Ex-Hitman Competiello Apologizes to Cutolo Family

'Wild Bill' Cutolo shot his way through a two-year
Colombo war, unfortunately on the losing side. He
was whacked six years later, following a promotion
to underboss, probably so he'd let his guard down. 
When acting boss Vic Orena decided he wanted to take over the Colombo family from jailed-for-life boss Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who had visions of setting up a Mafia dynasty by making his son, Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, the boss, the first shots of the third Colombo war were soon fired.

William "Wild Bill" Cutolo (June 6, 1949 – May 26, 1999), a Brooklyn-born mafioso in the Colombo crime family, chose the Orena faction, and quickly emerged as chief warlord for the rebellious faction; facing off against Cutolo like gladiators of Roman times was Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, who threw his support behind Persico. Each would gather his crew and drive through the streets of New York each night, armed to the teeth, ready for murder -- it was kill or be killed.

It really was, like they say, out of a movie.

Turns out Cutolo chose the wrong side, as did more than half the family. The war, which shot up the streets of New York City from 1991 to 1993, ended when Orena was sent to prison for life; the Snake prevailed. And Scarpa died of the AIDs virus he had contracted from a member of his own crew from a blood transfusion. (I'd like to know more about that story.)

Scarpa 'The Grim Reaper' was a one-man murder
machine who served as a top-tier FBI informant
nearly his entire career in the mob.

“I know this isn’t going to bring back Pops, Bill, but he really, really is so very sorry.” 

Wild Bill was busted from Capo to Soldier as part of the peace treaty. But the general respect Cutolo generated as a gangster, as well as his popularity in the family and other crime families, made Allie Boy promote him to Underboss. In reality, the Persicos were setting Cutolo up, using the promotion and passage of six years since the end of the war to put him off guard.

In 1999, Cutolo was summoned to a meeting with the younger Persico. Cutolo was last seen en route to that meeting (ironically, Feds had been tailing Cutolo on the last day of his life, but Cutolo ditched them -- and in all fairness, the Feds had no idea their subject was about to fall off the face of the earth).

In 2004, Allie Boy Persico and the family's Underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss were indicted for conspiring to murder Cutolo. Testifying against Persico were Cutolo's son plus former Gambino captain Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, who attended the same meeting and was told Wild Bill was "gone."

Now, the tabloids are reporting that the hit man who took Cutolo's life has offered the family an apology, which has been accepted.

From the NY Daily News, a story you don't read very often in Mob Land.

From deep within a federal prison, ex-Colombo hitman Joseph Competiello has sent an extraordinary apology to the family of a gangster he helped kill, the Daily News has learned, reports the News.

“As a young adult my actions are inexcusable and I am ready to accept responsibility for them for causing you pain over the loss of your loved one,” Competiello wrote in an email to relatives of slain capo William (Wild Bill) Cutolo.

Perhaps even more stunning, Competiello’s apology was readily accepted by the dead man’s son.

“I accepted his apology . . . If not for him, who knows if they would have found my dad,” Cutolo’s son, William Jr., told The News.

“If he [Competiello] didn’t do what he was told, he would’ve wound up in the hole with my father.”

On December 28, 2007, Persico and DeRoss were convicted of Cutolo's murder, and both were eventually given life imprisonment -- even without a body. In October 2008, federal agents started searching a field in East Farmingdale, New York, based on the kinds of tips they always get about "mob graveyards." This tip, however, was on the money: human remains were discovered wrapped up in a blue tarp. A forensic dentist confirmed that the body was Wild Bill Cutolo's.

Allie Boy got life for taking Wild
Bill Cutolo's...
His son, William P. Cutolo Jr. actively worked to help the FBI nab the criminals who were responsible; Cutolo Jr. and probably most of the Mafia and half the police force knew it had to be Allie Boy no matter how solid his alibi appeared (he was supposedly meeting with his attorney when Wild Bill was meeting his end). Police primarily had circumstantial evidence, since there was no body during the actual murder trial.

As the Daily News further reports: Cutolo was shot to death in 1999 on orders from former acting boss Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico, who feared losing control of the crime family to his charismatic rival.

Competiello was part of the hit team that killed Cutolo inside the Brooklyn home of soldier Dino (Little Dino) Saracino. Cutolo’s remains were unearthed by the FBI from a secret mob graveyard in Farmingdale, L.I., in 2008.

Cutolo’s son, who once wore a hidden wire to help the feds nail his father’s killers, forwarded a copy of the email to The News. Federal law enforcement officials verified its authenticity.

In the email, Competiello — who is in the witness protection section of a federal lockup — blames his actions and the blood on his hands to a twisted view of the Mafia.

“As a young man I wanted to fit in thinking it was the way to go and that I would be protected if I followed in this life,” wrote Competiello, who has been implicated by the feds in seven gangland rubouts.

“However due to the consciences (sic) I have now all those things I have kept inside I have to make amends with those I’ve hurt.

“I am not the boy I was then but am the man who now knows right from wrong, understanding my involvement in that lifestyle is unacceptable and wouldn’t want this life ever again.”

Competiello’s wife Michelle added a postscript to the email, which she helped him send last year: “I know this isn’t going to bring back Pops Bill but he really really is so very sorry.”

Competiello is set to sing about Cutolo’s murder and other misdeeds during the upcoming trial in Brooklyn Federal Court of Saracino and Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioelli.

Cutolo Jr. participates in a website, realwiseguys.com, and will appear next week in “Mob Confessions,” a Discovery Channel television series.

“I appreciated his admittance. It took a lot for me to do what I did, but it took more on his [Competitello’s] part,” Cutolo Jr. said.

Read our story about Cutolo; Scarpa; and, fromCrimeWire, Billy Cutolo Jr. talks about his father, the day he went missing, and the ensuing years

Read more from the NY Daily News: Ex-hitman Joseph Competiello apologizes to family of William Cutolo for his role in '99 slaying


  1. Beautiful story. FINALLY sombody accepts an olive branch. God bless both their fanilies


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