He was just as vicious as the mob boss of Vito Genovese, ambitious as Vito Genovese, and as deeply involved in the heroin business as Vito Genovese. However, Carmine "Cigar" Galante would not die of natural causes as Vito Genovese did (though in prison). Instead, Galante was killed in one of the most memorable mob hits of all time. After his body was filled with lead, he lay stretched out on his back in the small backyard of a Queens restaurant, his cigar clenched between his teeth.
Camillo Galante was born on February 21, 1910, at 27 Stanton Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Since both his parents, Vincenzo, the fisherman, and his wife (maiden name of Vingenza Russo) were born in the sea village of Castellammarese del Golfo in Sicily, Galante was the first first Sicilian / American generation. Galante had two brothers and two sisters, and when he was in elementary school, Galante gave his name to Camillo and insisted that his name be Carmine instead. Over the years it has been abbreviated to "Lilo", which is what most of his associates have called Galante.
Galante first broke into petty theft from a sales desk when he was fourteen. But since he was a minor at the time, the details of this arrest are not on his official police record.
At different times Galante attended public high schools 79 and 120, but dropped out of school forever at the age of fifteen. Galante had been to and from the Reform School several times, and was considered an "irreparable offender."
From 1923 to 1926, Galante was reportedly employed by the Lubin Artificial Flowers Company on West Hill 270. However, this was a nuisance to comply with the law in which Galante profited when, in fact, he pursued a very lucrative criminal career .
In December 1925, Galante was arrested for assault. However, the money changed hands between Galante's men and bad cops, and as a result, Galante was released without serving jail time. In December 1926, Galante was arrested again, but this time he was found guilty of second-degree assault and robbery and sentenced to two to five years in prison. Galante was released from prison in 1930, and in order to please his discharge officer, he got another humorous "job" at the fishing company O & 39; Brien Fish, 105 South Street, near Fulton Fishing Market.
However, the nature of Galante was not to stay on the right side of the law. On March 15, 1930, five men entered the Martin Weinstein shoe factory at the corner of York and Washington streets in Brooklyn Heights. On the sixth floor of the building, Mr. Weinstein was in the process of collecting his weekly paychecks, under the protection of Officer Walter De Castilli of the 84th District. The five men took the elevator down to the 6th floor. As one man stood guarding the elevator, the other four stormed into Mr. Weinstein's office. They neglected $ 7,500 sitting at a table and opened fire on Officer De Castilli, a married father of a young girl, with a nine-year breakthrough. Officer De Castillia punched him six times in the chest and immediately died.
The four men calmly returned to the elevator and were joined by a cohort guarding the elevators of Louis Sell. Stella dropped the five men downstairs. He later told police that the men got out of the building, quietly walked to a parked car, got into a car and fled the scene. When police arrived a few minutes later from the station just 2 blocks away, the killers were nowhere to be seen. Sella described the five men as "early to mid-20s, with dark skin and dark hair." Sella said the men were all "very well dressed."
Police theory was that since no money had been taken, it was a planned coup against Officer De Castillia. On August 30, 1930, Galante, along with Michael Consol and Angela Presinzano, were arrested and charged with the murder of Officer De Castilli. However, all four men were soon released due to lack of evidence.
On December 25, 1930, four suspicious men were sitting in a green limousine on Briggs Avenue in Brooklyn. Police Detective Joseph Meenahan just showed up in the area. He saw the men in the limo, pulled out a gun and approached the limo cautiously. One of the people yelled at Meenahan, "Stop there copper, or we'll burn you."
Before Meenahan could react, the shooting started from a green sedan. Meenahan was hit in the leg and a six-year-old girl walking nearby with her mother was seriously injured. The limo driver had trouble starting the car, so four men jumped out of the limo and tried to escape on foot. Three men were abandoned to leave the area by jumping on a passing truck, but a fourth was skating as he tried to board a truck and was found wounded by Meenahan. That man was Carmine Galante.
When Meenahan brought Galante to the station house, a group of detectives, furious that one of them had been wounded, began giving Galante a "police station repair." Despite getting lumps, Galante refused to give up the identity of the men who fled. He was subsequently tried and convicted as one of four men who robbed a Lieberman brewery in Brooklyn. On January 8, 1931, Galante was detained at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. He was later transferred to the Clinton Correctional Institution in Dannemore, New York, where he remained until his release on May 1, 1939.
While Galante was in prison, he was asked an IQ test that revealed he had a poor IQ of just 90, which, although Galante was well into his twenties, equated to a mental age of 14. It was also noted that Galante was diagnosed with a "neuropathic psychopathic personality". A physical assessment showed that he had 10 injuries to his head in a car accident when Galante was 10 years old, an ankle fracture when he was eleven years old, and that Galante showed early signs of gonorrhea, possibly resulting from one of the many brothels under the control of the steering wheel.
In 1939, upon his release from prison, Galante was again employed by his old job at the Lubin artificial flower company. In February 1941, Galante acquired membership of Local 856 Longshoreman Union, where he reportedly worked as a "stevedore." However, Galante probably very rarely showed up for work; one of the perks of being a mafia member.
There is no exact date, but Galante was induced as a member of the Bonanno crime family in the early 1940s. Despite the fact that his boss was Joe Bonanno, at the time the youngest mob boss in America, Galante made numerous hits for Vita Genovese, all through the 1930s and 1940s.
While Genovese was in exile in Italy (they only sought him on murder charges and flew to the mainland before he could be arrested), Genovese became fast friends with the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In America, Mussolini had a stone in his shoes called Carlo Tresa. Tresa provoked Mussolini's great agitation by constantly writing anti-fascist sentiments in his radical Italian-language magazine, Il Martello, which was sold to Italian communities in America.
Genovese sent a message back to America to Frank Garofalo, a subordinate of Joseph Bonann, that Tresa must go. Garofalo gave Trez a contract with Galante, who cut Tresa off for a few days to determine the best time and place to hit him.
On January 11, 1943, Tresa was walking along Fifth Avenue near 13th Street when a black Ford sedan pulled up next to him. Ford stopped and Galante jumped out with a hot gun in his hand. Galante punched Tresa in the back and head several times, killing the newspaper editor. Surprisingly, Galantea was seen by his discharge officer fleeing the scene of the accident, but due to the wartime dispensing of gas, the parole officer was unable to track down a black Ford containing Galante and a smoking gun. No arrest was ever made for the death of Tres.
In 1953, Bonanno sent Galante to Montreal, Canada, to take control of the interests of the Bonanno family, north of the border. In addition to the highly lucrative Canadian gambling rackets, Bonannos was hard pressed to import heroin, from France to Canada and then to America – the infamous French ties. Galante oversaw Canada's drug operation for three years. But in 1956, Canadian police captured Galante's involvement. Not having enough evidence to capture Galante, they instead deported Galante to America, classifying Galante as an "undesirable foreigner."
In 1957, Genovese called for a grand summit of all the top Mafioso in America, to be held at the Ustasha residence of Joseph Barbara in New York, Apalachin, a captain in the criminal family of Stefan Magaddin. In preparation for this meeting, on October 19, 1956, several New York criminals were invited to Barbara's home to go over the guidelines of the proposed meeting; whose main purpose was to anoint Genovese as Capo di Tutti Capi, "or" Boss of all chiefs. "
After the meeting ended, driving back to New York City, Galante got speeding by speed near Birmingham, New York. With his driver's license suspended, Galante gave police a phone call. He was immediately arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison. However, the Mafia truffles also arrived straight into the police force in far-flung New York. After several New York attorneys made real phone calls to New York, Galante was released within 48 hours. Still, a state trooper by the name of Sergeant Edgar Roswell noted the fact that Galante had confessed to police that he had stayed the night before at the Arlington Hotel, hosted by a local businessman named Joseph Barbara. This made Roswell pay special attention to the Barbara residence in Apalachin, New York.
Less than a month later, on November 17, 1957, at the insistence of Don Vito Genovese, mobsters from all over America arrived at the Barbara residence. These men included Sam Giancana of Chicago, Santo Trafficante of Florida, John Scalish of Cleveland, and Joe Profaci and Tommy Lucchese of New York. Galante boss Joe Bonanno decided not to attend, so he sent Galante instead.
Sergeant Roswell took note of the fact that the day before the nearby Arlington Hotel was a rafter, it was reserved for rafters with suspicious towels. Roswell asked the right questions and was able to confirm that the man who made reservations for these men was Joseph Barbara himself. Roswell drove to Barbara residents and noticed a dozen luxury cars parked outside, some with tiles out of town.
Roswell asked for support, and within minutes, dozens of state suits with rifles drawn. The troops raided Barbara's residence and chaos ensued. Men wearing expensive suits, hats and shoes with screws. Some were immediately arrested; some reached their cars and drove off the property before police could set them up. The others jumped out the windows and climbed through the thorny forest. One of those men was Carmine Galante, who hid in the cornfield until police left Barbara's residence. He then returned to Barbara's home and arranged his safe passage back to New York City.
The next day, when the news of the raid on Barbara's home hit the American newspaper, blowing the lid with the mistaken idea that the Mafia was a myth, Galante set off into the wind or, in a cellular manner, "pulled back." On January 8, 1958, the New York Herald Tribune wrote is that Galante went to Italy to hook up with old pal Salvatore "Lucky" Luciano, who was in exile in Italy after serving nine years in a U.S. prison for defective charge. Another report states that it was not Luciano Galante but Joe "Adonis" Doto, another ex-Mafia boss in exile in Italy. On January 9, the American New York Journal said that Galante was not in Italy at all, but in Havana, Cuba, with Meyer Lansky, a longtime member of the National Crime Commission, who had numerous casino interests in Cuba.
In April 1958, it somehow leaked that Galante was now returning to the United States and living somewhere in the New York area. Local law went into operation and in July Galante was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics while driving near Holmdale, New Jersey. He is accused of engaging in a major heroin deal that Galante was involved with. Vito Genovese, John Ormento, Joe Di Palermo and Vincent Gigante were also arrested in the same case. Galante, again using his cadre of New York attorneys, was released on $ 100,000 bail. Galante's attorneys were able to delay further legal proceedings for nearly two years. It was not until May 17, 1960, that Galante was formally charged and remanded on bail.
On January 20, 1961, Galante's trial finally began, and Judge Thomas F. Murphy revoked Galante's bail, ordering Galante to be placed immediately in the scum. However, Galante's luck lingered when the offense was declared on May 15. The jury chief, a poor guy named Harry Appel, a 68-year-old dressmaker, seemed to have the misfortune to fall down the stairs of a 15th Street building in Manhattan. After doctors arrived and Appel was taken to a nearby hospital, Appel was found to have a broken back. No one saw Appel fall, nor did the injured and frightened Appel say that he had been pushed. However, even though they did not have definitive proof, the police department felt Appela had pushed a cohort of Galante, warning that he would not tell anyone, and would allow Appel and his family members to live.
Galante, who now feels alive and chipped, has been released from prison, secured with a $ 135,000 bond.
Alas, but all good must come to an end.
In April 1962, Galante's second trial began.
There was a bit of a scuffle in the courtroom when one of Galante's co-defendants, a nasty creature named Tony Mirra (who was said to have killed 30-40 people) became so unshaven that he lifted his chair and threw it at the prosecutor. Fortunately for the prosecutor, the chair missed him and landed in the jury box forcing the frightened jurors to scatter in all directions. The warrant was returned to court, and the trial continued, which was bad news for both Galante and Mirra. Both were found guilty, and on July 10, 1962, Galante was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Mirra was also sent to prison for a very long time. It is unclear if any additional time was given to Mirra's sentence because of the chair-throwing incident.
Galante was first sent to Alcatraz Prison, located on an island fort in San Francisco Bay. He was then transferred to the Lewisburg Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, before spending his final years in prison at the U.S. prison in Atlanta, Georgia. Galante was finally released from prison on January 24, 1974, full of fire and den, and ready to return to business. However, Galante was to be paroled by 1981, so he had to be careful not to keep a high profile. Unfortunately, being in the background was not in Galante's makeup.
While in prison, Galante made it clear that when he got out of prison he would take control of the New York mafia by the throat. The then accepted boss of five New York mafia families was Carlo Gambino, head of the Gambino criminal family. The Gambino was tricky and mostly quiet and reserved; appreciated for his business acumen and ability to maintain peace among his own family as well as other mafia families. However, Galante had to use it for Gambino, that is, his method of doing business.
By the time Galante left, his boss Joe Bonanno was forced to retire and lived in Tuscon, Arizona. Bonann's new boss was Rusty Rastelli. But since Rastelli was in slam at the time, Galante took on the role of "street boss" of Bonannos. Still, Rastelli considered himself the boss of Bonannos and was not at all pleased with how Galante was doing his thing on the streets of New York.
Galante took the unusual step of not being appreciated by other members of the Bonanno criminal family, surrounding himself with mob-born Sicilians like Caesar Bonventre, Catalan Salvatore and Baldo Amato. The American Mafia has alternately called theses men because of the quick way they made their way through the Italian language. These prisoners were heavily involved in the drug trade, and in direct contrast to those of the Genovese crime family run by Funzi Tieri, every bit as cunning and vicious as Galante.
Galante had a minor impediment when he was arrested in 1978 by the Feds for "associating with known criminals", which violated his parole. While imprisoned in Galante, he began ordering his men to kill mobsters in the Genovese and Gambino crime families who were reaching out to Galante around the world for drugs. With Carlo Gambino dead now (for natural reasons), Galante realized he had the muscle that could push the other bosses of the crime family into the background. From prison, he sent a message to the other bosses, "Who will stand up between you?"
On March 1, 1979, Galante was released from prison and strolling through the air because he truly believed that other criminal bosses were afraid of him. Like Vito Genovese before him, Galante thought of himself as "the chief of all chiefs," and it was only a matter of time before the other chiefs before Galante would bow down and give him the title.
However, Galante underestimated the strength and will of the other Mafia bosses in New York. As Galante wandered the streets of New York, other chiefs held a meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, deciding Galante's fate. Funzi Tieri, Jerry Catena, Paul Castellano and Florida Chief Santo Trafficante were at this meeting. These powerful men voted unanimously, if there was to be peace on the streets of New York City for mobsters, Galante had to move. Rastelli, who was still in prison, was advised, and even senior Joe Bonanno, who lives in Arizona, was asked if he had reservations that his former close associate had been shot. Both Rastelli and Bonanno signed Galante's murder contract, and Galante's days were numbered.
On July 12, 1979, it was a hot and sticky summer day as 69-year-old Carmine Galante Lincoln pulled up at 205 Knickerbocker Street, in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. For more than 50 years, Knickerbocker Avenue has been the lawn of the Bonann family of criminals, and over the years, numerous petticoats have taken place at one of the several storefronts on the block.
Carmine Galante got out of Lincoln and then waved goodbye to the driver: her nephew James Galante. Carmine Galante wore a white short-sleeved knit shirt and, as was his custom, sucked on a huge Churchill cigarette. Galante snuggled into a small restaurant and was greeted by Joe Turano, owner of Joe & Mary's Restaurant. Galante was on this visit to meet with Turan and Leonardo "Nardo" Coppola, a close associate of Galante, regarding some unspecified mob business.
At about 1.30pm, Cappola walked into the restaurant, accompanied by the shoes of Baldo Amato and Cesare Bonventre, who are cousins, and from the same village as Galante's parents: Castellammarese del Golfo. By this point, Galante and Turano had already finished their meal, so as the three newcomers sat inside and had lunch, Galante and Turano slid out into the courtyard yard and sat under a yellow-turquoise umbrella. After Cappola, Bonventre and Amato had finished their dinner, they were joined by two men outside. Galante and Turano smoked cigars and drank anisette-flavored espresso (only tourists and non-Italians drink Sambuca).
Galante sat with his back to the small garden, with Amato sitting to the left and Bonventre to his right. Turano and Cappola sat on the opposite side of the table, their backs to the door leading to the restaurant.
At about 2.40pm, Mercury's blue four-door Montego parked in front of Joe and Mary's restaurant. The car was stolen about a month ago. The driver, wearing a red striped ski mask covering his face, got out of the car and stood guard, holding the menacing M.3030 cabin rifle in his hands. Three men, also wearing ski masks, jumped out of the car and stormed into the restaurant. They passed several startled dining tables, still eating lunch and rushing to the lobby of the tiled area.
As they were entering the paved part of the yard, one masked man said to the other, "Get him, Sal! & # 39;
An attacker called "Sal" began firing several times with a double-barreled shotgun at Galante, forcing Galante as he rose from his chair to his back. Galante was hit by 30 pellets, one of which left his left eye. Galante was probably dead before he hit the ground, his cigar still stuck firmly between his teeth.
As Galante was shot, Joe Turano shouted, "What are you doing?"
The same attacker turned to Turan and, with a shotgun pressed against Turan's chest, blew Turano into eternity.
Cappola jumped off the table, or either Amato or Bonventre (it's not clear who he was shooting at) shot Cappoli in the face, then five times in the chest. Cappola landed face down, and the assassin shot Coppola's head with a shotgun.
Three masked men hurried out of the restaurant and got into the waiting car. According to witnesses outside the restaurant, the car drove down Knickerbocker Avenue to Flushing Avenue and then disappeared around the corner. Bonventre and Amato, who both wore leather jackets despite the damp heat, soon followed the three assailants from the restaurant. They quietly made their way down the block, into blue Lincoln and drove off, as if they were taking care of life in the world.
Galante's body was laid out at the Provenzano-Lanza Funeral Home on 43rd Second Avenue on the Lower East Side. The crowds that usually accompany the mafia awakening of this species are noticeably absent. Galante was buried on July 17 at Saint John Cemetery in Queens. As the Feders counted, only 59 people attended Galante's funeral mass and funeral. The Feders also reported that no male Mafia men were captured on surveillance cameras, either after the noise or at the funeral.
One Fed, commenting on the rare turnout, said: "Galante was so bad, people didn't want to see him, even when he was dead."
Although the newspaper played murder with gruesome cover photos, it seemed outrageous to the general public about the magnitude of the event. The young man approached a police officer who was on guard.
"Was he an actor?" said the child to the officer.
The officer replied, "No, he was a gangster."