Dominick Cicale, former lieutenant in the Bonanno Crime Family, testified yesterday that acting Bonanno bosses Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano and Michael Mancuso ordered the November 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo, according to a story by Anthony M. DeStefano published on AM New York.
Pizzolo was shot to death after Basciano (right) was arrested on racketeering charges. Cicale testified that Mancuso, standing in for Basciano as boss, approved the hit, while Bonanno soldier Anthony Aiello carried it out. The murder was called for, Cicale said, because of Pizzolo's indiscrete talk and actions.
Basciano, 47, is now on trial for the February 2001 racketeering murder of Frank Santoro in the Bronx. A capital murder trial on the Pizzolo murder is scheduled for next year. Mancuso and Aiello face racketeering trials, which include the Pizzolo murder charge.
Cicale noted that Basciano's personal involvement in the murder of Santoro left the mob bigshot with a bad bruise on his jaw, the result of a shotgun recoil, according to a story by Stefanie Cohen of the New York Post. Cicale said he, Basciano and another mobster drove up to Santoro as he was walking his dog on Feb. 15, 2001. Cicale and Basciano shot the man in the street.
That hit was ordered by Basciano because he learned that Santoro, a drug addict, planned to kidnap one of Basciano's children for ransom.
Cicale, 40, was an acting crew leader in the Bonanno clan. During cross examination, he acknowledged lying at times to avoid going to jail.
In earlier testimony, Cicale explained that Basciano was paranoid that an underworld associate might be working with law enforcement, accoridng to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News. During a meeting with the boss in 2004, he demanded that underlings strip down to their underwear so he could be sure none were wearing a "wire."
Related MobNews posts:
- 'Gorgeous' back in court 06-19-07
- Basciano could face death penalty 04-03-07
- Basciano says poker buddies set him up 01-09-07
- Feds: Montagna is new top man for Bonannos 11-15-06
- 'Gorgeous' wants a new judge 11-02-06
- Not a hit-list, just a lucky charm 09-24-06
- Feds investigate Basciano plot against judge 09-20-06
- 'Gorgeous' complains to the management 08-29-06
- Feds: Gotti Jr. contemplated false testimony 06-15-06
- Vinny Gorgeous guilty of racketeering 05-10-06