The Gangsters: Too Crazy for the Mafia

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Reenacted in the film Casino , Spilotro and two other gangsters kidnapped Billy McCarthy, another criminal who had murdered two of Spilotro's associates. McCarthy gave up his partner's name and Spilotro rewarded him by slitting his throat. He was beaten, sliced up with knives and razor blades, burned with a blow torch, had his skin ripped off of his pound frame, and ultimately hung by the rectum with a meat hook until his heart gave out.

The Gangsters: Too Crazy for the Mafia

In January, , someone stupidly burgled Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo's house while he was on vacation. Spilotro was assigned to discipline the individuals responsible for this transgression and he quickly identified the professional theft ring involved. Throughout the '20s, Al Capone battled George "Bugs" Moran for control of Chicago's organized crime operations, especially bootlegging and alcohol sales.

Capone decided that he needed to completely eliminate Moran and his gang. Lookouts believed that Moran was already present, in fact they mistook another individual, Albert Weinshank, similar in appearance and dress, for the North Side Gang leader. The decision to dress two assassins in police uniforms proved to be wise, as gang members grumbled but felt intimidated enough to agree to line up against a wall for what they presumed would be petty arrests.

Surprisingly, one of them, Frank Gusenberg, made it to a hospital despite fourteen bullet wounds. He died three hours later.

Moran was fortunate to be running late and was approaching the garage when he spotted the two "policemen" entering the building. He and an associate ducked into a nearby cafe. Al Capone took great pains to be highly visible in Miami, both on February 14th and the day before. No one would ever be tried for the massacre and it essentially ended the competition between Moran and Capone.

Most days, in the early evening, Mr. Gigante, a hulking man who was about six feet tall and weighed pounds, would emerge from his mother's walkup apartment building on Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village. Sometimes dressed in a bathrobe and pajamas and sometimes wearing a windbreaker and shabby trousers and always accompanied by one or two bodyguards, he gingerly crossed the street to the Triangle Civic Improvement Association, a dingy storefront club that served as his headquarters.

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Inside, he played pinochle and held whispered conversations with men who agents said were his trusted confederates. After midnight, according to F. Gigante's lawyers as his common-law wife and the mother of three of his eight children, Vincent, Lucia and Carmella Esposito. Gigante would change into more elegant clothes, carry on conversations with associates, and read or watch television before retiring.

About 9 or 10 the next morning , he would reappear in his shabby downtown clothes and be driven back to Sullivan Street or a nearby apartment occupied by his relatives at LaGuardia Place. He was one of five sons of Salvatore Gigante, a watchmaker, and Yolanda Gigante, a seamstress, both of whom had immigrated from Naples. His mother usually addressed him as "Cincenzo," a diminutive of Vincente, and his boyhood friends shortened that into his lifelong nickname, "Chin. A lackadaisical student, Mr. Gigante graduated from P. The gang was founded in the 's by one of the nation's most notorious criminals, Charles Lucky Luciano, who was deported to Italy and who died in Genovese is believed to have endeared himself to the Gigantes when Vincent was a boy with a loan to pay for surgery needed by Mrs.

Between age 17 and 25, Mr. Gigante was arrested seven times on an array of charges: receiving stolen goods, possession of an unlicensed handgun, auto theft, arson and bookmaking. Most were dismissed or resolved by fines. His only jail sentence in that period was 60 days for a gambling conviction.

When arrested in his early 20's, he listed his occupation as a tailor. But as a strapping youth with quick fists, he was better known as a prize fighter. Gigante, from age 16 to 19, fought as a light heavyweight in clubs around town, winning 21 of 25 light-heavyweight bouts, according to Nat Fleischer's Ring Record Book. Club boxers in those days fought four- and six-round contests in neighborhood arenas, usually getting a percentage of the tickets they themselves sold.

One of Mr. Former New York City detectives who were assigned to organized-crime intelligence units said that Mr.

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Gigante earned his Mafia spurs as an enforcer in the 's. But his prominence in the underworld surged in , when Mr. Genovese wrested control of a mob family from Frank Costello, who had been a close friend of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and was one of the best-known underworld figures in America. Costello retired abruptly as a boss after a gunman grazed his scalp with a bullet in the vestibule of his apartment building on Central Park West.


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A doorman identified the year-old Mr. Gigante as the shooter, but Mr. Costello testified that he was unable to recognize his assailant and Mr. Gigante was acquitted in on charges of attempted murder. A year later, he was convicted with Mr. Genovese in Manhattan on federal charges of heroin trafficking. Gigante, who listed his profession as the superintendent of a tenement on Bleecker Street, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The sentencing judge said he would have imposed a longer sentence but was swayed by a flood of letters from residents of Greenwich Village and Little Italy attesting to Mr. Gigante's good character and his work on behalf of juveniles. He was paroled after five years and detectives said that soon afterward he was promoted from soldier to the rank of capo, or captain, overseeing a group of Mafia gangsters known as a crew, in Greenwich Village. Although his headquarters was in Lower Manhattan and he spent his nights farther uptown, Mr. Gigante had a home in Old Tappan, N.

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In , he was indicted in New Jersey on a charge of conspiracy to bribe the entire five-member Old Tappan police force to alert him to surveillance operations by law enforcement agencies. One was killed over a rigged card game and the other after a robbery that had gone wrong. But it was the rejection he received by the organized crime community that hurt him the most. Arnold had developed an early obsession of becoming a made man.

He dreamed of a life of freedom and money that came from working from within the organized crime establishment.

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By the time he was 30, he'd ruined his chances of becoming a mob man. He'd been in and out of jail several times for petty crimes and even did a year in the state penitentiary for robbing a neighborhood market. With his prior run ins with the law, and his quick trigger temper, the crime families in and around Boston wanted nothing to do with Arnold because he drew too much attention to himself with his violent fits of rage and anger.

Some of these fits resulted in harmless fist fights, while others ended in murder. The attention Arnold drew to himself made him a risk to the mob, and anyone within organized crime.

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So Arnold made a personal oath to himself to never live his life in poverty, and to never work for a living. He wanted what others had. And he was willing to kill to get it. Read more Read less.

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