According to FBI informants and federal audio surveillance, deceased New Jersey mobster Girolamo (Jimmy Dumps) Palermo never ascended to the throne of the DeCalvacante crime family because of ill will between him and New Jersey mafia don Giovanni (John the Eagle) Riggi. DeCalvacante Godfather Frank Guarraci, who headed the Family for the last decade, passed away from cancer this month.
Palermo died of natural causes in 2014 at 76 years old, having been promoted to underboss and sat on a syndicate ruling panel in the 1990s and 2000s, but never getting the nod to become boss or acting boss on Riggi’s behalf, per informants and surveillance records, because Riggi – seen above – blamed him for the death of his brother-in-law decades earlier. On September 13, 1960, Palermo allegedly shot Alphonse (Zeeny) Colicchio to death inside Colicchio’s Zeeny’s Tavern in Elizabeth, New Jersey after Colicchio had disrespected then-New Jersey mob boss Nick Delmore weeks prior. Delmore retired from mafia affairs three years later.
Colicchio was Riggi’s brother-in-law. Riggi was the Family’s longtime capo of Elizabeth before being named acting boss in the 1970s and eventually boss in the 1980s. He was incarcerated in 1990 for over two decades on racketeering and murder charges and died a free man last August.
Palermo was indicted in the same case, however was acquitted at trial. They (Palermo and Riggi) were both heavily connected to the International Association of Laborers and Hod Carriers (Local 394). From roughly 1982-1990, Palermo was Riggi’s second-in-command.
“Johnny never forgave me for the whole Zeeny thing,” Palermo was caught lamenting on an FBI bug in 1999.
New Jersey mobster-turned-witness-for-the-government Anthony Rotundo told his FBI handlers that his father – slain DeCalvacante clan power Vincent (Jimmy the Gent) Rotundo – had told him that Palermo had killed Colicchio and as a result of Riggi’s move up the crime syndicate ladder in subsequent years he had prevented Palermo from ever taking over the Family on a permanent basis.
“Rotundo was pretty adamant that Jimmy Palermo would never become boss as long as Johnny Riggi had anything to say about it,” recalled one former New Jersey FBI agent present at Rotundo’s debriefing sessions.