Articles by Hayley Dean

Louis Campagna: Died On This Day in 1955, 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…


Eliot Ness: Died On This Day in 1957, 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…


Greg Scarpa: Born On This Day in 1928

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…


Owney Madden: Died On This Day in 1965, 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…


Philip Testa: Born On This Day in 1924

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…


Vincent Mangano: Died On This Day in 1951, 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…


Jimmy Burke: Died On This Day in 1996, 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…


Aniello Dellacroce: Born On This Day in 1914

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…


Nicky Scarfo: Born On This Day in 1929

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…


Richard Kuklinski: Died On This Day in 2006, 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…


Joey Aiuppa: Died On This Day in 1997, 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…


Carmine Galante: Born On This Day in 1910

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…


Frank Costello: Died On This Day in 1973, 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….


Jim Colosimo: Born On This Day in 1878

Born Vincenzo Colosimo on February 16th 1878, Big Jim was an Italian-American Mafia Crime Boss who emigrated from Calabria, Italy in 1895 to Chicago. He gained his power by running a chain of brothels as well as some petty crime, and he also led his own South-Side gang that was more famously known as ‘The Chicago Outfit‘. He gained his nickname ‘Diamond Jim‘ due to his attire, he frequently dressed in all white suits, wore…