Dominic Phillip Brooklier (born November 19, 1914 - died July 18, 1984) was an Italian American mobster and head of the Los Angeles crime family during the mid-1970s. During Brooklier's tenure as boss, the Los Angeles family was big in pornography and extortion (extorting cash from local bookies, loan sharks, pimps, and other hustlers) but failed to take over the bookmaking racket in Southern California.
Early years Edit
Born Domenico Brucceleri, Brooklier joined Mickey Cohen's syndicate gambling operations in Southern California in the 1940s under the name Jimmy Regace. During the Sunset Wars of the 1940s, Brooklier defected to rival Los Angeles mobster Jack Dragna's Los Angeles crime family. In 1947, Brooklier became a made man in the Los Angeles family. His younger brother Joseph Brooklier, was a top bookie and loan shark in the Detroit and San Diego area underworld. He was a reputed member of the Detroit Partnership and close associate of Frank Bompensiero.
Hit on Mickey Cohen EditWhile working for Dragna, Brooklier unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Cohen as he left a restaurant along with Arthur DiMara. The night of the hit, Mickey and his group of nine others got to Sherry's two hours before closing. The two shooters were already in place. The crowds had began to die along the strip as the hour grew late. Finally, just after closing, Mickey and his party, now joined by a Los Angeles Police Sargent, stood in front Sherry's, waiting for their cars to be brought around front.
Jimmy Regace (as Brooklier was then known) and Arthur opened fire hitting parked cars, the building that housed Sherry's and a cop from the Attorney General’s office in Sacramento. The hoodlum Neddie Herbert was mortally wounded. Two women were hit and Mickey took a slug to the shoulder. Neddie Herbert would be the only casualty that night. The shooting had just stopped when the crash car zoomed off down the street. The Police Sargent jumped into his car to give chase, only to lose it. The Los Angeles police arrested a number of suspects, including the Two Tony's. None of those arrested were LA Family guys. The battle for the Sunset strip was in full swing.
Boss of the Los Angeles family Edit
From 1947 to 1953, Brooklier worked closely with Los Angeles family member Aladena "Jimmy the Weasel" Fratianno in loan sharking. In the late 1960s, Brooklier was promoted to caporegime in charge of a crew in Orange County, where he also lived. Sometime later, he legally changed his name to Dominic Brooklier.
In a long criminal arrest record dating back to the 1930s, he had been convicted of armed robbery, larceny, interstate transportation of forged documents and racketeering.
In early 1974, Brooklier replaced the deceased Joseph Dippolito as family underboss. On October 19, 1974, family boss Nick Licata died and Brooklier was elected the new boss. Also in 1974, Brooklier and new underboss Samuel Sciortino were charged with racketeering under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Brooklier was specifically charged with extorting payments from a bookmaker in 1973. On April 17, 1975, the two men pleaded guilty to one count.
Bompensiero murder Edit
In 1975, Brooklier ordered the killing of Los Angeles mobster Frank Bompensiero. Brooklier had lost trust in Bompensiero's ability to keep secrets, and was angry at his criticisms of Brooklier's leadership. However, Bompensiero, always a cautious man, proved to be an elusive target. In 1976, to allay Bompernsiero's suspicions, Brooklier appointed him consigliere of the Los Angeles family. Unknown to Brooklier, Bompensiero was now working as a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant. In March 1976, Bompensiero persuaded Brooklier to extort payments from Forex, a new company that produced pornography. However, Forex was actually created by the FBI as a sting operation. When the family discovered the sting, Fratianno immediately suspected Bompensiero of being an informant. On February 10, 1977, Los Angeles mobster Tommy Ricciardi finally fulfilled the murder contract by shooting Bompensiero in a phone booth near his apartment.
Final Years Edit
While Brooklier was serving prison time in the mid 1970s, he appointed Jimmy Fratianno as his acting boss. Seeing a challenge to his authority, Brooklier placed a murder contract on Fratianno for what he felt was Fratianno's attempt at trying to usurp him. However, Fratianno had been informed by the FBI of the contract and Fratianno agreed to turn state's evidence and testify against his Mafia associates in 1979. Fratianno now implicated Brooklier in the 1977 Bompensiero killing.
On February 28, 1978 Brooklier was indicted on charges of racketeering, extortion, and murder charges. He was convicted of racketeering, but was acquitted of Bompensiero's murder in 1981. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison and began serving his time in 1983. Brooklier allegedly held a Law Degree, his son Anthony, is a Los Angeles area Lawyer.
On July 18, 1984, Dominic Brooklier died of a heart attack at the Tucson Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) near Tucson, Arizona.