Kansas City’s Civella crime family wasn’t to be trifled with in its heyday. The boys from the Missouri mafia were unafraid of littering the streets with bodies and did so throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s. The newly-premiered season of the FX television show Fargo explores a fictional storyline involving the K.C. Italian mob and its counterparts in the city’s Black mob during the 1950s.
THE KANSAS CITY MOB HIT LIST (1970-Present)
July 15, 1970 — Civil Rights leader Leon Jordan is gunned down outside his Green Duck Tavern on a murder contract issued by the Civella crime family and carried out by the Kansas City Black mob. Jordan punched a Civella-controlled politician and got into a spat with Black mob boss James (Doc) Dearborn over a woman.
July 22, 1976 – Kansas City mobster David Bonadonna is found in the trunk of his Mustang automobile, shot in the back of the head, a short distance away from Willie the Rat Cammisano’s garage headquarters where he was last seen in the hours before being killed.
November 17, 1976 – Kansas City wiseguy and Bonadonna loyalist John (Johnny B) Brocato is found stuffed in the trunk of his car at the airport, shot in the back of the head.
February 19, 1977 – Civella crime family lieutenant John (Johnny Green) Amaro is shot to death in his garage.
February 22, 1977 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and hit man Harold (Sonny) Bowen is shot-gunned to death inside a crowded bar (Pat O’Brien’s) in the heart of the River Quay on the evening of Amaro’s wake. Bowen is believed to have killed Amaro.
August 5, 1977 – Bonadonna faction enforcer Gary Parker is blown up in a car bomb in his driveway.
May 2, 1978 – Local hood, thief and Bonadonna-loyalist Myron (Alley Cat Andy) Mancuso is shot to death behind the wheel of his car, last seen leaving a 24-hour diner with Willie the Rat’s son and protégé William (Little Willie) Cammisano, Jr. a half hour before being found dead.
May 4, 1978 – Local hood, thief and Bonadonna-loyalist Michael (Minuteman Mike) Massey, Mancuso’s partner-in-crime and an informant that got Kansas City mobster Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella busted for racketeering, is shot to death behind the wheel of his car.
May 17, 1978 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and independent gangster Mike Spero is slain in the infamous Virginian Tavern Massacre, where several Civella crime family hit men came blasting into the Spero brothers’ headquarters with shotguns blazing. Mike’s brother Joe is wounded fleeing out of a side door and his brother Carl is paralyzed in the attack.
June 18, 1980 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and independent gangster Joe Spero is killed in a bombing in Clay County while fiddling with booby-trapped explosives in his work shed on his farm.
January 6, 1984 – “Spero Gang” leader and one-time Bonadonna backer, the wheelchair-bound Carl Spero is blown up at his Five-Star Investment Used Cars office headquarters in the time surrounding Willie the Rat’s release from federal prison and ascension to don. Cammisano assumed the reins on an official basis upon the passing of crime family namesake Nick Civella and the incarceration of his brother and underboss Carl (Corky) Civella.
February 9, 1984 – Longtime Kansas City mafia figure Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella, once on the frontlines of the River Quay War for the Civella syndicate, disappears and isn’t found until three weeks later strangled to death in the trunk of his car in parking lot of freight company warehouse on February 27.
September 19, 1984 – Longtime Kansas City mafia figure Felix (Little Phil) Ferina, Cardarella’s trusted gangland running buddy and another former front-liner in the battle for the River Quay in the 1970s, is shot to death in front of his house. Ferina and Cardarella allegedly spoke openly of trying to overthrow Willie the Rat.
January 14, 1985 — Kansas City Black mob boss James (Doc) Dearborn is gunned down outside a hotel drug den.
August 18, 1988 — Kansas City mob associate Roger Reid is found strangled to death inside a motel.
1990 — Kansas City mob associate Larry Strada, who turned FBI informant, was shot to death outside his hoyse.
1997 — Harold Ash is gunned down outside a casino.
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