EVIDENCE AND THE STREETS, SUGGESTS GRAVANO WAS IN ON FRANKIE DECICCO MURDER.
April 13, 1986, John Gotti was supposed to travel from midtown Manhattan to visit fellow mobster Jimmy "Brown" Failla. The reason for the meeting, was more of a meet and greet with fellow capo's from the Gambino Crime Family. Gotti made it a point, to want to show face and visit with contemporaries. Where history tends to get a bit sketchy, is biased because of the words of Salvatore Gravano and Anthony Casso.
The fact is, Angelo Ruggiero had attempted to kill Casso in a shooting. Ruggiero who had given the order for Casso to be assassinated and the hit
was handed to Jimmy Hydell. Hydell, was the nephew of Gambino Capo Danny Marino. Eventually Casso would find out it was Hydell, and would torture him for days, shooting him some 12-15 times, before getting the name Angelo Ruggiero. The beef between Angelo and Casso was over drug rackets. Casso thought Angelo was a bumbling idiot, and Ruggiero didn't want Casso muscling in on his turf. That is what the pressing issue was.
The fact that Casso used the foreground of the hit on Paul Castellano to move forward in going after Ruggiero, and anyone else, played to his cause. If he says that it was ordered by Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, then he could feasibly get away with going after the old Bergin Crew. Once again, the issue is, Vincent Gigante, then boss of the Genovese crime family, had zero involvement with what was about to go down. Gigante for starters was no fan of John Gotti. That aside, Gigante would never have availed of himself a car bomb. The first problem with that is collateral damage. Gigante never would have used a bomb. If Gigante had truly wanted John Gotti dead, John Gotti would have been killed and swiftly. The second key factor here, is the commission trial background. There is no way, after Salerno gets convicted that Gigante is going to green light a hit on John Gotti in the form or fashion that DeCicco was killed. The 3rd factor is, the guy who made the car bomb which was used to kill Frankie was designed by a former NYPD detective, who was directly in contact with Stephen Carracappa and Louie Eppolito. According to Casso, Gigante met with the designer of the bomb, and green lit the idea. There is zero percent chance that happened. Gigante was a recluse, and wouldn't even meet his top capo's half the time. He would use the Consigliere to handle that sort of stuff. So when you combine all of that, there is zero percent that Gigante had anything to do with that murder, but Casso used that to his advantage of a back drop. If he makes a move on Gotti, which I think was the target, the FBI would look at this as a lateral move by the Genovese crime family, and Casso knew that. He could deflect it and propel it on the lap of Vincent Gigante. The feds would buy it hook line and sinker.
As we said, Gotti was heading to Jimmy Brown's. Things had been iffy on the streets, and I think Gotti's concern was that he didn't want to be seen like Paul Castellano was. He wanted his men to see him and hear him, and you can't say that's a bad thing or good thing, but the reality is, the Gambino's needed a boss to be seen and heard, especially after Castellano just put himself on top of the hill and expected everything. It was a different way to operate the crime family. Good bad or indifferent, it was Gotti's borgata, and he did what he felt was best.
CONNECT THE DOTS
Prior to the murder of Castellano, according to Gravano, and yes, he's a rat and lies, but this Is a very important part of this story. Gravano met with Frankie DeCicco about the idea of murdering Castellano. The problem was, they needed high level capo's to sign off. They needed support. It was Frankie DeCicco's job to pass that along. Jimmy Brown was not on board, Joe Armone was on board, and Joe N. Gallo was against it, but wouldn't interfere. Gravano would approach Anthony Casso, and Casso would agree that they should do as they see fit, but warned Gravano that within a year of the murder of Castellano they would all be dead because Vic Amuso wouldn't stand for it, nor would Vincent Gigante. Casso saw this entirely as his opening. As we know, Castellano got hit. As we know, Gotti would take over the reigns. As we know, times were a bit sketchy to say the least.
Gravano was a captain at the time. Gravano had a penchant for killing to move up the ladder. Even after Castellano got hit, Gravano was not promoted. Gotti would be flanked by Frankie DeCicco(underboss) and Joe N. Gallo(Consigliere). In fact, it wouldn't be until Gallo and Armone got indicted and sentenced that Gravano was even thought about to be promoted, and that was only meant to be temporary.
EXPLOSIONS AND DECEIT
Casso was hell bent on killing Ruggiero, but he couldn't get near him. The reason was because of four indictments against Ruggiero. On his last indictment which was prior to the murder of DeCicco he was stuck in jail with no bail. That aside, Ruggiero was surveilled so much that it was just too hard to get to him. Besides, Ruggiero even out on bail could not associate or be seen with anyone from the streets and with all the active surveillance, it just wouldn't happen. Casso wanted revenge. Casso wanted blood. If he couldn't get Ruggiero, then maybe he could get Gotti, or someone within his crew. According to Casso, the murder of Gotti would take place, and then the Lucchese's would align with supporting Jimmy Brown as the new boss of the family. According to Casso Jimmy Brown was okay with the idea. The problem is, I don't think despite the mess that was Castellano that Jimmy Brown wanted to be put in that position. Rather, there was a snake in the grass, and that was Gravano.
Frankie DeCicco was waiting for Gotti at Jimmy Brown's social club. Gravano who had no business at the club, was somehow, for some reason there, sitting by a window. This was supposed to be a brief layover for Gotti who had meetings in Brooklyn later in the day. For whatever reason, something came up, and someone called Jimmy Brown's club to let Frankie know that Gotti changed his mind. Frankie then told Jimmy Brown that Gotti wasn't stopping by. DeCicco then was heading back towards Manhattan to pick up Gotti. Frankie said his goodbye's and exited the club. About the point where he touched the doorhandles his car exploded, blowing his remains in all different directions. The bomb was pretty much military grade C-4. Remote detonated, which means, he had to visually see Gotti exit the club, and press the button. Casso admitted he had been watching the club from less than half a block away. The bomb itself was not connected by a magnet, rather was just sort laid underneath the car.
Nobody saw that? Nobody saw anyone walk up and place it under the car. The car was parked right in front of the club. Gravano was sitting in the front peering out the window. We know that from his testimony, and from his book, his words, not mine. He was close enough to see it all go down. According to Gravano he ran "out and tried to help." Multiple people have come forward and said that Gravano ran out of the club in a rush prior to the explosion. No NYPD officer backed up his claims that he stood outside putting the remains of Frankie in a body bag. Nowhere in any of the affidavits does it say that. Nowhere in his story has one person validated that. That leaves us with questions.
How did Casso even know that Gotti would arrive that day? How did he know which car to bomb? Why didn't he double check to ensure Gotti was actually there?
The simple answers are that Gravano who had long ties to Casso, albeit in clubs and narcotics, tipped Casso off. He tipped Casso off that Gotti would be arriving at the club. He knew John's schedule only because of Frankie.
Casso in a million years could have sat on a park bench waiting and never once hit the mark, yet on this day he does. Gravano was at the club. He didn't have any meetings there that day. John Gotti was super recognizable. John Gotti walked a certain way, dressed a certain way, looked a certain way. You mean to tell me, a car that was sitting out there all day, and Gotti hadn't been seen arriving, suddenly was the car Gotti would be leaving in? You have to arrive first, then leave. You mean to tell me that Casso couldn't recognize or pick Gotti out of a lineup? One may argue Casso was so hell bent on killing anyone that he would have pushed the button, but we cannot agree with that because of what Casso has said throughout the years. This was a John Gotti hit. Therefore, you're down the street watching, and you hit the remotely detonated bomb, and kill Frankie instead.
We have to ask, who stood the most to gain from Frankie getting killed? Who profited from that murder more than anyone? If Frankie gets killed, it elevates Gravano immediately into the Gambino crime family. It also allows Casso to feel some sort of retribution because he believed that Gotti allowed Ruggiero to attempt to kill him. The truth is, Ruggiero was on the outs with Gotti at the time over his mouth and wiretaps and indictments, therefore the logical point man would have been Frankie. Maybe Frankie green lit it, maybe he didn't. The point is, Casso had nothing to gain from the murder but revenge, and using it as a backdrop for the Castellano murder took him as a suspect off the radar. While Casso was a smart guy in many ways, he couldn't have performed a hit on John Gotti or anyone else for that matter relatively speaking outside a Gambino social club without inside help. It also is a little more than suspicious that after Frankie DeCicco was killed Gravano assumed the position and took over many of the rackets that was under Frankie' s control. He also would begin moving into deeper narcotics trafficking with Casso.
Gravano historically killed people to take their money. He whacked with little worry. He lied repeatedly to John Gotti about men within the family not showing great appreciation and satisfaction. It got half a dozen men killed, but strangely, Gravano absorbed all their rackets. He whacked Louie Milito to take over his business. This is Gravano's m.o. If you listen to some of the Gotti tapes, you know the ones where Gravano says Gotti is blaming him, which is not actually the case, Gotti can be heard lamenting that he killed people on Gravano's words, that Gravano was absorbing rackets, and that there was never enough for him. "He's got construction, rebar, unions, how much is enough, put it in a fuckin' notch." This is Gotti lamenting to Frankie Locascio, that Gravano has been lying, Gravano hasn't been honest, and it's Gotti realizing too late that he's been played. Gotti might have gotten played, but Gravano realizes after hearing them tapes, he's marked for death and for good reason.
Gravano while he may not have pushed the button to get Frankie killed, gained everything from that murder, and his friendship with Casso is highly suspect. Someone was helping Casso, and it was SAMMY GRAVANO. You'll never convince me of anything else. Both he and Casso attempted to blame Gigante, but the truth is, Gigante had nothing to do with it. Casso by supplanting that notion, took the heat off himself and his narcotics pal Gravano. Casso didn't stop there either. He would continue to kill. Gravano would kill. Gravano is the biggest snake in the grass the Gambino's ever had, and when you put it all together, there are enough facts to blatantly prove Gravano helped Casso kill DeCicco.