Veteran Detroit mob figure Frank (Frankie the Bomb) Bommarito died of natural causes this week, cashing in his chips at 87 years old and free from government constraints for the past two decades. The colorful and fiercely-loyal Bommarito had been hospitalized earlier this month with symptoms of heart and kidney failure. Some in law enforcement think he might have held either first-hand or very strong second-hand information related to the infamously-unsolved 1975 disappearance and murder of labor union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

For years, “The Bomb” was legendary Detroit mafia chief Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone’s right-hand man. A multiple-time convicted felon, his last conviction was for insurance fraud in 1993, the same year he beat charges of overseeing a Giacalone crew subunit of burglars, collectors and extortionists operating on Detroit’s working class lower eastside. The government’s star witness recanted his testimony and the racketeering counts were dropped.

Giacalone passed away in 2012. He and his older brother and fellow mob heavyweight Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone are believed by the FBI to have organized the details for the iconic Hoffa hit. Tony Jack died of old age in 2001 under federal indictment for widespread racketeering activity. Bommarito’s status as Billy Jack’s best friend and longtime top lieutenant led investigators to speculate he could have been used by the Giacalone brothers in the murder itself or more likely the disposal of Hoffa’s body (still never found).

“Frankie lived life on his own terms, love or hate ’em, he did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to and how he wanted to do it,” said a Detroit mob associate. “That guy was one of a kind, a true original. Wherever he is right now, he’s making people laugh.”

Known for a big personality and wisecracking antics, in 2013, Bommarito, an unabashed karaoke enthusiast, shopped a reality television show titled ‘The Bombfather’ centered on his retirement years. FBI wires from the 1980s intercepted him serenading rows of fruits and vegetables while employed at Farm Fresh Produce, a wholesale fruit and vegetable vendor in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market which served as Billy Giacalone’s then-headquarters.

“We’d pick the Bomber up on bugs singing to the lettuce and cantaloupes every morning when he opened the place,” recalled retired FBI agent Mike Carone. “He’d sing them Sinatra, Louie Prima, all the classics. He was a real character and obviously lived a full life considering his chosen profession.”

According to federal records, Bommarito served as the Detroit mob’s liaison to the local motorcycle gangs and African-American underworld. An FBI surveillance team watched as Bommarito shuttled members of the syndicate’s Giacalone faction from Detroit to Dexter, Michigan and an inauguration ceremony held at an upscale hunting lodge anointing Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco boss of the crime family in the summer of 1979.

Tocco died of heart failure two years ago. The Giacalones were Tocco’s street bosses. They had been running the Family on a day-to-day basis since the early 1960s.

“The Bomb was always in the mix in the Giacalones heyday, if you saw Tony Jack and Billy Jack somewhere, he wasn’t far behind,” Carone said.

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  1. mikey

    man this sucks one of the last great one’s !RIP Frankie the Bomb