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

Friday, September 18, 2009

Biggest "Rats" in LCN History - Part 2

ANTHONY ROTONDO--Anthony Rotondo’s father, Vincent, was a captain in the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante family, but he wanted his son to be a lawyer. Rotondo initially started down that path, picking up a degree in business administration from St. Francis College in Brooklyn. But the lure of the mob soon beckoned, and his father ultimately proposed his son for membership.
Then in 1988, his father was gunned down as he sat in his car outside his Bath Beach, Brooklyn home. The younger Rotondo assumed his father’s position, but turned informant in 1999 after nearly the entire hierarchy of the family was arrested,. He claimed he did so in part because of building resentment over his father’s murder.

ALADENA 'JIMMY THE WEASEL' FRATIANNO--The first gangster to testify in a criminal trial against his former peers, Fratianno became an informant in 1978 after admitting a role in the murder of an Irish gangster named Danny Green. He confessed to committing five murders and participating in 6 others, and testified against Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico, Genovese crime family boss Frank “Funzi” Tieri, and Chicago crime boss Joe Ayuppa.
He appeared in a famous photo of Frank Sinatra with Carlo Gambino and other gangsters at the Westchester Premier Theater in Tarrytown, testifying that he wasn’t very impressed by Sinatra. He later penned two books about his exploits. Fratianno died in 1993, at age 79, at an undisclosed location with an assumed name.

JOE VALACHI--The first major Mafia turncoat, this drug-dealing soldier in the family of Vito Genovese introduced the term ‘la cosa nostra’ (meaning ‘this thing of ours’) to the English lexicon. He turned informant after learning that his boss had decided he had to go, and signaled his decision with an infamous “kiss of death” in the federal pen in Atlanta, Georgia.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy called his testimony “the biggest intelligence breakthrough yet in combating organized crime.” His evidence never directly convicted a single mobster, but his 1963 televised appearance at a Senate committee investigating organized crime lifted the veil on the Mafia in America.
He tried but failed to hang himself in his cell and ultimately died of a heart attack in 1971, at the age of 67.

JOSEPH MASSINO--Massino became the first sitting boss in Mafia history to turn informant. The longtime head of the Bonnano family, Massino was notoriously security conscious, instructing his subordinates to refer to him merely by tugging on their earlobe.
Things started to go bad for Joe when his brother-in-law and underboss, Salvatore “Good Looking Sal” Vitale, testified against him. Shortly after his 2004 conviction on racketeering charges that would have put him in prison for life, Massino decided to become an informant. He taped his underlings in prison threatening to kill a prosecutor.

GREG SCARPA SR.--The “Grim Reaper” stayed on the streets of Brooklyn for years, secretly providing information on his Mafia peers to the FBI. The relationship went back to the 1950s, and included a remarkable incident in which Scarpa—a homicidal maniac who’s believed to be involved in upwards of 50 murders—was sent to Philadelphia, Miss. to solve the disappearance of three civil rights workers.
Ultimately, one of his FBI handlers, R. Lindley DeVecchio, was charged but acquitted of providing info to Scarpa that was used to kill his rivals. Scarpa died in 1994 of AIDS he got from tainted blood donated by a fellow gangster.
Pictured: Gregory Scarpa Sr. & Linda (Schiro) Scarpa.


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