Formed in 1931, following the Castellammarese War, New York’s original ‘Five Families’ consisted of the Luciano, Profaci, Gagliano, Mangano, and Maranzano organised crime families.
After attempting to have Luciano murdered the wheels were turned on Maranzano on September 10, 1931, and following Maranzano’s death, Joseph Bonanno, at the age of 26, became one of the youngest ever bosses of a Mafia family.
A few weeks later, in Chicago, at a meeting for America’s organised crime families, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano, successfully proposed the idea of ‘The Commission’. A board of directors made up of the bosses of New York’s Five Families: Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano (who was appointed chairman), Vincent Mangano, Tommy Gagliano, Joseph Bonanno, and Joe Profaci, also, Chicago Outfit boss Al Capone, and head of the Buffalo crime family, Stefano Magaddino.
Vincent Mangano and his underboss Albert Anastasia never really got on throughout Mangano’s twenty-year reign and on April 19, 1951, Vincent Mangano disappeared. His body has never been discovered but he was officially declared dead on October 30, 1961. The Mangano family became the Anastasia family.
However, on October 25, 1957, whilst being shaved in a barber’s chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, two men shot Anastasia dead.
Carlo Gambino took over as boss and the Anastasia family became the Gambino family. He remained boss until passing away in the early morning hours of Friday, October 15, 1976, aged 74.
The next boss of the Gambino’s was Paul Castellano. He wasn’t the most liked, or respected of bosses, even within his own family. Castellano’s reign came to end when on December 16, 1985, whilst getting out of a car outside Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan, Castellano, and his driver, Thomas Bilotti, were gunned down by a crew under the orders of the Gambino’s next boss, John Gotti.
Five years before taking control of the Gambino crime family, one of John Gotti’s sons was killed in a tragic car accident.
“On March 18, 1980, John Favara finished work, got in his car, and drove home. As he turned onto 157th Avenue in Howard Beach, a bunch of local kids were hanging around a construction site where a home was being renovated. As Favara drove down 157th, a twelve-year-old boy on a Honda minibike rode into the road from behind a dumpster. Favara didn’t see him, and his car hit the young boy.”
That boy was Frank Gotti, son of John and Victoria Gotti.
“On the morning of July 28, 1980, John Favara, manager of a Castro Convertibles warehouse on the Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, Long Island, finished his breakfast, picked up his keys, and walked out the door. His wife and their two adopted children would never see him again.”
I have taken the previous two paragraphs from my story ‘Neighbors at War: The Disappearance of John Favara‘ which appears in ‘The Best New True Crime Stories: Unsolved Crimes & Mysteries‘ brought to you by author, and editor, Mitzi Szereto. The book is being released in September 2022 but you can pre-order your copy now by using the following link.