Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Anastasio dies at 81, apparent suicide

Ten days before the scheduled start of a two and a half year prison sentence, 81-year-old Anthony "Todo" Anastasio died of apparently self-inflicted gunshot wounds, according to a story by John Marzulli and Jonathon Lemire of the New York Daily News.

The nephew of legendary crime boss Albert Anastasia, Gambino Crime Family soldier Anastasio was supposed to report to authorities on May 10 to start his sentence for racketeering, extortion and arson. At 7 a.m. on April 30, his wife found him dead in the kitchen of their Dyker Heights home. A .22-caliber handgun, two shell casings and a handwritten note were found nearby.

Police believe Anastasio decided to end his life rather than face prison. They say he fired two bullets into his heart.

He was convicted in October 2009 of extorting a trucking company and a bakery in Brooklyn, as well as of ordering an arson fire at a Dunkin' Donuts establishment. He faced a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Anastasio was to be held at a facility just a few hours from his home. Investigators say the elderly racketeer was in generally good health.

After the disappearance of his predecessor in 1951, Albert Anastasia rose to the position of boss of the organization later known as the Gambino Family. Anastasia was murdered in a barber's chair in 1957.

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 tphunt@gmail.com.)
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website Mafiahistory.us; 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.