Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Feds explore mob link to restaurateur's killing

The FBI believes the early July 30 killing of Frank Fresca, 66, at his Italian restaurant on Staten Island, could be linked to the Bonanno Crime Family, according to a story by Joe Mollica, Jamie Schram and Adam Nichols of the New York Post. and a story by Xana O'Neill, Tanangachi Mfuni and Jonathan Lemire of the New York Daily News.

Just after midnight, Fresca was shot seven times in the torso, once in the back and once in the head. Police believe his killer was waiting for him in a row of bushes behind the Fresca by the Bay restaurant (right). As the shots were fired, Fresca was heard calling out for a business partner. That man rushed to Fresca's side and later told investigators, "There was nothing I could do."

Authorities recalled that Fresca was severely beaten and was shot at by four men who burst into his restaurant back in 2005. One of his attackers in that case has been identified as Joseph Catapano, who accused Fresca of having a relationship with Catapano's estranged wife. The relationship between Fresca and Kelly Catapano reportedly continued.

Restaurant employees noted that Fresca had not paid some of them in more than a month. They also said the restaurateur seemed worried about business and about his security. He had hired a bodyguard and had been losing weight.
An anonymous online review of Fresca's restaurant, posted just 16 days before his killing, attacked the restaurateur personally and seemed to have more knowledge of him than an occasional patron could acquire: "The owner is a complete idiot with no manners and no respect for woman. He treats his staff horribly, yelling and cursing in front of customers. He has no business sense at all."

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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.