Billy Cutolo Jr. (And Family) Join MTV Reality Show "Families Of The Mafia"

The Cutolo family (specifically, the family of Billy Cutolo, Wild Bill's son) will appear tonight on MTV's Families of the Mafia (see trailer below), which details the stories of "five notorious Mafia-tied families as they continue to navigate away from the underlying life of organized crime that still haunts them to this day."

Bill Cutolo, Senior left, Junior
Billy Cutolo, Senior left, Junior

Five because New York has Five Families? Though the members of the five families on this reality TV showrather than continuing to profit off a criminal lifestyle invented by Sicilian bandits possibly in the 19th century—are seeking to depart organized crimepresumably to join the world most of us inhabit, the one filled with legitimate, tax-paying suckers.
Cutolo—like former Gambino underboss Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano—is a legitimate former inhabitant of the world of organized crime in New York City (and from when it counted, in the heady, deadlier days of the 1980s and 1990s)....

Aside from Billy Jr. (with whom we spoke at length today; that story, on old regrets as well as recent troubles, will be coming soon) and the Gravanos, we can't vouch for the other people/families on the show, though the LaRocca name certainly has meaning here....

The second season of Families of the Mafia kicked off July 15, and the show airs on Thursday evenings. 

The Gravanos: Karen is back in New York and has developed a passion for prison reform. Having so much experience in the justice system, she is working hard to help reverse the verdict of her boyfriend, who is currently serving a life sentence. Karina strives to build her own empire and has begun her professional life in the competitive, male-dominated world of finance while trying to distance herself from the Gravano family legacy. And her grandfather, Sammy “The Bull,” launches a podcast to divulge his notorious past, causing strife in the family.

The O’Tooles: In the wake of their father’s unexpected death, the entire family bands together to launch an investigation as they grow suspicious that his cause of death wasn’t suicide.

The Laroccas: CP continues to navigate his relationship with his parents now that his father has been released from prison after serving a five-year stint for drug charges, but the family is thrown off its course to “normal” after receiving life-altering news.

The Nayfelds: Eli Kiperman, son of Boris Nayfeld, known as one of New York’s most influential Russian mafia bosses, prepares to reunite with his father, who has been serving out his probation in Moscow, Russia. Eli has chosen the legitimate route and works hard to support his mother Angela, who continues to struggle with the idea of a life without her husband.

The Cutolos: Billy Cutolo Jr., the son of once-powerful underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo, continues to reacclimate to life with his family after their time in the witness protection program. He plans for his return to New York for the first time since his father’s infamous murder to reunite with his estranged family and tie up loose ends with his dad's old associates.

Wild Bill Saw What Was Coming
William (Wild Bill) Cutolo was the 49-year-old Colombo underboss last seen near Shore Road and 92nd Street in Bay Ridge on May 26, 1999. On that day, Cutolo was allegedly on his way to a scheduled meeting with Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico, son of Carmine the Snake.

In October 2008, Cutolo's remains were finally found, thanks to a tip from Joseph (Joey Caves) Competiello, a former heavy hitter with the Colombos who was a member of the more-than-lethal crew formerly overseen by Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli.

But returning to 1999, after being handed down the order from the top, Tommy Shots met with trusted protégé/arch killer Big Dino Calabro at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, "where Tommy would go to pray," as Calabro recalled.

Gioeli used code and hand signals to issue the order.

He, Gioeli, "had just left Pooch and Betty Boop," or acting Colombo boss Allie Persico and capo John (Jackie) DeRoss.

Gioeli placed his hand over his heart, a signal that always meant that somebody has been marked for death and was not long for this world, and then held up four fingers, code for Billy Fingers, aka Wild Bill, who was missing fingers from one hand.

The motive for the killing of Cutolo, according to Federal prosecutors, was offered by former DeCavalcante capo-turned government informer Anthony Rotondo, who testified about numerous meetings he had with Wild Bill and his crew members (including before, during, and after the 1991 through 1993 Colombo war, the bloodiest mob war in recent history — which left 12 dead).

Rotondo—who described Wild Bill as a Brooklyn-based "tough guy" who headed a lethal crew that killed several Persico loyalists during the war—testified that he heard Cutolo call longtime Colombo boss Carmine Persico a "rat" for admitting the existence of the Mafia during the historic 1985 Commission case.

Rotondo said his family, in lockstep with then Gambino boss John Gotti, supported Cutolo's faction, which was headed by Vic (Little Vic) Orena. (Though Gotti's true ace in the hole was Colombo capo Joseph Scopo, a Gotti ally and key player in the Orena faction of the mob clan that erupted into civil war. Or at least Scopo was until he was slain by young hoodlum/Colombo wiseguy wannabe John Pappa.)

During the war, Rotondo said, he often met with Cutolo and others at various places in Brooklyn for updates on the civil war and to keep up with the fruits of several rackets the DeCavalcante family shared with Cutolo and his crew.

Gotti, who died in 2002, who also called Persico a rat, had been a key force agitating for the third Colombo war, according to former Gambino underboss Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano and Gambino capo Michael DiLeonardo. 

Gravano, while testifying at his third trial as a cooperator in December 1992, talked about how Gotti had supported Orena to become the official boss of the Colombo crime family. Gravano said he and Gotti represented the Gambino family in a 1989 meeting of the Commission, at which Orena was approved as "the official acting boss of the Colombo family." 

Later, Orena complained to Gotti about imprisoned official Colombo boss Carmine Persico (who died in 2019 at age 85). He accused Persico of violating Mafia rules by admitting his membership in the Colombo organization.

Billy Cutolo Jr. and Families of the Mafia
Billy Cutolo Jr., top left, and Families of the Mafia

"John Gotti was behind Vic Orena," Gravano testified, adding that Gotti wanted Orena to voice his complaints about Persico at a pending Commission meeting that ultimately never happened. Or at least that composition of the Commission was destined to never meet again because Gotti was arrested.

Gravano testified that the boss of the Lucchese family, Vittorio Amuso, also sided with Orena, but that he was clueless about where the Genovese family stood in the conflict. (The Bonannos had been excluded from the Commission for years because of drug trafficking.)

Rotondo noted that Wild Bill Cutolo was elevated to underboss from capo, and was "strutting around like a rooster."

Wild Bill predicted his own demise one year before it happened.

Alphonse Persico had asked Wild Bill Cutolo for an accounting of all his rackets, Rotondo testified.

"You know what's happening next," Wild Bill told Rotondo, as per Rotondo's testimony.

"Billy wouldn't be around too long," Rotondo added when prompted by prosecutors to explain what he meant.

As for the motive, Allie Boy was facing a couple of years in prison on a gun charge, and he didn't trust Cutolo. He believed Wild Bill would make some moves and take over the Colombo crime family, which Cutolo's faction failed to do following the violence that supposedly ended in 1993.

 Allie Boy, who is today serving life, as is Jackie DeRoss, sent the order to get rid of Wild Bill to Tommy Shots, who saw that it happened....