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

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joseph Massino whined about wife to Vincent Basciano during taped talk

When former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino agreed to wear a hidden wire in 2005, he was beset with his health woes, crime family turmoil and a fed-up wife, according to recordings played in Brooklyn Federal Court Wednesday.

Massino, convicted of seven murders, was locked up in the Metropolitan Detention Center. He faced a death penalty trial for an eighth slay and the the feds were going after all of his assets, including the faux mansion in Howard Beach.

None of it was sitting well with his wife, Josephine.

"I don't know if I'm gonna get divorced," Massino confided to Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano in a secretly taped prison conversation.

Not even a delivered bottle of Dom Perignon champagne with $50,000 hidden inside could appease his fuming spouse.

"She's on tranquilizers and she's got my daughters going out of their f------ minds," the mob boss said.

"She started Thursday night with the girl again," he continued, apparently referring to testimony about a goumada at his trial.

Meanwhile, prison life was wearing down Massino.

"I went to the bathroom 15 times," he complained. "The food is terrible. The shower is terrible."

The mob-style soap opera offers a window into Massino's decision to turn rat. The tapes are also a fascinating snapshot of the roiling tensions in the crime family after Basciano elevated himself to acting boss of the Bonanno family without consulting Massino.

Basciano was taking liberties with inducting new soldiers, promoting new captains and allegedly ordered the murder of associate Randolph Pizzolo, which he is now on trial for in Brooklyn Federal Court.

"I took 20 years to put this together," Massino counseled. "It's easy to take a life. I can take a life every day."

In a devastating admission, Basciano says on the tape that Pizzolo "deserved it."

Pizzolo's body was found facedown in a puddle of water on a desolate street in Greenpoint on Dec. 1, 2004.

Bonanno soldier Anthony "Ace" Aiello later pleaded guilty to murdering Pizzolo.

In their not-so-secret talk in the jail recreation cage, Massino questioned the wisdom of giving the contract to Aiello, whom he suspected of using drugs.

"Anthony Aiello is like a 'Luca Brasi,'" Basciano replied. "He's your 'Luca Brasi.'"

Prosecutor Taryn Merkl asked Massino to explain the reference to the character from "The Godfather" film. "He was a hit man, send [Aiello] in a direction and he'll kill for you," Massino said.


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