Monday, 25 March, 2019

New York Mafia chieftain gunned down in front of mansion

Frank Cali was shot dead outside his home
Credit
New York Daily News Frank Cali was shot dead outside his home Credit New York Daily News
Kenny Thornton | 16 March, 2019, 18:11

Francesco "Frank" Cali, 53, the alleged leader of the notorious Gambino crime family, was gunned down outside his home in Staten Island, New York, Wednesday.

The last Mafia boss to be shot to death in New York City was Gambino don "Big Paul" Castellano, assassinated on Gotti's direction while getting out of a black limousine outside a high-end midtown Manhattan steakhouse in 1985. According to a report published by CNN, Francesco "Frank" Cali was scooped up by investigators on the front steps of his Staten Island residence with fatal gunshot wounds across his torso.

According to a 911 call made by someone in the Cali home, the crime kingpin was also run over before he was shot, though the Daily News police sources say that claim is still under investigation.

But Gravano would eventually testify against Gotti, leading to Gotti's 1992 conviction in five murders - one of several major convictions that thinned the Mafia ranks in the 1980s and 90s. He died in prison in 2002.

According to local media in New York, Cali took the helm of the family in 2015, replacing Domenico Cefalu.

"Anybody who was making a move on boss of a crime family - besides a one-off renegade, you know, insane character - would have to have the backing of captains in that crime family".

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But federal prosecutors held that Cali was involved in a number of other crime schemes, including operating illegal gambling machines in Brooklyn establishments and snatching profits from an annual Italian Feast festival in the borough.

Staten Island's affluent Todt Hill neighbourhood is renowned for its crime connections.

The post-Gotti chapter saw the mob's influence on the U.S. eastern seaboard wane - but Wednesday's hit threw NY back to its golden years of organized crime.

The reputed boss of the US Gambino crime family was shot to death in front of his NY home by a gunman who may have staged a vehicle accident to lure him outside, dying a virtual unknown compared with his swaggering 1980s-era predecessor, John Gotti. The attack came three months after Zottola's son, Salvatore Zottola, was also shot, but survived.

He then allegedly returned to the scene of the crime hours later to grieve with the older man's family.

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