After making a crude drunken pass at the girlfriend of Somerville Gang member Alex (Bobo) Petricone at a Salisbury Beach bar on Labor Day, September 4, 1961, Charleston Gang member Georgie McLaughlin was beaten unconscious starting over a decade of volatile unrest in Boston’s Irish underworld. There was a brief reprieve from the violence in the late 1960s, but the infighting and instability reignited in the early 1970s, resulting in even more bodies dropping.
Meanwhile, Bobo Petricone had left his mobster ways behind him in Boston, changed his name to Alex Rocco and relocated to Hollywood, where he quickly became a noted character actor, earning cinematic infamy as Moe Greene in The Godfather and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the CBS show The Famous Teddy Z. Rocco died of cancer in July of 2015 at 79 years old.
THE BOSTON IRISH MOB WARS (1961-1975)
October 30, 1961 – Bernie McLaughlin
* The Charleston Gang Boss is shot to death leaving The Morning Glory bar. Infuriated by his brother Georgie’s assault on Labor Day, he had issued a murder contract on the head of Somerville Gang boss James (Buddy) McLean, unsuccessfully attempting to blow him up with a car bomb. Rocco was considered a suspect in the McLaughlin murder conspiracy.
March 15, 1964 – William Sheridan
May 14, 1964 – Frank Benjamin
Summer of 1964 – Two low level McLaughlin Gang members are kidnapped from Charleston, taken to Somerville apartment and tortured and killed.
August 4, 1964 –Willie Delaney
September 4, 1964 – Ronnie Dermody
December 1964 – George Ash
February 1965 – Henry Reddington
March 12, 1965 – Teddy Deegan
*Future New England Italian mafia boss Peter (The Crazy Horse) Limone and then New England mafia underboss Enrico (Henry the Referee) Tameleo, among others, were wrongfully convicted of Deegan’s murder on the false testimony of famous Boston mob turncoat Joe (The Animal) Barboza.
October 20, 1965 – Edward (Punchy) McLaughlin
October 31, 1965 – James (Buddy) McLean
*The Somerville mob boss is shot to death leaving The Peppermint Lounge in Winter Hill
May 26, 1966 – Connie Hughes and Sammy Lindenbaum
July 1965 – Romeo Martin
September 23, 1966 – Stevie Hughes
January 1967 – Edward (Wimpy) Bennett
*The South Boston and Roxbury rackets boss is gunned down in his garage at home
February 1967 – Andy (The Baron) Von Etter
March 1967 – Johnny Locke
December 1967 – Richard Grasso
November 1969 – Donnie McGonagle
*Killed in a case of mistaken identity by future Boston Irish mob boss and Winter Hill Gang leader James (Whitey) Bulger
A 1971 bar fight between Mullen Gang member Mickey Dwyer and Kileen Brothers Gang member Kenny Killeen at The Transit bar, which served as the Killeens’ headquarters in South Boston. Kenny Killeen bit off part of Dwyer’s nose in a drunken rage and the flames of war engulfed the local Irish underworld once again (“The Mullens” got its moniker for the gang’s home base being in Mullen Square).
March 28, 1971 – William (Billy O) O’Sullivan
May 13, 1972 – Donald Killeen
*The Killeen Gang boss and “Southie” crime lord is slain by gunmen in front of his Framingham residence getting into his Chevy Nova following his young son’s birthday party.
December 1, 1973 – James (Spike) O’Toole
November 1974 – Paulie McGonagle
June 25, 1975 – Eddie (The Bulldog) Connors
November 25, 1975 – Tommy King
November 25, 1975 – Frank (Buddy) Leonard