Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jury learns of Basciano-Massino friction

Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella, once an underboss in the Bonanno Crime Family, told a federal jury last week that defendant Vincent Basciano wasn't a favorite of former boss Joseph Massino, according to a story by Stefanie Cohen of the New York Post.

Massino did not see eye-to-eye with Basciano (right), who took over the family's top spot when Massino was sent away to prison. "He was always leery of Vinny," Cantarella said. "He didn't know how he made his money. He thought he was too quick, too hot-headed."

Massino (left) steered clear of a favorite restaurant, Casa Blanca in Queens, whenever he thought Basciano might be around, Cantarella added.

The two Bonanno bigshots expressed contrary underworld philosophies during an induction ceremony. Basciano felt that prospective Mafia members should have to commit a murder for the organization in order to be considered for full membership. Massino felt good earners should get a pass on that traditional requirement.

Basciano, already imprisoned on a racketeering conviction, is on trial for the racketeering murder of Frank Santoro. Last year, a jury deadlocked on the Santoro murder charge.

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