MAFIA IN APALACHIN (con't.)Apalachin Mafia

            The U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments on June 1960 for the appeal of the 20 convicted men.  On November 28, 1960, the court announced a unanimous reversal of that conviction with a severe reprimand for the prosecution.  Judge Lumbard noted, "But bad as many of these alleged conspirators may be, their conviction for a crime which the government could not prove…cannot be permitted to stand."

            It was around this time period that additional information supposedly surfaced about the Apalachin meeting.  In addition to pursuing policies concerning narcotics and the succession of Vito Genovese over Frank Costello and the fate of Anastasia’s territory, it was alleged that the meeting was also about the Mafia’s involvement in the building of gambling casinos in Cuba and the need to raise cash. (Purpose #7)  However, this is no credence whatsoever as the need to finance a Havana casino as a reason for calling the emergency 1957 Apalachin National Convention of La Cosa Nostra.  There is not a chance that Genovese would want other mobsters to be aware of his private business.  He barely knew some of these men and knew others on a casual basis.  If Genovese was looking for investors in a Havana venture he would have been doing so very quietly, and among men he could easily dominate. The last place he'd look would be to powerful mob bosses who saw Vito as a rival. 
             In early 1957, shortly before he was murdered, Francisco Aguirre told Albert Anastasia that Hilton International was asking for bids to operate the Habana Hilton Hotel Casino on a concession basis.  Aguirre told Anastasia it would require a minimum of $2 million to close the deal, and asked if he could use his influence as the hotel owner to try to get the Hiltons to go along with the deal.  Anastasia contacted Frank Costello and asked him to become his partner in the casino deal and to finance the $2 million required for the Habana Hilton Casino operation. 
             Costello informed Anastasia that he was already financially committed to the Riviera Hotel Casino in Havana, and under no circumstances could he get involved in another Cuban casino.  At the same time, Vito Genovese was negotiating with a second group of Cuban casino builders that had also approached Francisco Aguirre to seek his help with the Hiltons.  The New York underworld knew that Albert Anastasia and Vito Genovese vowed to get each other at the first opportunity.  Now with Anastasia and Genovese vying for the lucrative Habana Hilton Casino, a showdown of some sort would soon come.  When word got back to Genovese that Frank Costello might put up $1 million for Anastasia, Genovese vowed to get Costello first. 
             After Vito Genovese's orders to assassinate Anastasia were carried out, Francisco Aguirre informed Genovese that he had very little time to put up his million-dollar guarantee.  To raise $3 million Genovese, contacted Joe Profaci of Brooklyn of New York and Anthony Strollo of New Jersey to help him raise the cash.  Joseph Barbara's secluded mansion in Apalachin was the designated meeting place for Genovese to entertain about fifty or more wealthy potential buyers and woo them to his Cuban Hilton casino plan.   (Barbara was paid $100,000 to host this fund-raising event.)
            Vito Genovese told Barbara, Profaci and Strollo to not tell the guests about the true purpose of the gathering.  "Tell them it's a party for the host, Barbara.  The reason for the party is that he's recuperating from a heart attack…Once we get them here, we'll feed them all the liquor and food they can eat.  I'll then give them my casino pitch and I'll have a couple of casino guys from Havana at the meeting to give me a hand if necessary…”
            Joseph Barbara suggested November 14, to which Genovese, Profaci and Strollo agreed. About eleven o'clock on the morning of the 14th of November, Cadillacs, Lincolns and Chrysler Imperials began arriving at Joseph Barbara's hilltop mansion.  By 12:30 p.m., some 28 automobiles had arrived and were parked in the parking lot and dirt road alongside the house.  As Barbara was introducing the guests to one another, Barbara’ wife looked out the window and spotted a marked New York state trooper's vehicle in front of the garage and a trooper recording the license numbers. 

            Joseph Barbara then turned to his guests, "You men don't know that bastard Sergeant Croswell like I do.  He hates Italians and calls them guineas.  He'll think nothing of framing anyone of you men by planting a gun or some dope in your car just because you're Italian and a friend of mine.  Men, you better leave now and watch those troopers closely so they can't plant anything in your car, should they stop you and search it."
 Someone asked, "…is there any way out of here by walking?"  Barbara answered, "In the back of the house is a footpath that leads through the woods to the main road and past the spot those bastards have blocked off.  Once you get on the main road, have the driver of your car pick you up there."  It was then that a disarrayed exodus of excited and nervous guests began.  Most of them crowded into their cars and drove away soon to be stopped at the roadblock.  Genovese never had the opportunity to discuss his proposition and raise $3 million for the Hilton Casino.

            In the wake of Apalachin, authorities were forced to acknowledge that there was indeed a significant level of cooperation among criminal gangs across the United States.  The gathering proved the existence of a national syndicate of organized crime.  Before the Apalachin conference, the McClellan Committee, a government panel, (Chief Council was Robert Kennedy), concentrated its investigation on corruption in organized labor.  After Apalachin, the committee shifted its attention to organized crime. When the Apalachin story broke, Congressmen, Senators and other elected officials wanted to know who the men were and what they were doing.
Prior to November 1957, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, publicly stated that there was no such thing as a national syndicate of organized crime. To his embarrassment, the rival Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs had piles of documents on many of the participants in Apalachin and the Bureau quickly displayed their data at various hearings and press conferences that followed Apalachin.Hoover reacted with his characteristic anger and ordered a massive mafia intelligence gathering operation, called the “Top Hoodlum Program.”
The FBI's mob informant program moved into high gear, which decades later would result in a myriad of abuses and indiscretions.  Massive illegal bugging operations began against mobsters.  The electronic surveillance could not be used in court but it helped the FBI understand who and what the American Mafia was all about. The public testimony of ex-Mafia Joseph Valachi six years later reinforced what the FBI already knew.
The Apalachin meeting in 1957 clearly demonstrated that there was a significant existence of organized crime in the United States.  It took a convention in Apalachin to reveal the extent of Mafia activity in the United States.  Apalachin will forever be remembered as the location of the best known, most important and most disastrous Mafia convention in history.

  Timeline of events after the 1957 Mafia Convention:
    *  May 21, 1959 - The Barbara estate is sold to LaRue Quick, a local builder.  He paid $50,000 in cash with a mortgage of $80,000.  He and Vestal realtor Russell Terry planned to turn it into a tourist attraction. Owego denied the zoning and won an appeal made by LaRue and Terry.
       *  May 21, 1959 - Twenty seven men are indicted over their evasive answers about Apalachin. 
       *  June 17, 1959 – Joseph Barbara, Sr. dies of a heart attack suffered May 29, 1959.
       *  1959 - A movie called "Inside the Mafia" is released. The Apalachin town name is changed to "Apple Lake".
       *  July, 19, 1959 - Mad Magazine has a feature on Apalachin.
       *  December 18, 1959 - Twenty hoods are convicted for conspiracy to obstruct justice over the Apalachin affair.
       *  January 13, 1960 - The twenty hoods are sentenced.  Most get five years and $10,000 fines. 
       *  July 27, 1960 - A court injunction is filed against the establishment of tours at the Barbara estate.
       *  August 24, 1960 - The Barbara estate opens for tours.
       *  November 28, 1960 - The U.S. Court of Appeals throws out the conviction of the 20 hoods.  Charges against six others who had avoided trial, were dropped.
       *  December 1, 1960 - Zoning ruling is upheld quashing development plans for the Barbara estate.
       *  November 6, 1961 - The Barbara estate is sold to Walter Gardner, Jr. for an estimated $125,000. 
       *  The Barbara property was eventually bought by the Burt family who ran Burt's Department Store. The daugher, Laura Burt, bought the estate, (probably from her father's estate) in 1993 for $175,000.  The estate was auctioned off around 2002.
The list of the hoods formally identified as being at Barbara's on November 14, 1957.

1.Dominick Alaimo - member of the Barbara family.
2.Joseph Barbara - boss of his own family.  Presently called the Bufalino family, (but it's just about extinct).
3.Joseph Bonanno - boss of his own New York family, deposed in 1964.
4.John Bonventre -uncle of Bonanno, former underboss to Bonanno.   Retired to Italy prior to Apalachin and probably couldn't resist meeting old friends.
5.Russell Bufalino - underboss to Barbara.  Became boss when Barbara died in 1959.  A suspect in the Hoffa disappearance in 1975.
6.Ignatius Cannone - member of the Barbara family.
7.Roy Carlisi - member of the Magaddino family from Buffalo
8.Paul Castellano - capo in the Gambino family.   Took over as boss when Gambino died in 1976.  Whacked out by John Gotti in 1985.
9.Gerardo Catena - underboss to Vito Genovese.  Later helped run the family when Genovese went off to prison.
10.Charles Chivi - member of the Genovese family.
11.Joseph Civello - boss of Dallas family.
12.James Colletti - boss of the Colorado family.  Partner of Joe Bonanno in the cheese business.
13.Frank Cucchiara - member of the New England Family.  Most commonly called the Patriarca family.
14.Dominick D'Agostino - member of the Magaddino family.
15.John DeMarco - capo or perhaps underboss in the Cleveland family then run by John Scalish.
16.Frank DeSimmone - boss of the Los Angeles family, he was a lawyer.
17.Natale Evola - capo in the Bonanno family, later became boss of the family circa 1970.
18.Joseph Falcone - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
19.Salvatore Falcone - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
20.Carlo Gambino - had just ascended to the head of the Gambino family after Albert Anastasia was whacked out in October 1957. 
21.Michael Genovese - probably underboss of the Pittsburgh family.
22.Vito Genovese - had just recently ascended to the head of the Genovese family after previous boss, Frank Costello, had been wounded in a murder attempt and then retired.
23.Anthony Guarnieri - capo in the Barbara family.
24.Guccia, Bartolo - probable member of the Barbara family or at the least an associate of the family.
25.Joseph Ida - boss of Philly.  He retired shortly after the mess of Apalachin.
26.James LaDuca - capo in the Magaddino family, related by marriage to Magaddino.
27.Samuel Laguttuta - member of the Magaddino family.
28.Louis Larasso - capo in the New Jersey family then lead by Phil Amari. Became underboss to Nick Delmore when he took over for Amari in 1957.  He was whacked out in the 1990s.
29.Carmine Lombardozzi - capo in the Gambino family.
30.Antonio Magaddino - capo in the Magaddino family and brother of boss Stefano Magaddino.
31.Joseph Magliocco - underboss of the Joseph Profaci family which is now the Colombo family.
32.Frank Majuri - underboss in the New Jersey family of Phil Amari.  Slid down to capo when Amari retired later in 1957 and was replaced by Nick Delmore.  Bumped up later to underboss in the regime of Sam DeCavalcante in the 60’s after Delmore died.
33.Rosario Mancuso - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
34.Gabriel Mannarino - capo in the Barbara family.
35.Michael Miranda - capo in the Genovese family.
36.Patsy Monachino - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
37.Sam Monachino- member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
38.John Montana - underboss in the Magaddino family, demoted after Apalachin.
39.Dominick Olivetto – may have been a member of the New Jersey family.
40.John Ormento - capo in the Luchese family.  Not too long after Apalachin, he got yet another narcotics conviction and spent the rest of his life in prison.
41.James Osticco - capo in the Barbara family.
42.Joseph Profaci - long time boss of his own family until his death in 1962.  Family is now called the Colombo family.
43.Vincent Rao - consigliere in the Luchese family.
44.Armand Rava - member of the Gambino family.  Was whacked out not too long afterwards because he was an ally of the slain Albert Anastasia. 
45.Joseph Riccobono - consigliere in the Gambino family.
46.Anthony Riela - capo in the Bonanno family, active even in the "Donnie Brasco" era.
47.Joseph Rosato - member of the Gambino family.
48.Louis Santos (Santos Trafficante) - boss of the Tampa family.
49.John Scalish - boss of the Cleveland family.
50.Angelo Sciandra - capo in the Barbara family. 
51.Patsy Sciortino - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
52.Simone Scozzari - underboss in the LA family.
53.Salvatore Tornabe - member of the Profaci (now Colombo) family, died December 30, 1957.
54.Patsy Turrigiano - member of Barbara or Magaddino family.
55.Costenze Valente - probable member of the Buffalo family.  The debate is whether Rochester was an independent family or simply a part of the larger Buffalo family. 
56.Frank Valente - probable member of the Buffalo family. 
57.Emanuel Zicari - member of the Barbara family.
58.Frank Zito - Boss of the Springfield, Illinois family.

       Probable attendees / participants:
59.Joe Barbara, Jr. was not at the meeting although he was probably going to be.  He arrived from the family bottling works after the troopers were set up and is not listed as an attendee.
60.Some clothes of Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino were found in a car "stashed" in a barn at Barbara's a day or two after November 14, 1957. 
Detroit boss Joe Zerilli used his license to rent a car in Binghamton shortly after the fiasco. 
62.Pittsburgh boss John LaRocca was registered in an area motel but he was never caught.
63.San Francisco boss James Lanza was registered in a motel in the area but he was not caught.
64.Kansas City boss Nick Civella and… 
65.…soldier J Filardo were tentatively identified as the two men who placed a phone call in a local business to call a cab. 
66.Neil Migliore, then a soldier in the Luchese family, was allegedly involved in a traffic accident in Binghamton the day after the fiasco. The speculation was that he came to pick up…
67.…Tommy Luchese, the boss, who was never caught (logic says he would have attended).
68.One of Barbara's housekeepers tentatively identified Carmine Galante, Bonanno's new underboss, as being one of several men who were still at Barbara's a day after the fiasco.
Many other  mob powers, including the Chicago delegation, were on their way to Barbara's and lucked out by arriving late and were able to avoid the fiasco. 

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Mafia In Apalachin by:
"Gary Hafer"
Hafer Genealogy" home page
Apalachin Community Press.  November 1997.
“A Reporter Recalls His Biggest Story:  Apalachin Raid.”  Steve Hambelek.  The Sunday Press & Sun-Bulletin, November 13, 1977.
“Apalachin.”  Jerry Capeci.  Gangland News.  November 16, 2000.
 Honor Thy Father.  Gay Talese.  Ballantine Books, 1971.
“The Apalachin Mafia Convention.” 1997. Apalachin Community Press. 
“The Day Apalachin Made History.”  Richard Schroeder.  The Sun-Bulletin, November 14, 1977
 The Encyclopedia of American Crime.  New York. 1982.
“The Raid At Apalachin.”  John William Tuohy.  Gambling Magazine.  1999.
“The True Story About The Apalachin "Mafia" Conclave.”  John Scarne.  Italian Info. 
“1957 Raid Exposed The Mafiosi.”   Woodie Fitchette.  The Sunday Press & Sun-Bulletin, November 13, 1977.
Andy (Anonymous), involved in mafia research / writing for forty some years and contributor to Jerry Capeci's on-line column called "Ask Andy",  <>