July 1, 1907, to Oct. 4, 2004.
"Fred Lupo," "The Wolf"
Randaccio was reportedly born in Palermo and settled in Buffalo NY during the Prohibition Era. He became a big shot in the Magaddino Crime Family after World War II, overseeing labor and gambling rackets. His climb to the highest post of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls underworld was halted by a 1967 conviction and a long prison term.
A U.S. census entry indicates that he was born in New York,(1) but army enlistment records from spring of 1945 reveal that he was an immigrant and had not yet become a citizen.(2) (He signed up for military service on March 19, 1945, just five months before V-J Day.)
Randaccio was a key member of the postwar Stefano Magaddino criminal organization. By the 1950s, he moved from Buffalo to Niagara Falls and is believed to have assumed control of some day-to-day Mafia operations.
Though he was not named by law enforcement officials as an attendee of the Apalachin convention in 1957 (Magaddino's brother Antonio was), he was subpoenaed to testify before a summer 1959 federal grand jury investigating the meeting.(3) He got into a bit of trouble when he didn't show up.(4) However, a U.S. District Court decided in early October that Randaccio could not be compelled to answer any Apalachin-related questions.(5)
During 1963, when Joe Valachi delivered mob information to Senate investigators, Randaccio was shown as underboss and "heir apparent" on an FBI hierarchy chart of the Magaddino Family. A Buffalo police official insisted that Randaccio controlled "all gambling, labor racketeering and other illegitimate activities for the old man [Magaddino]"(6)
Some believe Randaccio had a role in the planning of the Kennedy assassination later in 1963. Certainly, Fred the Wolf didn't seem too upset about the President's death when he was overheard congratulating a mob associate on the killing and sharing in a hearty laugh.(7)
Randaccio's prestige and power within the Buffalo-Niagara Falls mob likely increased with the 1964 death by natural causes of John Montana. Montana was a "high level" associate of boss Stefano Magaddino.(8)
Within a few years, the law began to catch up with Randaccio. He was called to New York City to testify on the disappearance of crime boss Joseph Bonanno in 1965. A bachelor party (it was in honor of Joseph Todaro, who was to wed Carol Ann Panero) he attended in Buffalo during early May of 1967 was raided by local, state and federal law enforcement officers.(9)
Later in the same month, the statement of convicted narcotics smuggler Vito Agueci were released through an Italian court. In the statement, Agueci recalled being initiated into the Buffalo-area Mafia by Randaccio, who was the organization's underboss.(10)
On June 22, Randaccio, then 59, was arrested by federal and local law enforcement agents, along with five other men. The group was charged with conspiring to commit robberies of banks and armored cars (none of the robberies were actually committed).(11)
Randaccio, Pasquale A. Natarelli, Steven Cino, Charles Caci and Louis F. Sorgi were convicted in late November.(12) Randaccio was sentenced to 20 years in prison and his influence within the Buffalo-Niagara Falls mob waned.
Shortly after his imprisonment, the Magaddino Family began to crumble. Salvatore Pieri, who had been arrested with Randaccio in the robbery conspiracy case but managed to avoid conviction, emerged as a separate underworld power within the City of Buffalo.
© 2007 T.Hunt
The American "Mafia"