'Podfathers' Still Waiting for Much-Ballyhooed iPods

According to a January 1, 2011, article in the NY Post, flagged as an EXCLUSIVE, "Two of the Colombo crime family's top leaders received ... iPods ... courtesy of Uncle Sam.

"Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, acting boss of the Colombo family, and Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, the family's consigliere, will both be getting specially outfitted, 160-gigabyte Apple iPods ...The devices can be used only to review government audio evidence behind bars, part of an $8,700 experiment to help the mobsters speed up preparation for their upcoming racketeering trials."

As of Feb. 9, the iPods still have not reached Gioeli, and presumably, Cacace, according to a post on Gioeli's website early this month.

Gioeli writes, "I was just thinking about whatever happened to the ipod that the government promised to lend to me so that I am able to review the evidence against me before my trial. ...perhaps it's somewhere with my missing legal documents, radio, watch, my teeth, and my glucose monitor, etc. ..."

Gioeli is getting poor medical  attention,
according to his family, and still hasn't
received his promised iPod, as has been
loudly touted in a NY Post "exclusive."
His daughter, who operates the blog for him and adds posts of her own, follows up on her father's query, "The papers keep printing these bogus stories about my Dad getting this expensive ipod like he's spoiled by the government. Realistically the government has illegally been denying my Dad the right to listen to and review all of the "evidence" they will be using against him during his trial."

A bit of background, Gioeli's lawyer suggested that the defendants be provided with iPods so that they can adequately review their case in their cells in time for trial. Gioeli's family "would willingly purchase my Dad an ipod, but for security reasons the government does not permit this. If my Dad had been permitted to listen to his evidence all along as the constitution requires, there would've been no discussion or need for an alternate solution such as an ipod. ..."

Cosa Nostra News will contact the FBI press office about this. As for The New York Post, your EXCLUSIVE comes up a bit short. How about a follow up, Mitch? Ethically, your EXCLUSIVE was fiction, it seems...

Gaggi's wife successfully sued the
prison system after Nino died of what
was considered an unnecessary heart
attack at the MCC.
Gioeli is a sick man, suffering from diabetes among other ailments. From an early post on his website: "How can an unconvicted man be denied basic healthcare while awaiting trial? And I don't mean cough syrup... I mean pills that are necessary to prevent a heartattack, blood glucose tests to insure that his diabetes is under control, teeth in his mouth so he can eat, etc., etc., etc. Tommy Gioeli is not fighting simply to fight, to whine, or complain...HE IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE. Without adequate care for his many serious ailments there will be serious consequences which will most likely result in death (unless there is some sort of miracle or divine intervention)."
Prison officials may want to recall the story of Nino Gaggi, a former Gambino capo, ultimately disgraced by his association with Roy DeMeo and his nephew, Dominic Montiglio, who ran errands for him and turned rat when arrested for concocting his own extortion schemes in the 1970s and early 1980s. Gaggi died in jail of a heart attack that many believe he could have survived if only he had gotten better care. (Hey, they even use an alcohol swab across the skin before sticking the lethal needles in -- why? To prevent infection in case that phone rings at the last second to call the execution off.)

Gaggi had been DeMeo's partner, mentor and possibly murderer. As per Castellano's orders, Roy was turned into "trunk music," a Chicago Outfit term for killing someone and putting their body in a car trunk. Big Paul feared that Valium- and whiskey-gobbling DeMeo wasn't strong enough to stand up to a pending investigation into his stolen car ring, which is still considered the largest such enterprise in the world. A lot of Gambinos, most particularly John Gotti, thought the same thing about Paul when he was arrested for the Commission Case. It was widely speculated that Paul was too old for prison -- he wanted his silk robe and slippers and ugly Colombian maid too much not to turn, the thinking went.

In actuality, before he could have been arrested, Roy likely would have faked his own death and disappeared. He had a fully worked out plan, complete with fake passports, which were a breeze back then -- today, forget it. His son Albert was going to shoot him from the backseat, firing the bullet through both the driver's seat and the blubbery side of DeMeo's bulging waist. (There are benefits to being fat, so it seems. No insult to Roy, I am on the "well nourished" side myself.) Leaving fresh Roy DeMeo blood and tissue splattered on the dashboard, he had then planned  to bandage his wounds and suffer his way onto a plane and out of the country. He would go on the lam, leaving the U.S. permanently, renouncing his Mafia status and hoping everyone would just think he was dead. Roy was done with the mob, drinking heavily, full of remorse toward the end, and had even sough solace in a confessional. There is no explanation regarding why he didn't carry his plan out; instead, he went to a prearranged meeting that should have set Big Ben-sized warning bells off in his paranoid brain.

But returning to Nino, while being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) for trial, Gaggi died of a heart attack. Early in the day on April 17, 1988, Gaggi told a guard that he was suffering chest pain. However, the guard did nothing at first, probably not giving two sh--s about a murdering mobster, even though Gaggi had yet to be convicted of anything. Then, eventually -- prodded in no small way by Gaggi's forceful cellmate, Joseph Doherty, a legendary IRA soldier --  taking a good look at the wan, sick-looking gangster, the by-the-book guard forced Gaggi to change into different prison garb --following some sort of no-doubt useless regulations -- before he took him out of the cell and walked him up flights of stairs to the infirmary, but by the time he made it there, it was too late: Gaggi suffered a major heart attack and all he had left in him was death.

It was widely speculated that Gaggi could have survived his heart attack if the guards had sent him straight to the hospital the moment he first complained about chest pain. Gaggi's wife successfully sued the prison system, assisted by testimony from several MCC inmates. Gaggi's death eventually resulted in better medical conditions in New York prisons; one result, a doctor is to be on duty at all times. The consolations Rose Gaggi won, however, don't seem to have held up so well, according to what Gioeli and his family are saying about the poor medical attention he is receiving.