The first part of the 1960s brought with it the first Colombo crime family war in New York City, as the rogue Gallo brothers (“Crazy Joe,” Larry and Albert aka “Kid Blast”) challenged longstanding don Joe (The Olive Oil King) Profaci for power. Profaci was one of the New York mob’s founding fathers, helping transition to the city’s expansive underworld landscape from individual bootlegging fiefdoms to what became known as La Cosa Nostra or the American mafia. The Olive Oil King ruled a stable and overwhelmingly-profitable Borgata for almost three decades.

The Gallo crew sensed growing unrest in the syndicate’s rank-and-file due to Profaci’s increasing greediness and growing detachment from the streets and his men, rallied a faction of the organization behind him and went “to the mattress” for control of the crime family which by the end of the feud would claim more than a dozen casualties and bear Joe Colombo’s name.

THE COLOMBO WAR PT. 1 – THE HITS (1959-1963)

November 4, 1959 – Profaci crime family captain Frank (Frankie Shots) Abbatemarco, the syndicate’s Brooklyn-based numbers boss, is slain on Joe Profaci’s orders for refusing to raise his tribute paid to Family administrators, gunned down as he entered Cardiello’s Tavern owned by his first cousin and fellow Profaci clan button man Joseph (Joe Bats) Cardiello. The fallout from the hit lays the groundwork for civil war in the near future, ignited by the fearless Gallo brothers.

August 20, 1961 – Gallo crew enforcer Joseph (Joe Jelly) Giorelli vanishes, a dead fish in bundle of his clothes thrown on the doorstep of a Gallo gang hangout to signify “Joe Jelly sleeps with the fishes,” (a scene immortalized in pop-culture and cinematic lore in The Godfather) and setting off two years of tireless warfare in the ranks of the Profaci crime family.

October 4, 1961 – Gallo crew member Joseph (Joey Mags) Magnasco is shot to death in a physical altercation with Profaci crime family capo Harry Fontana by Fontana’s bodyguard on a Brooklyn street corner.

November 11, 1961 – Profaci crime family soldiers John Guariglia & Paul Ricci are killed inside Ricci’s Brooklyn headquarters, The Hi Fi Lounge, mowed down by a pair of Gallo crew gunmen.

June 6, 1962 – Legendary New York Godfather Joe (The Olive Oil King) Profaci dies of gull bladder cancer, passing the reins of his mob empire to his brother-in-law and top lieutenant Joe Magliocco.

October 1962 – The Gallo crew hit team of Anthony DiCola and Marco Morelli disappear.

June 6, 1963 – Gallo crew financier Emilio Colantuono is gunned down for supplying Gallo faction with weapons and cash to fund its war effort.

June 12, 1963 – Profaci crime family soldier Vincent DiTucci is executed in the front yard of his Queens home.

June 18, 1963 – Gallo crew member and Crazy Joe Gallo bodyguard Alfred Mondella is shot to death.

July 15, 1963 – Gallo crew enforcer and Crazy Joe’s chauffer and bodyguard Ali-Hassan (Ali Baba) Waffa is shot death on the New Jersey waterfront.

August 9, 1963 – Profaci crime family lieutenant Joseph (Joe Bats) Cardiello is killed in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, shot to death behind the wheel of his car.

August 9, 1963 – Gallo crew gunmen Louis (Cadillac Louie) Mariani is killed as he drove in the parking lot of a Long Island shopping mall, himself and his car riddled with bullets by a shooter in a passing vehicle.

*Beleaguered don Joe Magliocco stepped down as boss before the end of the year and capo Joe Colombo took the throne and provided the crime family its’ name.

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