Nixon: The purpose of my coming to the Department of Justice today in this great hall is to sign the Organised Crime Bill. [omitted] I think we can say that we shall now be able to launch a total War against organised Crime, and we will win this War.
Narrator: Nixon declares the Nation’s first War on Drugs, asking the Congress for $60 million. At that time, the Mob guys carried that much around in the suitcase.
In the early 70’s, the cops get a new toy, a videocamera with a nightscope. The stars of their first Production? Young mobsters operating in open-air Drug Market in East Harlem.
Unknown: You will see the man in flower shirt, carrying here a white plastic bag containing a white substance. Obviously blatantly open on the Street.
Narrator: Even ** has seen it all, these tapes are real eye-openers. Bookies have been doing their thing on the Street for years. Drug-dealers, like Sal Monella, seen here holding a pound of heroin, thought they could do the same. They’re Wrong. And there are fewer and fewer old-style bosses to set them Right.
Salerno: When Carlo Gambino died, if I had been asked to place a $10 wager as to who would be his successor, I would have put the $10 on the man who was his underboos, Aniello Dellacroce. A tough man. Of all the gangsters that I’ve met personally
– and I’ve
met dozens of them – in all of my years, there were only two whom, when I
looked them straight in the eye, I decided I wouldn’t want them to be really personally mad at me.
[Jack Devine.] And
Aniello Dellacroce was one, and Carmine Galenti was the other. They had Bad
eyes. They had the eyes of killers.
Narrator: Dellacroce runs the best crew in the Mob. His skipper, the toughest streetfighter in New York, young John Gotti. Against Gotti’s wishes, some of these young Turks risks dipping into Drugs. Their Greed overcomes their Loyalty. It’s a risk that Carlo Gambion’s brother-in-law, big Paulie Castellano, also opposes.
Montiglio: After Carlo died, there were two factions of the Family. There was the Brooklyn faction, which was basically headed by Paul Castellano. And there was the Manhattan faction, which was headed by Aniello Dellacroce. One of those two were going to be the boss of the Family. It was very tense Time, because that is always when it is very ripe for War within the Families. [John Brennan.] [omitted] Nino spoke to me in the afternoon. He said, We’re going to make Paulie tonight. So I went to the Gemini, and I picked up a package, which turned out to be M2 carbine, went home and assembled it. Nino said that Manhattan faction would be coming to the house at about 7, 7:30, and I was to go upstairs in my living room window which overlooked the entranceway to his apartment downstairs and the driveway. He said, There are supposed to be no guns at the meeting. He said, But I’m taking a pistol under the table. He said, If anything goes Wrong, if you hear any shooting downstairs, just kill everybody that comes out of the house. About 7 o’clock, Paul and Tommy Bilotti came with Joe Gallo, he was the consiliere to the Family. About 7:15, the Manhattan faction came, and they walked in, I clicked the safety off, and probably within 20 or 15 minutes, the Manhattan faction left, I put the safety back on, and Paulie and Tommy and Joe Gallo left, and about a minute after that, Nino knocked on my door, I went downstairs, and he said, Paulie’s the new boss.
Narrator: Big Paulie Castellano begins a 9 year Rule. Dellacroce and Gotti are not Happy. They feel Paulie spends too much Time with bankers and businessmen, not enough Time on the Street. But Paulie’s big problem comes when a bunch of Irish nutjobs start whacking People and bring down the heat from the New York DA.
[Currently], we have under Investigation 28 Murders they have committed,and 5 of those Murders are defenders without charge, another 23 that are roped in cases.
Narrator: Everybody’s getting the heat. The Murders weren’t even committed by the Gambino crew or even by [dagos]. A work of the Irishmen on the West Site, the Westies.
Beattie: They thought we were an Army. They didn’t know there was a dozen of us. That’s all we were. It was a few of us, but we were brazen kids, and we didn’t care. These guys ran around, they talked about being a wiseguys, but they snuck up on you. We did it right in your face. We didn’t care. We’d come to your house in the day or the night, didn’t matter. If we had a problem with you, we did it immediately. They laid back. So our Reputation got ahead of us, because we had a lot of moxy.
Narrator: According to the Press, the Westies were the bottom of the Crime barrel. They’d do anything. Assortement of wild men, drunks and druggies, but their leader, Jimmy Coonan, wants more. He wants to hang around the big guys.
Beattie: One of my arguments with Jimmy was We have to stop killing People. I said, We can’t collect Money from dead People. He said, Yeah, but you don’t understand. We can’t go to the ghinnies and not have a record. We’ve got to have a track record of the bodies. He said, This is impressive to these guys. [Accurate. Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush.]
Narrator: Coonan killed one guy too many. A big time loanshark for the Gambino Family owed $40,000 to one of Coonan’s man. The loanshark’s name? Charles Ruby Stein.
Salerno: He didn’t have any young Italian tough guys to go up and talk to the Westies, and very stupidly went himself to 11th Avenue and 53rd Street somewhere, and the Westies decided to erase the debt by erasing Charles Ruby Stein. [George H.W. Bush.]
Beattie: He was dragged to the back, where they cut his head off and arms. Cut open the torso so that hopefully he wouldn’t float, which was Jimmy’s mistake. He was still in Learning Stage in them days. Because the torso did float up. I met him on the Jersey Turnpike. He was very pissed off at himself, because he forgot to puncture the lungs. [Saved.]
Newsreel: After nearly three months of medical detective Work, they have identified six of the seven bodies. Apparent Victims in a gang-land hit parade. The best known among them was Ruby Stein, age 62, described by the Police as the biggest loanshark in this area.
You’ve identified six bodies?
Six out of seven of them have been positively identified.
Are you certain that these People are from the Underworld?
Well, there’s no other conclusion to draw from, since most of these People not only have multiple bulletwounds, but wrapped up and tied, and placed in carbon boxes, shipping boxes and other compartments.
Beattie: He said, Now, we’ve got a real problem, because Ruby Stein was the frontrunner for the Crime Families, investing their Monies. And they’re going to know it came from us.
Narrator: Big Paul Castellano demands a sitdown with Coonan at Demaso’s Restaurant. He wants to talk about the Stein Murder. To keep the heat off the Mob, he has to get the Westies under control.
Montiglio: They had to be controlled. So many out of control. So Roy DeMeo and Danny Grillo had a good in with the Westies, and they set up a meeting. And at the time, Jimmy Coonan, who was the head of the Westies, he wanted to be a wiseguy, he wanted to be like an italian. So it wasn’t so hard to get him to go for it. Then the rest of the Westies weren’t really crazy about it, but they went along with what Jimmy said.
Beattie: My argument with Jimmy was I didn’t want to abide these People. I was taught by my father and my uncles that, if you’re not one of them, you can’t become one of them. You’ve got to be a blueblood, and I’m a Mick. There’s no getting around that. And I really believed that, I really belived that. And I was doing not Bad with my group. So why step out? I didn’t want to be a pinky-ring, person.
Featherstone: The guys on the West Side don’t like the Italians, in general. [Accurate.] Not because they’re Italians, but because they’re Mob guys.
Beattie: The meeting was set up by them, but we had an inside person at this Meeting, and this kid was eyeballing this place. If they saw Jimmy being taken out of the room, or Mickey, our instruction was to come out and kill everybody that’s there. No matter who is there, everyone there was to die in the restaurant. But lucky for Jimmy, it didn’t happen, because they would have called. We were at the house, smoking grass, snorting cocaine. We were having a Good old time. It was like a Family reunion. We were having a big party. If they called, they probably wouldn’t have answered the phone. We were all stoned at the time. That’s the truth. It’s sad, but true.
Salerno: Now, years ago, Carlo Gambino would not have anything to do with Drug-addict whatsoever. Now his successor is farming out Violence to the Drug-addicts. A Very Un, Wise, Move.
Narrator: Castellano doesn’t understand the Street. He doesn’t understand that the junkies couldn’t care less about the Mob’s code of Loyalty. They just want to get high. [Accurate.]