Gregory Scarpa
Gregory Scarpa
Gregory Scarpa
General Information:
Occupation: Mobster, Hitman, Contract Killer, Mafia Enforcer, Extortionist, FBI Informant, FBI Spy, FBI Enforcer
Years active: 1950's-1992
Alias(es): "Greg" (nickname) "The Grim Reaper", "The Mad Hatter", "The Terminator" and "The One-Man Army"
Sex: Male
Status: Dead
Nationality: Italian-American
Date of birth: (1928-05-08)May 8, 1928
Born in: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 4, 1994(1994-06-04) (aged 66)
Died in: Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
Criminal record (If any):
Criminal Affliation(s): Colombo Crime Family
Charges: Murder, Conspiracy to murder, Attempted murder, Bombing, Torture,
Convicted of: 103 counts of Murder, and Conspiracy to murder
Criminal penalty: Life In Federal Prison without parole
Known for: American capo and enforcer and hitman for the Colombo crime family, FBI Informant, FBI enforcer.
Mafia Wiki Script

Gregory "Greg" Scarpa, Sr. (May 8, 1928 – June 4, 1994) also known as "The Grim Reaper", "The Terminator", "The One-Man Army", "The Executioner", and "The Mad Hatter", was a veteran hitman and capo for the Colombo crime family and an informant for the FBI. During the early 1970s to the early 1990s, Scarpa was the chief enforcer and hitman for the boss of Colombo crime family Carmine Persico. Scrapa had a notorious reputation for being one of the most elite, prolific, dangerous, efficient and feared hitmen in the world, at one point. Scarpa was the most ruthless, lethal and feared enforcer in the Colombo Crime Family, killing more than 2,000 people for Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico. Thousands of soldiers in the Colombo crime family called Scarpa the "One-Man Army", "The Executioner", "The Mad Hatter", "The Terminator" and his most notorious nickname was "The Grim Reaper" due to single-handedly killing thousands of people and because of his supernatural strength of flipping over cars that weigh more than a ton, and because Scarpa was known to kill men with his bare hands in every possible way, by beating them to death, snapping their necks, strangulating them with his bare hands, or by punching them in the face to death.

It is believed by the FBI that Scarpa was responsible for murdering over 2,000 people from the early 1950s to 1991. Scarpa was described by his associates, and the FBI as, fearless, intimidating, frightening, terrifying, tough as nails, determined, pure evil, ferocious, cunning, extremely brutal, efficient, volatile, cold-blooded, highly-intelligent, animalistic, monstrous, barbaric, psychotic, psychopathic, bloodthirsty, and power-hungry.

Scarpa was considered to be a "homicidal maniac", "killing machine", "ruthless, efficient and professional executioner", "murderous monster", and an "elite assassin", Scarpa was well-known for viciously murdering people with his bare hands and by torture. Scarpa is considered by the FBI as one of the most toughest, ruthless, dangerous, murderous and feared gangster's in history of the world. FBI Agent Lindley Devecchio has stated that "Gregory Scarpa was one of the most scariest, murderous, evil, vicious and ruthless people that the FBI has ever encountered. Gregory Scarpa is the type of guy that if another man shot him in the chest, he would stand there if he was like the terminator, it probably wouldn't even phase him, and could rip the bullets out of his chest and say "did you just fucking shoot me, oh you fucked up", and charge at him and pick him up off the ground by his neck and slam him up against the wall and choke the life out of him to death. Scarpa was without a doubt oe of the most dangerous and feared criminal's that i and the FBI has ever came across in history. Scarpa scared the scary guys. When Scarpa was in prison he was feared by virtually everybody in there, even other prison gangs were literally petrified of Scarpa because first off they knew he was a made man in the Italian-American Mafia, second off because they knew his fearsome reputations a killing machine, a homicidal maniac, and the fact that he was one of the most ruthless, lethal and feared hitmen within the Italian-American Mafia, and third off Scarpa had a terrifying stare when he looked you in the eyes it was almost inhuman, it was like looking into the eyes of the devil, thats how terrifying Scarpa was, he was a truly terrifying man, and he was literally fearless."

It is believed by some sources that the FBI gave Gregory Scarpa a license to kill, and let him get away with most murders that he committed. It is also alleged by some sources, and by Gregory Scarpa himself that former FBI Agent, Lindley Devecchio was in Gregory Scarpa's pocket, and it is also believed by mafia journalist Selwyn Raab and many other sources, including some NYPD Organized Crime Task Force detectives that Lindley Dececchio turned a blind-eye to Gregory Scarpa committing murder, in exchange for certain information regarding the mob, and it is also believed that Lindley Devecchio received payoffs from Gregory Scarpa to look the other way.

Biography Edit

Scarpa was born to first-generation emigrants from the impoverished village of Lorenzaga of Motta di Livenza near Venice, Italy. Scarpa was the brother of Colombo mobster Salvatore Scarpa, who may have introduced Scarpa to the Colombo family.

In the 1950s, Scarpa married Connie Forrest; she and Scarpa had one daughter and three sons, including Gregory Scarpa Jr. Greg Jr. would follow his father into the Colombo family, eventually becoming a capo. Scarpa and Forrest separated in 1973. Scarpa also maintained a 30-year relationship with girlfriend Linda Schiro that resulted in two children, Joseph and Linda. Scarpa reportedly joined the Colombo family during the 1950s.

Scarpa was a stylish dresser who routinely carried $5,000 in pocket money for purchases and bribes. Scarpa had use of an apartment on Manhattan's toney Sutton Place and owned homes in Singer Island, Florida, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Las Vegas. His power, guile, ruthlessness, and brutality earned him the nickname "the Grim Reaper" and helped him escape prosecution for many years. Schiro later said that Scarpa would sometimes leave the numbers "666", the biblical Number of the Beast, on his victims' pagers.

A career criminal, Scarpa eventually became a caporegime in the Colombo crime family, as well as the proprietor of the Wimpy Boys Social Club. Scarpa was involved in illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, hijacking, counterfeit credit cards, assault, stock and bond thefts, narcotics and murder. Many of the highest-ranking members of the Colombo crime family today were members of Scarpa's crew.

In March 1962, Scarpa was arrested outside for armed robbery. To avoid prosecution, Scarpa agreed to work as an undercover informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), beginning a 30-year relationship with the agency.

Deaths of Mississippi civil rights workers Edit

In the summer of 1964, according to Schiro and other sources, FBI field agents in Mississippi [1]recruited Scarpa to come to Mississippi to help them find missing civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. The FBI was convinced the three men had been murdered, but could not find their graves. The agents thought that Scarpa, using illegal interrogation techniques not available to agents, might succeed at gaining this information from suspects.

Once Scarpa arrived in Mississippi, local FBI agents allegedly provided him with a gun and money to pay for information. Scarpa and an FBI agent pistol-whipped and kidnapped Lawrence Byrd, a TV salesman and Ku Klux Klan leader, from his store in Laurel and took him to Camp Shelby, a local Army base. At Shelby, Scarpa severely beat Byrd, punched him in the face and stomach dozens of times, pistol-whipped him over five times, and stuck a gun barrel down his throat. Scarpa even threatened to castrate Byrd if he didn't cough up some information that he wanted. The terrified Byrd finally revealed to Scarpa the location of the civil rights workers' graves.[2][3]

In January 1966, Scarpa allegedly helped the FBI a second time in Mississippi on the murder case of Vernon Dahmer, a black shopkeeper killed in a fire set by the Klan. After this second trip, Scarpa and the FBI had a sharp disagreement about his reward for these services. [4]

FBI informant Edit

In 1980, FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio became Scarpa's contact and handler, and restarted his relationship with the FBI. Scarpa had refused contact with the FBI for the previous five years, but DeVecchio persuaded him to cooperate again. Gregory Jr., Linda Schiro, and federal prosecutors later claimed that Scarpa had numerous illegal dealings with DeVecchio. Scarpa allegedly provided DeVecchio with cash, jewelry and other gifts along with information of questionable value on the Colombos. In return, DeVecchio allegedly protected Scarpa from arrest and provided him with information about his enemies during the Third Colombo war. Over the years, the FBI reportedly paid Scarpa $20 million for his services. [5]

According to mob associates, Scarpa would joke about "Girlfriend", a female friend in the FBI who gave him information on indictments and informants. For eleven years, DeVecchio met alone with Scarpa, often at an apartment or hotel room provided by the FBI. DeVecchio was a frequent dinner guest at Scarpa's house and on one occasion received a hard-to-find Cabbage Patch doll from Scarpa as a gift. Some of DeVecchio's fellow agents were disturbed by DeVecchio's closeness to Scarpa, and were soon reporting it to their FBI superiors.

In 1985, federal prosecutors indicted Scarpa for running a major credit card scam. After Scarpa pleaded guilty, prosecutors asked the court to give him a sizable fine and a prison sentence. However, DeVecchio submitted a memo to the judge that listed all of Scarpa's contributions to the FBI. The judge finally sentenced Scarpa to five years probation with no prison time and a $10,000 fine. Colombo crime family members were so surprised by Scarpa's light sentence that some started wondering if he was working for the government.

HIV Infection Edit

In 1986, Scarpa was diagnosed with HIV. After having emergency ulcer surgery at Victory Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn in 1986, Scarpa received several blood donations from family members and associates. Scarpa had refused blood from the hospital blood bank because he feared that the blood might have come from African-Americans, whom he despised. .[6] Scarpa eventually got blood from mobster Paul Mele, a body builder who was abusing steroids. Mele had contracted the HIV virus from a dirty needle and transmitted it to Scarpa in the blood transfusion.

Surgeons at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan eventually removed Scarpa's stomach. On August 30, 1992, Scarpa received a $300,000 settlement in civil court from his first surgeon and Victory Hospital for negligence. As Scarpa's illness progressed to AIDS, he and his relatives told everyone that he was suffering from cancer.

Assassination attempt and retaliation Edit

In 1991, supporters of Colombo rebel Vittorio Orena attempted to kill Scarpa. Earlier in 1991, a power struggle between imprisoned Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico and acting boss Vittorio Orena broke into violence. Persico's loyalists had unsuccessfully attempted to kill Orena at his Brooklyn home. In retaliation, Orena decided to murder Scarpa, one of Persico's strongest supporters. On November 18, 1991, Scarpa was driving his daughter and granddaughter home in Brooklyn when he was stopped by two cars. Hitmen ran from their vehicles with guns drawn and converged on Scarpa's car. But Scarpa managed to drive away from the ambush, crashing into anything that got in his way. A few bystanders were injured, but Scarpa and his relatives escaped unharmed.

During the seven-month conflict between Persico and Orena, Scarpa served as Persico's military commander. Although weakened by illness, Scarpa constantly cruised along Avenue U in Brooklyn, looking for Orena supporters in social clubs and bars. Incensed by the murder attempt with his family, Scarpa was especially watchful for Orena loyalist William Cutolo, who had organized it. Over the next few weeks, Scarpa and his associates killed Genovese crime family mobster Thomas Amato (a mistake) and Orena loyalists Rosario Nastasa, Vincent Fusaro, and James Malpiso. Scarpa allegedly shot Fursaro as he was hanging Christmas lights on his house.[2][6]

Prison and deathEdit

In 1992, Scarpa's AIDS lawsuit was settled with $3 million in cash payments to his family.[7] In 1992, while appearing at a New York civil courtroom for his medical lawsuit, Scarpa was arrested for violating state firearms laws. Soon after, Scarpa was indicted on federal racketeering charges involving three murders.

On December 29, 1992, while under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device, Scarpa lost an eye in a shootout with other mobsters. Two Lucchese crime family mobsters, Michael DeRosa and Ronald Moran, had threatened Joey Scarpa, Gregory's son, over a drug deal. Climbing out of bed, Gregory Scarpa drove with Joey to DeRosa's house and shot DeRosa twice. Moran fired back and hit Scarpa in the eye. Back at his house, Scarpa allegedly poured some Scotch Whisky into his wound, assured the authorities everything was fine, and later went to the hospital. Prosecutors revoked Scarpa's house arrest and sent him to jail.[8]

By 1993, Scarpa was blind in one eye, emaciated and in poor health. On May 6, 1993, Scarpa pleaded guilty to 53 murders and conspiracy to murder 28 others.[2][9] On December 15, 1993, Scarpa was sentenced to life in federal prison. This sentence was later reduced to ten years due to Scarpa's poor health[8] On June 4, 1994, Gregory Scarpa Sr. died in the Federal Medical Center (FMC) for prisoners in Rochester, Minnesota rom AIDS-related complications.[10]

Aftermath Edit

Scarpa's status as an informer was only revealed in 1995, during a racketeering and murder trial of seven members of the Orena faction. Prosecutors revealed that DeVecchio might have revealed confidential information, including information about former Colombo wiseguys who had turned informer, to Scarpa. Ultimately, 19 Orena supporters had murder charges thrown out or murder convictions reversed after their attorneys contended DeVecchio's collaboration with Scarpa tainted the evidence against them. The attorneys argued that DeVecchio gave Scarpa information he used to kill members of the Orena faction, thus making any killings committed by their clients acts of self-defense.

On March 30, 2006, DeVecchio, who retired from the FBI in 1996, was indicted on charges of complicity with Scarpa and other Colombo mobsters in four murders during the 1980s and 1990s. The government case rested on the testimony of Linda Schiro, who was soon discredited as a witness after Tom Robbins of The Village Voice revealed she'd denied Scarpa had ever been involved in an interview she'd granted to Robbins and Jerry Capeci a decade earlier. On November 1, 2007, the judge dismissed all charges against DeVecchio at the request of prosecutors.

Popular Culture Edit

Gregory Scarpa's Daughter, Linda Scarpa, is to star in a reality television show, Bo$$ Ladies, in the summer of 2013.


  1. Mob moll says Mafiosi helped FBI. Yahoo! (October 29, 2007). Archived from the original on November 1, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The G-man and the Hit Man" by Fredric Danne New Yorker Magazine December 16, 1996
  3. ""Mob Solved 'Mississippi Burning' Murders?"", ABC News. Retrieved on July 30, 2017. 
  4. GREG SCARPA SNR. Part Two. Retrieved on 3 October 2011.
  5. de Szigethy, J.R (January 2004). "MOB WAR! Part II Anatomy of a Frame-up". Retrieved on July, 30, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 GREG SCARPA SNR. Part Three. Retrieved on 3 October 2011.
  7. "Settlement in Lawsuit on H.I.V.-Tainted Blood" Mary B.W. Tabor New York Times
  8. 8.0 8.1 GREG SCARPA SNR. Part 4. Retrieved on 3 October 2011.
  9. "Special Report: Chapter Three: The Attorney General's Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants" Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice September 2005
  10. Gregory Scarpa, Sr.. NNDB. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.

External linksEdit