Fox news reported this morning, 3/14/2019, that the highest ranking mob leader of the Gambino family, 53-year old Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali was shot dead outside his home at 9:20 last night on Staten Island.
Cali became the notorious crime family’s acting boss in 2015, replacing then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu, according to the New York Daily News.
According to the New York Post, Cali was shot at least 6 times in the torso and was pronounced dead at the Staten Island University Hospital North.
A police source told the New York Daily News that Cali was “a real quiet old-school boss.” He was a contrast in the last boss, John Gotti who was flashy and bold.
Cali was considered a unifying figure in the family, credited with recruiting new immigrant gangsters from Italy and focusing on the heroin and Oxycontin trades, the Post reported. Cali served a 16-month sentence in 2008 on an extortion charge connected to a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island, the Daily News reported.
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 outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, according to WPIX-TV.
No arrests had been made as police continued to investigate the shooting. The police said they received a report about the shooting outside 25 Hilltop Terrace in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island around 9:20 p.m. There was also a report of a blue pickup truck leaving the scene around the time of the shooting.
The Gambino family was once the nation’s largest and most influential organized crime group, but several of its leaders were convicted in the 1990s of crimes that included murder and racketeering.
While it has been decades since a mafia boss was killed in New York, lower level members have been attacked or killed in recent years.
On Staten Island, Todt Hill is known for its mafia history. Castellano, who was the last Gambino boss to be assassinated, owned a home on Benedict Road. A home on nearby Longfellow Road served as the filming location of the Corleone compound in “The Godfather.”
Ref. nytimes, nypost, nydailynews, MSN/Fox News, WPIX-TV
Photo courtesy of Bing via newyorkdailynews.com