Mafia (2)


By David Amoruso
Posted in 2001

Read the obituary and most up-to-date profile of Carmine Persico here.

Carmine Persico was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Carmine senior, was a soldier in the Genovese Crime Family. To his friends Carmine Persico was known on the streets as 'Junior', to his enemies he was known as 'The Snake'. As a teenager he became the leader of a group of young thugs called 'The Garfield Boys'. When he was 17 he reputedly killed his first victim. Before he could be convicted on the testimony of a state witness known only as "The Blue Angel," his older brother Alphonse confessed to the murder and went to prison for 18 years.

Carmine Persico was one of the main enforcers for the Colombo Family. When he was a Capo he had a crew that consisted of many heavy hitmen such as: Alphonse "Ally Boy" Persico (Carmine’s brother), Gennaro Langella, Anthony Abbattermarco, Joey Brancatto and associate Hugh "Apples" McIntosh. Eventough Apples couldn't become a made guy, his father was not Italian, he still was a very succesful enforcer for the Family and ultimately became Carmine Persico's bodyguard and was very respected within the underworld. Carmine Persico was a real tough guy. Small in stature, scrawny and ugly in appearance, one hand was twisted from a bullet wound; he had also been shot in the face during the first Gallo Wars. The incident, that went down in mob lore had him and a partner in crime, Alphonse D'Ambrosia, sitting is a car as a group of Gallo hoods drove by shooting at them with a M-1 carbine. Ambrosia was shot in the chest and the Snake got one in the face, but spat the bullet out and then drove them both to hospital.

Persico became boss for the first time at the end of the second Gallo war, although it has not been proven most people believe that he pulled the strings from prison while Thomas DiBella was appointed acting boss. When Persico got out of prison DiBella stepped down and handed the seat to Persico. His tenure as boss of the Colombos was marked by his troubles with the law. Of his first thirteen years in the seat, he spent ten of them in prison. When he was out of prison, he operated the family out of the Diplomat Social Club, on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Carroll Street in the Van Brunt district of Brooklyn. Here you would find the main players of the Persico faction of the Colombo faction: Carmine, when he was out of prison, his brother Ally Boy, Jerry Langella, Hugh MacIntosh, one of the family’s main enforcers, Carmine Franzese, the brother of Sonny, Greg Scarpa, Anthony, Vincent and Joe, Jr., the sons of Joseph Colombo, anybody who was part of the Persico faction or who had dealings with them.

Throughout the 80’s, the Colombo family was under massive pressure as the FBI and city and state organized crime strike forces attacked them and the other four families on all fronts. In 1986, Anthony, Joseph and Vincent Colombo were convicted for racketeering, conspiracy and narcotic offences and went to prison for varying terms. Carmine and Alphonse Persico and Jerry Langella went down for labor and construction racketeering and extortion for terms of 39, 12, and 65 years respectively. In addition, Carmine and Langella were sentenced to 100 years for crimes under RICO in what became known as "The Commission Trial," effectively removing them from the streets of New York forever. But in removing "the Snake" from his stronghold, the government was helping to set the stage for the third war in the family.

Incarcerated in Lompoc Penitentiary in California, Persico still held control and strong influence over his family, he made Vic Orena acting boss and in doing so he created the third Family war, after this war which decimated the Colombo Family Carmine’s son Alphonse was put in charge as acting boss. Until he too got nabbed by the feds. If Carmine Persico is a real Family man then he probably is glad to be in prison because the Colombo Family is not doing well and is on the verge of braking down, maybe Carmine prefers his rose garden over his troublesome mob family.

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By David Amoruso
Posted on September 28, 2008
Updated on October 24, 2008
Copyright ©

William "Wild Bill" Cutolo was one of the most charismatic and feared mobsters of the Colombo Crime Family. Born on June 6, 1949 he had risen to become an underboss to Alphonse Persico, the son of imprisoned boss Carmine Persico. But the Colombo Family was a dysfunctional family, in the 1990s two factions had fought a war over who would be boss. One faction was loyal to Carmine Persico and his son. The other supported acting boss Vic Orena. Things heated up fast between the two factions creating fireworks on the streets of New York.

Wild Bill Cutolo was a very respected Colombo Family capo. He was known as a man capable of murder, and a great earner. He had money out on the streets as a loanshark and was heavily involved in union corruption. Using the unions he controlled to hand out no-show jobs to fellow mobsters and steer jobs and money to vendors and resorts operated by men who were connected to the Colombos.

But Cutolo also knew how to maintain a clean front. He was known as a devoted churchgoer at Our Lady Help of Christians on Staten Island. And raised millions for charity, he even dressed up as Santa during christmas parties. But behind that front was a stone cold gangster.

When the Colombo war kicked off Cutolo's crew was on the front line murdering two Persico loyalists. He allegedly pulled the trigger in three hits during the war. There were several attempts on Cutolo's life during those years, but he managed to survive them all. When the smoke cleared twelve people were killed, including two innocent bystanders. Fifteen other people were injured in the war.

The Colombo Family now posed a direct threat to public safety and authorities started hitting scores of mobsters with indictments. Cutolo and six members of his crew were among those charged with various crimes. The mobsters were held without bail in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. According to Jerry Capeci: "They quickly took over their wing, and until the following September, terrorized the inmates as well as the guards. They stole and hoarded food and turned the television room into their private club, hanging up a sign that read: 'Italians Only.'"

9236975284?profile=originalIn December of 1994 Cutolo and his crew were acquitted of federal murder and racketeering charges. Back on the streets Cutolo was stripped of his capo rank and demoted to soldier status. The Persico faction had 'won' the war and still called the shots. But Cutolo was such a charismatic leader that he was eventually made a capo again. He commanded enormous respect from his men. He had fought beside them during the war. Shown his ability to kill and earn millions. This man had "boss" written all over him. And Alphonse Persico knew it.

In 1999 Persico (right) made Cutolo his underboss. It was a belated peace gesture, a sign of respect to Wild Bill. Or so it seemed. On May 26, 1999 Cutolo was summoned to a meeting with Persico. He would never be seen again. It became clear very soon that Persico had eliminated a threat to his position. Within 24 hours he and newly appointed underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss were looking for Cutolo's millions. DeRoss later paid a visit to Cutolo's mistress and told her that her married lover may have run off "to get away from everything and everybody."

On December 29, 2007 Alphonse Persico and John DeRoss were both found guilty of organizing the murder of Cutolo. Both men thought they were off the hook when their first murder trial ended in a hung jury, but the second time wasn't so sweet. In her closing argument prosecutor Deborah Mayer said "Cutolo was coming on like a freight train, acting like he had his own mob. Alphonse Persico had to act." Persico will now spend the rest of his life behind bars, just like his father. On October 6, 2008 authorities found the remains of William Cutolo. His body was buried in a wooded area of Long Island near a stretch of railroad tracks, manufacturing plants and warehouses. The information about Cutolo's burying place is said to have come from an informant.

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