Mobster Monday: Tony Capo – Guest Post By Karen

Photo courtesy of Mafia Wiki

Born in 1959, Anthony “Tony” Capo grew up on Staten Island. In the early 1980s, Capo was a soldier in the DeCavalcante crime family. No one had heard of Tony Capo at the time, but that would all change.  While everyone has heard of the TV show The Sopranos, few people realize that this show was largely based on the DeCavalcante crime family out of New Jersey.

In 1989, John Gotti, Sr. needed a favor, and the DeCavalcantes agreed to help. Fred Weiss, a local reporter, and developer, was rumored to be an informant. Gotti wanted to execute the “stool pigeon.” Tony Capo was the driver for the hit. This job earned him recognition on the street, but also from local law enforcement. 

Later in 1990,  Capo found himself embarking on a new criminal career: illegal gambling and loansharking. While he worked for John D’Amato, members of the family learned that the mob boss was bisexual. Tony Capo and others believed this didn’t look good for the family, so a hit was put out on D’Amato. On the day of the murder in 1992, Capo and the hit team invited D’Amato out to lunch. He never made it to lunch. D’Amato was shot in the back of the head by Capo in the back seat. His body has never been found. 

There was one major problem with the murder of D’Amato. D’Amato was a family boss, and the big boys up north had not sanctioned his death. Capo avoided punishment, however, and he continued his deadly escapades. In 1997, he was involved in the plot to murder Charles Majuri, D’Amato’s replacement, which was, lucky for Majuri, eventually canceled. 

The end finally came for Capo in 1999, when he was indicted on conspiracy charges, as well as racketeering, murder, and loansharking. To save his neck, he rolled over on the family and became a state witness. After being promised a spot in witness protection, he snitched not only on the DeCavalcante’s; but also on the Colombo and Genovese families. On January 23, 2012, Anthony Capo met his maker, dying of a heart attack while in the witness protection program. He was only 52. 


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Further Reading:

Wikipedia

YouTube

The Daily Beast


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


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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.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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