The New Jersey mobster who once killed his boss for being bisexual was released from prison in 2013. He served as consigliere for three decades before being ratted out by his cohorts. Where is Stefano “Steve the Truck Driver” Vitabile now?
Stefano Vitabile joined the New Jersey DeCavalcante crime family as an associate in the early 1970s and would rise in the ranks until he reached the rank of consigliere. He would hold this position for a staggering thirty-five years. Steve The Truck Driver started out as a soldier in a crew ran by Giovanni Riggi. When the family boss, Sam DeCavalcante retired to Florida, Riggi was promoted to boss. Vitabile became consigliere and Girolamo Palermo became the capo. This hierarchy would stand for the next fifteen years.
In 1990, Riggi was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 15 years in prison. This shook up the long-standing organization and ended up seeing Gaetano Vastola becoming the “acting boss,” but the consigliere remained Vitabile. This wouldn’t last a year before Vastola was convicted of extortion and sent away. This time John D’Amato was named acting boss. There was one problem with this, however.
Although the acting boss was constantly being changed, one thing remained the same. Stefano Vitabile remained in his position as consigliere. When rumors began to fly about the new acting boss, it would be Vitabile who would call for a hit. D’Amato’s girlfriend had revealed a grave secret about the new boss. D’Amato was a bisexual male and this would not be allowed in La Cosa Nostra. The New Jersey mafia already had an inferiority complex when it came to the big New York families. How would it look to the big dogs if New Jersey had a gay mob boss? Vitabile decided D’Amato had to go.
After D’Amato’s death, Giacomo Amari was named as acting boss, but this was also doomed to failure. Amari came down with stomach cancer became disabled to the point that he could no longer run the family. In a desperate attempt to end the constant upheaval, Vitabile got permission from Risso to completely restructure the family.
Vitabile named three captains to rule on a committee. This committee would work together as the acting boss of the family. Their consigliere would remain the same. The three capos were Vincent Palermo, Charles “Big Ears” Majuri, and Girolamo Palermo. This sounded like a good idea, but in reality, there was a future rat among them.
In June 2003, the Decavalcante family was hit hard by law enforcement and mobsters started turning stool pigeons right and left. Vincent Palermo would turn state’s evidence and testify against the family. Up until this point, Vitabile hadn’t been in the limelight. He always stayed in the shadows and law enforcement bypassed him.
After a seven-week trial, StefanoVitabile and two capos were convicted of racketeering charges and murder. He was convicted of four murders including D’Amato. Vitabile received life in prison on October 17, 2003. Five years later he would win the right to a new trial due to some technical errors in the trial. Vitabile would be released from prison in 2013.
Where is he now? That’s a good question. He’s sort of fallen off the map. Is he dead? Is he keeping a low profile? Is he still consigliere? I guess time will tell.
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