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Mar 14 2019

How It’s Done Downtown

Uhh… here on Sores and Boils Alley we’re hipper than you think. I live near a family that are distant relatives of some totally legitimate business people as far as I know and we never really feel the need to lock our doors at night.

If you know what I mean.

Frank Cali, Gambino crime boss, killed in front of Staten Island home
By Timothy Bella, Washington Post
March 14, 2019

Frank Cali, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family whose deep ties to the Sicilian Mafia made him a figure of influence and power in both New York and Sicily, was fatally shot outside his home in Staten Island on Wednesday night, police told The Washington Post.

At around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, Cali, 53, was in front of his red-brick colonial style home in the Todt Hill neighborhood, when he was approached by a blue pickup truck. Known as “Franky Boy,” the Gambino boss was reportedly shot six times in the chest and run over by the truck, as first reported by the New York Daily News. Police said that a suspect sped off in the truck, WNBC reported.

Cali’s death marks the first time in 34 years that a crime family boss was fatally shot in New York City. The previous instance was in 1985, when Paul Castellano, another Gambino crime boss, who was assassinated under the orders of John Gotti outside Manhattan’s Sparks Steak House. As the Daily News reported, Cali lived only a half-mile away from Castellano’s home.

Once described as “the rising star of the American mafia,” Cali was an influential figure who surrounded himself with many Italian-born associates. He gained the trust of Jackie “The Nose” D’Amico, an acting boss who promoted him to capo before the age of 40. Cali’s ascension within the Gambino crime family, once considered one of the most significant criminal organizations in the U.S., came years after federal prosecutors sent its top leaders to prison, crippling its national and global reach. One of those prosecutors, Rudolph W. Giuliani, currently the attorney for President Trump, used the 1986 indictment of the heads of the five crime families to help launch his successful campaign for mayor of New York years later.

As a leader, Cali was reportedly considerably less flashy than the ebullient Gotti, another Gambino boss, and was described by the New York Post as “a real quiet old-school boss.” Cali’s influence reportedly stemmed from his family connections with the Inzerillo crime family in Palermo, Sicily.

“Cali is seen as a man of influence and power by organized crime members in Italy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Lipton said during a bail hearing in 2008.

Lipton went on to quote an intercepted conversation from an Italian mobster, who described Cali as “a friend of ours.”

“He is everything over there,” the mobster allegedly said, referring to Cali’s stature in New York, according to the Daily News.

Federal authorities recognized Cali’s sense of stability and attempted to stop his meteoric rise. In what would be his only mob-related criminal conviction, Cali plead guilty to conspiring to extort money in 2008, stemming from a failed bid to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island years earlier. He was released after completing a 16-month prison sentence. Upon his release, the Justice Department ordered that Cali not come in contact with his uncle, John Gambino, if it was not approved ahead of time by his probation officer. (Gambino died at 77 of natural causes in 2017.)

In 2015, Cali was reportedly elevated to acting boss of the Gambino crime family, succeeding Domenico Cefalu, according to the Daily News. During his run with the family, Cali was looked at as a unifying leader, concentrating on enhancing the organization’s role in the OxyContin and heroin trade, the New York Post reported.

The death in Todt Hill came on the same day that Bonnano crime family boss Joseph Cammarano Jr., and his consigliere, John Zancocchio, were acquitted in federal court of charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion.

But, Stars Hollow.

One night for yuks I went to a notorious restaurant which, while they seemed somewhat surprised that I waltzed in, sat at the Bar, and asked for a menu, was otherwise completely unremarkable.