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Jimmy Fratianno

Mugshot of Jimmy Fratianno
Born November 14, 1913 (1913-11-14)
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died June 30, 1993 (1993-07-01)
Status Deceased

Aladena "Jimmy the Weasel" Fratianno (November 14, 1913 – June 30, 1993) was a Cleveland, Ohio, mobster and later acting head of the Los Angeles crime family before becoming a government informant. Fratianno was the most powerful mobster to become a federal witness until Sammy "the Bull" Gravano during the early 1990s.

Contents

Background

Born in Naples, Italy, Fratianno was brought to Cleveland, by his parents four months later. He began stealing from fruit stands as a child. He supposedly earned his nickname "the Weasel" from outrunning policemen on the streets of the Little Italy section of Cleveland. Fratianno went by the name Jimmy because he felt that "Aladena" sounded like "a broad's name". As a young man, Fratianno became part of the city's organized criminal syndicate and earned a reputation as a prominent hitman. Eventually finding his way to the West Coast he frequently worked with fellow hitman Frank "Bomp" Bompensiero. Fratianno later claimed responsibility for at least 11 gangland slayings under Los Angeles crime boss Jack Dragna.

After serving a 6 1/2 year sentence for extortion, he transferred to the Chicago Outfit. He still lived and remained active in California and Las Vegas and was closely associated with Frank Bompensiero. It was during this time that he started giving up information to the F.B.I. In exchange he received less scrutiny by law enforcement and was given a small amount of money. By all accounts his information was marginal and never led to any significant progress made in convicting anyone. When he was told that he could become acting boss of the L.A. family, he switched back to the L.A. family in the 1970s.

In the 1970s, Fratianno learned that his crime family had put out a "murder contract" on his life. At that point, Fratianno agreed to become a government witness against the Mafia. Unlike New York informant Joe Valachi, who was a low-level "soldier" limited to knowledge within New York, Fratianno was privy to information on the detailed hierarchy of organized syndicate operations across the United States. Fratianno also knew about Florida crime boss Santo Trafficante, Jr.'s plans to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro as part of the Central Intelligence Agency Operation Mongoose. Some conspiracy theorists (such as the Gemstone File) connect Fratianno with the assassination of U.S President John F. Kennedy.

After testifying, Fratianno entered the federal Witness Protection Program, in 1981. The FBI dropped him from the program after he published 2 books on his life. The FBI determined that he was now capable of supporting himself and didn't want to make the Witness Protection Program seem like a retirement plan for former mobsters. Fratianno wrote an autobiography with author Ovid Demaris entitled The Last Mafioso and Vengeance is Mine with Michael J. Zuckerman. Fratianno enjoyed his years as a criminal celebrity with appearances on CBS's 60 Minutes television news program and various documentaries.

In 1993, Jimmy Fratianno died in Oklahoma. An autopsy performed at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma City determined he died from the complications of Alzheimer's Disease.

Murders

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.crimemagazine.com/bomp.htm
  2. ^ http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/733928852.html?dids=733928852:733928852&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic
  3. ^ http://www.videosurf.com/jimmy-fratianno-183143
  4. ^ a b http://www.crimemagazine.com/twophils.htm
  5. ^ http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_5-15-00.html

References

  • Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3
  • Sifakis, Carl. The Encyclopedia of American Crime. New York: Facts on File Inc., 2005. ISBN 0-8160-4040-0
  • Demaris, Ovid. ''The Last Mafioso: The Treacherous World of Jimmy Fratianno. Bantam Books, 1981. ISBN 0-553-27091-5

Further reading

  • Lewis, Brad. Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster. The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen. New York: Enigma Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-929631-65-0
  • Moldea, Dan E. Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA, and the Mob. New York: Penguin Books, 1987. ISBN 0-14-010478-X
  • Neff, James. Mobbed Up: Jackie Presser's High-Wire Life in the Teamsters, the Mafia, and the FBI. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989. ISBN 0-87113-344-X
  • Pizzo, Stephen; Fricker, Mary; and Muolo, Paul. Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989. ISBN 0-07-050230-7







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