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

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sonny Franzese Dozes Off In Court As Son Testifies

Legendary Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese — once so feared that even Frank Sinatra kissed his ring — dozed off in court today while an FBI recording of his turncoat son was played at his trial.
The tape recording, in which a cousin of Franzese’s was heard incorrectly predicting that John Gotti Jr. would end up ratting out his father rather than sit in jail — was made while the younger Franzese was the real family rat, wearing a wire to help capture his own dad.
Sitting in the courtroom, the elder Franzese had to be nudged awake by his lawyer while the undercover recordings were played for the court.

FBI surveillance photo of John "Sonny" Franzese and John Franzese, Jr. in 2005.
Earlier in the day, the mob father and son came face to face in the Brooklyn courtroom, where Franzese Jr. testified against the ailing mobster who is on trial for shaking down two strip joints and a Long Island pizzeria.
Upon taking the stand, Franzese Jr. was asked by prosecutors if his father was in the courtroom, replying nervously, "he’s the guy in the yellow shirt."
The former underboss, who sat expressionless most of the time, pinched the fabric of his shirt as if to check the color.
Franzese Jr. described how is father introduced him to the life of crime at 16, he became a bag man at 18. But he eventually descended into drug addiction, when he decided to begin informing for the FBI.
"I wanted to change my life," Franzese Jr, said from the witness stand. "They would provide a means for me to change my life."
Wearing a cross around his neck and a green t-shirt, Franzese Jr, told the jury about growing coddled under the wing of his gangster father in Long Island.
"I spent an exorbitant amount of money on clothes. I had a brand new car every year until I was 26 or 27," he said. "Everyone in my school thought I was the richest kid in the school."
But the younger Franzese could not get out from under the grip of drugs.
He said that he only smoked "five or six joints in high school," but he graduated to harder drugs, became an alcoholic and a cokehead.
"It’s a progressive illness. I used cocaine to manage my alcoholism," he said. "I’d walk around without shoes on in the winter time in the subway and beg for money. I stole money from relatives, my mother, grandfather, my grandmother when she was in the hospital."
Michael Franzese, a former made member of the Colombo crime family who is currently a born-again Christian, said that the whole family is crushed by his brother’s betrayal.
"I don’t agree with anything he’s doing," said Michael. "The family is taking it very hard."


Post a Comment