More than forty wiseguys who took an oath to take their Mafia secrets to the grave have later changed their minds and cut deals with the feds to tell all they knew. But while mob squealing was a growth industry in recent years, the elite Genovese family has managed to keep its members mostly in line. Known in mob parlance as “the Westside” because that was its traditional geographic base of power, the Genoveses are considered so good at what they do that admiring agents dubbed them “the Ivy League of organized crime.”
Late last month, a Genovese soldier named Anthony “Bingy” Arillotta, who was being held in the federal lockup downtown to face a murder rap, was released from prison custody, destination untold. Arillotta, 42, had been running things for the family in Massachusetts. He was accused of masterminding the whacking of his predecessor, Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, who was gunned down in a Springfield, Mass., parking lot in 2003. His switch in loyalties is bad news for a lot of wiseguys, especially his former acting boss, Arthur “Little Guy” Nigro, who is also accused in Bruno’s murder.
Actually, the Bruno hit showed signs of severely declining standards for the Genovese crew. The shooter recruited to carry out Big Al’s murder, a tattooed ex-con named Frankie Roche, turned squealer himself a couple of years ago. The way he told the story, he waited for the mobster to finish his usual Sunday night card game. “I walked up to Bruno and said, ‘Hey Al, you looking for me?’ and I popped him.” Nice line. Bad form.