Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Married A Mobster: “Crazy” Joe Gallo

Andrea Giovino and her family were always well connected in the mob. She tells the story of how, in the early 1960’s, “Crazy” Joe Gallo needed a place to conduct some illegal gambling and her mother, Dolly Silvestri, offered the basement of her home and hosted their games. Andrea and her sisters would bring them expressos and pastries and Dolly would earn some extra money to support the family of ten children. He paid her weekly, until 1963, when police busted their nice little operation.
“Crazy” Joe Gallo, also known as “Joe the Blond” had quite a reputation, before he was murdered the day after his 43rd birthday, on April 7, 1972, at Umberto’s Clam House in NYC’s “Little Italy.” He became a “made man” at the young age of 17, which is really remarkable. He worked for a mobster named Joe Profaci, with his two brothers, Larry and Albert “Kid Blast” Gallo. Profaci ordered the Gallo brothers to whack gambler “Frankie Shots” Abbatemarcco because he refused to pay Profaci $50,000. Larry and Joe both worked with Frankie Shots for many years and they had a close friendship, but nevertheless, they followed orders. A big problem arose between the Gallo brothers and Profaci. He had promised them that he would divide up Frankie Shots “business operations” with them, but after the job was done, Profaci gave it all away to his close associates and the Gallo brothers got nothing and were even told to get lost.

Profaci obviously underestimated the Gallo brothers, because they were not going to walk away quietly or empty handed. Instead they killed some members of Profaci’s crew and kidnapped a few capos. Profaci died in 1962 and Crazy Joe was later incarcerated for extortion. Joe Colombo took over as head of the family.

Crazy Joe was let out of prison in 1971. He made a deal with a black man, Jerome Johnson, to murder Joe Colombo in the middle of Colombus Square. Joe promised him that the Gallo brothers would create enough of a distraction so he could safely flee the scene. However, the plan didn’t work out quite that way. Once Jerome killed Colombo, the Gallo crew whacked Jerome on the spot.

“Crazy” Joe was a loose canon and became greedy and careless. As soon as Colombo was out of the picture, Crazy Joe walked into a nightclub, San Susan Nightclub in Long Island, owned by Colombo capo Johnny Franzese, and declared himself the owner. A couple of other guys got whacked soon after and Joe Gallo’s fate was sealed.

Joe had his 43rd birthday party at the Copa Cabana, in NYC. Actor Jerry Orbach, a friend of Joe Gallo’s, also attended with his wife. It was a big bash and they left the place at 4 am. A large group pile into the car and drive around looking for something to eat. They end up at Umberto’s for a big seafood dinner. Some time during the middle of their meal, several mobsters come in through the front door and, in a blaze of gunshots, killed “Crazy” Joe gangland style, just like the movies.

Imagine the stories Andrea could tell us about “Crazy” Joe? He is just one of a host of mobsters whose paths crossed with Andrea’s, during her life in the mob. For a very interesting, detailed account of “Crazy” Joe Gallo, check out the following link:

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Be sure to tune in Wednesday, July 20th, at 10:30 pm for her story, Working Mom," on Investigation Discovery! Also, Andrea will be on The View the morning of July 20th, revealing more details of her life. Check your local listings!


Harleys Angel said...

Looking forward to catching this next episode. Thanks Chiara for the heads up.

Can you post The View interview tomorrow? My boss frowns about me watching TV at work (Wink Wink). Thanks

Chiara Soprano said...

yes Harley I plan to watch and blog it right away. Stay tuned, it's going to be one of ID's best shows, Andrea is very interesting!

Anonymous said...


Are you ladies Italian or what?? JK LOL

Chiara Soprano said...

Thanks Anon, I always miss a typo here and there! But glad I could give you a laugh! LOL

Anonymous said...

how can i speak to andrea