Galante, Carmine (1910-1979)

Born New York, NY, Feb. 21, 1910.

Killed Brooklyn, NY, July 12, 1979.

"Lilo" Galante was regarded as one of the more ruthless of the American Mafiosi. Many believe he ascended to the leadership of the Bonanno crime Family in New York upon Philip "Rusty" Rastelli's 10-year conviction in 1974 for extortion. Some insist that Galante was never recognized as Family boss and only led a rebellious wing of the Bonanno clan.

Galante certainly had designs on the boss job and looks to have meddled a bit in affairs of other Families. That earned him a number of powerful enemies.

Galante, reportedly born in New York to Vincenzo and Vincenza Russo Galante, was arrested numerous times, beginning with a robbery and assault charge when he was just 16 years old. He was arrested for attempted robbery in 1930. He was considered a prime suspect in the 1943 murder of Carlo Tresca (the murder was committed while Galante was out of prison on parole). He invested in a number of legitimate businesses, including the Rosina Costume Company of Brooklyn, the Abco Vending Company of West New York, NJ, and the Latimer Shipping Company of Manhattan.

Galante is believed to have been one of the masterminds of the international narcotics trade. He made frequent trips from New York to Montreal and Sicily and was known to employ fiercely loyal Sicilian immigrants ("Zips") as bodyguards. His attendance at a 1956 Mafia convention near Endicott, NY, was documented when he was caught speeding on a return trip to New York City. His presence at the Apalachin convention the following year was suspected but not documented.

When Rastelli emerged from prison early, in 1979, it is believed that he and Gambino Family underboss Aniello Dellacroce set Galante up. Galante was shot to death at the conclusion of a meal in the grotto of Joe and Mary's Restaurant, 205 Knickerbocker Avenue in Brooklyn, on July 12, 1979. He was 69 years old.

Galante's Sicilian immigrant ("Zip") bodyguards proved to be of little worth on the occasion and are believed to have cooperated in the hit. Rastelli regained control of the Bonanno Family and remained boss until he was once again successfully prosecuted in 1985.

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Gagliano, Tommaso (1884-c1951)

Born Corleone, Sicily, May 17, 1884.

Died Bronx, NY, c1951.

Tommaso "Tommy" Gagliano rose to prominence along with Tommy Lucchese in the Bronx-based Mafia family of Gaetano Reina. Like the founders of the Morello Mafia, Gagliano was born in Corleone and ostensibly worked in lathing and plastering.

Gagliano entered the U.S in spring 1905 and settled in East Harlem. He found early employment in a feed business. He was naturalized a citizen in the summer of 1915, while residing near the intersection of East 108th Street and First Avenue, and he traveled abroad in the summer of 1920.

It appears likely that Gagliano was associated with the Morello-Terranova Mafia in East Harlem. He later became a member of Reina's Bronx-based underworld organization. In the later 1920s, Reina and Terranova became rivals.

As trouble between Joe Masseria and the Brooklyn Castellammarese Mafia began in 1930, Reina's organization was divided. Reina outwardly sided with Masseria but his sympathies were with the Castellammarese. Reina's Feb. 26, 1930, assassination, probably at the hands of Masseria men, caused Gagliano, Tommy Lucchese and much of their organization to give their support to the Castellammarese.

Gagliano and Lucchese appear to have cooperated on the 1930 assassination of Joe Pinzolo, a Masseria puppet installed as Family leader after Reina's death.

Gagliano was officially recognized as boss of the old Reina group after the war ended in 1931. Lucchese served as his underboss until about 1951. Gagliano is presumed to have died of natural causes in that period. (The date of Gagliano's death is not certain.)

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Flegenheimer, Arthur (1902-1935)

Born Bronx, NY, Aug. 6, 1902

Killed Newark, NJ, Oct. 23, 1935.

Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer was probably the last of the big-time independent criminal operators. Never an inducted member of the Mafia, he had some personal and business relationships with its members. Those relationships ultimately led to his demise.

Born in the Bronx, Schultz grew up in street gangs. He spent more than a year in prison for a burglary committed at age 17. He emerged from prison in time to join Arnold Rothstein's bootlegging operation. In that venture, he came into contact with such notables as Charlie "Lucky" Luciano and Jack "Legs" Diamond.

Schultz and longtime friend Joey Noe became partners in a speakeasy and a beer distribution business and later coerced owners of other speakeasies into becoming outlets for Schultz beer. The Coll brothers were affiliated with the Schultz-Noe mob before going out on their own.

Some bad blood developed between Shultz-Noe and the Rothstein-Diamond organization. Diamond looked to be responsible for Noe's death on Oct. 15, 1928 (Noe lingered at Bellevue Hospital until finally succumbing to his injuries on Nov. 21, 1928.)

Schultz's men attempted retaliation several times, but the bullet-riddled Diamond simply refused to die until blasted in his sleep on Dec. 18, 1931.

The Schultz men appear to have had better luck pursuing revenge against Rothstein, who was gunned down in his hotel on Nov. 4, 1928, just before Noe passed away. Others were suspected of involvement in Rothstein's murder, but Schultz involvement appears likely.

Schultz had a close relationship with Harlem's Tammany boss Jimmy Hines, a useful situation as the gangster muscled in on Harlem numbers rackets and forcefully established a restaurant "union" protection racket. As a show of good faith to the American Mafia, Schultz provided Ciro Terranova, Mafia boss in Harlem, a share of his numbers business.

The relationship between Schultz and the Mafia appeared cordial as the Dutchman's old friend Luciano stepped to power in 1931. Schultz remained largely apart from the nationwide criminal Syndicate welded by Luciano and his allies. Secretly, Mafia leaders were envious of the Dutchman's operations, particularly the lucrative numbers.

New York prosecutor Thomas Dewey and the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover began pursuing Schultz at the end of the Prohibition Era. Public Enemy No. 1 Schultz couldn't be touched for his rackets and his murders, so the government went after him - as it had with Capone - for federal income tax evasion.

Schultz was surprisingly successful in his court battles. After a deadlocked jury in Syracuse and an Aug. 24, 1935, not-guilty verdict in the small town of Malone, NY, where Schultz threw some money around in advance of the trial, it appeared the gangster had the government on the ropes.

But Dewey wasn't ready to quit. He prepared to charge Schultz with state tax evasion. Schultz left the state, heading into Newark, NJ, while he worked on a strategy. The pressure was on Hines as well, so Tammany was little help to the outlaw.

Schultz approached the Mafia's ruling Commission with a plan. With Mafia help, Schultz offered to bump off Dewey. Some accounts indicate that Schultz made a personal appearance at a meeting of the Commission. Others say he sent a message through Albert Anastasia.

Fearing law enforcement's wrath, the Commission decided it wanted no part of the assassination proposal. Enraged by the lack of support, Schultz swore he would see to Dewey's murder himself.

The Commission then acted against Schultz, using members of its enforcement arm (often referred to as "Murder Inc.") to eliminate Schultz and his gang leadership at Newark's Palace Chop House on Oct. 23, 1935. Under orders from Lepke Buchalter, salaried hitmen Mendy Weiss and Charlie "Bug" Workman did the job. Schultz clung to life at Newark County Hospital for 20 hours, speaking a prolonged stream-of-consciousness nonsense that historians are still puzzling over today.

The Luciano Mafia carved up Schultz's Bronx-area rackets.

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Ferruccio, Pasquale "Patsy" (1917-2006)

Born Canton, OH, April 8, 1917.

Died Canton, OH, March 31, 2006.

Midwest racketeer Pasquale "Patsy" Macri Ferruccio, was born to immigrant grocer Rocco Ferruccio and his wife Teresa in Canton, Ohio, near the start of World War I. He was raised in an Italian neighborhood on Liberty Street and regularly attended St. Anthony's Catholic Church with his ten siblings.

As an adult, Ferruccio founded the Canton, Ohio-based Liberty Vending Company. He eventually turned management of the facility over to his son, but maintained an office in the headquarters building.

A key participant in Midwest gambling rackets, Ferruccio admitted in 1991 that he ran a video poker operation in Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1988. Poker machines illegally designating cash payouts for winning hands were distributed through the Liberty Vending Company to nightclubs and other establishments in the three states.

He was sentenced to 30 months and a $100,000 fine through a plea bargain. (He served 27 months.) Ferruccio's son also pleaded guilty to participation in the gambling venture. He received probation and a small fine.

Angelo Lonardo of Cleveland, a mob underboss who turned government informant, aided the case against Ferruccio by identifying him as a "made" member of the LaRocca Family in Pittsburgh. Ferruccio also appeared to have a working relationship with the Cleveland Mafia family and has been considered a liaison between the two underworld clans.

Upon leaving prison, Ferruccio again had trouble with the law. He was charged with violating release terms after meeting with known Pittsburgh Mafia associate Lennie Strollo (who later became an informant). Ferruccio and Strollo allegedly shared ownership of a gambling facility in Puerto Rico. Ferruccio received two years in prison for that offense.

During that term he concurrently served a year penalty for attempting to obstruct the Indian gaming commission. Ferruccio tried to gain control of operations at the Rincon Indian Reservation Casino near San Diego, California, without divulging his criminal record.

Ferruccio died a month before his 89th birthday.

Ferrigno, Steve (c1896-1930)

Born c1896.

Killed Bronx, NY, Nov. 5, 1930.

Stefano "Steve" Ferrigno's underworld role is not clearly defined. Mafia historians have various ideas, ranging from bodyguard to crime boss. It seems likely that he served in an enforcement role in a crime family (later known as the Gambino Family) with extensive territory in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Ferrigno, also known as Ferrara and Fannuzzo, had personal connections to Brooklyn and the Bronx, and appears to have been involved in rackets throughout the region. He was arrested in 1927, in New York as a fugitive from justice. He was wanted in Newark, New Jersey, in connection with a grand larceny charge. He was later discharged.

Ferrigno was closely affiliated with crime boss Al Mineo (Manfré or Manfredi) within the old Salvatore D'Aquila crime organization. The two men might have conspired with Masseria to eliminate their old boss in 1928. Masseria endorsed Mineo as leader of the D'Aquila family after 1928. Ferrigno held a position of some importance within the Mineo organization.

Mineo and Ferrigno were reportedly strong allies of Masseria during the Castellammarese War, though portions of their crime family - particularly D'Aquila loyalists - defected to the Maranzano side.

Mineo and Ferrigno were ambushed and killed in the Bronx by Castellammarese-affiliated gunmen on Nov. 5, 1930, as they left a meeting with Masseria at the Alhambra Apartments, 750-60 Pelham Parkway. Without those two key men, Masseria lost control of their vast underworld resources and was forced to sue for peace.

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Evola, Natale (1907-1973)

Born New York, NY, Feb. 22, 1907.

Died New York, NY, Aug. 28, 1973.

Natale "Joe Diamond" Evola stepped up to the leadership of the Bonanno Crime Family in the late 1960s, after Joseph Bonanno's second term as boss ended with retirement.

Some sources indicate that the Bonanno family was so demoralized after years of civil war and disgrace before the national Commission that Evola took over by default. Low-key Evola, who had significant investments in trucking and garment companies, has largely escaped the notice of history. Even Joe Bonanno's "A Man of Honor" barely mentioned him (Evola was an usher at Bonanno's wedding). Evola had close relationships with other crime families, including the Gambino and Genovese clans.

Sources generally agree that he cooperated with - rather than resisted - powerful underworld bosses, Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino.

In 1957, Evola was among the crowd of Mafiosi identified as attending the Genovese-called Apalachin convention. He and other attendees were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice in connection with their post-Apalachin statements to investigators. The convictions were later overturned.

Shortly after Apalachin, Evola was convicted along with Genovese of a conspiracy to violate narcotics laws.

The Commission meddled considerably in Bonanno family matters during the 1960s. After endorsing Gaspar DiGregorio as boss during Joseph Bonanno's many months in hiding, the Commission soured on DiGregorio following Bonanno's reappearance. Paul Sciacca took over the DiGregorio faction. Bonanno's sudden departure from New York in the late 1960s left the clan leaderless and in chaos. Leadership panels were attempted. It seems Evola was unable to completely restore order to the family.

In 1971-72, investigators gained significant information on Evola's operation, as well as that of then-Lucchese-boss Carmine Tramunti, by bugging a trailer used by the bosses and their lieutenants as a meeting place. Evidence suggested that Evola was engaged in garment district labor racketeering, drug trafficking and hijacking.

Evola's health was failing by then. He died of cancer in 1973. He was reportedly unmarried and lived at the time of his death with his elderly mother at 972 Bayridge Parkway in Brooklyn.

Evola was replaced for a time by his underboss Philip "Rusty" Rastelli. Rastelli, not yet popular with the Bonanno capos, was thought to be merely keeping the seat warm. Former Bonanno underboss Carmine Galante, a genuine power in the family, was finishing a jail term for drug trafficking.

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