The American Mafia is exposed to the public as a result of the convention at Apalachin and hearings conducted by the Kefauver and McClellan committees of the United States Senate. The FBI, long skeptical of a nationwide criminal conspiracy, wholeheartedly joins the fight against organized crime.
||Description of Event
|1950||May||11||Washington, DC||Estes Kefauver||Kefauver Committee (U.S. Senate committee) hearings into organized crime's influence on interstate commerce begin. Committee will hear 600 witnesses during its first year. Kefauver will take the show on the road, conducting hearings in 14 cities.|
||Moretti testifies about organized crime to Senate investigators. Moretti's mind seems to be slipping, and Syndicate Commission is fearful of what he might accidentally reveal.
|1950||Chicago, US||Sam Giancana||Giancana becomes Chicago Family's gambling expert and serves as Chicago representative for dealings in Las Vegas. Giancana's power, wealth and prestige are greatly enhanced by his new position.|
||Mob discipline results in the shooting death of Moretti.
|1951||Los Angeles, US||Mickey Cohen,|
|Cohen, who had been a thorn in the side of Dragna (and somehow avoided being killed in Dragna's numerous attempts) since 1947, was jailed for income tax evasion.|
||Brooklyn, NY, US
|The body of Philip Mangano is found in a marsh near Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn. He had been shot three times in the head. Albert Anastasia is believed
to be responsible for the assassination of Philip Mangano and the unexplained earlier
disappearance of Vincent Mangano. Anastasia, Joe Adonis and Frank Costello are questioned by authorities.
|1951||May||28||Trenton, NJ||Joe Adonis||Adonis begins a two-year jail term in New Jersey State Prison for gambling violations.|
|1951||Sept.||8||New York, US||Meyer Lansky||Lansky is indicted for running gambling operations in Saratoga Springs, NY.|
||Federal agents note a small meeting of Mafiosi in the Florida Keys.
|1952||Aug.||15||New York, US||Frank Costello||Costello is sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt of the U.S. Senate. Charges resulted from Costello walking out on Kefauver Committee hearings in New York.|
|1953||May||2||New York, US||Meyer Lansky||Lansky serves three months in a New York prison after pleading guilty to five of the 21 gambling charges against him. He is also fined $2,500 and put on three years' probation.|
|1953||July||16||Trenton, NJ||Joe Adonis||Adonis is released from prison but still faces perjury charges.|
|1953||Aug.||5||Washington, DC||Joe Adonis||Upon learning that Adonis lied about his birthplace (it wasn't Passaic, NJ) and is an Italian alien, U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. orders that he be deported. Order is not immediately carried out.|
|1953||Oct.||29||New York, US||Frank Costello||Costello is released from prison.|
|1954||March||25||Washington, DC||Joe Adonis||Adonis is found guilty of perjury. He faces two-year jail term as well as possible deportation. While appealing verdict, Adonis offers to voluntarily leave the U.S. in exchange for elimination of the jail term.|
||New York, US
||Lacking street soldiers, the Mafia reopens its membership. With just a few exceptions, new members had not been added since 1932.
||Vizzini, 77, dies.
||Federal agents report Mafia gathering in Los Angeles suburbs.
||Federal agents report Mafia gathering just outside Chicago.
||Federal agents report Mafia meeting.
|1956||Jan.||3||Washington, DC||Joe Adonis||Federal authorities agree to let Adonis leave the country.|
|1956||Feb||23||Los Angeles, US||Jack Dragna,|
|Dragna dies and is succeeded as boss by DeSimone.|
|1956||Chicago, US||Tony Accardo,|
|Accardo decides to retire from day-to-day operations. Giancana becomes boss of the Chicago Outfit. Accardo continues to serve in an advisory capacity, further evidence of the cooperative nature of Chicago leadership since the start of Frank Nitti reign.|
|1956||April||5||New York, US||Johnny Dioguardi,|
|Johnny Dio is believed to be behind the acid-blinding of crusading journalist Victor Riesel. Key witnesses against Dio disappeared or changed their stories, and charges were dropped. Riesel continued to use radio and print for attacks on organized crime.|
|1956||May||14||New York, US||Frank Costello||Convicted on tax evasion charges, Costello enters federal prison.|
||Mafia meeting draws 35 known criminals.
|Anastasia makes Gambino his underboss.
|1956||Italy||Joe Adonis||No longer able to convince authorities that he was born in America and facing perjury charges, Adonis agrees to be deported to Italy. Adonis's departure is a severe blow to the Mafia leadership faction headed by Frank Costello, and consisting of Costello, Adonis, Albert Anastasia.|
||Federal agents report small Mafia meeting.
|1957||March||11||New York, US||Frank Costello||Costello wins temporary release from federal prison while his appeal is being heard by the Supreme Court.|
||Bronx, NY, US
||Scalise is assassinated in a Bronx produce market. Two reasons have been given for the hit, which appears to have been officially sanctioned: 1. Scalise had encouraged bosses to participate in a heroin smuggling venture that ended badly and expensively. 2. Scalise had been found selling Mafia memberships for many thousands of dollars apiece, bringing in individuals who were not the secretive, loyal sort the Mafia was seeking.
||Costello's head is
grazed by a would-be assassin's bullet. He announces that he's retiring from
the rackets, leaving Luciano "Family" to Genovese.
|Anastasia is killed in the Park Sheraton Hotel's barber shop. Gambino moves into leadership position and may have organized the hit. Genovese also had reason to act against the strong supporter of his rival for power, Frank Costello. Lansky is also believed to have had motive, as Anastasia was unhappy with Lansky's administration of the Mafia's offshore gaming houses in Cuba and Bahamas. It appears that Anastasia was negotiating his own deal with Cuba.
||Mafia meeting held.
||Sixty Mafiosi from
around the country are known to have attended a convention in rural Apalachin, NY, at the home of Joseph Barbara. Their presence was documented by police who collected license plate numbers at the scene and rounded up, identified and searched the conventioneers as they attempted to leave the Barbara property. More may have attended and escaped police notice by exiting through a wooded area. Some accounts say the convention was organized by Vito Genovese in order to mend fences after his takeover of the Costello organization. In the wake of Apalachin, authorities are forced to acknowledge that there is indeed a significant level of cooperation among criminal gangs across the United States.
||J. Edgar Hoover
||The FBI's immediate response to Apalachin revelations is to initiate the Top Hoodlum Program, focusing on interstate racketeers. At this time, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover looks to the Hobbs Act of the early 1940s for federal authority to combat racketeering. Additional legislation authorizing FBI action against mobsters will be passed in subsequent years.
|1958||Jan.||8||New York, US||Johnny Dioguardi||Convicted of labor extortion and conspiracy, Johnny "Dio" is sentenced to serve 15-30 years in prison. During his trial, Dio was described as a good friend of Teamster leader James Hoffa. Dio would spend much of his remaining life behind bars, as he was repeatedly convicted of frauds and tax evasion.|
|1958||Brooklyn, NY, US||Joe Gallo,|
|Gallo rebellion against Profaci crime family begins.|
||Confronted with the
undeniable complicity of Mafiosi at the Apalachin meeting, the FBI redefines its position on the "Mafia" and compiles a report on Mafia history. (The first report is later discarded.) By the early 1960s, the FBI decides to save face by referring to the Sicilian-Italian underworld in the U.S. not as Mafia but as La Cosa Nostra or LCN. The new name appears to stem from informant Joe Valachi's use of the term "cosa nostra" (our thing) when discussing the Sicilian-Italian criminal society.
|1959||Jan.||1||Havana, Cuba||Meyer Lansky,|
|The Mafia's casino operations in Havana are lost as Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista is forced into exile. Meyer Lansky returns to Miami after losing a huge investment, sets sights on Bahamas and trans-Atlantic gambling possibilities.|
|1959||Feb.||26||Orange, NJ||Abner Zwillman||"Longie" Zwillman is found hanging from a plastic clothesline in his home, an apparent suicide. Zwillman's coin-op machine rackets were being shut down by government attention and a tax evasion charge was haunting him.|
|1959||April||17||New York, US||Vito Genovese,|
Natale Joseph Evola,
|Genovese Family leadership is convicted of narcotics trafficking and sent off to prison. Genovese gets 15 years. Gigante gets seven years. Evola, a lieutenant in the Bonanno organization, is also sentenced to a 10-year jail term. |
|1959||Sept.||25||New York, US||Anthony Carfano||Carfano (Little Augie Pisano) and his date, Mrs. Janice Drake, are called away from a dinner at a Lexington Avenue restaurant and later found dead in a new Cadillac in Queens. Both were shot in the back of their heads by a gunmen in the back seat of the car.|
||New York, US
||Castellano is convicted of working to obstruct a government investigation. A month later, he is sentenced to five years in prison. He serves seven months.
|1960||April||29||New York, US||Johnny Dioguardi||Johnny "Dio" is sentenced to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine for income tax evasion.|
|1960||Nov.||28||New York, US||A U.S. appeals court nullifies earlier conspiracy convictions against 20 men who attended the 1957 meeting at Apalachin, NY.|
|1961||May||4||Kansas City, MO, US||A grand jury finds evidence that the Kansas City police conspired with the local Mafia to permit criminal activities.|
|1961||June||29||New York, US||Frank Costello||Costello is released from prison.|
|1962||Jan||26||Naples, Italy||Charlie Luciano||Luciano dies of an apparent heart attack at Capodichino Airport in Naples. At the time, he was suspected of guiding a U.S.-Italian narcotics smuggling operation.|
|1962||June||6||Bay Shore, Long Island, US||Joseph Profaci||Profaci dies of cancer at Southside Hospital. He was 64. The Gallo-Profaci War continues. Profaci's brother-in-law Joseph Magliocco appears to take control over the crime family leadership.|
||Sabella dies in a Philadelphia hospital.
|1963||Sept.||27||Washington, DC, US||Joseph Valachi||Valachi testimony before the Senate Investigations subcommittee are broadcast on radio and television. Valachi tells of his induction into "Cosa Nostra" and of the Castellamarese War Era.|
|1963||Sept.||28||Washington, DC, US||Joseph Valachi,|
|Valachi reveals that Genovese is the "Boss of Bosses" of the American Mafia.|
|President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas - Nov. 22, 1963.|
|1963||Dec.||28||West Islip, NY, US||Joseph Magliocco||Magliocco, 65, dies of a heart attack at Good Samaritan Hospital. Authorities do not become aware of his death until days later. Magliocco, an attendee of the Apalachin conference and a brother-in-law of Joseph Profaci, reportedly led the Profaci crime family from June of 1962 until his death.|
|1964||Jan.||19||Detroit, MI, US||Santo Perrone||A Detroit Mafia leader, Perrone is seriously injured when a bomb explodes in his car. Perrone's right leg is destroyed in the blast.|
|1964||Sicily||A long, bitter and bloody civil war between Sicilian Mafiosi ends. The warfare and public opposition to it triggered numerous violations of the omerta code, and Sicilian authorities benefit in their struggle against the secret society.|
|1964||March||18||Buffalo, NY, US||John C. Montana||A leading mafioso in the city, John C. Montana dies at age 70 in Buffalo General Hospital. Montana was among those arrested at the Apalachin meeting in 1957.|
|1964||Oct.||21||Manhattan, NY, US||Joseph Bonanno||The media reports that Joe Bonanno was kidnapped early in the morning from the front of a Park Avenue apartment building. Bonanno was scheduled to appear before a federal grand jury later in the day.|
|1965||Jan.||13||New York, US||Vincent Rao||Federal prosecutors seek to force 67-year-old Vincent John Rao to testify about Lucchese crime family rackets. Prosecutors grant Rao immunity from prosecution in an effort to circumvent 5th Amendment protection.|
|1965||Jan.||15||New York, US||Joseph Bonanno||Authorities believe the Bonanno crime family has fractured and will experience a civil war.|
|1965||March||18||New York, US||Vincent Rao||A federal grand jury indicts Rao for perjury.|
|1965||April||24||Hot Springs, Ark.||Owney Madden||Madden dies in a Hot Springs hospital.|
|1965||Nov.||23||Chicago, US||Murray Humphreys||Hours after resisting arrest by federal agents, Humphreys dies of a heart attack. He was believed to be a link between Chicago's Outfit and influential politicians.|
|1966||Chicago, US||Sam Giancana,|
|Released from prison in 1966, Giancana temporarily flees country to escape further prosecution. Accardo comes out of retirement as Family boss.|
|1966||May||New York, US||Joe Bonanno,|
|Absent for years, Bonanno suddenly resurfaces and announces he is once again in command of his New York crime Family. Gaspar DiGregorio, who at the urging of Bonanno enemies on the Commission has been fighting the leadership of Bonanno's son, loses support of the Commission and the rebellious Bonanno men. The Banana Wars will shortly conclude.|
|1966||May||17||New York, US||Joseph Bonanno||Bonanno, 61, turns himself in at the U.S. Courthouse at Foley Square. Authorities had been looking for him for 19 months. Recent speculation had put Bonanno in Tunis, controlling the flow of narcotics in the Mediterranean.|
|1966||Sept.||Queens, NY, US||Carlo Gambino,|
|Police raid the Lastella Restaurant in Queens to discover a meeting of top Mafia leaders from New York and New Orleans. The meeting is dubbed "Little Apalachin." One purpose of the meeting seems to be the distribution of Tommy Lucchese's rackets. Lucchese has been hospitalized with various ailments for more than a year.|
|1967||March||New Jersey, US||Harold Konigsberg||Helped by information supplied by convicted extortionist Harold Konigsberg, federal authorities discovered the location of a Mafia burial ground in New Jersey.|
|1967||May||Montreal, Canada||Joseph Bonanno||Authorities say the Bonanno crime family runs a narcotics trafficking route between Montreal and New York City.|
|1967||June||Westchester County, NY, US||Authorities claim that Westchester County, NY, garbage carting is monopolized by members of the Genovese and Gambino crime families.|
|1967||July||13||Long Island, NY, US||Tommy Lucchese||After years of illness, Lucchese dies of natural causes at his Lido Beach, Long Island, home at the age of 67. Lucchese entered Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in August 1965 with a brain tumor and a heart condition. After a year, his rackets were divided up at the "Little Apalachin" conference at Lastella Restaurant in Queens. He left the hospital for home on April 11, 1967.|
|1967||Nov.||17||New York, US||Vincent Rao||Rao is convicted of perjury and faces up to five years in prison. Media reports indicate that Rao has taken over Lucchese's crime family.|
|1967||Dec.||11||New York, US||Johnny Dioguardi||Convicted of bankruptcy fraud, Johnny "Dio" was sentenced to five years and a $10,000 fine.|
|After Genovese's death in prison, leadership of Genovese Family appears to pass to Eboli. There is reason to believe that Eboli was merely a front man, as the actual boss attempted to remain inconspicuous.
|1971||June||28||New York, US||Joe Colombo,|
|Italian-American Unity Day ends bloody, as organizer Joe Colombo is mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet. The hit is initially believed to have been ordered by Joey Gallo but later attributed to former Colombo ally Carlo Gambino.|
|1971||Oct.||23||Las Vegas, NV, US||Meyer Lansky||Lansky is charged with skimming money from the Flamingo Hotel, the casino built by Lansky's departed friend, Benjamin Siegel. A federal grand jury charged that Lansky and three other men conspired to conceal and distribute $36 million in unreported income.|
|1972||Apr.||7||New York, US||Joey Gallo||Renegade Mafioso Joey Gallo is gunned down at Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy on his 43rd birthday.|
|1972||July||16||Brooklyn, US||Tommy Eboli||Eboli is killed - shot five times in his head and neck - at his girlfriend's home in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.|
|1973||Dec.||22||New York, US||Johnny Dioguardi||As he nears completion of a five-year prison term for bankruptcy fraud, Johnny "Dio" is convicted of stock fraud. He was accused of conning money from investors in a car-leading company.|
|1973||Frank Costello||Costello dies.|
|1975||June||19||Chicago, US||Sam Giancana||Giancana is shot to death at his home in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had just located Giancana and was poised to call him to testify. His murder also coincides with the discovery of combined CIA-underworld involvement in 1961 attempts on the life of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Investigators believe Giancana was the victim of an underworld rebellion.|
|1975||July||30||Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, MI, US||Jimmy Hoffa,|
|Hoping to mend fences with his former underworld associates on his return to the Teamster union presidency, Hoffa schedules a meeting at the Machus Red Fox restaurant outside of Detroit. It is generally believed that Hoffa was to meet "Tony Pro" Provenzano and Detroit mobster Anthony Giacalone. But some say Russell Bufalino was invited instead. Hoffa calls his wife at 2:15 to say he has been stood up. He is never seen or heard from again. Investigators focus their attention on Provenzano and Giacalone. Each has alibis for the date.|
|1976||Oct.||15||New York, US||Carlo Gambino,|
|Gambino dies of a heart attack. Family passes over underboss Aniello Dellacroce to select Gambino protege Paul Castellano as boss. Dellacroce wing of the family is offended, but loyal Dellacroce keeps them in line.|
|1978||March||21||Manhattan, NY, US||Salvatore Briguglio,|
|Briguglio is found shot to death in Manhattan's Little Italy. He was 48. Briguglio, Anthony Provenzano and Harold Konigsberg were scheduled to go on trial May 1 in Kingston, NY, for the 1961 murder of Anthony Castellito. Witnesses said Briguglio was knocked down by two men in front of the Andrea Doria Social Club, 165 Mulberry Street (near Grand). The men drew weapons and shot Briguglio four times in the face and once in the chest. Briguglio, an official in Provenzano's Union, NJ, Teamster organization, had been questioned in connection with James Hoffa's disappearance.|
|1978||June||15||Kingston, NY, US||Anthony Provenzano,|
|Provenzano is convicted of participating in the murder of his union rival, Anthony Castellito, in 1961. Also convicted was a Provenzano enforcer, Harold Konigsberg.|
|1979||Jan.||12||Pennsylvania, US||Johnny Dioguardi||Johnny "Dio" died of natural causes at a Pennsylvania hospital. He was 64. Dioguardi, a longtime Mafia leader and labor racketeer, was serving a sentence in federal prison for stock fraud.|
|1979||July||11||Newark, NJ, US||Anthony Provenzano||Provenzano, 63, is sentences to 20 years in federal prison for labor racketeering. "Tony Pro" was convicted of extracting payoffs from trucking companies in exchange for guaranteeing labor peace.|
|1979||July||12||Brooklyn, US||Carmine Galante||Former Bonanno underboss Carmine Galante is murdered at Joe & Mary's Italian Restaurant in Brooklyn.|
|1985||May||11||New York, US||The Federal Bureau of Investigation brings charges against the alleged heads of the five Mafia families in New York City.|
|1985||Dec.||2||New York, US||Aniello Dellacroce||"Neil" Dellacroce, protege of Albert Anastasia and idol of John Gotti, dies. His departure frees his supporters to act against the Castellano leadership.|
|1985||Dec.||16||New York, US||Paul Castellano,|
|Gotti is believed to have masterminded the assassination of "Big Paul" Castellano and his driver/bodyguard Thomas Bilotti outside of Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan. Gotti allegedly siezes leadership of the Gambino crime family.|
|1986||Federal authorities estimate that the Mafia families across the United States include 1,700 "made" members and many thousands of associates. The Mafia, which remains the dominant force in the American organized crime Syndicate, continues to draw its membership from those of Italian and Sicilian descent. But affiliated organizations include gangs and individuals of every ethnic background.|
|1988||Dec.||12||Lompoc, CA, US||Anthony Provenzano||"Tony Pro" dies of a heart attack while serving a 20-year sentence for labor racketeering. He was 71 years old.|
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