Saturday, July 21, 2007

Former lieutenant testifies against Basciano


Nicholas "P.J." Pisciotti, a former lieutenant in the Bonanno Crime Family, testified in the racketeering-murder trial of his former boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano (right) last week, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Pisciotti, 37, a mob turncoat, spoke about the 2001 murder of Frank Santoro. He also described the events that caused him to turn his back on his former associates and his underworld oath. According to Pisciotti, he looked to his superiors for backing when Genovese Crime Family associates brought felony assault charges against him. Pisciotti hoped that back-channel conversations could cause the charges to be dropped. However, he later learned that Bonanno leaders Nicholas Santora and Anthony Rabito refused to intercede.

Basciano had a bit of a fashion emergency on Thursday, according to another Daily News story. Out of fresh dress shirts, Basciano showed up at trial wearing a t-shirt under his suit jacket and complaining that he was uncomfortable about it. Judge Nicholas Garaufis lent the former mob boss his own spare blue dress shirt and yellow tie. While it wasn't quite the quality that "Gorgeous" is used to, he seemed pleased.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. 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.