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John Franzese
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    (February 6, 1917-February 24, 2020)
    Born in Naples, Italy
    Two-time underboss of the Colombo crime family (1963-67, 2005-11)
    Served time in prison for bank robbery (1967-78), parole violation (1982-84), and extortion (2011-17)
    He was drafted by the Army during World War II, but discharged within a year after being assessed as ‘psychoneurotic with pronounced homicidal tendencies.’
    He was suspected of committing between 30 and 100 murders.
    Discussing hit techniques with another Colombo associate – who was a federal informant wearing a wire – he said, ‘I killed a lot of guys – you're not talking about four, five, six, ten.’
    His tips for performing a mob murder included putting nail polish on one’s fingertips to eliminate prints and wearing a hairnet to avoid leaving strands of hair at the crime scene that could be analyzed for DNA.
    He ordered a hit against his son, John Jr., after Junior turned informant.
    He was nicknamed the ‘Nodfather’ for his tendency to doze off during his extortion trial.
    His official occupation was owner of a drycleaner in Brooklyn.
    He was a regular at the Copacabana nightclub, where he hung with celebs like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr..
    Assistant US Attorney Cristina Posa said, ‘He is largely responsible for the glamorization of the Mafia over the past century.’
    He helped finance the films ‘Deep Throat’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’
    When he was released from prison, he was only centenarian in federal custody (June 23, 2017).
    John Jr. visited him at his nursing home a year before his death and apologized for testifying against him; he replied, 'You’re my son, and I love you. But you’ve always been crazy.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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