In a Thursday press conference, New York City police investigators revealed disturbing new details in the Wednesday night murder of reputed mafia boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali. Investigators said that the 53-year-old mobster, who had reportedly ruled New York City’s powerful Gambino crime family since 2015, was lured out of his Staten Island home by a man who deliberately crashed a blue pickup truck into Cali’s SUV, according to an account by New York’s WABC TV News. The SUV was parked in Cali’s driveway.
According to one report, police are investigating whether the brother of deceased former Gambino boss John Gotti may be tied to Cali’s killing.
But also on Thursday, a former FBI agent, who investigated the Gambino family in the early 1990s, issued an ominous warning about what may be to come in the aftermath of the first assassination of a New York City mafia boss in more than 33 years. According to ex-agent James Gagliano, now a CNN law enforcement commentator, the slaying of the Gambino family boss could be just “the opening salvo” of a full-fledged mob war in the United States’ most populous city, according to the Law & Crime legal news site.
“Guarantee this does not go unanswered,” wrote Gagliano on his Twitter account. The former FBI investigator, in a separate Twitter post, described the killing of Cali in the driveway of his own home as a “brazen rub-out.”
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) March 14, 2019
One source, who spoke to the New York Post, stated that the hit on Cali directly in front of his private home, with is family inside, would be seen as “disrespectful.” As The Inquisitr reported, the last slaying of a New York “boss” took place in front of a popular steak house restaurant on East 46th Street in Manhattan. That was the murder of another Gambino boss, Paul Castellano, on December 16, 1985. That mob hit was ordered by Gambino family underling John Gotti, who was then elevated to the family’s “boss” position himself.
According to the police account of Cali’s killing, the Gambino boss engaged a man who struck his SUV with a pickup truck in a conversation that lasted about a minute before the still-unidentified man pulled out a gun and started shooting, pumping out 12 rounds when standing over Cali, who collapsed to the ground, according to a New York Post account. Six of the bullets fired by the gunman struck Cali in the chest.
The killer then ran over Cali with the truck before speeding away, police said. Watch the full police press briefing on the Cali murder in the video below, courtesy of WABC.
Though police said they currently have no suspects and have not determined a motive for the “rub-out,” sources told the New York Daily News that an internal power struggle within the Gambino family could be to blame. Gotti’s 73-year-old brother, Gene Gotti, who remains an influential figure within the Gambino organization, was released from prison about six months ago after serving 29 years of a 50-year sentence for heroin trafficking. John Gotti himself died behind bars in 2002.
“It’s total speculation,” one Daily News source told the paper. “But it’s also something to look out for. Was Gene trying to reclaim some of his business and Cali wasn’t going for it?”
Mafia experts say that “the type of hit — at his home, with no real attempt to hide what happened — suggests that it was a message killing,” according to WABC. “The question for detectives is what type of message was being sent.”