Court testimony by Joseph Massino, the former boss of New York’s Bonanno crime family, indicates that a top capo in a rival family might have ordered the killing of his own son.
Massino, who is testifying in the murder trial of his former underling, Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, was asked by Nicholas Cirillo, the son of Genovese family gangster, Dominick “Quiet Dom” Cirillo.
Nicky Cirillo (who was reportedly not a member of organized crime) disappeared on May 9, 2004 (Mother’s Day). Three weeks later, his abandoned automobile was found, but his body has never been located.
Police officials and law enforcement authorities have long believed that Nicky Cirillo was killed after insulting the Vincent Basciano’s son, Vincent Jr. and another Bonanno soldier named Dominick Cicale.
In a 2005 prison conversation between Massino and Basciano (which Massino has secretly tape recorded for the federal government), Basciano made incriminating remarks about Dom Cirillo.
When asked about the killing of Nicky Cirillo, Basciano is heard saying on the tape: That came from Dom, that came from Dom.”
Prosecutor Taryn Merkl then asked Massino to explain what Basciano meant.
I understand that he's telling me Quiet Dom killed his son, Massino said in Brooklyn Federal Court.
On the tape, Massino is heard asking Basciano: Do we have anything to do with that [Nicholas Cirillo's murder]?
Absolutely not. C'mon, Basciano replied.
During the time of his son’s disappearance, Dom Cirillo, who was at one time the acting boss of the Genovese family, refused to cooperate with the police.
The New York Daily News reported that Nicky Cirillo, who was 41 at the time of his disappearance, was troubled and estranged from his father. Investigators reportedly surmise that Dom Cirillo may have agreed to the killing of his son because insulting or assaulting a made Mafia member (i.e., Cicale) is punishable by death.
However, killing the son of a Mafioso would itself carry a death sentence.
On this end, Massino said that he once approved the murder of a Bonanno capo named Gerlando “George from Canada” Sciascia because Sciascia had killed the son of a made man in Canada.
Dom Cirillo, who was released from federal prison in August 2008 after serving three years, currently on supervised release for a racketeering conviction. At 79 years of age, he is believed to be the consigliere of the Genovese family.