The Chicago Syndicate: Fifi Buccieri
Showing posts with label Fifi Buccieri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fifi Buccieri. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chicago Mob Time Line: January 1, 1985

Friends of ours: Sal DeLaurentis, Chuckie English, Sam Giancana, Joe Ferriola, Fifi Buccieri, Turk Torello, Paul Ricca, Tony Accardo, Fat Tony Salerno, Genovese Crime Family, Dominic Palermo, Tony Spilotro, Rocco Infelise, John "No Nose" DiFronzo, Sam "Wings" Carlisi, Michael Carracci, Jackie Cerone
Friends of mine: Hal Smith, Dom Angelini, Chris Petti


IN THE YEAR 1985: Sal DeLaurentis was strongly suspected of playing a role in the torture murder of a bookmaker named Hal Smith. A few months before federal investigators caught Solly D on tape telling Smith that he would be "trunk music" unless he made a $6,000 a month street tax payment to him.

- Chuckie English, Sam Giancana's top aide, died with vast interests in the Phoenix area, real estate and construction.

- Joe Ferriola, AKA Joe Negall, was now the boss over the Chicago mob. He had been with Fifi Buccieri's crew until Buccieri died, and Turk Torello took over. When he died, Ferriola took over and eventually assumed control of all the gambling in Chicago.

It was widely assumed that Tony Accardo was still in charge of the organization, just as Paul Ricca had been in charge when Accardo and Giancana were running things.

- Tony Accardo sold his condo on Harlem avenue and moved into affluent Barrington Hills, to live on the estate with his daughter Marie, Mrs. Ernie Kumerow. Mr. Kumerow is a union official.

- Fortune magazine declares that Tony Accardo is the second ranked boss in the country behind Fat Tony Salerno in New York of the Genovese family.

- According to Dominic Palermo's wife, who was an FBI informant, her husband Dominic got the order to kill the Spilotro brothers at a meeting he attended at the Czech Restaurant in Chicago. Palermo said that Joe Ferriola ordered the hit and Rocco Infelise gave it his okay.

Palermo, who worked for the very mobbed up Chicago Laborers local 5, was left behind in the cornfield by the other killers after they took the Spilotro's out. Palermo walked five miles to a phone both and called his wife, told her what happened and had her pick him up.

From that information, the FBI was able to locate the Spilotro bodies. The corpses were not, as the story so often goes, discovered when a farmer plowed them up. Rather, the Chicago office of the FBI probably spread that story to cover its informants.

- The Chicago mob's new boss, John "No Nose" DiFronzo decided to try and skim money out of legalized gambling at the Rincon Indian resort, on a federal reservation in San Diego County, California. It was a last ditch attempt to keep their grip on the Nevada gambling scene but the entire scam was a disaster.

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The first time the reservation scam was discussed was in July of 1985, between DiFronzo, Dom Angelini, who, at the time was Chicago's man in Vegas, and underboss, Sam "Wings" Carlisi at a meeting held at Rocky's Restaurant in suburban Melrose Park, Illinois.

The plan was to finance the tribe's venture into gambling, take over the operations, skim money from the casinos as well as use it to launder money from narcotics sales. Dom Angelini placed Chris Petti, the outfit's man in San Diego, in charge of the takeover. Petti was ordered to deal directly with Angelini's brother-in-law, Michael Caracci, a soldier in the DiFronzo crew.

To work the scam, Caracci called Petti at the same San Diego pay phone they had been using for years, which, unknown to them the FBI had tapped years before. They decided that although the Rincon deal looked good, Chicago didn't want to sink any money into it.

But that they would, however, get involved if an outside source wanted to put up the financing to take over the Indian gambling resort. Petti made contact with Peter Carmassi, whom he had been told was a money launderer for a Columbian drug cartel.

Carmassi, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, showed interest in the Rincon casino deal. In several tape recorded and filmed meetings with undercover agent Carmassi, Petti laid out the entire scam to take over the Rincon reservation gambling concession.

On January 9, 1992, the government indicted Petti, DiFronzo, Carlisi and the reservation's lawyer, on 15 counts of criminal conspiracy. DiFronzo and Angelini were convicted and got a 37-month sentence, with fines approaching one million dollars.

- Corbitt joined the Cook County Sheriff's Department, and was assigned to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. However, he was indicted and convicted for racketeering and obstructing justice in 1988.

- Jackie Cerone got nailed on federal charges for skimming $2,000,000 from the Stardust Casino in Vegas and was sent to prison in Texas.

Thanks to Mob Magazine

Friday, April 29, 2005

Joey Lombardro - A tricky clown leaves a cold trail on Grand Avenue

Mistakes have been made by news organizations covering the secretive Chicago Outfit, and my newspaper has made two in recent days, misidentifying civilians as mobsters.

I'm not trying to minimize what happened. Folks in this newsroom feel terrible about the mistakes. But it also reminds me of another mistake I almost made, trying to identify the Outfit boss Joe "The Clown" Lombardo.

I figured I couldn't miss him, since he was sitting only three cattle-prod lengths away from me, in a Grand Avenue restaurant. There he was, hunched over his food, wearing a St. Christopher medal around his neck. Then he turned into a Jewish gentleman named Goldman and disappeared. That's the Clown for you. He's tricky and devious.

"Clown? What clown?" deadpanned the restaurant manager. "Clown? What are you talking about, clown?"

The manager had worked on Grand Avenue for years, so naturally he knew he'd never heard of Lombardo. He insisted the fellow's name was Goldman.

Here's what happened:

I had ordered the cavatelli and cold rapini. My colleague, the legendary Slim the Legman, had pasta with peas and a cream sauce. Slim didn't talk much, as he was still upset with me over his last Outfit-related assignment.

I'd politely ordered him to report on the gay mobster lifestyle. It was a tough job that had to be done, but happily not by me. That's what legmen are for.

Besides, it wasn't even my idea. The gay Outfit angle was the pride of the Chicago Sun-Times. The tabloid--which loudly insists it's the unofficial paper of City Hall, perhaps overcompensating--ran a story a few years ago on the terrifying mob killer "Fifi" Buccieri.

He used cattle prods, meat hooks, you name it. But that wasn't news. The news--blared by the Sun-Times--was that Fifi was gay and had a lover named Vic. The newspaper reported that the information came from a burglar who hated Vic. And Vic was dead, as was Fifi, so there wasn't much of a chance of a defamation lawsuit, or a cattle prod session.

If Buccieri were alive, the Sun-Times would have had to find gay hit men to confirm Fifi's orientation. That may have proved difficult.

"If that reporter who called Feef a gay was around when Feef was Feef, that reporter wouldn't be too happy," a guy told me on Thursday. He can't be identified, so we'll call him Dat Guy. "Feef used blowtorches and cattle prods," Dat Guy said, "but he wasn't gay."

I'm not picking sides in the gay-or-not-gay mobster thing. That's the Sun-Times' business. Besides, a cattle prod in the hands of a psychopathic killer is still a cattle prod, no matter which way it swings.

So years ago, when the Sun-Times outed Feef and Vic, I asked Slim the Legman to go into the bars, restaurants and clubs on Grand Avenue to report on the gay mobster lifestyle.

Slim refused, and rather rudely too, for a Harvard man. "Can't I just work the phone?" he yelled. "Next, you'll be sending me to Bosnia to dig up land mines with a Popsicle stick."

He was rather standoffish for a long time, so when I got a tip that Lombardo was at a restaurant, I took Slim with me to make amends and serve as a witness if I turned into a carpet stain.

I wasn't planning to ask Lombardo about Fifi. We were going to inquire about Chicago politics.

As we walked in, Slim asked if I knew the place, and I said it was perfect for our purposes, a small family establishment where everyone minds his business.

"How's the food?" asked Slim.

It's good, I said. Try the veal--it's the best in the city. But Slim was still angry and stubborn, so he ordered the pasta and peas instead of the veal.

That's when I saw the fellow who looked like a picture of the Clown, but older, and not the one with two eyes poking through the newspaper.

So I removed the notepad, recorder and pen from my jacket (slowly) and placed them on the table, so he wouldn't be startled when I walked over.

He looked at me. If you've ever watched a National Geographic special on Komodo dragons, you'd know the look. He didn't flick his tongue, but he snapped his fingers. Instantly, a hive of busboys materialized, scraping his food into takeout containers, and he was gone.

AfterwardSaint Christopher Medal, the manager insisted he didn't know any Clown, then checked a fistful of credit card receipts before insisting the fellow was "Irwin Goldman."

What about the St. Christopher medal? The manager shrugged.

So whether the Outfit has gay bosses or bisexual hitmen is for the other paper to investigate.

I'm still trying to find the Jewish guy wearing a St. Christopher medal on Grand Avenue.

Thanks to John Kass

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