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St. Louis crime family

St. Louis Crime Family
Founding locationSt. Louis, Missouri, United States
Years active1890s-present
EthnicitySicilian, Sicilian-American, Italian, Italian-American are made men other ethnicities are "associates"
Criminal activitiesRacketeering, bribery, murder, loansharking, extortion, drug trafficking, bookmaking and illegal gambling
AlliesKansas City crime family
Chicago Outfit
Detroit Partnership

The St. Louis crime family,[1][2] also known as the Giordano crime family, is an American Mafia crime family based in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.[3][4]


Historical Italian gangs in St. Louis

  • The Green Ones[5] — was a Sicilian gang led by Vito Giannola. On September 9, 1927, Giannola underboss Alfonse Palazzolo was murdered. Then on December 28, 1927 the leader of the gang, Vito Giannola, was murdered.[3] The remaining members fled the city.
  • The Russo Gang[5] — was a splinter group of the Green Ones. Led by Tony Russo, they were allies to Pillow gang leader Frisina. After the murders of Giannola and Palazzolo they fought with the Pillow gang. By 1928 the three remaining Russo brothers fled St. Louis.[6]
  • The Pillow Gang[5] — was an Italian gang led by Pasquale Santino from 1911 until his murder in 1927. Carmelo Frisina took control of the gang, until he himself was murdered in 1931. The gang was then led by Thomas Buffa, who became boss of the St. Louis Mafia family. In 1943, Buffa fled the city and was murdered in 1947 in Lodi, California.[3]

Prohibition era

Mafia activity was recorded in St. Louis as early as the mid-1890s.[5] By the early 1910s, the recognized Mafia boss in St. Louis was Dominick Giambrone.[7] During the prohibition era in St. Louis, there were seven different ethnic gangs; the Green Ones, the Pillow Gang, the Egan's Rats, the Hogan Gang, the Russo Gang, the Shelton Gang and the Cuckoos all fighting to control illegal rackets in the city.[1] The seven rival gangs continued fighting until the end of Prohibition. By this time, the various Mafia factions now functioned as one family.[8]

Giordano and the Detroit family

After Tony Lopiparo's death, Anthony Giordano became boss and declared independence from the Kansas City crime family.[1] In the 1970s, Giordano, along with Detroit mobsters Anthony Joseph Zerilli and Michael Polizzi, attempted to gain control of the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.[1] They failed and all three men were convicted of conspiracy.[1] In 1975, Giordano was sent to prison, his nephew Vincenzo Giammanco became the acting boss until Giordano was released in December 1977.[1] On August 29, 1980, Giordano died from cancer in his St. Louis home.[3]

Syrian-Lebanese Open Warfare

Longtime Syrian faction enforcer from the Prohibition Era and associate of Giordano, James (Horseshoe Jimmy) Michaels was assassinated by car bomb on Interstate I-55 on September 17, 1980 under orders of rival Paul "Paulie" Leisure

Trupiano era

In 1982, Matthew Trupiano took over the family. He was a powerful boss and was president of Local 110 of the Laborers Union. Trupiano was charged with conducting an illegal gambling operation and with labor racketeering, including the embezzlement of union benefit funds. He was found guilty and sent to three years in prison in 1992. Trupiano died on October 22, 1997.

Current status

The St. Louis crime family has stayed under the radar of both local and federal authorities, who have been focused on organized crime that inflicts public violence. It is alleged that Anthony "Nino" Parrino, who was the boss of the St. Louis crime family since 1997, died on November 3, 2014. The last known underboss was Joseph Cammarata.[9] He died in September 2013.

Historical leadership

Boss (official and acting)

  • 1912-1923 — Dominick Giambrone — fled; murdered, 1934.[10]
  • 1923-1927 — Vito Giannola[2][11]
  • 1927-1937 — Frank Agrusa[12] Born in Cinisi, Sicily, Italy.
  • 1937-1943 — Thomas Buffa[13]
  • 1943-1950 — Pasquale Miceli
  • 1950 — Vincent Chiapetta[14]
  • 1950-1960 — Anthony "Tony Lap" Lopiparo — was the son of a St. Louis mobster, he died in 1960.[3]
  • 1960-1980 — Anthony "Tony G." Giordano — as boss he declared independence from the Kansas City family.[1] Imprisoned 1975-1977, he died on August 29, 1980 from cancer[3][15]
  • 1980-1982 — John "Johnny V." Vitale. — he died on June 5, 1982[3]
  • 1982-1997 — Matthew "Mike" Trupiano, Jr. — was Giordano's nephew from Detroit; he died in 1997[1]
  • 1997–2014 — Anthony "Nino" Parrino[4] died November 3, 2014.


  • 1912-1923 — Vito Giannola — became boss.
  • 1923-1927 — Alfonse Palazzolo — murdered.
  • 1927-1937 — Thomas Buffa — became boss.
  • 1937-1943 — Pasquale Miceli — became boss.
  • 1943-1950 — Vincent Chiapetta — became boss.
  • 1950-1980 — John "Johnny V." Vitale — semi-retired from 1960, afterly became boss.
  • 1980-2000s — Joseph "Uncle Joe" Cammarata — semi-retired, deceased in 2013.
  • 2000s-present — Vincent "Vince" Giordano

Current family members


  • Underboss
  • Consigliere


  • Vincent "Shotgun Vinny" Cammarata — a capo in Greater St. Louis, nephew of Joseph Cammarata (died in 2013) active mainly in labor racketeering and bookmaking.
  • Frank "Big Frank" Palozzolo — also St. Louis capo.


  • Fernando "Nondo" Bartolotta — made in 1981 with Frank Palazzolo and Matthew Trupiano.
  • Antonio "Tonio" Lopiccolo — active East Side St. Louis.
  • Philip "Philly" Palozzolo — Frank Palozzolo's brother.
  • Joseph "Joe" Tocco — official in LIUANA Local 53.
  • Jack "Bean Hands" Donovan — John "The Tortoise" Iovaldi's nephew.
  • Angelo Copo — Sicilian zip.
  • Benedetto Geremia — another zip and Copo's associate.
  • Leo Pisciotta — Joseph Pisciotta's relative


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Devico, pp. 197-202
  2. ^ a b Dietche, pp.150
  3. ^ a b c d e f g May, Allan. "The St. Louis Family". Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Machi, Mario; May, Allan; Molino, Charlie (1999). "St. Louis Family". Investigative Journalists. Rick Porrello's Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Waugh, pp. 1-2
  6. ^ Waugh, pp. 231-233
  7. ^ Waugh, pp. 30
  8. ^ Waugh, pp. 228-229
  9. ^ Auble, pp. 105
  10. ^ Waugh, pp. 30-62, 229-230.
  11. ^ Waugh, pp. 64-139
  12. ^ Waugh, pp. 139-240
  13. ^ Waugh, pp. 231
  14. ^ Bureau of Narcotics, pp.249
  15. ^ "Part I of the Leisure War: A Reason to Die" by Ronald J. Lawrence (


  • DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-60247-254-8
  • Dietche, Scott M. The Everything Mafia Book: True Life Accounts of Legendary Figures, Infamous Crime Families, and Chilling Events, Everything Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59869-779-7
  • Waugh, Daniel. Gangs of St. Louis: Men of Respect. Charleston: The History Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-59629-905-4
  • Auble, John. A History of St. Louis Gangsters: A Chronology of Mob Activity on Both Sides of the River Ranging from the Egan Rats to the Last Mob Leader on Record. The National Criminal Research Society. 2002. ISBN 097-1340-900
  • Bureau of Narcotics. The United States Treasury Department. Giancana, Sam. Mafia: The Government's Secret File on Organized Crime. Skyhorse Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-60239-668-5

External links