The ex-mafia boss talks about the worst moment of his criminal life: "The only one alive and free"

By SSPDailyMar 16, 2024 19:29 PMPersonal Development
The ex-mafia boss talks about the worst moment of his criminal life
The ex-mafia boss talks about the worst moment of his criminal life. Source:

As a former Mafia boss, Michael Franzese probably has a lot of skeletons in his closet, but there's one particularly grim experience that really keeps him up at night. SSPDaily tells about it.

He told Lad Bible about it.

The 72-year-old former gangster was a respected lieutenant in the notorious Colombo crime clan who turned his back on the grim underworld of New York City and somehow survived to tell the tale.

Nicknamed the "Prince of the Mafia," he dropped out of pre-med at Hofstra University to take over from his father, Sonny Franzese after he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for a bank robbery in 1967.

Describing his father as "the John Gotti of his day," Franzese explained that the mob boss's imprisonment triggered a chain of events that led to him becoming fully initiated into the Mafia to take his place in a Sopranos-like initiation.

He was officially proclaimed on Halloween 1975 after "20 years of waiting," but admitted that he was able to bypass the line before many other gang members "out of respect for his father."

And it was just as dramatic as the movies: the former gangster took a blood oath and declared that he would follow the code of honor and behavior known as omerta, along with his five best friends.

Jimmy Angelino, Joseph Peraino Jr., Salvatore Miciotta, Vito Guzzo Sr., and John Minerva also swore allegiance that night to the Colombo gang, which was one of the five New York families that controlled organized crime in the American city.

But over the next twenty years, Franzese lost each of his friends.

The Brooklyn-born gangster earned millions of dollars by defrauding the federal government of gasoline taxes. He was named one of Fortune magazine's "Fifty Most Powerful and Wealthy Mafia Bosses" and Vanity Fair magazine declared him "one of the most powerful mafiosi" since Al Capone.

Francesa, of course, managed to take his father's place, but he is not very impressed with these ratings.

In an interview with Metro, he said: "What is sad is that 48 of these men are dead and number 49 is still in prison. I am the only one who is alive and free from this list."

After his second long prison sentence, Francese decided to leave the Mafia. He fled New York with his family, which was obviously quite risky for a man of his stature. But it worked, and the fearless former mafia captain became the only head of a large criminal clan who could leave without police protection and survive.

Although he has left that life behind, unfortunately, he has not been able to get rid of his memories so easily.

Discussing the experiences that still haunt him 25 years later, Francese said: "I think the darkest moment was seeing my friends killed, especially those who I thought were unjustified. And you know, unfortunately, that happened to a lot of guys around me, and those are dark moments. I tell people all the time that murder is a horrible thing, and to see it happen, or to know that it happened to someone you really care about, it's hard at least for me. One of the real horrors of this life is that you make a mistake or you get in trouble, your best friend takes you into a room and you never come out of it again. I mean, that's part of life."

The former gangster is now a motivational speaker who inspires youth and vulnerable adults against a life of organized crime. This month, Francese will embark on a Re Made Man tour of the UK and Ireland.

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