Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cicale: 'Gorgeous' ordered 2004 murder

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."

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.