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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Meet the Mafia’s First Blogger, Tommy Gioeli

The first and only alleged Mafia boss to maintain a blog is now on trial in Brooklyn federal court.
The charges against 59-year-old Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli include six murders, among them the killing of a police officer. He has been remanded for more than three years to the starkly real Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, but he periodically manages a virtual escape into cyberspace, thanks to a restricted email system provided by the federal Bureau of Prisons and to the untiring efforts of a devoted daughter.
To blog from behind bars, Gioeli begins by writing a missive by hand. He then signs on to the BOP’s Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TULINGS) and begins doing something that no other accused Mafia boss has been known to do.
“I sit down at the keyboard and type,” he told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview.
He offered a succinct appraisal of his typing skills.
“Terrible,” he said. “And my spelling’s worse.”
Gioeli had in fact touched index fingers to keyboard back before he was arrested, when he said it came time to prepare one of the traditional “induction lists” by which a crime family must secure approval from all the other crime families of its candidates for membership in the Mafia. He demonstrated himself to be the most modern of alleged mob bosses.
“It was a typed list Tommy had made downstairs in his basement on his computer,” capo Dino “Big Dino” Calabro would testify after he became an informant.
Mob Takedown
Thomas Gioeli at an arraignment hearing in 2008. He maintains a blog from behind bars by sending his posts via E-mail to his daughter.
Having already produced the first word-processed mob-induction list, Gioeli followed up by producing the first mob blog in January 2010. The Bureau of Prisons says that TRULINGS is intended “to provide inmates with some limited computer access, to include the capability to send and receive electronic messages without having access to the Internet,” but Gioeli found a simple way to surmount that restriction. He has his daughter post his TRULINGS musings in a blog called Alleged Mob Boss Tommy Gioeli’s Voice.
“She does a little bit of editing,” Gioeli allows.
In the blog, Gioeli proclaims himself “an unconvicted American man being denied basic rights and health care,” a victim of “the tactics of Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia.” Gioeli assigns insulting nicknames to the prosecution team and accuses an FBI agent of being “inappropriate with the wife of an informant.” Gioeli accuses the informant, Big Dino Calabro, himself of beating his wife, poisoning a supposed buddy’s pet fish, shooting his own dog, and murdering numerous “enemies and friends.” Calabro is unreachable in protective custody and has no blog of his own with which to respond.
In his blog, Gioeli further reports that his own lawyers asked him to at least temper his postings and that the prosecution complained that some of its content violated court guidelines.
“OOPS! My bad,” he says.
The blog enabled Gioeli to register objections when he was allowed to attend neither his daughter’s wedding nor his father’s funeral. He can decry the quality of the jailhouse food and complain that his broken dentures were slow in being replaced.
“I still have no teeth,” he reports.
As for the jailhouse health care, he notes with indignation that there are “no gloves worn by the pill administrator in the pill line.” He goes on to report that the administrator “shakes out the pill in the cap or an ungloved hand and watches as we place this into our mouths.”
“The cap maneuver may be OK for the mother who is giving meds to her kids,” Gioeli says. “But in an institutional setting it is downright unsanitary, if not illegal”
In a reflective moment, Gioeli speaks of voting for Barack Obama from behind bars via absentee ballot.
“It felt good when he won; no it felt great,” Gioeli says. “What a change socially and politically.”
Nothing changed for accused mob bosses and Gioeli was still behind bars at the holidays. He was able to post via his blog a cyber Christmas card featuring a photo of his four daughters when they were youngsters.
“A very merry Christmas,” the accompanying message read. “Thanks for your continued support, it means so much. Love, the Gioeli family.”
With regards to the Colombo crime family, Gioeli protests the prosecution of another alleged boss, 93-year-old Sonny Francese, whose tendency to nod off during court proceedings caused him to become known in the newspapers as “the Nodfather.”
“To go after this old man for crimes he may or may not have committed...” Gioeli says.
Gioeli the Blogfather protested vehemently when the government filed court papers alleging that his own crimes included unintentionally killing a former nun with a shotgun blast in 1982. The court papers state that Gioeli afterward expressed a fear to an informant that “I’m going to hell.”  The Blogfather flatly denied any involvement in the nun shooting and worried about the impact that just the allegation had on his family and friends.
Tommy always told us, ‘Shoot him in the body first, then walk up and cap him,’” Calabro said.
“My saintly elderly mother who just buried my father, my poor wife, my precious children, my priests, the rest of my family, friends and the people I just know…” he wrote.
Gioeli was not actually charged with killing the nun, but he remained accused of six murders when he went on trial this month. These included the 1997 killing of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols, who was allegedly killed at the behest of another alleged Colombo family boss because the cop had dared to marry his ex-wife.
Gioeli’s wife and at least one of his daughters sat in the courtroom as admitted capo and hit man Big Dino Calabro took the stand as the government’s star witness. Calabro testified that Gioeli had been something of a mentor, advising him on how to kill.
“Tommy always told us, ‘Shoot him in the body first, then walk up and cap him,’” Calabro said.
And, when burying a victim, the standard practice was to dump in a bag of lime.
“To deter odor,” Calabro added.
The murdered cop was left to stagger bleeding into his house and die before his horrified wife. Calabro recalled that he afterward went to his own house and took a precaution that Gioeli had advised.
“Tommy had instructed me to take a shower, because when you shoot a gun, you get gunpowder residue on you,” Calabro said.
Calabro insisted that he had not known the victim was a cop at the time of the shooting.
“We don’t typically kill police officers,” he said. “That’s just a rule in the Mafia. You don’t kill kids, you don’t kill cops.”
Calabro testified that Gioeli had given him one murder contract in a church garden, adding, “That’s the garden where Tommy prayed.” Calabro said that in reward for participating in various killings he was inducted into the mob with the traditional ceremony, during which Gioeli pricked his trigger finger and smeared blood on the picture of a saint that was the set on fire. Calabro said he had uttered an oath.
“If I repeat anything that happens in here, I should die and burn in hell,” Calabro recalled.
He clearly preferred the risk of that to spending the rest of his life in prison.
He further testified that his subsequent duties as a made man included bringing around what Gioeli had generated in his basement as the mob’s first word-processed induction list.
Among the exhibits the government entered into evidence was a video of Calabro’s 1991 wedding, where he toasted Gioeli. Twenty-one years later, Calabro was up on the witness stand fingering Gioeli for murder after murder. Gioeli sat in an argyle sweater that looked like it might have come from a truckload of Macy’s returns the crew had been accused of hijacking.
He was scribbling busily on a notepad--and some of it might even end up in the first accused-mob-boss blog.
Whatever he posts, Alleged Mob Boss Tommy Gioeli’s Voice seems all but sure to continue being written from behind bars.


Colombo hitman reveals he bedded the girlfriends of his murder victims

A mob trial took a soap opera twist Thursday when Colombo hitman Dino Calabro revealed that he bedded the girlfriends of two mob associates he killed.

After Richard Greaves and Frank Marasa were 6 feet under, Calabro admitted, he put a couple of extra notches on his gun belt.

The testimony came during Calabro’s fourth day on the witness stand in the trial of Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli — while the jury was out of the courtroom.

He recalled that Greaves had suggested a three-way romp with his galpal in 1995.

“What did you say?” asked defense lawyer Adam Perlmutter.

“I don't do that,” Calabro said.

At the time, Calabro, Gioeli and co-defendant Dino Saracino were allegedly already plotting to kill Greaves.

Two months after the menage-a-trois invitation, Saracino shot Greaves in the back of the head, prosecutors say. The body was buried in a Long Island industrial park and never found.

Greaves’ girlfriend Sandra reached out to Calabro, who was married at the time, to see if he knew what happened to her wiseguy.

“We hung out one night, three hours or four hours maybe,” Calabro remembered, unable to recall the woman’s last name.

Perlmutter asked what they talked about.

“Nothing that I remember,” Calabro said. “ ‘What are you doing? Have you seen Richie?’ ”

“I had a sexual encounter with her and I just don’t remember the time that passed after he was murdered,” Calabro said.

Calabro also copped to romancing the girlfriend of his first murder victim, Marasa, who was shot in Bensonhurst in 1991.

Calabro said the affair came a long time after the slaying and was more than a one-night stand, but didn’t go into the gory details.

Federal Judge Brian Cogan allowed the line questioning out of the jury’s presence to determine whether it was relevant to Calabro’s cross-examination.

Cogan ruled that the jury can hear about Calabro’s roll in the hay with Greaves’ girlfriend.

Earlier in his testimony, the jury viewed photos from Calabro’s 1991 wedding to long-suffering wife, Andrea, but the judge excluded allegations of domestic violence.

Andrea Calabro apparently forgives her husband for the eight murders he committed, his infidelities — and even a love child. He speaks to her by phone every day from a witness protection wing of prison.

“I committed 25 years of crime, horrible, heinous, horrific crimes that I’m ashamed of,” Calabro told Saracino’s lawyer, Sam Braverman.

“I’m working on changing my life, sir.”

Calabro, 45, said he agreed to become a government witness with the hope of going home some day to be with his wife and children — and he’s sure Gioeli and Saracino would like to do the same.

“I wouldn’t lie to do it,” Gioeli blurted out from the defense table loud enough for jurors to hear.

Gioeli is charged with six gangland murders and Saracino is accused of three, including the 1997 slaying of off-duty NYPD cop Ralph Dols.

Former Colombo boss Joel Cacace allegedly ordered Dols’ death because he had married the mobster’s ex-wife.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Prosecutors say Gambino associate ordered robbery because he knew of cash

A Gambino crime family associate directed a murderous team of ex-cons to rob Queens neighbors he believed had a ready stash of cash at home, a Queens prosecutor said Thursday.

Francis LaCorte, 29, faces a murder charge for masterminding the September 2009 home invasion that led to the slaying of custodian Gerardo "Jerry" Antoniello, a cop's brother who died coming to his father's defense.

"This man betrayed his own neighbors," prosecutor Brad Leventhal told jurors during closing arguments in Queens Supreme Court.

Leventhal said LaCorte and Vincent Mineo, who's already pleaded guilty to his role in the crime, hired "henchmen" from across the city to carry out three Ozone Park home invasion robberies.

"They didn't want to get their hands dirty," Leventhal said. "Either they were too scared to do it themselves or, more likely, it was too risky."

Leventhal said LaCorte, the owner of two cellphone stores, acted as a "fence," selling drugs and stolen goods for a rotating gang of thieves.

LaCorte's lawyer, Christopher Renfroe, took aim at three members of the robbery team who testified to LaCorte's role in the home invasions, including the one that killed Antoniello, 29.

"These are not credible witnesses," Renfroe told jurors. "They lied. They perjured themselves. They stole and they committed murders."

Rashod Cowan, 32, Jason Burrell, 40, and Shawn Stallworth, 26, agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for getting years shaved off their expected prison terms. Two others suspected of shooting Antoniello have not been caught.

Antoniello was coming to his father Bartolomeo's aid when he was shot in the back of the head. Prosecutors say the elder Antioniello, 61, was targeted for the large amount of cash he brought home each night from Romeo's, his Cross Bay Boulevard pizza place.


Victims demand investigation into Karen Gravano shooting incident

Family members of mob underboss Sammy “Bull” Gravano’s victims are pushing for an investigation into whether his daughter, Karen, broke the law by firing a gun on her reality show, “Mob Wives.”
The move is the latest bad blood between the families and Gravano after they tried to block her from receiving earnings from her book, “Mob Daughter,” last month.
On a recent episode of the VH1 show, Karen and her cohorts — including Renee Graziano, Ramona Rizzo and Carla Facciolo — head to the Poconos for a ladies’ weekend. In the country, the gals partake in outdoor activities, including blasting at a shooting range. The group is shown firing and yelling, “Shoot that bitch!” — and Karen reminisces about the first time she saw a gun hidden under her dad’s mattress.
Karen Gravano 
The scene raised the hackles of some relatives of Sammy’s victims who say Karen violated the law since she pleaded guilty a decade ago to charges stemming from a multimillion-dollar ecstasy ring in Arizona.
“Sammy was a psychotic killer. And I do believe genes are inherited,” said Lynda Milito, who blames Sammy for the death of her husband, Gambino capo Louie Milito, in her book, “Mafia Wife.”
“What about the people [Sammy] killed, and their extended family? How can [Karen] be allowed to shoot a gun? The apple does not fall far from the tree, and crime does not pay.”
A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Philadelphia Field Division said it has not yet opened a criminal probe of the incident. “We are aware of the show and the episode. We do not have a criminal investigation.”
But Karen told us through a rep: “My probation terms have been over since 2003. At that time, I filed a motion to have my constitutional rights restored and to my knowledge, they have been restored. They’re doing everything they can to discredit me because of their personal issues with my father.”

Lawyer says reputed mobster is clueless in gardner art heist

A reputed Connecticut mobster federal investigators believe has key information on the decades-old theft of priceless paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum doesn’t have a clue who took them or where they are, as officials grill him on one of the world’s most baffling art heists, his lawyer said.
“He doesn’t know a Rembrandt from an Elvis velvet painting,” attorney Ryan McGuigan said of his client Robert Gentile, an overweight 75-year-old with chronic pain and a heart condition who prosecutors say has ties to crime families in Philadelphia and Boston. “My client can’t give any information he doesn’t have,” McGuigan said.
Federal authorities last month arrested Gentile and another man on charges of conspiring to sell prescription painkillers.
Gentile on Tuesday unsuccessfully argued for bail from the Wyatt Detention Center, where he’s being held, after prosecutors said they found a cache of weapons and $22,000 inside his Manchester, Conn., home.
In federal court, prosecutors acknowledged they believe Gentile knows something about the theft in 1990 of 13 masterworks, which carry a combined value of $500 million.
Museum officials declined to speak on the case, and FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich referred all questions on Gentile to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined comment.
McGuigan said authorities have sought to speak with his client for years and suggested they orchestrated his arrest solely for that purpose. Now, he said, Gentile’s been made “extremely uncomfortable” in jail as investigators fail to get what they want.
“They’re treating him like a dog,” said Patricia Gentile, Robert Gentile’s wife, adding that she, too, has been questioned. “I don’t know anything about the pictures, and they keep thinking I do. But you know, it’s the FBI. They have the power.”
FBI officials said they continue to “aggressively” investigate the heist, cautioning that probes into missing art can take decades before attention wanes — when thieves try to flip the loot for cash.
“The problem with the Gardner paintings, they’re so famous and so valuable, they’ve remained in the forefront,” said FBI special agent Geoff Kelly, the case’s lead investigator.
“If you have one in your basement, you wouldn’t get $10 for it because it’s too hot,” he said.


Courtroom drama: Mob rat Dino Calabro and brother Vincenzo in Mafia family split

COLOMBO crime boss Thomas Gioeli’s trial turned into a scene from “Godfather: Part II” Wednesday when the brother of the turncoat witness showed whose side he’s on — sitting with the mobster’s family in court.
Hit man Dino Calabro was asked on cross-examination if he remembered calling his brother Vincenzo a “s---bag” and accusing him of stealing $65,000.
“I didn’t call him a s---bag,” Calabro shot back.
Defense lawyer Adam Perlmutter asked Vincenzo Calabro to stand up so his brother Dino — and the jury — could see that he was sitting with Gioeli’s entourage.
“You don’t have to do that, Sir. Sit down, please,” said Federal Judge Brian Cogan.
The stunt was pulled straight out of the classic Mafia film when fictional mob rat Frank Pentangeli testifies before a Senate committee and his Sicilian-born brother shows up accompanied by crime boss Michael Corleone (Al Pacino).
The witness is so unnerved he changes his testimony and later commits suicide by slashing his wrists in a bathtub.
But Calabro, who was born in Sicily, hardly appeared flustered by his brother’s appearance, easily handling the questioning, some of it downright bizarre.
Perlmutter asked the witness if he was aware that two of the Three Stooges had graduated from Seth Lowe High School, where Calabro was a dropout.
Then he asked Calabro if he knew that Hollywood mogul David Geffen was an alumnus.
“I don’t even know who that is,” Calabro said.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Priest sits beside Tommy Shot's wife during racketeering amd murder trial

 Maureen Gioeli, wife of accused reputed mobsterThomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli, leaving Brooklyn Federal Court following another day of trial.

The Colombo boss’s family priest appears to have taken a vow of silence.
Meet “Father Peter,” possibly the only man of the cloth who clams up when asked his name.
Over the past week, he has made on-and-off appearances at the racketeering and murder trial of gangsters Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli and Dino "Little Dino" Saracino. When he attends, Father Peter sits in the front row next to Gioeli’s wife, Maureen, giving jurors a clear view of his black suit and priest collar.
But when asked his name and his assigned parish, he takes the fifth.
“I think it would be better if I didn’t say anything,” he told the Daily News last week.
Father Peter first popped up on Gioeli’s radar as a “follower” of the accused killer’s Internet blog.
Gioeli’s defense lawyer, Adam Perlmutter, confirmed the priest’s first name and his bona fides as a clergyman.
“I don’t think I know his last name,” Perlmutter said, declining to answer whether he will call him as a character witness.
He said Father Peter runs a retreat in Western Massachusetts, but wouldn’t explain his link to Gioeli.
A clue emerged Tuesday from the testimony of hit man Dino Calabro, who said Gioeli passed an order to whack a gangster in the garden of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park.
“That’s the garden where Tommy would go and pray,” Calabro said.
But no one at the church said they had heard of a Father Peter.
One thing’s for sure, the padre doesn’t always carry a Bible.
On the opening day of the trial, the book “Younger Next Year — A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You’re 80 And Beyond” was tucked under his arm.
That may come in handy for Gioeli, who faces life in prison if convicted of the six murders.

Feds believe 75 year old mobster involved in Gardner Art Heist

A federal prosecutor acknowledged in court Tuesday that the FBI believes that 75-year-old Hartford mobster Robert Gentile has information about the world's most sensational art heist, the theft of 13 masterworks from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
"The government has reason to believe that Mr. Gentile had some involvement with stolen property out of the District of Massachusetts," said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham.
What Gentile, reputedly a sworn Mafia member, does or doesn't know about the March 1990 Gardner job surfaced during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Hartford where he tried, unsuccessfully, to bail himself out of jail while waiting for a trial on a drug arrest in February.
Gentile's lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, said Gentile knows nothing about the stolen art and that the government is denying "a sick, old man" bail because he can't give them information that could solve one of the world's most baffling crimes.
"What is happening, Your Honor, is that the government is asking you to set a punitive bond, to keep him uncomfortable, to torture him," McGuigan said. "He unfortunately doesn't have the information that the government is looking for. But the government believes he does."
Durham implied that Gentile knows something about the Gardner heist when U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny pressed the prosecution on the charge that the government is holding Gentile in a Rhode Island prison to squeeze him into giving up information.
Durham added, without elaboration, that Gentile has had unproductive discussions with the FBI about the missing paintings and that the reason the government opposes his release on bond is because of his involvement in a long list of other crimes, among them an aborted conspiracy to hijack cash shipments leaving the Foxwoods casino in Ledyard.
Gentile, short, white-haired, overweight and leaning on a cane, confronted Durham as he limped out of the courtroom during a recess.
"Lies, lies," Gentile said. "It's all lies."
The Gardner job devastated the art world, and the inability of investigators around the world to find even a hint of the stolen paintings has become an enduring mystery.
Among the pieces stolen were three Rembrandts, a Vermeer, a Manet and five drawings by Degas. Two of the paintings — "Storm on the Sea of Galilee," Rembrandt's only known seascape, and Vermeer's "The Concert" — could be worth than more $50 million each in an open market. All the stolen pieces might be worth $50 million or more.
At least two thieves were involved in the theft. They dressed as police officers and used the uniforms to trick one of two museum guards into opening a door at about 1:30 a.m., the end of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Boston.
The thieves bound the guards with duct tape and, less than 90 minutes later, drove away into the night in a red car. There has been one lead in 22 years, according to the museum. It went nowhere.
Gentile, who lives in Manchester, has been a player in the Connecticut rackets for years, according to police and other sources. He has an arrest record dating to the 1950s, mostly on minor state charges. He served a six-month sentence, once.
Associates believe that if Gentile had even the faintest idea of the location of the paintings, he would have tried to trade it for the $5 million reward years ago.
His most recent arrest, last month, was for selling illegally obtained prescription painkillers. He claims he was using the pills personally for his myriad medical conditions. He was charged with a partner, Anthony Parente, another 75-year-old local underworld figure.
The intensive law enforcement investigation following the Gardner job revealed, according to recently obtained FBI investigative reports, that Gentile was actively involved with a crew of Boston hoodlums in the years immediately after the art theft.
Durham said Gentile was associated with a crew active in Boston and led by Capo Robert Luisi, but associated with Philadelphia's mafia family. It was Luisi who "made" Gentile by inducting him into the Philadelphia family, Durham said in court Tuesday.
When Luisi was arrested and confronted with a long prison sentence for selling cocaine about a decade ago, he implicated Gentile and other alleged members of his crew in a long list of criminal activity, Durham said.
In 1998, Gentile established an elaborate surveillance of the armored cars that he believed were transporting cash from the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Gentile plotted the truck routes and the frequency of pickups, Durham said.
In Gentile's basement, Durham said, FBI agents found police identification materials, uniforms, Tasers and police scanners — devices that criminal gangs often use in armored-car robberies. There also were weapons and ammunition.
In about 2000, Durham said, Gentile approached Luisi about hitting an armored car in Ledyard. Luisi recruited a gang of Boston bank robbers to work with Gentile on surveillance. The Ledyard robbery fizzled when the Boston crew was nabbed in another robbery, Durham said.
Durham said Luisi said Gentile also claimed to have been involved in truck hijackings. For a while, Luisi said, Gentile carried a snub-nosed .38-caliber pistol and a .22-caliber derringer and acted as his bodyguard. Another time, Durham said, Gentile boasted that he would kill Hartford gangster Tony Volpe if Volpe threatened his loan-sharking business.
McGuigan called the allegations lies by gangsters trying to curry favor with the FBI and shorten their own prison sentences.
Chatigny said Gentile was too dangerous to be granted bail.


Gangster prayed as signal for murder of victim

William CutoloWilliam Cutolo Thou shalt not kill — even if you’re praying in a church garden beforehand.
Colombo crime boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli plotted a top gangster’s murder in the same Long Island church garden where he regularly prayed to his maker, mob turncoat Dino Calabro revealed yesterday.
The genesis of the slaying of Colombo mobster William “Wild Bill” Cutolo is just another example of Gioeli’s unorthodox religious practices.
Prosecutors have claimed that Gioeli was involved in the 1982 murder of former Catholic nun Veronica Zuraw, who was hit by a stray shotgun blast when Gioeli and another thug were allegedly killing a pornographer and his son.
BLOOD BROTHERS: Thomas Gioeli (right) allegedly plotted a mob hit to take place in the home of Dino Saracino (left), a witness said yesterday.
BLOOD BROTHERS: Thomas Gioeli (right) allegedly plotted a mob hit to take place in the home of Dino Saracino (left), a witness said yesterday.
“I’m going to hell” for Zuraw’s death, Gioeli later moaned, court papers say.
Gioeli routinely prayed in the Massapequa, LI, church garden not far from his Farmingdale home, Calabro chirped yesterday in Brooklyn federal court. But any heavenly help Gioeli might have earned from his garden devotionals was offset by all the blood on his hands, which Calabro detailed.
In 1999, Colombo boss Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico and crime-family captain Jack DeRoss became concerned that Cutolo would make a play to take over the strife-ridden clan, Calabro testified.
One day that year, Calabro said, Gioeli summoned him to the church garden to discuss Cutolo’s body, if not his soul.
“He told me he had just left Pooch and Betty Boop,” said Calabro, explaining that those were nicknames for Persico and DeRoss.
Gioeli then made a hand gesture, covering up several fingers, to indicate Cutolo, whose other nickname, “Billy Fingers,” reflects digits missing from one of his hands.
“They wanted to kill him,” Calabro said of Cutolo, who was lured to the house of Calabro’s cousin “Little Dino” Saracino.
There, Calabro testified, “I shot him in the head.”
Gioeli allegedly directed Calabro and others where to bury Cutolo’s corpse.

Hit on cop shocked killer

He never saw it coming.
A coldblooded killer told in chilling detail yesterday how he and another mob hit man calmly walked up to an NYPD officer — marked for death because he’d married a Mafia bigwig’s ex-wife — and gunned him down outside his Brooklyn house nearly 15 years ago.
“What’s up?” housing cop Ralph Dols asked the two men as they approached him on Aug. 25, 1997, one of the killers, mob rat Dino “Big Dino” Calabro, told rapt jurors in Brooklyn federal court yesterday.
“We shot him,” Calabro testified. “Multiple times.”
“When we shot him, he fell back,” said Calabro, 45, describing Dols staggering and falling onto the hood of the car he had just exited in Sheepshead Bay.
WEDDED DISS: NYPD cop Ralph Dols was targeted for murder because he married Kim Kennaugh, the ex-wife of a high-ranking Colombo family member.
WEDDED DISS: NYPD cop Ralph Dols was targeted for murder because he married Kim Kennaugh, the ex-wife of a high-ranking Colombo family member.
'We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just a rule in the Mafia.' — Dino ‘Big Dino’ Calabro, testifying in Brooklyn federal court yesterday about the murder of NYPD housing cop Ralph Dols
'We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just a rule in the Mafia.' — Dino ‘Big Dino’ Calabro, testifying in Brooklyn federal court yesterday about the murder of NYPD housing cop Ralph Dols
“I shot him. I shot him with my cousin Dino,” said the former Colombo capo-turned-government witness.
The dying Dols then stumbled into his house, where his wife and baby daughter had been waiting for him.
Calabro’s matter-of-fact account came during testimony at the trial of his cousin, Dino “Little Dino” Saracino, 39, and Colombo acting boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, 59, for the murder of Dols and five others.
Watching silently from the gallery were four of Dols’ relatives.
Dols, 28, was targeted because he had married Kim Kennaugh, whose former husband, then-Colombo consigliere Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, was enraged at the insult of her having married a cop.
Calabro said he blasted away at the unsuspecting Dols with a .44-caliber Magnum, while his cousin fired a .45-caliber semiautomatic.
Dols stumbled, blood-spattered, into his home, where Kennaugh found him downstairs.
It was only the next day that the mob goon learned who Dols really was.
“I seen that on the front page,” Calabro told jurors. “I learned that he was a cop.”
“We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just a rule in the Mafia,” Calabro noted, without irony.
“You don’t kill kids, you don’t kill cops.”
“At first I was amazed,” he testified about learning Dols’ occupation. “I went straight to Tommy’s house.”
When Calabro walked into Gioeli’s Farmingdale, LI, home, Tommy Shots put his index finger to his lips in a “shhhh” motion, the turncoat testified.
They went for a walk outside, into a wooded area to avoid possible police surveillance.
“I asked him, ‘This guy’s a cop?’ ” Calabro recalled.
“He acted like he didn’t know.”
Calabro testified he then tried to contact Cacace on a walkie-talkie, but “Joe Waverly” didn’t answer.
Dols’ widow, Kennaugh, was not in court yesterday, having said she could not bear to be there. At her Staten Island home yesterday, she declined to comment.
Her first husband, Colombo soldier Enrico Carini, was taken out in a mob hit 10 years before Dols’ murder.
In 1997, Calabro was just a Colombo associate, but he had close ties with Gioeli — who allegedly told him that Dols had to die.
“How did you learn that Joel Cacace wanted ‘a piece of work done?’ ” asked Assistant US Attorney James Gatta.
“Tommy Gioeli told me,” Calabro answered.
Calabro said he jumped at the chance to carry out the job on Dols so that he could merit becoming a made man.
“I wanted to be inducted into the Colombo crime family,” testified the Sicily native, who on the witness stand Monday admitted having killed eight men.
Gioeli showed Calabro where Dols lived on East 19th Street, showed him Dols’ car, and gave Calabro a slip of paper with Dols’ license-plate number written on it, the rat recalled.
“We couldn’t find him at that location for a long period of time,” Calabro said.
The delay irritated Cacace.
“Joe Waverly took me for a walk,” Calabro testified. “He asked me, ‘What’s going on with that thing, because it’s taking a long time?’ ”
Calabro and Saracino resumed their efforts — with “aggression to get it done,” Calabro said.
Calabro said he later approached Gioeli about killing Cacace — who later became head of the family and now resides in prison on a racketeering conviction — for having issued an order to kill a cop in violation of Mafia rules.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Colombo crime boss Thomas Gioeli gave sign to kill while praying in garden of Long Island church

 William Cutolo was killed in an infamous ‘90s mob hit.

In the garden outside a Long Island church, Colombo crime boss Thomas Gioeli folded both hands to pray — or placed just one over his heart to kill.
Mafia killer Dino "Big Dino" Calabro recounted the wordless 1999 gesture that permanently silenced Colombo capo William "Wild Bill" Cutolo in an infamous ‘90s mob hit long shrouded in secrecy.
The unholy, one-handed message from Tommy Shots was delivered inside the grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa, L.I., the chief witness against Gioeli testified Tuesday.
The admitted killer of eight also testified about another spectacular ‘90s mob slaying: the killing of a city cop who married the ex-wife of a jealous Colombo consigliere.
In the Cutolo hit, Calabro recalled his summons to meet Gioeli at the church. “That’s the garden where Tommy would go to pray,” he recalled.
Gioeli placed a hand over his heart — a signal that he wanted somebody whacked. He then held up four fingers, indicating that Cutolo — who was missing part of his middle finger — was the target.
The plot involved luring Wild Bill to a Brooklyn home and eliminating him as a threat to then-acting boss Alphonse Persico’s rule atop the Colombos.
Gioeli drove Cutulo to the death house for a purported sitdown between Persico and Wild Bill. Calabro recounted greeting Cutolo in the driveway of the home.
“We shook hands,” Calabro said. “He said, ‘Allie’s here, right? Where are we going?’
“He went in, and I followed him and pulled out my gun and shot him in the head. He just went ‘Whoa,’ and fell backward into the closet.”
To cover up the crime, Cutolo’s watch, beeper and jewelry were mixed into a bucket filled with concrete and dumped off a Brooklyn pier.
The body was wrapped in garbage bags, hog-tied and buried in Farmingdale, L.I. Gioeli waited at a Dunkin’ Donuts while his henchmen put Cutolo into the ground, Calabro said.
Under cross-examination, cold-blooded killer Calabro said he forked over more than $750,000 in crooked gains to the government — not including the $65,000 stolen by his brother, Enzo.
Calabro also said he expected a better sentencing deal than the one given to Bonanno gangster Salvatore Vitale: seven years for 11 murders.
“You want an apology from the government, too?" asked defense attorney Adam Perlmutter.
Calabro earlier recounted his outrage over the 1997 hit ordered on “a Mexican guy who worked in a Queens social club.”
The victim turned out to be off-duty New York police officer Ralph Dols.
Calabro was stunned to learn that he joined in the killing of a cop. He even recalled asking Gioeli if
they should whack the mobster who gave the order, Colombo consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace.
Gioeli “took a step back, he listened, and it was never brought up again,” he testified.
The Cutolo killing boosted Calabro’s murderous rep, and he became a made man at a ceremony in 2000. But after achieving his lifelong goal, Calabro’s bloodlust disappeared.
“I was tired of killing,” he testified. “I was tired of being used.


Mob turncoat details the 1997 slaying of NYPD cop Ralph Dols

A mob hit man today detailed the sickeningly intricate steps taken to rub out NYPD cop Ralph Dols, who'd innocently asked “what’s up” to his killers just seconds before they pumped him up with lead.
Mafia capo-turned-stool pigeon Dino “Big Dino” Calabro told jurors in Brooklyn federal court that Dols, who was killed because he was married to an ex-mob wife, never saw it coming on that deadly 1997 night in Brooklyn.
Calabro is testifying against his cousin Dino “Little Dino” Saracino and Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, who are being prosecuted for murder and racketeering.
Capo, Dino Calabro
NYPD Officer Ralph Dols
Big Dino said he and Little Dino followed Dols home, and the cop was killed moments after getting out of his Cutlass.
“He [Dols] pulled to the right, where he lives. I pulled off the left,” Calabro coldly recounted. “Me and [Little] Dino jumped out. “
Dols didn’t know the two approaching men were about to whack him.
“He said `What’s up?’ “ Calabro testified.
“We shot him [pause] multiple times.”
Dols staggered backward and fell on the hood of his car.
“When we shot him, he fell back,” Calabro said.
“I shot him. I shot him with my cousin Dino.”
Big Dino and Little Dino had been carefully casing Dols’ home for weeks before pulling the trigger.
A week and a half before the killing, Big Dino and Little Dino had followed Dols home and were ready to nail him then, according to Calabro.
But Dols unknowingly bought himself more time on earth by making a yellow light, while Big Dino and Little Dino were left back at the red.
Calabro explained that killers used three cars in Dols’ slaying:
• The “kill car,” a stolen Chevy Caprice carrying the gunmen;
• A “crash car,” allegedly driven by look-out man Joseph “Joey Caves” Competiello, who was ready to ram a responding police cruiser;
• And a “clean car,” that the gunmen used for their final getaway after ditching the stolen “kill car.”
“We stole a car. We waited there and we ended up shooting him,” said Calabro, adding that he used a .44-caliber Magnum revolver in the job while Little Dino packed a .45-caliber semi automatic.
“We used [police radio] scanners, we used walkie-talkies, we used gloves, we used baseball caps.”
The capo-turned-canary insisted he had no idea Dols was a cop. Calabro said he got the kill order from his mentor Gioeli, who in turn claimed the ultimate request had come from his boss, Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace.
“Tommy told me he [Dols] was a Mexican who worked in a Queens social club,” according to the mafia snitch.
Dols’ killing was splashed on the front page of newspapers the next day. It was only then, Calabro said, that he learned Dols was an NYPD officer.
“We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just a rule in the mafia,” he said.
“You don’t kill kids, you don’t kill cops.”
Big Dino said he was so upset about Officer Dols’ slaying, he asked Gioeli if they should take out Cacace for the cop-killing order.
“I asked Tommy we should take him cause he screwed us,” Big Dino testified. “He [Gioeli] took a step back and he listened and he said, 'Let me see.'"
Four relatives of Dols, who declined to identify themselves, sat in the courtroom during Calabro’s testimony about his murder.
“We just want this to be over with. It’s been so many years,” said a female relative of Dols, whose killing preceded Calabro’s elevation from mere Colombo associate to "made man" in the crime family.
Calabro also testified how Tommy Shots, who feared that he was going to Hell because he had inadvertently killed a former nun named Veronica Zuraw during a mob hit, had a habit of praying in the garden of a Catholic church in Massapequa, LI, not far from Gioeli’s home.
Calabro said Gioeli also conducted more secular business in that church garden, a photo of which was introduced into evidence today.
Gioeli once summoned Calabro to the garden to discuss a plan – later carried out – to killed Colombo underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo because of concerns that Cutolo would launch a power struggle for control of the crime family, Calabro testified.

Colombo capo details various killings with his mob family

Carmine "The Gorilla" Gargano Jr. wouldn’t stay down even after his Colombo family mob buddy put a bullet in his body and another in his eye.
Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello eventually had to slam the 6-feet-2, 230-pound Gargano in the head with sledgehammer to kill him, mob turncoat Dino "Big Dino" Calabro testified Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The 1994 slaying at a Brooklyn auto body shop was among a lengthy list of murders Calabro detailed as the government’s star witness against Colombo crime boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli.
The Sicilian-born Calabro, 45, spoke matter-of-factly of grisly killings during the height of the Colombo civil war, but his testimony prompted sobs from a woman seated at the back of the courtroom — Gargano’s mother.
“I hope these people die burning in hell,” Rosa Gargano told the Daily News after hearing Calabro describe her son’s death. “They pierced my soul.”
The one answer Calabro didn’t have is why her son was whacked.
Calabro said that question was on his mind when he first learned of Gargano’s murder from Comtetiello.
"I don’t know. I just felt like it. I was upset," Calabro said Comtetiello told him.
Calabro said he told Comtetiello, “I don’t care what you do with him, throw him out of a car, bury him where he sits.”
He said that as usual, he kept Gioeli, his mob mentor, abreast of the murder and what was done with the body.
Gargano’s corpse, which has never been found, was first buried outside the McDonald Ave. auto body shop where he was killed in a lot used to park ice cream trucks, Calabro said.
He said the body of the mobster — who got his nickname when he hoisted 90 pounds of masonry with one hand on a construction job — was dug up and moved to a Long Island mob dumping ground when the victim’s family started “snoopin’ around” asking questions about Gargano’s whereabouts.
“We dug a pretty deep hole and threw Carmine in there,” Calabro testified, explaining how he helped Comtetiello, another mob rat set to testify against Gioeli, transplant the body to an industrial park near Farmingdale.
He said they covered the remains with a bag of lime to “deter the smell.”
Rosa Gargano said she nearly bolted from the courtroom as Calabro described disposing of her son as if he were a piece of garbage.
“I’m trying to be strong,” said the tearful woman, who has attended every day of the trial since it began March 19. “One side of me wanted to hear this. But for me, this is not closure. I don’t understand the reason why they did this."
Earlier, Calabro, who has pleaded guilty to eight mob murders in exchange for his testimony, pointed out his old boss out, describing Gioeli as the man seated at the defense table “wearing the Argyle sweater.”
The former Colombo capo squealed that Tommy Shots taught him how to kill and turned him on to the glitz of a gangster’s life.
“I wanted what (Gioeli) had,” Calabro told Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta. “He had the power to get me in the family.”
Prosecutors contend Gioeli advanced his mob career supervising a lethal crew of killers that included Calabro and co-defendant Dino "Little Dino" Saracino.
Saracino, who is Calabro’s cousin, shook his head when Calabro entered the courtroom.
Recounting his first murder — of Bonanno associate Frank "Chestnut" Marasa in 1991 — Calabro said Gioeli gave him explicit advice.
“Tommy always said, ‘Shoot him in the body first. Then walk up and cap him,” he said.
The two men committed numerous crimes together, including six murders.
Calabro recalled killing Colombo mob associate Joe Miccio when Gioeli ordered him whacked for stealing a Mercedes-Benz from a customer of the famed Marco Polo Restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, which was owned by a Gambino soldier.
“Gioeli informed (the Gambinos) that he took care of the problem and no cars would ever be stolen out of that garage,” Calabro said.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicago mob part of Havana's history

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba Monday after a three-day trip to Mexico. He will travel to Havana on Tuesday for meetings, events and an outdoor Mass.
The pope is on the final leg of his Latin American tour. The visit to Cuba comes 14 years after John Paul II's historic visit.

Moments after his plane touched down in Santiago, Cuba's second largest city, Pope Benedict blessed a group of children.
The pontiff is on a mission to renew the faith in Latin America's least Catholic country. Less than 10 percent of Cubans are practicing Catholics. Cuba's communist government never outlawed religion, but it expelled priests and closed religious schools after Fidel Castro's takeover in 1959.
Unlike Chicago which has made a concerted effort to rid the city of its gangland history, the Chicago Outfit is part of the city's fabric in Havana.
Just 90 miles from the tip of Florida, American mobsters began using Cuba as their headquarters for offshore rackets in the early 1920s running rum, loan-sharking, prostitution and gambling and eventually the mob's initial cocaine trade.
During the late 1920s and 30s, the Hotel Sevilla Biltmore, close to Cuba's presidential palace, was a home away from home for Chicago mob boss Al Capone, whose pictures still adorn the lobby and who to this day has a suite named for him tucked away at the end of a 6th floor labyrinth. It is marked by a plaque citing Capone as an "Italian American famous gangster."
By the 1940s, every major Havana hotel and casino had been claimed by either the Chicago Outfit or New York's mafia families. It was a blueprint for later expansion to Las Vegas.
"Members of organized crime bribed Cuban government to allow them to have free reign in building and running very successfully the gambling enterprise in Cuba," said Arthur Lurigio of Loyola University.
Havana's majestic Hotel Nacional, which is the Vatican press headquarters for Pope Benedict's visit, was the site for one of the most famous summits in American gangland history.
In December of 1946, the hotel was closed to the public for a conclave of U.S. mob bosses so they could divvy up their illicit Cuban businesses.
Anthony "Joe Batters" Accardo led the Chicago delegation in meetings with notorious New York hoodlums Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.
That Havana summit paved the way for Accardo's successor Sam "Mooney' Giancana to corner a sizable piece of Cuban business for the Chicago Outfit in the 1950s, building a hotel overlooking Havana Bay. The Riviera resort and casino became a favorite retreat for Chicago mobsters and the Hollywood glitterati.
For organized crime, it all came crashing down in 1959 when Fidel Castro overthrew an American-friendly regime that had also been in the mob's pocket.
"There is proof, documented proof that Sam Giancana, Johnny Riseli and others participated in several plots to have Castro assassinated," said Prof. Lurigio.

In Havana, the pope will have a private meeting with Raul Castro. The question is, will Fidel Castro be there as well?
Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has been brought to Cuba over the weekend for treatment for his cancer. Some speculate Chavez could also meet with the people.


Michael Shannon plays legendary mob assasin in upcoming Iceman movie

Michael Shannon may be best known for his role fighting the mob, but soon, he'll be starring as one of organized crime's most legendary assassins.
Shannon takes the lead in The Iceman as contract killer Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer who, through his work for the Gambino crime family in New York City and other tri-state area illegal outfits, was said to have taken down 250 targets. A mountain of a man, Kuklinski stood 6'5 and murdered from childhood on, making for a menacing role for Shannon, whose trademark intensity won him plaudits in last year's Take Shelter. At first glance at this poster, he obviously pulls off the required intimidation.
The Ariel Vromen-directed film, set up at Millenium, is a star-laden indie; Winona Ryder plays Shannon's wife, Chris Evans features as his mentor 'Mr. Softee'; Ray Liotta is his fellow Gambino agent; while James Franco, Stephen Dorff and David Schwimmer all have roles, too.
The film is due out in 2013, as is Man of Steel, the Superman reboot in which Shannon plays the evil General Zod.