January 3, 2022 — Notorious Buffalo mob hit man Luciano (Dilly) Spataro walked free from prison late last year after more than three decades behind bars, earning a reprieve from the New York State Parole Board in his life sentence for cocaine trafficking and multiple murder charges.
This was the third time in the last seven years Spataro got paroled, but the first time he made it past the appellate process. He was released in the last week of October.
Spataro’s police jacket goes back to the 1940s. His original nickname was “John Dillinger” after the famous Prohibition era bank robber. The moniker was shortened to just “Dilly” as he became a seasoned vet of the Western New York underworld.
The 88-year old Spataro has been off the streets since 1987. The U.S. Attorneys Office pegs him for playing a role in a half-dozen gangland slayings between 1984 and 1986, including the killing of his own son-in-law.
Johnny Pinelli, a 24-year old thief and fellow mob enforcer married to Spataro’s daughter, was found shot to death in a ditch in Eden, New York on the night of September 28, 1986. Pinelli and Spataro’s son, Curtis, were suspected in a scam gas-station holdup weeksbefore.
Spataro was found guilty of murdering Buffalo mafia associates Albert (Big Al) Monaco and Robert (Bobby the Body) DiGiulio, in homicides carried out in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Monaco was caught skimming profits from Magaddino crime family loan sharking rackets. DiGiullo was a mob collector and bodyguard to the stars, doing shadow gigs for actors Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Bruce Willis. DiGiullo’s wife paid Spataro to whack out Bobby the Body for her, per court testimony.
Former labor union goon and mob turncoat William (Billy Bags) Koopman admitted to killing the drug-addled Spinelli on Spataro’s orders for fear he knew too much about the Spataro family’s illicit activities. Koopman was Spataro’s right-hand man and driver. Spataro would go on to cop a plea to criminal solicitation in the Spinelli hit. Spinelli was implicated in taking part in the Big Al Monaco murder.
Spataro’s daughter was pregnant with Spinelli’s second child at the time he put his murder contract in motion. Koopman’s cooperation with the government resulted from him being told that Dilly Spataro’s son, Carmen, had named him as the man who pulled the trigger in Spinelli’s execution.
The FBI considers Spataro the prime suspect in both the Joey San Frattello and Bobby Warner murders as well. San Fratello met his fate in a hail of bullets exiting a bar in February 1985. He was acquitted of murdering Warner at trial.
Warner, a local business owner (The Corn Cob Restaurant), was gunned down in the parking lot of the McKinley Park Inn in the early morning hours of February 8,1981. Koopman claimed drug dealer Vic Panaro paid Spataro $1,500 to clip Warner, who had been outed as an informant for the NYPD.