Abbatemarco, Anthony (1922-2005)

b. Brooklyn, NY, April 6, 1922.
d. July 17, 2005.

Related to several independent-spirited Profaci-Colombo Crime Family mobsters who met with violent ends, Anthony Abbatemarco attained a leadership position within the organization and reached a ripe, old age.

Born in Brooklyn on April 6, 1922, Anthony Abbatemarco was the first child of Frank and Mary Abbatemarco. The family lived at 702 President Street in the Park Slope section, just outside of Gowanus. On the same city block resided Anthony's grandmother Rosa and his uncle Dominick.

Frank Abbatemarco and his brother, Anthony's uncle Michael (known as "Mike Schatz"), were members of Frankie Yale's Brooklyn underworld organization at the time of Yale's assassination on July 1, 1928. The Yale gangsters appear to have been absorbed into the Mafia families of Giuseppe Masseria and Giuseppe Profaci. Michael, a Prohibition Era beer baron, may not have approved of the new arrangements. He was murdered just three months after his former boss. Frank Abbatemarco, who acquired his brother's "Schatz" nickname, apparently was more agreeable and became a soldier in the Profaci family. Anthony eventually would follow his father into that organization.

Frank grew in importance in the underworld of Brooklyn through the 1930s, specializing in gambling. Anthony, after serving in the military during World War II, joined in his father's policy (numbers) rackets. He became known to his associates as "Tony Shots."

In March of 1952, father and son were arrested along with young Gowanus-area mobsters Carmine Persico, Lawrence Gallo and Joey "Joe the Blond" Gallo, and several others involved in the Brooklyn numbers. Anthony, who claimed to be unemployed, was found to be holding a thick roll of bills totaling $2,400, and police noted he had recently purchased a new Lincoln automobile valued at $3,800. Authorities labeled Anthony the No. 2 man in the ring managed by Frank. Frank and Anthony pleaded guilty to lottery conspiracy charges on June 24, 1952. Both were sentenced to terms at Riker's Island Penitentiary - Frank for a year and Anthony for nine months.

When they were released from prison, the Abbatemarcos rejoined their old organization and went right back to work in the lucrative policy racket.

In the late 1950s, Frank Abbatemarco's crew began withholding tribute payments expected by crime family boss Profaci. As a result, the boss ordered the murders of both Frank and Anthony, and he called on the Gallos to perform the executions. Frank was executed on Nov. 4, 1959.

Learning of his father's murder, Anthony went into hiding. The Gallos expected to be rewarded for their efforts by being granted control of the policy racket, but Profaci instead gave that to his own relatives. Lawrence and Joey Gallo, their brother Albert and a number of allies openly rebelled against Profaci. Carmine Persico, initially part of the rebellion, switched to Profaci's side very early in the conflict. The Gallos forced concessions from Profaci early in 1961 by kidnapping several high-ranking Profaci crime family leaders, but Profaci reneged and condemned the rebels to death.

Gallo gunmen Joseph "Joe Jelly" Giorelli disappeared in August 1961. After he had been missing a few days, Profaci sent the rest of the gang a message: A bundle was thrown from a passing car near the gang hangout. It contained Giorelli's coat wrapped around a dead fish.

Later that month, Anthony Abbatemarco reappeared. Perhaps learning of the Gallos' insurrection and of their involvement in his father's murder - but not yet of Profaci's own role in those events - Anthony assisted in the Profaci-approved Aug. 20 attempted murder of Lawrence Gallo at a South Brooklyn restaurant. Carmine Persico is believed to have led Gallo to the location. The hit was interrupted by a passing patrolman, who was shot as Gallo's attackers fled. From his hospital bed, the patrolman identified Anthony Abbatemarco as the person who shot him. Abbatemarco was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.

On the afternoon of Oct 4, Abbatemarco's cousin Joseph Magnasco - an important member of the Gallo faction - was shot to death on the sidewalk. Knowing of Magnasco's underworld connections, police immediately raided the headquarters of Direct Vending Corporation at 51 President Street, a front for Gallo rackets. They took 11 men in for questioning. The group included Lawrence and Joey Gallo, and, somewhat surprisingly, Anthony Abbatemarco. During the six weeks following the attempt on Lawrence Gallo's life, the Gallos apparently had an opportunity to set Abbatemarco straight on who was ultimately to blame for his father's murder.

Abbatemarco was with Lawrence and Albert Gallo (Joey Gallo was in prison), Leonard Dello, Alfonso Serantino, John Commarato and Frank "Punchy" Illiano on Jan. 31, 1962, as they entered a burning third-floor apartment to rescue six children. The group was interviewed and photographed for the newspapers. at the time, Albert Gallo commented, "We'll probably get locked up for putting out a fire without a license."

Anthony Abbatemarco (top left), with Albert Gallo,
Frank Illiano and the six children they rescued
from a burning apartment in 1962.

The Gallo rebellion continued through the death of Profaci on June 6, 1962, and through the troubled reign of Profaci's successor Giuseppe Magliocco. By 1964, Joseph Colombo took leadership of the crime family with the approval of the Mafia Commission. Colombo entered into negotiations with the Gallo faction in an effort to put a stop to the long conflict.

In this period, Abbatemarco abandoned the Gallo cause and supported Colombo, though the Gallo group's cooperation with Colombo quickly ended. Abbatemarco became part of a crew commanded for a time by the aging Salvatore "Charlie" Mineo (who also served in a top leadership post in the crime family). Also in the crew was Joseph Yacovelli. Early in 1965, the leadership of the crew was changed due to Mineo's poor health, and Abbatemarco found himself directly (and probably uncomfortably) subordinate to Carmine Persico.

After just a few years of relative calm, the crime family once again became unsettled. Persico was convicted of hijacking in 1968. Lawrence Gallo succumbed to cancer in the same year. Crime boss Joseph Colombo was shot and critically wounded on June 28, 1971, and "Crazy Joey" Gallo was believed responsible. Colombo was incapacitated by the shooting but did not die until May 22, 1978. Joey Gallo did not live as long. He was murdered while dining with friends at Umberto's Clam House in Manhattan in April 1972. A new "Gallo War" raged in the crime family, and the Gallo faction was split with the defection of John Cutrone and his allies to a growing Persico faction.

A series of interim bosses were selected in the crime family, and Joseph Yacovelli reportedly served in that role. However, real power settled on Carmine Persico and his brother and son. Abbatemarco and Yaccovelli became leading figures in a dissident faction, and gradually Abbatemarco emerged as the top man in that faction.

Abbatemarco fell into the habit of having "business-related" conversations in his automobile, a habit that was noticed by the FBI. Between May and September of 1974, the FBI listened in on his conversations through a surveillance device installed in the car. As the listening device was removed, the FBI informed Abbatemarco that it had been used. The recorded conversations, a number of them dealing with Abbatemarco's analysis of the strength of the Gambino Crime Family and its declining boss Carlo Gambino, were brought before a federal grand jury. Abbatemarco was subpoenaed but did not appear in U.S. District Court. Abbatemarco was plagued with alcoholism and anxiety and was unfit to testify in court, his attorney argued. The court received a doctor's note indicating that Abbatemarco's "judgment, thinking and memory" were "severely impaired."

The following year, Staten Island-based capodecina Thomas DiBella was placed in control of crime family operations. Under DiBella's watch an agreement was finally reached in the long struggle with the Gallo gang. Albert Gallo, the last surving Gallo brother, and other members of the group (including Frank "Punchy" Illiano) were permitted to leave the Colombo Crime Family and join with the Genovese organization.

In the mid-1970s, federal investigators learned that Abbatemarco was serving as the Colombo Crime Family underboss. In the fall of 1976, several crime family lieutenants approached him and Yaccovelli, then reportedly consigliere, to complain about the Persico-favoritism demonstrated by DiBella. New York crime families had agreed to "open the books" and induct new members in 1976, and DiBella reportedly gave 15 of the crime family's 33 approved new membership slots to the Persico faction, splitting the remainder among the other crime family crews. Reports indicate that Abbatemarco and Yaccovelli took the complaints to the Mafia leadership Commission, asking that DiBella be removed. The request was denied.

This amounted to a dangerous break between the Abbatemarco faction and DiBella. A meeting was called to resolve the dispute in May 1977. Abbatemarco and Yacovelli kept a safe distance. But ally Salvatore Albanese, a tough enforcer for the faction, attended a dinner sit-down with Persico and DiBella-aligned mobsters. Albanese was not seen after the dinner.

Abbatemarco reportedly went into hiding in upstate New York, turning operation of his gambling empire over to subordinates, and Yacovelli stopped following his normal daily routines.

While removed from the day-to-day activities of the crime family, Abbatemarco lived long enough to see the Persico faction split into two warring factions. He died in the summer of 2005.

Sources:

  •  Bonanno, Bill, and Gary B. Abromovitz, The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno: The Final Secrets of a Life in the Mafia, New York: Harper, 2011.
  •  Carr, Charlie, New York Police Files on the Mafia, Hosehead Productions, 2012.
  •  Cook, Fred, MAFIA! Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1973.
  •  Cressey, Donald R., Theft of the Nation, New York: Harper Colophon, 1969.
  •  Gage, Nicholas, Mafia USA, New York: Playboy Press, 1972. 
  • Raab, Selwyn, Five Families: The Rise, Decline and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires, New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2006.
  •  New York State Census of 1925.
  •  SAC New York, “La Cosa Nostra,” FBI memo, Jan. 21, 1965, NARA no. 124-10223-10353.
  •  Social Security Death Index.
  •  U.S. Census of 1930.
  •  “Ex-convict seized in policy ring raid,” New York Times, March 26, 1952.
  •  “Raids smash $2,500,000 policy ring,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 26, 1952, p. 1.
  •  “9 deny lottery charges,” New York Times, April 16, 1952.
  •  “Two gunmen kill gambling figure,” New York Times, Nov. 5, 1959.
  •  “Mafia strikes boro again! Police hunt killers here,” Brooklyn Daily, Nov. 6, 1959, p. 3.
  •  Clark, Alfred E., “Gallo case figure slain in Brooklyn,” New York Times, Oct. 5, 1961, p. 1.
  •  “Gallo figure gunned down,” Long Island Star-Journal, Oct. 5, 1961, p. 1.
  •  “Fear shooting may cause new violence,” Brooklyn Daily, Oct. 6, 1961, p. 3.
  •  “Gallo gang saves 6 tots from blaze,” Syracuse NY Post Standard, Feb. 1, 1962, p. 2. 
  •  “Cops praise mobsters for saving 6 in fire,” Bridgeport CT Post, Feb. 1, 1961, p. 16.
  •  “Profaci dies of cancer; led feuding Brooklyn mob,” New York Times, June 8, 1962.
  •  Buckley, Thomas, “Ex-detective chief says gang war dooms Gallos,” New York Times, Aug. 15, 1963
  •  Farrell, William E., “Colombo shot, gunman slain at Columbus Circle rally site,” New York Times, June 29, 1971, p. 1.
  •  Gage, Nicholas, "Yacovelli said to succeed Colombo in Mafia Family," New York Times, Sept. 1, 1971.
  •  “U.S. agents wiretapped Colombo aide 4 months,” New York Times, Oct. 8, 1974.
  •  Gage, Nicholas, “Colombo family underboss flees after failure to overthrow chief,” New York Times, June 5, 1977.
  •  “Joseph A. Colombo Sr., 54, paralyzed in shooting at 1971 rally, dies,” New York Times, May 24, 1978.
  •  Krajicek, David J., “Frankie Abbatemarco is the opening casualty in the Profaci family civil war,” New York Daily News, Sept. 19, 2010.


Abbatemarco, Frank (1899-1959)

Born Brooklyn, NY, July 4, 1899.
Killed Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 4, 1959.

A link between the older Frank Yale organization of Brooklyn and the Giuseppe Profaci Crime Family, Frank Abbatemarco was one of several members of the Abbatemarco-Magnasco clan to be gunned down in mob hits.

Frank Abbatemarco was born in Brooklyn on July 4, 1899, fourth son of Anthony and Rose Abbatemarco and younger brother of Prohibition Era-racketeer Michael "Mike Schatz" Abbatemarco. Abbatemarco's parents left the Salerno province of Italy in the mid-1880s and settled in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. They lived and raised their family in the Italian neighborhoods of Carroll Street, President Street and Union Street. They formed a close relationship with their neighbors, the Cardello family. (Four Cardellos also became members of the Profaci-Colombo Crime Family.)

As a teenager, Frank Abbatemarco found work in a local lumber yard. Within a couple of years, he was a employed as a teamster for a firm on Manhattan's lower west side. But legitimate work was not for him.

About 1921, Abbatemarco married. He and his wife Mary settled into a home on President Street in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, just east of Gowanus. In the spring of 1922, their son Anthony was born.

In October of 1922, Abbatemarco was sentenced to two years in Atlanta Federal Prison following a conviction for conspiracy to sell morphine. Abbatemarco confessed that he alone was guilty of the charge in an apparent effort to win the release of a number of codefendants. One defendant, Michael Esposito, was discharged. However, Giovanni Bombara, Vincenzo Raiola, John Panico and Gaetano Sorentino were also convicted.

Following the assassination of Brooklyn gang leader Frank Yale on July 1, 1928, Yale-affiliated gangsters appear to have been divided between regional crime families. Those from South Brooklyn, including the Abbatemarcos, seem to have been assigned to the Profaci Crime Family. It was not a smooth transition. Michael "Mike Schatz" Abbatemarco, reportedly the head of a beer monopoly, was murdered that October after leaving an all-night poker game with some of the Cardellos.

Frank Abbatemarco, on the other hand, became an important member of Profaci's organization and ran a lucrative lottery in South Brooklyn. The authorities seem to have been aware of Abbatemarco's criminal activities in the early 1930s. He was arrested in New York City on Aug. 27, 1931, for vagrancy and discharged two weeks later. The following year, he was taken in by Jersey City, New Jersey, police on suspicion, and later released. New York Police arrested him again in May of 1934, releasing him a few days later.

At some point, Abbatemarco acquired his late brother's nickname and was known as "Frankie Schatz" or "Frankie Shots."

As his importance in the underworld increased, so did his independence. By the early 1950s, he was a Mafia capodecina leading an independent-minded crew of policy racketeers and burglars based in the Gowanus and Park Slope areas of South Brooklyn. The members of his crew would later figure prominently in a civil war within the Profaci organization.

The 53-year-old Abbatemarco and a number of his men were arrested by the Special Rackets Squad of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office on March 25, 1952. Frank Abbatemarco and his son Anthony, 30, were accused of leading a policy racket believed to rake in $2.5 million a year. Initially held as material witnesses in the case were Lawrence Gallo, 24; his brother Joseph Gallo, 23; Carmine Persico, 18; and several other men. Lawrence Gallo was found to be in possession of 20 new suits recently stolen from a warehouse in Manhattan.

In mid-April, Frank and Anthony Abbatemarco, Lawrence Gallo, Carmine Persico, Frank Iliano, Charles Brown, Walter Hare, Charles Wilson and Willie Huff were charged with conspiracy to operate a lottery. All initially pleaded not guilty. On June 24, Frank and Anthony Abbatemarco pleaded guilty to lottery charges. Frank was sentenced to a year in Riker's Island Penitentiary. Anthony was sentenced to nine months in the facility.

In the later 1950s, the independence of the South Brooklyn crew became a problem for crime boss Joe Profaci. The Abbatemarcos, the Gallos and Persico, feeling entitled to retain the bulk of the policy racket proceeds, began withholding required tribute payments to Profaci.

The late Frank Abbatemarco.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov. 6, 1959.

On Nov. 4, 1959, Frank Abbatemarco became the second member of his family to be murdered after socializing with the Cardellos. At 7:55 p.m., he was leaving a tavern owned by Anthony Cardello when he was confronted by two men wearing topcoats, fedoras pulled down low and scarves across their faces. Abbatemarco was shot at the door of the tavern and turned and ran back inside. The gunmen pursued. As Abbatemarco shouted, "No, no," they fired repeatedly into his body. They then turned casually and walked out the door.

Rumors indicated that the Gallos themselves had been persuaded by Profaci to set up or possibly even to perform the murder of their old friend and underworld chief Abbatemarco. The Gallos reportedly believed their reward would be control over the old Abbatemarco lottery. Profaci made a bad situation worse when he snubbed the Gallos and presented that racket to his own relatives.

Frank Abbatemarco's son Anthony, rumored also to be a Profaci target, went into hiding. He later became a puzzling character in the Gallo civil war against Profaci, but survived to lead a powerful faction within the Profaci-Colombo Crime Family.

Sources:

  •  Bonanno, Bill, and Gary B. Abromovitz, The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno: The Final Secrets of a Life in the Mafia, New York: Harper, 2011 (Kindle version), p. 196.
  •  Frank Abbatemarco Identification Record, Record no. 461 379, Federal Bureau of Investigation, published within Carr, Charlie, New York Police Files on the Mafia, Hosehead Productions, 2012, p. 644.
  •  Cook, Fred, MAFIA! Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1973, p. 205-207.
  •  Cressey, Donald R., Theft of the Nation, New York: Harper Colophon, 1969, p. 201.
  •  Raab, Selwyn, Five Families: The Rise, Decline and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires, New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2006, p. 322-323.
  •  New York State Census of 1915.
  •  Passenger manifest of S.S. Cheribon, sailed from Naples, arrived New York City March 9, 1887.
  •  United States Census of 1910.
  •  United States Census of 1920.
  •  United States Census of 1930.
  •  “Drug sellers jailed pending an appeal,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Oct. 31, 1922.
  •  “Uale’s successor slain in auto by lone gunman, jealousy in gang hinted,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Uale friend slain in car as he sits at driving wheel,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  Daniell, F. Raymond, “Yale successor slain near place where chief died,” New York Evening Post, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Uale gang leader slain like his chief,” New York Times, Oct. 7, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Ex-convict seized in policy ring raid,” New York Times, March 26, 1952.
  •  “Raids smash $2,500,000 policy ring,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 26, 1952, p. 1.
  •  “Racket jurors to get more policy ring info,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 27, 1952, p. 3.
  •  “9 deny lottery charges,” New York Times, April 16, 1952.
  •  “Two gunmen kill gambling figure,” New York Times, Nov. 5, 1959.
  •  “Mafia strikes boro again! Police hunt killers here,” Brooklyn Daily, Nov. 6, 1959, p. 3.
  •  Buckley, Thomas, “Ex-detective chief says gang war dooms Gallos,” New York Times, Aug. 15, 1963.
  •  Gage, Nicholas, “Colombo family underboss flees after failure to overthrow chief,” New York Times, June 5, 1977.
  •  Krajicek, David J., “Frankie Abbatemarco is the opening casualty in the Profaci family civil war,” New York Daily News, Sept. 19, 2010.


Abbatemarco, Michael (1894-1928)

Born Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 3, 1894.
Killed Brooklyn, NY, Oct. 6, 1928.

Known as "Mike Schatz" ("Schatz" is a German word for "sweetheart") or "Mike Shots," Michael Abbatemarco was an influential Brooklyn gangster of the Prohibition Era. He was a top lieutenant in the Frank Yale organization of Brooklyn. His relatives are counted among the early building blocks of the Profaci Crime Family presence in the Gowanus area.

The Abbatemarco family roots extend back to the southern portion of the Province of Salerno in Italy. Michael Abbatemarco's parents, Anthony and Rose, traveled to the the United States in the mid-1880s. By 1910 they were settled in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Michael was born Sept. 3, 1894, in Brooklyn. He grew up in the Italian neighborhoods of Carroll Street, President Street and Union Street. As a teenager, he worked for a time with his father at a "manure dump," making fertilizer. He later worked for a meat market and as a truckman. In the Great War, Abbatemarco served his country in Europe with the Army's Sixteenth Engineers and returned home in April 1919.

Early in 1920, he was living in his parents home, 265 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, in the same Gowanus neighborhood where he grew up. His brother Frank, then 21, and 17-year-old sister Christina also lived there. Their neighbors and close friends were the Cardellos. Michael Cardello, a stonecutter, and his wife Antoinette, had six sons and four daughters ranging in age from one year to 25 years.

The Prohibition Era provided enormous rewards for those willing to break the law, and Michael Abbatemarco apparently gave into the temptation. He moved to Manhattan's Catherine Street, just across the East River from Brooklyn, and became involved in rum-running. At about the same time, Abbatemarco took a bride, an Irish-American woman, Tessie McNab. The couple had a son in 1921 and named him Anthony.

The dangers of illegal activity quickly became apparent. Michael Abbatemarco and two companions were arrested for smuggling Jan. 7, 1922, at the South Fourth Street Pier in Brooklyn. A customs inspector arrived at the pier while Abbatemarco and his associates were moving an unknown cargo from the S.S. St. Mary, just arrived from Havana, to a motorboat. Shots were fired, and one of the smugglers, Richard Price, was wounded. Several other men who were part of the smuggling effort escaped in the motorboat. Abbatemarco appears to have avoided any significant punishment for his activities at the South Fourth Street Pier.

Michael moved himself and his family back to Brooklyn around 1923. His young son, Anthony, was killed in a motor vehicle accident in January of 1926. For years, memorial notices were posted in newspapers to mark the sad anniversary of the incident.

Through the Prohibition Era, Michael Abbatemarco increased in importance within the Brooklyn underworld organization of Frankie Yale. Some suggested Abbatemarco held a monopoly on Prohibition Era beer sales. He became a leading figure in the underworld following the murder of Yale in July 1928, though most sources agree that Anthony "Little Augie Pisano" Carfano succeeded to the leadership of Yale's organization.

Immediately after Yale's death, Abbatemarco purchased a flashy new automobile and changed his address. He moved from his home at 321 First Street in Brooklyn to a two-story yellow brick home at 38 Seventy-Ninth Street in the borough's Bay Ridge section. But Abbatemarco did not have long to enjoy his new riches.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 7, 1928.
On the evening of October 5, 1928, Abbatemarco played poker at a coffeehouse, Union Street and Fourth Avenue, with several other men, including Tony and Jamie Cardello. It was after 3 a.m. when Abbatemarco left the card game for home. Jamie Cardello reportedly walked him to the curb. A gangster by the name of Ralph Sprizza may have been with Abbatemarco at the time. Abbatemarco got into his coupe and drove away. He and the car were next seen at 4:15 a.m. in front of 2421 Eighty-Third Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Abbatemarco was slumped dead behind the wheel with bullet wounds in his neck, forehead, right cheek and chest. The car's engine was still running.

A young man named Jack Simon, who was walking by just before the killing, told police he saw a man get out of the stopped car. He recalled hearing some gunshots a short time later and turned to see the man walking through a vacant lot to 84th Street. Police discovered a just-fired handgun in the lot.

Detectives explored a number of motives for the slaying of Abbatemarco: He may have been double-crossed by an underworld associate, he may have been disciplined for double-crossing someone else, he may have been a casualty of a civil war in the former Yale gang, or he may have been killed due to a personal grudge or romantic affair.

Abbatemarco's funeral
Abbatemarco's funeral was nearly as impressive as that of his former underworld boss, Yale. His coffin, of silvered bronze, had an estimated value between $6,000 and $10,000. The funeral cortege included more than 100 cars and fourteen cars of floral decorations. Due to his service in the Great War, a military honor guard - eight riflemen from the Eighteenth Infantry, First Division, at Fort Hamilton - participated in the funeral. Anthony Carfano was conspicuously absent from the funeral, though he reportedly sent a large floral piece - a tower of roses topped by a fluttering dove. Newspapers noted that Carfano had not been in Brooklyn, except for quick visits, since the murder of Yale. John "Ross" DeRosa, believed to be a manager of Carfano's interests in the borough, did attend the Abbatemarco services. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery. Abbatemarco's wife Tessie and mother Rosa wept and swooned at the gravesite.

In February of 1929, police arrested Ralph "The Captain" Sprizza, 33, in connection with the murder of Michael Abbatemarco. Sprizza, originally from Naples, was largely a product of the same Gowanus neighborhood as Abbatemarco and had served two prison sentences for burglary. A member of Profaci's crime family, he was said to have been the last person to see Abbatemarco alive. Police suggested to the press they had evidence that Sprizza fired the bullets that took Abbatemarco's life. Sprizza denied any involvement in the killing.

Abbatemarco's brother Frank, nephew Anthony Abbatemarco and relative Joseph Magnasco went into the Brooklyn-based Profaci Crime Family. They became associated with the President Street crew that later became controlled by the Gallo brothers. Frank Abbatemarco and Joseph Magnasco were both murdered. Anthony Abbatemarco increased in underworld stature as Joseph Colombo took over the leadership of the Profaci family. He became a strong faction leader in the Profaci-Colombo organization and eventually rose to the position of crime family underboss.

Sources:

  •  New York State Census of 1915.
  •  Passenger manifest of S.S. Cheribon, sailed from Naples, arrived New York City March 9, 1887.
  •  SAC New York, FBI memo, NARA #124-10287-10228, June 22, 1964.
  •  United States Census of 1910.
  •  United States Census of 1920.
  •  United States Census of 1930.
  •  World War I Draft Registration Card of Michael Abbatemarco, June 1917.
  •  “Brooklyn engineers home on the Panaman,” Brooklyn Standard Union, April 23, 1919, p. 12.
  •  “Man fleeing from customs inspector is shot twice,” New York Tribune, Jan. 8, 1922, p. 14.
  •  “Obituaries,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Nov. 2, 1922.
  •  “In memoriam,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Jan. 5, 1928, p. 16.
  •  “Uale friend slain in car as he sits at driving wheel,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Uale’s successor slain in auto by lone gunman, jealousy in gang hinted,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  Daniell, F. Raymond, “Yale successor slain near place where chief died,” New York Evening Post, Oct. 6, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Uale gang leader slain like his chief,” New York Times, Oct. 7, 1928, p. 1
  •  Rogers, Wilbur E., “Search for rival whom slain gang chief had defied,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 7, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Beer racket clue at Philadelphia in gang slaying,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Oct. 8, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Gang chief buried with honor guard,” New York Evening Post, Oct. 10, 1928, p. 1.
  •  “Wife of slain beer racketeer swoons in rite at son’s grave,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Oct. 10, 1928, p. 13.
  •  “Throng at funeral of slain Uale aide,” New York Times, Oct. 11, 1928.
  •  “Arraign suspect in gang murder of Abbatemarco,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb. 5, 1929, p. 5.
  •  “Killing of aide to Uale is laid to man in quiz,” Brooklyn Standard Union, Feb. 5, 1929, p. 1.