When Licavoli Tapped His Cane, Lives Would End

I started a Mafia memorabilia collection a couple of years ago. I have a tie, a straight razor, cufflinks (two pairs), a religious medal and a miniature model of an old fashioned cannon on two wheels.

All these items belonged to Roy DeMeo, the Gambino capo who ran a crew that was often assigned the family's wet work.

Each of Roy's aforementioned former belongings arrived at my doorstep packaged with a notarized statement signed by the mobsters son, vouching for its authenticity. Al, the son, sent me playing cards in each package that he said were from one of his father's decks; I guess it was a friendly gesture for my buying so many of his father's possessions, which he had sold off ebay.

Cool, huh? But not as cool as an item a collector I know has: the cane that belonged to Jack Licavoli, the Cleveland mob boss during the 1970s -- that volatile time when Danny Greene declared war on his former partners in the mob. And the cane played its own role in history, including in the story of Greene.

Cleveland boss Licavoli
"Jack White," or "Blackie," as Licavoli was called, would tap the cane on the floor whenever he ordered a hit, as if to punctuate his declaration. I have been told about this mannerism by an anonynmous source who spoke with guys who were present many times when such orders came down, along with the tip of the cane. (Licavoli may have carried the cane as a result of being shot in the leg in 1928, but I have not been able to confirm this.)

He must have really banged that thing pretty hard when he ordered Greene to be taken out; as anyone who knows his history, or has watched the film "Kill the Irishman," that dude was like a giant hemorrhoid growing right out of the crack of Jack's ass.

Licavoli (August 18, 1904 − November 23, 1985) was one of the earliest organized crime figures to be convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act).




Licavoli arrived in Cleveland in 1938. He was eventually made and inducted into the Cleveland crime family, quickly establishing control over illegal gambling and the vending machine industry in the neighboring cities of Youngstown and Warren, Ohio.

In 1976, longtime Cleveland family boss John Scalish died without having appointed a successor. By then Licavoli, who had slowly built up his power base and strength over the decades, along with an immense fortune, was considered by many to be the logical successor. He became boss of the Cleveland crime family.

Unfortunately for Licavoli, the Irish gangster Danny Greene commenced trying to take control of Mafia rackets in Cleveland. Mafia associate John Nardi sided with Greene, giving him an advantage over the Cleveland family. This erupted into an all-out war during which many Licavoli supporters were killed. Still, Jack White refused offers of help from both New York and Chicago, knowing full well families from these cities would send crews to muscle their way in before the ring of the last shot had even died out. Licavoli hired an outside hit man and took care of Greene & Co. on his own -- despite what you saw in the film.

The Mafia prevailed, as it usually does.

In 1985, James Licavoli died of heart attack at the Oxford Federal Correctional Institute in Oxford, Wisconsin.

But the cane still exists:


Licavoli's cane is owned by Goodfellas4God Ministries.




















Comments

  1. How much for the cane.? Will it be for sale

    ReplyDelete
  2. Will you take $100.00 for it ?.......Licavoli was played by what actor in to Kill the Irishman movie by Rick Porello

    Licavoli was the Mob boss that put the button on green

    ReplyDelete
  3. Licavoli was a member of the purple Gang. How many of you knew that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really?? I am working on a piece about NY's Purple Gang and am researching the orig gang from Detroit - thanks!

      Delete
  4. jack was my great uncle

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  5. yes he was a member of the purple gang like I said he was my great uncle buried at calvary cemetery in st louis mo.

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  6. To Jack White's great nephew: please contact me at eddie2843@gmail.com -- thanks!

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  7. Did any of you know that Paul Sorvino the one in the goodfellas Flick and the one that trimmed the garlic with a razor blade sings Amazing Grace when you go to the goodfellas4god.org Website. He's not that bad but could use some voice lessons. But he gets his point across
    There is only one Godfather and his name is God the Father and his Son JESUS CHRIST

    ReplyDelete
  8. Does anybody know who the Ordained Minister is on the Goodfellas Website?

    ReplyDelete
  9. What's the problem You are not letting me log in I tried it almost 75 times ...don't you like my post

    ReplyDelete
  10. Guy i don't know what the problem is -- it's on your end whatever it is...

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  11. Its too bad they didn't use they're talent like the Kennedys or Rockefellers we might have a Licovoli airport or al Capone library?

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  12. I know who owns the cane

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    Replies
    1. Glen, whatever happened to the cane?

      Delete

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