Everyone knew my dad, and even as a young child I could sense he was important. When he entered a room, the energy changed. People would rush over to shake his hand and kiss his cheek. He made time for them all, lending money and buying them groceries if they were struggling.
One day, when I was about 10, Dad sat me down in the kitchen. He told me I would probably start hearing some things about his life and he wanted to explain it in the best way he knew how. He told me some men in Italy had formed a secret group and vowed always to protect each other and their families — even if it meant stealing or hurting other people. Then he told me he was part of that same group here in America.
It didn't sound scary to me — it was nice to know we were being looked after. My mother was a shy, quiet woman who'd married Dad just before her 18th birthday. She was old-fashioned and loyal, steadfastly standing by her man and never asking questions — the perfect mafia wife.
As the years passed, Dad's business grew. We moved to a bigger house in an expensive suburb and I went to a private school. Mostly it was children of wealthy lawyers, doctors and businessmen. That's when I began to realise how different we were.
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For a start, Dad didn't look like the other fathers. Cali was home at his residence He has a conversation in front of the residence and that individual Shea also said that prior to the shooting, there was a vehicle crash in front of the home in which Cali's SUV was backed into by a pickup truck believed to have been driven by the killer. He said detectives are trying to determine if the crash was meant to draw Cali out of his house.
Cali is the first reputed mob boss murdered in New York City in 35 years. Cali's wife and children were inside his home when he was shot, a source told ABC News. Paramedics took Cali to Staten Island University North hospital after responding to the shooting, police said. He was pronounced dead less than 40 minutes later.
A male witness who was driving nearby when the attack occurred told police he heard multiple gunshots that, at first, he thought were fireworks, a source told ABC News. The witness also told police he saw an individual run toward the driver's side of a blue pickup truck while simultaneously keeping one hand near his waistband, the source said. Additional witnesses told police they saw the pickup truck driving through the neighborhood around the time of the shooting.
Shea said investigators believe it is the same pickup truck that struck Cali's vehicle. No one has been arrested and an investigation is ongoing. No gun has been recovered, authorities said. New York defense attorney Harlan Protass, who represented Cali in a criminal case, said he was stunned and saddened by Cali's death. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told ABC News that detectives are attempting to determine if Cali's killing signaled the revival of a "mob war.
Zottola's son, Salvatore, survived an apparent assassination attempt in July outside his home, also in the Bronx.
A source told ABC News that investigators are also looking into whether Cali received either a call or text message on his cell phone prior to him going outside his home. As part of the probe, investigators are attempting to collect cell phone records to analyze as they attempt to identify the killer or killers, the source said. Detectives are also urgently reviewing security video from neighboring homes and other surveillance cameras that might show the killer coming or going from Cali's home in the Todt Hill area of Staten Island.
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Aerial footage from the crime scene taken by a WABC-TV helicopter showed police searching a silver SUV outside Cali's home with at least 17 evidence markers around it, some apparently noting the location of spent shell casings. Cali is the highest-ranking alleged member of a crime family to be murdered in New York in decades. The last mob boss to be killed was Paul Castellano, also the leader of the Gambino crime family at the time, who was murdered outside Sparks Steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan in That hit was ordered by Gotti, who later took over the family until being convicted in of racketeering and Castellano's murder.
In February , Cali was among 62 alleged New York mafia associates indicted in a massive federal racketeering case. He attended school until the sixth grade, quitting school at age 14 after striking a teacher.
Capone also became a member of the James Street Boys gang during this period, which was run by Johnny Torrio , the man that would become his lifelong mentor, and associated with the Five Points gang. Before Capone turned 21, he was involved in several violent incidents. Despite being questioned by the police, Capone was let go because no one had witnessed the murder.
In another incident, Capone brutally assaulted a low-level member of the rival White Hand gang and left him for dead. Since White Hand gang leaders promised retribution , Yale sent Capone, his wife, and his young child to Chicago to work for Torrio. As Prohibition began, new bootlegging operations opened up and drew in immense wealth.
William McSwiggin, an aggressive prosecutor, attempted but failed to indict Capone when the eyewitnesses to the killing, fearing harm, lost their nerve and their memories of the incident. After a stint in prison , Torrio retired to Italy, and Capone became crime czar of Chicago, running gambling , prostitution , and bootlegging rackets and expanding his territories by gunning down rivals and rival gangs.
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In Capone went into hiding for three months after he and some of his gunmen inadvertently killed McSwiggin while attacking other rivals. That evening McSwiggin had been out drinking with two childhood friends, who were also beer runners, and other criminals when he was gunned down in the street. Again Capone went unpunished. The most notorious of the bloodlettings was the St. Also in , Capone served some 10 months in Holmesburg Prison, in Philadelphia , after being convicted of possessing a concealed handgun.
Many Americans were fascinated by the larger-than-life image of Capone. Indeed, the motion picture Scarface: The Shame of a Nation , directed by Howard Hawks , starred Paul Muni in the role of a gangster loosely based on Capone, who reputedly obtained a copy of the film for private screenings.