RIP, Anthony "Skutch" Lino, Yes, THAT Lino.....

Anthony "Skutch" Lino, a longtime Avenue U habitué who frequented Nicky (Black) Grancio's "Mother Cabrini Educational Center" social club and lived in the apartment above it, died on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Anthony "Skutch" Lino
Skutch Lino, RIP....

Grancio, a Colombo capo, was murdered in cold blood during the third Colombo war by Gregory Scarpa.

One of the brothers of Eddie, Robert, Joseph and Frank, Anthony Lino was an associate with the Bonanno and Colombo crime families. What's up with his nickname? Well, it's like this: Skutch (rhymes with "butch") means "pest" and comes from the Italian word, "scocciare" (pron. skoh-CHA-reh), which means "to bother or annoy."

 And that was Skutch, the "forgotten" Lino who lasted on the street much longer than say Eddie and Frankie. (Wikipedia and the Mafia Wiki sites don't know he existed).

He is remembered for answering the door at Anthony Castelle's gambling house on McDonald Avenue. Skutch inadvertently buzzed in an undercover detective who showed up at the gambling house, which was above an autobody shop, and claimed to be Anthony Castelle's friend.

As a source told us, Skutch apparently never thought an organized crime taskforce would be outside the club lying in wait to raid the place. Turns out, one was -- and they did.

Castelle was furious and allegedly flipped out, yelling, "How can you be so stupid! They were supposed to use the password, dummy!"

Anthony Castelle
Anthony Castelle 

Although he was surrounded by some well-known wiseguys, there's little information about Skutch available. Our source said, "I know his brothers were high-ranking members of the Bonanno and Gambino families."

On June 25, 2011, Castelle and two other men were arrested on promoting gambling charges after an undercover officer observed them running an illegal card club at 2266 McDonald Ave., in the Gravesend section, according to court papers.

Castelle, brother of reputed Luchese capo Eugene (Boopsie) Castelle, had the keys to the gambling location, court papers allege.

Then in November 2011, police dropped by Castelle’s Tottenville brick McMansion for a visit at around 6 a.m. and found a stash of weapons including a loaded gun, four rifles, two blackjacks and a switchblade.

They arrested him on criminal-possession-of-a-weapon charges there.

Former site of Nicky Black's fifth corner club, during the Colombo war, across street from the fourth club, at McDonald Ave. and Village Rd North. "Joe Tolino, Nicky Blacks' nephew, was shot in the foot outside the doorway," source said. Gaetano Amato, 78, a reputed Genovese soldier, was shot to death outside the doorway.

Our source spoke to us on deep background (your heads would spin if you knew who the source is, lol).

The source said: "Nicky Black rented the club Mother Cabrini on Van Sicklen Street. It  was his club, and it was closed down when he was killed because no one was paying the rent after that."

"Frankie Lino stayed on Bath Avenue with Anthony Spero. All  the Lino's were there on 17th Ave with 20 guys outside every day.

"Nicky Black's first club was across the street from Joes of Ave U off McDonald Ave. For the second club, he moved to Lake Street off Ave U. The third club, he went to Van Sicklen Street. That was his last club.

"When the Colombo war broke out Nicky Black opened two clubs on McDonald Avenue. One was on corner of Village road, the other across the street."

Our source specified, "The two clubs were opened on McDonald Avenue during the war because the Orena faction knew they were watching Nicky Black's Mother Cabrini club." By they he meant Persico shooters, NYPD, and FBI.

"They also wanted to protect themselves from Persico's hit team by using multiple clubs, meaning preventing them from knowing which of the three clubs they'd be at. The Orena crew they knew they were being watched, they spotted them on Avenue U taking pictures from their car."

Site where Mother Cabrini Educational Center stood. "Used to be all red brick with red white green sign above the club, the Italian colors," source said.

In a comment below, the question was raised about whether Frank Lino and Nicky Black owned a pizzeria on Avenue U, Pizza Park.

"Nicky Black and Frankie Lino had nothing to do with with Pizza Park, which was owned by Patty Lombardi, brother to Sally Dogs Lombardi who lived above Pizza Park.

"Frankie and Nicky only went in there to use the telephone or have private talks in the back of the store.

The Grim Reaper

Colombo capo/FBI "informer" Greg Scarpa, who once ruled Thirteenth Avenue in Bensonhurst, was responsible for more than twenty-five separate homicides between 1980 and 1992. With Larry Mazza’s help, Scarpa killed three people in one four-week period. 

He shot one of his victims with a rifle while he was stringing Christmas lights with his wife.

He killed a seventy-eight-year-old member of the Genovese family because the old man happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Then, a few weeks later, after FBI and NYPD surveillance had been pulled away from a Mafia social club, he rolled up next to Colombo capo Nicholas Grancio, and when his own rifle jammed, he ordered him shot. Grancio’s nose was blown off and one of his teeth was later found in a nearby building.

Former Bonanno capo Frank Lino
Frank Lino

The  Chattiest Lino Brother
Skutch's brother, Frank Lino, became an FBI informant. Frank gave up his son, Joseph, and several cousins, plus his old pals in the Bonanno crime family. We can safely say Frank was the talker of the family.

Lino spent hours at undisclosed locations telling everything to FBI Agents Christine Grubert and Jay Kramer.  The Daily News obtained the agents' notes and in November 2004, reporter Greg B. Smith wrote:

Lino made it only to 10th grade at Lafayette High School before dropping out to hijack trucks with a mob farm team known as the ­Avenue U Boys. After impressing local wiseguys, Lino was inducted into the Bonanno crime family on his 40th birthday, Oct. 30, 1977. It was a natural progression for a son of a family long shadowed by the Mafia. Lino's parents' marriage was arranged in the '30s by the boss of the Genovese crime family. Cousin Eddie Lino was a Gambino crime family soldier. Cousin Bobby Lino, a Bonanno soldier, insisted on his deathbed that his son, Robert Jr., become a soldier, too. Frank told the FBI that his own son, Joseph, followed the same path, becoming a soldier in his crew. Then Frank Lino proceeded to implicate all of the La Cosa Nostra Linos. He told the FBI about his son the loanshark and extortionist. He described how his son's bus company, Streetsmart Transportation, linked up with a Bonanno-controlled union so it could come in low on public bids. He even called Joseph unlucky, stating he "is a big gambler and has lost a significant amount of money.

"Sometimes Lino used the mob to protect his own. In 1980, he learned that a Colombo associate, Michael (Mikey Bear) Aiello, sold drugs to a cousin, Grace Ann Lino. He says he sought and received permission to kill the associate, and watched as Aiello was shot on Ocean Parkway. Somehow Mikey Bear survived.

Then there was his family's involvement in the Donnie Brasco fiasco. Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano, a trusted Bonanno capo, made a mistake that would cost him his life: He brought FBI Agent Joseph Pistone - aka Donnie Brasco - into the family. Before dying, Napolitano said, "Hit me one more time, make it good," as he lay wounded. When Lino learned that mob associate Ronnie Filicomo had assigned Lino's son, Joseph, to dig a hole for Sonny Black, he got "angry at Filicomo for soliciting his son's participation in the plan and for not asking [Lino's] permission.

"Lino later confronted his son, who admitted he dug the hole. But on the night of the murder, the killers could not find the hole and dumped the body under some rocks. And for the Bonanno family, getting rid of a corpse proved harder than creating one on more than one occasion. On the night of a May 1992 slaying of a suspected mob turncoat, Lino left the getaway car on the street around the corner from the spot where the victim was to be dispatched - a bar above a nail salon in Bensonhurst. Lino entered the bar after the associate had been shot in the head. To make sure the victim was dead, one of Lino's cleanup crew stuck an icepick in the victim's ear. The body was wrapped in a rug and then Lino stood outside, making sure no one exited a nearby subway. In the dark, they brought the body down. The carefully parked getaway car would not start. The gang then scrambled around with a very bulky rug in the dark to find another car that would.

There were the odd times when Lino tried to play the Mafia version of pacifist. Bobby Lino Sr. once really wanted to kill associate William (Cappy) Capparelli for allegedly extorting a Lino relative. He even got permission from the bosses to carry out the hit. But Frank Lino "put a stop to killing ­Capparelli, saying it was not right to kill a person over such an argument.

"Once, a crew member known as Patty Muscles infuriated the Colombo family by shooting at that family's acting boss. Lino explained that Patty was too drunk to recognize whom he was shooting at, so the Colombo gangsters reasoned that Patty deserved only a broken arm. But Lino outsmarted the Colombos: He sent Patty Muscles to a hospital where the family knew people who would put a fake cast on his arm. Lino was consistently practical. During an internal Bonanno war in the early 1980s, he feared getting whacked, so he insisted on meeting fellow gangsters beyond the metal detectors at Kennedy Airport's Delta Terminal. That way, nobody could bring a gun.

Many of Lino's statements to the FBI were instrumental in the successful Brooklyn federal prosecution of Bonanno family boss Joseph ­Massino, who was found guilty of seven murders. But not everything Lino told the FBI has led to arrests - even though it makes for interesting reading.

Updated: Skutch was an associate. The initial story incorrectly identified him as a made Mafia member.