Larry "Champagne" Carrozza Hit Haunted Michael Franzese

Investigation Discovery's Nothing Personal, a six-part series profiling hit men, debuted in March 2011.

One of nine new series ID launched in 2011's first quarter, each one-hour episode was hosted by Steve Schirripa, who played the doomed Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos.

Michael Franzese, ex-Colombo crime family capo, swears in
Michael Franzese, ex-Colombo crime family capo

Nothing Personal was doomed as well, the short-lived series lasted two seasons.

The premiere episode spotlighted the 1983 murder of would-be Mafioso Larry "Champagne" Carrozza, who was shot by a Colombo crime family hit man/known charlatan. Or Michael Franzese, the ex-Colombo crime family capo who left the life, trading in the Godfather for the Christian God the father.

At least that's what federal agents and other law enforcement experts believed in April of 1992, when The Los Angeles Times noted that the Carrozza hit was "one case in which some experts believe that Franzese may have pulled the trigger."




The article further noted:

Larry (Champagne) Carrozza--a Brooklyn embalmer with a taste for the good life, including his trademark champagne--once was Franzese's best friend. They drank together and gambled in Las Vegas together. Carrozza was the godfather of three of Franzese's children, and he was the godfather of one of Carrozza's. 
But in 1983, Franzese learned that Carrozza, a married man, was having an affair with Franzese's sister and had become involved with drugs. Franzese said the mob had discovered both and had ordered Carrozza's assassination. In his book, Franzese says he tried to warn his friend, but that Carrozza ignored him."

On May 20, 1983, Carrozza's body was found with one bullet hole behind his right ear. 

Police noticed that, because there were no signs indicative of a struggle, the killer likely was someone Carrozza knew and trusted.

"Franzese says he did not do it. Some agents and prosecutors wonder about that," the LA Times reported.




In his  autobiography, Franzese, seen above, wrote that many blamed him for the murder, some because his father, John "Sonny" Franzese, allegedly ordered it.

Michael Franzese has never been charged in that or any other killing.


I asked about Carrozza during a brief period when I was in touch with Franzese. He never granted me a discussed interview about Carrozza. Regular readers will recall I promoted a film about the former capo's life that he was seeking to publicize at the time.

Charges in Franzese Indictment
Franzese was indicted in December of 1985 on an array of criminal charges related partly to a massive gasoline-tax scam. A Brooklyn-based task force charged him with racketeering, extortion, embezzlement and conspiracy. In Florida, he faced an additional 65 counts of tax evasion, part of a 177-count indictment that included several others.

Franzese made a deal with the Fed's and pleaded guilty to "two of the federal charges and all 65 of the state counts, even though that meant a prison sentence.

"Later, he agreed to testify against Norby Walters, a sports agent who was charged with illegally signing college athletes," the Times noted.

"Within weeks of testifying against Walters, Franzese was freed from prison, having served less than four years of his 10-year sentence. He was sent back in 1991 after admitting to a pair of probation violations--failing to file income tax returns for two years that he was in prison and improperly endorsing a check."



As for the Nothing Personal episode, Media Life Magazine offered an interesting review of the kickoff:

"Carrozza, who hoped to be made a full member of the mob, was married but was dating the daughter of Sonny Franzese, the legendary powerful Colombo capo, recently convicted and sent to prison. Carrozza was also involved in a lucrative gas-tax-evasion scheme with Sonny’s son Michael, who stood to profit if he could get a hold of Carrozza’s share.

"The show presents what it says is the first interview ever with the man who confessed to shooting Carrozza, Sal Miciotta. His excuses and half apologies are, sadly, about what we’d expect to hear.

“I pretty much was disgusted with the whole situation,” he says when discussing killing Carrozza. “Doing this to somebody that I really liked, that never did anything bad to me, was not a good thing.”

"Adding to Miciotta’s resentment was the fact that he was called to do the job while waiting at the maternity ward where his wife was giving birth to their daughter."

"According to network listings, most of the future episodes are about non-Mafia hits, so they’ll lack Schirripa’s special insight and the inherent glamour of organized crime. But most involve the powerful combination of money and sex," the review said.




Comments

  1. What crap. Corrozzo was whacked by Michael Franzese personally. It was not business it was personal. Corrozzo was dating Michael's sister Gia. Michael introduced the two knowing Larry was married. Gia got hooked on heroin. Sonny went ballistic and Junior wanted to whack her supplier. Michael gave Larry up. Junior then directed him to clean up the mess he created.To Michael it was simple, take Larry out or go himself. He did it in a car from behind

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  2. why does every press reference to Sonny Franzese describe him as legendary

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  3. IN SONNY'S CASE LEGENDARY IS PROPER. HE IS A HUGE EARNER, FEARED HIT MAN, WHOSE REPUTATION IS NOT THE PRODUCT OF PRESS RELEASES. IN THE STREET HIS NAME IS SOLID.HE FINANCED DEEP THROAT AND OTHER ADULT FILMS, BACKED RECORD COMPANIES, OWNED POINTS IN VEGAS AND PUERTO RICO CASINO'S, OWNED TALENT AGENCIES AND ORCHESTRATED THE BIGGEST TAX SCAM EVER. HE IS PUZO'S MODEL FOR SONNY CORLEAONE WHO ALSO HAS THE BUSINESS SMARTS OF LITTLE BROTHER MICHAEL. HE IS A LEGEND WORTHY OF THE ADJECTIVE. aDDED TO ALL THIS IS THE FACT HE WAS FRAMED FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT. UNCLE SAM VIOLATED EVERY ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO PUT HIM AWAY FOR A CRIME HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT

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    1. Well said Owen he is most definitely a legend in OC

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  4. a legend whose two sons are rats

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  5. Nicely put, Owen, I agree with every word you wrote. He can't control his sons...what father can?

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  6. if junior ordered a hit as payback for a drug dealer, good for him. if sonny paid corrozzo back for gia's death well done. whatever else one can say a father owes his daughter that much.from what i read sonny is a man whose two sons are bad % whose wife is a world class ballbuster. that is burden enough to carry, then add on a vindictive illegal acting government and a lesser guy would fold. a mans man will live on his own terms. die the same way--a real throwback

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  7. Champagne Larry was a low rent guy. Desperate to earn he took Franzese money and built a drug network. With the old man inside people looked away thinking Michael acted with Daddy's OK. His fatal mistake was hooking Gia. That brought his drug deals front and centre. No balls Michael never admutted to being a partner in the drug dealing. or knowing his sister was hooked. When the order came he marched. Larry took a 22 behind the ear from his best friend

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  8. SONNY DID NOT ORCHESTRATE THE TAX SCAM. THE CREDIT FOR THAT BELONGS TO PHIL. WHO IS PHIL? WELL PHIL IS DEAD TOO. AND SONNY'S WIFE IS A GOOD WOMAN.

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  9. Sonny backed a Russian tied to fifth avenue con man Murray Wilson to begin a scam begun by the brother of Hugh Carey. When Sonny went away Wilson brought West Village gangsters in to partner, guide and control Michael. Sonny was the go to Colombo guy for the Russians. Any dispute was resolved by a sitdown between Sonny and Chin, two titans. Follow the cardinal rule, know what you talk about. Sonny is legendary because his deeds of what legends are made of.

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  10. Tina a good woman? She drove Tutti to an early grave. She got Mimi killed. Gave birth to two rats Each dishonored their father.Tina is a gutter snipe, who moved to the penthose when she married Sonny. But her morals and values remained in the gutter

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  11. There is more to the Sonny Franzese story than a gasoline deal, even if it was worth like a billion dollars. And folks, please go easy on innocent family members. You'd be surprised who reads these blogs, you're not writing in a vacuum. Only I see the emails.

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  12. what do you mean innocent. michael made millions, whacked corrozzo, ditched his wife and four kids, stiffed uncle sam, got bloom killed, beat up cathy clements, and testified against norby walters. john jr is an addict, loanshark, leg breaker and pusher, who put a geriatric father away to save his pathetic skin. tina lived life in luxury, fought for sonny and then chose her two kids over him. far from innocent those thre all used sonny in every way posable. the innocents was gia, and she's not here to be hurt by this conversation. moishe got it right sonny is a titan---his family are pygmies

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  13. I'm taking in general -- anyone in the life is fair game and obviously not innocent...

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  14. Larry carrozza did not deserve to die, he was in love with Gia, Michael was hiding money from everyone,Larrys father was Sonnys best friend, Michael is a greedy, liar, trust me not one friend left everyone dislikes his hypocracy, he is personna non grata in the Mob, he is and always be a stooly for the FBI, he desserted his children for a women who is a poor imitation of a Born Again and also a hypocrate...Money is their plan...He owes the govt millions...check the payment status! the word on the street is he is a paid informer, and Sonny rules his fate... John is the real tough kid with a disease that faced even my children..I know what I am saying
    he left his family 3 children at a young age and never returned, Cammy was pregnant while he was still married she captured his money only did 6yrs while he made a deal to testify on Norby Walters whom was not a good friend of his..Norby loves Michaels Father Sonny....Get it right Michael want to be a Captain in the Born Again society so he can feel Big, him and Cammy never saw sonny for 20 years and never sent his children a dime,Cammiy and Michael are Fakes.His wife is without a huband for over 30yrs and she never cheated on him.. I wish I could commit that loyalty from my wife.....I dont think so...

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  15. This should be a movie, I would like to hear more
    I know Michael made a pilot trying to suck up to Sonny, Sonny keeps his enemies close and his friends closer...He tried to trick Sonny with a hidden camera to make a pilot to send to A&E...
    and he was warned by his wife to watch out something was brewing.

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  16. hey jojo get a life, thank God sonnys wife was a ballbuster, she fought for him and his frame, she took his abandoned children from his mistress, if i was framed i want her for a wife, Michael never gave them a penny that was Michaels mistress that lived in a penthouse(cammy) she gave the money to her wasted father who was a bum and..........yes 2 rats, truly I its questionable who is the bigger rat? the one thats getting fatter! your an Ass H......

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  17. Larry did not deserve to die. Has anyone thought about the wife and family he left behind? Don't believe everything you watch and read. I knew Larry before he was involved with the so called Mob. He was a wonderful person. It broke my heart when he was murdered. Family & Friends of Champagne Larry should be respected. As for everyone else, God will be the ultimate Judge!

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  18. larry was a cheat who hooked gia on heroin. michael is tina's son, a born rat. john jr. a weak sister unable to handle the pressures of his name. there is an untold story and it ain't the one tina's hawking

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  19. It's 2011 and Italians are still engaged in ethnic gangsterism; how lame is that? Mob movies and documentaries might make for interesting TV but only morons or ethochauvinistic idiots REALLY think the mob is cool, especially the real mob, not the glorified media image thereof. If the mob is so slick, how come so many high ranking mobsters are in jail for white trash crimes like bank robbery? They're dirtbags, hopelessly unassimilable dirtbags who have declared war on mainstream Americans and isolated themselves in an ethnic ghetto, alienating themselves, and sadly, their innocent fellow Italians from the rest of the country. Fiorello LaGuardia must be turning over in his grave (not to mention Columbus). Move over Stepping-N-Fetchit, make room for Step-N-Feccatto and Amos and Vinny.

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    1. Then why are you on a mob site go to a cooking blog if you are offended. And who the he'll do you think you are calling out Italians and what we are doing

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  20. I knew John Jr, he was the real tough guy I saw him save a senior citizen from being robbed and literally beat 2men to a pulp while he was high I was right there with him, Michael is a wimp compared to John, John was his fathers son, drugs came after Michael disses him because he was always jealous of John, I knew that family and how, I hope an pray John is OK everyone loved John like they loved his father,drugs, was Satan works I am 2yrs in recovery and I was with John for all of 8years I want to blast the truth out, FBI got John while he was on crack, he told me afterwoods, Lord help him....brilliant guy...I hope he is doing fine...only he graduated with honors in that family, I stayed away from Michael he threw money at us to go get high..God help him

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  21. they r all lowlife scumbags.burn in hell rot in jail.bloodsucking scum

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  22. bada bing, bada boom, I don't know which...

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  23. Mr. Lowlife Anonymous - I know quite a few businessmen and politicos who belong in prison, who are bigger low lives who stole a helluva lot more than the mob ever did. Only they supposedly don't kill (as far as we know; maybe they just have better cleaners). You obviously don't know who the real crooks are in this society, the real blood suckers. They are the ones who really pull the strings. And if you feel that way, stop reading this blog.

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  24. I knew Larry and His Family before he was Married.
    If his Mom or Dad are around, and his wife and children,
    My Condolences, "An Old Friend"

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  25. I think you all have way too much time on your hands... Instead of trying to figure out everyone else's life, you should worry about your own, I'm sure it has its share of flaws! Larry was killed nearly 29 years ago. Unless you personally knew him, and everything that went along with him and his death, please keep your opinions to yourselves! It is very sad that the television industry has nothing better to do then dig up ancient stories and profit from real peoples pain and have them re-live it all over again. Nothing positive could come from airing this story. It is disgraceful and absolutely immoral and anyone who supports it is as unethical as those who had produced it. Get on with your lives and let us do the same!

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  26. Hey Anonymous, above, you seem to have even more time on your hands -- not only are you one of the 3,000 people to read this post this month but you spent the time to write a comment on top of that.

    This post appeared on March 9, which seems you must have been looking for an article on Sonny or Larry or one of the people in the piece and stumbled upon this web page. Or is it the lively discussion that annoys you for some reason?

    This one has even more comments, you'd hate it even more: http://cosa-nostra-news.blogspot.com/2011/03/vh1-picks-up-mob-wives-reality-show-for.html

    What is wrong with reading about the mob -- or about any subject for that matter? What else should we do with our time? I think reading books, articles about anything, learning new things, mob history or reviews of espresso maker is useful. There are tons of blogs about the mob -- about every subject on earth and in the heavens... About a half-million souls have at least once read this, my blog... So really, what is the issue here?

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  27. michael franzes is not a rat. get your facts straight. he never testified against any mob member---he simply left the mob.

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    1. Obviously you have absolutely no clue of facts I'm friends with sonny he's in ft devens. Dig up up the late franky camp and ask him how much time he got because of Michael. People on this site are clueless. You have your right to an opinion but don't come off like its facts unless you were there and I was so enough said

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    2. Franky Camp hated Michael for what he did. It's a miracle that they didn;t take him out.

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  28. I see a lot of you people have no idea of what really happened with larry.
    He was a very good father and husband till he got involed with the wrong people his wife Gina stayed with him and took care of their wonderful children which by the way are doing great.
    Larry helped a lot of people including the church.
    He had a big heart.
    It was never solved as who killed him and was a horrible thing for his father to have to go to that car and see his son like that.
    For the people out their making all your comments know what your talking about before you sound on someone.

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  29. It amazes me how many comments here suggesting they know someone or someone knows them. The truth about this topic will never be disclosed in a forum such as this!!

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  30. Why isn't Gia listed as one of Sonny's children and don't tell me it's because she's dead!! Jim F

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    1. you mean above? That was quoted material from the show's website... I didn't write it; I didn't even know what the show would be about as the post appeared before the show...look at the dates and times. I forgot how many comments this one got - wow people were interested in this story.

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  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  33. J: No text message received -- shoot the email - ill delete now - just drop another comment if you need my email again

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  34. hey jojo, corrozzo was not paid back for Gia's death because she was still alive when he was whacked. Gia passed in 1990, c'mon gents, get your facts straight before making a comment!!

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  35. One more thing on accuracy or lack there of, google Gia Franzese and look at the images, it is not her, it's a photo of Gia Carangi, the model who died in 1986. Jim F

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  36. So many wrong "speculations" on this blog...first of all...Larry's father was not close friends or even a friend of Sonny. Larry's father was a wanna-be.....who lost his restaurant on the docks to the "family" because he owed them money. Don't think he was even an associate...that is a fact...

    number 2.....Larry was an associate of Michael's.....close friends......Michael didn't know about Larry's affair with his sister Gia.....and didn't know that Larry was supplying heroin to her either. Larry was a wanna be too...just like his father...a low life who was very impressed by himself. His father pushed him into the life because his father couldn't get into the "club"

    These are all facts!!!! Good for Michael for getting out of that life and really making something of himself now!!!

    Only hope that Larry's brother and nephews stay out of the life and make a difference in this world instead of being a burden!!!!

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    1. I didn't write the content - read this post again - but you give Michael complete benefit of the doubt... hard to take seriously....

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