The Chicago Syndicate: A Family Torn Apart by Mafia Cops

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Family Torn Apart by Mafia Cops

Friends of ours: Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso
Friends of mine: Louie Eppolito, Steven Caracappa

On Easter Sunday, Mike Guido inched along the Gowanus Expressway, his mother Pauline beside him in a fog of sadness.

Mike had just taken his mother to Green-Wood Cemetery to visit the graves of his father, Gabe, and brother, Nicky, who lay side by side on a verdant hillock just inside the fence at 20th St. and Prospect Park West, three heartbreaking blocks from where Nicky had been murdered by mob hit men on Christmas Day 20 years earlier, in a grotesque case of mistaken identity.

The name "Nicky Guido" had been passed to a homicidal maniac hoodlum named Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso by two NYPD detectives named Louie Eppolito and Steven Caracappa as one of those responsible for trying to kill Casso in a mob hit. Problem was that when the Mafia cops demanded $4,000 for Nicky Guido's home address, Casso balked and decided to get it free from "the gas company."

Which led to the murder of an innocent 26-year-old telephone company worker named Nicky Guido from 17th St. in Windsor Terrace, who had zero affiliation with the mob. "If Eppolito and Caracappa had never given the name Nicky Guido to middleman Burt Kaplan, who gave it to Casso, my brother would still be alive today," Mike Guido says.

On April 6, the Mafia cops were found guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court for the murder of Nicky Guido and seven others whose bodies popped up on the streets of Brooklyn like morning mushrooms in the worst case of police corruption in NYPD history.

These cops used their gold shields, handcuffs, and twirling lights and police sirens to run around the Borough of Churches killing and kidnapping people like fascist assassins in some despotic police state. Two of their victims, Israel Greenwald and Jimmy Hydell, became members of the "disappeared" like those who Jack Lemmon searched for in "Missing."

In 2005, Greenwald's body was exhumed from his grave in the cement floor of Garage #4 of a parking lot at 2232 Nostrand Ave., just blocks from where his shattered family had moved after losing their Lawrence, L.I., house when the family breadwinner vanished. "Thank you, thank you, thank you Lady Justice," Mike Guido said after jury found the Mafia cop guilty on all 70 counts. And so it was that on Easter Sunday following the verdict Mike Guido took his mother to visit his brother's grave. Buds popped, birds sang, sun shone as his mother placed flowers before a smooth marble stone that bore her son Nicky's name. She also put flowers on the grave of Gabe Guido, her husband, who'd died from a broken heart three years after his son was murdered.

"Then, after, when we sat on the Gowanus in traffic, on the way to Staten Island to eat Easter dinner in my sister-in-law's house, I looked to the right," says Mike Guido. "And there was Bush Terminal, where my father worked in an envelope factory to raise me and Nicky."

Then his mother nudged him and pointed to another austere building, and he realized it was the Brooklyn Federal lockup. "That where they are?" she asked.

"Yeah, Ma, that's where Eppolito and Caracappa will be eatin' Easter dinner."

"Good," she said. "Maybe we should send them a few jellybeans."

Mike Guido passes that jailhouse almost every day on the way to work. "I smile every time, knowing they're in that hellhole," he said. "And that they'll be going somewhere even worse to die in little cages like the animals they are."

Last week, Mike Guido decided to pass up the opportunity to read an impact statement at the sentencing of Eppolito and Caracappa, where they got life without possibility of parole.

"To start with, I had to go to work," he says, a concept lost on crooked cops and cheap hoods. "Secondly, they're beneath my contempt. I wouldn't waste my breath. There's a homeless guy who stands on 42nd St. and Seventh Ave. in Manhattan with a sign that says you can tell him off for one dollar. I'd rather give him a buck and tell him what I think of Eppolito and Caracappa than make a special trip to tell them."

Instead, on Father's Day Mike Guido will pick up his mother and make a special trip to Green-Wood Cemetery to pray over the graves of his brother and his father, who loved his sons so much that the loss of his youngest took away his very will to live.

"My brother was murdered 20 years ago," Mike Guido says. "But Eppolito's and Caracappa's life sentences are just about to start. I can feel my old man smiling. So on this Father's Day, both Nicky and my father can finally rest in peace. Together ..."

Thanks to Denis Hamill

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