cities premier nightclubs, the Loser’s Club, throughout the 1960’s through to the late 1980’s. According to police reports he was a close associate of Jack Ruby and established strong connections with the New Orleans Crime Family in the 1970’s. He is now aged 79, and his whereabouts is unknown.
James “Danny Wilson” Iannone
On this day in 2002, at the age of 88, James “Danny Wilson” Iannone died of natural causes in LA. During his career in the mob he served as a soldier for the LA crime family after being inducted by mob boss Jack Dragna in the 1940’s. Iannone was known as an expert extortionist as well as a reputed contract killer.
On this day Joey Gallo was born and also died. He was born on April 7, 1929 and died 43 years later on April 7, 1972 whilst out celebrating his birthday. Gallo and his brothers initiated one of the biggest mob wars since the 1931 Castellammarese War. In 1961 the Gallo crew attempted to kidnap the high-ranking members of the Profaci crime family, except Profaci himself and demanded a huge randsom for their release. This sparked the First Colombo War which would result in the attempted hit on Larry Gallo, the death of Joe Gioelli (Gallos main enforcer). When Profaci died of cancer in 1962, Joe Colombo took the helm and continued to battle with the Gallos. After a contract was put on Joey’s head, he struck first in 1971 after Colombo was shot in the head by Jerome A. Johnson, the rest of the Colombo family believed Gallo was behind the hit so the pressure mounted to get rid of Gallo. That time came in April 1972 at 4:30am , at Umbertos Clame House in Little Italy. 20 shots were fired at him, and in an effort to protect his family he lead the hitmen out onto the street where he would collapse. Read more: http://thencs.org/29wzyIp
On this day in 1962 Anthony Strollo aka Tony Bender who was a high ranking capo within the Genovese Crime family went missing. According to a testimony from Joe Valachi, Vito Genovese was said to have been behind the hit, after Strollo switched sides in an attempt to set Genovese up with a drug trafficking conviction back in 1959. Strollo’s remains were never found.
Joel Cacace Sr
On this day in 1941 the mob world would see the birth of a future acting boss of the Colombo Crime Family. Joel Cacace Sr is expected to be behind bars until mid 2020 at least. Cacace is close friends with former acting boss Victor Orena, and it is said that Cacace was the hitman that attempted to kill The Grim Reaper (Greg Scarpa) in 1991 due to his allegience with the Carmine Perisco factor of the Colombo family.
On this day in 1929 Joe Morgan was born in LA, and went on to become a co-founder of the Mexican Mafia. He also had a prosthetic leg which dealt him the nickname Joe “Peg Leg” Morgan. On October 27, 1993, he was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer while serving a life sentence, and died a little over one month later.
On this day in 1935 one of the most talked about and controversial hitmen was born in New Jersey. His name was Richard Kuklinski, better known as The Iceman. Kuklinski was said to have murdered over 200 people, committing his first murder at the age of 14. He got the nickname Iceman because he would freeze victims to obscure the time that they were killed. He died in prison, in 2006.
On this day in 1946 Salvatore Miceli was born and became one of the most wanted men in the Sicilian Mafia for a period of 8 years. In 2009 he was arrested in Venezuela and then extradited back to Italy to serve prison time. Even in prison, Micela has been further charged for drug trafficking. He is also the grandson of Salvatore Zizzo.View more from this date in history
Orleans Parish Prison Lynchings
On this day in 1892, U.S. President Benjamin Harrison orders a payment of $25,000.00 to be made to the families of eleven Italians who were lynched at the Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans on March 14 1891 after a Not Guilty verdict in the murder trial of David Hennessey. The lynched men were thought to be members of the Mafia.
On this day in 1996 the Lucchese Crime Family would wave goodbye to one of its more famous members, Jimmy Burke. Jimmy the Gent was known mostly for being a Lucchese Associate who organized the Lufthansa Heist back in 1978, where they made away with over 6 million dollars. Jimmy himself expected no where near this amount, and paranoid of the publicity he began to eliminate any mobster who had involvement with the heist, in a way of protecting himself. Jimmy died of lung cancer, and would have been eligible for parole in 2004. Read more: http://thencs.org/2p06bsXView more from this date in history
On this day in 2006 NOLA Family member Frank Gagliano dies. Known as “Fat Frank” or “Muffaletta Frank”. Became Underboss to Anthony Carollo after Carlos Marcello’s death in 1993. Gagliano opened Franks’s restaraunt on Decauter St. in The Quarter where the phones were bugged by the FBI in the last major LCN case to take place in New Orleans called Operation Hardcrust.
On this day in 1973 one of the most notorious sociopathic enforcers for the Chicago Outfit, would die at the age of 63. Mad Sam DeStefano was so mentally unstable that he would never become a made man in the family. On one occasion he served FBI agents ‘Special Italian Coffee’ which in reality was partly made with his own urine.
On this day in 1931 one of the biggest mob killings would take place on Coney Island, at the Nuova Villa Tammaro. The victim of the assassination plot was Joe Masseria, aka Joe The Boss. Masseria was dining with Lucky Luciano who excused himself from the table to go to the bathroom. Bugsy Siegel, Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia and Joe Adonis rushed in and fired over 20 shots at Masseria, his four bodyguards were no where in sight. This would mark the end of the Castellammarese War. Read more: http://thencs.org/2a8MGnJ
On this day in 1957, a few months before the hit on Albert Anastasia, the mob World would say their last goodbyes to Papa Johnny who died at the age of 75. Torrio actually died in a barbers chair but not in the same bloody fashion as Anastasia, instead it was a heart attack that finished off The Fox. Johnny Torrio did survive an assassination attempt though back in 1925, after a retaliation attempt by the North Side Gang for the hit on Dean O’Banion. The hitmen were Hymie Weiss, Bugs Moran and Vincent Drucci. Torrio was struck in the jaw, lungs, groin, legs, and abdomen. Weiss attempted to deliver a final shot into Torrio’s head, but had run out of ammunition. Instead, Weiss kicked Torrio repeatedly in the stomach and Moran hit Torrio with a billy club. He was smart, talented and respected amongst other major crime bosses in the US and built the foundation for the Chicago Outfit with Al Capone as his protege. Read more: http://thencs.org/29xVRN7
On this day in 1988 Nino Gaggi a capo in the Gambino Crime Family and supervisor of the DeMeo crew suffered a fatal heart attack that would end his life at the age of 62. Gaggi had apparently told a guard that he was suffering chest pain but the guard did nothing to act on this. Gaggi’s death sparked a controversy that eventually resulted in better medical conditions in New York City prisons, and his wife successfully sued for negligence. Read more: http://thencs.org/29vjjPh
On this day in 1980 the mobster who was responsible for the downfall of the Angelo Bruno era of the Philadelphia Crime Family, was himself, taken out in a retaliation hit from Bruno loyalists. Antonio Caponigro was Bruno’s consigliere during the 70’s, however the two mobsters had a different view of entering the Meth trade – Bruno refused, Caponigro was keen. Due to this dispute Caponigro ordered the hit on Bruno, without the nod from the commission.A few weeks after the Bruno hit, Joe “Mad Dog” Sullivan put 14 bullets into Caponigro, filling his mouth and anus with money to symbolize greed. He was then stuffed into the trunk of a car.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1891, the future LA crime boss would be born in Corleone, Sicily. Jack Dragna was one of the first bosses in the LA area, and would go on to run the family from 1931 until his death in 1956. Dragna would become one of Bugsy Siegel’s and Mickey Cohens main rivals. Dragna and his mobsters tried many times to kill off Cohen but Cohen survived everything from house bombings to ambushes.
On this day in 1951 The Executioner, Vincent Mangano would meet his end at the hands of The Lord High Executioner, Albert Anastasia. Both Vincent and his brother Philip would disappear at the same time, with Philips body found on April 19, whilst Vincent’s has never been recovered. Despite Mangano and Anastasia working together for 20 years, they never saw eye to eye. Mangano objected to Anastasia’s connections with the likes of Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello and Lepke Buchalter. In 1951, Anastasia would relish the opportunity to takeover the Mangano family in a plot that would see Anastasia convincing The Commission that he was acting in self-defense. This was backed up by his allies Luciano and Costello. Mangano was 63 years old. Read more: http://thencs.org/2oMWoDuView more from this date in history
On this day in 1998, Peter Marcello, brother to Carlos, dies.
Salvatore La Barbera
On this day in 1922 the Sicilian mobster Salvatore La Barbera was born. La Barbera had the pleasure of sitting on the first Mafia Commission in Sicily, and with his brother Angelo, lead the Mafia family that governed over Palermo Centro. He disappeared during the first Mafia War in 1963, at the age of 40. His body was never recovered.View more from this date in history
In 1872 Joseph Agnello is shot to death on the Picayune Pier in New Orleans. This effectively ended the power of the Palermo faction as well as their rivals the Messinian/Trapanesi faction to see the rise of the Stuppaghieri headed by the Matranga’s.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1930 NOLA Family member Frank Gagliano is born. Top man in Marcello’s Family and Underboss to Marcello successor Anthony Carollo.
On this day in 1924 the Julius Cesar of the Philadelphia Mob was born. Philip Testa lived and died in Philadelphia, briefly becoming the boss of the Philadelphia crime family shortly after the assassination of Angelo Bruno in March of 1980. The reign for Testa wasn’t long, as he was killed a year later in March of 1981, by a nail bomb that was planted under the front porch of his home. Read more: http://thencs.org/2pYgOZt
On this day in 1989 Tony Tursi, the mobster who ran nightclubs in Puerto Rico for the best part of the 1950’s through to the late 1970’s, passed away at the grand age of 88. He was best known for owning La Riviera.
On this day in 1981 Stefano Bontade, a Sicilian mobster who was the boss of the Santa Maria di Gesù Family in Palermo was machine-gunned down while driving his car back from his 42nd Birthday party. The hitman was said to be part of the Corleonesi, in particular Toto Riina’s favorite hitman, Pino Greco. His death would spark an all-out war (The Second Mafia War) that would rage on until 1983, leaving hundreds of mobsters dead.View more from this date in history
Lee Harvey Oswald
On this day in 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald returns to New Orleans and spends the summer working for the Reilly Coffee Company as a machinery technician. He reportedly also works for his uncle Charles “Dutz” Murret as a numbers runner. Murret worked for NOLA Family member Sam Saia who ran gambling operations from a backroom in Felix’s Restaurant on Iberville St. in The Quarter. Oswald stays until September 25 when he boards a bus bound for Houston.
On this day in 1965 the owner of the Cotton Club and Prohibition era bootlegger, Owney Madden passed away at the age of 73. During 1912 Madden was set upon by 3 mobsters of the Dusters (a rival gang), he was lucky to survive having been shot at point blank range with several bullets entering his body as he lay bleeding at the table of a dance hall. He refused to name the hitmen, but a couple of years later he plotted a hit on the leader of the Dusters, the hit was successful. Owney was later found guilty and was sentenced to 20 years at Sing Sing, he spent just 9 of them behind bars. His nickname, was ‘The Killer’.View more from this date in history
William Stirling Parkerson
On this day in 1857 the man who is the driving force behind the 1891 Orleans Parish Prison lynching in New Orleans, William Stirling Parkerson, is born.
Special Citizens Investigating Committee
The Special Citizens Investigating Committee (SCIC) was a crime commission organized by the Commission Council and the Metropolitan Crime Commission to help overcome crime and corruption and to correct situations that bred crime. The SCIC was formed in reaction to the blatant role of organized crime in New Orleans as revealed by testimony given to the investigating committee headed by Senator C. Estes Kefauver in January, 1951. Interviewed by the New Orleans media on May 22, 1951, Kefauver recommended the local formation of a crime commission to suppress crime on a grand scale. In May 1952, a group of New Orleans businessmen and clergymen organized the Metropolitan Crime Commission. However, subsequent public scandals led to the formation of an independent investigative body, authorized by ordinance of the Commission Council on April 24, 1952. The committee consisted of three citizens (Leon D. Hubert, Jr., George C. Stohlman, and Dudley C. Foley, Jr.). Aaron M. Kohn, lawyer and former FBI agent, was selected to run the SCIC.
On this day in 1957 the New Jersey mobster who worked for the DeCavalcante Crime Family was born. Louis Consalvo is the man we are talking about, and Louie Eggs was recently released from prison in 2012 after serving a 12 year prison sentence for the 1991 LaRosso homicide.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1906, New Orleans Family member Nofio Pecararo is born.
On this day in 1983 New Orleans Family member Joseph Poretto dies. Like his boss Carlos Marcello, Poretto refused to answer questions when called before the Kefauver Committee in 1951. Mainly involved in gambling Poretto also ran the restaurant at Marcello headquarters Town and Country Motel. A witness described seeing Poretto meet with Lee Harvey Oswald at the restaurant in the months before the JFK assassination.
On this day in 1979 Anthony Russo died at the age of 62. Little Pussy as he was also called because of being such a skillful cat burglar, was a Genovese mobster who was also said to have reigned over Monmouth County in New Jersey.His death came at the hands of a Genovese capo called Thomas DePhillips, Anthony DeVingo (an enforcer) and Joe Zarro (an associate), who together shot and killed Ruddo in Long Branch, New Jersey.
On this day in 1997, Little Dom Cataldo died from Cancer at the age of 74 whilst serving out a 35 year prison sentence, largely thanks to information passed to the FBI from Joseph Iannuzzi in the Operation Homerun trials.Cataldo was a member of the Colombo Crime Family, having become a member in the late 70’s. He was known mostly for the Gerard Pappa murder in 1980, and it is said that Vincent Gigante passed the contract to Dom and is nephews to handle.The hit team crept up behind Pappa and literally took his head off with a sawed-off shotgun.
On this day in 1906 one of the most influential and successful mob bosses would be born in Chicago. Tony Accardo’s career in the mob saw him go from a Circus Cafe Gang member, to Al Capone’s bodyguard, through to the boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1947.He gained the nickname Joe Batters from a dinner party in which he clubbed to death 3 Outfit traitors on orders from Capone, with a baseball bat. He also saved Capones life on a number of occasions.Other reputed events in the Accardo timeline included being a participant in the St Valentines Day Massacre of 1929, the Frankie Yale hit of 1928, and the Hymie Weiss hit of 1926.He was also said to have hitmen cut the throats of thieves who had broken into his home in 1978 while he was in California. A few weeks after the incident 7 people were found dead (the three thieves and four related people). Whereas other mob bosses controlled a portion of New York, Accardo ran the whole of Chicago, untouched for decades. He died at the age of 86, in 1992. Read more: http://thencs.org/29Iy4NH
On this day in 1914 the labor racketeer who helped Jimmy Hoffa become General President of the Teamsters Union was born. Johnny Dio who was born Giovanni Dioguardi was involved in many scandals during his lifetime and appeared in the 1950’s McClellan hearings.The photo you see here was of Dio trying to leave the hearing quickly, without having his photo taken. However one lucky photographer managed to get ahead and snap this sneering expression which has now become an iconic image of Dio, and Teamsters corruption.Johnny Dio was also subject of an attack on Victor Riesel, in which acid was thrown in the newspapers columnists face. Riesel and would be permanently blinded by this attack, and Dio was questioned and then arrested for his involvement.
On this day in 1972 the son of Salvatore Inzerillo was born in Brooklyn. Giovanni Inzerillo’s father was a notorious Sicilian mob boss who was killed in 1981, during the Second Mafia War, at the hands of the Corleonesi. Giovanni’s brother was also killed at the young age of 14, by orders from Toto Riina, for wanting to avenge his fathers death. Apparently they hacked his arm off (symbolic act with the arm he vowed to shoot Riina with), and then shot him in the head.The whole of the Inzerillo family had to move to the US, in an intervention from the Gambino Crime Family who made a deal with the Corleonesi in order to let the relatives take refuge in the US and never return to Sicily. Giovanni ended up returning in 2000, and lived in his fathers house.