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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Victim in Mafia murder trial annoyed Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano

He didn't listen. He talked stupid. He was just plain annoying.
Former Bonanno boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano had no shortage of reasons he disliked Randolph Pizzolo - the Mafia associate he's accused of marking for death. Basciano went over them in his conversations with ex-Bonanno chieftain Joseph Massino - while Massino, unbeknownst to Vinny Gorgeous, was wired.
Massino's testimony against Basciano - making him the highest-ranking mob turncoat to take the stand in New York - has stolen the spotlight in the trial.
But Pizzolo's killing is the backbone of the case since prosecutors allege Basciano had him whacked in 2004 and dumped in the street to send a message.
"He [Pizzolo] was what you might call a 'wanna-be,'" Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri told the jury.
"What Randy Pizzolo wanted to be more than anything was an inducted member of organized crime, a made man in the Mafia."
Basciano even proposed him for membership before Pizzolo made several fatal errors.
"[Pizzolo] treated the defendant with disrespect. ... He insulted him and he embarrassed him," Argentieri said.
His bullet-riddled corpse was found facedown on a Greenpoint, Brooklyn, street, his head in a puddle. He wore an expensive wristwatch and pinkie ring. He had $1,000 in his pocket and clutched a cigarette lighter.
His BMW 545i was parked nearby with the engine running.
"I told him his mouth was going to get him in trouble one day," retired undercover FBI agent Jack Garcia told the Daily News.
Garcia recalled the night Pizzolo strutted into a Manhattan restaurant and offered to buy drinks for everyone "except the fed" after he was pointed out.
Even after shooting his best friend behind both knees outside mobbed-up Caffe on the Green in Queens, Pizzolo got a second chance.
But his fate was sealed after he drunkenly boasted in another Queens eatery that he was the only real killer among the Bonannos.
If Basciano is convicted and faces the death penalty, defense lawyers will likely argue in the penalty phase of the trial that Pizzolo contributed to his own demise.
Constance Pizzolo, the victim's daughter, said her father shouldn't be on trial.
"Yes, he made some wrong decisions and obviously got involved with the wrong people," she wrote in an email. "Please know this is a difficult time for his family and friends and we are all hoping the jury comes back with one guilty verdict for Vinny, the animal, who cut Randy Pizzolo's life short at just 43 years old."


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