The 15 Most Extreme Acts Of Mob Violence6
By Steven Novak
The 15 Most Extreme Acts Of Mob Violence
The over-the-top violence of the American mob has, over the years, provided those working in the entertainment industry with a rich reservoir of stories from which to draw from. The Godfather, Goodfellas and HBO’s The Sopranos would not exist without the real life workings of organized crime. In fact, the mob has even been the backdrop for comedies – for example, 88 Hits, a mockumentary about the most unorganized family in the organized crime world, from KoldCast TV. The situations on which these stories are based, however, involved some very real, very nasty individuals taking part in some very real, very nasty acts, like those on our list of the 15 most extreme acts of violence committed by the mob.
88 Hits, Episode 1: Building the Family
1. The St. Valentines Day Massacre
The first addition to our list is also arguably the most famous. On the morning of Thursday, February 14, 1929, five members of the North Side Irish Gang, led by Bugs Moran, and two non-members, were lined up against the rear wall of the SMC Cartage Company on Chicago’s North Side and shot to death by two mobsters in police uniforms under the orders of Al Capone. Seventy rounds from two submachine guns and a couple of shotgun blasts turned the seven men into something that looked more like mush than human beings.
2. The Bombing of “The Chicken Man”
As the underboss of a Philadelphia organization led by long-time boss Angelo Bruno, Philip “The Chicken Man” Testa was generally regarded as being good-natured (by comparison), and was known to avoid violence whenever he could. Sadly, on March 21, 1980, Testa returned home from South Philadelphia when a nail bomb exploded on his front porch. Neighbors claimed that pieces of his body were scattered for blocks. Musician Bruce Springsteen, in the hit song “Atlantic City,” would later immortalize Testa. The song opens with the line, “Well, they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night/now they blew up his house too.”
3. A Friend of Ours
For allowing undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone into the Bonanno crime family, Caporegime Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano paid a pretty steep price – his hands were removed. The act of allowing Pistone to shake hands with others in the organization, and going so far as to introduce him as a “friend of ours” (or a made man) when he wasn’t, was more than unacceptable. After Dominick’s hands were lopped off, his corpse was mutilated and his body left at the corner of South Avenue and Bridge Street in Staten Island. Joesph Pistone’s story was later chronicled in the movie Donnie Brasco.
4. Dead Canary
At one point during his “career,” Bruno Facciolo was a made man and a full member of the Lucchese crime family. He’s even been associated with the murder of Thomas “Two-Gun Tommy” DeSimone (who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the movie Goodfellas). In 1990, however, he was lured into a garage by two detectives moonlighting as hitmen, stabbed repeatedly, then shot to death. A dead canary was then stuffed in his mouth because it was believed he was an informant – which, as it turns out, he wasn’t. Oops.
5. The Angelo Bruno Murder and Money in the Butt
On April 18, 1980, Philadelphia Mafia Consigliere Antonio Caponigro had “The Gentle Don,” Angelo Bruno, killed without the approval of The Mafia Commission. Because of this, a few weeks later Caponigro and his brother-in-law Alfred Salerno were taken to an isolated house in the mountains of upstate New York where they were tortured for days before finally being killed. About $300 was found stuffed up Caponigro’s bloody rectum as a sign that he had become far too greedy.
6. The Carmine Galante Murder
Carmine “Lilo” Galante was murdered moments after he finished eating his lunch at Joe and Mary’s Italian-American Restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn. With a cigar still in his mouth, the 69-year-old mobster was blasted in the face and chest at point-blank range with a shotgun – which, as you might imagine, made a pretty big mess.
7. Just A Little Off The Top
On the morning of October 25, 1957, Albert Anastasia (then boss of the famous Gambino Crime Family) entered the barbershop of the Park Sheraton Hotel (which is now the Park Central Hotel, on 56th Street and 7th Avenue) in New York City. Anastasia’s bodyguard parked the car in an underground garage and then conveniently decided to take a stroll. As Anastasia relaxed in the barber chair, two men rushed in, shoved the barber out of the way, and fired at Anastasia. After the first volley of bullets, Anastasia supposedly lunged at his killers. With bullets riddling his body, the stunned Anastasia actually attacked the gunmen’s reflections in the wall mirror rather than the gunmen themselves. More shots were fired soon afterward until Anastasia was finally killed.
8. A Banquet and a Bat
This is the second appearance Al Capone has made on our list – which should tell you a thing or two about why his name has become so synonymous with the idea of mob violence. Capone murdered John Scalise and Albert Anselmi, which he believed were siding with his enemies. This kind of murder is common in the mob. How the murders actually went down, however, is a thing of legend. Al invited the pair to a banquet in their honor, produced a gift-wrapped Indian club, and proceeded to bash their brains in. A version of the story was recreated in the film The Untouchables.
9. Danny Green is Blown to Bits
Daniel “Danny” J. Patrick Greene was an Irish gangster known for his association with Cleveland boss John Nardi. After a trip to his dentist to repair a loose filling, Danny left the office building and approached his car. The automobile parked next to his exploded. The explosion was thunderous, sent a ball of fire into the air, and created a blinding cloud of flame that bathed the already sunlit parking lot in a terrifying white light. Greene was instantly ripped to shreds. His clothing, except for his brown zip-up boots and black socks, was blown clean off his body. His left arm was torn free and was thrown nearly 100 feet away. A new movie and two new documentaries will arrive in 2011, feeding America’s unending appetite for mob stories with a grisly slice of Cleveland’s criminal past. “The Irishman” is due out next March.
10. Buried Alive
Anthony Spilotro was an Italian-American mobster and enforcer of the Chicago Outfit in Las Vegas during the 70’s and 80’s. Eventually, Anthony succeeded Marshall Caifano as the mob’s representative in Las Vegas where he reunited with childhood friend Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and began skimming money from the casinos. He and his brother Michael were eventually beaten and buried alive in an Indiana cornfield. A version of the incident was recreated in the movie Casino years later.
11. Do Your Research
Also known as “Big Tuna,” Antonio “Joe Batters” Accardo rose from small-time hoodlum to the position of day-to-day boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1943 (and ultimately the Final Outfit Authority in 1972). In 1978, while Big Tuna was on vacation, six burglars made the extremely stupid mistake of stealing some stuff from his house. Within a month, each of them were found strangled and their throats cut. I suppose the moral of the story is that if you’re going to steal stuff, a little research wouldn’t hurt.
12. The Murder of Anthony DiLapi
Also known as “Blue Eyes over the Bridges,” Anthony DiLapi was a Teamsters union leader and a soldier in the Lucchese crime family. In 1990, he had recently been released from prison and had opted to flee the mob for a life outside of organized crime. Lucchese captain Alphonse D’Arco couldn’t have cared less. On February 4, 1990, Joseph D’Arco and a crew of hitmen shot Anthony DiLapi to death in the underground garage of his apartment building in Hollywood, California. DiLapi was shot four times in the face and four times to the body.
On June 28th, 1971, at the second Italian Unity Day rally, an assassin disguised as a photojournalist fired three shots from an automatic pistol into the head of Joseph Colombo (the boss of the Colombo Crime Family). Colombo’s son and several others wrestled the shooter to the ground. A second man stepped out of the crowd and shot the original assassin dead. The second assailant escaped without being identified. The crowd quickly dispersed, although some made a feeble attempt to continue the festival. Though Colombo was seriously wounded, he managed to survive the shooting and lingered in a coma without ever regaining consciousness for nearly seven years (he was “vegetabled,” in the words of fellow mobster Joe Gallo). He eventually died on May 22, 1978.
14. Goodbye Danny Walsh
Rhode Island bootlegger Danny Walsh was the last major Irish-American gangster in the region when he disappeared in 1933. It’s been said that he was murdered, stuffed into a barrel and dumped into the sea by a rumrunner off Block Island. Over the next several years, whenever an unidentified murder victim would pop up, it was immediately checked against the dental records of Danny Walsh. Despite efforts by law enforcement, however, Walsh’s body was never recovered.
15. Dutch Schultz and the Rust-Coated Bullets
Dutch Schultz was a Jewish-American gangster in the 20’s and 30’s that made his fortune as a bootlegger and various numbers rackets. In 1935, he was shot in the bathroom of the Palace Chophouse in New Jersey. He somehow managed to survive the shoot-out, crawled out of the bathroom and returned to the table where he was previously sitting to wait for an ambulance. Unfortunately for him, it was discovered that he was shot with rust-coated bullets, which were used to give him fatal poisoning on the off-chance that he survived the bullet wound. It worked, when he died 22 hours later.
88 Hits, Episode 2: The Family
88 Hits, Episode 3: Family Man
Steven Novak is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and admitted lifelong nerd with an embarrassingly large DVD collection. He is currently working and living in the Southern California desert. His most recent fantasy/action adventure novel, “Forts: Fathers and Sons,” is available everywhere books are sold.