Wednesday, April 2, 2008

'Gorgeous' goes away for life

Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, former boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the Dec. 14, 2001, murder of underworld rival Frank Santoro, according to stories by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News and the Associated Press.

Basciano (right) was convicted of the Santoro shotgun slaying last July. The killing was one of the racketeering charges first brought against him in 2006. A federal jury convicted him of racketeering, attempted murder and gambling but deadlocked on the murder charge. U.S. Attorneys decided to retry him on that charge.

Basciano's attorneys are appealing the conviction, arguing that the prosecution's case was built upon false information supplied by mob turncoat Dominick Cicale. Things could still get worse for the former crime boss. He could face the death penalty in an upcoming trial for allegedly ordering the murder of Randolph Pizzolo.

Basciano became acting boss of the Bonanno clan after boss Joseph Massino was indicted for racketeering. A federal judge imposed a life sentence on Massino in 2005. Facing the possibility of a death sentence for his role in underworld murders, Massino aided prosecutors in their efforts to acquire evidence against Basciano. Massino recorded his prison conversations with Basciano.

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US Mafia was born in New Orleans

book cover


Deep Water:
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.

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