NEW YORK – The reputed boss of New York’s Gambino crime household was shot to loss of life in entrance of his dwelling by a gunman who might have staged a automotive accident to lure him exterior, dying a digital unknown in contrast along with his swaggering 1980s-era predecessor, John Gotti.
Police stated Thursday they have been reviewing surveillance-camera video of the assault on Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, 53, who was gunned down Wednesday evening at his red-brick colonial-style home in a quiet Staten Island neighborhood. The assailant sped off in a pickup truck, police stated. No rapid arrests have been made.
The motive for the assault was underneath investigation, police stated. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea stated it was nonetheless an open query whether or not it was a mob hit.
Aggressive federal prosecutions prior to now 25 years decimated the ranks of New York’s 5 Mafia households. The circumstances resulted in lengthy jail phrases for his or her bosses — Gotti included — and inspired their successors to maintain a decrease profile.
However the brand new technology nonetheless engages in old-school crimes — loansharking, playing, extortion — that may make enemies and spark bloodshed.
Shea stated there was a slight uptick in alleged mob-related violence in New York throughout the final 12 months. However he stated it’s too quickly to say whether or not that had something to do with Cali’s slaying.
The mobster emerged from his dwelling round 9:15 p.m. after the gunman backed his pickup into Cali’s Cadillac SUV, damaging it, in keeping with police. “With what we all know at this cut-off date, it is fairly attainable that was a part of a plan,” Shea stated.
Video confirmed the assailant pulling a 9 mm handgun and opening hearth on Cali a couple of minute after they began speaking, in keeping with Shea. At the least 12 pictures have been fired. After getting shot a number of occasions, Cali tried to crawl underneath his SUV to cover, Shea stated.
Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court docket filings lately because the underboss of the Mafia’s Gambino household, as soon as one of the vital highly effective and feared crime organizations within the nation. Information accounts since 2015 stated he had ascended to the highest spot.
The final Mafia boss to be rubbed out in New York Metropolis was Gambino don “Huge Paul” Castellano, assassinated at Gotti’s path whereas getting out of a black limousine exterior a high-end Manhattan steakhouse in 1985. Gotti then took management of the household.
“We thought these days have been over,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated of Cali’s slaying. “Very stunning, however I assume outdated habits die arduous.”
Cali stored a a lot decrease profile than Gotti and was killed in far much less spectacular trend than Castellano. He was shot on a tree-lined road in one in all New York Metropolis’s less-glamorous outer boroughs, a brief stroll from ball fields, a rustic membership and a day camp.
Gotti, along with his costly double-breasted fits and overcoats and silvery swept-back hair, grew to become referred to as the Dapper Don, his smiling face everywhere in the tabloids. As prosecutors tried and didn’t carry him down, he got here to be known as the Teflon Don.
In 1992, Gotti was convicted in Castellano’s homicide and a large number of different crimes. He was sentenced to life in jail and died of most cancers in 2002.
On Wednesday, hours earlier than Cali was killed, the reputed boss and consigliere of the Bonanno crime household have been acquitted in a Brooklyn racketeering and extortion case. In October, reputed Bonanno affiliate Sylvester Zottola was fatally shot whereas ready for a cup of espresso at a McDonald’s drive-thru within the Bronx.
Additionally this week, prosecutors in Brooklyn introduced a case towards a Gambino affiliate accused of killing a suspected loanshark affiliated with the Lucchese crime household.
Final week, the longtime boss of the Colombo crime household, 85-year-old Carmine “the Snake” Persico, died at a North Carolina hospital close to the federal jail the place he had been serving what was successfully a life sentence. Persico was convicted in a 1986 case overseen by then-U.S. Lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Cali’s solely mob-related felony conviction got here a decade in the past, when he pleaded responsible in an extortion scheme involving a failed try to construct a NASCAR monitor on Staten Island. He was sentenced to 16 months behind bars and was launched in 2009.
In that case, authorities intercepted conversations shedding gentle on his quiet underworld command. At a 2008 bail listening to, a prosecutor stated Cali was seen “as a person of affect and energy by organized crime members in Italy.”
Karen Matthews contributed to this report.