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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The real life story of the NY mob's version of Bonnie and Clyde

‘Rob the Mob’ traces story of real-life Bonnie & Clyde
As crimes go, this one probably lacked something in the smarts department.
Back in 1992, young Queens couple Thomas and Rosemarie Uva were in need of money, so they hit upon a not-so-brilliant plan: They stick up Mafia-friendly social clubs, robbing whomever they found inside of cash and jewelry.
Nina Arianda as “Rosie,” and Michael Pitt as “Tommy.”
Arianda with Ray Romano as Jerry Cardozo
They hit about a dozen joints, including the Hawaiian Moonlighters in Little Italy and an unnamed hangout on Brooklyn’s 86th Street. The couple’s story is now the basis for Friday’s “Rob the Mob,” starring Michael Pitt as Tommy and Nina Arianda as Rosie.
“It would have been too silly if you made up a story like this,” says director Raymond De Felitta.
The Uvas worked at a Manhattan collection agency and lived in Ozone Park, Queens, once the stomping ground of John Gotti. Thomas, then 28, was an ex-con who had done time for robbery.
Rosie was 31 and devoted to her husband.
In May, the two hatched a plan: Thomas would storm into the club and order the men inside to empty their valuables. Rosie would wait outside in the getaway car.
“He was a kid who was obsessed with the Mafia, and she grew up in the neighborhood and knew all those guys,” says “Rob the Mob” screenwriter Jonathan Fernandez.
The doors to the social clubs were almost always open, and the patrons inside were generally unarmed — and carrying a sizable amount of cash. Most important, the victims were unlikely to call the police.
The duo were quickly dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” and evidently knew that what they were doing would probably lead to disaster.
After one of his victims warned Thomas that the Mafia would eventually kill him, Tommy reportedly replied with a shrug, “Everybody dies.”
He probably meant, “Everybody dies — eventually,” but Tommy’s end came much sooner than he might have expected.
On Christmas Eve 1992, he and Rosie set out in their Mercury Topaz at 8:30 a.m. While waiting at a light at 103rd Avenue and 91st Street in Ozone Park, gunmen shot them each three times in the head.
Rosemarie Uva
Thomas Uva

The two fell victim to an “open contract” issued by the Gambino and Bonanno gang families. The Uvas were an especially attractive target because of the way they had violated and humiliated the made men. (In one robbery, Tommy made his elderly Italian victims strip to their underwear.)
On federal wire taps, members from rival crime families the Bonannos and Gambinos can even be heard arguing over who should get credit for the Uvas’ executions.
The cops fingered Dominick “Skinny Dom” Pizzonia, a reputed Gambino capo who ran one of the social clubs the Uvas knocked over. Pizzonia was convicted in 2007 for participating in the murders, despite his claim that he was scaling fish with his mistress at the time.
The killings of Rosie and Tommy are still something of a point of pride in certain New York communities.
“We filmed in real social clubs, and [the members] were fine with it,” Fernandez says.
“From their point of view, Tommy and Rosie got their comeuppance.”



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