Detectives stand over body of mob boss Paul Castellano after execution on E. 46th St. in 1985. The body of Castellano's chauffeur, Thomas Bilotti, lies partially covered in the street, far left.
Detectives stand over body of mob boss Paul Castellano after execution on E. 46th St. in 1985. The body of Castellano's chauffeur, Thomas Bilotti, lies partially covered in the street, far left. (Tom Monaster/New York Daily News)

By LARRY MCSHANE - NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |JUL 09, 2019 AT 4:26 PM

The real ‘Goodfellas’

For Mafia chieftain Joe Bonanno, New York City was always “The Volcano.”

The Sicilian immigrant, who arrived in Brooklyn as a 3-year-old boy, viewed his adopted hometown as an ever-bubbling cauldron of money, power, betrayal and intrigue. Across the last 100 years, the Daily News covered all of it: Mob busts, mob trials, mob hits, mob wars.

Italian organized crime in the city is roughly the same age as the tabloid, with the five New York Mafia families spawned in the early 1930s following the bloody 18-month Castellammarese War. The internecine conflict led to the Coney Island execution of mob leader Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria, gunned down in a restaurant during a post-lunch card game.

A photographer famously snapped a photo of the dead boss still clutching the ace of spades in one hand.

The New York Daily News front page for July 13, 1979: 'Godfather' Galante Slain Mob chief & two others die; 4th is shot in Brooklyn rubout. Retirement, mob style...
The New York Daily News front page for July 13, 1979: 'Godfather' Galante Slain Mob chief & two others die; 4th is shot in Brooklyn rubout. Retirement, mob style... (Daily News)

As The News marks its centennial, the mob is still making headlines with the murder of reputed Gambino family boss Frank “Frankie Boy” Cali outside his Staten Island home and the death behind bars of legendary Colombo family boss Carmine “Junior” Persico.

It’s no accident that “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” were both set in the city, home to the riveting real-life crime families known as the Gambinos, the Colombos, the Genovese, the Bonannos and the Lucheses.

The American Mafia’s founding fathers settled in the five boroughs, including seminal headline-making gangsters like Albert “Mad Hatter” Anastasia, Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Vito Genovese.

In 1957, Anastasia was executed in a barber’s chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel (“MASKED PAIR KILL ANASTASIA,” the headline read), Luciano was deported and died in Naples (“LUCKY ESCAPED ARREST — EVEN IF IT KILLED HIM") and Genovese met his maker while locked inside a federal prison (”JAIL GENOVESE ON DRUG RAP").

The body of Albert Anastasia, reputed chief executioner of Murder Inc., lies on the barbershop floor of the Park-Sheraton Hotel on W. 55th St. (Tom Baffler/New York Daily News)
The body of Albert Anastasia, reputed chief executioner of Murder Inc., lies on the barbershop floor of the Park-Sheraton Hotel on W. 55th St. (Tom Baffler/New York Daily News)

The News chronicled Mafia rats like Sammy “The Bull” Gravano and Mafia cops Louis Eppolito and Steve Caracappa, who improbably sold their NYPD badges to become organized crime hit men.

The infamous 1957 mob summit busted by authorities in upstate Apalachin, N.Y., made page one: “SEIZE 62 MAFIA CHIEFTAINS IN UPSTATE RAID."

Catch up on the day’s top five stories every weekday afternoon.

But more often than not, it was mob deaths that became front page news.

Bathrobe-clad Vincent (The Chin) Gigante in custody and placed under arrest. (Jack Smith/New York Daily News)
Bathrobe-clad Vincent (The Chin) Gigante in custody and placed under arrest. (Jack Smith/New York Daily News)

“Retirement, mob style,” offered a photo caption beneath the gruesome shot of slain Bonanno family boss Carmine Galante, his post-luncheon cigar still clenched in his teeth in June 1979.

There was the December 1985 execution of Gambino boss Big Paul Castellano and his driver outside Sparks Steak House: “RUBOUT.”

The April 1972 whacking of flamboyant gangster Joey Gallo inside Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy produced this Daily News epitaph: “CRAZY JOEY LIVED UP TO HIS NAME & DIED FOR IT.”RELATED GALLERY

1936

(Charles Hoff/New York Daily News)1 / 29

True 'Goodfellas': A look back at the long history of the Mafia and NYC

Even the October 1975 death of a leader under far less dire circumstances made Page One: “CARLO GAMBINO DIES IN BED.”

Genovese boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante became a staple of mob coverage while avoiding arrest with a unique scam: He faked mental illness, wandering the streets of Greenwich Village in a bathrobe and slippers while running the power crime family for nearly two decades.


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FLIPHTLM5 - 08 NOV ARCHIVE

The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehaviour acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.

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