Mobster Monday: Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio

Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio has been the prime suspect in the Hoffa case since 1985. Who was this man, and what happened to him?
Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio was a New Jersey loanshark and mafia hitman. He wasn’t tied to the Teamsters at first, but strangely he was given the coveted job of Secretary/Treasurer immediately after the former treasurer’s murder.


Anthony “Three Finger Tony” Castellitto was beaten to death and strangled at his cottage in Kerhonkson, New York. The hit was ordered by Genovese Capo, Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, and was carried out by the diminutive New Jersy loanshark. Like so many other hits, the killer received a promotion afterward and stepped into the victim’s job.


It’s a well-known fact that Tony Pro had a dispute with Hoffa. They were scheduled to meet up on the day of Hoffa’s disappearance, but Provenzano never showed. The FBI has believed that Sally Bugs was hired to kill Hoffa by Provenzano since the beginning.

By 1978, Sally Bugs was in trouble with both the law and his mobster buddies. He was scheduled to appear in court for the 1961 murder of Castellitto, and rumors were going around that he was working a deal with the Feds.

March 21, 1978, Salvatore Briguglio was standing outside Andrea’s Doria Social Club on Mulberry St in Manhattan’s Little Italy. It was just after 11 pm when two men approached him. Some witnesses claim they saw the three men discussing something, while other witnesses say the two hooded men said nothing.


Whatever the case, Sally Bugs was knocked off his feet and shot. The two men emptied their weapons before fleeing the scene. Four bullets entered his skull, and one hit him in the chest. Salvatore Briguglio was gone.


No doubt, Provenzano breathed a sigh of relief as he heard the news, but it would be short-lived. It is unclear whether Sally Bugs was working with the Feds or not, but there was definitely a snitch in their midst.


Salvatore Sinno was working the law enforcement behind the scenes, and when it came time for trial, Provenzano and his cohorts were all convicted of the hit on Castellitto.


So what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? We may never know for sure, but the FBI still believes the triggerman was Salvatore Briguglio.


Further Reading:

The Mob Museum

https://mafia.wikia.org/wiki/Salvatore_Briguglio


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Mobster Monday – Stefano “Steve the Truck Driver” Vitabile

Photo courtesy of Mafia Wiki

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.


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Further Reading:

Caselaw.com

U.S. District Attorney Press Release

Mafia Wiki


Recommended Reading: Books About The New Jersey Mafia


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


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Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one. 

Order your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


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