The Chicago Syndicate: Mobster Supports Having a Broad Vocabulary
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mobster Supports Having a Broad Vocabulary

He's known as Vinny Gorgeous, but convicted mob boss Vincent Basciano might want to trade up to Vinny Photogenic or Vinny Pulchritudinous.

The feds might want to pick up a dictionary before reading Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano's letters.

Some of his letters from federal prison, which are being intercepted and scrutinized by authorities, are full of such words as "thespian," "flippant" and "sagacious," his lawyer said Thursday.

A new form of gangland slang, or a coded message to fellow wise guys? No, attorney Ephraim Savitt said, just vocabulary Basciano wants the recipient -- his 7-year-old son -- to learn.

"He wants the kid to go to college and be a success," Savitt said, claiming his client's fatherly aims are being frustrated by authorities' slow pace in reviewing the letters.

Basciano "enjoys using $10 words and uses them correctly, I might add," his attorney said.

Basciano, 48, is serving a life sentence for the 2001 killing of a Mafia rival. A jury convicted him in 2006 of racketeering, attempted murder and gambling but deadlocked on a murder charge in the slaying of Frank Santoro. After a retrial, Basciano was convicted of murder in July 2007.

Basciano still faces trial on charges of plotting to kill a prosecutor.

Authorities say Basciano became the acting leader of the Bonanno organized crime family after the arrest of Joseph Massino, who is serving a life sentence for murder, racketeering and other crimes.

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