Friday, November 22, 2013
Philly Mob Jury Gets A History Lesson
Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal organized crime trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.
It was Mob History 101, a primer on the wantonly violent and consistently treacherous Philadelphia branch of Cosa Nostra.
Jurors in the racketeering conspiracy trial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi got nearly four hours of the murderous and mundane today as the trial entered its third week. With mob expert and former FBI agent Joaquin "Big Jack" Garcia on the stand and Ligambi's lawyer, Edwin Jacobs Jr., conducting a lengthy and detailed cross-examination, the anonymously chosen jury took a trip down a bloody memory lane.
Some highlights (or lowlights depending on your point of view):
-- Mob boss Angelo Bruno was shotgunned to death in March 1980, a hit that destabilized the once smoothly run organization. Bruno's consigliere, Antonio "Tony Bananas" Caponigro, was behind the murder of the so-called Docile Don and thought he had the approval of the New York-based Mafia Commission. He didn't. On that, Garcia and Jacobs agreed.
Caponigro was killed a short later.
"He thought he was going to be knighted as head of the family," Garcia said. "Instead he was tortured and killed and money was left in every orifice of his body."
-- South Philadelphia steak shop owner and one-time high level bookmaker Danny D'Ambrosio should have been killed, under strict mob rules, for plotting with North Jersey mobster Peter "Pete the Crumb" Caprio (who later became a government witness) to murder Ligambi, his current co-defendant and nephew George Borgesi and then crime family consigliere Steven Manzone in the late 1990s. Caprio had the approval of three of the New York crime families, who supported what was to be his takeover of the Philadelphia organization. (The plot was never carried out because Caprio was arrested.)
But today D'Ambrosio operates his steak shop about two blocks from Ligambi's Packer Park townhouse.
Garcia conceded that under typical mob protocol, D'Ambrosio should be dead.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: