Following hot on the heels of our previous run down of the ten best mob nicknames, we have compiled yet another interesting list featuring ten more wiseguys with the some of the best appellations. As you can see, this is a subject that still amuses our tiny minds here, so why not?! We’re imaginatively calling this one ‘Part Two’, as opposed to ‘Part One’ which you can find HERE. Part Three is now available HERE
As with the history of many of these nicknames, most don’t have a verifiable source, or are based on hearsay, so we’re going with the best information we have.
Tony Accardo: ‘Joe Batters’ and ‘Big Tuna’
This guy was born in 1906 and worked his way up from small-time criminal in the Circus Cafe Gang to big-time boss of the mighty Chicago Outfit. The nickname ‘Joe Batters’ was given to him by none other than Al Capone, after Accardo used a baseball bat to bump off three mobsters who had betrayed the Outfit. Capone is reported to have said, ”Boy, this kid’s a real Joe Batters.” Later in his Mob career, newspapers in Chicago began calling Accardo ‘Big Tuna’ after he was photographed with a giant tuna he had caught whilst on a fishing expedition. He died of respiratory and heart conditions in 1992, at the age of 86.
Anthony Indelicato: ‘Whack Whack’
In 1979, Anthony Indelicato took part in the assassination of Carmine Galante, who had effectively taken control of the family whilst the official boss, Rastelli, was in prison. Following this, Anthony Indelicato was promoted to capo in the family. He is the son of Alphonse ‘Sonny Red’ Indelicato, one of the three capos who were killed in 1981 for plotting to overthrow Philip Rastelli and take control of the Bonanno family. Anthony skipped the meeting where his father, along with Philip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera were murdered, and soon after, went into hiding in Florida. In 1986, Indelicato was convicted of the Galante murder as part of the Mafia Commission Trial and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He was let out on parole in 1998, but was convicted of another murder in 2008 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. I can take a wild guess as to why he’s called ‘Whack Whack’.
Giuseppe Morello: ‘The Clutch Hand’
Giuseppe Morello was born in 1867, and was the first boss of the Morello crime family – later to become the Genovese family. He later became a trusted adviser to Giuseppe ‘Joe the Boss’ Masseria. Morello’s nickname stems from the fact that his right hand was deformed, having only one finger which apparently resembled a claw. He was one of the first victims of the Castellammarese War, and was killed whilst collecting cash receipts in his office in East Harlem on August 15, 1930.
Donald Angelini: ‘The Wizard of Odds’
Donald Angelini was in the Chicago Outfit, and ran a hugely successful sports betting empire with Dominic Cortina. In the mid eighties Angelini moved on to protecting the Outfit’s illegal casino profits in Las Vegas, then in 1989, he was found guilty of gambling and racketeering under the RICO Act and sentenced to 37 months in prison. He was released in 1994. Angelini died in December, 2000, at the age of 74.
Al Capone: ‘Scarface’
Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. From an early age he became involved in various gangs after his formal education ended at the age of 14 when he was expelled for hitting a female teacher. During his early years, he was employed by none other than Frankie Yale. Whilst working the door at a night club in Brooklyn, he insulted a woman and was slashed by her brother, Frank Gallucio. The result of this assault left him with the nickname ‘Scarface’, which he apparently detested. Later, his closest friends would call him ‘Snorky’, meaning sharp dresser. He left New York for Chicago in 1919, and the rest, as they say, is history. From the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to Alcatraz, Capone is one of the most notorious mobsters to have ever lived.
John DiFronzo: ‘No Nose’
According to a Chicago Crime Commission report, DiFronzo was the former boss of the Chicago Outfit. Born in 1928, his first pinch was in 1949 for a clothing store burglary. It was during this incident that he jumped through a window, slicing off part of his nose – hence the moniker. In the book ‘Accardo: the Genuine Godfather‘ by William Roemer, it’s reported that the police returned the missing part of his nose, almost perfectly restored. DiFronzo died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.
Luigi Manocchio: ‘Baby Shacks’
Manocchio is the former boss of the Patriarca crime family, based in New England. An indictment from 2011 listed his nicknames as ‘Louie‘, ‘The Professor‘, ‘The Old Man‘, and ‘Baby Shacks‘. The ‘Baby Shacks’ name reportedly stems from the fact that he had a baby face in his younger years and that he had a bit of a reputation for ‘shacking up’ with innumerable women. It’s also been said that it’s because he likes his women young and skinny. And also because of his short legs…..this could go on and on!
Vincenzo Frogiero: ‘Vinny Carwash’
You’d think this guy’s last name alone would have conjured up a great nickname, but he was dubbed ‘Carwash’ after reportedly running car washes for the Mob when he was younger. These days, he’s reputedly a soldier in the Gambino family and has been listed as one of capo Louis Mastrangelo’s crew.
Philip Testa: ‘The Chicken Man’
Phil Testa was the former boss of the Philadelphia crime family, if only for a short time. He was killed by a nail bomb planted under the front porch of his home in 1981. His death was allegedly ordered by his underboss Pete Casella and capo in the family, Frank Narducci Sr. Narducci was later killed and Casella was banished to Florida. There are two theories as to how Testa might have got his nickname – one is from his involvement in the poultry business, and another is because of the scars on his face from contracting a bad case of chicken pox.
Frank Salemme: ‘Cadillac Frank’
Frank Salemme is a former boss of the Patriarca crime family, who then turned government witness. He is currently serving a life sentence on a murder charge. He apparently got his moniker from working at an auto body shop in Boston where he fixed Cadillacs. Crime reporter David Boeri has another explanation. He says that Salemme had a friend at a Cadillac dealership who would key every 30th or 40th new car coming off the truck. Salemme would clean out the damage and resell the car for a lower price.
That concludes our second helping of Mob nicknames. Any other suggestions for the list? There might just be a Part 3 on the way…!
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