||New Jersey| Ralph Napoli
Birth: April 14, 1914
Death: January 16, 2005
Ralph "Blackie" Napoli was a capo in the Bruno/Scarfo family and led the families Northern New Jersey operations from 1978 until 1984. He was also a close associate of the Genovese family.
Raffaele Napoli was a longtime member of the crew of Antonio Caponigro in Newark, New Jersey, and was involved in illegal gambling, loansharking and number rackets. In 1972 he was jailed at Yardville for not willing to testify in front of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation. During his prison term he served time together with Nicodemo Scarfo and Genovese members Bobby Manna and Gerado Catena. He was eventually released again in 1978 after serving 6 years. That same year Antonio Caponigro was promoted as family consigliere and let his day to day business over to Blackie Napoli. In 1980 however, Caponigro and his associates (possibly also containing Napoli), descided to murder the big boss, Angelo Bruno. Bruno was close with the Gambino family and accepted tributes from Rosario and Giuseppe Gambino. The Gambino brothers were heavily involved in the Pizza connection and it didn't seem to worry Bruno that he recieved drugmoney, knowing he did forbade his own family members to deal in the highly profitable drugbusiness. For this reason, and also because Bruno had refused some lucrative deals in Atlantic City, he had to go. He was eventually murdered in March 1980.
A couple of days after the murder Caponigro was ordered to go to the commission to explain himself. Caponigro however never returned and was later found stabbed and beaten to death in the trunck of a car in the Bronx. He was punished for killing his boss without authorization of the commission. His murder was committed on behalf of the Genovese family, with who'm Napoli was close to. After his murder the Genoveses recieved more control in Caponigro's bookmaking operations.
Elevation as captain
Sometime after Bruno's murder his successor, Philip Testa, was also murdered. Soon underboss Nicodemo Scarfo found out it was Frank Narducci who was behind the hit. Scarfo then asked Ralph Napoli to meet with Bobby Manna in Jersey and vouch for Scarfo to become the new boss. Napoli set up a meeting the next day with Bobby Manna and Genovese boss Vincent Gigante, causing him and Scarfo to even miss Testa's funeral. Gigante eventually gave his blessing to Scarfo and named him the new boss of the Philadelphia crime family. As a reward for his efforts then 67y old Blackie Napoli was finally promoted to captain.
Association with the Genovese family
Through the years Scarfo oftenly used Napoli to communicate with Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. In one occasion Scarfo associate and musiscian Jerry Blavat wanted to make an "oldies" album containing rock classics. Therefore he contacted Morris Levy, a major recording industry executive who was associated with the Genovese family. However, Levy refused Blavat to make the album and therefore Blavat went to see Scarfo for help. Through Napoli and Bobby Manna "the Chin" eventually approved and Levy had to grant the permissions.
In early 1984 Napoli attended a sitdown between the Scarfo and Gambino family in Staten Island concerning a beef between Rosario Gambino and an associate of Scarfo named Sy Hoeflich. Gambino and some thugs had gone to a club owned by Hoeflich and had beaten the hell out of the bouncers and damaged the place. This was a revenge action for the beating of a Gambino crewmember a couple of days earlier. Others attending the meeting were Nicodemo Scarfo, underboss Phillip Leonetti, Gambino boss Paul Castellano and underboss Aniello Dellacroce. The beef was eventually settled without further violence. In November 1984 Napoli stepped down and was succeeded by Pasquale Martirano as Northern New Jersey overseer.
In July 1990 state officials arrested the leaders of the Northern New Jersey faction including Ralph Napoli, Joseph Sodano, Gerardo Fusella and Giuseppe Bellina. They were charged with gambling, drug distribution, murder and unemployment insurance fraud. Both Bellina and Fusella were charged with the 1975 murder of Micheal Meglia, a murder in which Antonio Caponigro also had a hand in. Napoli eventually passed away in 2005 at the ripe old age of 90.
(Source: "National death Index", State of New Jersey Testimonie by Phillip Leonetti, "21st annual report 1989" State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation, scholar.google.com, gangstersinc.tripod.com, www.mafianj.com)
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