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However, many other high-ranking mobsters were arrested.

Lucchese crime family

Cosa Nostra leaders were chagrined by the public exposure and bad publicity from the Apalachin Meeting, and generally blamed Genovese for the fiasco. Wary of Genovese gaining more power in the Commission, Gambino used the Apalachin Meeting as an excuse to move against his former ally. Gambino, Luciano, Costello, and Lucchese allegedly lured Genovese into a drug-dealing scheme that ultimately resulted in his conspiracy indictment and conviction.

In , Genovese was sentenced to fifteen years in prison on narcotics charges. Genovese, who was the most powerful boss in New York, had been effectively eliminated as a rival by Gambino. The Genovese family was soon rocked by a second public embarrassment: the U. Senate 's McClellan Hearings.

Frank Cali murder and the history of New York mafia

While incarcerated at a federal prison in Atlanta , Genovese soldier Joseph "Joe Cargo" Valachi believed he was being targeted for murder by the mob on the suspicion that he was an informant. On June 22, , Valachi brutally murdered another inmate with a pipe. He told investigators that he thought the victim was Joseph "Joe Beck" DiPalermo, a Lucchese family soldier coming to kill him.

To avoid a capital murder trial, Valachi agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors against the Genovese family. He thus became the first Cosa Nostra mobster to publicly affirm the organization's existence.

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With information from prosecutors, the low-level Valachi was able to testify in nationally televised hearings about the Cosa Nostra ' s influence over legal enterprises in aid of racketeering and other criminal activities to make huge profit. Valachi also introduced the name "Cosa Nostra" into the public lexicon.

Although Valachi's testimony never led to any convictions, it helped law enforcement by identifying many members of the Five families. After Genovese was sent to prison in , the family leadership secretly established a "Ruling Panel" to run the family in his absence. After Genovese died in , Lombardo was named his successor. However, the family appointed a series of "front bosses" to masquerade as the official family boss. The aim of these deceptions was to protect Lombardo by confusing law enforcement about who was the true leader of the family.

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When Eboli failed to pay back his debt, Gambino, with Commission approval, murdered Eboli in In reality, the Genovese family created a new ruling panel to run the family. Lombardo, the de facto boss of the family, soon retired and Vincent "Chin" Gigante , the triggerman on the failed Costello hit, took actual control of the family.

In , Salerno was convicted in the Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to years in federal prison. Shortly after the trial, Salerno's longtime right-hand man, Vincent "The Fish" Cafaro , revealed to the FBI that Salerno had never really been the boss, but was merely window dressing for Gigante. He also revealed that the Genoveses had been keeping up this ruse since However, Salerno had been convicted of specific acts and not merely of being a boss, so this disclosure would not have endangered his conviction.

Even if that conviction had been overturned, he had been sentenced to 70 years in prison in a separate RICO case—meaning that he would have died in prison in any event. After the murder of Philadelphia family boss Angelo "Gentle Don" Bruno , Gigante and Lombardo began manipulating the rival factions in the war-torn Philadelphia family.

Gigante and Lombardo finally gave their support to Philadelphia mobster Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo , who in return gave the Genovese mobsters permission to operate in Atlantic City in Gigante was even more concerned about keeping law enforcement at bay than Lombardo had been. His best-known tactic to confuse law enforcement was by pretending insanity. Gigante frequently walked down New York streets in a bathrobe , mumbling incoherently. He succeeded in convincing court-appointed psychiatrists that his mental illness was worsening, and avoided several criminal prosecutions.

The New York media soon nicknamed him "The Oddfather". He never left his house during the day, fearing that the FBI would sneak in and plant a bug. At night, he would sneak away from his house and conduct family business when FBI surveillance was more lax. Even then, he only whispered to keep from being picked up by wiretaps. To avoid incrimination from undercover surveillance, Gigante decreed that any mobster who spoke his name would face severe punishment. In the case of his own crime family, anyone who spoke his name would be killed on the spot. When necessary, mobsters would either point to their chins or make a "C" with thumb and forefinger when referring to him.

In this way, Gigante managed to stay on the streets while the city's other four bosses ended up getting long prison terms.

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Another evasive measure Gigante used from onward was a reformed "administration" structure. Gigante was unnerved by Salerno's conviction and long sentence, and decided he needed greater protection. However, the "front boss" ruse no longer protected him. To solve this problem, Gigante instituted two new posts, the "street boss" and the "messenger.

The messenger delivered Gigante's instructions to his capos and soldiers. As a result of these changes, Gigante did not directly communicate with other family mobsters, with the exception of his sons, Vincent Esposito and Andrew Gigante, and a few other close associates. While the public and media were watching Gigante, other family leaders were running the day-to-day operations of the family. Underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano operated out of Brooklyn and ran the family's window replacement rackets.

Consigliere Louis "Bobby" Manna operated out of New Jersey and supervised four capos around that area during the s. In , Gigante and other family bosses were shocked and enraged by the murder of Paul Castellano , the Gambino family boss. An ambitious Gambino capo , John Gotti , had capitalized on discontent in that family to murder Castellano and his underboss outside a Manhattan restaurant and become the new Gambino boss. Gotti had violated Cosa Nostra protocol by failing to obtain prior approval for the murder from the Commission.

Gigante—who had been the triggerman on the last unsanctioned hit on a boss with the failed attempt against Costello—now controlled the Commission and he decided to kill Gotti. However, Gotti was not in the car that day and escaped harm. The Genoveses dominated construction and union rackets, gambling rackets, and operations at the Fulton Fish Market and the waterfront operations. During this period, Gigante used intimidation and murder to maintain control of the family. During the early s, law enforcement used several high-profile government informants and witnesses to finally put Gigante in prison.

Philadelphia underboss Phil Leonetti also became a government witness and testified that during the s, Gigante had ordered the murders of several Philadelphia associates. While in prison, Gigante was recorded as saying that he'd feigned insanity for forty years. In , he was convicted on racketeering and conspiracy charges and sentenced to twelve years in federal prison. Gigante was indicted in for running his family from prison and for delaying his initial trial by feigning insanity. Prosecutors also obtained evidence that he'd used his son, Andrew, to deliver instructions to his soldiers and had enlisted several members of his family to keep up the charade that he was insane.

Had he been convicted, Gigante faced an additional twenty years in prison, which at his age would have effectively been a life sentence. Rather than risk having his relatives charged with obstruction of justice , Gigante pleaded guilty in April and accepted an additional three years in prison. On December 19, , Gigante died in prison from heart disease. Since the s, infamous mobsters in top positions of the other Five Families have become informants and testified against many mobsters, putting bosses, capos , and soldiers into prison.

The world’s top five Mob bosses

The most prominent government witness was Bonanno crime family boss Joseph "Big Joe" Massino , who started cooperating in Mangano, Manna, capo James "Little Jimmy" Ida and street boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo received lengthy prison sentences on murder, racketeering and conspiracy convictions. Despite these indictments, the Genovese family remains a formidable power with approximately made men and fourteen active crews as of , according to Selwyn Raab.


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When Gigante died in late , the leadership went to Genovese capo Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo , who was apparently running the day-to-day activities of the Genovese crime family by By , the Genovese family administration was believed to be whole again. Underboss Venero Mangano is reportedly one of the top leaders within the Manhattan faction of the family.

Former acting consigliere Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico was leading the New Jersey faction of the family until convicted of racketeering in ; he was released from prison in In December , Bellomo was paroled after serving twelve years.


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What role Bellomo plays in the Genovese hierarchy is open to speculation, but he is likely to have a major say in the running of the family once his tight parole restrictions are over. A March article in the New York Post claimed Leo was still acting boss despite his incarceration. It also estimated that the Genovese family consists of approximately " made " members.

It is recognized as the most powerful Cosa Nostra family in the U. According to the FBI, many family associates don't know the names of family leaders or even other associates. This information lockdown makes it more difficult for the FBI to gain incriminating information from government informants. In , Eugene "Rooster" Onofrio, who is believed to be a capo largely active in Little Italy and Connecticut , was accused of operating a large multi-million-dollar enterprise that ran bookmaking offices, scammed medical businesses, smuggled cigarettes and guns.

He was also alleged to have run a loan shark operation from Florida to Massachusetts. Associate Giovanni "Johnny" Calabrese was sentenced to 3 years in prison.