Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Montreal Mafioso is victim of daylight hit

Agostino Cuntrera, 66, leading member of the Montreal Mafia, was murdered Tuesday in a daylight shooting at his east-end Montreal restaurant, according to a report by CTV of Canada. Also killed in the attack was Cuntrera's 48-year-old bodyguard.
    A black Chevrolet Impala was observed fleeing the scene. Police arrested two men in a similar automobile. One of the them was released.
    Authorities say Cuntrera took over command of the Sicilian criminal society in Montreal following the U.S. jailing of boss Vito Rizzuto for racketeering murders in Brooklyn. In December, Rizzuto's son Nick was shot to death in a daylight hit in Montreal's Notre Dame de Grace District. Paolo Renda, 70, a Rizzuto in-law who considered a top adviser to the Rizzuto organization, disappeared in May.
    A Calabrian underworld organization is widely believed responsible for the attacks on the Sicilian Rizzuto organization. The Rizzutos reportedly came to power in Montreal by eliminating a local Calabrian boss.
    Cuntrera was born in Sicily in 1944 and settled in Canada by 1965. He aided the Rizzuto clan as it established itself in Montreal. Cuntrera served five years in prison after being convicted of conspiring in the 1978 murder of Calabrian gang boss Paolo Violi.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Palumbo charged with 1992 murder conspiracy

Already charged with racketeering and extortion, Anthony "Tony D" Palumbo was indicted June 15 for conspiring in the 1992 mob murder of Angelo Sangiuolo, according to a story by Bruce Golding of the New York Post.
    Sangiuolo was reportedly targeted because he was found to be robbing Palumbo-run gambling establishments in the Bronx. Federal authorities say Vincent "the Chin" Gigante, then boss of the Genovese Crime Family, approved the hit. Genovese capodecina Angelo Prisco helped lure Sangiuolo, Prisco's cousin, to the scene of his murder. Prisco has been convicted and jailed for complicity in the murder. Triggerman John Leto pleaded guilty of involvement in the killing and testified against Prisco. Paul "Doc" Gaccione was arrested in April and charged with being a getaway driver in the hit.

    Reputed acting capodecina Palumbo has overseen Genovese operations in New Jersey since 2006, said federal prosecutors. The latest indictment also charges him with plotting to extort money from Russian mobsters engaged in a gasoline tax racket. That scheme, which never came about, would have involved a Palumbo killing of a hitman employed by the Russians, according to federal prosecutors.
    Palumbo, free on bond, pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sammartino pleads guilty to loansharking

Reputed Bonanno Crime Family capodecina Joseph "Sammy" Sammartino, 55, pleaded guilty June 21 to loansharking, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News. The plea was entered in Brooklyn federal court. Sammartino faces a sentence of up to two years in prison when sentenced in October. Federal authorities say Sammartino is a member of the ruling panel of the Bonanno organization.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Riccobene grandson killed in Philadelphia

Rocco Maniscalco, 38, grandson of Philadelphia underworld leader Harry "the Hunchback" Riccobene, was shot to death June 10 by an unknown gunman outside his South Philadelphia home, according to a story by Dana DiFilippo of the Philadelphia Daily News. Maniscalco was walking home from the Wolf Street Cafe in the early morning hours, when the gunman, a slim man in a white shirt, jumped out of the shadows and fired at least 10 shots. The gunman escaped in a dark SUV. Maniscalco died near the corner of Wolf and Colorado Streets at 1:20 a.m.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Franzese Jr. testifies against underboss dad

John Franzese Jr. stepped to the witness stand in Brooklyn Federal Court on June 9 to testify against his father, reputed Colombo Crime Family underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, according to reports by the New York Daily News and the New York Post. The elder Franzese, 93 years old, is accused of setting up New York area businesses for mob extortion. As Franzese Jr. took the stand, his father lapsed into a nap, prompting New York media to nickname him, "The Nodfather." The younger Franzese, 50, testified that his father led him into a life of crime by age 16. Later, as Franzese battled a growing drug addiction, he became an informant for the FBI.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bruno's Philly home is on the market

The South Philadelphia home where local Mafia boss Angelo "Gentle Don" Bruno was shot to death 30 years ago is up for sale. The asking price is $250,000, according to an AP report. The home was put on the market by Bruno's daughter Jean, who is planning to move out of the area. Sitting in his car in front of the home, Angelo Bruno (left) was killed March 12, 1980, by a shotgun blast to the head.

Before Bruno & How He Became Boss: Book 3 - 1946-1959 (The History of the Philadelphia Mafia)

Friday, June 4, 2010

$9.9M settlement for man framed for murder

Barry Gibbs spent about 18 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. On June 3, the 62-year-old Gibbs received a $9.9 million settlement from the City of New York as compensation, according to stories in the New York Daily News and the New York Post. It is the largest civil rights settlement in city history. Gibbs was reportedly framed for a murder conviction by corrupt "Mafia Cop" Louis Eppolito. He was convicted of killing prostitute Virginia Robertson and sent to prison in 1988. He was released in September 2005, after Eppolito and his partner Stephen Caracappa were arrested and a key witness in the Robertson murder case admitted that Eppolito coerced him into accusing Gibbs.

Feds want Corozzo off Scarpaci case

Charging that attorney Joseph Corozzo is "house counsel" for the Gambino Crime Family, federal prosecutors have questioned Corozzo's suitability as defense attorney for accused Gambino associate Michael Scarpaci, according to a story by Alison Gendar of the New York Daily News.
    Prosecutors noted that Corozzo suddenly assumed the role of defense counsel following a two-day late-April release of Scarpaci to attend his daughter's baptism.They questioned whether Corozzo, son of reputed Gambino consigliere Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo and nepgew of reputed capodecina Nicholas "Nicky" Corozzo, was being forced upon Scarpaci by members of the crime family. The temporary release may have been interpreted as a sign that Scarpaci was poised to cooperate with authorities, the prosecutors explained, and a defense attorney may have been imposed upon him to keep him in line.
    Corozzo responded by stating that he is being paid for his defense work by Scarpaci alone. "The government will always try to disrupt the defense any way they can," he said.
    Scarpaci, 34, is charged with running gambling operations for the Gambino Crime Family and with extorting payments from loan customers and businesses.

About Me

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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.