Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Mafia turncoat: Joseph Massino, ex-Bonnano boss, testifies against fellow mobster Vinny Gorgeous. So much for Omerta. Highest ranking Mafia Rat Fingers “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano for murder. Ex-Bonnano heavyweight Joseph Massino made Mafia history Tuesday, becoming the first crime boss to take the stand as he testified against his successor. As mob legends turned in their graves, Massino fingered Vincent [/Vinny Gorgeous\] Basciano in the killing of a crime family associate. Asked if there was anyone in the room who was a fellow member of his crime family, the turncoat boss pointed directly at Basciano. “That man in the gray suit sitting there,” he said. Massino then described how he secretly taped Basciano in prison talking about killing mob associate Randolph Pizzolo in 2004. “He told me that he had him killed,” Massino explained to the jury. “He said he was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker, a bad kid.” Taking the stand in Brooklyn Federal Court, Massino wore a blue, two-toned warm-up jacket, zipped-up halfway to reveal a white undershirt and bowling ball sized gut underneath. The 68-year-old Massino, who has been jailed since 2004 in eight gangland murders, said he had been a member of the Bonnano family for 33 years. When asked what his last title was, Massino replied, “I was the boss – official boss.” “Was anyone above you?” assistant U.S. Attorney Taryn Merkl asked. “Nobody,” Massino replied. Massino described what he did for the crime organization as, “murders, responsible for the family, make captains, break captains.” Massino became the highest-ranking Mafia rat when he agreed to cooperate to avoid the death penalty in the slaying of a Bonnano capo. This is the second trial for Basciano on charges of killing Randolph. In 2007, a mistrial was declared in the murder case because of a hung jury, although Basciano was convicted of racketeering charges. He faces the death penalty if convicted.