||New York| Vincent Basciano
Birth: November 14, 1959 - Brooklyn
Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano was the acting boss of the Bonanno family from 2003 until 2004.
Vincent Basciano was born in Brooklyn in 1959. His father was a constructionworker and was known for his bad drinking habits, oftenly beating his wife and kids. Vincent earned his nickname "Vinny Gorgeous" for his ownership of a hair salon called "Hello Gorgeous" in the Bronx. He lives up to that name by always dressing in fine shoes and tailored suits. His first large conviction came in 1994 after he had supplied heroin for a smuggling ring, which lasted from 1985 and 1991. He was eventually acquitted.
Acting boss of the family
Basciano was appointed as a captain by Joseph Massino and became one of his most trusted men. In 2001 he orderd the murder of Frank Santoro, "a wannabe gangster", near his home in the Bronx. He was murdered after Basciano suspected him of planning to kidnapp one of his sons. He recruited Anthony Indelicato and Anthony Donato to participate in the hit.
When Massino got arrested in 2003 he appointed Basciano as his acting boss. However, his term was short lived when he was also arrested not much later for racketeering and illegal gambling. Although being behind prison walls he still ran the family and gave orders from his cel. This led to the 2004 murder of 43y old Bonanno associate Randolph Pizzolo in Brooklyn. After the killing Basciano was overheared on tape saying: "I thought this kid would have been a good wake-up call for everybody". These tapes were made by former boss-turned-rat Joseph Massino during a couple of conversations he had with him in prison. The tapes also revealed a plot to kill Bonanno captain Patrick DeFilippo, which was never carried out.
In March 2006 the trial of Vinny Gorgeous started and was led by prosecutor Greg Andres. While in custody Basciano had written a list of names on a paper and had given it to a fellow inmate. However, the inmate had made a deal with the FBI and gave them the paper. The FBI analysed the list and believed it was actually a list of future targets. Amongst them were Greg Andres, judge Nicholas Garaufis and about 3 turncoats. As precaution they locked him up 23 hours a day, conditions which are usually only for terrorists. They did allow him to have visits from both his ex-wife Angela and his girlfriend Debra Kalb.
In 2008 he was found guilty for the killing of Frank santoro and was sentenced to life in prison. 3 years later a federal judge reviewing the trial asked the Justice Department also to reconsider seeking the death penalty for another murder, that of Randolph Pizzolo. At first there was scepticism because his former trial had allready cost the state $3 million in public funds and was rather expensive. Nonetheless a new trial started. On April 12, 2011, Joseph Massino testified against Basciano and pointed him out as the one who ordered the murder of Pinzolo. “He said he was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker, a bad kid” said Massino, explaining Basciano's motives. On May 16 he was found guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in July, escaping the death sentence.
(Source: www.nydailynews.com, newyorkcriminallawyersblog.com, "Four in Bonanno Family Plead Guilty in Murders" NYtimes August 7, 2008; "Judge Asks U.S. to Consider Forgoing Death Penalty in Imprisoned Mobster’s Trial" NYtimes May 13, 2010; "King of the Godfathers" by Anthony DeStefano, "West's federal supplement")
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