Joe Masseria – The Morello mafia family’s boss

Joe Masseria was nicknamed ‘The Boss’. He is regarded to be an uncouth man and enjoyed eating and killing immensely. He was New York City’s undisputed Italian boss, starting off in 1916, working his way to the top throughout the roaring 20s. He had left Sicily and migrated to New York in 1903, because of his murdering someone. On reaching New York City, he joined the Morello Gang, which is the initial organized Mafia family.

His life as a mafia boss

It was Nick Morello as well as Joe and Antonio Morello, his brothers who had headed the Morello gang. Masseira was treacherous, ambitious and greedy and did not prefer taking the back seat. After the imprisonment of Joe Morello, Maseeria had made plans for snatching reins of the mafia family.

In order to become its boss, he killed numerous loyalists of Morello. With the killing of Joe in 1916 and Nick killed by a rival faction, Masseria became the local rackets in charge. There were several attempts made on the life of Masseria, which he somehow escaped.

Masseria met Valenti for making peace, where the latter had come with two bodyguards. However, three members of Masseria ambushed and shot Valenti dead. He had hired youngsters like Vito Genovese, Luciano, Thomas Lucchese and Joe Bonano to work for him. It was Luciano, who impressed Masseria a lot, compelling him to make him his second-in-command.

Issues faced by Masseria

It was when Luciano began business with two Jewish mobsters that problems started, with Busy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. Massieria is known to follow a stringent rule. He instructed his men to conduct business only with fellow Sicilians, which did not find favor with Luciano. The latter was eager to grab control of the mob and that of the rackets of Masseria.

Salvatore Maranzano was regarded to be another threat to Masseria’s supremacy in 1927, who hailed from Sicily and became Don Vito Cascio Ferro’s underboss, the powerful Sicilian Mafia boss. This led to Castellammarese War that started between Maranzano and Masseria. Luciano was loyal to Masseria in the first four years of the war, but later on sided with Maranzano to end the fight.

On 15th April, 1931, he had lured Masseria to come down to a Coney Island based restaurant, where he got killed by Bugsy Siegel, Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia and Vito Genovese.