Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cleveland's Killer Celebrities, Part 1

Who Lives
by the Bomb...

In early October, Ferritto got a call from Carabbia. Together they drove to Mosquito Lake, near Warren.

The leaders of the Cleveland Mob were waiting on a boat. They had something they wanted Ferritto to hear.

It was a wiretap recording of a phone call from Greene's girlfriend to the office of Dr. Alfonso Rossi, a dentist in the Brainard Place Building on Cedar Road in the suburb of Lyndhurst.

She made an appointment for 3 p.m. on Oct. 6.

Cisternino bought two cars, a maroon Chevy Nova and a blue Plymouth, registering them to fictitious addresses. He welded a steel bomb compartment to the inside passenger door of the Nova, where it would direct the explosion outward.

On the morning of the sixth, Cisternino assembled the bomb and put it in a shopping bag. While Cisternino stayed behind, monitoring the police radio, Carabbia drove the Nova the bomb car to Lyndhurst. Ferritto followed in the Plymouth the getaway car.

Greene was late.

They waited nervously.

At 3:20, he arrived in a brown Lincoln, parked and hurried into the building.

Carabbia quickly pulled the Nova into the spot next to the Lincoln. He armed the bomb, put it in the steel compartment welded to the door and a final irony covered it with a green blanket.

Then he walked to a nearby phone booth and pretended to make a call so he could watch the door of the building.

A little after 4, Greene emerged.

Carabbia got into the back seat of the Plymouth, holding the detonator. Ferritto slowly cruised the Plymouth onto Cedar Road,

As Greene reached his car, Carabbia pressed the detonator and Ferritto stepped on the gas.

"The explosion was thunderous," Whelan would write later. "It sent a red ball of fire into the air, a blinding cloud of flame that for an instant bathed the already sunlit parking lot in a terrifying white light.

"The bomb tore Greene's back apart. It ripped off all his clothing, except for his brown zip-up boots and black socks. It blew off his left arm, throwing it 100 feet away, the gold ring with five green stones still firmly on a finger."

His Adidas bag was untouched. Police found, among other contents, a 9mm pistol and a holy card with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Ferritto quickly turned onto the nearby I-271 entrance and raced northward. He and Carabbia had done it! They had killed the Irishman! Mafia membership and control of lucrative gambling operations awaited him.

Others were equally overjoyed.

"That night at a restaurant in Little Italy there was a celebration," Whelan writes. "One man who loathed Greene danced about in a drunken stupor. He pulled out a .38 and shot it wildly into the ceiling. "The Irishman is dead!" he screamed. "The Irishman is dead! The Irishman ..."

Next: "The Cop & the Kid"

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