Big Jim Colosimo — May 11, 1920
Colosimo was gunned down on orders from Johnny Torrio. This event set in motion the rise of Al Capone.
Dion O'Banion — November 10, 1924
The Chicago Irish crime boss was killed in his flower shop by Al Capone's gunmen as a result of an ongoing war over bootlegging profits. His funeral was the biggest in Chicago history.
Joseph and John Lonardo — October 13, 1927
Cleveland mob boss Joseph and his brother John were gunned down in a barbershop. Lonardo was succeeded by Joe Porello. Joe was taken down in 1930
Arnold Rothstein — November 4, 1928
Legendary Jewish gambling boss Rothstein was stepping on some toes in New York. After allegedly welshing on a huge gambling loss, he was shot while leaving the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan and died two days later.
Sam Carlino — May 9, 1932
The Denver underworld was just starting to take shape when a vicious gangland war broke out. Bootlegging kingpin Sam Carlino was in his house with Jim Coletti, who later ascended to the throne of Pueblo boss. Both men were shot by unknown gunmen. Carlino was killed.
Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll — February 8, 1932
Notorious Irish hood Mad Dog Coll angered Lucky Luciano and everyone else in New York when he killed a child during a kidnapping attempt. After his acquittal on the murder charge, Coll was talking in a telephone booth when a car drove by and filled him with bullets.
John, Arthur, and James Volpe — July 29, 1932
The Volpe brothers were underworld figures in Pittsburgh. They were gunned down in a coffee shop on orders from John Bazzano, the family boss. Bazzano's body was found in a burlap sack on a Brooklyn street the following week.
Joe Roma — February 18, 1933
Joe Roma took over the rackets in Denver after the death of Sam Carlino. But his reign was short-lived. Less than two years after Carlino was ambushed in his own home, Roma was in his house, talking with some unidentified acquaintances. As they rose to leave, they took Joe out.
John “Big Nose” Avena — August 17, 1936
Big Nose became the leader of the Mafia in Philadelphia after Salvatore Sabella stepped down. A rival faction killed him in South Philadelphia.
Joe Tocco — May 2, 1938
Detroit gangland bigwig Joe Tocco took five pistol shots and twelve rounds from a shotgun to his back yet still held on for a couple days before passing away. His death brought about a consolidation of power in the local family.
Ignazio Antinori — October 22, 1940
When Tampa mob bigwig Ignazio Antinori went out for drink with a few friends, he became a victim of the first Tampa mob war, between the Mafia and the crime group led by Charlie Wall. He was shot through a window while drinking at a juke joint.
James Ragen — June 24, 1946
Ragen was the owner of the Continental Wire Service, providing services to dozens of gambling operations. He ran afoul of mob bosses and was gunned down in the middle of a Chicago street.
Charles Binaggio — April 6, 1950
Charles Binaggio was the boss of the Kansas City mafia. But on April 6, 1950, he was found with his bodyguard Charles Gargotta, dead in the Jackson County Democratic Headquarters. Both were shot at close range.
James “Head of the Elks” Lumia — June 5, 1950
Tampa mob power James Lumia was popped in broad daylight while talking to two employees of his oil company in Tampa. His death was part of an intrafamily war between the Red Italiano faction and the Trafficantes.
Phillip and Vincent Mangano — April 19, 1951
Vincent, the boss of the Mangano crime family (now known as the Gambinos), disappeared the same day as his brother Phillip was gunned down in Brooklyn. Albert Anastasia orchestrated the hit, taking the top spot.
Willie Moretti — October 4, 1951
Moretti was the underboss of the Genovese family and a family relation to Frank Costello. But his mind was going. He was heard babbling on and on about mob business as his mental health eroded (some said from syphilis). Three gunmen took him to lunch and finished him off.
Albert Anastasia — October 25, 1957
Albert Anastasia was also known as “the Mad Hatter” and “the Lord High Executioner.” He met his demise in a barber chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel.
Gus Greenbaum — December 3, 1958
The manager of the Flamingo and Riviera in Vegas, Greenbaum was handpicked by Meyer Lansky to keep things running smoothly in Sin City. But his womanizing and heavy drinking took its toll. He relocated to Phoenix to stay out of trouble but the mob found him.
Anthony “Little Augie Pisano” Carfano — September 25, 1959
Augie was out on the town with Janice Drake, a former Miss America contestant. Carfano was a New York–based mobster, but he was instrumental in turning Miami into a gangster's paradise. But his usefulness was exhausted. He was gunned down in his car. Miss Drake did not survive the assault.
Bernie McLaughlin — October 1961
Bernie was the leader of a Charlestown, Massachusetts, Irish gang, direct competitors to the Winter Hill gang and the Boston Mafia. After an incident on Labor Day, a grudge quickly escalated into all-out war between the McLaughlins and the Winter Hill Gang. Bernie was shot and killed in the middle of a large crowd. No one saw anything.
Charles “Cadillac Charley” Cavallaro — November 23, 1962
Normally mobsters only kill their own kind or those who cross them in business. But this time, the eighty-second bombing in Youngstown, Ohio, resulted in the death of not only mob figure Cadillac Charley but his eleven-year-old son as well.
Frank Mari and Mike Adamo — September 18, 1969
Mari was a rising star in the Bonanno family and Adamo was his bodyguard. This was the last day either was seen.
James “Jimmy Doyle” Plumeri — September 17, 1971
Plumeri was a Lucchese mobster with ties to the garment industry. He was also part of anti-Castro operations in South Florida and may have been offshore in a boat during the Bay of Pigs invasion. That fact didn't impress the mobster who strangled Plumeri to death with his own tie.
Joe “Crazy Joe” Gallo — April 7, 1972
Gallo had returned from prison to reignite the Gallo war against the now-Colombo family. While eating seafood at the famous Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy, gunmen burst in the restaurant and cut him down. Gallo staggered out and died in the middle of the street.
Sam “Mad Dog” DeStefano — April 14, 1973
The Chicago Outfit's top hit man, Mad Dog DeStefano, was awaiting indictment with his crew for murder. His previous courthouse behavior worried the higher-ups in the Outfit. He was shotgunned to death in his garage.
Jimmy Hoffa — July 30, 1975
The legendary mystery of “where is Jimmy Hoffa buried” started this day. The most plausible explanation is that he was killed by members of the Detroit Mafia and chopped into pieces and/or crushed at a car wrecking plant. He is not, however, buried under Giants Stadium.
Jimmy “the Hammer” Massaro — November 23, 1975
“The Hammer” got himself caught up in an escalating war in the Rochester family. Following an intensive investigation, six men, including the boss of the family, were convicted of Massaro's murder. This event is chronicled in the hard-to-find cult mafia book, The Hammer Conspiracies.
Joe Barboza — February 12, 1976
Known as “the Animal,” this Portuguese mobster testified against members of the New England Mafia, including boss Ray Patriarca. He was relocated to San Francisco, but the old boys back in Beantown found out where he was living. Barboza was paid a visit by Patriarca family member J.R. Russo. Only Russo left alive.
Frank Bompensiero — February 10, 1977
Frank angered the leadership of the Los Angeles family by criticizing their ineptitude. The head of the San Diego branch, the Bomp was killed while talking in a phone booth. It later came out that he was an FBI informant.
Charles “Chuckie” Nicoletti — March 29, 197
Nicoletti was an alleged figure in the JFK assassination according to some sources. But he definitely was a Chicago Outfit hit man who was responsible for over twenty murders. Nicoletti made waves in the Chicago underworld; he was shot in the head and his car set on fire.
Danny Greene — October 6, 197
Greene was an Irish gangland figure in Cleveland who was fighting with the local Mafia over control of rackets in town, following the death of Ohio boss John Scalish. The resulting war was characterized by car bombs, many of which failed. This time the bomb succeeded.
August Palmisano — June 30, 1978
Milwaukee boss Frank Balistrieri ran a tight ship. So when word came through the grapevine that there was an informer working with the police, Balistrieri put out the order. Taking a page from the Cleveland war, Palmisano was killed by a car bomb.
Carmine Galante — July 12, 1979
Bonanno crime family boss Carmine Galante was killed while eating at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. The now-famous murder scene photo shows Galante still clutching his cigar between his teeth.
Phil “Chicken Man” Testa — March 15, 1981
When Bruce Springsteen sung about the Chicken Man getting blown up, he was referring to the murder of Philly mob boss Phil Testa. After Angelo Bruno's murder the year before, the Philly family was thrown into upheaval. Following Chicken Man's demise, Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo took over.
Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme and William “Wild Guy” Grasso — June 16, 1989
This day was a pivotal one in the history of organized crime in New England. The body of mobster William Grasso was found along the banks of the Connecticut River with one bullet in his head. Later that day, Frank Salemme was ambushed at a pancake house, but he survived to become the boss of the New England family.
Henry “Hank the Bear” Smurra — November 23, 1991
Smurra was part of the Persico faction of the Colombo crime family. He was sitting in his car in front of a doughnut shop in Brooklyn when he was taken out by gunmen loyal to Victor Orena. It was the first casualty in the Colombo war; it resulted in twelve deaths.
Michael “Mickey Chang” Ciancaglini — August 5, 1993
As a war between Sicilian John Stanfa and young upstart Skinny Joey Merlino was playing out on the streets of Philadelphia, both sides were gearing up to take out the head of the other faction. While walking down a South Philly street, Joey Merlino was shot in the buttocks, but Mickey Chang was hit in the chest and died on the street.
Robert DeCicco and Rudolph Izzi — June 6 and 7, 2007
Gambino soldier Robert DeCicco was shot on a Bay Ridge street while emerging from a pharmacy. He survived. Genovese associate Rudolph “Rudy Cue Ball” Izzi was not so lucky. He took one shot behind his ear. Both hits took place the week before the final episode of The Sopranos.