Genna, Angelo (1898-1925)

Born Marsala, Sicily, Feb. 3, 1898.

Killed Chicago, IL, May 26, 1925.


Angelo Genna was born Feb. 3, 1898, in Marsala, Sicily, to Antonino and Mary Sancore Genna. He and his brothers entered the U.S. through New York around 1910. Angelo arrived in New York harbor on Aug. 5, 1914, aboard the S.S. Venezia. He was on his way to meet his brother Pietro, of 870 Blue Island Avenue in Chicago.

The Gennas became a close knit Marsala-based Mafia and bootlegging gang. They were closely allied with the more Americanized Spignola family of Chicago. Their gang feuded with the budding underworld organization of Alphonse Capone through the early 1920s.

The conflict was a bloody one. Angelo Genna was tried and acquitted for one murder, accused but not prosecuted in another murder. Beginning in November of 1923, he served a sentence of one year and one day in Leavenworth Prison for intimidating a witness.

Genna married Lucille Spignola, sister of his ally and business partner Peter Spignola on Jan. 10, 1925. The wedding was lavish, with three thousand guests and a two-thousand-pound wedding cake.

On May 26, 1925, Genna was shot numerous times as he drove his automobile. With serious wounds to his head and neck, he crashed the car into a lamp post at Hudson and Ogden Avenues. He was conscious as he arrived at the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. Police urged him to tell who shot him. Genna merely shrugged. He died shortly afterward, as his brother Sam, wife and brother-in-law arrived at his bedside.

Genna was buried May 29, 1925, in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Chicago.

More of the Gennas lost their lives in the days ahead, and the remaining brothers fled Chicago. Their departure allowed the Aiello clan - originally from Bagheria, Sicily - to dominate the Sicilian underworld of the region.

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Gargotta, Charles (c1902-1950)

Born c1902.

Killed Kansas City, MO, April 5, 1950.

Charles "Mad Dog" Gargotta, once part of the Pendergast political machine in Kansas City, was murdered alongside local crime boss Charles Binaggio in the spring of 1950.

Gargotta was known to be a part of the local rackets from the days of boss John Lazia. He served as pallbearer for Lazia after the boss was shot down in 1934.

A veteran of the penitentiary (he served 19 months after being convicted of assault with intent to kill), Gargotta was a key man in the Binaggio criminal organization. In addition to running a gambling empire, Binaggio was also a political leader in the First Ward of Kansas City (North Side). Binaggio was closely allied to Pendergast before breaking off from that organization and openly challenging the declining political machine in 1948.

On the evening of April 5, 1950, Binaggio and Gargotta borrowed a car and drove to meet someone they trusted (Binaggio's usual bodyguard was told he did not need to come along) at the Jackson County Democratic Club on Truman Road. The two men were shot to death within the political headquarters.

A taxi driver later discovered the bodies. Both men were found with four bullet wounds to the head. Binaggio's body lay in a chair at the rear of the club. Gargotta was found sprawled on the floor near the door, where he had apparently grabbed at Venetian blinds after being shot.

The elimination of Binaggio and Gargotta was followed by an apparent return to power of the old Sicilian Mafia organization of Joseph DiGiovanni and James Balestrere.

After the murders, authorities revealed that Gargotta had been supplying the government with information on a large-scale gambling ring operating in the Kansas City area.

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Gambino, Carlo (1902-1976)

Born Palermo, Sicily, Aug. 24, 1902.

Died Massapequa, NY, Oct. 15, 1976.


Gambino was born in Palermo, Sicily, to Tommasso and Felice Castellano Gambino. He is believed to have entered the United States in December 1921 through Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. officials charged that he entered the country illegally as a stowaway on the S.S. Vincent Florio. Gambino settled on East 182nd Street in the Bronx, where he worked as a butcher and associated with the D'Aquila Mafia faction dominated by his relatives the Castellanos of Brooklyn. The Castellanos also were engaged in the butcher business. Behind the scenes, Gambino ran a successful bootlegging operation.

On Dec. 1926, Gambino married Catherine Castellano (born 1907 in New York to Joseph and Concetta Cossato Castellano) in Brooklyn. Gambino's brother Paulo served as his best man. (In 1930, Paolo married Catherine Castellano, born 1912 to Frank and Providencia Guglemini Castellano. Carlo Gambino was his best man.)The couple settled in Brooklyn. Their first child, Felicia (later Phyllis Sinatra), was born in 1927 while they lived at 1692 83rd Street in Brooklyn. A son, Thomas, was born in 1929. At that time, the family lived at 8302 17th Avenue in Brooklyn.

During the Castellammarese War, the Castellano wing of the old D'Aquila organization was loyal to Al Mineo, a boss imposed on the crime family by boss of bosses Giuseppe Masseria. After Mineo's November 1930 murder, Gambino and the Castellanos sided with Masseria rival Salvatore Maranzano, the ultimate victor in the war.

In 1934, alcohol tax authorities charged Gambino with possessing untaxed alcohol and with running an unlicensed wholesale and retail liquor business. The charges were later dismissed. In the same year, he was charged with stealing $1000 through a "pill game" in Brockton, Massachusetts. Gambino paid back the money, and he was not prosecuted.

He first ran into trouble with immigration authorities when he visited Montreal, Canada, in 1935 and attempted to return to New York. He was refused a visa by the U.S. consulate in Montreal. He was permitted reentry into the U.S. at Rouses Point, NY, but a warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest. That warrant was later cancelled by an immigration official.
In the late 1930s, U.S. authorities discovered evidence that Gambino was engaged in large-scale stock speculation under assumed identities. He was closely affiliated with the management of the Bank of Sicily Trust Company at that time.

In 1939, he was sentenced to serve 22 months in prison for violating tax laws. He served that sentence at the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. After his release, he and his brother engaged in the theft and sale of American wartime ration stamps.

He became prominent in the Mangano Family (which had been led by D'Aquila, Al Mineo and then Frank Scalise in the years leading up to 1931 underworld reorganization) He established a residence at 2230 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn and served as a principal owner in the S.G.S. Associates labor consulting firm.

Narcotics agents felt strongly that Carlo and Paolo Gambino were smuggling illegal aliens and heroin into the U.S. from Sicily in cooperation with Sicilian underworld leader Santo Sorge.

After Vincent Mangano's disappearance in 1951. He was named underboss to Albert Anastasia in 1956. Anastasia was killed the next year, and Gambino took over family leadership. He was noted among the attendees at the Apalachin convention of the nation's Mafiosi in 1957. It is likely that his election as boss of the former Anastasia Crime Family was on the agenda of that meeting. His rival within the organization, Armand Thomas Rava, was also present. Rava subsequently disappeared. Gambino purchased the support of Rava's close friend Aniello Dellacroce by appointing him underboss.

Following the convention, the Immigration and Naturalization Service considered deporting Gambino. Agents located him in the Flower Hospital at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street in New York and were told that he was suffering from a serious heart condition.

Gambino is believed to have been at least partly responsible for inciting revolts within the conservative Mafia clans of Profaci (later known as Colombo) and Bonanno. He was a one-time supporter and later opponent of both Joe Colombo and Joe Gallo, big names in the former Profaci Family. Some claim Gambino gave his consent to the (ultimately fatal) shooting of Colombo in 1971.

In 1970, Gambino was charged with conspiracy to transport stolen property. He was granted a severance from other defendants in the case due to poor health. Gambino won release on his own recognizance, and the trial was postponed for years.

Gambino died of a heart attack Oct. 15, 1976, at his home at Massapequa, Long Island. His underboss Aniello Dellacroce had much support to take over the family but agreed instead to serve under Paul Castellano, who was a relative and an apprentice of Gambino.

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Gallucci, Giosue (1864-1915)

Born Naples, Italy, Dec. 10, 1864.

Killed New York, NY, May 21, 1915.


Gallucci reigned as the king of the Italian Harlem rackets from the turn of the Twentieth Century to his assassination in 1915.

Gallucci arrived in the United States about 1891. By 1898, American authorities already were complaining about his criminal activity and seeking to have him deported. They noted that he and his brothers, Genaro, Vincenzo and Francesco, had criminal records in Italy before they crossed the Atlantic. Giosue Gallucci's record in his native country included arrests for theft and blackmail.

With great influence over his fellow Italians in East Harlem, Gallucci established strong political and business connections. He employed Neapolitan and Sicilian street gangs as his enforcers and established successful local criminal enterprises, as well as legitimate businesses, including a coffeehouse, a bakery and a cigar factory.

Gallucci's base of operations was a building at 318 East 109th Street, which housed his living quarters in addition to his coffeehouse and bakery.

The more lucrative of Gallucci's underworld rackets included an Italian lottery and a protection fee his men extorted from sellers of produce.

Gallucci's brother Vincenzo was murdered Nov. 20, 1898, reportedly on orders from an Italian "secret society similar to the Mafia" (likely the Neapolitan Camorra). Two gunmen laid in wait for him at the corner of Canal and Mulberry Streets in Manhattan and shot him as he arrived there. Francesco D'Angelo and Luigi LaRosa were accused of the killing. They pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were given prison sentences of 20 years and 15 years, respectively.

Genaro Gallucci's activities as a collector of protection payments caught the attention of authorities, and he fled New York City for a time. When he returned in the late summer of 1909, New York Police captured him and immigration officials began efforts to deport him to Italy. On Nov. 14, 1909, Genaro Gallucci was shot to death while inside his brother's East 109th Street business.

Though Giosue Gallucci was called the "king" of the East Harlem rackets, he was also victimized by Black Hand extortionists. He was especially harassed by Neapolitan gang leader Aniello "Zopo the Gimp" Prisco, who was believed responsible for killing Genaro Gallucci.

To resolve matters, Gallucci set up a meeting with Prisco on the evening of Dec. 16, 1912. Prisco probably did not expect an ambush as the meeting was planned for a barbershop run by his allies, the DelGaudio brothers. But Gallucci took suddenly ill and could not leave the back room of his East 109th Street bake shop. He sent a messenger to find Prisco and bring him to the shop.

When "Zopo" arrived, he was promptly shot in the head by Gallucci bodyguard John Russomano. The king told the police the killing was in self-defense. He asserted that Prisco had come to rob him of $100. Russomano, he said, drew a pistol. Prisco turned to fire at Russomano, and Russomano got off the first shot. The police accepted the explanation - not surprising, considering Gallucci's political clout - but Russomano and Gallucci were marked for death by the survivors in Prisco's gang.

Gallucci's prestige began to wither in 1913, as a gang war with Prisco's old outfit stretched on, and he was scrambling to maintain control of the underworld in 1914 and 1915. Rival lotteries were springing up right under his nose. Gallucci and his son Lucca were gunned down at Lucca's coffeehouse business, 336 East 109th Street, on May 17, 1915.

The two victims were brought to Bellevue Hospital. Lucca died there the next day. Gallucci lingered until May 21 before succumbing to his injuries. His death left open the coveted position of East Harlem underworld/political boss and triggered gangland feuding. (Gallucci's story is similar to that of Chicago's "Big Jim" Colosimo, a criminal and political leader who was victimized by extortionists and apparently murdered by men he previously commanded.)

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Gallo, Joseph (1929-1972)

Born Brooklyn, NY, April 6, 1929.

Killed New York, NY, April 7, 1972.

Early in his career, Joey "Crazy Joe"/"Joe the Blond" Gallo served as an enforcer for the Brooklyn-based Joe Profaci crime family. Gallo is said to have bragged about his involvement in the 1957 assassination of Albert Anastasia.

Gallo and his brothers, Albert and Larry, were called to testify before the McClellan Committee in 1958 and answered all questions by citing the Fifth Amendment.

Profaci's Family and that of Joe Bonanno, linked by marriage, comprised a strong conservative wing of the Mafia's ruling Commission. By 1960, the Gallo brothers had serious disagreements with Profaci - reportedly related to controversial mob killings, rewards promised but undelivered by the boss and hefty fees for crime family membership. The brothers attempted to force concessions from Profaci by kidnapping top crime family lieutenants. Profaci initially agreed to terms and then turned on the Gallos. The rebel group took their complaints to Carlo Gambino, boss of another family and leader of the Commission's so-called "liberal" wing. Gambino reportedly took the complaints to a meeting of the Commission in 1962 and called on "Old Man" Profaci to retire.

When Profaci and Bonanno objected, the Commission - faced with the prospect of a civil war throughout the mob - gave Profaci a vote of confidence. The Gallos fell in line momentarily.

When Profaci died of cancer later in 1962, his crime family split apart, probably due to meddling by Gambino and allies. (The Bonanno family also splintered as a result of Commission politics.) Joe Magliocco, Profaci's underboss, attempted to control the family, but he was ill-suited to the job. The Gallo faction grew in strength and openly broke with Magliocco.

Magliocco died of a heart attack in 1963 and was succeeded by Gambino ally Joe Colombo. Colombo, helped by Joe Gallo's imprisonment for attempting to extort money from a Manhattan cafe owner, was able to negotiate a peace and restore crime family order.

Joe Gallo was released from prison in 1971 and was the prime suspect when Colombo was assassinated in that year. (Apparently, Gambino himself had grown disgusted with Colombo's publicity-seeking behavior and decided to eliminate him.)

Gallo reportedly declared that he was going straight and announced he was beginning work on his memoirs, a book the underworld did not want written. Early in the morning of April 7, 1972, continuing his birthday celebration begun on the evening of April 6, Gallo and some companions settled in for a meal at Umberto's Clam House in Manhattan's Little Italy. A gunman stepped into the building and shot Joe Gallo to death.

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