Vinnie Gigante Biography

vinnie gigante

"Vinnie 'The Chin' allegedly ran the Genovese crime family from his prison cell, faking an elaborate 'crazy' act to avoid prosecution. Was the Mafia hardman really mad?"

Known for wandering the streets in a bathrobe mumbling to himself, Vincent Gigante is one of the strangest gangsters of our time. The suspected boss of the Genovese Crime Family, his supporters say the former boxer took one too many shots to the head and was incapable of running a massive crime syndicate.

Gigante was born in New York in 1928 and grew up in Greenwich Village. After a boxing career that lasted twenty-four fights, joining the Army, then being discharged for "anti-social behaviour", Gigante took up a life of crime.

Gigante's rise through the world of organized crime was bizarre. He was chosen by Capo Tommy Eboli to murder Genovese Family boss Frank Costello, but botched the hit. Most would have thought that this mistake would have ended Gigante's life, but inexplicably he had risen to the rank of consigliere by the mid 1970s. When Genovese Family boss, Tony Salerno, suffered a stroke in 1981 and took a six month hiatus to recover, it is suspected that the Genovese Family appointed Gigante as boss. Salerno was still presented as the family boss, but it was known within the organized crime world that Gigante ran the family. After Salerno was sent to prison in 1992, Gigante was revealed as the head of the family. With no one to hide behind, Gigante resorted to a tactic he had used to beat earlier attempts at criminal convictions, he acted insane. Between 1969 and 1990, Gigante checked himself into a psychiatric hospital twenty-two times. The sight of Gigante walking through the streets of Greenwich Village, dressed in a bathrobe and mumbling to himself, became common. This act worked until 1997, when Salvatore Gravano testified that Gigante was sane and was the head of the Genovese Family.

Since his conviction on forty-one counts of numerous crimes, Gigante dropped his act and was due for parole in 2007 when he would have been 79.

But he died in 2005
 

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