Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Providence Mob

Succession of Power

Estes Kefauver, 1956 (CORBIS)
Estes Kefauver,
1956 (CORBIS)

When the Kefauver hearings began in 1950, the old-time leadership in Boston feared the publicity might expose them and their operations. Lombardo ordered all bookmaking operations shut down, or to operate without a central layoff bank and without police protection. During the Kefauver "threat" the bookmakers lost Lombardo's protection service, but gained more freedom to operate. This overreaction to the Kefauver Hearings, which never materialized in Boston, opened the door for Gennaro Angiulo to move in on the gambling operations of the city.

Ilario "Larry" Zannino
Ilario "Larry" Zannino

By the late 1950s, Angiulo was being shaken down regularly by mob heavies in Boston because he was not a made member of the Mafia. Angiulo solved this problem by taking $50,000 down to Patriarca in Providence and promising him an additional $100,000 a year. These payments led to Angiulo becoming a made member of the family without having to "make his bones" as other members were required. The Patriarca-Angiulo relationship was strictly financial. Angiulo was never well liked or respected, but as long as he kept the money flowing into Providence he had the backing and protection of Patriarca.

Gennaro Angiulo
Gennaro Angiulo

This arrangement would hold up for more than two decades. On September 19, 1983, FBI agents arrested Angiulo, three of his brothers and two other associates in a Boston Restaurant. In the wake of Patriarca's death in 1984, Angiulo, although still in jail awaiting trial, was hoping to succeed to the top spot. But it was not to be. Disliked in Providence, Angiulo was demoted to a mere soldier when top lieutenant Ilario "Larry" Zannino threw his support behind the late mob boss's son, Raymond J. "Junior" Patriarca. One Providence police official stated. "If that job had gone to Angiulo, we would have bodies all over the place."

On February 26, 1986, Gennaro Angiulo, two of his brothers and an associate were convicted on the 1983 racketeering charges. Angiulo, who had been in prison since the indictment, was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $120,000.

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