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As most city dwellers can altest, sometimes it does the soul good to get away to a simpler more Playboy Special Collect. 1 Topographic Surface Anatomy. STUDY AIMS. At the end of your study, you should be able to: Identify the key landmarks. My Husband is a Mafia Boss, My Husband is a Mafia Boss II, My Husband is a Mafia Boss III, My Husband is a Mafia Boss V, and My Husband is a Mafia Boss IV.
It is just business, he used to tell her, but now it has become personal, they are quarrelling like never before. Religious imagery is used in Mafia ceremonies to acknowledge an irrevocable change of status, to impress the watch- ers, and to confer moral authority on the organization. Margaret made all their pastas by hand, and her tomato sauce was legendary throughout the neighborhood. Battaglia Mafia Series: He found basements of abandoned warehouses where the report of the shooting could not be heard. Police intercepts, whose subjects are unaware they are being listened to, allow us to become a fly on the wall, gaining access to both the higher echelons and the street level of a crime group, and to discover a great deal about daily life and work. Rating details.
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WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. Justice, the police, could be bought and sold like any other commodity—bread at a bakery, fish in the fish market, a sandwich at a luncheonette. Anthony spent the night in jail, hating the loss of his freedom, the smells, the filth, the cops who held the keys. Jail, for him, was anathema. Late the next morning Michael Casso bailed his son out.
The judge, a friend of a friend of the Mangano Democrat Club, immediately dismissed the charges against Anthony, then admonished the assistant D. Anthony walked out of court a free man as Detective Gallo and his partner glared at him. Anthony had beaten the system. His father instilled in him a responsible, dedicated work ethic that stayed with him all his life.
As well as the underworld activities he was involved in, he now went to work at the docks at 8: For these men, for mafiosi, select bars and clubs were their offices, their conference rooms, the places where they met, strategized, planned crimes, divvied up profits from different rackets, settled disputes.
Casso always dressed impeccably, his hair well barbered, his nails carefully manicured. He also kept his car amazingly clean. He was in fact obsessively clean, another reason he hated jail cells—they were dirty, filthy. Already obsessed with making money, Casso was not afraid to sweat or take chances to earn it.
He was intent upon making the American dream his. In the old country they all heard that the streets in America were paved with gold, and they were only too happy to break their backs and endlessly strain their muscles for some of that gold. That, for Casso, was an important goal. In time, he was sure, that would come to pass.
Now was the time to put his back to the millstone, focus his energies, and work—make money, lots of it. This was his future. This was his dream. This was what he was after come hell or high water. They were the largest family with the most crews. Paul was well connected to Carlo Gambino via marriage. Paul was also an astute businessman, a classy guy. Casso thought Carlo Gambino was an excellent boss.
He blended with the woodwork, never bullied or yelled— kept himself out of the public eye, off police radar. He was also, Casso knew, responsible for the killing of Albert Anastasia, which was no small thing. Gambino was, as the Sicilian saying goes, quiet like a lamb, but dangerous like the lion. Casso thought that he merited respect.
However, he was also close to Lucchese capo Christie Tick Furnari, a silver-haired, good-looking man who had known Anthony since he was a kid. Always on the lookout for a good score, he noticed that there were trucks filled with easy-to-sell items—jeans, TVs and appliances, imported dresses and fancy foods, makeup, razor blades, leather jackets, and so on—all over the Brooklyn docks.
Casso, always the black sheep, never followed the tail in front of him. He had balls and imagination and thrived on the challenge of beating the systems of both the straight and crooked worlds. He figured that as long as no one was hurt, it was okay—what he took would not be missed. Anthony used to lie awake at night, thinking of various scams from numerous points of view. The guards were much more wary and circumspect than the drivers, but cash on the barrelhead is the ultimate persuader and they agreed.
Like this, the young Casso managed to steal several rigs a week without strife or fuss. He had to bring other guys into the scam, he became so busy. One of these individuals was Frankie DeCicco, who in years to come would be the underboss of the Gambino family under John Gotti.
The guards did so well working with Anthony that two of them bought homes. Anthony also developed contacts with shopkeepers up and down South Brooklyn who gladly, indeed gleefully, bought the bounties of swag he had to offer.
The shopkeepers did so well with the always well-dressed, handsome Anthony Casso that they smiled broadly when they saw him walk into their stores, offered him coffee, tried to fix him up with their daughters and nieces. He became known as the Robin Hood of Fifth Avenue, a title he enjoyed, for he felt it was what he was about.
It was an illusion that would stay with Casso all his life. The more he made, the more he spent—on a better car, clothes, fancy restaurants. Casso always kept his word, kept his mouth shut, and was a gentleman, though a natural danger emanated from him, like waves of heat from sunbaked stone. The neighborhood wise guys all liked Anthony. He comported himself with pride. Anthony did not ask why Long John wanted this done.
He would do the deed without question. It was a residential street near Greenwood Cemetery.
Anthony found a perfect place to lie in wait for him behind a thick cluster of bushes, and when the mark left his home for work, Anthony was in position. He had stolen license plates and, using magnets, attached them to cover his real plates—easy on, easy off. A little after 7: Holding a long-barreled. Anthony then drove straight down to the docks. There he threw the. He then went to work, where he had already been clocked in.
All that mattered was that he did what was asked of him. The mark, as planned, came running back to Long John. The desired effect had been achieved. A favor returned, he already knew, could be far more valuable than a few thousand dollars. Plus he now had a bond—an ally—with Capo Long John that would serve him well for years to come. He was usually dating several women at once.
He always had new clothes, his pockets filled with cash. He was generous and spent freely. He also had a keen sense of humor and loved practical jokes just as much as he had when he was a schoolboy.
Most of the women Anthony dated were neighborhood Italian American girls, but he also dated Irish girls. The Irish females more readily bestowed their favors upon him. Because of his afterhours clubs, he came into contact with many women. One of his more regular girlfriends was Rosemarie Billotti. She loved him and hoped to marry him, but he never thought of her that way. Though Casso was not yet made, he had the walk and talk and dress down pat.
As much as Anthony enjoyed playing the field, he wanted to settle down—he wanted a family, a nice home away from the underworld hurly-burly of South Brooklyn. He came to view South Brooklyn as a place to do business, hold court, and plan and plot, but not a place to live, to bring up children. It was, back then, very different from the safe, upper-class enclave Park Slope has become.
As with most Italian Americans, family was important to the Mafia. All revolved around it. An interesting dichotomy was—indeed, still is—how so many ruthless, coldhearted mafiosi were loving, doting husbands, fathers, and sons. Anthony Casso seamlessly fit right into this mold. But he would not settle down with the wrong woman just for the sake of being married.
He wanted his marriage to last forever; he wanted a life partner. Casso did not believe in divorce. There was one woman in his life whom Anthony thought of as a potential wife, and that woman was Lillian Delduca. Each was brought up on Union Street, she in number , he in They had always been friends, had gone to the movies, taken the subway to the beaches at Coney Island, and enjoyed rock-and-roll shows at the Paramount and Fox theaters hosted by Allan Freed. Lillian was a tall, thin attractive woman with a small waist, a perfectly proportioned body.
She had large thick lips and big fawn-shaped eyes, and she moved sensuously like a female who was supremely comfortable in her own skin. Lillian was Italian American; all her grandparents had emigrated from southern Italy. Though Lillian had three brothers, Anthony had always watched over her as though she was family. Both Anthony and Lillian were born in , he three months her senior.
They each quit high school and went to work early on. As the months and years went by, they became closer and closer still. Anthony became more and more drawn to her, seeing her as a life mate, the mother of his children. She had, he knew, a huge heart, and was unusually giving and caring. A torrential rain fell. Anthony was forced to drive slowly. Suddenly Lillian screamed. She opened the door and jumped out of the car like a madwoman.
Anthony went after her. There was a shivering German shepherd on the side of the road. Without fear Lillian petted it, hugged it. The dog whimpered like he knew her. Ignoring him, Lillian put the soaking wet dog in the car. It shook. Everything got wet. She fed him and washed him thoroughly in the tub.
The dog soon fell asleep. The next day Lillian found a good home for the wayward shepherd. Unbeknownst to Lillian, Anthony used to go to the subway station on Fourth Avenue and Union Street in the late afternoon and watch her walk home from work.
She was always well dressed and kept her eyes straight ahead. Anthony began pursuing Lillian with serious romantic attentions when they were in their early twenties. At first she resisted his entreaties.
She knew too that he had had a relationship with Rosemarie Billotti, and perhaps most important of all, Lillian knew Anthony was involved with La Cosa Nostra. This made Lillian wary, for she also was aware of the difficult life wives of made men lead, that it was a very dangerous occupation—that for reasons she knew nothing about, could never know, he might not come home.
She knew, too, that there would be many nights when she slept alone, regardless of how cold it was outside. Lillian also wanted a family with a man at the head of the table, there for their children, there for her. She had been born and raised in the neighborhood and knew the ways of the street, its inherent brutality.
She therefore spurned his early efforts to turn their friendship into romance. But he was not the type of man who took no for an answer. The more she said no, the more he wanted her. She explained her reasons. He told her how much he cared. With only you. It went on like this for quite some time. Anthony wanted Lillian and would not rest until he had her. He came to believe they were destined for each other.
He began showing up at the Wall Street office where she worked as a secretary, wanting to make sure she got home okay, wanting to make sure she knew how much he really cared. He was tenacious. In the end Anthony persevered.
In the winter of , Lillian said yes; they were married on May 4, Lillian Delduca was a beguiling, beautiful bride. They were, everyone said, a very handsome couple. Anthony had the woman of his dreams. That evening was an enchanted fairy tale come true; both Anthony and Lillian looked forward to their lives together, believing theirs was a blessed union that would bring much happiness.
It had a large country kitchen and a sunny garden and was in a new two-family redbrick building.
Anthony and Lillian enjoyed their new Bensonhurst neighborhood, which, like South Brooklyn, was a large Italian American enclave. Only several blocks away from their apartment was Eighty-sixth Street, a bustling shopping mecca with many food stores catering to the Italian American community. Bensonhurst was also home to many mafiosi—all ranks from all the five families lived here. Anthony came and went as business dictated. Their relationship thrived. They often made love, but Lillian did not become pregnant.
She was a good cook and an excellent homemaker. Like Lillian, Anthony was a neat freak, and everything in their home, from the toaster to the kitchen faucet, shined like it was brand-new. Casso was pleased. He had a loving, loyal, idyllic wife and was surrounded by dedicated family and good friends. Money came rolling in. Lillian and Anthony talked about having children and buying their own home. On weekends Anthony and Lillian used to drive up to the Persico farm in Saugerties in upstate New York and spend the weekends.
Both dedicated animal lovers, Anthony and Lillian rode horses; they ate home-cooked meals with the Persicos, and often the men would target practice at an outdoor range the Persicos had set up. Anthony was consistently the best shot—with revolvers, automatics, or rifles. He now refused offers to go hunting. For the longest time, Anthony had wanted to buy his parents—especially his father—a country retirement home. In the fall of , with the help of some friends, Anthony located the perfect place.
It was in Roxbury in upstate New York, just north of the Catskills. The stone and wood house had four bedrooms with a big stone fireplace, a barn and guesthouse. After all the paperwork was done, Anthony paid for it with cash. He felt it was the best money he ever spent. It made him feel ten feet tall. After having the place cleaned thoroughly and the grounds manicured and landscaped, Anthony told his father a friend of his had loaned him a house where they could spend the weekend hunting and fishing.
By now Michael Casso was sixty-two years old, physically fit and lean, and still a dedicated outdoorsman. When Anthony and his father arrived at the house, it was late morning. The leaves on the trees had turned to brilliant reds and hot butter yellows. Birds chirped. White, cottony clouds slowly moved across a clear blue sky.
After showing his dad around the house and property, Anthony—a mischievous smile playing on his face, barely able to control his joy—took out a set of shiny new keys.
Father and son hugged, both thick-armed and broad-shouldered, both with tears in their eyes. What his son Anthony had done, the way he had done it, told him a world of what his last born was about: What more could a man ask for? Michael had been very concerned about Anthony—his going to jail, being hurt on the street, his becoming cold and callous and distant, but none of that had come to pass.
All that fall the Cassos packed, joyfully planning to move to their new home, to finally get away from South Brooklyn and enjoy the bounties of the great outdoors. They planned a huge garden for the spring, tomatoes and basil, zucchinis and eggplants, garlic and parsley and cucumber, all there for the picking.
They planned to spend Christmas in their new home that year, the fireplace burning, the whole family present. Life, for the Cassos, held much promise. The Carlos, like the Cassos, were Italian Americans. Dante Carlo, like Anthony, came from South Brooklyn, and he was also a sports fan. Oddly enough, Casso was very fond of watching tennis on TV. The Carlos had two teenage children, Doreen and Philip. The two families bonded. Many men in that neighborhood during those years were connected.
They asked no questions. Anthony volunteered no information. Around the Carlos, Anthony felt relaxed and at ease; he could be himself. Dante Carlo had nothing to do with crime, LCN, the streets. He was a civilian with a straight nine-to-five job in importing and exporting bristle for hair and paintbrushes, a vice president at Frederick H. Cohen and Company on John Street in Manhattan.
Nina Carlo, a particularly attractive brunette who had a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor, owned a beauty salon in the neighborhood. Sunday meals in the Carlo home were a joyful time with much laugh- A GASPIPE 51 ter, food, the telling of jokes, the eating of sumptuous meals—pastas, gravy meats and salad, stuffed artichokes, and sweets.
Nina Carlo made a pasta sauce Anthony was very fond of. After dinner, drinks were served. Casso also took them to the Persico farm several times. Anthony always insisted on paying for everything. He was generous to a fault. He had been up late the night before, plotting and planning myriad crimes. He was now enmeshed in the production and execution of many different schemes. Casso made contacts with men who bought the stocks and bonds and with fat-cat fences who paid cash on the barrelhead for the gems and jewelry.
These were men who existed on the outer edges of all organized crime families. They were secretive and innocuous and dealt with anyone in organized crime who brought them just about any stolen item.
They paid cash, no questions asked. His reputation on the street as an earner grew by leaps and bounds. He was a rising star in the always changing underworld. But he was still not made by any family. Carlo Gambino, the capo de tutti i capi, was still refusing to open the books. Gambino was concerned with the quality of men who were being proposed to be made.
One weak link, he knew, could break the chain that bound La Cosa Nostra together. He resolved this by having trusted family members and friends rent safety deposit boxes under their own names and then hand the keys over to him, a simple solution to a complicated problem.
Casso regularly worked with men from different crime families. Unbeknownst to the police and the public at large, it was normal for Mob guys to interact with different LCN members. What LCN was about really was organized crime in a very real, tangible way. Casso liked his new neighborhood.
Scores of men he did business with lived and worked there. Not once did they ever use violence in hijacking trucks. But they often had to use violence, extreme violence, when collecting money.
If word got out in the street that you could take what was his, that you did not have to respect him, he knew he might as well pack it up and find something else to do, retire from the life. You go tell Sally Dee that. Another time, a similar incident occurred, though this time someone was killed, and the body count around Anthony Gaspipe Casso began in earnest. Again, it involved hijacked goods, this time a big load of athletic equipment.
A soldier from the New Jersey DeCavalcante family took the load. When he was supposed to pay, he too said the cops got the load, dismissing Casso and his crew as a bunch of punks.
He refused to even meet with Casso for weeks. Finally, he agreed to a meeting in midtown Manhattan. They met at the corner of Thirty-fourth Street and Lexington. The DeCavalcante soldier pulled up in a Caddie. He told them to get in. Thinking he was cute, he went and parked on the block of a nearby police station, the Seventeenth Precinct on East Fifty-first Street. He was a weasel-faced, dark-haired man. Casso recently explained what happened next: Junior was in the back.
Frankie stayed there on Lexington. Maybe more than anywhere else, keeping your word is important, is a matter of life and death. All my life, I met bullies like this prick, and I always hated them. The next thing I know my ears are ringing. Junior just upped and shot him in the head. In a second it was over—pop, done. We got outta the car and just casually walked away and that was that. What I mean is, what I mean to say is that the publicity we got would prevent others from popping up down the road and trying to steal from us.
In the long run I think we earned more. He wanted the respect—being at the top of the food chain—that comes along with getting straightened out, but the books were still closed. December came.
Christmas in the Casso home had always been a big deal, a warm happy time filled with good cheer, the giving of gifts, much love, laughter, voluminous amounts of food served for hours on end. Christmas was, for them, the most important holiday of the year—a milestone in their lives.
Anthony had arranged to have friends with a moving truck come and get their things. Michael planned to plant cuttings from fig trees brought over from Sicily. Early in the morning of December 15, Anthony was home in bed with Lillian, sleeping soundly.
Their bedroom was in the back of the building away from the street, and it was unusually quiet; little sound from the outside world reached it. The only noise was that of the wind pushing against the windows. Anthony looked at the night table—it was 4: It could only be bad news, he knew, but he had no idea just how truly bad it would be. He quickly got dressed and was out the door in a flash. He knew the fastest way to the old neighborhood was the Belt Parkway.
He sped over to it and headed toward South Brooklyn, going faster and faster, weaving around cars. He got off the elevated Gowanus Expressway at Hamilton Avenue. The streets of South Brooklyn were quiet and still. Anthony reached Union Street and came to a loud, screeching stop in front of number He found his mother standing over his father, who was lying on the bed. Michael Casso was a sickly gray color, foam and spittle gathered around his mouth. Nothing still.
Up and down—hard—as he gave him CPR. He did this for what seemed like an eternity. Sweat covered his face. His heart raced. His father was dying and he could do nothing. How could life be so cruel? Anthony thought about the new house.
God could not be that cruel, to steal his father away now. Paramedics from Methodist Hospital arrived. No heartbeat, no pulse. They shook their heads in dismay. Anthony got into the ambulance with his mother. With the sirens wailing, red lights spinning, they sped to Methodist Hospital, the place where Anthony had been born.
Now Michael Casso was a pale blue color, silent, unmoving. An efficient team of doctors and nurses met them at the ambulance port and hustled Michael Casso inside. It seemed like they knew what they were doing. Christmas decorations adorned the disinfectant-smelling emergency ward; there was a waving Santa Claus, Christmas cards, tired, blinking lights.
Soon, a tall thin doctor approached them. Margaret Casso began to cry uncontrollably. After Casso lost his father, he was a changed man. He grew quiet and morose, rarely smiled, and was distant from the world, his friends— even Lillian. His eyes seemed to darken. He walked differently.
The keen sense of humor he always had left him. He seemed like a stick of dynamite about to explode. He was also the best friend I ever had. Anyone who knew him loved him, respected him. Just when they were leaving Union Street to move into that house he loved so much, that was unfair.
He deserved better. He had made a good contact with South Americans who were regularly bringing over tons of high-grade grass. He was an associate of Lucchese capo Christie Tick Furnari. He knew he had to move quickly and decisively. He went to see Christie Tick at his Fifth Avenue hangout and told him about his problem.
But all of that had nothing to do with the request Christie put on the table, knowing the answer. You work it out with him, okay? He was suspicious. Too many people know I know him, know about our relationship.
So I have an alibi. Fly with you all right, Anthony? Casso turned to Ronnie Esposito, a made guy in the Bonanno crime family. Be better late, though. Casso contacted Sam the Jew. Wednesday night was agreed upon. The mark would be brought to the club near midnight, thinking there was a hot all-night poker game going. Casso also asked Junior Maguire to be there, to help clean up and get rid of the body.
The code of silence, omerta, was still very much practiced; people of the underworld, for the most part, trusted one another. This was of course before the federal government learned how to cleverly and slowly use the RICO Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act statutes, like a sharp scalpel, to take apart the Mafia—its bosses, captains, and soldiers—piece by piece, bone by bone.
Before long, the government would learn how to turn them on one another. Wednesday night, at the prescribed time, Sam the Jew showed up at the club with the unsuspecting mark. Casso and Junior Maguire were already there.
Ronnie Esposito would be the lookout. They met at the bar, in the finished basement. Green tables and comfortable chairs filled the sparse, wood-paneled room. There was a tired bar and bartender on the right. They ordered drinks. Soon Sam said he had to use the john.
Tall and gaunt and vulturelike, he left. As if by magic, the bartender disappeared. Casso had a snub-nosed. At close range it would be lethal. Casso had an unlimited source of clean guns.
Roy DeMeo, an associate in the Gambino family, managed to regularly steal shipments of guns from Kennedy Airport. Casso was planning to shoot the mark in the side of the head.
He was not nervous at all. He put it like this: He had to go. He could readily show a friendly face when murder was on his mind. These were not experienced, seasoned killers —they were young Turks sharpening their teeth and claws, finding their way in their chosen world. The mark was becoming more relaxed, talking freely, expressively using his hands. Casso slowly reached for the pistol, his hands dry, his heart rate normal, a cool but deadly cucumber. Casso learned early on that, no matter how physically tough someone was, a bullet to the head put a person down as if he were a meek lamb.
A gun was the ultimate arbitrator. It made whoever was holding it the baddest motherfucker on the block. He focused. The moment arrived.