It had been decades since a Mafia boss was hit in NY.
"The Gambino crime family during Castellano's reign was the largest criminal organization in the USA, with law enforcement estimating it had some 250 "'made" members" and "more than 550 lower-ranking "associate' members".
After reportedly taking the reins in 2015, Cali was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of Gotti because "no-one ever sees him", the New York Post reported.
Fox News noted, "Cali, who had roots in Sicily and ties to the Sicilian Mafia, was the highest-ranking organized crime figure to be murdered in New York City since 1985, when Paul Castellano was assassinated as he arrived as Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, according to WPIX-TV". He was pronounced dead after being taken to Staten Island University Hospital.
Gambino family mobster Francesco "Frank" Cali has been murdered in what local media say is the first major NY gang killing in more than 30 years.
AFP 2018 OLIVIER MORIN'Mafia Can't Become Extinct Because It's a Type of Behaviour- Criminologist
The motive for the attack was under investigation, police said.
"We thought those days were over", the city's mayor Bill de Blasio told journalists.
Cali kept a much lower profile than Gotti and was killed in far less spectacular fashion than Castellano.
Cali then reaches into his trousers pocket to insinuate that he had a gun, the law enforcement source told the Daily Beast. Gotti took over the crime organization; he died of cancer, in prison, in 2002. As prosecutors tried and failed to bring him down, he came to be called the Teflon Don. In October, reputed Bonanno associate Sylvester Zottola was fatally shot while waiting for a cup of coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru in the Bronx. Rudy Giuliani, then USA attorney for the Southern District of NY and now President Donald Trump's personal attorney, was handling the prosecution. He was sentenced to 16 months behind bars and was released in 2009.
According to local media, Cali ascended through the ranks, becoming a powerful capo of organised crime before turning 40 - less than 10 years after becoming an inducted member.More news: US Missile-Testing Plans Prove Washington Sought INF Breakdown
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