Frank Scalise was a leading mobster in the New York crime organization later known as the Gambino Crime Family. John Scalise was the partner of Prohibition Era Chicago gangster Albert Anselmi.
? to June 17, 1957.
Scalise was an important Mafioso in the Bronx. He appears to have served briefly as boss of the criminal organization later known as the Gambino Crime Family around the time of the Castellammarese War. Even after surrendering the boss role, Scalise and his brother Joseph were leading advisers to the Family leadership in the 1950s.
Scalise ran into trouble with the Commission in 1957 when he was found to be selling Mafia memberships for as much as $50,000 apiece. That activity also reflected badly on then-boss Albert Anastasia.
On June 17, 1957, Scalise was cornered by two young gunmen in a produce market at 2380 Arthur Ave. and shot numerous times in the head, neck and back.
Joseph Scalise swore revenge for the killing, apparently unaware that his brother's death had been ordered by the Commission. Joseph was himself eliminated.
? to May 7, 1929.
Scalise was a lifelong friend of Albert Anselmi. The two fled murder charges in Marsala, Sicily, together and ventured to the U.S., settling in Chicago.
There, they both joined the Genna brothers' organization. Scalise and Anselmi were believed to have taken part - with Brooklyn's Frankie Uale - in the assassination of Dion O'Banion.
When the Gennas decided that Alphonse Capone had become a nuisance, they ordered Scalise and Anselmi to get rid of the Neapolitan outsider. The two hit men reportedly betrayed the Gennas, however, tipped Capone off to the plot and set up a hit on the Gennas.
The year 1929 started off as a busy one for Scalise, but at least it ended quickly. He and his partner are believed to have been key participants in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in February. In early March, they were both charged with the North Side murders.
At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi began conspiring against Capone once again, this time with local Unione head Joe "Hoptoad" Guinta. The planned overthrow of their boss may have been the result of learning he had been linked to the assassination of Uale in 1928.
The conspirators informed too many people of their plans against Capone, and Scarface learned of their treachery. Capone invited Scalise, Anselmi and Guinta to a banquet on May 7, 1929, and during the meal beat them all to death with a baseball bat and shot a few bullets into each for good measure.
© 2007 T.Hunt
The American "Mafia"