‘Tis the season! Merry Christmas everyone! At Gangsters Inc. we don’t really do presents. But we do do gangster stories! Lots of ‘em! Especially for Christmas we’ve dug up three stories that show how gangsters spend their Christmas. Spoiler alert: Two end in murder.
For those of you thinking DiBiase murdered a vicious gang rival, you’re wrong. “Not just any old someone, but a best friend someone. A guy who had stood by Carmine at his wedding, as his chief attendant. Been godfather to one of his children. Was his business partner.”
In the mob you kill those close to you. And they never see it coming. Nor do you. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for a warm family gathering this Christmas I don’t know what will.
This one takes place on the early morning of Christmas Eve in 1992. Tommy Uva and his wife Rosemarie are sitting in their car, waiting in front of traffic lights in Ozone Park, a suburb in Queens, New York.
“They sit listening to the car radio, waiting for the lights to change. Maybe Rosemarie is bobbing with excitement, looking forward to their day of last-minute Christmas shopping. She is carrying a wallet with $1000 cash.”
“Just before the traffic signals change, two men approach the car and raising handguns, begin shooting into the vehicle through the windows. Tommy and Rosemarie are each hit in the head, three times, and die instantly. Tommy slumps forward over the steering wheel, pressing down on the accelerator and the Mercury moves forward, wheeling at an angle across the intersection, colliding with another vehicle before it stops against the curb outside a house.”
The New York mob just wished the couple a Merry fuckin’ Christmas.
The five Mafia families in New York had had enough of Tommy and Rosemarie for they had spent the last six months robbing their social clubs.
Investigations revealed that the Uvas “were picking social clubs run by the Gambino, Bonanno and possibly the Colombo crime families in Brooklyn, Queens and the Little Italy area of Lower Manhattan. At least two of the social clubs belonged to senior capi or crew bosses in the Gambino crime family and a third Gambino linked spot, Café Liberty, which was robbed by the Uvas twice, was also the scene of a particularly brutal inter-family mob killing. They also robbed The West End Social Club run by the Bonanno family consigliore, or counselor, on Bay 16th Street in Bensonhurst.”
As Thom L. Jones points out in his detailed article on the Uvas, “Criminals in the league of the Mafia rarely, if ever, seek police assistance to sort out their problems, so official records are more likely to err on the conservative side.”
But robbing the mob is about the most dangerous thing you can do, causing Jones to label the Uvas the first people to commit suicide by mob.
With death out of the way, let’s focus on some more lighthearted gangster stuff, shall we?
Well, leave it to Genovese mob boss Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno to provide the entertainment. Though he was one of the crime family’s leading men, he answered to Vincent “Chin” Gigante, the true boss of bosses. Gigante used Salerno as a front to throw off the feds. And, to be on the safe side, Gigante also had a crazy act going for several decades that saw him urinating in public and walking the streets in his pajamas.