Mafia boss slain outside New York home in grisly hit

By Allan Lengel

The day after Castellano's December 1985 murder, The New York Times called the Mob boss' death "highly stylized", but Giuliani dismissed such morbid romanticism.

After reportedly taking the reins in 2015, Cali was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of Gotti because "no-one ever sees him", the New York Post reported.

His murder is the first of a NY mob boss since Paul Castellano was famously assassinated at Sparks Steakhouse in 1985.

Police added he was taken to Staten Island University North hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Castellano, the Gambino family head at that time, was shot in the street on Manhattan's East Side while on trial for conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges.

According to local media in NY, he took the helm of the Gambino family in 2015, replacing Domenico Cefalu.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the most powerful and feared crime organizations in the country.

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Police say there are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

"We thought those days were over", the city's mayor Bill de Blasio told journalists.

Weiss explains that the younger Gotti and Cali had often clashed 30 years ago, and upon his return, reignited their feud. Gotti took over the crime organization; he died of cancer, in prison, in 2002.

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola of the Bonanno family was shot dead while waiting in his auto for an order from a Bronx McDonald's. Rudy Giuliani, then US attorney for the Southern District of NY and now President Donald Trump's personal attorney, was handling the prosecution.

Cali had served 16 months in prison following a 2008 extortion conviction.

In that case, authorities intercepted conversations shedding light on his quiet underworld command.

A law enforcement source who saw surveillance footage of the grizzly murder of Francesco (Franky Boy) Cali in front of his Hilltop Terrace home said that a man wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap executed the killing, according to the Daily Beast.

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