|New York|  George Barone

Birth: 1924

Death: December 30, 2010

George Barone was a longtime waterfront racketeer and soldier of the Genovese family. He became an informant in 2001.

The Jets
Barone was born in 1924 and grew up in New York City. His father was Italian and his mother was of Irish descent. He became a marine during WWII and fought in the Pacific, more specifically in Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima. He returned to New York as a war hero, having recieved several medals.

Back in the West-Side he and longtime friend Johnny Earle formed a streetgang called The Jets in Hell's Kitchen, which would later influence the musical "West-Side Story". He later admitted his part in about 20 murders. During a trial he said he killed allot of guys during WWII and the streetwar in New Yorks West-Side, but couldn't recall the exact rate. Some of his victims were a man named Ninny Cribbens, a bankrobber from who'm they stole about $650.000, Tommy the Greek, who had crossed a mob boss, and Johnny Futto, a Miami based dance hall owner.

The Waterfront
During the late 1950's the Jets were recruited by the Genovese family for their activity on the Waterfront. The cooperation was however halted for a while in 1958 after Johnny Earle was murdered by a rival. Vito Genovese wasn't happy with the assassination because he held high hopes for Earle, who once did time with Vincent Gigante. Through Tony Salerno Barone got back in the team a couple of years later. As favor to Salerno he disposed a couple of guys such as Johnny Futto, for which he never got payed.

During the 1960's Barone played a role in the seperation of the waterfront between the Genovese and Gambino family. The Genovese's got Manhattan and New Jersey, the Gambino's Brooklyn and Staten Island. He later worked himself up as an official in the International Longshoremen’s Association. In 1967 he was relocated to Florida, but ofently returned to New York where he was seen in popular hangouts with members of the Salerno crew.

Fallback with Gigante
In 1979 Barone was found guilty to extortion and was sentenced to 15 years. He was sent to prison in 1983 and was released in 1990. From then on things kept on going bad. Salerno sat behind bars and wasn't around anymore to protect him. "Seven years had gone by. It was all different." he later recalled. After being shoved away by other made members the new Genovese leadership offered him the job at the Florida docks.

During that time he was asked to use his influence to force a contract with a repair company owned by Andrew Gigante, son of Genovese boss Vincent Gigante. However, Barone wasn't fond of Andrew and saw him as a lowlife junkie and drug addict. He even insisted that he wanted back $90.000 from an earlier deal with Andrew, but the man refused. As revenge Barone ordered to slow down the cooperation between Andrews repair comany and the Miami ILA, angering Gigante to the fullest. A while later Barone learned of a plot to have him whacked as punishment.

Federal witness
George Barone at it in court.
When Barone got arrested in 2001 for extortion, he descided to become an informer and to testify against his former collegues. For most of the trials his testimonies didn't lead to any specific arrests, but were helpfull in mapping the families activities during his 5 decades he was active on the waterfront. In 2009 he was set to testify against Genovese capo Michael Coppola for the 1977 murder of John “Johnny Cokes” Lardiere. During the trial he was heared more than once complaining. He wasn't happy with the fact he got arrested in 2001 and surely wasn't happy with his monthly $3000 payment in the witness protection program. He was stated saying "Yes, it's a paltry amount of money; I'd like to have more ... They're a cheap bunch of people ... If they didn't subsidize me, I'd starve to death and I wouldn't be a witness sitting here now!". Another time, when asked by the government if the cooperation between 2 waterfront figures was criminal in any way, Barone responded "They weren't selling Bibles, for chrissakes. What's the matter with you?". Thanks to his numerous remarks he was nicknamed the grumpy witness.

Barone died on December 30, 2010. He was 86 years old.


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