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

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guilt ridden Gambino informant commits suicide after killing fellow mob rat

A guilt-ridden mob rat set to testify for the feds turned tail and killed himself — two days after he reportedly settled a grudge with a gun.
The suicide of Gambino wiseguy Nicholas “Nicky Skins” Stefanelli has the FBI and the mob in a tizzy, sources said.
“All five families are scurrying for the hills” after revelations he had been wearing a wire for at least two years, one source told the Daily News.
Stefanelli, 69, was found dead in a New Jersey hotel room on Feb. 26. The cause has not been announced, and authorities refused to comment, but several sources said he took his own life.
"My brother found him,” said his daughter, Francine Stefanelli. They were supposed to go to breakfast together. “As far as I know, my father had a heart attack,” she said. “He had a very bad heart.”
Insiders say a change of heart was to blame.
Stefanelli — who operated in New Jersey but reported to the crew run by jailed New York capo Nicholas “Little Nicky” Corozzo — secretly taped countless cronies, a source said.
He had been caught in a drug-dealing operation with his son and decided to cooperate to get his kid off the hook, the website Ganglandnews.com reported.
The feds used evidence he gathered to indict Mafia bigs in Philadelphia and Providence, and he also taped members of the five families in New York.
The FBI planned to take Stefanelli off the street and put him in a safehouse until he could testify — but he balked at taking the stand, the site reported.
“He was very embarrassed about going against the mob,” one source told The News. “He may also have killed a cooperating witness to make things right.”
The victim was Joseph Rossi, 58, who was shot dead Feb. 24 in his Bloomfield arcade-supply business, Ganglandnews.com said.
The site said Stefanelli — who served eight years in two prison stints — blamed Rossi for snitching on him, forcing him to turn stoolie.
FBI agents were seen at Rossi’s business in the days after the murder.
“We don’t give any interviews,” a relative at Rossi’s home in Verona, N.J., said Thursday.
Nicky Skins was cremated earlier this week after a private ceremony, fueling speculation among wiseguys that he might actually be alive and in witness protection.
His daughter said she didn’t know anything about a suicide or involvement in organized crime.
“I don’t know what the truth is,” she said. “As far as the business of my father, it was never talked about.
“He was a great father,” she added. “I just hear rumors and ignore it. He was a family man.” Asked whether her father wore a wire, she said, “I find that hard to believe. He was not that kind of guy. He’s very loyal.”
She said her family was “distraught” over the death.
They’re not the only ones.
Law enforcement sources told Gangland that cases are in jeopardy because of Stefanelli’s suicide. And a broad range of wiseguys wonder whether they’re on the tapes he made. FBI officials declined to comment on the case except to say that the investigation is ongoing.


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