Toppling Carlo Gambino on 1966 La Stella Meeting Agenda?

We left off with Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce facing allegations for attempting to unseat his crime family's namesake: Carlo Gambino.

The charge was levied at Dellacroce by the Joint Legislative Committee on Crime in a public forum seemingly designed after an earlier, national inquiry into organized crime, the McClellan Hearings.

La Stella, site of 1966 mob meeting
Where Dellacroce was arrested in 1966
for alleged plotting.

To advance the story, we next turn to Dellacroce's obituary.

The Gambino underboss (and historical mentor to John Gotti) died on Dec. 2, 1985, of cancer at age 71. The mobster's New York Times obituary, written by Ralph Blumenthal (author of the important but somwhat overlooked Last Days of the Sicilians), point-blank stated:

In 1966, Mr. Dellacroce was arrested in a police raid of the La Stella restaurant in Queens, where, the Joint Legislative Committee on Crime later charged, he and other Mafia leaders were plotting to depose Mr. Gambino...

(The La (?) Stella restaurant... Anyone else see Mickey Blue Eyes? I laughed when I read that...) Anyway, next we journey to the year 1966 and indeed discover news about Dellacroce's arrest at La Stella.


It only raises more questions.

On Sept. 22, 1966, "acting upon a tip from two alert cops, (Nat) Hentel (then newly appointed Queens D.A.) organized a sweeping arrest of 13 top Mafia leaders at La Stella, an Italian restaurant at 102-11 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills." (Source)



This has been written about, a seemingly minor incident known as "Little Apalachin," a nod to the big 1957 to-do in upstate New York.

 Dellacroce was there, along with a bevy of mob bosses. The only problem is Carlo Gambino was one of them. So how the hell did Dellacroce attempt to sell an overthrow before the Commission while Gambino himself sat at the table?

Post-Little Apalachin photo-op?

Little Apalachin

The purpose of the meeting reportedly "was never definitively explained, but a theory says that since Thomas Lucchese was terminally ill with a brain tumor at his home in Lido Beach, a successor had to be agreed upon. Whatever the reason, for all those men to travel long distances to meet, it must have been of national importance to organized crime."

The men arrested were as follows: from New York; Carlo Gambino, Aniello Delacroce, Joseph N. Gallo; Thomas Eboli, Mike Miranda, Jerry Catena of the Genovese Family; Joseph Colombo, newly appointed boss of his own crime family; Dominick Alongi, Eboli’s driver; and Anthony Cirillo, a Genovese soldier.

From Florida there was Santo Trafficante, Jr. 

The other four were from New Orleans: Carlos Marcello and brother Joseph Marcello, Jr.; Anthony Carolla, son of former New Orleans boss Sam "Silver Dollar" Carolla; and Frank Gagliano, son of another deported mobster and cousin of Alongi. 

In addition, the owners of the restaurant, Joseph and Jack Taliercio, were arrested.

The theories as to why these men met are seemingly endless.

You can read about them here -- though it's clear that Allan May is poking fun at them all, with justification, noting:

"While all scenarios are possible, it would seem unlikely that Trafficante, Marcello and three other New Orleans mobsters would sit in on Commission decisions that concerned the New York families. 
"However, it wasn’t just mob writers that were cashing in on the event to promote their subject matter. Police administrators and city prosecutors were trying to make a name for themselves also. The New York Times quoted Chief Inspector Sanford D. Garelik as calling the meeting a “little Apalachin.” He stated that the raid was part of the department’s campaign “to rid the city of top hoodlums.” 
Meanwhile, Queens District Attorney Nat H. Hentel announced that all of the arrested men, charged with “consorting with criminals,” would be subpoenaed to appear before a special grand jury he planned to call."...
While the La Stella restaurant incident generated unwanted headlines and publicity for Carlo Gambino, Trafficante, and Marcello, nothing came of the arrests, no indictments were issued, and the purpose of the meeting was never definitively explained.


Was the Joint Legislative Committee on Crime also an effort to "cash in" -- to build up certain names before the public in a (failed) attempt to build a national platform for future political careers?

If the "Little Appalachin" meeting wasn't related to Dellacroce's attempt to overthrow Gambino where do we go next to try to solve this problem?

Not all Gambino crime family members were in alignment with Carlo Gambino's 1957 takeover.

Dellacroce was not a Gambino loyalist, initially. So what happened?

In part three we will seek to provide a solution.






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ready? Longtime Gotti Confidant John Carneglia Back in Brooklyn

Hear the One About the Cop Who Infiltrated Two Crime Families?

Sammy the Bull Gravano Free from Prison

FOILED: Feds Uncover Reputed Luchese Killer's Plan to Escape Jail

Martin Scorsese on Frank Vincent: "He Made It Look Easy"

Decades of Mob Violence Behind Waterfront Case

Tony Soprano Beats Papa Smurf Any Day of the Week