Goodfella, Tommy DeSimone

 

Thomas Anthony DeSimone was born on May 24, 1950. He was an Italian_American mobster that worked as an associate of the Lucchese crime family of New York. He had several nicknames, but a couple stood out and fit Tommy nicely; “Two-Gun Tommy” because he always had two guns, and “Tommy D”.

Tommy had three siblings, a sister named Dolares and two brothers, Robert (imprisoned for life)  and Anthony DeSimone. Both Robert and Anthony were associates for the Gambino crime family. His brother Anthony was murdered in 1979 and Robert died in . His grandfather was Los Angeles mob boss Rosario DeSimone in 1922, and his uncle Frank DeSimone was the Los Angeles crime family mob boss in 1956.

Tommy became involved with a Lucchese crime family crew headed by capo Paul Vairo in 1965. He was fifteen years old, skinny and naïve. Jimmy Burke was a family friend of the DeSimone’s and knew Tommy as he grew up. When he was ready, Jimmy took him in handing him a few rackets to get his feet wet so-to-speak.

DeSimone quickly became known for having a quick temper and a huge appetite. He would drink almost an entire gallon of whole milk each day. Friend and fellow Lucchese associate Henry Hill described Tommy as a “pure psychopath”. He committed his first murder at the age of 18 when he shot Howard Goldstein in cold blood as he walked down the street. Henry Hill was with him and said, “That was cold-blooded, Tommy!” DeSimone replied, “Well, I’m a mean cat.”

DeSimone would kill several more times in his short life. In 1970 he killed a made man with the Gambino crime family named “Billy Batts” Devino. As portrayed in the movie Goodfella’s Devino made fun of DeSimone for once being a shoe shine boy. Devino was a feared gunmen and had killed several people, but Tommy had earned respect as well and didn’t take verbal punishment from anyone. A couple of weeks later Devino was drinking at Hill’s bar when he instructed Jimmy Burke and Henry Hill to keep Devino occupied until he returned. DeSimone returned just after closing where DeSimone, Burke, and Hill killed Devino. They buried his body upstate.

Goodfella’s Joe Pesci acting out the scene of Spider’s death.

DeSimone’s third murder was also portrayed in the movie Goodfella’s. According to Henry Hill, this reenactment is very accurate to what actually happened when DeSimone shot and killed Michael “Spider” Gianco. Spider and insulted DeSimone a week before and DeSimone retaliated by shooting him in the foot. When Spider returned to his job as a bartender, he and DeSimone exchanged more words. When Burke jokingly gave Spider money for having the guts to stand up for himself, Tommy pulled out his .38 caliber revolver and shot Spider three times in the chest. Hill checked his pulse and announced he was dead. Burke, who was in charge of the crew told Tommy he would have to dig the hole to hide the body himself. Tommy agreed, and Spider was never seen again. Since the making of the movie there has been speculation that Hill made up Michael “Spider” Gianco as law enforcement looked for the body where Hill stated it would be and found nothing. Furthermore there are no records or birth certificate related to Michael Gianco, and in the neighborhood where he purportedly lived and worked, no one had ever heard of him. Unless a body is found, that death will remained unsolved as Hill, who died on June 25, 2012 was the last person alive who could prove a murder took place.

DeSimone killed several other people after Spider; a warehouse foreman named Stanley Diamond who DeSimone was just supposed to rough up, and Gotti protégé Ronald “Foxy” Jerothe on December 18, 1974. To Jerothe’s disapproval, DeSimone had dated Jerothe’s sister. When Jerothe found out about it, word got back to Tommy that Jerothe had said he was going to kill him. Acting on the threat, DeSimone went to Jerothe’s apartment, knocked on his door, and when Jerothe opened the door, DeSimone stuck a .38 caliber pistol in his face and shot Jerothe between the eyes killing him instantly. DeSimone’s fifth murder occurred when Burke ordered the murder of hisbest friend Dominick “Remo” Cersani. Burke had learned Remo was working with the NYPD and planned to set up Burke in a sting. When Burke found out about the set-up he and DeSimone traveled to Remo’s place, asked him to “go for a ride”, and was subsequently killed by DeSimone by choking him with a piano wire. They buried Remo next to Burke’s bar and a bocce ball court next door. It’s been said, everytime DeSimone and Burke would play someone on that bocce ball court they would say “hey Romo how ya doing?”

DeSimone was alleged to have taken part in the December 1978 Lufthansa heist from JFK International Airport where $6,000,000 dollars was taken from a warehouse. After the heist DeSimone was ordered to kill Parnell “Stacks” Edwards for failing to hide the delivery truck. DeSimone was told he would become a “made” man when he completed the hit. He found out where Stacks was hiding and shot him several times in the head and chest.



On January 14, 1979 DeSimone’s wife, Angela reported him missing. She said she last saw Tommy “a few weeks earlier” when he borrowed money from her. It been said he was killed on January 6, 1979 when Martin Krugman, the person responsible for telling Henry Hill about the Lufthansa money went missing. Several scenarios have come to light describing why Tommy was murdered.

Some say it was because he killed “Billy Batts” Devino and Ronald “Foxy” Jerothe, both members of the

Tommy DeSimone shortly before he went missing.

Gambnio’s without proper permission as mandated by the commission. The penalty for the perpetrator is death. Another scenario is DeSimone was killed by Burke as DeSimone had killed or ordered to be killed almost everyone involved in the Lufthansa heist. A final scenario is given by Henry Hill when he said Tommy was killed by the Gambino family for the two killings. The Gambino’s only found out about the killings after DeSimone had tried to rape Hill’s wife, who was having an affair with Paul Vario while Hill was in prison. Vario told the Gambino’s that DeSimone was responsible and sanctioned his hit. Henry claimed that in “the week after Christmas” that he and Jimmy Burke had gone down to Florida to straighten out a drug deal gone bad. Tommy had remained behind in New York because he was going to be made. When Jimmy called to see if the ceremony had occurred (the code phrase was to ask if Tommy had seen his godmother yet), Burke was told that it had been called off due to a heavy snowfall. The next day, Burke listened in and found out that DeSimone had been murdered; he slammed the receiver down and began crying, as depicted in the film Goodfella’s.

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