John "Sonny" Franzese Released from Federal Prison

Gangland legend/longtime Colombo wiseguy John (Sonny) Franzese — who set the record for being the oldest inmate in the federal prison system — was released Friday from a Massachusetts lockup.

He's shockingly frail looking but then he turned 100 this past February (we wonder if President Trump sent him the birthday card) and just finished an eight-year bid. Guys facing less time than that have flipped -- nevermind emptying your pockets at 93 years of age.

Sonny went to his daughter's house (where else) after jail.

He served his sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass. for shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in Manhattan.

According to news reports, he arrived at his daughter’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn, home after his release, where he plans to spend time with his family.  

“I am absolutely happy he’s home,” Sonny's grandson, 42, Pietro Scorsone, told the Daily News.

“He’s my grandpa. We love him. I mean he’s 100 years old. He doesn’t hear much at all. He doesn’t see well. He’s still very sharp though. He also has some prostate issues — normal things for a 100-year-old man.”

Franzese's daughter was thrilled to have the old man home.

"I’m very delighted that he’s home," Loraine Scorsone told the News.

He has four remaining children, several grandchildren and a bunch of great-grandkids

He arrived at the two-family home Friday night and was greeted with hugs.

There was no sign of him Saturday, though he spent Friday night with the family.

Michael later emailed the News:
Dad enjoyed a nice, quiet and well-earned night at home. The day was a bit overwhelming for him, I’m sure.

Sonny Franzese was a contemporary of the crime family’s namesake Joe Colombo, and reportedly rubbed elbows with Frank Sinatra at the old Copacabana nightclub.

Franzese joined the Colombos in the 1930s, taking his first arrest in 1938 for assault. He was jailed a half-dozen times over the years on parole violations.

Franzese basically did life on the installment plan. He kept getting thrown back in jail for associating with criminals. (Who else is he gonna associate with?) He was paroled six times after getting violated during his mob career, which may be another record.

In 2010, at 93, he was convicted following a three-week trial on extortion charges.

Franzese in 1966,

Franzese once told The News he did not fear dying in the can.  

"Who cares?” he said. “I gotta die someplace.”

His wife died in 2012.

Franzese noted in is release application that he spent more than 40 years behind bars through his life.

Franzese was once caught on wiretaps telling an informant how to dispose of a body. He claimed to have offed so many, he couldn't remember exactly how many.

 "I killed a lot of guys. You’re not talking about four, five, six, ten..." he said."

Nevertheless, Franzese was never convicted of a single murder.

Sonny's long life can be chalked up to good genes and watching what he eats, Michael told the News. He is also "a vitamin nut" — taking up to 30 a day.

Some of our most popular stories that include Sonny Franzese include:

Spiro, Alleged Greek Mafia Boss, Declares Innocence


  1. Posted By: RICO - It's funny how his grandson says, "He doesn’t see well. He’s still very sharp though", when Franzese's attorney claimed Franzese was "blind" to secure a lenient sentence and even an early release. LOL He'll be back to "business as usual" soon, because that's all he knows and that's all they know.

    Sonny Franzese will die, doing what he loves best, being "Sonny Franzese" and being a Wiseguy.

    1. And they wouldn't let him out back in February on a compassionate release looking the way he does -- I mean all the weight he lost! (I wonder if the prison healthcare system kept him alive so long -- if he'd been out all these years how would he be today in comparison? I'm sure some of you folks who've been guests of the government must know....?)

    2. The only crimes committed here are the ones by those who had taken an oath to uphold the boss and their family. A no-show job would have obviate the need for a 93 yr old's strip club shakedown. Absolutely disgraceful, this new generation.

    3. Posted By: RICO - Ed, Just so I'm understood, I wasn't trying to bad-mouth Sonny. You know who I am and you know where I come from. I know exactly what happens with these guys and I know how Sonny is. It doesn't surprise me to see him quoted in the news as saying he doesn't care if he died in prison.

      It's too bad he can't just live the rest of his life in peace but that's not and never will be Sonny - or many like him. When he was released, family members were talking and I heard a very young school-age kid say, "Sonny will be 112 yrs. old and still shaking people down." I was shocked but nobody said a word; it was true. Talkin' to a friend recently, he was at the Track alone. Said it was boring now, all his friends were dead or "gone". But that's the life they chose. That's who they are and they're ok with that. It reminded me of an old "pal" (you remember who) that used to bad mouth "Uncle Sonny" all the time, among some of the comments saying, "My Uncle will never have 2 dimes to rub together and he'll never change."

      So, no insults intended from me, I was only saying that this is the life and it'll stay the life (unfortunately) for some. All the best to you, Ed! Stay Well! ~~RICO

    4. Rico that's you? How are you? Was trying to get ahold of you -- shoot me an email!!


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