Mafia Commission Is No More, Massino Testifies

And the surprises keep a-coming from Joe Massino, former boss of the Bonanno crime family.

Ed Lino: assassinated

Now Massino has testified that the infamous Mafia "commission" hasn't had a meeting in 25 years, according to AP. "There ain't no commission," he added.

Since the formation of the modern mob back in the 1930s following the end of the Castellammarese War, the leaders of New York City's five crime families -- plus a couple of other families -- held occasional summits to lay down rules and settle disputes. This is something Luciano supposedly put in place back at the very beginning.

But these Commission meetings stopped happening after Gambino boss Paul Castellano was assassinated outside a Manhattan restaurant in 1985, and the heads of the other families went to prison for racketeering, Massino said.

Gambino hit man

This does not jibe with published reports about accounts of Commission meetings in which John Gotti sat in for the Gambino family; ironically, one of Gotti's goals at one such meeting was to get the Bonanno family's seat back for his good buddy, Joe Massino (the Bonannos had lost their place on the "board" following the Donnie Brasco scandal, as well as the family's reputation for focusing on drug dealing, it has been reported).

Gotti also supposedly held his own against the Chin one or two times at these meetings, which were indeed held following Castellano's death because Gotti was there, according to books by Jerry Capeci and others.

Gotti used these meetings -- there were at least a couple -- to advance his alliances and own interests, a true Machiavellian. In addition to getting the Bonannos back in, and thus making them his pawns, he reportedly attempted to convince the Chin to start making new members -- an obvious ploy to earn the respect of any men made by Chin because they would believe they got their stripes thanks to Gotti. But the Chin got the better of the Gambino Don -- whom Gigante tried to assassinate with the help of Lucchese confederates -- by telling Gotti, in so many words, "Thanks for your interest, but I'll handle my own family."

A trio, at least, of Gambino made men were killed in retaliation for Paul, but Gotti never knew these murders -- of Gotti underboss Frank DeCicco, Gotti bodyguard/chauffeur Bobby Boriello and Gotti friend/fierce hit man Ed Lino (who had blood ties to the Bonannos) -- were connected and could be traced back to the Chin.

Though he said, "There ain't no commission," Massino acknowledged that top leaders of the crime rings did and do get together sometimes. So why was Gotti trying to get Joe his seat back, if there were no Commission? Perhaps Joe looked down on the Commission, since he wasn't allowed to be on it, at least for a time. Is he is getting his revenge by belittling it now?

Maybe Massino is lying; maybe he's telling it like he sees it. We'll never know. This entire issue of a "Commission" could be a matter of simple semantics.


  1. here is the fact jack, the manhattan crew, commonly called the Genovese family, wins any dispute they care enough to engage in. Gotti is a figment of the medias imagination. A bobo smirked at by the street but festooned up by a media looking to create an interest in their product. A loudmouth who was incapable of creating a coherent paragraph( think Donald Trump)it is laughable to think Gotti could manage a far flung enterprise. Gambino members loved him as boss because they were able to kep more of their earnings. The fool never could count past ten with his shoes on.

  2. Gotti existed -- he was a flesh-and-blood human being, not a figment of anyone's imagination. His reputation was severely overblown, he was not as important as the media made him out to be, but he did exist, Jack. He ruined a crime family that was once the Rolls Royce of the Mafia, he was not the brightest bulb, was hated and feared -- and I don't think his own guys liked him that much. Maybe they kept a little more in their pockets, but many of them are gonna die in prison for committing murders for Don He's-gonna-die-cause-he-didn't-come-when-I-called-him. But you have to admit one thing, the hit on Castellano was a masterpiece. It went off like clockwork -- the objective was achieved; and everyone got away, that night anyway. I am not saying it was the right thing to do -- I only say he masterminded a perfect hit of a boss in midtown Manhattan at night during the peak of Christmas shopping season. If he did nothing else, he pulled this hit off. A very public execution with a hundred witnesses and the cops scratching their heads. And Gotti did this knowing full well all the other families very well could have ended up coming after him. (In fact, your Manhattan Crew did go after him, but missed and eventually gave up on him, instead clipping several of his men, though Gotti never knew who was behind those hits -- as far as we know.)


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