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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's style first for Vinny Gorgeous: Basciano KOs headphones as secret mob tapes roll in court


 Vinny Gorgeous doesn't do headphones.
Mafia boss Vincent Basciano has a solution to the dilemma of wearing clunky headphones over his perfectly coiffed hair during his murder trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
He doesn't.
Basciano went headphone-free for long stretches of Monday's playback of tapes secretly recorded by Bonanno rat James "Big Louie" Tartaglione. And for those rare moments when he wanted to briefly listen, Basciano wore the headpiece tilted toward the rear of his head - not on top - while holding the right ear pad with his hand.
Asked if his client has an aversion to wearing headphones, defense lawyer George Goltzer told the Daily News: "I'm not going there."
Basciano remains a marvel of grooming, his hair meticulously combed back and his skin a healthy hue although he has spent the past four years in solitary confinement under conditions usually reserved for terrorists. Tartaglione told the jury that the defendant's nickname is derived from his ownership of a Bronx beauty salon called "Hello Gorgeous," and the mobster's looks were never far from their conversation.
"I gained about 30 pounds, and I got a lot grayer," Basciano complained in the December 2003 meeting with Tartaglione in the Seacrest Diner on Long Island.
"My age looks like I caught up to you," he said to the then-66-year-old capo.
Tartaglione, who had been wired-up by the FBI to get dirt on Basciano, was trying to make the point that the feds are famous for slamming mobsters with massive indictments.
"You know what the problem is, Vinny?" he began.
"I need to use more Grecian?" Basciano said.
In a secretly recorded sitdown a month later, Basciano marveled at Tartaglione's skin color. "All I know is you got some friggin' tan," Basciano said.
Last week, former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino testified that a high-ranking capo in the Genovese crime family had compared Basciano to the late John Gotti with his natty attire and supreme arrogance. Basciano's barber at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn seems to be on par with Gotti's hair stylist, who reportedly washed and cut the Dapper Don's hair daily.
Basciano may not be listening with his headphones, but he is actively engaged in his defense, furiously scribbling notes on Post-its. Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis admonished him for whispering questions to Goltzer during cross-examining.
"Hundred percent, I'm sorry your honor," Basciano said.


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