Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Los Angeles : - 1906 - 1931.
Early in the 1900's several Sicilian immigrants arrived in California from the village of Piana di Greci, in Palermo Province. Among these were the related Ardizzone - Cuccia and Matranga - Buccola families. Settling in Los Angeles, they soon became involved in both legitimate and criminal activities. In 1906 a dispute arose between the Ardizzone and Matranga families, both involved in the food import trade. Joseph Ardizzone and George Maisano, a cousin of the Matranga's, were in conflict over a business issue.
George Maisano is shot, and dies in July, Joseph Ardizzone is suspected and flees.
Giuseppe Cuccia, a senior Mafiosi and cousin to the Ardizzone's, is killed.
Giovannino Bentivegna, an Ardizzone associate, is killed.
Joseph Ardizzone returned to Los Angeles in 1912, was arrested in 1914, tried and acquitted for the Maisano murder in 1915.
By the mid-1910's both families had formed competing groups, known as the College Park [Matranga] and North End [Ardizzone] gangs.
The College Park gang were led by Antonio Matranga [AKA Tony Schino / 1873-1949], his sons Osario [Sam] and Pietro, their cousin Antonio Buccola, and several other relatives and associates, including future LA member Vito [Victor] Pepitone.
While the North End gang were led by Giuseppe [Joseph] Ardizzone [AKA Iron Man / 1884-1931], his brothers Stefano [Steve] and Salvatore [Sam], their cousins the Cuccia and Borgia families [including Frank Borgia, another future LA member], Michele Rizzo [AKA Mike Marino], and various followers.
The conflict erupted again in 1916, with the killing of Antonio Parisi, a Matranga associate.
Osario [Sam] Matranga is murdered, Mike Marino [Rizzo] is suspected.
Pietro Matranga is killed, Mike Marino is again suspected.
Joseph LaPaglia, a relative of the Matranga's is killed.
An attempt is made to kill Stefano [Steve] Ardizzone, Antonio + Victor Matranga are suspected.
Attempt to murder Mike Marino is made.
Mike Marino [Rizzo]is killed, Matranga's suspected.
At this point the national leadership of the US Mafia intervenes, and brings in experienced leaders to form an "official"Family in Los Angeles. Vito DiGiorgio, from New Orleans, and Rosario DeSimone, from Pueblo, are appointed as Boss and Under-boss of the new organization. They impose a truce between the various factions, and induct some members from both gangs.
There is some evidence that this was resisted, as DiGiogio was wounded in 1921and later murdered in Chicago in 1922. DeSimone seems to have led the Family from his base in Downey, but had an underboss in the city of Los Angeles.
Joseph Ardizzone emerges as the leader / underboss in Los Angeles, with the support of DeSimone and Jack Dragna, a new power in the Family. Ardizzone attempts to expand his power over various factions, including the old Matranga group now led by Antonio Buccola and Joseph Porazzo.
Joseph Porazzo is killed, Ardizzone is suspected.
Antonio [Tony] Buccola is murdered, with Ardizzone again suspected.
Joseph Ardizzone is wounded, and flees to the home of Rosario DeSimone, where he is treated by DeSimone's doctor son. A passenger in Ardizzone's car called Vincent [Little Jimmy] Basile is killed. There is some confusion if Ardizzone had already killed Basile, or if Basile was killed by mistake in the attempt on Ardizzone.
Dominic DiCiolla [AKA Danto], a partner of Basile is murdered. Again it is not clear if Ardizzone was to blame, or if this was an enemy killing Ardizzone supporters.
Joseph Ardizzone disappears on his way to visit a Cuccia relative. The police arrest Antonio Bartolotta [AKA Tony Bruno], Antonio Trapani + A.Mazzola. It is believed that Ardizzone was eliminated by the Family leadership, Rosario DeSimone and Jack Dragna. The Family continued under DeSimone, with Dragna his underboss in Los Angeles, until 1946 when DeSimone died and Dragna succeeded him.