Son Of Slain Genovese Boss Selling Restaurant Named In Father's Honor

Springfield-area businessman Victor Bruno is selling two downtown restaurants.

Adolfo Bruno
Adolfo Bruno

One of them he opened in honor of his father, Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno, who had been boss of the Genovese family’s Springfield crew— until he was slain in 2003 by his successor as part of a takeover plot.

Victor Bruno — who reportedly says he wants to spend more time with his family, including his two young boys, who are 5 and 8— conformed this week that he will sell Adolfo’s Ristorante and Art-e’-Pizza, both of which are located on Worthington St. in Springfield, Mass.

Adolfo’s, which opened in 2010, is for sale at $775,000, though the listing is only for the business—the equipment, furnishings, inventory, and liquor license—and not the property. The other eatery opened last year.

“My customers have been great to me, I’m going to miss them,” Bruno told one newspaper. “I want to spend more time with my family.”

Bruno was shot to death in Springfield on Nov. 23, 2003.

It was about one year after the restaurant opened, in March 2011, that Mafia turncoat Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta took the witness stand in an ongoing mob murder trial in federal court in lower Manhattan and laid out how he and his criminal cohorts pulled off two cold-blooded murders and attempted a third in 2003.

Standing trial then (all would be convicted) were former Bronx-based onetime acting boss of the Genovese family, Arthur (Artie) Nigro, who died last year, and Arillotta associates Fotios (Freddy) Geas and brother Ty Geas. Fotios is a suspect in last October’s Whitey Bulger prison house murder.

In 2010 the three —plus Arillotta —were charged in a wide-ranging murder and racketeering indictment that included the Bruno murder, the slaying of low level operator Gary D. Westerman, and the attempted murder of union official Frank Dadabo in New York, all in 2003.

On November 23, 2003, Bruno and Frank Depergola were getting in a car parked outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel club when a man approached them and shot Bruno six times in the head and groin. Bruno was later pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Depergola told police a lone gunman fled the shooting.

Genovese Boss Nigro and Bruno’s crew wanted to eliminate him allegedly because he was not earning enough money for the family. There also was a belief that Bruno was an informant.

Arillotta testified he decided to flip almost immediately after his arrest in February 2010. He then pleaded guilty to the murders and attempted murder, plus various other crimes including extortions, and drug and gun charges.

Arillotta calmly recounted the attempt on Dadabo’s life in May 2003, an account that brought some key revelations to light. Bingy told jurors that Nigro ordered the hit over a union beef and gave him two guns fitted with silencers.

After waiting quietly on a city bench in the Bronx early that morning, Arillotta said he and Ty Geas ambushed Dadabo as he headed for his car. Fotios waited in a nearby car to whisk the shooters away.

“As soon as we seen him, we jumped up, got our guns and started walking fast ... When we got into the street, the target was opening his car door ... Ty was right up in his window, firing his gun. He started emptying his gun and the window shattered. I went to the left and fired into the car,” Arillotta testified.

Dadabo survived.

Arillotta was asked how Nigro reacted.

“He said we had to get better at head shots,” Arillotta told the jury.

That shooting still got Arillotta made in a secret induction ceremony into the Genovese crime family in August 2003.

Bruno’s stock had been plummeting when Nigro gave the order. During dinners at a steakhouse in the Bronx in 2003, Nigro complained to Arillotta that Bruno wasn’t bringing in enough cash to his New York superiors — and he also was said to drink too much.

It was all but over for Bruno when his name appeared in a pre-sentencing summary for fellow gangster Emilio Fusco, who was readying to be sentenced for racketeering and loan-sharking convictions.

Bruno proved a worthy target. The man was simply hard to kill because he kept ducking proposed trips to New York and dinner parties during which he was supposed to be killed. Ultimately, Freddy Geas recruited friend and former prison pal Frankie A. Roche whom Geas referred to as his “crash dummy,” due to Roche’s reckless nature.

Nigro had control over the Springfield faction from the Bronx. In September 2011, he and the Geas brothers were sentenced to life in prison in Manhattan federal court.

In March 2013 Roche was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the 2003 Bruno murder.

Roche was the first of the crew to be arrested, in 2004; he pleaded guilty in federal court in 2008 and was a star witness at two racketeering and murder trials conducted in federal court in New York City.

Roche spoke without emotion of the Bruno hit, saying, "My involvement with and the carrying out of Mr. Bruno’s murder came at a time in my life when I had no regard for my life or anyone else’s."

He admitted to gunning down Bruno for $10,000.