Mafia boss Frank Cali’s assassination was ‘throwback’ to bloody days of Al Capone and could be ‘the start of something’, mob expert saysMarch 14, 2019
And Christian Cipollini believes the fearless shooter was clearly out to make a statement by so blatantly killing one of New York's most powerful underworld figures.
The award-winning author has been a freelance journalist, historian and organised crime researcher for more than a decade.
He has written books on notorious gangland boss including Lucky Luciano and Murder Inc – the mob's deadly hit squad of assassins. He also runs the hit website Gangland Legends.
Today he told the Sun Online: "This is a throwback hit which harks to a time gone by – a time when the mob was very much in its heyday.
"These things don't really happen now as the Mafia, like all crime organisations, is desperate to keep a very low profile.
"For a recognised mob leader to be gunned down so blatantly is a big, big thing. The public and police should not underestimate the importance of this killing."
Powerful Cali, 53, was shot dead and run over by a pick-up truck outside his home in the Todt Hill district of Staten Island last night.
It's been reported the gunman fired "six or seven" shots but it is not yet known how many hit the "well-respected" mob don.
Family members were seen rushing into the street and sitting crying next to the mobster's lifeless body.
DRUGS BUST LINK
One man reportedly collapsed crying: "Papa! Papa!" as a woman shouted into her phone: "Why doesn’t the ambulance come? He’s not breathing!"
"This was not some fly-by-night thing," a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told ABC News. "This was a well-thought-out execution."
Detectives are now reportedly trying to determine if Cali's killing signalled the revival of a new "mob war" adding the fact the killing was outside his home hints it was meant to send an ominous message.
Cipollini added: "For years the Feds believed Cali was THE ambassador between the New York mob and the mobs in Sicily. He was a key figure in the New York crime scene.
"This killing is like something that would have happened in the days of Al Capone when, if you had a problem with someone, you just whacked them.
"This is a dramatic moment and could just be the start of something. There are always things that lead up to the big bang."
The author also believes the recent seizure of more than £100m of cocaine by customs in the US could be connected to the hit.
SHOWED NO RESPECT
About 1.5 tonnes of the class-A drug was discovered in a truck at the Port of New York-Newark after the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) tipped off US authorities.
Some 60 packages weighing about 1,437kg were intercepted during the bust on February 28, the NCA said. The bust is believed to be the biggest at the US port in a quarter of a century.
Cipollini said: "You have this massive seizure of drugs and then a few days later a mob boss is killed – it certainly raises more questions than answers."
Cali was the first crime boss to be killed in New York City since 'Teflon Don' John Gotti ordered the murder of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano in 1985.
The killing of Cali outside his home was reportedly seen as a stunning sign of disrespect by Gambino family “soldiers”.
“Even Gotti had more respect,” a police source told the New York Post. “He did it out in Manhattan.”
The Genovese, Gambino, Lucchese, Colombo and Bonanno mafia families have controlled organised crime in New York for decades.
The FBI is reportedly investigating whether Cali’s murder was sanctioned by the five families or carried out by a rogue gunman – possibly in the pay of a rival gang.
“There has been a truce between the families for more than 30 years,” a New York police insider told the Evening Standard.
“The concern now is that the other mobsters will seek revenge for Cali’s killing and it could spark a bloodbath.”
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