State and federal authorities say William Romano, 70, who was found murdered in his apartment Thursday, was a longtime associate of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, reputed lieutenant in the Genovese Crime Family, according to a story by Christine Hauser of the New York Times.
Officials recalled that Romano was arrested almost 20 years ago at Kennedy International Airport with two pounds of heroin taped to his shins and midsection. Romano avoided conviction through two trials by insisting that the drugs had been planted on him by law enforcement.
Last seen alive at 9 a.m. on April 22, Romano was found dead late the next afternoon, submerged in an upstairs bathtub of his duplex apartment, 8020 Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Romano apparently died of head injuries. His companion, Elviza Aronova, 36, was found stabbed to death in a bedroom on the lower floor. She had also suffered head injuries.
Police said they found the apartment in disarray. The electricity had been turned off within. And it appeared that someone had tried to clean the crime scene using bleach.
Romano had owned the 54-unit apartment building until 2006. When he sold the building, he retained two apartments for himself. The second apartment was used as an office. Police found a small arsenal within, including two shotguns, a .45-caliber handgun and a live hand grenade.
- 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.