THE AMERICAN MAFIA – Crime Bosses of Pittson

This Mafia family sprang up in the northeast Pennsylvania coal mining communities of Pittston, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The group also had members in nearby New York state, western New York, NeW York City and the Philadelphia area. At times, the family’s territory blended with that of the Buffalo crime family. The Pittston organization was always very close to the Genovese organization in New York.

1903 – Tomasso Petto (Killed Browntown PA, Oct. 25, 1905). Fleeing prosecution for New York City’s “barrel murder,” Tomasso Petto (known as “il Bove”), left, moved to the Pittston suburb of Browntown and engaged in black hand extortion against the more affluent Italian residents. Locally, he was known by the alias of Luciano Perrino.

Petto1904 – Santo Caressi (? to ?). Petto was murdered, apparently in retaliation for the barrel murder. Extortion victims and underworld rivals might also have had a hand in his death. At the time, Santo Caressi led a band of robbers and extortionists in Carbondale. Caressi was captured by a constable working with an anti-Mafia citizens’ group on Nov. 28, 1904. As he was taken into custody, the law enforcement group was attacked by Caressi men. Two members of the citizens’ group were shot and killed.

1905 – John Costa (? to ?). In 1905, Carbondale police apprehended John Costa, a New York Mafioso who frequently visited Carbondale, oversaw northeast Pennsylvania rackets and collected tribute payments for his New York criminal society.

1903 – Stefano LaTorre (Born Montedoro Sicily, March 12, 1886. Died Pittston PA, July 1984). LaTorre (right), who entered the U.S. in May 1903, looks to have been an early leader of a secret organization of underworld figures from Montedoro, Sicily. After arriving in Pittston, LaTorre saved up to pay for the transatlantic passage of his brother-in-law Montedoro Mafia boss Santo Volpe.

Santo Volpe

1908 – Santo Volpe (Born Montedoro Sicily, 1880. Died West Pittston PA, Dec. 2, 1958). In addition to his work as president of a coal company, Volpe (left) led a criminal organization in northern Pennsylvania mining communities. Volpe was Stefano LaTorre’s brother-in-law, and joined LaTorre in Pennsylvania in 1906. Volpe was suspected of avenging the 1932 deaths of James, Arthur and John Volpe, not related to him, by participating in the murder of Pittsburgh boss John Bazzano. Volpe, called the King of the Night, is regarded as one of the organizers of the secret alliance known as the Men of Montedoro.

1933 – Giovanni Sciandra (Born Montedoro Sicily, April 10, 1899. Died c.1949). Coal miner Sciandra appears to have taken control of day-to-day operations in the Scranton crime family after about 1933. Many assume that Sciandra rose to power upon the death of Santo Volpe. However, there is evidence that Volpe was alive and involved in Mafia affairs until 1958. The Pittston family of the 1930s seems to have been operating under the auspices of New York’s Luciano-Genovese family.

Joe Barbara

Note: Giuseppe Barbara (Born Castellammare del Golfo Sicily, Aug. 9, 1905. Died Johnson City NY, June 17, 1959). Many historians believe that Barbara took over the Pittston-centered Mafia about 1940. His alleged assumption of power in northeast Pennsylvania coordinates with the belief that John Sciandra was murdered in 1940 on orders from Barbara. However, there is no evidence that Sciandra was murdered in 1940 or at any other time. He seems to have died of natural causes around 1949. It appears more likely that Barbara served as Buffalo Crime Family capodecina over the distant Castellammarese Mafia outpost in Endicott, NY. Barbara is known to have cooperated closely with Pittston’s Men of Montedoro, but there is insufficient evidence that he interrupted the Montedoro succession in Pittston. The fact that Barbara hosted national conventions of Mafiosi at his Apalachin country estate in 1956 and 1957 caused many of his time to believe he held a more significant spot in the Mafia hierarchy – some believed he was the supreme boss of the American Mafia. However, we now know that Barbara was ordered to host those conventions by Stefano Magaddino, boss of the Buffalo area.

1949 – Rosario Bufalino (Born Montedoro Sicily, Sept. 29, 1903. Died Kingston PA, Feb. 25, 1994). “Russell” Bufalino likely became acting boss for the Pittston area after John Sciandra’s death in 1949. Santo Volpe, the aging King of the Night, served in an advisory role.

Russell Bufalino

1957 – Russell Bufalino was boss of the northeast Pennsylvania Mafia at the time the American Mafia gathered for a convention at Joseph Barbara’s Apalachin estate. Police crashed the party, took down names and license plate numbers and established links between Mafia groups in different U.S. regions. Bufalino’s family began to emerge from under the Genovese family shadow in the 1960s. The Scranton organization began to engage in rackets in the Buffalo, NY, region and in Canada.

1970s – Bufalino was one of the U.S. Mafia’s most influential characters until his death in 1994. He is widely believed to have had a part in the disappearance of former Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa.

1975 – Edward Sciandra (Born Montedoro Sicily, Nov. 13, 1912. Died Hallandale FL, July 13, 2003.) In the mid-1970s, Edward Sciandra of New York City, cousin to former boss Giovanni Sciandra, was believed to be calling the shots for the Scranton-Pittston family while Bufalino dealt with legal troubles.

1990 – In 1990, the Pennsylvania Crime Commission listed William D’Elia as a “significant member” of the Bufalino organization. D’Elia, former driver for Bufalino, stood in for Bufalino at crime family meetings. It appears that he was being groomed as the successor to Bufalino.

William DElia

1994 – William D’Elia (Born c.1947.) After Bufalino’s death, D’Elia stepped up to the top spot in the crime family. In 2001, he was identified as the Scranton boss by Ralph Natale, the turncoat Philadelphia mob leader. Natale indicated that D’Elia had helped resolve disputes within the Philadelphia family.

2006 – D’Elia, 59, was indicted for money laundering in May. He was released only to be rearrested and charged with additional counts of money laundering as well as witness intimidation.

‘Clutch Hand’ Confusion

Mafia Boss of Bosses Giuseppe Morello

There is no more mysterious and confusing figure in American Mafia history than the powerful Giuseppe Morello, who more than once climbed to the pinnacle of the society’s leadership.

While many details of Morello’s life are documented, a number of major puzzles remain. The precise nature of the working relationship between Morello and infamous Black Hander Ignazio Lupo is in doubt. The relationship between Morello and later crime boss Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria is similarly cloudy. Some historians have also been confused by Morello’s personal family history, by the appearance of a powerful Mafioso named Peter Morello in the Prohibition Era and by tales of an uptown abatoir in which the Morellos allegedly slaughtered their enemies.

I will attempt, as best I can, to resolve these issues here. Some questions will certainly remain, but many can be put behind us. And I believe most of the rest will prove to be inconsequential. For the few stubborn issues that remain both important and unresolved, perhaps drawing attention to them here will help other investigators in their research.

Family History

Historical works often disagree on Morello’s birth date. Many sources point to 1870 as the probable year. But it is important to note that Mafia historians frequently draw information from each other. Eighteen-seventy may have started as someone’s educated guess and through repetition became regarded as fact. David Leon Chandler places Morello’s birth back in 1863 put provides little clue why he has done so.

Giuseppe Morello

Giuseppe Morello

In fact, official documents indicate Morello’s birth date was May 2, 1867. He was born to Calogero and Angela Piazza Morello in the Sicilian town of Corleone. (The town has a rich and colorful history, though it is now more widely known for its impact on the “Godfather” stories.)

A few years after the birth of Morello’s sister Maria, their father died. Angela Piazza later remarried. She and her husband Bernardo Terranova had at least three sons and three daughters.

Some Mafia historians have had some trouble tracking the number of Morello brothers and their ages. Allan May, among others, lists four brothers and two half-brothers. But May stumbles when he counts “Peter” as a blood brother of Giuseppe Morello. Peter was, in fact, the same person as Giuseppe. But more about that later.

Further confusion results from speculation that the Terranova boys were step-brothers rather than half-brothers of Morello.

Birth records from Italy and immigration records in the United States show conclusively that Ciro, Vincenzo and Nicolas Terranova were half-brothers of Morello, as they were also born of Angela Piazza. Vincenzo was born in 1886. Ciro arrived a couple of years later. Nicholas was born in 1890. Morello’s half-sisters were Lucia, Salvatrice and Rosalia.

Nicholas has been a particular problem for historians because he apparently used the Morello surname on business documents. When he was found murdered on a Brooklyn street in 1916, he was in possession of documents identifying him as Nicholas Morello. Police called Ciro Terranova to the scene. In his conversation with authorities, Terranova drew a distinction between Nicholas and his step-brother Giuseppe Morello. But authorities seemed not to pick up on that.

Another bothersome story relates to the deaths of Morello relatives named Antonio. Some sources indicate that Antonio was Morello’s father, shot down after a night of drunken gambling. Others say Antonio was an older brother murdered under similar circumstances. There is no evidence to support either claim. There seems to have been no one in the Morello family named Antonio.

The Morello-Terranova clan family entered the U.S. in spring of 1893. While the rest of his family is noted on the manifest of the S.S. Alsatia, Giuseppe Morello’s name does not appear there. It seems he entered the country under an assumed name.

After an initial landing in New York, they lived for a time in Louisiana and Texas before returning east.

American Mafia Website – New England Bosses

The New England Mafia, known as The Office, includes two distinct metropolitan headquarters – Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island. Its traditional rackets territory includes all of Rhode Island, much of Massachusetts, eastern Connecticut (the Connecticut River is generally regarded as its western boundary) and coastal areas of New Hampshire and Maine. Mafiosi in New England have traditionally had close relationships with those in the New York City area.
There has been an especially close historic relationship between New England leadership and the Profaci/Colombo Crime Family based in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Gaspare Messina 1916 – Gaspare Messina (Born Salemi Sicily, Aug. 7, 1879. Died Somerville MA, June 15, 1957.) Messina entered the United States through New York City late in 1905. He and his wife settled for a time in Brooklyn. By 1915, they relocated to Boston, where Messina became “rappresentante” of the local Sicilian underworld. In the Prohibition Era, Messina partnered with Frank Cucchiara and Paolo Pagnotta in the G. Messina & Co. wholesale grocery business of Prince Street. He moved his family to Somerville, MA, around 1926. In the late 1920s, he became president of the Neptune Oil Corporation. Messina temporarily served as boss of bosses over the American Mafia during the 1930-31 Castellammarese War. He likely lived in New York City while serving in that capacity.
Phil Buccola
The Boston Mafia was small and relatively weak under Messina. Frank Morelli 1924 – Frank Morelli (Feb. 22, 1896, to Aug. 10, 1965). A hazy figure in organized crime histories, “Butsey” Morelli has been described as an immigrant who initially settled in Brooklyn, NY, or a Brooklyn-born son of immigrants who moved to Providence, Rhode Island, around the time of World War I. These accounts are inaccurate. Morelli was, in fact, born in Providence (one of his brothers was born in Italy, two were born in France and another was born in Brooklyn), and his family called Providence home by 1895, long before World War I.

Oldest brother Joseph Morelli formed his brothers and some youths from their neighborhood into a robbery gang in the years before Prohibition. Freight cars were a favorite target until federal authorities managed to secure convictions against Joe and Frank Morelli and several others and send them away for terms in federal prison. (Some believe the Morelli brothers were responsible for the South Braintree, Massachusetts, robbery-murders

Raymond Patriarca

for which Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted and executed.) Frank Morelli was released from prison in the early 1920s and set to organizing rackets around Providence.

While never recognized as boss of the New England region, Morelli was respected for decades as the leader of Providence organized crime. 1920 – Joe Lombardo (Born Sept. 1, 1895. Died 1969.) Lombardo held a ill-defined position of leadership in the New England Mafia. It seems likely that he was viewed as a boss in the region, serving as arbiter of disputes between the several Sicilian gangs in Boston and those in nearby New England regions. Lombardo is believed to have been responsible for the December 1931 assassination of Frankie Wallace, leader of the powerful South Side Boston Irish mob known as the Gustin Gang. Some sources insist that Lombardo did not rank higher than underboss or consigliere within the Boston Mafia administration of Philip Buccola. Phil Buccola 1924 – Filippo Buccola (Aug. 6, 1886 to October 1987).
Phil Buccola (also spelled Bruccola) moved from Palermo to the U.S. in 1920. He was likely a player in the Sicilian Mafia before crossing the Atlantic. Some believe he was called to the U.S. to take control of a Sicilian gang in Boston. He appears to have led a group in Boston’s East Side during the 1920s. Some sources indicate that Buccola took over the leadership of the Boston Mafia upon Messina’s death in 1924. But Messina’s death in that year is not certain, as at least one source has him serving as American Mafia boss of bosses briefly around 1930. 1947 – According to Mafia turncoat Vincent Teresa, Joe Lombardo sent Frank Morelli into retirement and promoted Filippo Buccola to the leadership of a combined Boston-Providence crime family. Raymond Patriarca 1954 – Raymond Loreto Salvatore Patriarca (March 17, 1908 to July 11, 1984). Buccola retired to Sicily in 1954, leaving the combined New England Mafia organization in the capable hands of Patriarca. Massachusetts-born Patriarca had a long criminal history and had graduated to the position of capo in the Buccola mob.
Upon becoming New England boss, he centered his operations in Providence and allied himself with the small Gennaro AngiuloProfaci-Colombo family in New York. Henry Tameleo (July 12, 1901, to August 1985), who transferred into New England from New York City’s Bonanno family, served as his Providence underboss. In the mid-1960s, the Patriarca organizations put down underworld challenges from William Marfeo and Rocco DiSeglio. Gennaro Angiulo 1969 – Gennaro J. Angiulo (March 20, 1919, to Aug. 29, 2009). With Patriarca constantly hounded by authorities, Angiulo – who had worked gambling rackets as a mob affiliate during the 1950s and early 1960s – allegedly took a leadership role in the Boston wing of the New England family. While never a part of the Providence inner circle, he allegedly functioned as underboss in Boston through Patriarca’s death in 1984. 1984 – William Grasso (Jan. 6, 1927, to June 16, 1989). Patriarca died of a heart attack on July 7, 1984. Underboss Angiulo was reportedly not considered boss material.
(Angiulo was targeted by law enforcement in the 1980s and sent off to a long prison stay upon a racketeering conviction in 1986.) Patriarca’s son was allegedly installed as boss, but Grasso of Ne Haven, Connecticut, appears to have briefly held power in New England. Nicholas Bianco 1989 – Nicholas Bianco (March 21, 1932, to Nov. 14, 1994). Grasso’s corpse was found on June 16, 1989. Bianco, who had decades of experience in the New York (Profaci-Colombo family) and New England underworlds, was next to be appointed boss. Bianco was jailed two years later and died in federal prison on Nov. 14, 1994.
Nicholas Bianco

Timeline Part 3. 1920-1931

Vast fortunes are made during the Prohibition Era, and underworld organizations seek to maximize their profits and minimize their risks by eliminating or absorbing rivals and paying protection to political leaders and law enforcement officials. Old conflicts within the Mafia erupt on several occasions, including the Castellammarese War.

Year Month Day Location Persons Event
Volstead Act takes effect. Manufacture, transport, sale of alcohol are illegal – Jan. 16, 1920.
1920 May 11 Chicago, US Jim Colosimo,
Johnny Torrio,
Alphone Capone,
Frank Uale
Colosimo is ambushed and killed in his restaurant. Underlings Torrio-Capone enter the bootleg alcohol business. Frank Uale is believed to have traveled to Chicago to perform the killing.
1920 June New York, US Tommy Pennochio The bootleggers’ curbside Liquor Exchange is established along Kenmare, Broome, Grand and Elizabeth Streets, a short distance from police headquarters. Tommy Pennochio, an ally of Joe Masseria, supervises the exchange. Bootleggers can swap or sell their surpluses out in the open. One of the first significant inter-gang cooperative ventures of the Prohibition Era.
1920 June 30 United States Ignazio Lupo Harding Administration (Attorney General Harry Daugherty is credited with the decision) releases Lupo. The remaining 20 years of his counterfeiting sentence is conditionally commuted. Lupo swears off illegal endeavors and pledges to return to Sicily. “Murder Stable,” Lupo’s former headquarters, is reportedly torn down.
Nineteenth Amendment gives women the right to vote – Aug. 26, 1920.
1920 Cleveland, US Nicola Gentile,
Umberto Valenti,
Toto D’Aquila
Rum-running in Cleveland and Pittsburgh exhausts Gentile, and he drops out of sight for a while. New York ally and apparent successor to Lupo-Morello, Umberto Valenti, visits Gentile, concerned that an attempt has been made on his life. Gentile-Valenti decide to oppose New York boss of bosses Toto D’Aquila. Gentile travels to Sicily for rest and to begin organizing resistance to D’Aquila.
1920 Cleveland, US Joe Lonardo,
Toto D’Aquila
“Big Joe” Lonardo, leader of Cleveland Mafia group, allies with self-proclaimed boss of bosses Toto D’Aquila of New York.
1920 New York, US Giuseppe Masseria,
Salvatore Mauro,
Umberto Valenti,
Ciro Terranova
Masseria, 41, rises to prominence in the New York Mafia after his murder of Mauro, a rival bootlegger, on Chrystie Street.
1920 Philadelphia Salvatore Sabella Sabella is engaged in business as an oil and cheese merchant and owner of a soft drink cafe.
1921 Aug. New Jersey, US Stefano Magaddino,
Camillo Caizzo,
Frank Buccellato
Magaddino and six others are arrested in connection with the murder of Camillo Caizzo, whose corpse was found in a large sack in New Jersey. The Caizzo murder was apparently a vendetta killing, as Caizzo and Frank Buccellato were believed to be responsible for the death of Magaddino’s brother Pietro five years earlier (in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily). The Buccellato clan seemed to be forever feuding with the Magaddino-Bonanno-Bonventre family. Magaddino escapes prosecution.
1921 Oct. 30 New York, US Ignazio Lupo Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty gives permission for Ignazio Lupo to visit Sicily and return. Upon his return (probably early in 1922), Lupo is working in bakery business and operating a wholesale fruit operation with his son.
1921 Nov. New York, US Carlo Gambino Arrives in New York. Goes to work for Castellano bootlegging family. Chandler says Gambino’s arrival date was Dec. 23.

1922 May 8 New York, US Joe Masseria,
Umberto Valenti,
Silva Tagliagamba
Masseria, now known as “Joe the Boss,” acts immediately to avenge the death of Vincent Morello. He personally sets up an ambush for Valenti and his bodyguard Silva Tagliagamba at the curbside liquor exchange, where bootleggers meet openly¬† to swap their surpluses. Valenti escapes unharmed, but Tagliagamba is mortally wounded. Masseria is apprehended while fleeing from the scene. Police surprised to find he has a gun permit. Masseria is charged with the Tagliagamba killing but the case is never prosecuted.
1922 May New York, US Ignazio Lupo After a couple of years in Sicily, Lupo, claiming he is a wine merchant (during Prohibition?), tries to re-enter the U.S. Immigration officials attempt to deport him. He is held three weeks on Ellis Island as the case is processed.
1922 June 12 New York, US Ignazio Lupo Rather than deport him, the U.S. government orders that Lupo be readmitted.
1922 New Orleans, US Carlo Matranga,
Sam Carolla
Matranga decides to retire from New Orleans Mafia. The organization is left in the control of Sam Carolla.
1922 Aug. 8 New York, US Joe Masseria,
Umberto Valenti
Masseria apparently ambushed outside of his home at 5th Street and 2nd Avenue. (Masseria’s home address at the time is #80 Second Avenue.) He ducks into Heiney’s Millinery and then ducks at least four bullets fired at close range, escaping unharmed but with bullet holes through a new straw hat. Umberto Valenti believed responsible for the attack.
1922 Aug. 11 New York, US Joe Masseria,
Umberto Valenti
After attending what was supposed to have been a successful peace conference with Masseria men (Masseria said he would resign from his position as “boss”), Valenti was shot down in the street by Masseria forces. Chandler says Valenti’s murderer was Charlie Luciano, then a lieutenant under Masseria. The murder took place as Valenti was departing from a restaurant near #233 East 12th Street.
1922 New York, US Tommy Pennochio The Pennochio-supervised Liquor Exchange in lower Manhattan closes down in fall. The exchange has been the site of much bloodshed.
1922 New York, US Louis Buchalter Working with strikebreakers puts Buchalter in position to set up labor racketeering in city’s garment district.
1923 Chicago (Cicero), US Al Capone Capone sets up headquarters at Hawthorne Inn, 4833 22nd Street in Cicero.
1923 New York, US Frank Costello Costello’s home address is given as 234 East 108th St.
President Harding dies in office – Aug. 2, 1923.
1923 Dec. 2 Brooklyn Ignazio Lupo,
Anthony Forti
Authorities note that Lupo conspired with Forti on a bakery extortion racket.
1923 New York, US Owney Madden Prison stay ends as “The Killer” Madden is paroled. Madden becomes a top bootlegger and runs Harlem nightclubs. While he has no formal relationship with the Mafia, Madden cooperates with the organization.
1924 Brooklyn Frank Uale Police report that 17 bullets were fired into Uale’s care as he returned home from a trip to Coney Island with friends. Uale was not injured.
1924 Nov. Chicago Mike Merlo Chicago’s longtime Unione Siciliana leader Merlo dies of cancer. Funeral is attended by entire Chicago underworld and representatives of Sicilian communities across the country, including Uale from Brooklyn.
1924 Nov. 10 Chicago Dion O’Bannion O’Bannion is killed, apparently on orders of Al Capone. The actual killing is often attributed to Brooklyn gangster Frank Uale. It occurred in O’Bannion’s flower shop on North State Street.
1924 Nov. 24 Chicago Frank Uale,
Dion O’Bannion
Authorities say they believe Uale was one of the killer’s of Chicago gang leader Dion O’Bannion.
1924 Dec. New York Joe Bonanno Bonanno, 19, returns to Brooklyn. Initially settles down with his uncle, Peter Bonventre.
1925 Jan. 24 Chicago Johnny Torrio,
Alphonse Capone
Torrio is shot at his home a short time before he was to begin a nine-month prison term in connection with the police raid on the Sieben Brewery (set up by North Side gangsters). During his hospital and prison stays, Torrio decides to retire. Capone takes over the gang.
1925 May 25 Chicago Angelo Genna Genna is killed in his car. (Capone responsible?) Samuel Amatuna takes over leadership of Unione Siciliana, still keeping its assets and prestige away from Capone.
1925 Brooklyn Salvatore Maranzano Maranzano, 39 and already a Mafia hero in his homeland, arrives in Brooklyn from Sicily. Begins working in bootlegging and other rackets with the cohesive Castellammarese organization in Brooklyn.
1925 Aug. Philadelphia, US Leo Lanzetti,
Salvatore Sabella
Leo, oldest of the Lanzetti brothers, is shot by passing car of gunmen as he leaves his barber at Seventh and Bainbridge Streets. It is believed that the murder was Sabella’s way of countering incursions by the Lanzettis into Mafia territory.
1925 Nov. 10 Chicago Samuel Amatuna Amatuna is shot, dies three days later. (Capone again?) Capone uses his influence to install his ally and gang consigliere Antonio Lombardo as Unione president.
1926 Chicago Antonio Lombardo Lombardo opens Unione membership to non-Sicilian Italians and changes the name of the group to the Italo-American National Union.
1926 Brooklyn Frank Uale Probable attempt on Uale’s life. Police report that Uale’s chauffer is killed while driving Uale’s wife home from a wedding.
1926 Oct. 11 Chicago, US Earl “Hymie” Weiss,
Al Capone
Capone believed responsible for death of North Side mobster Weiss. Weiss was shot by rifles as he passed by the old O’Bannion flower shop on North State Street.
1927 May 30 Philadelphia, US Salvatore Sabella,
Joseph and Anthony Zanghi,
Vincent Cocozza
A rebellious wing of the Philadelphia Mafia is sent a clear message as Vincent Cocozza and Joseph Zanghi are shot dead on a street corner. Joseph’s brother Anthony leads police to accused killer Sabella.
1927 Sept. Chicago Joe Aiello,
Alphonse Capone
Aiello family allies with the North Side Gang against Capone. Aiellos may have had the support of Uale and the traditional Sicilians in the Mafia for this move.
1927 Oct. 13 Cleveland, US Joe Lonardo,
Joe Porrello
Joe Porrello takes over Cleveland Mafia and leadership of local Unione Siciliana after having “Big Joe” Lonardo killed in Porrello Brothers’ barbershop.
1927 Brooklyn Frank Uale Uale is believed to be hijacking his own liquor shipments to Capone, forcing the Chicago gangster to repeatedly pay for liquor that does not arrive. (Compensation for failure to pay dues payments.)  Relationship between Uale and Capone becoming openly hostile.
1927 New York, Philadelphia,
Atlantic City
Salvatore Lucania (Luciano),
Meyer Lansky,
Frank Costello,
Benjamin Siegel,
Joe Adonis,
Abner Zwillman,
Nucky Johnson, Waxey Gordon,
Nig Rosen,
Johnny Torrio
Allegedly under the guidance of Torrio, a number of Italian and Jewish bootleggers combine forces in the Seven Group. The organization quickly expands into Boston, Cleveland and Florida, providing a steady stream of quality liquor, a minimum of violence and a maximum of profits.
1928 Chicago, US Al Capone Capone’s main office is now Room 430 of Hotel Lexington.
1928 June Miami, FL, US Alphonse Capone,
Frank Uale
Capone meets with some his top henchmen, including Charlie Fischetti, Jack Guzik and Dan Serritella, in Florida. The meeting may have been to set up a hit on Frank Uale. The Capone men appear to detour toward Brooklyn on their way back to Chicago.
1928 July 1 Brooklyn Frank Uale,
Alphonse Capone
Uale is killed in his car. Tommy gun is found at the scene but appears not to have been responsible for the wounds to Uale’s body. Four men in a black sedan overtook Uale’s Lincoln and shot through the car’s side and rear window. Uale’s body, his skull crushed by bullets and buckshot, was found on the stone steps of 923 44th Street.
1928 Sept. 7 Chicago Antonio Lombardo Lombardo is killed. Pasqualino Lolordo takes over Chicago Unione.
1928 Oct. 15 New York, US Dutch Schultz,
Joey Noe,
Jack Diamond,
Arnold Rothstein
Joey Noe, close business associate of Schultz, is shot in ambush on West 54th Street in front of Chateau Madrid. Clings to life for more than a month at Bellevue Hospital. Dies Nov. 21. Jack “Legs” Diamond is believed responsible for Noe’s death. Arnold Rothstein may have assisted Diamond.
1928 Nov. 4 New York Arnold Rothstein Shot and killed about 10 p.m. at servant’s entrance of the Park Central Hotel on Seventh Avenue. Famous as a gambler and loan shark, Rothstein was also believed to have been the force behind the 1919 Black Sox scandal and the early careers of Frank Costello, Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky. Police decide that Rothstein has been killed because of gambling debts. But the murder may also be the result of Dutch Schultz anger over a Rothstein role in Joey Noe’s killing.
1928 Dec. 5 Cleveland Joe Porrello Porrello, eager for national recognition, hosts a gathering of the U.S. Mafia in Cleveland. Porrello hopes to solidify his new position. Police are alerted to convention and 23 arrests of known Mafiosi are made.
1928 Dec. 8 New York, US Arnold Rothstein,
George McManus
Gambler George McManus and his associate Hyman Biller are indicted for the murder of Rothstein. State cannot make charges stick.
1929 Jan. 8 Chicago Pasqualino Lolordo,
Giuseppe Guinta,
John Scalise,
Albert Anselmi
Lolordo is murdered in his home. Capone rival Joseph Guinta takes over Unione and begins to draw some of Capone’s Sicilian supporters from him. John Scalise and Albert Anselmi, Capone enforcers and prominent figures in the Unione, secretly join Guinta faction.
1929 Feb. 14 Chicago Alphonse Capone Capone has much of the North Side mob murdered in what has become known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Four men – two in police uniforms – drove up in a police car to a stronghold of Bugs Moran, a garage at 2122 North Clark Street. Six Moran gangsters and one friend of Moran’s were lined up against a wall and shot to death by the four assailants. Moran had been returning to the building when he saw the police car and decided to beat it. Capone was relaxing (and establishing an alibi) near his Florida home at the time of the killings.
1929 May 7 Chicago Alphonse Capone,
John Scalise,
Albert Anselmi
Capone invites the important members of his organization to a meeting/celebration at the Hawthorne Inn in Cicero, just outside Chicago. He then brutally beats and shoots to death Guinta, Scalise and Anselmi, the Sicilian defectors from his gang. His action puts an end to the Sicilian rebellion in his Chicago outfit but earns the disapproval of mob bosses in New York and elsewhere.
1929 May 17? Philadelphia Alphonse Capone Capone arrested on a weapons charge in Philadelphia. He does one year (actually serves just 10 months) of jail time.
1929 Philadelphia, US Salvatore Sabella Sabella and nine of his men (probably including some who were hastily initiated into the Philly Mafia) move to New York to assist the Brooklyn Castellammarese clan in its fight against Joe Masseria.
1929 May Chicago Joe Aiello,
Alphonse Capone
With Capone temporarily out of the way, Joe Aiello steps to the presidency of the Chicago Unione.
1929 Oct. 17 New York Salvatore Lucania (Luciano) Luciano is taken “for a ride” but survives. He is permanently scarred on the face. He refuses to cooperate with police, indicating he will handle the matter himself.
Stock Market crash signals start of Great Depression – Oct. 29, 1929.
1929 Dec. 7 Bronx Ciro Terranova,
Albert Vitale
A fundraiser dinner for magistrate Albert Vitale at Roman Gardens in the Bronx is crashed by several holdup men, who take jewelry, money and weapons from guards and one off-duty police officer. A few phone calls afterward, and all items are returned. Public is outraged at the number of underworld characters (including Terranova, who, according to some accounts, hosted the event) at the dinner and at Vitale’s connections to organized crime. Eventually, the press decides to accept a ludicrous explanation from the police that the holdup was staged by Terranova in order to rob one of his guests of incriminating evidence relating to the Uale murder.
1929 Dec. 27 Atlantic City Ciro Terranova Police/press eager to question Terranova about the Dec. 7 Vitale dinner learn that he left after Christmas to rest a few days in Atlantic City. He might be getting up to speed on the convention of May 13-16 and pledging himself to the reforms of the younger Mafiosi. Terranova appears to be more closely allied to Luciano than to Masseria after this point.

1930 Jan. 5 New York Ciro Terranova Terranova speaks with the press about the Vitale incident. Claims he is a scapegoat for a split in Tammany Hall. Tells reporters he is a “man of peace” and wishes to be let alone.
1930 Chicago/New York Alphonse Capone,
Frank Uale
Police link weapons from St. Valentine’s Day Massacre with those used in Uale murder. Implies that Capone was responsible for Uale’s death.
1930 New York/Chicago Joe Masseria,
Joe Aiello,
Alphonse Capone,
Gaspar Milazzo,
Cola Schiro,
Stefano Magaddino,
Gaetano Reina
Masseria attempts to broker a peace arrangement between Aiello and Capone. When Aiello resists and threatens Masseria, Joe the Boss approaches Gaspar Milazzo, leader of Detroit Mafia, in an effort to dissaude him from continuing to support Aiello. Milazzo won’t budge, and Joe the Boss begins to see the start of a Castellammarese conspiracy against his authority. The Castellammarese in Brooklyn (Cola Schiro’s group), Buffalo (Stefano Magaddino) and Detroit (Milazzo) appear to be backing Aiello in Chicago. The allegiance of Gaetano Reina in the Bronx is also in question at this time.
1930 New York Joe Masseria,
Gaspar Milazzo,
Sasa Parrino
Masseria believed responsible for death of Gaspar Milazzo, boss of Detroit Mafia and elder statesman among the Castellammarese in America. Milazzo aide Sasa Parrino is also killed in the attack. Joe the Boss installs Lemare atop Detroit group. Probably believes he is undermining Aiello by this action and also striking at the Castellammarese conspiracy. But he is undermining his own support by meddling in the internal affairs of Mafia “families.”
1930 Jan. New York Joe Masseria,
Cola Schiro,
Joe Parrino
Masseria demands $10,000 cash tribute from Schiro. Schiro pays and then vanishes. Masseria installs Joe Parrino, brother of recently deceased Sasa Parrino in Detroit, as head of Brooklyn Castellammarese family.
1930 Feb. 26 Bronx Gaetano Reina,
Joe Masseria,
Joe Pinzolo
Reina, whose Bronx rackets include a monopoly on ice, is killed and replaced by Joe Pinzolo. Masseria believed responsible. Gaetano Gagliano and Gaetano Lucchese split off from Pinzolo and ally themselves with Maranzano.
1930 March 14 New York, US Albert Vitale The state apellate court decides to remove Magistrate Vitale from the bench. Vitale has reportedly deposited $100,000 in bank accounts while living beyond his means during five years as magistrate. He has also been linked to Ciro Terranova and other Mafia members as well as Arnold Rothstein, from whom he allegedly took a large “loan” before than gangster’s death.
1930 March 17 Chicago Alphonse Capone,
Joe Aiello
Capone is released from Philadelphia prison and resumes warfare against Aiello. Capone supports Masseria in struggle against Castellammarese.
1930 July Cleveland Joe Porrello Porrello, host of the raided 1928 Unione convention, is killed.
1930 Aug. 15 New York Salvatore Maranzano,
Giuseppe (Peter) Morello,
Giuseppe Piranio,
Maranzano men gun down Morello, 60, at his offices, 362 E.116th Street. Piranio is also killed. Joe Valachi says “Buster” from Chicago was the gunman, indicates that Morello put up a fight even after being shot.
1930 Sept. New York Joe Pinzolo,
Tommy Lucchese,
Gaetano Gagliano
Maranzano allies from Reina’s old family eliminate Pinzolo in early September. Gagliano and Lucchese are believed to have cooperated on the hit, which occurred at a Lucchese office, 1487 Broadway. Bobby Doyle is believed to have pulled the trigger.
1930 Sept. 5 New York, US Gaetano Lucchese,
Joe Pinzolo
Lucchese arrested and charged with murder of Pinzolo. Charges are later dropped.
1930 Brooklyn Joe Parrino Joe Parrino is murdered by the Castellammarese. With the blessing of Stefano Magaddino of Buffalo (who has ruled the Brooklyn Castellammarese in absentia), Salvatore Maranzano becomes war leader of the group.
1930 Detroit Lemare Detroit mob rids itself of Lemare.
1930 Sept. 23 Chicago Joe Aiello,
Alphonse Capone,
Agostino Loverdo
Capone eliminates Aiello, sends financial support to Masseria in New York. Capone takes over what remains of the Unione by assigning Agostino Loverdo to be its president. Aiello is murdered by machine gun fire in front of a friend’s home at 205 Kolmar Avenue.
1930 Oct. 8 New York Ignazio Lupo Lupo believed responsible for murder of Roger Consiglio.
1930 New York Salvatore Maranzano,
Salvatore Lucania (Luciano),
Vito Genovese,
Frank Costello,
Ciro Terranova
Luciano, his associates and Terranova begin secret negotiations with Maranzano over betrayal of Masseria.
1930 Nov. 5 New York Salvatore Maranzano,
Al Mineo,
Steve Ferrigno,
Joe Masseria
Maranzano scores another victory as his soldiers ambush and kill Al Mineo, powerful ally of Joe the Boss, and Steve Ferrigno, an important Mafia figure, oustide of Ferrigno’s home at 759 Pelham Parkway South. Masseria, who had met with the two men, lagged behind as Mineo and Ferrigno left the building and so escaped the ambush.
1931 New York, US Joe Masseria,
Salvatore Maranzano,
Joe “Baker” Catania
Masseria sends peace feelers to Maranzano. The Castellammarese say they will not end the war until Joe “the Baker” Catania, a firm Masseria and Terranova ally, is killed.
1931 Feb 3 New York, US Salvatore Maranzano,
Joe “Baker” Catania
Catania, 29, is killed at 647 Crescent Avenue. Maranzano, who accused Catania of hijacking his liquor shipments, reportedly ordered the hit.
1931 April 15 Coney Island Joe Masseria,
Salvatore Lucania (Luciano),
Ciro Terranova,
Benjamin Siegel
Luciano arranges for Masseria to be assassinated after a big lunch at Coney Island’s Nuova Villa Tammaro restaurant (also known as Scarpato’s Restaurant) while Luciano is in the bathroom. Terranova said to be the driver of the assassins’ car but too nervous to drive. Benjamin Siegel, believed to have been one of the shooters, reportedly shoved Terranova from the wheel and drove the car himself.
1931 Northern New Jersey Salvatore Sabella Sabella is arrested for assault and battery with a motor vehicle. He receives a suspended sentence. Police discovered that his current address was the same as that used by Buffalo Mafia boss Stefano Magaddino after his 1921 arrest. (Just one of many threads that tie together the far-flung elements of the American Mafia.)
1931 Chicago, US Salvatore Maranzano,
Nicola Gentile,
Al Capone,
Salvatore Lucania
Despite Gentile’s urging for the establishment of a national Mafia commission, Maranzano proclaims himself boss of bosses at a meeting held in Chicago. The meeting also serves to patch up differences between Maranzano and his host, Al Capone. Luciano and his allies plan to eliminate Maranzano, as he begins working against them.
1931 Philadelphia, US Salvatore Sabella,
John Avena
Sabella retires as Philly mob boss, turning operations over to his handpicked successor John Avena. Sabella, now 40, remains active in Mafia affairs but no longer oversees day-to-day operations.
1931 Sept. 10 New York Salvatore Maranzano,
Salvatore Lucania (Luciano)
Luciano arranges assassination of Maranzano in his Park Avenue suite of offices. Hit men arrive disguised as law enforcement officers.
1931 Oct. 6-16 Chicago Alphonse Capone Capone’s trial for income tax evasion.
1931 Oct. 24 Chicago Alphonse Caponse Capone sentenced to 11 years.