Paul Castellano – Eighth Grade Drop Out to Gambino Family Boss Part I

Constantino Paul “Big Paul” Castellano was born on June, 26 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. His mother’s name was Concetta and his father, a butcher and early member of the Mangano crime family, was named Giuseppe. Castellano had a sister, Kathryn who married Carlo Gambino, Castellano’s cousin and future boss of the Gambino crime family. Castellano had another relative named General Vito Castellano who was a commander in the New York National Guard and worked as the chief of staff for Gov. Mario Cuomo.

By the time Castellano was in the eighth grade he learned more helping his father run his gambling rackets than he did through school. Before the end of the year he dropped out and began working for us father full-time.

By the time he was in the 19 years old Castellano had gained a reputation of loyalty to mob associates. He had once been arrested for robbing another man and refused to identify his two accomplices to the police and served a three-month prison sentence.

By the early 1940s Castellano who had become a member of the Mangano crime family became a capo under new Mangano boss Albert Anastasia. As capo, Castellano ran his crew like a businessman making thousands of dollars each week, and pushing much of it up to Anastasia. Castellano continued growing his rackets throughout Brooklyn and New York into the 1950s.

Carlo Gambino

Carlo Gambino

On October 25, 1957 Albert Anastasia’s reign as boss came to an end when he was murdered. Due to Carlo Gambino’s loyalty to the commission, he was promoted to boss renaming the family the Gambino crime family. Gambino appointed Neil Dellacroce as his underboss. However, not long after Gambino appointed Paul Castellano as a second underboss to the Gambino crime family. Castellano would control many of the unions, and business aspect of the family while Dellacroce maintained traditional mom business i.e. loansharking, extortion, etc.

Although Castellano was more of a businessman than traditional mafioso, on occasion he would show his violence I. In 1975 he ordered the murder of his daughter’s boyfriend who had compared him to Frank Perdue, the owner and spokesman for Perdue Farms. Castellano considered this an insult and wasted little time in having the young man killed. In 2004 when Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino turned informant, he described having received the contract to kill the young man.

In late 1975 Castellano was awarded the position of acting boss of the Gambino crime family after Carlo Gambino became ill and announced Castellano as successor. The decision to appoint Castellano as boss was not a favorable one and widely considered one of Gambino’s worst decisions as head of the most powerful crime family the United States. Much of the family was behind his longtime underboss Neil Dellacroce having had the most contact with the caporegime’s and soldiers of the family.

As a powerful crime boss Castellano continued to run the family as more of a business than an organized crime unit. Castellano took control of several non-legitimate businesses and using his business contacts and power turn them into legitimate businesses earning he and his family millions.

One such business Castellano named Dial Poultry a distribution business supplying over 300 butcher’s in New York City. It wasn’t all legitimate though, Castellano had to cut corners to make his business profitable venues extortion to force his customers to buy his product.

Another legitimate business Castellano had control of was named Scare-Mix Concrete Corporation. This company, run by his son Philip controlled all the concrete construction business in Staten Island. Outside of Staten Island, Castellano sat in the driver seat for the underworld’s “Concrete Club”, where several of the New York mob families divided the revenue from all the New York developers. It’s been said that any development needing more than $2 million in concrete would need approval from the Concrete Club before moving forward.

As if controlling Staten Island’s concrete business and sitting at the table of the concrete club wasn’t enough, Castellano also controlled the local Teamsters union chapter 282, which provided the workers that poured the concrete to all the major building projects in New York.

On October 6, 1976 Carlo Gambino died at his home of a heart attack. Castellano was now completely in charge of the Gambino crime family. Dellacroce, true to his promise to Gambino announced to all of his supporters that Castellano was boss and that the family should stand behind him as one. Dellacroce remained the underboss of the family and retained the power of the capo’s and soldiers. Castellano would continue to run the white-collar businesses while Dellacroce continue to handle traditional Mafia activities.

In 1978 Gambino associate Nicholas Scibetta was murdered at the request of big Paul Castellano. Scibetta was a known drug user and alcohol abuser and according to Castellano was bringing too much heat on the family and had to go. Castellano gave the contract to Frank DeCicco, but first DeCicco was to notify Scibetta’s brother-in-law, Sammy Gravano. Sammy was not too pleased with Castellano’s hit and some say that his decision seven years later along with John Gotti to execute Castellano and take over the Gambino family, was an easy one. Some years later in an interview, Gavano had this to say about Scibetta’s death:

“I was hoping that it would be like he just disappeared. It would be better for his mother and father. They knew he was a crazy kid. Maybe he had met somebody, some group of people, and run off. The bottom line is that I let it happen. That makes me just as guilty. I didn’t know the body would be chopped up afterwards. That’s not me.” Sammy Gravano.

Over the next two years Castellano would order the murders of at least three more men. His favorite hit man of choice? Roy DeMeo, a fearless killer for the Gambino family notorious for cutting up the victims and dropping their body parts in several locations. Over the course of five years, body parts washed up on shore, found in dumpsters, and located under bridges in one of several mafia graveyards.

Albert Anastasia – The Original Murder Inc. Part II

 Spring 1942 Anastasia, who was under constant scrutiny from the FBI and local law enforcement secretly ordered the murder of associate Anthony Romeo. Like Reles, Romeo had been arrested and was talking to authorities to implicate Anastasia in several murders. By the end of June, Romeo’s body was found beaten and shot multiple times near Guyencourt Delaware.

With the start of World War II, Anastasia reportedly became the mastermind behind a plan to win Luciano freedom from prison in exchange for supplying the United States government with inside information from his contacts in Sicily. He also suggested he could protect the eastern waterfront from German attack. As a part of the effort, Anastasia joined the United States Army although many speculate he did this to escape criminal investigations, he maintained he was doing his part to secure the borders by training longshoremen on the coast in Pennsylvania. As a reward for his efforts Anastasia was granted citizenship in the United States. He was no longer illegal, and after his honorable discharge from the Army in 1944 moved his family to a mansion in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Despite working closely with Luciano and Costello, Anastasia was the underboss of the Mangano family. Boss of the family Vincent Mangano resented the relationship Anastasia had with the two men and was particularly upset Luciano and Costello didn’t ask for his permission before requesting Anastasia’s services. This and several other small disputes led to Mangano and Anastasia almost coming to blows several times. In early 1951 Vincent Mangano went missing. He was never heard from again. On April 19, 1951 the body of Phillip Mangano, Vincent’s brother was found shot three times floating in a wetland outside of Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. It is widely assumed Anastasia had enough and disposed of the Mangano brothers but no charges were ever filed.

As underboss, and with Mangano out of the picture, Anastasia became the new boss of the Mangano family renaming it the Anastasia family (the future Gambino family). He was a ruthless boss having once killed an informer who had nothing to do with his family just because he “didn’t like stool pigeons”. In a similar situation in March 1952 Anastasia was watching television where a young man from New York Arnold Schuster identified a fugitive bank robber Willie Sutton, resulting in Sutton’s arrest. When Anastasia saw this, he allegedly said: “I can’t stand squealers! Hit that guy!”  Days later, gunmen shot Schuster to death on a street in Borough Park, Brooklyn. No one was ever arrested for the slaying.

Around the same time Vito Genovese, a powerful mobster in his own right was vying for the top spot of the Costello family after Luciano was deported. His power was limited as Costello and Anastasia had control of the commission, but after hearing of the slaying of Schuster, Genovese felt he had an opening. To kill Costello, he would need to eliminate Anastasia so he began to paint a picture of Anastasia being unstable, and unpredictable. He spoke about Anastasia bringing about unnecessary attraction to the mafia during a time where the FBI was looking for anything to bring about indictments. He soon had the ear of Anastasia capo Carlo Gambino, and Luciano friend Meyer Lansky who was growing more upset with Anastasia for muscling in on his Cuba casino operations.

Soon after gaining support from other top mobsters, Genovese went to the commission and accused Anastasia of selling memberships to his family. This was a huge accusation that the commission took seriously. In an effort to drive a wedge between Costello and Anastasia, Genovese also claimed Anastasia was plotting against Costello. With their relationship in question, Genovese felt comfortable moving against Costello. On May 2, 1957 gunmen, later identified as Vincent ‘The Chin” Gigante shot and wounded Costello outside his apartment building. The near death experience convinced Costello life was more important. He stepped in front of the commission and retired giving Genovese control of the family.

Genovese wasn’t finished with his rise to the top of the commission. To make Anastasia appear more unstable, Genovese spread the word that Anastasia hired The Chin to shoot and miss Costello. Of course it was Genovese who hired Gigante, Costello believed the ruse and gave his approval for Genovese to move against Anastasia.

In the end, Anastasia’s own routine gave Genovese gunmen the opportunity to end his reign. On the morning of October 25, 1957 Anastasia entered the Park Sheraton Hotel barber. Joe Bocchino, who had been shaving and cutting Anastasia’s hair for years, draped a candy striped barber’s cloth over Anastasia and began cutting his hair. A manicurists sat next to the chair and worked on the bosses fingernails. A shoeshine boy began polishing Anastasia’s  brown shoes. It was the same time and same service Anastasia had every other day for years.

Shortly after 10:15 a.m. with Anastasia dozing in the chair, his eyesclosed, two men quietly walked into the barber shop. They drew their .38 caliber pistols and waved the men and boy away from Anastasia’s chair. As they scattered Anastasia opened his eyes and lifted his hand in a defense as both men open fired. According to reports Anastasia let out a roar and leaped from the chair reaching for the two gunmen. He spun around after being hit in the hand, wrist, and hip. A bullet then ripped into his back causing him to fall to the floor at the base of the barbers chair. One of the gunmen is said to have calmly walked up to Anastasia, and fired the fatal round to the back of his head. Both gunmen disappeared as quickly as they appeared and although they were never apprehended, the gangland consensus is it was brothers Larry and Joe Gallo who committed the murder after being contracted by Don Vito Genovese. With Anastasia dead, capo, Carlo Gambino was awarded the Anastasia family from the commission with Genovese sitting firmly in control.

Albert Anastasia – The Original Murder Inc. Part I

 Born in Calabria, in southern Italy on September 26, 1902, Albert’s birth name was Umberto Anastasio. His parents were Raffaelo Anastasio and Louisa Nomina de Filippi.

Raffaelo was a railway worker who died after World War I, leaving behind nine sons and three daughters. Albert’s brothers included Salvatore, Frank, Joseph, Gerardo, and Tony Anastasio who he was closest to.  When Albert was 15 years old he took to the sea with his brother Tony working for a shipping company. When they made it to the Brooklyn port, the two boys left the ship and headed into Brooklyn set on starting a new life. Soon, both found jobs working as longshoremen on the Brooklyn waterfront. The year was 1917.

From the time he landed in the United States, Anastasio wanted to be a gangster. To avoid bringing shame upon his family he changed his name to Anastasia, so when he was identified in the newspapers as part of a criminal organization his family named wouldn’t be dragged through the mud. Despite his name change, his brother Tony kept the Anastasio name and would later become one of the leading racketeers who controlled the docks in Brooklyn.

On March 17, 1921 Anastasia was arrested for the murder of Joe Torino after a dispute over the right to unload ships with precious cargo. Witnesses described the killing where Anastasia, a man with incredible strength, stabbed and strangled Joe with no regard for onlookers. Anastasia was convicted and sentenced to death. He was sent to the notorious Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York to await execution. Due process in the 1920’s was scheduled and meant to expedite. Anastasia continuosly filed petitions for a retrial during his incarceration. Shortly before he was to be executed, he won a new trial when some of the witnesses reversed their statemetns. Four other witnesses, who provided the most damning testimony during his first trial had disappeared. Anastasia was released from custody in 1922 at the age of 20 to await a new trial. The new trial was never held.

By the late 1920s, Anastasia had become a top leader of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), controlling six union local chapters in Brooklyn along side his brother. He allied himself with Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria, a powerful gang leader in Brooklyn and became close associates with future Cosa Nostra bosses Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Vito Genovese, and Frank Costello.

By 1930 the Castellammarese War was in full swing with mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano fighting for control over New York rackets against the powerful Joe Masseria. Both sides suffered serious casualties but momentem shifted when Lucky Luciano, who looked to take over the rackets himself, secretly aligned himself with Maranzano and conspired to kill Masseria. Luciano outlined his plot to Anastasia, who joined him and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in the plot. Anastasia who had been waiting for eight years for Luciano to be in charge declared he would “kill everybody” he was asked so Luciano could be on top.

Albert Anastasia, the face of Murder Inc.

On April 15, 1931, it is alleged Anastasia participated in Masseria’s murder after  Luciano lured Masseria to a meeting at a Coney Island, Brooklyn restaurant. During their meal, Luciano excused himself to the restroom. As soon as he was gone, Anastasia, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, and Bugsy Siegel rushed into the dining room and shot Masseria to death. With his death, Maranzano took control of the New York rackets. He proceeded to make changes and is responsible for reorganizing the New York gangs into “families”.

Shortly after his restructing in September 1931, Maranzano was himself murdered on Luciano’s orders leaving Luciano the most powerful boss in the United States.To avoid the power struggles and turf disputes that led to the Castellammarese War, Luciano established the National Crime Syndicate, consisting of the major family bosses from around the country and the so-called “five families” of New York. The Syndicate was meant to serve as a governing body to solve disputes, distribute territories, and regulate lucrative illegal activities such as racketeering, and gambling.

Meanwhile in 1932, Anastasia was indicted on charges of murdering another man with an ice pick, but the case was dropped due to lack of witnesses. The following year he was charged with another murder, but again no witnesses were willing to testify and the case against him was dropped. Free of any court appearances and indictments, Luciano looked to repay his friend for his loyalty during his assault on Masseria and Maranzano and offered him the position of chief of Murder Inc., the commissions enforcement arm. Murder Inc., was a service for hire where connected men requested Anastasia’s assistance in completing open murder contracts.

Anastasia worked along other notorious murderers like Louis “Lepke” Buchalter and Abe (Kid Twist) Reles who was ruthless and somewhat irresponsible. It was Kid Twist who eventually brough Murder Inc., to the front doorstep of the FBI when he was busted and decided to talk instead of facing the death penalty. Reles implicated Anastasia and Buchwalter as the heads of Murder Inc. and claimed they had killed more than 63 people.One day Reles, who was in protective custody awaiting trial where he would testify in open court against Anastasia and Buchalter, mysteriously went out a window and fell to his death. That left the prosecution with little evidence against Anastasia. Buchalter was eventually tried and convicted. He was the only gangster to ever get the chair.

Carlo Gambino –One the Sidelines Part 3 of 4

     Early 1962 was the start of a Profaci family battle. Joe Gallo and his brothers battled with ailing Profaci crime boss Joseph Profaci over, among other things, the amount of money Profaci demanded from his family as tribute. In February 1962, the Gallo’s kidnapped Profaci underboss Joseph Magliocco and capo Joe Colombo in an attempt to force Profaci into revising how profits were divided between the family. After some time in captivity a meeting took place and both sides came to terms with a mutual agreement/ Profaci, however had no intentions of changing his policy. He was suffering from cancer and not ready to relinquish control of the family. After the kidnapped men were released he began to act his revenge against Gallo and his crew. He began with murdering Joseph “Joe Jelly” Gioelli, a Gallo crew member. Soon after, police interrupted an attempt on Larry Gallo’s life.

New Profaci crime family boss, Joseph Magliocco

New Profaci crime family boss, Joseph Magliocco

After the attacks the Gallo crew responded by attacking Profaci’s men wherever and whenever they saw them. Gambino and Lucchese sided with the Gallo crew and were applying pressure to the other members of the Commission to force Profaci to step down. On June 6, 1962 the war between the Gallo crew and Profaci faction ended when Joseph Profaci lost his battle with cancer. He was replaced by his longtime underboss Joseph Magliocco who had every intention of continuing the Profaci Gallo war. But it wasn’t too be; Joe Gallo was arrested, tried, and sent to prison while the rest of the Gallo crew dispersed. Magliocco was then free to focus on building up the Profaci family and increasing territory.

     Soon after the end of the war, another much more brazen attempt emerged from the Profaci family. Joe Bonanno who had aligned himself with Profaci and Magliocco during the Gallo war approached Magliocco with a plan to murder the heads of the other three families and take over the Commission. Magliocco looked to establish his own legacy and agreed to go along with the plan. They hired Profaci capo, Joseph Colombo to orchestrate the assassinations. However, Colombo was the wiser and realized the plan would not go very far and likely end in his death. Soon after his meeting with Bonanno and Magliocco, Colombo warned Gambino about the conspiracy to take over the commission. Choosing to watch from the sidelines through the Profaci Gallo War, Gambino’s life was threatened. He would need to act, but murder was not the answer.

     Instead, Bonanno and Magliocco were “sent for” by the commission to face judgment for their actions, but Bonanno fled leaving Magliocco to face the consequences alone. The commission believed Magliocco was following Bonanno’s lead, and although the penalty for such conspiracy is death, Magliocco was fined $50,000 and forced to retire. For his act of loyalty to the commission, Joseph Colombo was named as the new boss of the Profaci’s and renamed it the Colombo crime family. Colombo also gained a seat on the Commission. One month after losing control of the Profaci family Magliocco died.

     With Magliocco gone and Bonanno’s failure to stand up for his actions, the Commission felt he no longer deserved to be leader of the Bonanno crime family and removed him as boss. He was replaced by Gaspar DiGregorio a caporegime in the family.

     Bonanno felt he was disrespected by the Commission and by members of his own family, and set out to regain control by breaking the family into two groups, one led by DiGregorio, and the other by Bonanno and his son Salvatore. This was the start of the first Bonanno war dubbed in the newspapers “The Banana Split.”

Joe Bonanno

Joe Bonanno

With Bonanno fighting for leadership in the family, the commission felt it had to take drastic measures to end what could be the bloodiest war in Mafia history. At the time Gambino sat at the head of the commission and would need to be the person to issue the contract on Bonanno, however he decided to give Bonanno one last chance to retire. In October 1964 Bonanno was kidnapped by members of the Buffalo crime family who said they were acting on orders from the commission. After some time Bonanno was released and the Commission expected he would retire, leaving the family in one piece under DiGregorio.

     With Bonanno Senior seemingly out of the picture, DiGregorio agreed to a peace meeting with Bonanno’s son Salvatore. When Salvatore and his men arrived at a house where the meeting was to take place they were welcomed with rifle and automatic weapons fire from DeGregorio’s men. Salvatore and his men returned fire and over 500 shots were fired but no one was hit.

     For the next two years Bonanno’s son and his loyalists fought against DiGregorio and his men for control over the Bonanno family. The Commission thought DiGregorio would eventually win the war, however when Bonanno Sr. returned and issued a decree stating for every Bonanno loyalist killed, he would retaliate by hitting a caporegime from the other side. With momentum on the side of the Bonanno’s, and victory within reach, DiGregorio and the Commission considered letting Bonanno regain control of the family, but when Bonanno suffered a heart attack, he recused himself from the war and retired to Arizona with his son. Before he left he named Bonanno capo, Paul Sciacca as his successor. The commission agreed and DiGregorio stepped aside. By this time, Gambino and his reputation of “mercy” towards Bonanno made him even more of a respected mafioso in the eyes of the Commission.

     In the early 1970s Gambino was still on top as the most powerful mafioso in the United States, however there were some out there who had the guts to disrespect him. In one such situation in October 1974, a feared Colombo soldier named Carmine “Mimi” Scialo, who controlled much of Coney Island, was drunk at a popular Italian restaurant when he spotted Carlo Gambino. Scialo, began insulting Gambino in front of others at their table and according to witnesses, Scialo stopped short of threatening Gambino’s life. During the assault Gambino stayed calm as he always did and waited for Scialo to lose steam and leave. Gambino never spoke of the insults and continued with dinner. Scialo’s body was found encased in the cement floor at Otto’s Social Club in South Brooklyn a short time later.

Salvatore “Toto” D’Aquila – First Boss of the Gambino Family

      Salvatore D’Aquila was born in November 1877 Palermo, Sicily and immigrated to America in 1906 at the age of 29. Before leaving Sicily, D’Aquila was already heavily involved with organized crime. He’s known as a “Mustache Pete”, which unlike the younger Sicilian-Americans known as the “Young Turks”, the Mustache Pete’s’ had usually committed their first killings in Italy. When he arrived in New York, he took up roots with other Sicilians working in a cheese importing business. It didn’t take long for him to lean on his old world connections and juggle the importing business with an underworld career.

     D’Aquila aligned himself with another Mustache Pete that had already solidified himself as a boss in New York. Giuseppe “the Clutch Hand” Morello ran a powerful organization in the Bronx and was considered the boss of bosses. In all actuality he did lead the most powerful criminal organization in New York, but it would be short lived. Nonetheless, D’Aquila worked alongside Morello as his confidence man, in today’s terms the position is similar to a caporegime where they lead in instigating criminal activities. The word itself is shortened today to “con-man”.

     Although little is known about his level of loyalty to Morello at the time, D’Aquila moved to Brooklyn where he became a powerful lieutenant for the family. He was arrested in 1906 and 1909 but both charges were dropped, a possible testament to his powerful position with the Morello’s.

Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria

      In 1910 Morello and his second in command Ignazio Lupo were imprisoned on counterfeiting charges. Both were sentenced to 30 years. It’s widely speculated that D’Aquila took over the Morello family after their incarceration but it’s untrue. Before he was imprisoned, Morello was getting squeezed by an up-and-coming Mafioso and former capo of the Morello’s Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria. D’Aquila didn’t have the backing to battle against Masseria, so he moved away from the Morello family and started his own gang in East Harlem and the Bronx taking with him several loyal followers. Morello’s half-brother Nicola took over the Morello’s until his murder in 1916.

      As leader of his new family, D’Aquila moved to unite all the mafia gangs in New York. He set out killing several low ranking gang bosses in East Harlem but was rebuffed when he tried to take over the Lower East Side. Although his attempt to become boss of bosses failed quickly, D’Aquila didn’t have all his eggs in one basket and had seized control of several ports at the same time. With all the potential wealth to be had in the early years of prohibition, D’Aquila’s family grew as Mafioso flocked to join the family with riches on their mind.

      By 1920 D’Aquila had become close to Cleveland boss Joseph Lonardo, and other Brooklyn gang leaders Frankie Yale who was the original employer of Al Capone, and Cola Schiro, whose gang eventually became the Bonanno crime family. D’Aquila also had several top Mafioso working for him in Brooklyn; Alfred Mineo, Giuseppe Traina, and Frank Scalise, who one day would help mobster Bugsy Siegel open the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 1945.

     Later that year Giuseppe Morello was released from prison and rejoined the struggling Morello family.

Al Capone also known as “Scarface” or “Big Al”

     D’Aquila wanted to stifle Morello’s comeback and set out to have him and several of his top associates’ murdered along with a D’Aquila associate Umberto Valenti. D’Aquila thought Valenti was becoming too powerful and he questioned Valenti’s loyalty. Upon hearing of the order, Valenti talked D’Aquila into giving him another chance to prove his loyalty to the boss. Valenti received the contract to kill the Morello leadership. On May 8, 1922 Valenti and his gunmen murdered Morello cousin Vincent Terranova. On the same day they attempted to kill Masseria but missed. May 10, 1922 Valenti and gunmen Silva Tagliagamba ambushed Masseria again. Tagliagamba was shot in the gunfight, but Masseria escaped. Tagliagamba would die of his wounds in June. On August 9, 1922 Valenti once again attempted to kill Masseria on Second Avenue and, after killing both of Masseria’s bodyguards, followed him into a local millinery store where Masseria managed to escape. It was during his quest to kill Masseria that Valenti began to see a shift in power. Realizing he may never get Masseria and would himself become a target, Valenti set up a meeting to settle the dispute between both gangs. On August 11, 1922 Valenti was the only man to show for the meeting, and fearing a trap turned to run from the area when two men including Salvatore Luciana, who one day would be known as Lucky Luciano, appeared. Valenti dodged bullets as he ran, and jumped on to the side of a moving taxi where he was gunned down.

     With Valenti dead, the violence ended, and so did much of D’Aquila’s influence. Several of his closest associates began to defect including a close friend Saverio “Sam” Pollaccia, who became a personal adviser to Masseria. In 1925 D’Aquila was forced to retreat from New York back to the Bronx. He purchased a home directly across from the main entrance to the Bronx zoo. On October 13, 1927, D’Aquila lost another allie as Joseph Lonardo was murdered during a power struggle. In July 1928 yet another allie, Frankie Yale, was slain on the streets, and although D’Aquila was still considered very powerful, Masseria and Morello were determined to end his reign.

      On October 10, 1928 D’Aquila left his home for a doctor’s appointment. As he walked down the street several men approached him. One of the men pulled out a pistol and shot D’Aquila two times in the chest. D’Aquila fell to the ground where the man fired another seven bullets into his body. The hit is widely thought to have been organized by D’Aquila underboss Al Mineo who was likely given an ultimatum; set up D’Aquila or be killed with him. Soon after D’Aquila’s murder Mineo was given control of the D’Aquila family where through a series of successions would one day become known as the Gambino crime family.


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