Alleged Gambino Crime Family Boss Frank Cali Shot Dead Outside Home

Reputed Mafia Boss Francesco Cali Murdered Outside His Home On Staten Island

Source Spencer Platt Getty

As he strolled out of his red-brick mansion on Staten Island the reputed mob boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali probably felt safe.

Francesco Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso in the NY borough of Staten Island, the NYPD said. He was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital North, where he was declared dead. Police told NBC News affiliate WNBC that a suspect fled in a blue pickup truck.

USA media reported the 53-year-old´s death marked the first murder of a NY mob boss in 34 years, since the death of Paul Castellano - another Gambino family boss - by order of John Gotti.

The Gambino Family was once among the most powerful criminal organizations in the USA, but federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s sent its top leaders to prison and diminished its reach.

The reputed boss of New York's Gambino crime family was gunned down outside his home, dying a virtual unknown compared with his swaggering 1980s-era predecessor, the custom-tailored tabloid regular John Gotti.

Federal authorities tried to put a stop to Cali's rise to power in the late 2000s, after he completed a 16-month sentence for an extortion scheme connected to a failed bid to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island.

Cali, whose low-key style was a throwback contrast to flamboyant mobsters such as John Gotti, is the highest-ranking reputed boss to be whacked in the city in several years. He was succeeded in 2011 by Domenico Cefalu, only to be replaced four years later by Cali.

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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.

Charges against members of Mafia operations, including Gambino family operatives, have included murder, loan sharking, gambling and illegal drug distribution, Reuters has reported.

The account, the report reads, shows Cali exiting and shutting his front door as he approaches a driver who had struck his vehicle. On April 6, 2009 he was released from prison.

Along with the Gambino organisation, the other NY families are known as Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese.

A week ago, Persico died after serving 33 years in prison.

"He has a conversation with an individual in front of that residence and that individual at some point in time, it's only about a minute into it, pulls out a firearm and shots are fired", said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

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