- Rizzuto, dozens more, arrested in Canada mob sweep 11-26-06
- No parole for Canada mob turncoat Simard 10-22-2006
- Canada's Musitanos up for parole today 10-04-2006
- Fugitive mobsters known to be in Toronto 09-22-2006
- Canada's 'godfather' deported 08-18-2006
- Thug-boxer deported from Canada 08-16-2006
- Canada court clears way for Rizzuto extradition 07-22-2006
- Few contenders for Toronto mob boss title 07-21-2006
- Rizzuto extradition decision due Friday 07-17-2006
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Federal prosecutors have notified a federal judge in Brooklyn that they will seek the death penalty if Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano is found guilty of ordering a mob execution, according to an Associated Press story by Tom Hays.
Basciano (left), 47-year-old former boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, is scheduled to go to trial in June. He was convicted of racketeering offenses in a separate case last year.
In a brief letter to the trial judge, the prosecution did not explain its decision to pursue capital punishment, a rarity in Mafia trials. The only Brooklyn federal court case to result in a death sentence in the past year was that of Ronell Wilson, who was convicted of killing two police detectives. However, the threat of the death penalty has been used to convince other Mafia defendants to plea bargain or to cooperate with investigators.
Basciano's reputed predecessor as Bonanno boss, Joseph Massino, apparently decided to cooperate in an investigation of Basciano after being confronted with the possibility of a death sentence.
Basciano is accused of ordering the December 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo, believed to be a Bonanno family associate. He is also charged with compiling a list of targets for assassination, according to a story by Michael Brick of the New York Times. The list, which includes the name of trial judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, was a device to aid in prayer, according to Basciano. The defendant offered to take a polygraph test to show that the list was compiled with innocent purposes in mind. Prosecutors revealed that Basciano failed that test.
Related MobNews posts:
- 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
US Mafia was born in New Orleans
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia
Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.
- 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.