The Buffalo News features a story this weekend on whatever became of Western New York State’s crime families.
Special Agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI office, Adam S. Cohen
“Some of the individuals who were leaders of the Mafia are still around,” Cohen said. “But their organized crime activities don’t exist anymore. Some of them have legitimate businesses that we know of.”
Since the death of Stefano Magaddino, “the old man”, 43 years ago, nobody has stepped in to fill his shoes.
From Dan Herbeck of the Buffalo News:
There is no dispute over who was the most dominating figure in Buffalo’s organized crime history.
That would be Magaddino, a frugal, anything-but-flashy individual who lived in an unremarkable ranch home on Dana Drive in Lewiston. His mob dynasty extended far beyond Western New York into Ohio, Ontario and parts of Pennsylvania.
The Sicilian native was a Mafia soldier in New York City before moving to Western New York. He was quiet by nature, but he was an astute leader who did not hesitate to use violence, said George E. Karalus, a retired mob investigator with the State Police who wrote a book on Magaddino with Buffalo News reporter Matt Gryta.
“They called him ‘the old man.’ He didn’t say all that much. But when a man’s name would come up for discussion at a meeting, if Maggadino gave a signal by raising his hand up over his head, that man was a dead man,” Karalus said. “He had that much power. He was a good family man, loved by a lot of people, but he was also a killer. We had information that he once ordered 26 different men to be killed because he heard they made remarks making fun of him.”
- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com