Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tale of a Failed Milwaukee Mob Hit!

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From a very well written book by former FBI agent Gary Magnesen called “Straw Men” He recounts how the FBI crushed the Mob in Las Vegas and Milwaukee. His book is available in paperback at Amazon and a link is provided below.

It’s been well documented in the 1970’s that Frank Balistrieri “Milwaukee Mafia leader” and the Maniaci brothers ‘August and Vincent” were at war. In September of 1975, August Maniaci was gunned down after backing his car out of his garage in the morning. It was widely believed that Balistrieri got permission from the Chicago “Outfit” to kill him over a beef they were having. The ongoing feud with younger brother Vincent continued. Almost two years later, as recounted by Gary Magnesen in his book “Straw Men”, the FBI had Vince under surveillance. 
As Gary writes, “Steve DiSalvo and another unknown man were observed in the vicinity of Vince’s home.” DiSalvo was the right hand man and enforcer for Frank Balistieri. “The next day,Chuck Nicoletti was observed in Vince’s neighborhood driving a car rented by John Balistrieri.” Nicoletti was a hit man from the Chicago Outfit and John was Frank’s lawyer son. “We knew something was up and expected Vince to be the subject of the next vindictive murder ordered by Frank Balistrieri, but we couldn’t be sure. We assumed, wrongly, that if a hit were to come, it would be similar to Auggie’s killing - by way of a shooter in the morning when he left for work. The next morning we were watching as Vince got in his car and drove off on his way to work as a cook at Alioto’s Restaurant. Vince realized something was wrong when he pushed down on the accelerator because the car wouldn’t go faster than 20 miles an hour. We watched him pull over and open the hood of his white Oldsmobile to check for the problem, but what he saw shocked him. He jumped back from his car, quickly walked some distance away, went directly to a pay phone, and, realizing he had no options, called the police. When he had peered under the hood, he had seen the ultimate death package. A bundle of twenty sticks of dynamite, wrapped together in electrical tape, had been placed at the rear of the engine block and wired to the ignition by alligator clips.” One of Frank Balistrieri’s nicknames was Mad Bomber. “Vince had pumped the accelerator two times, as was his custom, before starting the car and, luckily, the accelerator rod had pushed against the bomb, thereby impeding the speed of the car. It had also loosened one of the clips wired to the ignition, thereby inactivating the bomb.”
The Milwaukee Police Department bomb squad responded and the dynamite was dismantled. It was determined that the red arrow brand of dynamite was stolen from a mine site in West Virginia. It was later determined that the man seen with Steve DiSalvo that day was Nicholas George Montos from the Chicago Outfit and was known in the underworld as a "mechanic", a bomb making expert.
Good thing for old Vince that his car was not fuel injected. Two pumps of the gas pedal that day saved his life!

Related Posts:
"Mr. Fancy Pants" Balistrieri - Tracking Milwaukee's most dangerous mobster
Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggerio-The real story of the "wise guy"
The Beef That Didn't Moo - Wisconsin Ties to the Mob
Tales of the Milwaukee Mob and Two Cigarette Men!
Married to the Daughter of a Milwaukee Mob Boss-Our Pediatrician!
The Milwaukee Queen Bee of Organized Crime
Tale of a Failed Milwaukee Mob Hit!
Lieutenant Uhura (of the Starship "Enterprise") - close encounters with the Chicago and Milwaukee Mob!
Part Two: The Milwaukee Mob and Lieutenant Uhura (Star Trek)
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef - Part 1
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef Processors - Part II



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