Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Colombo Family

Trouble and More Trouble

Carmine Persico
Carmine "Junior" Persico
Joe Magliocco must have had days when he regretted taking over as boss of Profacis family.   The Gallo crew still wasnt happy, and they came at him with a vengeance, determined to bring him down.  Hoping to weaken Maglioccos hold on the family, they targeted his strongest men, particularly the fierce Carmine Junior Persico.  Persicos car was bombed in 1963, but he escaped with only minor injuries.  On May 19 of that year, he was shot in the face, hand, and shoulder, according to mob expert Jerry Capeci, in a drive-by shooting orchestrated by the Gallos.  Persico was reportedly so tough he spat out one of the bullets that entered his face.  In another incident, Persicos chief enforcer, Hugh McIntosh, a giant of a man who wore a size 52 suit, was ambushed and shot but managed to survive.

But the Gallo revolt came to an abrupt halt in the fall of 1963, when two key crew members were murdered and seventeen others were indicted on a variety of racketeering charges.  With Joey Gallo already almost two years into a lengthy prison sentence, the Gallo crew just didnt have the manpower to keep the fight going.

Stefano Magaddino
Stefano Magaddino
Magliocco may have been relieved to have the pesky Gallo crew off his back, but his real troubles were just beginning.  He had inherited Joe Profacis alliance with the Bonanno Family, but he was an indecisive leader and unfortunately for him took his cues from the ambitious Joe Bonanno.  Before Profaci died, he and Bonanno had been plotting the assassination of their chief nemeses, bosses Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese, and Stefano Magaddino of the Buffalo Family (who also happened to be Bonannos cousin).   Bonannos goal was to get rid of his enemies and install himself as capo di tutti capi, boss of all bosses and head of the Commission.  Following Profacis wishes, Magliocco went along with the plot.   Bonanno gave Magliocco the task of having Gambino and Lucchese whacked, and Magliocco passed the contract on to one of his most loyal hit men, Joe Colombo.  Magliocco was confident that Colombo would get the job done.

But Colombo had a mind of his own, and he could see which way the wind was blowing.  After assessing the situation, he decided that Bonanno was too power-hungry, and his attempt to take over the Commission would ultimately fail, leaving the Profaci Family holding the bag.  So instead of carrying out the executions, Colombo informed Lucchese and Gambino of the conspiracy.  They in turn went to the Commission and demanded justice. 

The Commission did not want to see another Castellammarese War, so they exercised their regulatory powers and summoned Magliocco and Bonanno to appear before them.  Bonanno defied the order and went into hiding.  Magliocco obeyed the order and admitted his part in the conspiracy.  The Commission took pity on him, knowing that the devious Bonanno had to have been the driving force behind the plot.  Magliocco was fined $50,000 and forced to retire.  They spared his life, but Magliocco had a heart attack and died a few months later.

Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
At the suggestion of Carlo Gambino, Joe Colombo was rewarded for his part in thwarting the conspiracy and made the new boss of the Profaci Family.  Gambino would come to regret that endorsement when Colombo and his love of publicity threw an unwanted spotlight on the organized-crime underworld.

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