Article Mafia in New York talked about the emergence of the mafia in this city and the famous "reformer" Lucky Luciano. Now let's start a story about the five mafia clans of New York and the Chicago Syndicate. We remember that there are currently 35 mafia "families" in 26 cities in the United States, but most of them are "vassals" of one of the five New York or Chicago syndicates.
Members of the Genovese clan call themselves the "Ivy League of Cosa Nostra" ("Ivy League" - an association of eight most prestigious US universities). This is the "family" of the heirs of Morelli and Sayetti, which, after the massacre of Masserio and Maranzani, was headed by Lucky Luciano himself. Vito Genovese became his deputy, and the position of "family advisor" (Consigliere) went to Frank Costello. Both of them later ran the "family".
Genovese, who later gave his name to this clan, was a native of Campania (that is, in the former, not yet reformed mafia Luciano, he did not have the slightest chance for such a position). It was Vito, on the orders of Luciano, who killed Gaetano Reyna, which marked the beginning of the "Castellamarian War". Later, he became a participant in the murders of Giuseppe Masserio and Salvatore Maranzano (this was described in the article Mafia in New York ).
It was he who ended up in prison, Lucky Luciano, appointed the boss of his clan, but due to the investigation opened against him by prosecutor Thomas Dewey, Genovese was forced to leave for Italy. Settling in the town of Nola near Naples, he donated $ 250 to the needs of the municipality and invested in the construction of a power plant. Mussolini even awarded him the Order of the Crown of Italy. Genovese was also suspected of organizing the murder of anti-fascist journalist Carlo Tresca in the United States on the orders of the Italian authorities in 1943. However, he also did not forget about his previous affairs, and, in order not to lose his qualifications, began to deal with the supply of raw opium from Turkey.
Good relations with the fascist authorities in Italy did not prevent him from forging an alliance with the Sicilian boss Caldogero Vizzini - thereby ensuring the unhindered movement of American troops from Gele and Licate to Palermo (see article The "old" Sicilian mafia). Together with him, he established the sale of food and alcoholic beverages on the black market. It is not surprising that during Operation Husky (the seizure of Sicily by the allies) Genovese suddenly found himself in the US Army as an interpreter. But greed let him down: having entered into an agreement with the American quartermasters, he organized the sale of the property of military warehouses. He was arrested and taken to the United States in 1945, where he was tried on murder charges, but released in 1946 due to lack of evidence. However, the head of the "family" was already Frank Costello, who was not going to yield to Genovese. But the "Prime Minister" still had to leave - after, by order of Genovese, an attempt was made on his life by Vincente Gigante.
Vincente Gigante, former professional boxer (25 matches in 1944-1947), boss of the Genovese family in 1985-2002. There were mafiosi and three brothers Vincent, but the fourth became a priest. In 1986, Gigante was an ally of the Lucchese clan (which we will talk about in the next article): together they tried to kill John Gotti as well. To avoid conviction, Gigante pretended to be crazy, but in 1997 he was still sentenced to 12 years, in 2002 he confessed to the simulation. Died in prison hospital in December 2005
Costello then survived, but left his post - after he lost an influential ally, who was deported to Italy, Joe Adonis. But already in 1959, Genovese was arrested and sentenced to 15 years. An incident took place in the prison, thanks to which the previously unknown name "Cosa Nostra" became widely known. In the spring of 1962, Vito Genovese kissed his subordinate, Joseph Valachi, on the lips. In the Sicilian mafia, a kiss on the lips is considered a death sentence ("Kiss of Death"). Genovese suspected Valachi of wanting to cooperate with the investigation (the fact is that Joseph was a friend of a bandit who was killed on the orders of this boss). Frightened, Valachi actually began to testify in exchange for protection. It was he who told about the new American mafia - "Cosa Nostra".
Joseph Valachi, a mobster with a "rich biography." Back in the 10s. In the twentieth century, he began his criminal career as a driver in the gang "The Minutemen" ("The Militias"). Was the bodyguard of Salvatore Maranzano, after whose murder he went into the service of the winner - Lucky Luciano
We add that a kiss on the cheek, according to the Sicilian tradition, is a promise to treat a person as an equal. And here we see a kiss of the hand - the recognition of a subordinate position:
In 1969 Vito Genovese died in prison of myocardial infarction.
Frank Costello was also not a Sicilian - he came to the United States from Calabria. In New York, he initially obeyed the "artichoke king" Ciro Terranov (see article Mafia in New York ). He then became a partner of Luciano, with whom he became subordinate to Giuseppe (Joe) Massaria. During Prohibition, he collaborated with Irish gangs (as Al Capone said, “nothing personal, just business”). Having entered into an agreement in Louisiana with the local boss Silvestro Carollo, he deployed a network of slot machines here. After the arrest of Luciano and departure to Italy, Genovese became the head of the clan.
Frank Costello, Prime Minister of the Mob in his youth
Curiously, the almighty "prime minister" was depressed and even visited a psychotherapist for two years. In the end, having ceded his post to Genovese, Costello lived peacefully in Manhattan, maintaining a high prestige and periodically advising former "partners". He died in his bed in 1973 from myocardial infarction.
It is believed that it was the Genovese clan that served as the prototype for the "Corleone family" from the famous movie saga "The Godfather". Recall that the Morello-Terranova family was from the Sicilian town of Corleonese. And the alleged prototypes of Don Corleone (collective image) are called Frank Costello and Vito Genovese. Moreover, Marlon Brando said in an interview that, playing Corleone, he imitated the manner of speaking and the voice of Costello (the actor saw him during the broadcasts of the so-called "Hearing of Kefauver" as part of an investigation into the activities of mafia structures).
However, the Scottish historian John Dickey is the author of the book “History the mafia, ”argues that both Mario Puzo's novel and Coppolo’s film are typical“ branchy cranberries ”. They have nothing to do with the real, real-life mafia or Cosa Nostra:
“Part of the funds for the shooting of The Godfather was provided by mafia structures. The filming of this film, in which much is a figment of the imagination, of course, required the consent of influential families. The real mafia is not shown in The Godfather, but there are a lot of invented clichés. "
The mafia money spent on this film paid off with interest. One New York newspaper wrote in 1973:
“After the release of the movie The Godfather, Carlo Gambino began to enjoy immense popularity. At a recent wedding on Long Island, a married couple knelt in front of him and kissed his hands. When the owner made a toast to Gambino's health, the choir sang a melody from The Godfather. One reporter asked the "boss" if he liked The Godfather movie.
"Good, very good," muttered the decrepit king of gangsters and grinned. "
"Good, very good," muttered the decrepit king of gangsters and grinned. "
Frank Sinatra in the center, Carlo Gambino on the right
It is curious that the famous Carlo Gambino was also once a member of the Genovese clan. He later became the head of another New York "family" to which he "gave" his name. We will talk about it now.
The "lieutenant" of this clan, then headed by Vincent Mangano, was a native of the Campaign, Giuseppe Antonio Doto. This gangster had a very high opinion of his appearance, and therefore he adopted the "pseudonym" Joe Adonis.
Some researchers argue that during the "Castellamarian War" it was him who ceased to trust Luciano Giuseppe Masserio, who ordered to eliminate his deputy. However, Adonis then chose the more promising Luciano and took part in the murder of Masserio himself.
Meanwhile, after the defeat of the Murder Corporation (this was described in the previous article - Mafia in New York ) the head of this division of Cosa Nostra Alberto Anastasia was left out of work. He felt very uncomfortable then, and therefore, after the United States entered World War II, he decided to "change the situation." He enlisted in the Navy and served as a technical sergeant until 1944. According to the memories of people who knew him closely, about the time spent on navy, Anastasia had the most unpleasant memories: he always spoke of American sailors with contempt, calling them "inflated turkeys."
Back in New York, the former head of Murder Incorporated organized the assassinations of Vincent Mangano and his brother, after which he became the head of the mafia "family", now known as the Gambino clan. These were the "heirs" of Salvatore D'Aquilo. The clan was based on immigrants from Palermo, who at first considered themselves almost aristocrats and looked down on the mafiosi of clans from other Sicilian cities, considering them "rednecks". Now this family was headed by a Calabrian, but there was no one to blame him for this.
In the struggle for the head of the Genovese clan (which became vacant after the arrest of Lucky Luciano), Anastasia (like Joe Adonis) supported Frank Costello - Vito Genovese's rival, whose ally, in turn, was Carlo Gambino. This rivalry ended in defeat for him: Adonis was expelled from the United States, Costello, after the assassination attempt, chose to cede the head of Genovese, Anastasia himself was shot to death in a hairdresser on October 25, 1957 on the orders of Carlo Gambino, who took the place of the head of this clan.
The head of detectives of the New York Police Department, Albert Seedman, compared Carlo Gambino with
"A rattlesnake that curls up and pretends to be dead until the danger has passed."
Joseph Bonanno called him "obsequious and obsequious man" and told how Gambino smiled obsequiously when Anastasia hit him in public.
Gambino himself said:
“You have to be a lion and a fox at the same time. The fox is cunning enough to spot traps, and the lion is strong enough to take out enemies. "
As a result, as we know, both Anastasia and Bonanno tragically underestimated this man, who, having come to power, for some time made his "family" the most influential in New York.
By the way, this boss's statement is also known:
“Judges, politicians, lawyers have the right to steal. Anyone but the mafia. "
Carlo Gambino was known for his negative attitude towards drugs. Under him, in addition to New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Quinx, Long Island), clan branches appeared in Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. He took control of the port of Brooklyn and shared the New York airport with the Lucchese family. In addition, his firms monopolized garbage collection in 5 New York boroughs.
Gambino's successor in 1976 was Paul Castellano, a very colorful man, 190 cm tall and weighing 150 kg, who built an exact copy of the White House on Staten Island (opposite New York).
After the mafia war in Sicily in 1981-1983. the Gambino clan was joined by members of the defeated Inzerillo "family" who had fled from this island. Looking ahead, let's say that in the 2000s, some of them returned to Sicily, becoming a "link" in the clan's transatlantic drug trade.
The main legal business of the clan under Castellano was the production of concrete. But he did not forget about the main "business", and in 1984 he was arrested on charges of murdering 24 people. Paul Castellano was released on bail of $ 2 million, but on December 16, 1985, he and his deputy, Tom Bilotti, were shot to death by order of John Gotti, who led the clan.
The biography of "Elegant John" is not even proletarian, but Lumpen's. A large Italian family (13 children), street fights, "gutting" trucks at the airport, car theft (once he even tried to steal a concrete mixer, but it fell on his feet, chopping off the tips of his fingers - he was limping all his life). In total, 5 arrests by age 21. At the age of 28, he was caught stealing a batch of cigarettes worth 50 thousand dollars and was sentenced to 4 years. Nothing foreshadowed a brilliant future. But after leaving prison, he led a small gang carrying out the orders of the Gambino clan. In 1973 he was again imprisoned for complicity in a murder - it was a check before being admitted to the "family": he was sentenced to 4 years, released after two. But he was already "in authority" and was appointed Caporegime - the fifth step in the mafia hierarchy (the highest is the first). Participated in the development of a plan to rob the Lufthansa office at Kennedy Airport (production - $ XNUMX million). But with the new boss of the Gambino clan - Paul Castellano, the relationship did not work out. Not only did Castellano not even give hundreds of dollars from Lufthansa's millions, he also, faithful to the precepts of Carlo Gambino, refused to trade in drugs. In general, I had to kill both Castellano and his deputy.
Gotti took the place of the head of the clan and enjoyed wealth and power for five years, but on December 11, 1990, he was arrested along with his deputy, Sam Gravano, who unexpectedly testified against the boss. Gotti was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2002, he died in prison from throat cancer.
At the beginning of the 2003st century, the Albanians became dangerous rivals of the Gambino clan, one of whom (Alex Rudage) in XNUMX even seized the name table of the deceased Gotti in the Italian restaurant Rios (East Harlem): this was described in the article Albanian crime clans outside Albania.
In recent years, the Gambino clan (like other "families" in New York) has been trying to work "in silence", without attracting the attention of the authorities and journalists unnecessarily. The resonance was even stronger when on March 12, 2019, the head of this clan, Francesco Cali, nicknamed Franky Boy, was killed near his home in the prestigious Todt Hill area (it is curious that it was in this area that Don Corleone's house was placed by the scriptwriters of The Godfather) ... A certain Anthony Camello fired several bullets in Cali, and then ran over in a car. Initially, there were suggestions that the murder was the work of mafiosi from Sicily or competitors from Mexican drug cartels. However, it was later revealed that Camello believed that "Frankie Kid" was a member of the so-called "Deep state". He also considered this to be the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, whom he had previously tried to "arrest".
In the next article we will finish the story about the mafia clans of New York, and also talk about the "Chicago Syndicate".