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The Rudy Hit That Wasn't

7 years ago
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Back in 1986, Rudy Giuliani worked as a federal prosecutor in New York. He was good at his job, and, evidently, this fact did not escape the heads of the mafia's infamous "five families." After all, Giuliani had indicted each of the bosses. The most famous among them, John Gotti, is said to have proposed a gangland hit on the city's eventual mayor, but the plan was scuttled by the heads of the Bonanno, Lucchese and Genovese families.

The news of the nascent plot comes to us from the trial of Lindley DeVecchio, a former FBI agent accused of joining forces with the mob. DeVecchio learned of the plot back in 1987 from Gregory Scarpa, himself a mole in the mafia network. Now deceased, Scarpa was also reputed to have helped the feds crack the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, as chronicled in the film "Mississippi Burning." And, in a twist worthy of its own Hollywood movie, Scarpa and DeVecchio were themselves later suspected in the deaths of four people.

What does it all mean? It's true that Mr. Giuliani was effective in his pursuit of the mob. An Italian-American, and huge fan of "The Sopranos," Rudy has always had the mafia on his radar. In part, it's what makes his former police chief, and homeland security nominee, Bernard Kerik's ties to organized crime such a liability for him. So will this 20-year-old, sordid story have any effect on Mr. Giuliani's presidential aspirations? As the Daily News notes, Rudy has not been shy about boasting of his past deeds:

Giuliani, who rode the Commission case to the mayor's office, often brags about being targeted by mobsters when he's on the stump in the presidential campaign.

So will we be hearing him brag about the fact that he came a vote shy of getting whacked? It was a 3 to 2 decision, after all. Gotti and Colombo boss, Carmine Presico, were in favor of the hit, while the other three families opposed it.

Hey, maybe if Giuliani can convince Americans that Osama bin Laden is himself nothing but a wandering Godfather, tales of taking on the mob (and living to tell about it) will translate into some serious votes.

More information on David Knowles can be found at his website.

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