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

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Former Lucchese family underboss dies in prison after getting COVID-19


Former Lucchese mobster Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso — a bloodthirsty underboss who was behind dozens of gangland killings and even employed two NYPD detectives as mafia hitmen — has died behind bars after contracting the coronavirus, officials said.

The 78-year-old mafioso — who sought and was denied compassionate release last month — died Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Prisons website and a law enforcement source.

On Nov. 25, Casso’s lawyers wrote to a judge explaining that their client had contracted COVID-19 while serving a life sentence in United States Penitentiary, Tuscon.

The lawyers also said that the wheelchair-bound Casso had a slew of health issues before he caught the virus — including prostate cancer, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, hypertension, bladder disease and lung issues from years of smoking, the court papers said.

But Brooklyn federal Judge Frederic Block rejected the bid for early release, finding that “in light of the nature and extent of defendant’s criminal history, that he remains a danger to the community.”

Casso — who pleaded guilty to 14 mob murders — infamously struck a deal with crooked NYPD detective partners Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa to pass information about mob rats to the crime family in exchange for a monthly $4,000 salary.

The cops also moonlighted as hitmen for the Lucchese family, and were sentenced to life in prison in 2009 for being involved in a total of eight mob rubouts.

An investigator who covered Casso’s cases described him as “a ruthless homicidal maniac who enjoyed killing.”

Even among fellow mobsters, Casso was known as a “homicidal maniac,” according to the testimony of stoolie Burton Kaplan, who served as intermediary between Casso and the mob cops.

Born in South Brooklyn in 1942, Casso appeared bred for a life of crime. His godfather was reportedly Salvatore Callinbrano, a capo in the Genovese crime family.

In the mid-1970s and 80s, Casso rose through the ranks of the Lucchese family, serving as captain and consigliere — and eventually as underboss.

Considered one of the most violent bosses of the city’s five crime families, Casso is believed to have slain at least 36 people.

He was charged by the feds in 1990 and went on the lam, using information from the crooked cops to help him evade arrest until 1993 — when he was nabbed at a mistress’ home in Mount Olive, New Jersey.

Facing trial, Casso tried to turn informant, and as a 1994 Post front-page story revealed, named the two retired cops as contract-killers for the mob.

As part of the plea deal, Casso copped to 72 counts on a slew of mob-related charges, including racketeering, extortion and murder.

His debriefing sessions were said to have been “extremely colorful, with the former mob boss providing detailed accounts of mayhem and murder,” The Post reported at the time.

“Each tale typically has the feds asking Casso ‘So what happened then?’ — to which Casso matter-of-factly replies, ‘We killed him of course.'”

However, Casso was thrown out of the witness protection program in 1998, after prosecutors accused him of a litany of infractions, such as bribing prison guards, assaulting rival mobster inmates and providing false information.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In a 2006 letter to The Post, he railed against the feds, griping that he wanted to be a witness in the mob cops’ trial.

“Like always, the feds have downplayed my cooperation,” he whined. 



  1. I literally just commented a week or so ago saying he would die soon after hearing his long list of ailments plus the amount of years behind bars. Hate to hear he passed away feel bad for his family but hard to feel bad for someone who went after innocent people. Still think Frankie Loc should've been granted compassionate release but I guess only rats are allowed to kill and get away with it and start YouTube channels.

  2. Casso hated crooked cops and felt no remorse about deleting them . I always liked reading stories like that about him .