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Frank DeSimone

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Desimone-roselli

Frank DeSimone with John Roselli

Frank A. DeSimone (July 17, 1909 – August 4, 1967) was the Boss of the Los Angeles crime family from 1956 to 1967. DeSimone was the son of former L.A. crime boss Rosario DeSimone. He was sometimes referred to as "One Eye" because one of his eyes drooped, in the same way as Lucky Luciano. Frank DeSimone's well-known nephew, Thomas DeSimone, was an enforcer for the Lucchese crime family and was portrayed by Joe Pesci's character, "Tommy DeVito," in the 1990 film, Goodfellas. He was also related to Simone Scozzari and Joseph Civello.

Biography Edit

DeSimone was born in 1909 in Pueblo, Colorado where his father Rosario was reportedly involved with the early Denver crime family organization. As a child his family moved to California. Desimone graduated from the University of Southern California Law School and became a lawyer in May 1933. Soon after he turned to a life in crime. DeSimone was involved in one of the botched assassination attempts on Mickey Cohen as a getaway driver. Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno signaled DeSimone after a meeting with Cohen and DeSimone pulled up in a car with Frank Bompensiero, Leo Moceri, and another armed man. By the time they got past Cohen's bodyguards, Cohen had hidden in the bathrrom escaping harm, but two of his associates were injured and another, Harold "Hooky" Rothman, was killed. With a job as an attorney, DeSimone was able to avoid police scrutiny. His lawyer career was no front job however. In the 1940s and 1950s DeSimone served as lawyer for mobsters such as Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno and Johnny Roselli as well as providing legal aid to others.

After Jack Dragna died of a heart attack in 1956, DeSimone was elected as the new official Boss of the Los Angeles crime family. Jimmy Fratianno believed he had rigged the election by making deals and promises with members of the family to have them vote in his favor to be able to overstep Dragna underboss Girolamo "Momo" Adamo and become boss. According to an informant shortly after he became boss, DeSimone allegedly raped the wife of his underboss, Girolamo Adamo, in front of her husband. The humiliated "Momo" later shot his wife and committed suicide in their San Diego home. Marie Adamo survived her wounds and later married Frank Bompensiero. It is uncertain if DeSimone actually committed the actions that caused "Momo" to kill himself. By all accounts DeSimone was a straight laced and sober character. One of his first acts as boss was attending the 1957 Apalachin mob convention in upstate New York along with his new underboss Simone Scozzari. When the conference was raided by law enforcement, DeSimone was outed as a mobster, and his underboss was deported to Italy for being an illegal immigrant.

The "Mickey Mouse Mafia" Edit

Frankdesimonelifemagazine

Frank DeSimone, 1968 Life Magazine photo

Frank DeSimone is accused of ruining the Los Angeles family's reputation and integrity, causing the chapter to earn the title, "The Mickey Mouse Mafia". Nonetheless, DeSimone was featured in Look Magazine in 1965 as one of the decade's notable figures in organized crime; DeSimone sued the magazine for libel. Jimmy Fratianno also blamed DeSimone in 1953 for having been sent to Folsom prison on a six-year extortion conviction, after dealing with con-artists James B. Modica (a man who 'bumped' slot machines and liquor store owners in Tarzana) and Frank Raspona. Fratianno accused DeSimone of ruining his case by not recording one of the defendants key witnesses who skipped town before being able to take the stand. DeSimone was later disbarred because of his criminal activities.

In the 1960s, Joseph "Bananas" Bonanno, in a plot to take over The Commission, plotted the murder of Mafia Bosses Gaetano Lucchese, Carlo Gambino, and Stefano Magaddino, and added DeSimone to the list for good measure. Although never carried out, DeSimone didn't learn about that plan until after it was thwarted. This caused DeSimone to become very paranoid. During the later part of his life he never went out during night.

DeSimone died of a heart attack at age 57. After DeSimone's death, Nick Licata, DeSimone's third underboss was named the next Los Angeles Boss. Frank DeSimone may have inspired the The Godfather's lawyer-turned-mobster character "Tom Hagen," portrayed by Robert Duvall.

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