- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) And then there were none.
More than 70 years after a bloody mob war ended with a peace producing New York's five Mafia families, the heads of these crime syndicates are simultaneously behind bars for the first time.
"There was a time when no mob boss was even convicted," said Ronald Goldstock, former head of the state Organized Crime Task Force. "Symbolically, this is one more milestone in the fight against the mob."
The mass jailing, indicative of the mob's dwindling 21st century fortunes, could also create street-level tensions and problems among the families that would ordinarily be resolved by the five bosses at Mafia "commission" meetings, experts said.
"If the situation remains the way it is, problems will begin to arise that are not as easily solved by acting bosses," said mob author Howard Abadinsky.
Most recently jailed was Joseph Massino, 60, reputed to be boss of the Bonanno crime family. Massino was indicted in January in connection with a 1981 slaying tied to the FBI's infiltration of his family by undercover agent "Donnie Brasco."
Two other crime bosses are serving lengthy jail terms. One is being held while on trial, and another is jailed awaiting trial.
For decades after the Castellamarese war, in 1931, the city's bosses operated with impunity, avoiding jail and directing illegal multimillion-dollar operations. Their empire included the Fulton Fish Market, the concrete industry and garbage carting.
Joseph Bonanno, aka Joe Bananas, died in May at the age of 97. Septuagenarian Carlo Gambino died of a heart attack in 1976.
Such happy retirements no longer await.
Genovese's linear successor, 74-year-old Vincent "the Chin" Gigante, remains jailed on a racketeering conviction, awaiting trial on charges that he was running the Genovese family from his cell.
Gambino head Peter Gotti, 62, followed a family tradition by getting locked up, just as his late brother John and his nephew John Jr. did. Peter Gotti recently went on trial, charged with racketeering and extortion on the city's waterfront.
Colombo chief Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico cut a deal with federal prosecutors 13 months ago in which he admitted he was the family boss. Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace became acting boss only to be indicted himself last month on a charge of orchestrating a hit on the father of a former mob prosecutor.
Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, who is reported to run the Lucheses, is doing life without parole on racketeering and murder convictions.

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