Saturday, August 10, 2013

Balistrieri's Milwaukee Mafia Car!

The actual restored car, Gilmore Car Museum in
Hickory Corners, Mi
joanna poe photo

A couple of months ago, I received the following email from a person called Mark. I'll keep his last name private:

"I was reading your blog about Frank, John and Joe Balistrieri.  Great info!!  I have a slight connection to that family.  My grandfather purchased a 1948 Cadillac Limo from John Balistrieri in 1990.  He restored it and kept if for years until he died and I inherited it.  The car currently resides at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI. 
I tried to comment on your blog but my company’s security would not let me.  I once wrote a letter to John trying to find out more info on the car but never got a response.  I still have a letter and a bill of sale with the hotel’s company letter head and such.  I never thought to ask my grandfather about the car when he said it was a “mafia” car.  I just thought he was pulling my leg.  Great articles by the way!!  Feel free to email back with any info you may have.
Thanks, Mark"

Mark sent me copies of the title and bill of sale signed by John Balistrieri. The bill of sale was actually written on the Shorecrest Hotel stationary. I was then able to contact a relative of the Balistrieris to ask if he remembered anything about a 1948 Caddy and he wrote the following:

"Yes John (one of Frank Balistrieri's sons) had a Cadillac limo. He would say he used it to go for ice cream, possibly to Kopp's or  Pig 'N Whistle."

joanna poe photo
There have been some attempts to research the car's title history, so far without success. John refuses to answer any mail.

I then ran across this in the writings of Gavin C. Scmitt:
"Small-time hoodlum Jack Enea, 46, (1506 North Jackson Street) was found in a ditch on Plainview Road two miles northwest of Sussex, Waukesha County on Tuesday, November 29, 1955. Enea had been killed between 10:00am and noon. He had seven bullets from a .38 in him, and the last person known to see him alive was cement contractor Walter “Blackie” Brocca (1668 North VanBuren Street). Enea and Brocca had previously operated a tavern at 1932 West St. Paul Avenue."
"An unidentified FBI informant speculated that the killing was ordered by John Alioto at the request of Joseph Sciortino. Sciortino was Enea’s uncle, and owned a bakery on VanBuren Street adjacent to Alioto’s tavern. Allegedly, Enea burglarized the bakery and stole $1400. The informant also believed that a black Cadillac was involved and that at least two killers were used — one was identified as John Aiello. This seems questionable, because in 1947 Peter Sciortino moved the bakery from VanBuren to 1101 East Brady Street, and his father (possibly named Joseph) had returned to Italy. So, for this to be correct, the informant would have to have a) confused Sciortino’s name and b) meant to say that Sciortino used to own a bakery on VanBuren, though the one that was burglarized was on Brady."

Detective Inspector Rudolph Glaser of the Milwaukee Police Department believed that a black Cadillac picked Enea up from 1443 North VanBuren, where his Buick was parked. 1443 was previously (and possibly currently) the address of former boss Sam Ferrara’s tavern. He narrowed the car down to a 1948 or 1949 Cadillac after a witness informed him that the car had fin fenders.

Mark's car in the shade
Now imagine this?
In 1955 John Alioto was the boss of the Milwaukee mob with son-in-law Frank Balistrieri being groomed to take over, which happened in 1961. If John Alioto ordered the hit, could the killers have used his car? Could the Caddy limo then have been handed down to his son-in-law Frank Balistrieri, who then may have passed it on to his own son John? Could the car in the museum be the actual car used in the hit? Of course it's all speculation but 'what if' stories fascinate me.

I then sent the previous information in the following message to Mark:
"Hey Mark, check this out. Do you know what the original color of your car was. This one could have been owned by John Alioto!"

Mark's response was:
"Just a thought, but at night that Maroon can easily be mistaken for black. This is my car in the shade."

Mark has intended to try a title search of previous owners of the car. If I hear anything, I'll keep you posted.

More of my mob related posts:
"Mr. Fancy Pants" Balistrieri - Tracking Milwaulee'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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