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    Godfather Graves

    Although the heyday of the mafia is long past, the graves of major mobsters continue to be a big draw. The burial spots are found in major cemeteries in New York City, which has been the center point of the Mafia in American history.

    1. Frank Costello: St. Michael's Cemetery - E. Elmhurst, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Nicknamed the “Prime Minister of the Underworld,” Frank Costello (born Francisco Castiglia) was a Mafia leader who wanted to be accepted as a businessman and member of the establishment. He cultivated refinement and sought out sophisticated friends among New York's elite. Not long after an assassination attempt on his life Costello decided to retire from mob life. He lived out his later years in an apartment on Central Park West and a small estate in Sands Point, Long Island. Costello died in 1973 and was waked at the elite Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on New York City's Madison Ave. By gangland standards his service at the cemetery was a subdued affair. Costello’s widow, Loretta, along with about 50 people gathered at the gravesite for a brief ceremony. Most of the prominent people Costello had associated with did not attend. One old friend who did was storied restaurateur Toots Shor. “He was very fine and decent, a good family man,” Shor told reporters. A year later, the bronze doors of Costello's granite mausoleum were blown off in a symbolic act of revenge.

    2. Joey Gallo: Green-Wood Cemetery - Brooklyn, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    "Crazy Joe" (as Gallo was sometimes called) was said to be behind the murders of both Albert Anastasia and Joe Colombo. Quite possibly in retribution for those killings he was shot dead on April 7, 1972, the day of his 43rd birthday celebration, in Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy. Mortally wounded, he staggered outside falling dead in front of his car. Joey's sister bent over the body, shrieking,"He was a good man; he changed his image!" He is buried with his brothers among more formidable and illustrious denizens: politicians, judges, screen stars and society folk. Unlike the opulence of other mob burial sites, their graves are inconspicuously marked by a simple flat stone.

    3. Vito Genovese: St. John Cemetery Middle Village, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Vito Genovese made a name for himself after murdering Gaetano Reina, in 1930. A few years later, after "Lucky" Luciano was arrested and sentenced to prison, Genovese was rewarded for his loyalty by becoming the acting boss of the Luciano crime family. In time, the crime family would bear the Genovese name and Vito would become known in New York as the "Boss of All Bosses." In 1959, Genovese was convicted on charges of narcotics trafficking and given a 15 year federal prison sentence. Still, he was said to have continued to run his crime empire from prison until hedied of a heart attack at the prison's medical center on Valentine's Day in 1969.

    4. Charles "Lucky" Luciano: St. John Cemetery-Middle Village, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    The stately mausoleum of Charles "Lucky" Luciano bears the family's true surname: Lucania. Unlike many of his colleagues, one of the most infamous crime lords in history died a natural death. He was felled by a fatal heart attack in a Rome airport, (Luciano had been deported to Italy years earlier). His funeral was held in Naples, where his casket was driven through the streets in a 30-foot-long funeral coach pulled by eight black horses. After his funeral service in Italy, Luciano's body was returned to the United States for entombment. From time to time a red rose can be seen gracing the door of the white stone building flanked by Grecian columns.

    5. Joseph Masseria: Calvary Cemetery - Woodside, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Known as "Joe the Boss," Masseria was the first leader of what became known as the Genovese crime family. Having survived a number of attempts on his life, his luck ran out on income tax day in 1931 when he was targeted for execution by Lucky Luciano. As he lunched with Luciano at an Italian restaurant, in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, Joe Adonis, Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia and Ben Siegel were reported to have walked into the restaurant and fired 20 bullets at his back. Known as "the man who could dodge bullets" because of previously unsuccessful attempts on his life, Masseria could not dodge these. His mausoleum is ornamented by a large Christian Cross. Inside, photos line a makeshift altar in front of an exquisite stained glass window depicting Jesus holding a child.

    6. Joseph Profaci: St. John Cemetery - Middle Village, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Known as the "Olive Oil King," Palermo-born Profaci ran the Mama Mia Importing Company, a leading importer of olive oil and tomato paste. He also ran the crime family which originally bore his name and later, after his death, became the Colombo family. Despite being characterized as “one of the most powerful underworld figures in the United States” by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Profaci never served time in an American jail even though he was arrested several times. The most devout Catholic of Mafia leaders, Profaci had an altar constructed in his home and his mausoleum is replete with religious symbolism. A figure of Jesus, with arms outstretched, adorns the door, while a sculpture of St. Aloysius, bearing a cross and clutching a skull, is perched atop the building.

    7. Gaetano Reina: Woodlawn Cemetery - Bronx, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Born in Corleone, Sicily (the town made famous in the Godfather trilogy), Gaetano Reina founded the Lucchese crime family. In 1930, the 40-year-old mobster was shot in the head after leaving the Bronx apartment he shared with his mistress. His murder was said to be the catalyst for the Castellammarese War (a power struggle for Mafia control in New York City). Reina's daughter, Carmela, would eventually marry Joe Valachi, who became a government informant.

    8. Anthony Salerno: St. Raymond's Bronx, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno was a native New Yorker (born and raised in East Harlem) and the boss of the Genovese crime family during the 1980s. In 1986, Fortune Magazine named the then 75-year-old Salerno as America's wealthiest and most powerful gangster. That same year, he was convicted on RICO charges in what was known as the Mafia Commission trial. After a second trial and conviction, Salerno's reign was over. If was off to a federal prison in Missouri where he was to serve a life sentence. He died there in 1992 at the age of 80.

    9. Johnny Torrio: Green-Wood Cemetery - Brooklyn, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    Instrumental in the formation of the Chicago Outfit, Torrio turned the syndicate over to his protege, Al Capone, and relocated to Brooklyn. Having once survived an assassination attempt, Torrio died a natural in 1957. Suffering a heart attack while in a barber’s chair, he died later that day in a Brooklyn hospital. his death went virtually unnoticed by the public and press. It took a full three weeks after Torrio died before a short news item ran in the New York Times, referring to Torrio as “The man who put Al Capone into business.” Later that same year a barber's chair figured prominently in the death of another mobster. Albert Anastasia, was gunned down in The Park Sheraton Hotel while getting a shave. Anastasia is also buried in Green-Wood.

    10. Frankie Yale: Holy Cross Cemetery - Brooklyn, NY

    Alexandra K. Mosca

    The funeral of 35-year-old Frankie Yale (born Francesco Ioele) was one of the most lavish in mob history. A cohort of Al Capone and Johnny Torrio, Yale was gunned down one summer night as he drove his Lincoln Continent down a Brooklyn street. Perhaps it was because Yale owned and operated a funeral home in Bensonhurst it was said that he expressed a wish for a grand funeral. He got that in spades. Hundreds of spectators lined the streets to watch Yale's lengthy funeral procession pass. Thirty-eight flower cars and 200 limousines followed behind the open hearse on which Yale's silver casket (reported to cost $15,000) rested upon a podium. A police escort accompanied the cortege to the cemetery

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