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Friday, 22 April 2011

Mafia murder mystery that has remained unsolved for years.

17:54 |

But investigators finally believe they might have got to the bottom of what happened to family mobster Nicholas Cirillo, who vanished seven years ago and has not been seen since - his death may have been ordered by his own father.

Mobster: Did Dominick Cirillo 'order the death of his own son'?

Genovese gangster Nicholas disappeared on Mothers' Day 2004, two weeks after an altercation in the Bronx with fellow mob man Vincent Jr. Basciano and Dominick Cicale, part of the infamous Bonanno family.

The 41-year-old's body has never been found and his father, high-ranking Genovese mob boss Dominick Cirillo, known as 'Quiet Dom', is said to have refused to cooperate with police in trying to trace him.

Now it has been suggested that Quiet Dom may ruthlessly have ordered his son's murder, after a tape implicating him was played at the Brooklyn Federal Court trial of Joseph Massino, the Mafia's highest-ranking supergrass.

The court heard a conversation in January 2005 between Massino and Vincent Basciano, or 'Vinny Gorgeous', the father of the gangster Nicholas was said to have rowed with in the Bronx.

Massino secretly recorded the discussion for the police.

When asked who 'whacked' the mobster's son, Nicholas, Basciano can be heard saying: 'That came from Dom, that came from Dom.'

When pressed in court by prosecutor Taryn Merkl to explain the comments, Massino said: 'I understand that he's telling me Quiet Dom killed his son.'

The footage also shows Massino gesturing with his hand like a gun while asking Basciano: 'Do we have anything to do with that [Nicholas Cirillo's murder]?'

Basciano replies: 'Absolutely not. C'mon.'

Basciano is then heard telling Massino that he met with Dominick Cirillo about the altercation with Nicholas. He said the Genovese family 'came back and apologised to me.'

It is thought Nicholas's death would have been ordered because of the fracas in the Bronx two weeks before his disappearance -  assaulting a made member of the Mafia carries the penalty of death.

Quiet Dom was implicated after a court was played the tape of a conversation between mobsters Joseph Massino, left, and Vincent Basciano

While it seems incomprehensible that a father would order the murder of his son because of this rule, the two were estranged and, Massino explained to the court, Mafia codes are taken very seriously.

Massino described how in his days as a mobster, he gave the order to kill Bonanno capo Gerlando Sciascia even though they got on well - because Sciascia had murdered the son of a made man in Canada.

Nicholas's disappearance should have led to ramifications from his family - as the son of a Mafia boss, killing him would carry a death penalty.

Bonanno turncoat James Tartaglione said if you kill a Mafioso's son, 'you're liable to start a war between families.' But after Nicholas Cirillo vanished, there was no war.


Quiet Dom, who earned his nickname because he likes to keep a low-key profile, has refused to cooperate with police investigating the disappearance of his son.

He was also said to have been evasive when questioned by a federal probation officer in 2006 about who was to blame for his troubled son's disappearance, according to court records.

Cirillo, who is on supervised release for a racketeering conviction, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

When the New York Daily News approached his daughter, Ann Marie Caggiano, for comment at her waterfront home near the Throgs Neck Bridge, she said: 'I really don't want to talk about that.'

Massino, 68, was convicted in July 2004 of racketeering, seven murders, arson, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, conspiracy and money laundering. To avoid the death penalty for an eighth murder, he has agreed to appear in court to testify against fellow mobsters.

Last week, recordings of taped conversations between Massino and Basciano from inside prison implicated Basciano in the murder of fellow mobster Randy Pizzolo, a crime for which Basciano faces the death penalty.

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