Francesco "Frank" Scalice (1893–June 17, 1957) (also spelled Scalise) also known as Don Cheech and Wacky, was an Italian-American mobster active in New York City, who led the future Gambino crime family from 1930 to 1931, and was underboss from 1951 to 1957.

Boss[edit | edit source]

Scalice was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1893, and later emigrated to the US, settling in The Bronx. He operated his business from the Little Italy area in the Bronx. He also lived and raised his family in the City Island section of the Bronx. He was involved in many crimes, and became Capo in the Brooklyn-based gang of Salvatore D'Aquila. After the murder of D'Aquila on October 10, 1928, the power in New York shifted to Joe Masseria Manhattan-based gang. The successor of D'Aquila, Alfred "Al Mineo" Manfredi connected Masseria with the alliance, and came to conflict with Scalice.

On November 5, 1930, Mineo and his underboss Stefano "Steve" Ferrigno were murdered by Castellammarese Sicilians led by Salvatore Maranzano. Scalice became the new boss of the family and a strong ally and supporter of Maranzano in the Castellammarese War.

The Castellammarese War ended on April 15, 1931 when Masseria was killed. Maranzano met with the New York bosses in May 1931 to work out a peace plan and establish the Mafia Commission. Scalice was given a seat on the Commission and recognized as head of his family. However, after the murder of Maranzano on September 10, 1931, new boss Lucky Luciano forced Scalice to resign as family boss. He was replaced with Vincent Mangano.

On September 8, 1945, Scalice helped mobster Bugsy Siegel open the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Scalice later on came to find himself involved in the casino business.

Death[edit | edit source]

On June 17, 1957, Scalice was assassinated by two gunmen at a vegetable market in the Bronx section of New York.[1]

Scalice's funeral was held at the Scocozza Funeral Home in the Bronx. Police and federal agents attended the funeral and the Bronx District Attorney subpoenaed all the visitor records.[2] Scalice was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.[3]

After his death, Carlo Gambino became Anastasia's underboss.

References[edit | edit source]

Business positions
Preceded by
Alfred Mineo
Gambino crime family

Succeeded by
Vincent Mangano
Preceded by
Albert Anastasia
Gambino crime family

Succeeded by
Carlo Gambino

Template:Gambino crime familyTemplate:American Mafia

de:Francesco Scalice fr:Frank Scalise it:Frank Scalice

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