DeSimone in January 1979
Thomas Anthony DeSimone
May 24, 1950
|Disappeared||January 14, 1979|
New York, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 14, 1979 28) (aged|
|Other names||"Two-Gun Tommy"|
|Known for||Associate of the Lucchese crime family |
Portrayed by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas
|Relatives|| Rosario DeSimone |
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Thomas Anthony DeSimone (May 24, 1950 – disappeared January 14, 1979), also known as "Two-Gun Tommy", "Tommy D", "Animal", or "Spitshine Tommy", was a Sicilian-American gangster and associate of the Lucchese crime family in New York City, one of the Five Families of the American Mafia. DeSimone was a grandson and nephew of Los Angeles mob bosses Rosario and Frank DeSimone, respectively. He was married to Angelica "Cookie" Spione, but had many mistresses, including Theresa Ferrara. He is best known as the basis for Joe Pesci's character Tommy DeVito in Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas .
A gangster is a criminal who is a member of a gang. Some gangs are considered to be part of organized crime. Gangsters are also called mobsters, a term derived from mob and the suffix -ster. Gangs provide a level of organization and resources that support much larger and more complex criminal transactions than an individual criminal could achieve. Gangsters have been active for many years in countries around the world.
The Lucchese crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominate organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Tommy DeSimone had two sisters, Dolores and Phyllis, and two brothers, Robert and Anthony. Both of DeSimone's brothers were associates of the Gambino crime family; Anthony was murdered by mobster Thomas Agro in 1979. Phyllis was James Burke's mistress from the time she turned 16. DeSimone was the brother-in-law of mobster Joseph "The Barber" Spion, who was slain for refusing to help kill DeSimone in the late 1970s.DeSimone was also the ex-son-in-law of Gambino associate Salvatore DeVita.
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominate organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia. The group, which went through five bosses between 1910 and 1957, is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963, when the structure of organized crime first gained public attention. The group's operations extend from New York and the eastern seaboard to California. Its illicit activities include labor and construction racketeering, gambling, loansharking, extortion, money laundering, prostitution, fraud, hijacking, pier thefts, and fencing.
Thomas Agro, also known as "Tommy A", "T.A.", "Tipp", and "Thomas Ambrosiano", was a New York gangster with the Gambino crime family who ran lucrative bookmaking and gambling operations in Florida.
James Burke, also known as Jimmy the Gent, and The Irishman, was an American gangster and Lucchese crime family associate who is believed to have organized the 1978 Lufthansa heist, at the time the most lucrative cash theft in American history, and also believed to have either committed or ordered the murders of many of those involved in the months following the robbery. He is the father of mobster and Lufthansa heist suspect Frank James Burke, as well as Jesse James Burke, Catherine Burke, and another daughter, Robin Burke.
DeSimone's father owned a printing shop, which he lost due to a compulsive gambling addiction. Both his paternal grandfather, Rosario DeSimone, and uncle, Frank DeSimone, were bosses of the Los Angeles crime family. Rosario became the boss of the Los Angeles family after Vito Di Giorgio was killed in Chicago in 1922. Frank was a criminal attorney turned mobster; "Uncle Frank", as he was known, replaced the deceased Jack Dragna in 1956, and became the second DeSimone family member to assume control of the Los Angeles family.
Rosario DeSimone, was the head of an Italian crime family during the 1920s to 1940s that was the predecessor to the Los Angeles crime family of the American Mafia. Rosario was the father of the future California mob boss, Frank DeSimone. Not to be confused with the Chicago Italian Timothy Rosario DeSimone.
Frank A. DeSimone was the Boss of the Los Angeles crime family from 1956 to 1967. DeSimone was the son of former don Rosario DeSimone. He was sometime referred to as "One Eye" because one of his eyes drooped. Frank DeSimone's well-known nephew, Thomas DeSimone, was an enforcer for the Lucchese crime family. He was also related to Simone Scozzari and Joseph Civello.
The Los Angeles crime family, also known as the L.A. Mafia, was an Italian American criminal organization based in California, as part of the American Mafia. Since its inception in the early 20th century, it has spread throughout Southern California. Like most Mafia families in the United States, the L.A. crime family gained power bootlegging alcohol during the Prohibition Era. The L.A. family reached its peak strength in the 1940s and early 1950s under Jack Dragna, who was on The Commission, although the L.A. family was never larger than the New York or Chicago families. Since Jack Dragna's death, the Los Angeles crime family has been on a gradual decline, with the Chicago Outfit representing them on The Commission.
In 1965, when he was 15 years old, DeSimone was introduced to Lucchese family caporegime Paul Vario. Henry Hill, a Vario associate who was in his early 20s at the time, later recounted his first meeting with DeSimone, describing him as "a skinny kid who was wearing a wiseguy suit and a pencil mustache."DeSimone worked under Vario, Burke, and Hill, among others, becoming involved in truck hijackings, dealing and fencing of stolen property, extortion, fraud and murder. While hijacking, DeSimone would always carry his gun in a brown paper bag. "Walking down the street, he looked like he was bringing you a sandwich instead of a .38." Hill said.
A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a rank used in the Mafia for a made member of the crime family who heads a "crew" of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization. Caporegime is an Italian word, which is used to signify the head of a family in Sicily, but has now come to mean a ranking member, similar to captain or senior sergeant in a military unit. In general, the term indicates the head of a branch of an organized crime syndicate who commands a crew of soldiers and reports directly to the Don (Boss) or an Underboss or Streetboss.
Paul Frank "Paulie" Vario, was an American mobster and made man in the Lucchese crime family. Vario was a caporegime and had his own crew of mobsters in Brooklyn, New York.
Henry Hill, Jr. was a criminal from the United States. Between 1955 and 1980, Hill was associated with the Lucchese crime family. In 1980, Hill became an FBI informant, and his testimony helped secure 50 convictions, including those of mob capo (captain) Paul Vario and James Burke on multiple charges.
DeSimone was infamous for his violent temper. While playing pinochle with Agro and Joseph Iannuzzi, he would throw darts at the other players when he started losing. Hill later described DeSimone as a "a fucking loose horse, a fucking homicidal maniac, and was always strung out on coke constantly." Hill suggested that DeSimone had something to prove because his brother Anthony had allegedly been killed by the Gambino family for turning informant.
Pinochle, formerly pinocle, or penuchle, is a trick-taking, Ace-Ten card game typically for two to four players and played with a 48-card deck. It is derived from the card game bezique; players score points by trick-taking and also by forming combinations of cards into melds. It is thus considered part of a "trick-and-meld" category which also includes the game belote. Each hand is played in three phases: bidding, melds, and tricks. The standard game today is called "partnership auction pinochle."
Joseph Iannuzzi, Jr.,, also known as "Joe Dogs", "Joe Diner" and "Joe Drywall", was a Gambino crime family associate and FBI informant whose cooperation influenced events surrounding the late 1985 assassination of Gambino family boss Paul Castellano and played an indirect, but valuable, role in the 1985 Mafia Commission Trial. Iannuzzi is the author of several books: The Mafia Cookbook, Cooking on the Lam, and his autobiography Joe Dogs: The Life and Crimes of a Mobster. Iannuzzi died September 20, 2015, in Kerrville, Texas, at the Veterans Administrations Medical Center.
Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into a vein. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.
On March 15, 1968, at the age of 17, DeSimone was walking down a street with Hill when he spotted Howard Goldstein, a random stranger unknown to either gangster. Hill recalls DeSimone turning to him and saying, "Hey, Henry, watch this." DeSimone yelled, "Hey, cocksucker!", pulled out a .38 caliber pistol, and shot and killed Goldstein. Hill exclaimed, "That was cold-blooded, Tommy!" DeSimone replied, "Well, I'm a mean cat."In Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy, Hill mentioned that DeSimone had killed "around" four people in prison. Hill commented that DeSimone would sometimes kill someone just because he wanted to try out a new firearm and wouldn't hesitate to use someone for target practice. Hill stated that he and Burke didn't exactly know how many people DeSimone had killed in total, though his kill count approximately reached eleven people.
A pistol is a type of handgun. The pistol originates in the 16th century, when early handguns were produced in Europe. The English word was introduced in ca. 1570 from the Middle French pistolet. The most common types of pistol are the single shot and semi-automatic.
Nicholas Pileggi is an American producer, author and screenwriter. He is best known for writing the non-fiction book Wiseguy and co-writing the screenplay for Goodfellas, its 1990 film adaptation, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In the military and in shooting, target practice are exercises in which weapons are shot at a target. The purpose of such exercises is to improve the aim or the weapons handling expertise of the person firing the weapon.
On June 9, 1970, a "welcome home" party was thrown for William "Billy Batts" Bentvena, a made man in Carmine Fatico's Gambino crew, at a hangout owned by Burke called Robert's Lounge. At the party, Bentvena, who had just been released from prison after serving a six-year term for drug possession, saw DeSimone and asked him if he still shined shoes, which DeSimone took as an insult. A couple of minutes later, when the issue was apparently forgotten, DeSimone leaned over to Hill and Burke, and told them, "I'm gonna kill that fuck." Two days later, on June 11, Bentvena went over to "The Suite", Hill's establishment in Jamaica, Queens, to go drinking with Hill, DeSimone, and Burke. Later that night, DeSimone took his girlfriend home, and Burke started making Bentvena feel comfortable. Twenty minutes later, DeSimone returned with a .38 revolver and a plastic mattress cover, walked over to Bentvena at the corner of the bar, and attacked him. Burke restrained Bentvena while DeSimone pistol whipped the mobster with the revolver. Bentvena was so intoxicated that he couldn't defend himself.
In the book Wiseguy, Hill said that before DeSimone started to beat Bentvena, DeSimone yelled; "shine these fucking shoes!" DeSimone killed Bentvena not only because the latter had insulted him, but also because Burke had taken over Bentvena's loan shark business while Bentvena was in prison. According to Hill, Bentvena had been complaining to Joseph N. Gallo about getting back this racket. Not wanting to return the business to Bentvena, Burke knew sooner or later Bentvena would have to be killed. After the beating, the three men put Bentvena into the trunk of Hill's 1970 Buick Electra and later, while the three men were driving on the Van Wyck Expressway, they discovered that Bentvena was not dead. They visited DeSimone's mother's house to get a knife, lime, and a shovel. Later in the drive, closer to their destination, Hill said it had been an hour of DeSimone's driving, and DeSimone kept getting mad about the noises in the trunk, so he finally slammed the brakes, leaned over for the shovel, and then Burke and DeSimone "didn't actually shoot him, they just stabbed him, thirty or forty fucking times, fucking horrible."
Hill does not mention a knife, but claims Burke and DeSimone finished Bentvena off by beating him with a tire iron and the shovel, respectively, and the men later buried him under a dog kennel. At the time of the murder in 1970, Bentvena was 49 years old and was a made man in the Gambino crime family, as well as a personal friend of future Gambino boss John Gotti. Murdering a made man without the official consent of his family's leadership was an unforgivable offense in the Mafia. Years later, the murder of Bentvena would cost DeSimone his life as well.
DeSimone's third murder, described by Hill, was of a young man named Michael "Spider" Gianco, who was serving as a bartender at a card game. Gianco and DeSimone had an argument (after Gianco forgot DeSimone's drink) that resulted in DeSimone pulling out a handgun and shooting him in the thigh. (In the movie he was shot in the foot) when Gianco refused to dance for him. A week later, when Gianco was again serving drinks and donning a full leg cast, DeSimone started to goad him about his wounded foot, spurring Gianco to tell DeSimone to "go fuck himself". After a stunned silence, a delighted and impressed Burke, having now developed a respect for Gianco for sticking up for himself, gave him some money before jokingly teasing DeSimone, who hadn't said or done anything in retaliation, about "going soft". DeSimone lost his temper and fatally shot Gianco three times in the chest, angrily demanding of Burke if that was "good enough for him". Burke, furious with DeSimone, made him bury Gianco's body in the cellar by himself.
Hill stated that after he saw this he was truly convinced that DeSimone was a total psychopath. It is believed that Gianco's body was subsequently moved, because it was not found in that location. On The Howard Stern Show , Hill said that Gianco was buried next to Robert's Lounge, which was owned by Burke, along with other bodies. There was a later interview on The Howard Stern Show with Gianco's sister, who wanted to know where the body was.
DeSimone's fourth murder, according to Hill, occurred when he and another associate named Stanley Diamond (1922-1991) got carried away after being asked to "rough up" a witness to a robbery. After a truck heist, a foreman had refused to allow Burke to unload the ill-gotten cargo in his warehouse and vehemently protested because they had no union cards. Burke attempted to reason with the man, who stood his ground and refused to be intimidated. Burke later sent DeSimone and Diamond to the man's house in the boondocks of New Jersey, with instructions to "rough up" the man to ensure he would cooperate with Burke in the future. DeSimone and Diamond, angry and worked up about having to drive all the way to New Jersey, ended up beating the man to death.
DeSimone's fifth murder occurred when Burke ordered the murder of his best friend, Dominick "Remo" Cersani. Burke got suspicious about Cersani and later found out from contacts in a Queens DA's office that he was talking to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and that they were going to arrest Burke on a truck hijacking charge. DeSimone and Burke met Cersani at Robert's Lounge and said to him, "let's take a ride." DeSimone strangled Cersani with piano wire. Hill said in Wiseguy: "Remo put up some fight. He kicked and swung and shit all over himself before he died." Burke had Cersani's body buried next to the bocce court behind Robert's Lounge. It was said that whenever Burke and DeSimone played bocce with their friends, they would jokingly say: "Hi Remo, how ya doing?"
DeSimone killed Gotti protégé Ronald "Foxy" Jerothe on December 18, 1974. DeSimone had dated Jerothe's sister and had beaten her up, prompting Jerothe to threaten to kill him. When DeSimone heard about the threat, he went to Jerothe's apartment and knocked on the door. Jerothe opened the door and punched DeSimone in the face. DeSimone then shot Jerothe between the eyes.
DeSimone was alleged to have taken part in the December 1978 Lufthansa heist from JFK International Airport, the largest robbery in U.S. history at the time. The money stolen is reputed to have amounted to almost $6,000,000, of which only a fraction was recovered. DeSimone was apparently spotted during the heist as suspicious because he had very well polished shoes, too well polished for an airport employee. DeSimone also allegedly lifted his ski mask during the heist to wipe sweat from his cheeks, infuriating Jimmy Burke and Paul Vario, who feared an eyewitness airport employee may have seen enough of DeSimone's face during the heist to identify him after the robbery. Burke, who had a fond relationship with DeSimone, apparently ignored DeSimone's potential error of revealing his face, partly because Burke viewed DeSimone as essential "muscle" in the crew and hoped DeSimone would act as a hitman to silence various participants in the heist.DeSimone was the one who suggested recruiting his ex-cell mate Angelo Sepe for the heist.
Soon after the heist, DeSimone murdered Parnell "Stacks" Edwards, an African-American blues musician and career criminal. Edwards had been a good friend of DeSimone's since their teenage years, and DeSimone was disappointed to learn that Edwards had failed to get rid of the truck which had been used in the Lufthansa Heist. Edwards was supposed to have driven the vehicle to New Jersey, where it (along with any potential evidence inside) was to be destroyed in a junk yard belonging to John Gotti. Instead, Edwards parked the truck in front of a fire hydrant, where police discovered it two days after the heist. Paul Vario subsequently ordered DeSimone to carry out a hit on Edwards.Once he found out where Edwards was hiding, DeSimone and Angelo Sepe visited Edwards and shot him six times in the head with a silenced pistol.
It is believed that DeSimone was murdered as a reprisal for having killed two of John Gotti's close friends, William "Billy Batts" Bentvena and Foxy Jerothe.[ citation needed ] However, the alleged murder may also have been related to $250,000 of the Lufthansa heist robbery money that had gone missing; his lover was a suspect in stealing the money.[ citation needed ] One theory is that DeSimone would have had access to the money and would have known his lover (Theresa Ferrara) was an informer for the FBI, sealing his alleged fate. On January 14, 1979, DeSimone's wife, Angela, reported him missing. She said she had last seen DeSimone a few weeks earlier when he borrowed $60 from her.
It is alleged that Theresa Ferrara, Martin Krugman, Robert McMahon, Joe Manri, and Paolo LiCastri were all murdered by Burke, who wanted to avoid paying them their share of the loot. For years, the NYPD and the FBI believed that DeSimone had either been murdered by Burke, or that he was in hiding to avoid being killed. DeSimone's brother-in-law, Lucchese family member Joseph "The Barber" Spione, also disappeared shortly afterward.
When Hill became an FBI informant in 1980, he told authorities that DeSimone had been murdered by the Gambino crime family. Despite the oft-given date of death of January 14, 1979, the exact date of DeSimone's murder is uncertain. Hill claimed that in "the week after Christmas," he and Burke had gone down to Florida to straighten out a drug deal gone bad. DeSimone had remained behind in New York, because he was going to be made. When Burke called to see if the ceremony had occurred (the code phrase was to ask if DeSimone had seen his godmother yet), Burke was told that it had been called off due to a heavy snowfall. The next day, Burke found out that DeSimone had been murdered; he slammed the phone down and began crying, as depicted in the film Goodfellas. Hill also indicated in both the book Wiseguy and the DVD commentary to Goodfellas that DeSimone had already been killed when Martin Krugman disappeared on January 6, 1979.
In 1994, Hill, in his book Gangsters and Goodfellas, gave an expanded story of the events leading up to DeSimone's death. Hill's wife, Karen, had been having an affair with Hill's boss, Mafia caporegime Paul Vario. When Hill was sentenced to prison, DeSimone approached Karen. When she turned him down, DeSimone attempted to attack her. In retaliation for the attempted rape, Vario approached the Gambino crew and revealed that DeSimone had murdered Jerothe and Bentvena without first seeking permission from the Gambino crime family, violating Mafia protocol. Sometime in late December 1978 or early January 1979, DeSimone was contacted and told that he was going to be "made." Peter Vario (Paul Vario's son) and Bruno Facciolo took him to an unknown location, where he was murdered.
Two theories about DeSimone's alleged murder and murderer(s) exist from mob "insiders" . According to mob informant Joseph "Joe Dogs" Iannuzzi, Thomas Agro said in 1985 that he had murdered Thomas DeSimone. Agro also claimed to have murdered DeSimone's brother Anthony after he turned informant. Agro also suggested murdering the eldest and last remaining brother, Robert. According to Ianuzzi, Agro would often laughingly refer to killing the third DeSimone brother, stating: "Maybe it's time to go for the DeSimone trifecta!" Another account, told by Hill in Gangsters and Goodfellas, states that John Gotti himself was the assassin, although in the presence of Thomas Agro. On May 17, 2007, on the Howard Stern Show , Hill reaffirmed that Gotti had killed DeSimone. He also added that the death "took a long time," as Bentvena had been a personal friend of Gotti's, and he wanted DeSimone to suffer before he died. Gotti's role as the assassin was repeated in the 2015 book The Lufthansa Heist, cowritten by Hill and journalist Daniel Simone,although this account claims that DeSimone's death was instantaneous from three gunshots to the head. According to Sal Polisi, DeSimone was killed by Thomas Agro (in the presence of John Gotti), and that Agro slowly tortured him to death.
It has been theorized DeSimone is buried in a suspected "Mafia graveyard" on the Brooklyn-Queens border near John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the body of Al Indelicato was found in 1981, and the bodies of Philip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera were recovered by police in 2004.
DeSimone was depicted by Joe Pesci in the 1990 movie Goodfellas , a role for which Pesci won the 1990 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The movie changed some details: DeSimone was renamed Tommy DeVito in the film, and portrayed as the same age as Hill, where DeSimone was six years younger than Hill in real life. While depicted in the film as a small man with an attitude, DeSimone was a large, burly enforcer, standing 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall and weighing around 225 pounds.
Although based on DeSimone, Tommy DeVito also functions as a composite character. The DeVito character is substituted for various individuals not portrayed in the film; for example, in the double date scene where Hill meets his future wife, Tommy DeVito is substituted for Paul Vario's son, Paul Jr., who actually went on the date.
Hill, nevertheless, calls Pesci's portrayal "between 90 and 95 percent accurate", mentioning only that the diminutive Pesci did not physically resemble the tall, muscular DeSimone. Pesci was 46 years old during production of Goodfellas, while DeSimone was only in his teens and twenties during the real-life events depicted in the film, and is believed to have been murdered at age 28.
Also, in real life, Vario allowed the Gambinos to kill DeSimone in retaliation for the murder of Bentvena and Jerothe, whereas in the film, elder members of the family solely execute Tommy DeVito for killing a "made man" without permission, shooting him in the back of the head. Hill's narration makes a reference to the true events, saying DeVito was murdered as "revenge for Billy Batts and a lot of other things." In the film, DeVito is shot and killed by Tuddy, based on Paul Vario's younger brother Vito and by Vinnie (Charles Scorsese), based on Bruno Facciolo. In the film, it is said that he was "shot in the face" so that he could not be given an open-casket funeral;in real life, his body has not been found.
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is an adaptation of the 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.
Joseph Frank Pesci is an American actor, comedian and singer. Known for portraying tough, volatile characters, in a variety of genres, he is best known for his roles as Vincent Gambini in My Cousin Vinny (1992), Harry Lyme in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, as Leo Getz in the Lethal Weapon franchise, and for co-starring with Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorsese films Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995).
Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr., known professionally as Frank Vincent, was an American actor. He played prominent roles in the HBO series The Sopranos and in several films for director Martin Scorsese: Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995).
The Five Families are the five major New York City organized crime families of the Italian American Mafia.
The Lufthansa heist was a robbery at John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 11, 1978. An estimated $5.875 million was stolen, with $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry, making it the largest cash robbery committed on American soil at the time. In popular culture, it is the main subject of two well-known television films—The 10 Million Dollar Getaway (1991) and The Big Heist (2001)—and is a key plot element in the film Goodfellas (1990). The heist's magnitude made it one of the longest-investigated crimes in the United States; the latest arrest associated with the robbery was made in 2014. Jimmy Burke was reputed to be the mastermind of the robbery, but he was never officially charged in connection with the crime.
William "Billy Batts" Bentvena also known as William Devino, was a New York mobster with the Gambino crime family who was a longtime friend of John Gotti in the 1960s. After spending six years in prison, Bentvena was murdered by the mobster Tommy DeSimone, with the help of his associates Jimmy Burke and Henry Hill.
In the American Mafia and Sicilian Mafia, a made man is a fully initiated member of the Mafia. To become "made," an associate first has to be sponsored by another made man. An inductee will be required to take the oath of Omertà, the mafia code of silence. After the induction ceremony, the associate becomes a "made man" and holds the rank of soldier in the Mafia hierarchy.
The Vario Crew is a group operating within the Lucchese crime family. It was controlled by capo Paul Vario from the early 1950s into the early 1980s, when Vario, Jimmy Burke, and a number of other associates were imprisoned, primarily due to the testimony of another long-term associate, Henry Hill. Hill's life in the Vario crew was the subject of Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy and Martin Scorsese's crime film adapted from that book, Goodfellas (1990), starring Ray Liotta as Hill. Today the crew is still active, but less influential than before, and was recently led by Domenico "Danny" Cutaia.
Francis James Burke-Conway was a Lucchese crime family mob associate and the son of mobster Jimmy Burke.
Frank DeCicco also known as Frankie D and Frankie Cheech was the underboss for the Gambino crime family in New York City.
Robert's Lounge was a saloon in New York City owned by Lucchese crime family associate James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke. It was located at 114-45 Lefferts Boulevard in South Ozone Park, Queens, near the John F. Kennedy International Airport Air Cargo Center.
Shoeshiner or boot polisher is an occupation in which a person polishes shoes with shoe polish. They are often known as shoeshine boys because the job is traditionally that of a male child. Other synonyms are bootblack and shoeblack. While the role is denigrated in much of Western civilization, shining shoes is an important source of income for many children and families throughout the world. Some shoeshiners offer extra services, such as shoe repairs and general tailoring. Many well-known and high-profile people started their working life as shoeshiners, including singers and presidents.
Stephen "Stevie Coogan" Grammauta was a caporegime with the Gambino crime family who allegedly participated in the murder of mob boss Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia.
Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family (ISBN 0-671-44734-3) is a 1985 non-fiction book by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi that chronicles the life of Henry Hill; a mafia mobster who turned informant. The book is the basis for the 1990 Academy Award-winning film Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese.
Vincent "Vinny" Asaro is a New York City mobster and captain in the Bonanno crime family.
The Big Heist is a Canadian-American TV movie which first aired in 2001, on the A&E Television Networks.
This is about the book on the robbery. For the heist itself, see Lufthansa heist.