Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Good help is hard to find, even you're a real-life Tony Soprano.
The killings were coldblooded - but chillingly comical.end quote from the New York Post
The former underboss of the Bonanno crime family yesterday detailed the murders of three capos - allegedly orchestrated by his brother-in-law and boss, Joseph Massino - that called for him and a team of masked hit men to burst from a closet in a social club, armed with of pistols and a machine gun, to carry out the slayings.
But turncoat Salvatore "Good Looking Sal" Vitale admitted his job was marginalized to simply "guarding the door" with his tommy gun after he goofed up and hit the trigger as the thugs were setting up, spraying a wall with gunfire. The flub irked Massino so much, the red-faced Vitale was told he could not be one of the shooters, he testified in Brooklyn federal court....
In what could have been a comedy hit playing in a courtroom, Vitale said Massino and Dominic "Sonny Black" Napolitano had invited the three capos to a Brooklyn social club on May 5, 1981, for what they said was to be an "administration meeting."...
Just before the capos' rubout, Vitale and three other shooters - including Vito Rizzuto, known as "The John Gotti of Canada" - were given weapons and ski masks and ordered to crouch inside a closet, ready to pounce, Vitale said... Massino allegedly told his Keystone killers, "When you come out of the closet, say, 'This is a holdup!'
"We entered the closet and left the door open a smidge so we could look out," Vitale said. A doorbell rang, and a handful of wiseguys joined Massino and the three ill-fated capos - Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato, Philip "Philly Lucky" Giaccone and Dominick "Big Trin" Trinchera - inside the room.
The shooters sprung into action when wiseguy George Sciascia gave the pre-arranged signal -- running his fingers through his hair. "I heard Vito [Rizzuto] say, 'Don't anybody move. This is a holdup,' " Vitale said.
"Then shots were fired. I seen Vito shooting. I don't know who he hit. I saw Joe Massino punching Philly Lucky. I froze for five seconds ... and Frank Lino [a wiseguy with the rival faction] passed us and kept on running. The only one who was standing in the room with the three dead bodies was Joe Massino. Everyone was gone.
"We looked at each other like, 'Where did everybody go?'"
It turned out that "everybody" - the survivors and the shooters -- had run out a door that Massino and Vitale didn't know existed.
Vitale said a cleanup crew showed up at the scene to wrap the bodies in dropcloths and then load them into a van. "It was a mess," he said. "There was blood all over the place. There was too much blood. We couldn't clean up. It was impossible to clean up."
Massino told Vitale the only option was to "burn the club down," the canary testified. And so, the building was later set ablaze.
Less than three weeks later, Indelicato's body was discovered when an arm mysteriously popped out of a shallow grave in Queens, causing a rift between Napolitano and Massino, whose crew was in charge of disposing of the body...