||New Jersey| Louis Manna
Birth: December 2, 1929 - New Jersey
Louis "Bobby" Manna was the consigliere of the Genovese family from 1981 until his conviction in 1989. He was based in New Jersey and was closely associated with the Philadelphia family.
Louis Manna was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1929. Although becomming part of the New York based Genovese family he kept his base of operations in New Jersey. His headquarters was a restaurant owned by his lieutenant Martin Casella, simply called Casella's. The restaurant was a popular hangout for Jersey gangsters and Genovese members. From there he controlled his million dollar empire ranging from illegal gambling and carting businesses to several night clubs in New Jersey.
In 1966 Bobby Manna, Alfred Cupola, Tony Salerno and 4 others were arrested for extortion. One year later most of them, including Manna, were acquitted. In early 1972 he was arrested again for refusing to answer questions about organized crime before the New Jersey Crime Committee. He was sent to prison together with Ralph Napoli and Nicodemo Scarfo, both members of the Philadelphia family, and Gerardo Catena, an elder member of the Genoveses. He was eventually freed in 1977. In later years Manna stayed a close associate of Ralph Napoli and was consulted several times by the Philadelphia family.
Influence within the Philadelphia family
After his release from prison Manna regained control over his Jersey rackets and became the Genovese consigliere in 1980. By this he became the families nr. 3 man and was an adviser to bosses Tony Salerno and Vincent Gigante. That same year the Philadelphia Family lay broken after boss Angelo Bruno was murdered in orders of his own consigliere, Antonino Caponigro. Manna knew Caponigro well because he was also Jersey based. Soon Caponigro became the main suspect and was called before the commission to explain his actions. However, Caponigro never got there. A couple of days later he and his cousin were found beaten and stabbed to death in the Bronx. They had been murdered on behalf of the Genovese family as punishment for killing a boss without authorization. Not much later Caponigro's lucrative bookmaking operations were taken over by Manna and his Jersey crew. Some historians believe that Caponigro was in fact backed by the Genoveses to kill his boss, but in the end was killed himself so his rackets could be taken over.
Another man who was murdered in the aftermath of the Bruno killing was Freddie Salerno, a soldier in the Philadelphia family. He was seen a couple of times in Casella's and was also murdered in 1980. The Philadelphia family still wasn't in for peace when only one year later Bruno's successor, Philip Testa, was also killed during a power struggle. In following of Testa's murder Ralph Napoli vouched for Nicodemo Scarfo to become the next boss of the family and went to see Bobby Manna. Manna, who knew Scarfo from the time they were jailed together in the 1970's, agreed and arranged a meeting with the Genovese leaders. Not much later Scarfo was approved as the new head of the Philadelphia family.
Killing John Gotti
In 1987 the FBI secretly placed bugs inside Casella's restaurant and started to eavesdrop on several meetings held there. Not much later the FBI discovered a murder plot against John Gotti, the new boss of the Gambino family, and his brother Gene. Bobby Manna, Martin Casella and Richard DeSciscio were seen as the main conspirators. They blamed Gotti for the unsanctioned hit on his boss Paul Castellano in 1985 and wanted to punish him, just like they had done with Antonio Caponigro 7 years earlier. Another murder plot the FBI overheared was a hit on a New York business man, 50y old Irwin Schiff, who'm they blamed for skimming money from the family. The FBI however couldn't prevent the Schiff murder as he was murdered on August 8, 1987. The same went for a man named Daniel Conlin, a union chief.
After learning about the plot the FBI warned both John and Gene Gotti that their lives were in danger. Manna was soon aware that Gotti was informed of his intentions, but this didn't stop him and the others of continueing their plans. In July 1988 Manna and 5 others were eventually arrested and charged with conspiracy and the murder of Irwin Schiff. He was sentenced to 80 years and also Martin Casella and Richard DeSciscio were found guilty. 3 others, including a 27y old cook who worked at Casella's, were acquitted. Being behind bars his day to day operations in Jersey moved to Tino Fiumara.
(Source: "Taped meetings detail mob plot to kill 2 Gottis" NYtimes July 2, 1988; "Tapes Link Genovese Group To Murder of a Union Chief" NYtimes July 24, 1988; State of New Jersey Testimonie by Phillip Leonetti; hudsoncountyfacts.com, ipsn.org)
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