Wednesday, July 23, 2008

KC Outfit bigshot 'Tuffy' DeLuna dies at 81

Carl DeLunaCarl Angelo "Tuffy" DeLuna, former underboss of the Kansas City Mafia organization known as the Outfit, died Monday at the age of 81, according to reports by Meredith Rodriguez of the Kansas City Star and Chuck Goudie and Ann Pistone of Chicago's WLS-TV-7.

DeLuna (right) was repeatedly convicted of racketeering and other crimes and served a total of 12 years in federal prison. He was investigated for skimming from Las Vegas casinos and for squeezing money out of the Teamster union pension fund. Electronic surveillance in 1978 allowed the FBI to listen in on a casino skimming-related conversation between DeLuna and Carl "Cork" Civella, then boss of Kansas City's Outfit. Civella's organization and the Chicago Outfit had an agreement in place for splitting skim drawn from the Tropicana Casino. Agents later discovered DeLuna documentation of underworld skimming. His records implicated mobsters in several cities.

DeLuna had been out of prison since 1998. He was noted at betting parlors in the Kansas City area until Feb. 23, 2005, when the Missouri Gaming Commission banned him.

Born April 30, 1927, law enforcement officials believe DeLuna began his career as a street gangster, armed robber and gunman. Federal agents came to regard him as a "perfect gentleman," according to former FBI supervisor Gart Hart. "He treated everyone with the same respect."

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.