Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mob Wars....

The New Yorker: From the Archives: Content:

"In 1991, the Colombo crime family in Brooklyn went to war with itself: a rebel faction tried to seize control of the family from its boss, Carmine Persico, who was serving life in jail. Gregory Scarpa, Sr., a sixty-three-year-old mobster, immediately took command of the armed faction loyal to Persico. Scarpa was seriously ill: as the result of a blood transfusion, he was H.I.V.-positive. His body had shrivelled from a muscular two hundred and twenty-five pounds to a gaunt one-fifty, his stomach had been removed during surgery, and he digested his food with pancreatic-enzyme pills. Yet Scarpa, a multiple murderer, hadn't slowed down.
During the seven months that the shooting war lasted, he could be seen driving with his troops along Avenue U, in Brooklyn, scouting out the social clubs and bars where members of the enemy faction were likely to be found. Sometimes he drove past the rebels' houses, and one night he surprised a rebel who stood on a ladder, with his back turned, hanging Christmas lights on his house. Scarpa rolled down his car window, stuck out his rifle, and picked the man off with three shots. Then he paged his consigliere with the satanic code 666, to signify a fresh kill.

By the time the war ended, in June, 1992, ten people had died, including an innocent man of eighteen who was shot accidentally at a Brooklyn bagel shop. Ten more people had been wounded, among them a fifteen-year-old bystander, who was shot in the head. By far the most violent participant in the war was Scarpa: he murdered four people and wounded two."

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