The Ponytail is on deck. If the New England mafia’s current “acting boss,” Anthony (Spucky) Spagnolo, is convicted of the set of extortion and racketeering charges levied against him earlier this month, syndicate consigliere Anthony (Ponytail Tony) Parillo of Cranston, Rhode Island, will be taking his place as Don, according to sources in local law enforcement.
“They’ve already tapped Tony Parillo as the next man up,” said one of the sources. “He’s probably more fitted for the position than Spucky is anyway. I think the powers in the Family have always viewed him (Parillo) as a future leader. It looks like the future will be coming soon because I’m pretty sure Spucky will be going away.”
Parillo is 63 years old and has been the Patriarca Family’s consigliere for the last five years. He replaced Boston’s Peter (The Crazy Horse) Limone, who was bumped up to the boss’ chair upon the retirement of Providence-headquartered, Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio, Parillo’s mentor in the mob.
Baby Shacks Manocchio, 87, is serving prison time for extortion and is scheduled to be released in November 2015. Back when Baby Shacks was on the run from the law in the 1970s, dodging a pair of murder indictments, Parillo, was one of the young bucks in the Patriarca Family assigned to secretly shuttle him back-and-forth from his hiding spot in New York to the the New England area for monthly meetings with the Family’s then-upper management, according to federal court documents.
Sources in the Rhode Island State Police tell the Mafia Insider that FBI wiretaps recently picked up conversations within the New England underworld discussing the ponytail-wearing Parillo’s potential promotion.
The position of Godfather in the Patriarca clan isn’t necessarily all that it sounds cracked up to be. Translation: the last seven men to hold the post wound up indicted.
Because of this, Limone, 80, prefers a hands-off approach to leadership and has assigned an acting boss to oversee day-to-day affairs in the Family since assuming the reins from Manocchio in 2009. First, it was Anthony DiNunzio. After DiNunzio got nailed on.….you guessed it, extortion charges in 2012, Spucky Spagnolo was given the job.
On October 2, Spagnolo, 72 and longtime syndicate enforcer Pryce (Stretch) Quintina, 74, were indicted for shaking down a Boston-area vending machine company and suburban social club where the vending company placed video poker machines in.
Ponytail Tony is “respected and feared” said the source in the Rhode Island State Police. The fear factor comes from Parillo being a convicted murderer.
Back in 1982, he was found guilty at a state jury trial for a double-homicide and sentenced to 20 years behind bars (of which he served 11). Parillo killed Providence drug dealer Ronnie Leone and Rudy Baronet, a teenage neighbor of Leone’s that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, on October 3, 1977.
Leone, 26, had ripped Parillo off on a previous narcotics transaction and Parillo summoned him to his apartment on the afternoon of October 3 to get even. When Parillo brought Baronet to the meeting with him, the unsuspecting 16-year old got caught in the crossfire. Upon arriving at Parillo’s residence, the pair were murdered by Parillo and his roommate, New England mafia associate, Dennis Roche.
While Parillo and Roche were in the process of getting rid of the bodies, Parillo’s girlfriend Janice Costa, came home from running errands and walked in on the blood-soaked scene.
“I hope you have a strong stomach,” said a laughing Parillo to Costa, according to future court testimony.
Costa eventually broke-up with Parillo and married Providence wiseguy Anthony Manfredi. After Roche was killed on December 4, 1981, Costa began fearing for life, mistakenly believing that Parillo had wacked Roche to keep him quiet about the Leone and Baronet murders.
Following the Christmas holiday, she went to Providence police and told them what she knew. With Costa agreeing to testify in court, Parillo was arrested on December 28, 1981 and charged with the double execution.
Roche had in fact been murdered by local Rhode Island gangsters Anthony DeCiantis and Ricky Silva, stabbed and shot multiple times (his body dropped off in a Providence garbage dump) for DeCiantis’ belief that Roche was the man that had killed his brother, Rocco, years earlier.
At Parillo’s 1982 trial, Costa testified that on the morning of the Leone and Baronet murders, Parillo told her “Ronnie’s stopping by,” before she left to go shopping at around 10:30 a.m. Then when she returned at 1:00 p.m., she walked in on Parillo and Roche zipping Leone’s and Baronet’s freshly-killed bodies into a pair of sleeping bags. As Parillo and Roche left to dispose of the corpses, he instructed her to “clean the house and scrub the kitchen down,” and that she shouldn’t have any concern about what she had just seen.
“Forget about this, don’t worry about it,” she testified that Parillo told her prior to departing with Roche and the two sleeping bag-clad corpses. “Don’t even think about it anymore after today……it had to be done.”
Upon his release from prison in 1993, Parillo used his underworld connections to secure a Teamsters union card, using it to get work on New England movie sets, specifically the Rhode Island-raised Farrelly brothers’ films, There’s Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself and Irene (2000) and Osmosis Jones (2001), Stuck on You (2003). On the Outside Providence set, Parillo acted as actor Alec Baldwin’s bodyguard. On the Me, Myself and Irene set, he did the same for actor Jim Carrey.
RIPD surveillance reports find Parillo spending most of his days at his Federal Hill neighborhood restaurant and bar “Club 295.” Federal Hill is the long-mobbed up Little Italy section of Providence.
His track record the past three years hasn’t exactly been clean.
In June 2011, he took a pinch for harassing his ex-wife. In December of that year, according to a complaint filed with the Providence Police Department, Parillo assaulted a patron and then ordered him beat-up by the club’s bouncers following a dispute in the club’s bathroom.
According to the complaint, Parillo and three bouncers encountered 31-year old Jack Fernandez in Club 295’s women’s bathroom. They believed Fernandez was there to fool around with his girlfriend, Fernandez himself claimed that he was just there guarding a stall with a broken latch while his girlfriend used the toilet.
Either way, Parillo, flanked by the bouncers, grabbed Fernandez, per the report, and began physically assaulting him. He then instructed the bouncers to “take him out back” and followed as they transported Fernandez to the alley outside the club and began pummeling him, breaking his nose and several ribs. The incident ended when Parillo allegedly called his men off, reportedly saying, “Stop, no more right now, there’s too many people around, we’ll get him later.”
Sources on the street tell the Rhode Island State Police that if Parillo replaces Spucky Spagnolo as boss, Matthew (Good Looking Matty) Guglielmetti, recently released from a decade behind bars for “protecting” shipments of cocaine through the Providence area, would most likely take his spot as consigliere.
— Image courtesy of WPRI