Mafia boss shot dead outside home

According to a report published by CNN, Francesco "Frank" Cali was scooped up by investigators on the front steps of his Staten Island residence with fatal gunshot wounds across his torso.

Gotti died of cancer in prison in 2002.

The New York Daily News stated that a family member called 911 and said Cali was run over before he was shot; one witness told the Daily News, "There were like six shots, and then there were three more".

Cali was the first NY crime family boss shot since 1985, when Paul Castellano, who owned a mansion on Todt Hill, was executed as he arrived at Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan.

The shooting wasn't the only recent mob assassination in NY.

Cali, the judge wrote, had subjected the victim "to an implied threat of violence" which carried great weight due to Cali's "status in the organized crime family which carries a reputation for violence".

The motive for the attack was under investigation, police said.

Detectives stand over body of reputed mob boss Paul Castellano, after execution on 46th St. Body of Castellano's chauffeur, Thomas Bilotti, lies partially covered in the street, far left.

Authorities believe Cali, who has kept a low profile in comparison to his predecessors, had ties to the Inzerillo mafia family in Sicily.

Meanwhile, on March 13, two heads of the Bonanno family, Joseph Cammarano Jr. and John Zancocchio, were acquitted in court on conspiracy and racketeering charges, the New York Times reported.

The Gambino family was once one of the most notorious crime syndicates in America and one of New York's five major crime families.

Last week, the longtime boss of the Colombo crime family, 85-year-old Carmine "the Snake" Persico, died at a North Carolina hospital near the federal prison where he had been serving what was effectively a life sentence.

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno organisation, was shot dead at a takeaway restaurant in the Bronx, New York. An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours".

Otherwise known as "Franky Boy", Cali was considered the de facto godfather of the Gambino crime family, having served on its ruling panel for several years.

  • Joey Payne