As reports have shown, the reputed crime boss, Francesco Frank “Franky Boy” Cali, was shot fatally outside of his Todt Hill home in Staten Island, during dinner with his family around 9pm Wednesday. News of the shooting shook the news circuits, and reports often referred to Cali as the head of the Gambino Family, but facts about the family are not always woven into reports. What are five fast facts about the Gambino crime family?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Gambino Family is Part of the “Five Families” in the New York Mafia
Because five families have run New York’s Mafia since 1931 according to reports, they are called, quite literally, the “Five Families.”
The Five Families include the Bonanno family, the Colombo family, the Gambino family, the Genovese family and the Lucchese family, according to reports.
As made apparent by reports on Thursday, the head of the Gambino family, was Frank Cali, 53, who was reportedly shot multiples times at his own residence, by a suspect who has not yet been identified.
“It’s quite unheard of in New York,” said a professor of criminology Federico Varese from Oxford University to the BBC. “It’s a very significant event and shows that the Italian-American Mafia is still active.”
Cali’s wife, Rosaria Inzerillo, too is actually part of a mafia family, according to reports. The Inzerillo family reportedly fled Sicily for America in the 1980s, when they lost a mob war with their rivals.
2. The Last Reported Shooting of a Gambino Family Boss Was in 1985
Cali’s death reportedly marked the first killing of a Mafia boss in the city since the death of another Gambino family boss, Paul Castellano, in 1985.
Beyond deaths, the FBI has reportedly cracked down on more than 100 mobsters, including the reputed street boss of the Colombo family.
It was known as the largest round-up in FBI history, according to the BBC.
The BBC also reports that the FBI New York office head said, “Convicting the hierarchies of the five families several times over has not eradicated the problem.” Organized crime is not eradicated: it is alive, even after so-named “round-ups.” Sources like the BBC’s Dr. Anna Sergi, a senior lecturer in criminology, agrees with this assertion.
3. Families Like the Gambino Family Were A Major Focus of New York Authorities Before the September 2011 Attacks
In the ’80s and ’90s, crime families like Gambino family were a focus of the FBI, according to reports.
Reports state that, before a large round-up of mob families, they were really powerful.
The Gambino family, the Bonanno family, the Colombo family, the Gambino family, the Genovese family and the Lucchese family, all had influence over people in power–whether it was federal politicians or state politicians, according to reports.
These mob families all reportedly had some say in aspects of the entertainment industry and other industries, but American authorities zoomed in on their activities in a laser-focused way during those years, as though crippling the mob was the number one incentive for the FBI. The FBI in fact did manage to arrest nearly 125 members, as mentioned earlier.
However, once 9/11 happened, the focus shifted to terrorism–it became one of the biggest priorities over any other type of crime, according to reports, since the nation was reeling in the aftermath of the attacks.
4. The Gambino Family Has Had Three Bosses in The Last Three Decades
While Castellano had been killed in 1985, outside the Sparks Steak House in Manhattan, it is of note that he was reportedly killed by the next Gambino crime family boss who would succeed him, John “Dapper Don” Gotti. Gotti had reportedly earned the nickname “Dapper Don” because of his flashy style, sense of dress, and extravagant presence at events or media interviews.
The assassination of Castellano reportedly rocked the Gambino crime family, but Gotti led the family as its boss nonetheless, according to reports. Gotti’s reign ended when he was “convicted of five murders, tax evasion, racketeering, extortion, loansharking and illegal gambling in 1992, and received a life sentence,” according to BBC.
Gotti’s death was reported as throat cancer 10 years after his conviction.
The next head of the Gambino family after Gotti became Cali, whose death in Staten Island was announced Thursday.
5. Other Families Reportedly Do Not Interfere If a Boss of One Family, Such as the Gambino Family, Is Ambushed By His Own Family
So far, the killer of Cali is unknown.
Also, reports say that the motive for killing Cali is unknown.
However, the BBC spoke with Prof. Frederico Varese, who is a professor of criminology at Oxford, and the BBC reports Varese’s take on the matter of Cali’s death.
“[Cali’s] murder shows that he was active and obviously he stepped on somebody’s toes,” Varese reportedly said to the BBC.
Varese added that Cali’s murder may have been via of his own Gambino family.
“It’s not unusual that an acting boss is killed,” Varese reportedly told the BBC. “And if that’s the case the other families would not interfere.”