Alfonso "Al the Pizza Man" Tornabene (1923 - May 17, 2009) was a Chicago-area resident who was reported by several newspapers to have been a high-ranking member of the Chicago Outfit crime organization.

Career as a pizzeria owner[edit | edit source]

In 1955, Tornabene opened the Villa Nova pizzeria in Stickney, Illinois.[1][2] He and his family later expanded the business to three other locations around Chicago.[1][2]

Career in the Chicago Outfit[edit | edit source]

Tornabene began his career in the Outfit as a bookie.[3] However, he never had a criminal record of any kind.[3]

In 1997, Tornabene was identified by the Chicago Crime Commission in its "New Faces of Organized Crime" book as being a member of the Chicago Outfit crime organization.[1][2] Tornabene was identified as being a lieutenant for the Outfit's West Side Crew, which at that time was run by Anthony Centracchio.[1][2]

Subsequently, Tornabene was identified as having helped to run the Chicago Outfit while its then-boss, James Marcello, was imprisoned between 1992 and 2003.[1][2][4]

Court records also showed that Tornabene had presided over a 1983 ceremony that made several mobsters full members of the Outfit, including Frank Calabrese, Sr. and Nicholas Calabrese.[1][2][4] Tornabene had presided over the ceremony along with Joseph Aiuppa, Nicholas Calabrese told federal investigators.[5]

In 2007, the Chicago Crime Commission's then-chief, James Wagner, told the Chicago Tribune that Tornabene was running the Outfit's activities in Chicago's south suburbs.[1][2]

In 2009, Tornabene was identified as having been an original target in the Operation Family Secrets mob investigation in 2002, an investigation that ultimately sent Chicago Outfit members James Marcello, Joseph Lombardo and Frank Calabrese, Sr. to federal prison for life.[6] However, Tornabene was never charged in the Family Secrets case.[6]

One of Tornabene's associates, Anthony Zizzo, disappeared on August 31, 2006 after leaving his house in Westmont, Illinois.[7] Zizzo's car was abandoned at a restaurant in Melrose Park, Illinois.[7]

Death[edit | edit source]

Tornabene died on May 17, 2009 at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois of complications related to peptic ulcer disease.[1][2]

Personal[edit | edit source]

Tornabene's wife died in 1988.[1][2] He was survived by one daughter, a sister and a granddaughter.[1][2]

Tornabene was reported to be the cousin of Chicago Outfit boss Samuel Carlisi.[3] He also was reported to have been the brother of the late Frank Tornabene, who was active in Chicago Outfit vice rackets.[3]

Tornabene lived for most of his life in Stickney, Illinois.[1][2]

Contrary to what was reported by ABC news, Al Tornabene is not related by marriage to Rod Blagojevich, nor is he related to Frank Tornabene, he had 2 brothers (sam and roy) and one sister.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Chicago Tribune.,0,95510.story. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Goldsborough, Bob (June 1, 2009). "ALFONSO TORNABENE : 1923-2009 - 'Pizza Man' was an alleged leader of Outfit - Pizzeria owner had longtime mob ties, officials have said". Chicago Tribune: p. 17. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Warmbir, Steve (June 10, 2007). "No telling who's boss of Chicago Outfit". Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-NWS-mobside10.article. 
  6. 6.0 6.1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Warmbir, Steve (April 10, 2007). "Help FBI find 'Little Tony'". Chicago Sun-Times: p. 10. 

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