Crime Boss Killings: The Castellammarese War (Amazing Stories)

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9781552651018: Crime Boss Killings: The Castellammarese War (Amazing Stories)
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As long as there have been gangsters in New York, there have been turf wars and power struggles on the city's streets. One of the bloodiest of these battles began in 1930, when the ever-building tensions between two Sicilian-born kingpins - Joe the Boss Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano - finally erupted into all-out warfare. The conflict became known as the Castellammarese War and forever changed the face of organized crime.

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About the Author:

Ottawa-based Art Montague writes fiction as well as non-fiction, but his interests in history, biography, and crime remain constant. He is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and the Periodical Writers Association of Canada.

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April 15, 1931. Though the air was still cool and crisp, the warm spring breezes drew New Yorkers out onto the streets. At lunchtime, office workers in Manhattan found reasons to get out of their buildings, eating their sandwiches as they strolled. The heart of the city was picking up its beat. Out at Coney Island, things weren't quite as active so early in the season. However, one neighborhood business was busy on this day, the Nuova Villa Tammaro, an upscale Italian eatery. Its owner, Gerardo Scarpato, had worked all morning preparing a very special meal for some very special people - people known throughout much of New York as men with very big appetites, in more ways than one. By 3:30 that afternoon only two members of the lunch party remained in the restaurant, lingering over espressos and a game of cards at a back table. Scarpato had cleared the table and piled the dishes for the dish washer, who would come on duty in about an hour. With part of the sunny afternoon still available and his customers contentedly occupied, he decided to go for a brief walk. Scarpato wasn't gone long, perhaps only 15 minutes. As he began sauntering back to check on his customers, police cars, sirens blaring, sped past him. He saw the cars brake in front of his restaurant and police, guns drawn, rush through his door. He ran for the restaurant, where two uniformed patrolmen not only barred entry but jammed him against a wall. One roughly frisked him, while his partner pressed a gun against the back of his head. Inside the restaurant, the police faced carnage. Paneling on the back wall had been shredded by bullets. On the floor, clutching part of a bloodstained tablecloth, was a dead man. Several bullets had struck his head, but police still recognized him, and they were not surprised. Sitting at a table, calmly smoking a cigarette, was a slim, well-dressed young man. He had called the police, but he'd seen nothing. Nor, of course, had Scarpato. This was the way things happened during the Castellammarese War.

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