Former Luchese Boss: Let Joe Massino Die Free

The book about Little Al is due out later
this year. Written by Capeci and Robbins,
it should be a worthwhile read.
The NY Daily News quotes Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco, former Luchese acting boss turned informant, saying that Joe Massino, another informant -- and one-time boss of the Bonanno family -- should be let out of prison. ASAP.

“I hate to play judge, but I think he should get time served,” said Alphonse (Little Al) D’Arco, who is described in the article as the second-highest-ranking defecting gangster after Massino.

“The government took his cooperation, he did what they asked,” D’Arco, 80, said in a statement provided to the Daily News. “They owe him. You can’t let him rot in prison for the rest of his life.”

Massino, who is now 70, was convicted of racketeering and eight murders and sentenced to life in prison in 2005.

According to the News, he’ll get a shot out of the can on Wednesday, when Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis resentences him -- in a hearing that arose because prosecutors had promised Massino they would write a letter seeking a reduction in his sentence as a reward for providing info that resulted in numerous indictments. (Did it, really? How many is numerous?)

Big Joe Massino (r.), back when he was packing the pounds, walks
and talks with Gene Gotti, a legitimate tough guy serving something
like 50 years because his brother John, the then-boss, told him: No
plea deals. Gene, the brains of the family,  would have been out
decades ago otherwise.

Some say Massino, who is not a healthy man, having been stricken with diabetes before his final arrest, may not have much time left in this world.

“He’s on his way out of the picture,” said a source briefed on Massino’s deteriorating health, in the News article.

D’Arco, noted the News, had eight murders on his résumé, had testified in over a dozen trials, including against the lethal “Mafia Cops” Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa.

A book about D’Arco will be released later this year. Titled “Mob Boss, the Life of Little Al D’Arco, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia,” it is written by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins. St. Martin's Press is the publisher. [How about a review copy, St. Marty?]

As for Massino, he appeared on the witness stand only twice, testifying against his successor, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano and Genovese capo Anthony Antico.

As we've reported, on the witness stand during the Basciano murder trial, Joe Massino casually imparted information that changes Mafia history, putting to rest two storied killings believed for decades to have resulted from the Joe Pistone/Donnie Brasco investigation. This is according to his court testimony. He said that Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano was not slain because of his role in bringing "Donnie Brasco" into Bonanno family business. According to Massino, Napolitano met his end because he had been preparing to take over the Bonanno family. Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us at Cosa Nostra News.

“Sonny Black threatened to make a move on the family,” said Massino, who had taken part in the murder while a member of a three-capo panel that was running the crime family for then-imprisoned boss Philip "Rusty" Rastelli, who in fact had authorized the rubout -- or at least so said Joe.

At the same time, one should consider that there had been a rivalry between Sonny Black and Massino -- according to Pistone's book and other sources -- and Sonny Black also reportedly had just taken part in the slayings of three capos who themselves were planning to make a move to take over the Bonanno family. Sonny Black's crew reportedly handled clean up, while the Gambino capo John Gotti, as a favor, sent his crew to dispose of the bodies. {They didn't do a good job: "Sonny Red" Indelicato "popped up" out of the ground within days of the bloody, violent slayings, though Phil Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera remained under ground until Massino turned informant and revealed where their bodies were decades later.)

So right here, we know that Sonny Black was aware of what happened to overly ambitious Bonannos with big mouths. Had he read Machiavelli, he certainly would have known that, when you shoot a prince, you kill him. And you don't shoot your mouth off first. (We're paraphrasing here.) Sonny Black certainly was smart enough to take over the family, which is probably the real season Joe "The Fat Rat" Massino wanted him taken out.

And last, but not least, Sonny Black supposedly was tighter with Rastelli than was Massino; in fact, Sonny may have even been serving as acting boss after the three-capo slaying. Maybe Massino and the "ruling panel" didn't like this.

And why then were Sonny Black's hands chopped off? What was the symbolism in that mutilation if it were not to signify he shook hands with a Fed?

The truth is, like most mob stories, including those that have reached legendary status, we'll never know the truth about why Sonny Black was taken out, though Massino's testimony, on face value, doesn't make a lot of sense when put in context.

Massino also dismissed reports that Bonanno drug dealer Anthony Mirra was killed for the same reason -- bringing Brasco in -- but instead was a target because some in the family believed he was a DEA cooperator.