The Rochester Mafia Rubout Hit List: The Alphabet Wars & More Of The Greatest Hits In NY State Mob History

The mafia in Rochester, New York, sometimes referred to as the Valenti crime family, no longer exists. It died out in the late 1990s from attrition, infighting and incarceration, an apt ending for a highly dysfunctional group of hoodlums. Violence in the organization reached its zenith in the 1970s and early 1980s from a bloody conflict known as the Alphabet Wars, where three separate factions of the Rochester mob (the A, B & C Teams) engaged in a shooting and bombing beef that lasted almost a decade and made headlines across the state.

Rochester Mob Murder Timeline (1964-1983)

September 12, 1964 – Rochester mafia boss Jake Russo disappears on his way to a meeting at Frank Valenti’s restaurant The Quill Room. Valenti consolidated mob interests in Rochester in the 1950s before being booted from the state for legal problems and then returning to assume the throne in Russo’s absence. Russo had refused to pay a tribute to Buffalo mob don Stefano (The Undertaker) Magaddino and offended Magaddino by threatening to go over his head to resolve the issue.

February 23, 1965 – Rochester mob enforcer Dominic (The Deacon) Alloco is shot in the back of the head, hogtied and tossed in a field in Walworth, New York after accruing substantial gambling debts.

September 21, 1967 – Rochester mob soldier John (Johnny Broadway) Cavagrotti vanishes. He is last seen getting into a car with local gangland rising star Salvatore (Sammy G) Gingello. Cavagrotti was feuding with Valenti over how much money from Cavagrotti’s bookmaking business Valenti was entitled to as boss.

December 22, 1967 – Rochester mob collector Norman (Big Norm) Huck is slain after disrespecting Valenti and several of his men at a restaurant by taking a bottle of wine off their table and smashing it.

March 11, 1969 – Rochester mob figure Richard (Pretty Ricky) Visconte is killed after getting into a beef with Rochester mafia hit man Vincent (Jimmy the Hamer) Massaro over a woman.

February 18, 1970 – Rochester mob captain Billy (The Wolf) Lupo is found shot to death slumped behind the wheel of his car. Lupo had once served as Frank Valenti’s bodyguard and driver. Sammy Gingello is named a capo and assumes control of Lupo’s crew.

December 14, 1970 – Rochester wiseguy William (Billy the Kid) Constable is killed for trying to muscle in on mob rackets.

June 5, 1972 – Rochester mob soldier Dominic (Shotgun Dom) Chirico, Valenti’s most trusted lieutenant and enforcer is shot-gunned to death outside his girlfriend’s apartment building. Valenti flees the state and Sam (Red) Russotti takes his place in the wake of Valenti getting exposed for stealing from the organization.

April 3, 1973 — African-American Rochester mob associate Ernie (The Cat) White is killed, his body dumped under a local bridge, the day after he was part of an armed-robbery crew that knocked off a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Irondequoit, New York.

November 23, 1973 – Rochester mob enforcer Vincent (Jimmy the Hammer) Massaro, a Valenti loyalist, is killed and stuffed in the trunk of his car after bucking under the thumb of the city’s new mafia regime.

April 23, 1978 – Rochester mob underboss Salvatore (Sammy G) Gingello is killed in a car bombing in front of Ben’s Café Society Social Club, setting off the Alphabet Wars. The Russotti and Gingello faction of the organization became known as the A Team. Their former acting boss Tommy Didio, who opposed their leadership, was dubbed the B Team. Gingello’s bodyguards, Tommy Torpey and Tommy Taylor, would go on to start the so-called C Team.

July 6, 1978 – Renegade Rochester mob chief Tommy Didio is machine-gunned to death inside a room at the Exit 45 Motel in Victor, New York. Didio headed the B Team and was Russotti and Gingello’s acting boss when they were away in prison for the Jimmy the Hammer murder case

December 17, 1981 – Rochester mob capo John (Johnny Flowers) Fiorino is shot-gunned to death outside the Blue Gardenia restaurant by John (Mad Dog) Sullivan, on orders of the C Team. Fiorino was a labor union leader in the area. The Blue Gardenia was a favorite area mob haunt of that era. Fiorino was a Teamsters vice-president.

May 25, 1982 – Rochester mobster Nick (Nicky Coins) Mastrodonato is slain allegedly by an A Team gunmen inside his pawn shop headquarters. Mastrodonato was a member of the C Team. Rochester mafia hit man Dominick (Trigger Dom) Taddeo pleaded guilty to being the triggerman in the Nicky Coins execution.

August 26, 1982 – Rochester mob associate Gerry Pelusio is killed in a hail of shot-gun fire in an attack on him and his brother Tommy Pelusio, the intended target of the hit contract. The Pelusios were C Teamers. Trigger Dom Taddeo pleaded guilty to Pelusio’s slaying.

April 2, 1983 – Rochester mobster Dino Tortarice is killed outside his home. Tortarice was on the C Team and murdered by Trigger Dom Taddeo.

This article was originally posted here