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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Anthony SalernoDeceased Genovese "Front" Boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno via Wikipedia

A mob turncoat took the witness stand again today, lashing out at prosecutors for forcing him into a life of poverty and admitting that he killed "a lot" of people during past mob wars.

"I had a job," snapped 85-year-old mob rat George Barone when asked about his 2001 arrest. "You people took it away from me. You people forced me into a poverty position. Why I got arrested was all wrong."

Barone, who said he was wrongly arrested for extortion, testified in Brooklyn federal court against Genovese capo Michael "Mikey Cigars" Coppola, who is charged with the 1977 gangland slaying of John "Johnny Cokes" Lardiere.

Barone, a former hit man and official in the International Longshoremen's Association, played a key role when the Genovese crime family took control of the city's waterfront almost thirty years ago.

Asked on cross-examination how many murders he had committed, Barone said, "A lot. I didn't keep a score card. A lot. Many. I'm 85 1/2. I don't remember the specifics. I was in a war [referring to World War II]. . . I killed a lot of people. I was in a war on the West Side of New York [referring to his time with the Jets gang that inspired West Side Story]. A lot of people were killed on both sides."

When pressed, he estimated about 20.

Barone also detailed his falling out with the Genovese family started during the late 1980s while he was in prison --something that intensified in 1992 when his longtime capo Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno died behind bars.

"I was next to the throne with Fat Tony. When he died I was decimated," he said.

In the 1990s, Barone said he was edged out by a new generation of wiseguys who tried to strip him of his union control and then plotted to kill him.

"They've been trying to kill me for nine years now," he said. "They haven't made it yet and they're not going to...They were trying to make me a bum and I'm as good a man as anyone in the Mafia."



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