By The Other Guy | May 8, 2020
Salvatore (Sammy) Badalamenti – aka “Sam Badalamente”. Born in 1905 in the town of Carini, Sicily. He immigrated to the U.S. as a six-year-old in 1911. (dob alternately given as 12-26-17 in NYC).
An enigma, Sammy first resided and operated in the Family stronghold of Bath Beach in Brooklyn on 71st Street, until later relocating out to the Astoria area of Queens County.
By 1957, he had made the migration out to Nassau County’s South Shore on Long Island. Like so many of his mafia brethren of the era, Badalamenti bought a home in suburbia at 54 Mineola Avenue in the tiny oceanfront community of Point Lookout. But heavy law enforcement scrutiny of Long Island mob figures starting in 1955, encouraged him to relocate to 244 McElroy Avenue in Palisades, New Jersey.
He had lived variously in Kings, Queens, and Nassau Counties and then moved to the State of New Jersey.
Side Note: One notorious neighbor of his when he lived in Nassau included the Lucchese Family’s John Dioguardi, who was reportedly a personal friend.
He also had a brother named Giuseppe (Joe) who was a member of the Profaci borgata.
Sammy was an unassuming hood who stood 5-feet 7-inches tall and weighed a slim 150 pounds. As a young man, he had brown eyes and wavy hair that by his mid-40s had mostly receded to a bald pate.
FBI # 2847522, NYCPD # B-135053
His criminal record dates back to 1935 and includes burglary, grand larceny, petit larceny, and bookmaking.
In 1960, he was listed on an official FBI chart of the Profaci Family as one of 10 “Capodecina” named as active group leaders at that time.
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), as well as the NYCPD also documented him as an important capo or member. During the 1963 McClellan Hearings, informer Joe Valachi named Badalamenti as a top mafioso as well.
Despite numerous reliable sources identifying him, very little was actually ever learned about Sam’s underworld career. And equally important, he was never indicted or convicted in any major cases that would imprison him.
An early member of what would become the Joseph Profaci Family, Sam Badalamenti was thought to have been elevated by Profaci to a “capo di decina” status by the late 1940s. His crew is thought to have included members:
• Leonardo (Big Leo) Carlino
• Sam’s brother Joe
• Lorenzo Lampasi Sr.
• Emanuele (Nello) Cammarata
• Antonio (Nino) Colombo
• Vincenzo (Jimmy) Sabella
He was additionally said to affiliate and be friendly with the likes of:
• Joseph Profaci
• Anthony (Tony Bender) Strollo
• Sebastiano (Buster) Nani
• Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro
• John (Johnny Dio) Dioguardi
… among others
Badalamenti was a partner in Hi-Grade Fuel Oil Co., and Pisa Catering on 86th St. in Brooklyn. These were two well-established and profitable businesses that had been around for decades. He was also said to have held a partnership interest in a Brooklyn fruit and vegetable market.
In 1963, he was named as having a principal interest in Caruso Music Co., of Rego Park in Queens. This was a jukebox-vending machine firm.
By the 1950s, Badalamenti was also said to be a part owner of a major garment trucking company operating in Manhattan’s “garment district”, partnered with several other racketeers from the Genovese crew. He was listed on the incorporation papers of the Harry Barnett Transport & Trucking Co., of 211 West 36th Street, New York City, as a stockholder, corporate officer and principal. Other company officers were Abraham (Abe) Chait, a known Jewish garment racketeer and extortionist, and Harry Barnett.
This apparel hauling firm was said to hold monopolistic control over a cadre of dress factories who shipped finished product out for ultimate distribution, so Sam was active in the garment rackets as well.
Authorities believed Sam was active in the gambling (bookmaking) and vending machine rackets in addition to his strong-arm garment operations.
He was allegedly partners at one point in a gambling ring with Genovese underboss Anthony Strollo, whom he was thought to be distantly related to.
Some of his crew was believed to operate out of the Belvedere Social Club in Bath Beach/Bensonhurst area.
Side Note: During the third internal Colombo Civil War of the early 1990’s, Persico faction soldier Rosario Nastasa aka “Black Sam” was assassinated at the old Belvedere while playing cards. Nastasa is believed to have inherited the private mob social club, using it as his headquarters.
With the elevation of Joseph Colombo to boss in 1964, changes were made in the hierarchy of the borgata. Badalamenti was one of several old time capos demoted back to soldier status to make way for younger and more aggressive men to assume the “captains” posts.
After his demotion from “capo” in mid-1965, soldier Salvatore (Sam) Badalamenti reportedly became very depressed. Less than two years later Sam took his own life, shooting himself in the head in 1967.
A short, quick, but sad end to an “up until then”, successful and shadowy underworld career.
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