Rick Porrello's - AmericanMafia.com
| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |

   Allan May's book MOB STORIES
· Editors Note:

· Don’t forget on July 15:
· This Week in Mob History

LAST ISSUE 6-24-02


Editors Note: Allan May spent the week in Youngstown last week researching and interviewing for his and Rick Porrello’s upcoming book on the history of organized crime in the Mahoning Valley and Western Pennsylvania. The only feature that will appear is "This Week in Mob History." Allan May will return with his regular column next week.

Don’t forget on July 15: AmericanMafia.com looks at the murders that took place during the Castellammarese War. Comparing the stories of the three participants, and the newspaper reports, you’ll see an incredible disparity in the accounts. Valachi claimed that "over sixty bodies would litter US streets" before the war was resolved. However, with the number of murders the three men detail you’re left wondering if the Castellammarese War was another "Night of Sicilian Vespers" tale.

This Week in Mob History     ^TOP

July 1, 1928 – Frank "Frankie Yale" Uale was major figure in the Sicilian community in Brooklyn, New York. Uale was alleged to have been the national president of the Unione Siciliana although the existence of the Unione in New York City is a matter of debate. Uale was believed to have been brought to Chicago to carry out two major mob hits in that city. In May 1920 he is alleged to have killed James "Big Jim" Colosimo and in November 1924 he was alleged to have been involved in the murder of Dion O’Bannion. Al Capone believed Uale, an old friend, was hijacking his liquor shipments from the East Coast and dispatched a hit team to kill him. Uale’s murder on a bright, warm Sunday afternoon was the first "tommy-gun" murder in the city. Uale’s funeral was one of the city’s most spectacular.

July 1, 1962 – William "Billy" Naples was the younger brother of Youngstown gambling kingpin Sandy Naples and the second of three brothers to die in underworld killings in the Mahoning Valley. Billy Naples was allegedly killed while starting a car in a garage. It was rumored that Billy was on his way to participate in a burglary due to the dark clothes he was wearing and a pair of gloves.

July 1, 1971 – Gaspare Matranga entered the United States illegally in 1925. He was deported three times. In 1953 he was named a member of organized crime in San Bernardino County. At the time he was associated with Jack Dragna and the Los Angeles Mafia family. Matranga’s activities included connections to operations financed by the Teamsters’ Pension Fund on the West Coast. Matranga died of natural causes at the age of 73. His daughters married into the Detroit Mafia families of the Toccos and the Polizzis.

July 2, 1958 – Joseph Pelusa Diaz, according to Scott Deitche our Tampa mob expert, was a local gambling figure and involved in the city’s bolita games. Diaz was called before a grand jury in 1953 that was investigating the murder of Joe Antinori. After Diaz’s murder one of the men questioned about their involvement in it was Phillip Piazza.

July 2, 1980 – Charlotte and William Dauber were a unique couple in Chicago gang lore. William was a mob hitman and Charlotte allegedly "rode shotgun" for him carrying his pistols in her purse. The murder of the Daubers was allegedly ordered by Chicago Heights mob boss Albert Tocco and carried out by in part by mob turncoat Gerald Scarpelli, Charlotte Dauber was 37, and William was 45.

July 3, 2001 – John E. Fitzgerald, Jr. represented Boston Mafia hitman Joe Barboza in the mid-1960s. When Barboza became a government witness the local mob tried to get back at him by killing his lawyer. On January 30, 1968 a bomb exploded in Fitzgerald’s automobile. The lawyer survived the blast but lost his right leg in the explosion. Despite the tragedy Fitzgerald went on to have a successful career as an attorney in Massachusetts, Colorado and South Dakota. In the 1990s Fitzgerald was appointed presiding judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit by the governor of South Dakota. Fitzgerald died after heart surgery at the age of 69.

July 5, 1930 – Joseph Porrello and Sam Tilocco were shot to death by members of the Mayfield Road Mob in Cleveland during the famous "Corn Sugar" War that took place from 1927 to 1932. Joseph Porrello was the first of four Porrello brothers to perish in the Prohibition battle. Joseph Porrello and his lieutenant Tilocco went to Frank Milano’s tavern in the Little Italy section of Cleveland to discuss business. When guns were drawn and the two were slaughtered. See Rick Porrello’s The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia.

July 5, 1950 – James Lumia was one of the early crime leaders of Tampa, according to our expert Scott Deitche. Lumia was on the level of Santo Trafficante, Sr. and Salvatore "Red" Italiano until his shotgun murder.

July 5, 1980 – Chris Conley was a cocaine pusher who made the mistake of letting a friend know he was going to murder Kevin McTaggert, an associate of Cleveland drug dealer Carmen Zagaria. The two men had the friend set Conley up and they shot him to death in a warehouse after he put up a fierce struggle to survive.

July 5, 1985 – Joseph Scafidi, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission’s 1990 Report, was a member of the Philadelphia Mafia Family and died of natural causes. Joseph was one of three Scafidi family members who belonged to the Philadelphia Family, all three died of natural causes. Another relative, Gaetano "Tommy Horsehead" Scafidi, became a government witness and testified against mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino during his 2001 racketeering trial.

July 6, 1964 – Rocco Fischetti was one of three brothers who made their name in Chicago mainly because they were cousins of Al Capone. After Prohibition ended Rocco Fischetti busied himself with the Outfit’s gambling operations. In 1946 he attended the Havana Conference representing the Outfit with his brother Charlie and Anthony Accardo. The brothers were accompanied on the flight to Cuba by singer Frank Sinatra. Rocco died of a heart attack at the age of 60 while visiting relatives in Massapequa, New York. He was buried on Long Island.

July 6, 2000 – Anthony "Mad Dog" DiPasquale was a vicious mob extortionist who reputedly "beat his victims with bars, bottles and pipes until they paid." DiPasquale worked for both Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino. DiPasquale met a death unique from what most mobsters are used to, he was killed in an automobile accident. He hit a tree head-on on Interstate 95 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was 59 years old.

July 7, 1915 – Charles Becker was a New York City police lieutenant who arranged the murder of gambler Herman "Beansie" Rosenthal, an associate of Arnold Rothstein, in July 1911. The four men Becker arranged to have murder Rosenthal were all executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing in April 1914. After a sensational trial Becker was also sent to the Sing Sing death chamber. On his gravestone his wife placed a plaque stating that Becker was "Murdered by Governor Whitman." There have been three books written about the life of Becker.

July 7, 1949 – John "Cockeye" Dunn and Andrew "Squint" Sheriden were two New York waterfront racketeers who were executed in Sing Sing prison for the January 1947 murder of Anthony Hintz, a stevedore who fell into disfavor with the two.

July 7, 1978 – Orville Lee Keith was murdered by Hans "the Butcher" Graewe because Graewe believed Keith had talked to the police after he was duped out of $25,000 by "the Butcher." Cleveland drug figure Carmen Zagaria lured Keith onto a boat for an excursion out on Lake Erie. During the evening Graewe explained how he was going to right the situation with Keith in a series of future drug deals. When Graewe felt he had Keith’s confidence, and after Zagaria was sure no other boats were in the vicinity, Graewe pulled out a revolver and put a bullet into Keith’s temple. After brutalizing the corpse Graewe finally threw the body into the lake.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


Copyright © 1998 - 2002 PLR International