Frank Colacurcio Sr. and Big Joey Massino may have talked, even met, and of course they are both famous Italian-American mobsters on the same page, according to Wikipedia and anyone else who tosses together a list based on crime and vowels. Stripper king Frank once met in Yakima with a member of Massino's New York crime family (chatting with Bill Bonanno, son of family boss Joe "Bananas" Bonanno) as the feds watched through their binoculars. But, said Frank afterwards, he went to the valley just to get some produce. "I picked some hot peppers," he said, "but I didn't pick no bananas." To the end, when he died two weeks after his 93rd birthday last year, his lips were still sealed. About everything. Name something, he didn't do it. But he is likely spinning in the earth now to hear about Big Joey, who has broken the sacred vow.
Yesterday in New York, for the first time in Mafia history, Massino, 68, became the only official boss of a New York crime family ever to cooperate with federal authorities. In Brooklyn Federal District Court, Massino - who headed the Bonanno gang after Joe Bananas died - was asked by a prosecutor for a description of his job duties, right off answering "Murders . . . "
Massino, who began his transformation from Mafia boss to rat in 2004 after he was convicted of seven murders, fingered Vincent Basciano, the Bonanno family's former acting boss, who ordered a 2004 murder. At Basciano's trial yesterday, Massino described the job of a boss in Italian-restaurant terms:
"If you need somebody to kill somebody, you need workers--it takes all kinds of meat to make a good sauce." And omerta, silence, was golden. "You never talk in a club, you never talk in a car, you never talk on a cellphone, you never talk on a phone, you never talk in your house," he testified.
But talking in court, now that's beautiful. If Frank were here to be asked about this rat blasphemy, certain to start a war, he would most likely say, as he once politely did, "I don't want to be rude, but I have learned over the years to watch what I say to reporters, and I would really rather not comment right now. I hope you understand." Then he would go around the corner and launch the rockets.