On This Day in January…
On this day in 1929 Joey Lombardo was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was connected to the Chicago Mafia from an early age. In April 2005, Lombardo and 14 of his mob associates were indicted with racketeering conspiracy and the murder of a federal witness. The indictment included a total of 18 hits, including Tony “The Ant” Spilotro and his brother, Michael.
Read more: http://thencs.org/2iTMknV
On this day in 1967 Jack Ruby died from Lung Cancer just a few years after he successfully appealed a death sentence after he fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. Oswald at the time was in police custody after being charged with the murder of John F. Kennedy.
On this day in 1952 Giuseppe Greco was born, although he only lived until he was 33, Pino Greco was a Sicilian hitman who is said to have killed at least 80 people, and as many a 300, including a 15-year old mobsters son. Greco would be killed himself by two mobsters who paid him a visit at home, with orders from Toto Riina.
Read more: http://thencs.org/2hRoGLn
On this day Michele Navarra was born in 1905, for those who haven’t heard of Navarra, he was a powerful member of the Sicilian Mafia. He was assassinated in a 1958 road-block ambush when sub-machine-gun bullets riddled the Fiat he was driving. It is said that Toto Riina was a suspected hitman. Navarra was 53 at the time of his death in 1958.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1888 Rocco Geraci, a member of the New Orleans Stuppagghieri Mafia, shoots and kills Giardinieri Mafia member Anthony Bonora.
On this day in 1925 Luciano Leggio was born in Corleone, Sicily.He would go on to make the Corleonesi the most dominant Mafia family in Sicily, and was known as the Sicilian John Gotti because of his ability to avoid convictions which ranged from homicide to racketeering. He was a volatile and violent mobster, who wore expensive suits, wore sunglasses and always had a grand cigar hanging out of his mouth.
Read more about Luciano Leggio here: http://thencs.org/1S2mrBcView more from this date in history
On this day in 1891 Italian counterfeiter Antonio Ruggiero is arrested in Amite Louisiana. He is sent to the Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans. In truth Ruggeiro is a detective for the Pinkerton Agency, named Frank Dimaio and of Italian descent he is placed there undercover to see what the prisoners being held in the murder of Chief of Police David Hennessey may reveal to a fellow Italian prisoner.
On this day in 1992 Nicholas Grancio was killed in a drive-by-shooting. Nicky pulled up at a set of red lights in his Toyota, at the same time The Grim Reaper, Greg Scarpa pulled up by the side of him. Prior to this Greg Scarpa had an attempt made on his life so he was seeking revenge on the Orena faction, and he had an idea that Nicky was in on the hit attempt.
Read more: http://thencs.org/1mGRcOP
On this day back in 1929 we saw the assassination of Pasqualino Lolordo who was the head of the Chicago chapter of the Unione Siciliana. He was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in his home. The hit was said to be arranged by Bugs Moran and Joe Aiello to help remove the protection around Al Capone. Just over a month later, Capone hit back with the St Valentines Day massacre.
On this day in 1919, Tony Giacalone was born. He was a capo in the Detroit crime family and is better know as one of the two mobsters that were investigated in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. The other mobster was Tony Provenzano.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1940 Robert Carrozza was born. Carrozza was responsible for an internal uprising against the leadership of the Patriarca family, back in 1989. The internal conflict would crack the foundations of the Patriarca Crime Family which was run by Raymond Patriarca.
On this day in 1983, Roy DeMeo was found murdered in his abandoned car trunk. He had been shot multiple times in the head and had a bullet wound in his hand. DeMeo and the Gemini Crew were responsible for the murder of at least 70 people during the decade before his death.
Read more about the death of Roy DeMeo: http://thencs.org/1MoDn2G
On this day in 1943 Carlo Tresca, the publisher of an anti-fascist newspaper in New York, was crossing Fifth Avenue at 13th Street on foot when a black Ford pulled up beside him. A gunman in a brown coat jumped out and shot Tresca in the back and the head with a handgun, killing him instantly. Carmine Galante allegedly pulled the trigger, under Genovese orders as a favor to Italian President Benito Mussolini.
On this day in 1894 Al and Frank Capone’s older brother Ralph Capone was born. Although he was the older brother he never got involved with the dirty side of the Outfit, and never held a position of great power. He did however, live until 1974, dying of natural causes aged 80.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1891 the Provenzano re-trial begins in New Orleans. Members of the Provenzano family had been convicted the previous July in an ambush on the Matranga faction on the corner of Esplanade and Claiborne Avenues. No deaths occurred but Antonio Matranga’s
On this day back in 1947 Lupo the Wolf aka Ignazio Lupo passed away from natural causes and was buried in Calvary Cemetery, not far from Joe Petrosino who was the man who investigated Lupo during his career. Lupo operated in the very early part of the 20th century and was caught by police in 1910 and sent to prison for 30 years (serving 10). By the time he came out the scene was changing fast and with the emergence of the National Crime Syndicate it forced him into retirement.
On this day in 1979, the 28 year old Lucchese associate, Thomas DeSimone went missing. DeSimone was part of the Lufthana Heist and was portrayed by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. It is said that DeSimone was murdered as a reprisal for having killed two of John Gotti’s close friends. This was backed up by Henry Hill who told authorities after becoming an FBI informant in 1980.
Read more: http://thencs.org/2jhOP7K
On this day in 1983 Meyer Lansky Died. Despite being Jewish, Meyer had considerable influence and strength with the Italian-American Mafia and was never found guilty of anything more than illegal gambling. During his active years he helped develop the mobs gambling empire and was the brain behind many of its decisions.
Read more about Meyer (including books, videos and quotes): http://thencs.org/1Q7HQro
On this day in 1940 Louis Peraino was born. He was a Colombo Crime Family mobster but also a film producer known for his production of adult films. He would spend time in and out of jail in the 70’s and 80’s, eventually dying of lung cancer before the new millennium in 1999.
On this day in 1899 Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York. Better known to the world as Al Capone he would go on to become one of the most familiar and talked about mobsters of all time. In 1947 however, at the young age of 48 The Big Shot suffered a fatal cardiac arrest which ended the life of one of the most famous and feared gangsters of the Prohibition era. Read more about Al Capone including videos, books and quotes: http://thencs.org/1SU0vYoView more from this date in history
On this day in 1882, Arnold Rothstein was born in New York City. Despite being killed in 1928 due to a large debt he had built up from a fixed poker game, he mentored many up and coming mobsters. The Brain, as he was called, transformed the likes of Luciano, Costello, and other prominent gangsters of the era into becoming more business like in their manners and actions. Moving them away from street hoodlums into businessmen.
He is noted as the first mobster to realize the potential of Prohibition, and he was famous for the fixing of the 1919 World Series.
On this day in 1905 Joe Bonanno was born in Castellammare del Golfo, which was a small town in Sicily where Salvatore Maranzano was also born. Bonanno would go on to lead his own crime family, living until the age of 97 years old.
Read more about Joe Bonanno including videos, books and quotes: http://thencs.org/1RNYQVq
On this day back in 1940, Paolo Borsellino was born. He was an anti-Mafia magistrate who battled to bring the Italian Mafia down with his friend Giovanni Falcone. He death was at the hands of the Sicilian Mafia in a car bomb that killed him and 5 policemen. The murders of Borsellino, Falcone and many others were sanctioned by Salvatore Riina.
On this day in 1882 Johnny Torrio was Born. Papa Johnny helped build what is today known as the #Chicago Outfit, and was Al Capone’s mentor. He helped with the creation of the National Crime Syndicate and escaped numerous assassination attempts from the North Side Gang.
Read more about Johnny Torrio: http://thencs.org/1PnCSSmView more from this date in history
On this day and a year after Johnny Torrio was born, the world would welcome Enoch Johnson who controlled Alantic City during the Prohibition Era. He was a political force who was involved in gambling and prostitution who inspired the writers of Boardwalk Empire.
On this day John Nardi was born back in 1916. Nardi was a Cleveland Crime Family associate who switched sides in a 1970’s gang war, when he started working for Irish mobster Danny Greene. After several assassination attempts on Nardi, he would meet his end in a car bomb that would take away both his legs. His final words as he was being dragged from the wreckage: “it didn’t hurt”
On this day in 1893 notorious Prohibition era mobster Francesco Yale was born, and was Al Capone’s boss during the Brooklyn days. Francesco was better known as Frankie Yale and met his end in spectacular mob style, after Capone sanctioned a drive-by shooting on his old friend and boss, Yale.
Read more about Frankie Yale: http://thencs.org/1PdoYIzView more from this date in history
On this day in 1978 Paolo Violi, an Italian-Canadian mobster who was working as a capo for the Bonanno’s Montreal faction, was shot in the head at close range with a shotgun, whilst he was in his cafe. This was just one hit of many in the Rizzuto vs Cotroni/Violi gang war where they were both vying for control over the city’s drug market.
On this day in 1891, in New Orleans, it is decided to try the nineteen defendants in the Hennessey Case in two separate trials for ease of jury selection. A trial date for the first nine is set. The first to be tried are: Antonio Marchesi and his son Gaspare, Charles Matranga, Joseph Macheca, Bastion Incardona, Antonio Bagnetto, Pietro Monasterio, Antonio Scaffidi and Emmanuele Polizzi.
Joseph A. Shakespeare
On this day in 1896 Joseph A. Shakespeare dies. Shakespeare was mayor of New Orleans at the time of the 1891 lynching of eleven Italians and thought to be complicit in the act.
Anthony “Jules” Cigali
On this day in 1955 NOLA Mobster Anthony “Jules” Cigali dies at the age of 64.
On this day in 1928, in Palermo, Salvatore Lima was born. He was a member of the Italian parliament, and became the 7th Mayor of Palermo in 1958, he also had connections with the mob. These connections would result in the 1992 death of Salvo when he was gunned down in daylight after his chauffeur driven car was shot at.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1891 The Provenzano’s are acquitted of some of the charges against them in the Ambush case.
On this day in 1975 Richard Blass met his end at the age of 29. He was a Canadian mobster who during his short-life survived at least three assassination attempts and a police shootout. In 1975 Blass was on the run, and the Police eventually found him in a chalet. This time he wasn’t so lucky, in a controversial stand-off Blass was shot 27 times within a few seconds and died on the spot.
On this day in 1947 the world would mark the passing of one of the most notorious mobsters to have ever lived. At the age of 48 The Big Shot suffered from a stroke but managed to improve from it (this was just 4 days after he celebrated his 48th birthday). However, after managing to regain consciousness from the stroke he contracted pneumonia; on the 25th January 4 days after the stroke he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.Read more on how Al Capone spent his final years: http://thencs.org/1T1uqy1
On this day in 1962 we marked the passing of an all-time great. Lucky Luciano had attended a meeting with Martin Gosch at Naples International Airport to discuss a film based on his life. Upon leaving Lucky collapsed and died from a heart-attack. The Chairman and Founding Father of the mob left an incredible legacy behind him.
It was on February 1946 that Lucky Luciano would say his final farewell to the United States, until his body was brought back in a casket almost twenty years later.
Read more about Lucky’s final years: http://thencs.org/20bYSaGView more from this date in history
On this day in 1891 Antonio Ruggiero (Frank Dimaio) is released from the Orleans Parish Prison.
On this day in 1886 Francesco Raffaele Nitto was born. He of course was known better as Frank Nitti who was the enforcement arm of the Chicago Outfit under his first cousin Al Capone. Facing a lengthy jail sentence and being a severe claustrophobe, Nitti ended his own life by shooting himself in the head by a railway track in 1943 at the age of 57.
Although we tend to call him Frank Nitti he never once referred to himself as this, he was always known as Frank Nitto. The name Nitti came from police and media reports.
Read more about the man they call Frank Nitti: http://thencs.org/1QpcxXrView more from this date in history
On this day in 1895 New Orleans Chief of Police Dexter Gaster reports that the Mafia in New Orleans, previously thought to be destroyed, has been revived in the city.
On this day in 1910 Dominick Alaimo was born. Nick would work his way up to a Capo in the Bufalino Crime Family, known as an enforcer in the labor racketeering and gambling scenes. He is mostly known for ratting on himself in order to protect his own family. He died in 1990 of natural causes.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1891, in New Orleans the remaining charges against the Provenzano’s are dismissed in the Ambush trial.
John H. Davis
On this day in 2012 we lost one of the greatest authors in the World when it came to books on the Mafia. John H. Davis published 7 books from 1969 – 1998, including Mafia Dynasty and The Kennedy’s. He also appeared any many mob-related documentaries in the 90’s sharing his knowledge. He died at his home from complications of Alzheimers, aged 82.View more from this date in history
On this day in 1969 in New Orleans, businessman Clay Shaw is brought to trial by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison in the assassination of JFK.
James D Houston
On this day in 1894 James D Houston dies. Houston was one of the forces behind the 1891 Orleans Parish Prison lynching of eleven Italians in New Orleans.
On this day in 2014, Joseph Caminiti or Joe Camel as he was known passed away at the age of 87. Joe was the last known reputed boss of the Milwaukee Crime Family, having become boss in 1997 when he was 70 years old.
On this day in 1918 Philip Rastelli was born. He was a former boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, having become boss in the fall of 1973. Despite becoming boss he only spent two years as a free man, as in 1975 he was indicted for extortion and spent the rest of his life behind bars.