Bonnano crime bossgrew up on Caldwell Avenue 1

The childhood home of Joseph Massino, 71-21 Caldwell Ave., Maspeth, circa 1950.

Anthony Massino was born in Maspeth in 1911, the son of Neapolitan Italian immigrants. He married Adeline Cardinale in October 1936.

With only a grammar school education, he worked in a laundry. His first son was Anthony Jr. His next son, Joseph, was born on Jan. 10, 1943. Shortly after, Massino served in World War II and didn’t see his sons again until he was honorably discharged in January 1946. The family lived above a store at 70-05 Grand Ave. in Maspeth. They later bought a small home at 71-21 Caldwell Ave. in Maspeth.

Joseph dropped out of school and married Josephine Vitale in 1960. Their first child, Adeline, was born in December of that year and was named in honor of Joseph’s mother.

Joseph had limited education and skills but excelled at stealing trucks. In partnership with Josephine’s brother, Sal, he opened Casa Blanca at 62-15 60 Road, a successful restaurant and catering hall where they held court. He met John Gotti and their partnership was formed. Eventually, Massino moved to Howard Beach and became the boss of the Bonanno crime family from 1991 to 2004. But he got busted. Faced with a life sentence he flipped and became the first “Don” to give state’s evidence. As a reward, he was paroled and entered the witness protection program in 2013.The Caldwell Avenue home has been converted to two family with a second floor now owned by a Luis Magnami, according to public records.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.