What happened to the mafia of our grandfather’s? Where is the tough, southern Italian immigrant who came to this country and made a name for himself through hard work, intimidation, and illegal gambling? That exact same mafia is still operating, and I mean the same exact guy who demanded protection money from grandpa in the 40’s, is still doing the same today.
The Mob’s outdated and misguided practice of never allowing a made man to retire is catching up with them through with a rash of guilty pleas from its elderly members. On February 28, a mobster, who will be 97-years-old in just 5 days, pleaded guilty to a Florida charge of racketeering conspiracy and a New York charge of conspiracy to tamper with a witness. Albert “The Old Man” Facchiano, a member of the Genovese family, uses a headset in court to hear questions, and sees a doctor four times a week for back pain, arthritis, among other old man ailments. From a group that deals so closely with this great nation’s strongest unions I am appalled at a lack of a pension plan for workers who have given decades of faithful service.
The esteemed Mr. Facchiano may be the most extreme victim of this institution’s blatant disregard for its employee’s (or “soldier’s”) welfare, but he is hardly alone. Facchiano’s own superior, Capo Renaldi Ruggerio has also has pleaded guilty to related charges. Ruggerio is comparatively spry at 73, but still far too old to break kneecaps or trudge up and down dark streets making collections for the boss. Another elderly member of the Genovese family, Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello pleaded guilty to charges in Connecticut recently, he was 86 years old!
Sources inside the mob claim that this is not only a Genovese family problem and that “Oldfellas” as they have come to be known, are increasingly becoming commonplace in the underworld. As “the greatest generation”, and their baby-boomer children are living longer thanks to advances in both blunt-trauma and gunshot wound treatments, as well as greater awareness the cost of an unhealthy diet, more and more mobsters are seeing their golden years then ever before. With life expectancies soaring and Indian casinos moving in on the mafia’s territory, the mob needs to create a pension plan, or they can expect more of their out of date Mafiosos to be retiring to prison, or worse turning state’s evidence.
It is up to the young Goombas to demand their organization create a new way for them to safely plan for retirement, or the mob will surely end up as other once powerful organizations such as, the Freemasons, The Black Hand, or the Catholic Church. The mob will become a mere social club with no real power and even less dignity. So next time “the Boss” sends down word on some no show jobs at esplanade, keep those union employees working. Until crime lords give you just a taste of what the construction union (that you pretend to represent) is supposed to stand for, stand your ground, and keep that cement pouring.