Reputed Boss of Gambino Mafia Family Shot, Killed on Staten Island

Erika Holt
March 17, 2019

No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing as police search for a blue pickup truck that fled the gruesome scene after it is believed to have run Cali over.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said police are reviewing surveillance footage that captured the events surrounding Frank Cali's death yesterday in Staten Island.

The mobster emerged from his home around 9:15 p.m. after the gunman backed his pickup into Cali's Cadillac SUV, damaging it, according to police.

NY media say it is the first killing of a family boss in the city since the Gambino family's Paul Castellano was shot dead outside a restaurant in 1985 on the orders of John Gotti.

Suspected Gambino crime boss Frank Cali was fatally shot outside his home in NY on Wednesday.

In 1985, Gambino "capo" John Gotti orchestrated the murder of Castellano to become the most publicized boss of the family.

The reputed head of New York's Gambino crime family, Frank Cali, has been killed outside his home, the city's police have told United States media.

His only criminal conviction came in 2008, when he pleaded guilty to an extortion conspiracy charge resulting from a failed bid to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island years earlier. He died in prison in 2002.

Italian police vehicles. File
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NY media say it is the first targeted killing of a mob boss in the city since 1985.

After reportedly taking the reins in 2015, Cali was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of Gotti because "no-one ever sees him", the New York Post reported.

The Gambino operation is said to be one of the five historic Italian-US mafia families in NY.

"We thought those days were over", Mayor Bill de Blasio said of Cali's slaying.

The Gambino crime family is one of what is widely referred to as "The Five Families" of Italian organized crime operations in New York City and other parts of the United States. "The word that I'm hearing is this: That there's old school tension and friction".

"Cali is seen as a man of influence and power by organised crime members in Italy", US assistant attorney Joey Lipton told the court, the New York Daily News reported at the time. He was sentenced to 16 months behind bars and was released in 2009.

Last October, Bonanno crime family associate Sylvester Zottola, 71, was gunned down at a Bronx McDonald's drive-thru as he waited for a coffee.

A week ago, Persico died after serving 33 years in prison.

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