Fu­neral of Mafia boss held in NY

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The fu­neral of Carlo Gam­bino, the ‘boss of the bosses’ in the Mafia, has taken place in New York.

Mr Gam­bino, con­sid­ered the most pow­er­ful of the lead­ers of the Amer­i­can Mafia, died in his sleep at his home on Fri­day. It is thought he suf­fered a heart at­tack.

The fu­neral, which was ticket-only, was held at the Church of Our Lady of Grace in a quiet, res­i­den­tial area of Brook­lyn.

Plain clothes po­lice of­fi­cers and FBI agents were among the crowds out­side the church. No trou­ble was ex­pected as Mafia fam­i­lies have a his­tory of re­spect­ing fu­ner­als, but the FBI had gone to find out who might suc­ceed Mr Gam­bino as head of the fam­ily.

Carlo Gam­bino, in a $7,000 (£4,400) bronze cof­fin, was buried next to his wife Cather­ine who died in 1971.

The death of Mr Gam­bino had long been ex­pected fol­low­ing his re­cent spate of heart trou­ble.

At­tempted hi­jack

At­tempts had been made to ar­rest and de­port him for his in­volve­ment in the at­tempted hi­jack of an ar­moured car in Si­cily but he was con­sid­ered too ill to make the jour­ney back.

He was al­lowed to re­main in the coun­try and died at his home in Mas­s­apepe­qua, NY.

Born in Si­cily in 1902, Mr Gam­bino moved to Amer­ica in 1921 and be­gan mov­ing up within the Mafia. He be­came head of his Mafia fam­ily in 1957.

At the height of its power his fam­ily was con­sid­ered to be the most in­flu­en­tial in all Amer­ica.

Spec­u­la­tion is now over who will be­come leader. Anielio Del­lacroce, who once chal­lenged Mr Gam­bino for the leadership of the fam­ily, and Carmino Ga­lente, head of an­other New York fam­ily have been put for­ward.

Who­ever takes over will con­trol a 1,000 strong net­work of staff em­ployed to run Mr Gam­bino’s mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar em­pire of gambling, nar­cotics and loan shark­ing.

Paul Castel­lano took over from Carlo Gam­bino as head of the fam­ily. A cousin of Mr Gam­bino he had pre­vi­ously set up con­struc­tion bids, union af­fairs and po­lit­i­cal ties.

It is widely be­lieved the char­ac­ter of Don Vito Cor­leone played by Mar­lon Brando in Mario Puzo’s ‘The God­fa­ther’ is based on Carlo Gam­bino.

As well as be­ing the head of the five New York fam­i­lies Carlo Gam­bino was also on the Na­tional Mafia Com­mis­sion which gov­erned the af­fairs of the 26 Amer­i­can fam­i­lies. He was con­sid­ered to be very in­flu­en­tial in this role.

The fam­i­lies were used to re­fer to the way dif­fer­ent groups were split. The hi­er­ar­chi­cal sys­tems each have a ‘boss’, an ‘un­der­boss’, ‘lieu­tenants’ and ‘sol­diers’ who to­gether run the fam­ily busi­nesses.

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