Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ex-Wife Hijacks Franzese Wheelchair



The cruel Colombo underboss whose name once made foes quake in fear had to plead with his angry wife Thursday to let him go to the bathroom.
The humiliating confrontation - which ended with his spurned spouse's arrest - started when she hijacked the 93-year-old John (Sonny) Franzese's wheelchair and rolled the Nod Father into the men's room at Brooklyn Federal Court.
"Son of a bitch!" a furious Franzese could be heard yelling at 75-year-old Cristina Capobianco-Franzese. "Let me go to the bathroom!"
Seconds later, she emerged from the rest room and began yelling at Lorraine Scorsone, her husband's daughter by a mistress.
"He should plead guilty and let my son live his life," she screamed as startled jurors were walking to a nearby elevator. "Give his kid a break and plead guilty. I want my son to have a break. It's the last child I have."
The mobster's wife was referring to their son, John Jr., who has spent two harrowing days testifying against his father - a made man who once boasted about grinding up enemies in a garbage disposal.
Federal marshals separated the two women, arrested Capobianco-Franzese and slapped her with a disorderly conduct summons.
The elder Franzese is one of the oldest Mafia bosses to ever go on trial. Authorities say he was a top leg breaker and money maker and once used his ill-gotten gains to fund the classic porn flick "Deep Throat."
Gangland slayings were his specialty. He was once caught telling a wired-up informant: "I killed a lot of guys. ... You're not talking about four, five, six, 10."
The family feud erupted after their 50-year-old son finished testifying and Scorsone was taking the geezer gangster - dubbed the Nod Father for his inability to stay awake in court - to the bathroom.
"Don't push me!" Scorsone yelled when Capobianco-Franzese elbowed her aside and took off for the bathroom.
When she got the Colombo coot inside, Capobianco-Franzese said, she urged him to plead guilty to shaking down Manhattan jiggle joints and a Long Island pizzeria for protection money so their son could get off the stand. The stubborn mobster clammed up.
Capobianco-Franzese erupted after her husband's lawyer, Richard Lind, forced her son to admit he received $50,000 in payments from the FBI to rat out his father and make secret incriminating tape recordings.
John Franzese Jr. confirmed his code name was "Annual Report." A reformed junkie, he also admitted on the stand he was diagnosed with HIV in 1990, before he became a federal informant who secretly taped his own father.
Lind fired more incendiary questions at the mobster's son, suggesting he was a wife-beater, a steroids dealer and a mental patient. But the most heated exchange occurred later in the day when Lind suggested Franzese could get whacked because his son is an informant.
The rat son decided to save himself by sacrificing his father, Lind charged, after the mob boss had vouched for him to become a "made" mobster.
"You know the consequences for someone who vouches for someone who vouches for a rat?" Lind asked.
"Yeah, they get killed," Franzese Jr. responded.
"I wasn't trying to kill my father!" John Jr. shot back.
 


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