||New York| Crazy Joey Gallo
Birth: April 7, 1929 - Brooklyn, New York
Death: April 7, 1972 - Little Italy, New York
"Crazy" Joe Gallo was a member of the Profaci crime family. Together with his brothers he led a rival faction and triggered a war against boss Joe Profaci. Years after he was also instrumental in the shooting of Joe Colombo.
Born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to Neapolitan parents, Gallo and his brothers Larry and Albert became affiliated with a crew of Profaci gangsters under control of Harry Fontana and Frank Abbatemarco. They ran small numbers games and extortion rackets. As an enforcer Gallo was also known as being unpredictable and ruthless, therefore earning his nickname "Crazy Joe". According to various sources he was directly involved in the 1957 assassination of Mafiaboss Albert Anastasia, which had been partially ordered by Profaci. During the late 1950's however the rule of Profaci was being questioned and Abbatemarco, their mentor, refused to give any more payoffs, resulting in large debts. For his obedience he was shot dead. His multimillion bookmaking operation then passed to Profaci's second in command. The Gallo's were enraged by this and decided to take measures into their own hands.
The Gallo - Profaci war
In early 1961 he and his men managed to kidnap a couple of high profile members of the organization to put pressure to Profaci. Amongst the hostages, who were being held in apartments in Manhattan, was Profaci's brother Salvatore and his brother-in-law Giuseppe Magliocco. They demanded large amounts of money and also demanded control over Abbatemarco's rackets. Profaci was able to negotiate and free his men unharmed. However, the boss was not amused and was not about to led this fly by. A while later one of Gallo's top enforcers, Joe Gioelli, was murdered. Shortly after Larry Gallo was lured to a hangout where he would meet with one of Profaci's men who said he wanted to switch sides. When he sat down at the bar he was suddenly attacked from behind and was nearly choked to death with a barbwire if it wasn't for a unwittingly patrolman who happened to stroll in.
The brothers and their men went into hiding, planning their next moves. However, since they were cut off from family business they had no income. Gallo extorted a couple of café owners, but got arrested for it and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. By then the war had left about a dozen casualties. The violence continued for a while until it ended after new peace meetings. By that time boss Joe Profaci had passed away and also his successor Giuseppe Magliocco had died of natural causes. There was new leadership and a new structure.
During his incarceration his brother Larry died of cancer and his brother Albert had been in and out of prison. Finally, in 1971, he was a free man again. Shortly after he befriended actor Jerry Orbach, who was playing a mobster in the movie "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" which was loosely based on Gallo himself. He moved to an apartment in Greenwich Village with his wife and hang out with his new friends, but never quit his Mafia dealings. He soon had a new dispute with the new leadership and now had his eyes on the new boss, Joe Colombo.
On June 28, 1971, during a Italian-American Civil Rights League rally in Manhattan, Colombo, who was chairman of the League, was shot in the head in front of thousands of people. The shooter, Jerome Johnson, was immediately shot death by his bodyguards. Soon it became clear that the hit had been ordered by Gallo, who had met Johnson back in prison and had become part of his new crew. Joseph Yacovelli, who now led the disfunct organization, had to react to put an end to Gallo.
It was April 7, 1972, when a couple of Colombo gunmen made their way through Manhattans Little Italy to reach Umberto's Clam House. Gallo was there celebrating his 43th birthday with his family. The presence of women and children was no objection to stall their plans. They entered the building and fired away at Gallo for everyone to see. He tried to duck behind a table, but was mortally wounded. He died later that day at the hospital. The score was settled once and for all. Albert Gallo however was enraged by his death and tried to struck back, but failed at every attempt. The commission eventually took the lead and transferred Albert and his remaining crew to the Genovese family, which ended hostilities towards the Colombo family.
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