The Maryland Mafia Hit List: Baltimore’s Top 5 Mob Murders

New York’s Gambino crime family kept a crew in Baltimore for many years. Longtime Gambino mob consigliere Joe N. Gallo was in charge of the organization’s affairs in Maryland from the 1950s into the 1980s. The Corbis, Louie Morici, Benjamin (Benny Trotta) Magliano and Thomas (Red) Aversa) ran the show in B-More in conjunction with Jewish mob leaders Julius (The Lord) Solsbury and the Cohen brothers.


1. June 18, 1952 – Baltimore mob figure Salvatore (Big Sam) Zannino disappears on his way to a meeting with mafia powers in New York. Zannino was a boxing promoter who ran the Squires Athletic Club. New York mob don Albert Anastasia is alleged to have ordered Zannino murdered and summoned him to his slaughter. Big Sam’s Cadillac was later found abandoned and bloodstained in Delaware.

2. June 23, 1952 – Baltimore mob enforcer Anthony (Nino) Messina, Big Sam Zannino’s bodyguard, is found shot to death and in the trunk of his car near the Squires Athletic Club. FBI informants told agents that Messina was murdered on Albert Anastasia’s orders to make sure he didn’t seek retribution for the hit on his boss Big Sam.

3. August 26, 1965 – Bricklayers union boss Kenny Hatfield is shot to death on his front doorstep by drug-addled mob associate Phil Fiorino over a labor dispute. Hatfield and Baltimore Building Trades Council boss Guido Iozzi began feuding when Hatfield had his men cross a picket line ordered by Iozzi. Fiorino was killed shortly thereafter.

4. July 15, 1961 – Baltimore mafia figure Edward (Eddie Burns) Castranda is shot to death behind the wheel of his station wagon outside the Dixie Diner. Baltimore Police records implicated the Perrera brothers and “Hitty” Wildstein as the culprits.

5. April 13, 1964 – Baltimore mob enforcer Gilbert Bowen is found strangled and overdosed to death in a vacant lot on the city’s Eastside.

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