July 23, 2020 – The Monroe County Sherriff’s Department is reexamining the cold-case mob murder of Rochester mob enforcer Norman (Big Norm) Huck 53 years ago this Christmas season. Huck was found face down on the side of Ballantyne Road in Chili, New York on December 20, 1967, less than a month removed from walking out of state prison after serving four years for assaulting several Rochester police officers in a brawl at The Keyboard Lounge in 1963.

Monroe County detective Andrew Belmont did an interview with Rochester’s NBC television affiliate (WHEC Channel 10) this week discussing the still-open case. The stocky, wide-necked 33-year old Huck was known as a braggart and a loose cannon prone for lashing out at superiors and sleeping with associates’ wives and girlfriends. He was last seen alive leaving a local pool hall.

According to FBI records, Huck angered then Rochester mafia don Frank Valenti at his welcome home party two weeks before he was killed held on December 6, 1967 at The Quill Room, Valenti’s restaurant headquarters. Informants told the FBI that at the party Huck got into a verbal spat with Valenti and disrespected Valenti by pouring out a drink the Godfather sent over to him and then grabbing a bottle of wine off Valenti’s table without asking.

Huck walked free from prison on December 1. Rumors of a contract on his head had been spreading around Rochester in the months preceding his release.

Valenti had taken power in the Rochester mob in 1964 by allegedly organizing the kidnapping and murder of his predecessor Jake Russo, who vanished on his way to meet Valenti at The Quill Room. Russo’s remains have never been uncovered.

In the years after Big Norm Huck was killed, Valenti was ousted from the throne for secretly hoarding syndicate profits and banished to exile in Arizona. He died in 2008 at the ripe old age of 97, living in retirement in Houston.

The mob in Rochester imploded with the Alphabet War of the late 1970s and early 1980s, a bloody faction dispute that decimated a once thriving criminal empire. By the 2000s, the Rochester mafia no longer existed.

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