Tale of Two Colombo Mobsters

Craig DePalma

One is 44 years old and dead after attempting suicide. Craig DePalma died last month after spending eight years in a coma following a failed jailhouse suicide attempt. The cause, guilt over his decision to “rat” on his compatriots, including his father, Greg, a Gambino capo, who himself died in prison in 2009 after allowing an undercover Fed get too close to him.

The other is a living legend. At 93 years of age he was just sentenced to eight years in prison. Sonny Franzese brags of killing 60 people with his own hands and lives his life as one of the most remorseless, unforgiving members the American Mafia has seen.

Both were made members of the Colombo crime family, considered one of the most volatile organizations in the New York Mafia.

Read two different stories below:

Gambino mobster Craig DePalma died last month in a nursing home where he spent eight years in a coma after a failed jailhouse suicide - ending one of the strangest tales in Mafia history.

Even though DePalma, 44, had tried to hang himself after it was revealed that he sang to a grand jury, his father, Gambino capo Greg DePalma, did not forsake the son and never gave up hope he would recover.

And in yet another bizarre twist, the elder DePalma, 77, turned the Westchester County nursing home into a kind of satellite clubhouse, holding court with gangsters who met covertly among the sick and elderly.

Law enforcement officials watched in disbelief as the elder DePalma meticulously tended to his son during the sitdowns - a new low for the mafiosi, who routinely held secret meetings at funeral home wakes.

The senior DePalma, who died in prison in 2009, was in denial about his son's work as a rat - and his irreversible, vegetative condition.

Wiseguys brought armloads of Italian food and desserts to the nursing home.

They would lift Craig onto a gurney and wheel him to the outdoor garden or a library balcony - where they talked mob business.

Read rest of this article.

Convicted mob boss John "Sonny" Franzese is so old, he knew Frank Sinatra in his heyday. He's so old, his recent extortion trial became nap time — even when his turncoat son took the witness stand against him.

But a federal judge decided Friday that Franzese is not so old that he can avoid prison.

Franzese, 93, was sentenced to eight years in prison for extorting Manhattan strip clubs and a pizzeria on New York's Long Island.

Sonny Franzese will be 101 when he gets out.

The jailed Franzese appeared alert while sitting in a wheelchair in federal court in Brooklyn. But when asked if he wanted to speak, he managed only a fragmented mumble: "I never got a fair ..."

Federal prosecutors had sought at least 12 years behind bars for the underboss of the Colombo crime family — in effect, a life term. To bolster their argument, they had an FBI agent testify Friday that Franzese bragged about killing 60 people over the years and once contemplated putting out a hit on his own son for becoming a government cooperator.