Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Gambino Crime Boss Francesco "Frank" Cali Shot Dead In New York

Gambino Crime Boss Francesco

Police said on Thursday (Friday NZT) they were reviewing surveillance-camera video of the attack on Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 53, who was gunned down on Wednesday night at his red-brick colonial-style house in a quiet Staten Island neighbourhood.

Fox News noted, "Cali, who had roots in Sicily and ties to the Sicilian Mafia, was the highest-ranking organized crime figure to be murdered in New York City since 1985, when Paul Castellano was assassinated as he arrived as Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, according to WPIX-TV".

Cali was then shot several times in the street and run over, before the pickup truck sped off.

Cali spent time in prison from 2008 to 2009 on extortion charges related to a planned NASCAR race track on Staten Island. Investigators haven't made any arrests in the hours that have passed but insists the case remains an open book until they publicly state otherwise.

In 1992, Gotti was convicted in Castellano's murder and a multitude of other crimes. After Gotti went to prison, Cali eventually took over the organization.

According to reports, Cali's death marks the highest ranking member of a NY crime family to be murdered in decades.

Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

According to local media in NY, he took the helm of the Gambino family in 2015, replacing Domenico Cefalu.

After reportedly taking the reins in 2015, Cali was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of Gotti because "no-one ever sees him", the New York Post reported.

NY media say it is the first targeted killing of a mob boss in the city since 1985.

Cali shunned the limelight even after becoming don, ruling from the top while lying low in his affluent Todt Hill neighborhood in Staten Island, where Castellano also held court. "But I guess old habits die hard".

Last October, Bonanno crime family associate Sylvester Zottola, 71, was gunned down at a Bronx McDonald's drive-thru as he waited for a coffee.

"It takes a certain type of evil to murder a friend in their own home, and then console the grieving relatives", said Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director in charge William Sweeney.


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