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- Vincent Gigante
- Died in Prison
The arrests of Vincent Gigante:
Crazy like a fox. The crime boss known as "Vinny the Chin" and "The Oddfather"…
…was acknowledged to be the most powerful crime boss in the country in 1992, after John Gotti and other members of the Gambino crime family were arrested and convicted. Vincent Louis Gigante even admitted that he began feigning mental illness for years, like walking around New York's Greenwich Village in a bathrobe.
It was all an act to avoid prosecution and it was a very credible performance, because several prominent psychiatrists testified that he was legally insane.
Actually, Vinny wasn't always a mobster, having a short career as a professional light heavyweight boxer.
Known as "The Chin" Gigante…the nickname came from the way his mom called out his name in Italian "Vin-CHEN-zo"…he fought 25 matches and lost only four in the late 1940's.
However, by the early 1950's, Gigante found another way of using his talents of messing other guys up and started working as a Mafia enforcer for the gang headed by Vito Genovese
Genovese ordered Gigante to kill rival boss Frank Costello, although the attempt failed, with a bullet grazing Costello's head.
Gigante was convicted of heroin trafficking with Genovese in 1959 and Vinny spent seven years in prison.
He eventually rose to the head of the mob, and in 1969, started feigning mental illness.
Gigante was arrested and charged with racketeering and murder in 1990, but his trial was delayed for seven years. In July, 1997, Gigante was convicted of eight counts of racketeering and conspiracy and was sentenced to a dozen years in prison.
Gigante's health started to fail in 2005 and he was moved from the Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Worth to Springfield, Missouri, where he died December 19, 2005.