In honor of former New York mobster Larry Mazza’s new book, The Life – A Brooklyn Boy Is Seduced Into The Dark World of The Mafia (purchase here), below is a hit-list timeline of the war that engulfed the Colombo crime family in the early 1990s and Mazza was on the frontlines of as the protégé of legendary Colombo clan killer Greg (The Grim Reaper) Scarpa, a controversial FBI informant. Scarpa, who died of AIDS in prison, captained one side of the conflict, heading an enforcement wing on behalf of the syndicate’s incarcerated boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico against an uprising sprung by acting boss Vittorio (Little Vic) Orena. The war resulted in 10 murders in less than two years.


November 24, 1991 – Colombo crime family soldier and Persico loyalist Henry (Hank the Bank) Smurra is killed behind the wheel of his car parked in front of a Dunkin Donuts in Brooklyn.

December 2, 1991 –  Aging Genovese crime family lieutenant Gaetano (Tommy Scars) Amato is shot to death in an attack on Colombo associate Joey Tolino on a Brooklyn street corner.

December 5, 1991 – Aging Colombo crime family and Persico loyalist Rosario (Black Sam) Nastasi is slain inside his Belvedere Social Club in Brooklyn as he was playing cards.

December 7, 1991 – Colombo crime family soldier and Orena loyalist Vincent (Vinnie Venus) Fusaro is murdered in front of his house in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn, gunned down as he hung his Christmas lights.

December 8, 1991 – Innocent bystander Matteo Speranza, a teenage immigrant from Sicily, is killed by accident at a bagel shop in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn during an attack on a Persico loyalist.

January 7, 1992 – Colombo crime family captain and Orena loyalist Nicholas (Nicky Black) Grancio is shotgunned to death behind the wheel of his Toyota Land Cruiser SUV on a Brooklyn street corner.

March 25, 1992 –  Colombo crime family lieutenants and Orena loyalists Johnny Minerva & Mike Imbergamo are gunned down sitting in Minerva’s car outside the Broadway Diner in North Massapequa.

May 22, 1992 – Colombo crime family soldier and Orena loyalist Larry Lampisi is shot-gunned to death in his Brooklyn driveway.

October 7, 1992 – Colombo crime family lieutenant and Persico loyalist Steven (Stevie Lightning) Mancusi is killed as he is getting into his car.

October 20, 1993 – Colombo crime family capo and Orena “co-underboss” Joey Scopo is executed in the front yard of his house in Queens, ending the war and keeping power with the Persico group.

View Larry Mazza’s website here.

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