Vinny Gorgeous

The Ugly Rise and Fall of a New York Mobster

Book Description

A vain man of good looks but no family ties to the Mob, Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano worked his way up to acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, becoming its leader when official boss Joseph Massino went to prison in 2003. When the Mafia was crawling with secret operatives and informants caving to government pressure to flip, Basciano steadfastly obeyed the code of La Cosa Nostra. “I got faith in one guy,” he said during a secretly taped meeting. That man was Massino, head of the Bonanno borgata. But for all his loyalty, Basciano was still a hot-headed, cold-blooded killer, which ultimately led to his arrest and downfall.

Then in a remarkable betrayal that rocked the Five Families to their foundations, Massino secretly cooperated with the FBI—the first head boss ever to roll over. As a result, Basciano faced the death penalty, but a federal jury, disturbed by the prosecution’s use of deadly criminal informants, reached a surprising verdict. Here from veteran crime author Anthony M. DeStefano comes the riveting story of the last true believer in the Mob’s cult of brotherhood and his betrayal at the hands of the only man he ever trusted.

About DeStefano, Anthony M.

Anthony M. DeStefano is a staff reporter for Newsday, covering legal affairs and criminal justice in New York City. Formerly a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal and Fairchild News Service, he has appeared on Biography Channel programs about Joseph Massino and Mafia killer Thomas Pitera as an expert on organized crime.