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Friday, 13 April 2012

Wiseguy's Brooklyn basement got makeover after 2 gangland hits, mob rat says at trial

00:22 | ,

It was the mob’s version of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Testimony in a Brooklyn Mafia trial turned Tuesday from retribution to renovation as the jury was walked through the “dungeon” where two Colombo wiseguys were allegedly whacked. Mob rat David Gordon took the stand to talk about how defendant Dino (Little Dino) Saracino gave the basement of his Bensonhurst home a face-lift after two hits in the 1990s. The jury had already heard from two previous witnesses how Colombo family associate Richard Greaves was executed in the room in 1995 with a bullet to the back of the head. His body was hog-tied, wrapped with trash bags and duct tape and buried at an industrial park in Farmingdale, L.I., while Little Dino’s parents were on an Italian cruise. They also heard that four years later, then-underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo was whacked in the basement, similarly packaged and buried in the same mob graveyard. Those witnesses described a bloodbath that had to be cleaned up with towels and bleach — but the feds never found any traces of the slays. An FBI photo of the basement shows post-it notes on the walls and floor where investigators sprayed a chemical to detect blood but came up empty. That may be because the Saracinos “re-did the whole basement” one year after Cutolo’s murder — replacing the floors and walls, Gordon testified. “That’s the new tile when he did the basement over,” Gordon said, pointing to an FBI photo of ceramic flooring. Other photos of the modest, semi-detached two-family showed the staircase the victims would have descended to meet their grisly fate. At the entrance sat a chicken that you might say laid golden eggs. It was a plastic white hen where Saracino’s loanshark clients were instructed to leave their cash payments, Gordon said. Gordon and other members of the “20th Street Boys” gang of mob wanna-bes knew the basement as “the dungeon.” “Who called it that?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta. “Dino called it that,” Gordon recalled. Gordon, a former mortician who worked at Torregrossa Funeral Home, said Saracino gave him a taste of the room’s macabre secrets after Greaves disappeared. “He said, ‘One day when we get older, I’ll tell you what happened. We did Richie in the dungeon. Me and the cuz (Saracino’s cousin, Dino Calabro),” Gordon said. When mobsters weren’t meeting their maker, the basement served as living quarters. There were two bedrooms where Little Dino, his brother Sebastian and his now-late brother Frankie slept, along with a kitchen, living room and bathroom. Gordon recalled a china cabinet in the living room and a table where the brothers ate — feet away from where Greaves and Cutolo were allegedly slain. Saracino is charged with three murders, and his co-defendant, reputed Colombo boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli, is charged with six. Gordon also said the Saracinos kept a cache of handguns in their garage, strung together on a clothesline and covered with a bedsheet. He referred to them as the “(Colombo) family guns.”

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