Tuesday, 3 February 2009


211, Avenue A, East Village
On October 10, 1928, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquilla, then head of what would become the Gambino crime family, was gunned down here outside a doctors office (green doorway to the right of restaurant above) by Guiseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria's gunmen.

D'Aquilla, (above) who ran an olive oil and cheese importing business, proclaimed himself the boss of all bosses after the jailing of Ignazio Lupo and Giuseppe Morello in 1909. Although he wasn't the only one to make such a proclamation, he was the only one to survive the announcement for any significant length of time. D'Aquilla is believed to have inserted his own loyal supporters as spies into other crime families.
While D'Aquilla did not succeed in uniting the city's Mafiosi, he did not have a serious open challenge for about a decade, when Masseria and Umberto Valenti moved to grab the underworld throne.

Not much is known about D'Aquilla - it seems he lost much of his authority to Masseria (above)
in the early 1920's. His crime group seems to have been taken over by Masseria supporter Al Mineo and his right-hand man Steve Ferrigno. The unit was run by Frank Scalise during the later Castellamarese War and was then turned over to Vincent Mangano in the 1931 reorganisation. It survives to this day as the Gambino Family.
Authors Note: Due to 'vowel discrimination' (surname not ending in a vowel) I could not seek a career in the Mafia. Shame as Kerry "Fat Man" Bethel would be a good moniker.

1 comment:

Thom L. Jones said...

The image is that of Albert Anastasia, head of the family when he was also gunned down in 1957. To my knowledge, there is no known photo of D 'Aquila.