Gambino crime boss slain outside Staten Island home

Gambino crime family boss Francesco

The New York Daily News reports that a panicked family member called 911 and told the dispatcher that Cali was run over before he was shot, although investigators were still looking into whether the gunman mowed the mobster down.

Once Cali was on the ground, the driver stood over him, firing multiple times - as if to make sure the victim was dead - before calmly walking back to his pickup truck and driving away, the Daily Beast reported. The New York Police Department confirms that medics arrived at the scene and transported Frank to Staten Island University North. Despite having been in prison since 1986 - serving a 139-year sentence - he was said to have been running the family from behind bars.

After all, it had been 34 years since a Mafia don like him had been "whacked" on the streets of NY.

Probably the best publicly available explanation of the arrangement of New York's five families is in the 2005 book Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires. Castellano was the last New York City crime boss to be gunned down, and Gotti later died in prison in 2002.

An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours". For that, he got 16 months in prison before he was released.

In 1992, Gotti was convicted in Castellano's murder and a multitude of other crimes. Cali's wife and young children were inside the home when he was gunned down.

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

Witnesses told local media of hearing at least six shots coming from outside, and seeing Cali's family members rushing outside and crying next to his body.

He began ascending within the ranks under capo John D'Amico, who went by Jackie and became the family's acting boss in 2005 - after which Cali became an acting captain, according to court documents. "Very surprising, but I guess old habits die hard".

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola of the Bonanno family was shot dead while waiting in his vehicle for an order from a Bronx McDonald's. Zottola's son, Salvatore, survived an apparent assassination attempt in July outside his home, also in the Bronx.

Also this week, prosecutors in Brooklyn announced a case against a Gambino associate accused of killing a suspected loanshark affiliated with the Lucchese crime family.

"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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