The Great Ange and the death of the Cleveland Mafia
In 1983, Angelo Lonardo, 72, a one-time boss of the Cleveland Mafia, turned government informant. He shocked his family, friends, law enforcement officers and especially criminal associates with a decision made after a life sentence of 103 years for drugs and extortion. The punishment fell after local, state and federal authorities had done a monumental investigation, but the Cleveland Mafia wiped out everything.
The Big Ange, as he was called, was the highest ranked mafioso whose mistake was. He testified in Las Vegas casino "peeling" trials in Kansas City in 1985 and in the New York Mafia's "ruling commission" trials in 1986. As a result of these trials, many of the nation's largest mob leaders were convicted.
During his testimony, Lonardo talked about how he retrieved the murder of his father at the age of 18, killing a man believed to be responsible. He also testified that after the murder he was responsible for the killing of several of Porrello's father's brothers, who were his father's business.
Birth of the Cleveland Mafia
At the end of the eighteen hundred four Lonardo brothers and seven Porrello brothers were bachelors and employees of a sulfur factory in Licatal, Sicily. They came to America in the early nineteen and eventually settled in the Cleveland Woodland area. They remained close friends. Several brothers Porrello and Lonardo worked together in small businesses.
Lonardo's Big Joe clan manager became a successful businessman and community manager at the bottom of Woodland Avenue. During the ban, he became a successful trader of corn sugar, which was used by boot managers to make corn. Big Joe supplied the poor people of the Italian district with distillation and raw materials. They would make a booze and Big Joe would buy it back, giving them a commission. He was respected and feared as a "defensive force" or godfather. Big Joe became the leader of a powerful and vicious gang and was known as the "baron" of corn sugar. Joe Porrello was one of his captains.
The first bloody angle
With the ban, Cleveland, like other cities, experienced a wave of boot-related murders. The murders of Louis Rosen, Salvatore Vella, August Rin and several others led to the same suspects, but no charges were filed. These suspects were members of the Lonardo gang. Several murders occurred at the corner of E. 25th and Woodland Ave. This intersection became known as the "bloody corner".
By that time, Joe Porrello had left the Lonardos employee to start his own wholesale sugar business.
Porrello and his six brothers collected their money and eventually became successful corn sugar dealers, headquartered in the upper area of Woodland Avenue near E. 110th Street.
Lonardos' business flourished with small rivals, sugar vendors and vans, mysteriously dying violent deaths as they achieved a near-sugar monopoly. Their main competitors were old friends in Porrello.
Hidden federal agents arrested the youngest of his brothers, Raymond Porrello, who organized the sale of 100 gallons of whiskey at a Porrello-owned hairdressing shop in E. 110 and Woodland. He was sentenced to Dayton, Oh. Workplace.
Porrello brothers paid $ 5,000 to influential "Big Joe" Lonardo to get Raymond out of prison. "The Great River"
failed his attempt, but never returns $ 5,000.
In the meantime, Ernest Yorkell and Jack Brownstein of Cleveland, the "cool guys" from Philadelphia who started out for a while, arrived. Yorkell and Brownstein were hidden artists and their intended victims were the Cleveland boots, who almost got rid of how the two found it necessary to explain that they were harsh. Pretty tough guys didn't have to tell people they were tough. After offering laughter to the Cleveland gangsters, Yorkell and Brownstein were taken on a "one-way street."
Corn sugar and blood
"The Great River" Lonardo in 1926, now at the peak of his wealth and power in Sicily to visit his mother and
relatives. He left his closest brother and business partner John in charge.
During his six-month absence from Big Joe, he lost much of his $ 5,000 weekly profit to Porrellos, who took advantage of John Lonardo's lack of business skills and the help of a dissatisfied Lonardo employee. The Great River returned and business talks began between Porrellos and Lonardos.
They "called on" Porrellos to return the lost clientele.
On October 13, 1927, "Big Joe" and John Lonardo Porrello went to the hairdresser to play cards and talk to Angelo Porrello, as they had done the past week. When Lonardos entered the back of the store, two gunmen opened fire. Angelo Porrello was lying under the table.
The Cleveland Underworld lost its first boss when "Great Joe" went down with three bullets in his head. John Lonardo was shot in the chest and groin, but pulled a gun and managed to track down the attackers through the hairdresser. He fired his gun at the store, but continued pursuing the gunmen on the street where one of them turned, and shot Lonardo several times in the head with the butt of his gun. John fell unconscious and bleeded to death.
The Porrello brothers were arrested. Angelo was charged with the murders of the Lonardo brothers. The charge was later dropped due to lack of evidence. Joe Porrello became a "baron" of corn sugar from Lonardos and later called himself the "kapo" of the Cleveland Mafia.
The trail of the boots' blood continued to flow with the numerous murders resulting from the Porrello-Lonardo conflict.
Former Lonardo bodyguard Lawrence Lupo was killed after he announced he wanted to take over Lonardo's corn sugar business.
Butcher Anthony Caruso, who saw the Lonardos killers flee, was shot and killed. He was believed to know the identity of the gunmen and intended to disclose them to the police.
On December 5, 1928, Joe Porrello, along with his lieutenant and bodyguard Sam Tilcock, hosted the first known major Mafia meeting at the Cleveland Hotel in Statler. Many of the larger mafia leaders from Chicago to New York were invited. The meeting was held before it actually began.
The best known of the gangsters arrested was the family of Joe Profac, a Brooklyn leader in New York. Within hours, police and court officials, to the surprise of Joe Porrello, gathered thirty family members and friends who put their house in collateral for gangster bonds. Porrello personally rescued Profac. There followed a major controversy over the validity of the bonds.
Several theories have been put forward as to why the meeting was called. First, the local presidents of the Unione Siciliane, a mafia-based immigrant auxiliary, were expected to elect a new national president. Their former president, Frankie Yale, was recently killed by an order from Chicago's infamous Al Capone. Secondly, it was thought that the meeting could have been convened
to organize a very profitable maize sugar industry. It was also said that the men were there to "confirm" Joe Porrello as the "kapo" of Cleveland.
Capone, who was not Sicilian, was in Cleveland during the meeting. He left shortly after arriving
tips for coworkers who said Sicilians didn't want him there.
Another bloody angle
As the power and wealth of Joe Porrello grew, the heirs and close associates of the Lonardo brothers grew up for revenge.
Angelo Lonardo, Big Joe's 18-year-old son with his mother and cousin, drove to the corner of Porrello Castle, E. 110th and Woodland. There Angelo sent word that his mother wanted to talk to Salvatore "Black Sam" Todaro. Todaro, now Lieutenant Porrello, had worked for Angelo's father and was believed to be responsible for his murder. In later years, he was believed to be one of the gunmen.
As Todaro approached a conversation with Mrs. Lonardo, whom he respected, Angelo pulled out a gun and emptied it, "Black Sami's hidden frame. Todaro wrinkled on the sidewalk and died.
It is known that Angelo and his cousin were hidden from Chicago for months by Lonardo's friend Al Capone. It was later believed that Angelo spent time in California with his uncle Dominick, the fourth brother of Lonardo, who fled to the West when he was charged with assassination in 1921.
Finally, Angelo and his cousin were arrested and charged with murdering "Black Sami". For the first time in Cleveland's murder history, justice was earned in Cleveland, as both young men were convicted and sentenced to life. Although serving justice in the short term, they will only be released a year and a half after winning a new trial.
Mayfield Road Mobile rise
October 20, 1929 "Big Joe" brother Frank Lonardo and John were killed during a card game. Two theories were put forward about his death; that it was revenge for the murder of Todaro "Black Sam" and that he was killed for not paying his gambling debts. Mrs. Frank Lonardo, when that was said
the husband's murder cried, "I'll get them. I'll get them myself if I have to kill a whole regiment!"
By 1929, small Italian crime boss Frank Milano had come to power as leader of his gang, "The Mayfield Road Mob." The Milan group formed part of the remains of the Lonardo gang and was associated with the powerful Cleveland Syndicate, Morrie Kleinman, Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker and Louis Rothkopf. The Cleveland Syndicate was responsible for most of the booze imported through Lake Erie in Canada. In later years, they entered the casino business. One of their largest and most profitable businesses was the construction of a Desert Inn Hotel / Casino in Las Vegas. Dalitz is known as the godfather of Las Vegas.
Joe Porrello admired Milan's political organization, the East End Party Political Club, and saw such an effective value as wanting to associate himself with the group. Milan refused. It was later reported that Porrello was affiliated with the newly formed District 21 Republican Club. He hoped to organize the voters of Woodland Avenue, just as Milan did on Mayfield.
More corn sugar and blood
By 1930, Milan had grown quite powerful. He had come so far as to demand a piece of lucrative Porrello corn sugar. On July 5, 1930, Porrello received a phone call from Milan, who had requested a conference at his Venetian restaurant on Mayfield Road. Sam Tilocco and Joe Porrello's brother Raymond urged him not to go.
At about 2:00 pm, Joe Porrello and Sam Tilocco reached the restaurant in Milan and did so quietly. Porrello, Tilocco and Frank Milano were sitting in a restaurant and discussing business. Several Milanese henchmen were sitting nearby. The atmosphere was tense as Porrello refused to accept Milan's demands.
Porrello reached into his pocket to watch the clock to check the time. Two Milano men who believed Porrello was trying to get his gun opened fire. Porrello died as soon as he had three bullets in his head. Meanwhile, a third member of the Milan gang shot Tilocco, struck three times, but managed to knock his new Cadillac out the door. He fell as the gunmen pursued him, taking him down with six more bullets.
Frank Milano and several of his restaurant staff were arrested, but they were charged only with suspicious persons. The guns were not actually identified. At the start of the shooting, only one witness was in the cabin. He was Frank Joiner, a gaming machine distributor whose only testimony was that he "thought" he saw Frank Milan in a restaurant during the murders.
Cleveland's aggressive and forthright safety director Edwin Barry, frustrated by the ever-increasing boots murders, ordered all known sugar stores to be locked. He told the police officer to be detailed with everyone to make sure no sugar was introduced or removed.
Meanwhile, six Porrello brothers gave black silk shirts and ties and buried their most successful brother. An effective double gangster funeral was one of Cleveland's greatest ever. Two ensembles and thirty-three cars overloaded with flowers led to the procession of the killed Don and his bodyguard. More than two hundred and fifty cars followed, containing family and friends. The sidewalks were lined with thousands of mourners and curious seekers.
Cleveland's underworld was under intense rumors of an imminent war. Porrello's brother, Vincente-James, said publicly that he would sweep all those responsible for his brother's murder.
Three weeks after his brother's murder, Jim Porrello was still wearing a black shirt as he entered the I&A food and meat market at E. 110th Street and Woodland. As he picked the sheep carnivores at the butcher's counter, Ford's camper van, whose curtains were tight, traveled slowly past the shop. A couple of rifles fired and fired two rifles, one through the shop front window and the other through the front screen door.
Amateur gunmen were lucky. Two pellets found the back of Porrello's head and entered his brain. He was rushed to the hospital.
"I think they will kill us all Porrellos"
"I think they kill us all Porrellos. I think they kill us all except Rosario. They can't
kill – he's in jail. "So Ottavio Porrello predicted a gloomy but calm prediction of his and his brothers' fate as he waited outside Jim's hospital room. Jim Porrello died at 5:55 p.m.
Two local petty gangsters were arrested and charged with murder. One was acquitted by direct judgment and the other acquitted. Like almost all of the Cleveland bootleg murders, the killers never saw justice.
Around this time it was circulated that the Porrello brothers were marked for destruction. Survivors
the brothers went into hiding. Raymond, known for his cumbersome attitude and hot temper, spoke like brother James for revenge. Raymond, however, was wiser, but took active measures to protect himself.
On August 15, 1930, three weeks after the murder of James Porrello, Raymond Porrello's house was leveled during a violent explosion. He was not home at the time because he had taken his family and left home in anticipation of the attack.
Four days later, Frank Aless, a witness to the murder of Lonardo's brother Frank "Great Joe", was killed. From the deathbed, he identified his assailant, Frank Brancato. Brancato was known primarily as a supporter of Lonardo and a suspect in several murders. Brancato was acquitted of Aless's murder.
In March 1931, Rosario Porrello was called to Ohio Prison Farm, where he had spent one year in a car carrying a weapon.
In mid-1931 Salvatore Maranzano, the national mafia capo di tutti capi (commander-in-chief) was killed. His murder triggered the formation of the first Mafia national decision-making committee, created to stop numerous murders arising from conflicts within and within Mafia families and to promote modern business practices in crime.
Charles "Lucky" Luciano was the main developer of the Commission and was appointed Chairman. The panel also named Al Capone in Chicago, Joe Profac in Brooklyn and Frank Milano in Cleveland.
In December 1931, Angelo Lonardo and his cousin Dominic Suspirato were released from prison after they were acquitted in another trial of Todaro's murder. After avenging his father's death and (mostly) escaping, he became a respected member of Frank Milano's Mayfield Road Mobile.
Members of the Lonardo family were not satisfied with the thirst for revenge. It was generally believed
jw.org en "Black Sam" Todaro initiated and may have participated in the murders of "Big Joe" and John Lonardo. However, members of the Lonardo family believed that the other Porrello brothers, especially John and Raymond, who was volatile, and Rosario's older brother, were
The murders of Joe and James Porrello.
On February 25, 1932, Raymond Porrello, his brother Rosario, and their bodyguard Dominic Gulino (also known by a number of nicknames) played cards near E. 110th and Woodland Avenue. The front door burst and during the hail of bullets, the brothers went under Porrello, their bodyguard and bystander. Porrellos died at the scene. Gulino died a few hours later. The bystander finally recovered from his hand
Several hours after the murders, Frank Brancato dragged himself with a bullet into St John's Hospital on the west side of Cleveland. He claimed he was shot dead in a street fight in the west. A few days later, tests of a bullet taken from Brancato revealed that it came from a pistol found at the Porrello brothers' murder scene. Although Brancato had never been convicted of both murders, he was convicted of wrongly committing a large jury for his presence during the murder. He served four years after Governor Martin L. Davey changed his sentence to one to ten years.
In 1933 the ban was lifted. The murders stopped most of the time when organized crime moved to other companies. Angelo Lonardo continued his crime career as a respected member of the Cleveland family, eventually climbing the ranks to lead the 1980s Northeast Ohio Rackets.
Early in 1933, Rosario's son Angelo (21) died in the Battle of Buffalo Pool following the tragedy of the great Porrello family. It was said that he and Uncle John were trying to make music at a corn factory business there.