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Rudolph Santobello (born 1928) is a New York mobster who serves as a caporegime in the Genovese crime family.
On July 21, 1950, Santobello and Joseph Corbo murdered Alfred Loreto, an off-duty New York Police Department officer, during an attempted kidnapping of another individual in the Bronx section of New York. Apprehended at the crime scene, Santobello later testified that police brought him to the police station and interrogated him all night. Santobello also claimed that police hit him on the head with their guns and dazed him with a blow on the nose with a billy club. In June, 1951, Santobello was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
In 1966, a U.S. Supreme Court decision on illegal searches by police resulted in Santobello's sentence being reversed and his release from prison. In 1968, detective and whistleblower Frank Serpico arrested Santobello in the South Bronx for numbers running. Santobello was later sentenced to one year in prison, but was freed early due to another court decision on plea bargains. In the late 1970's Santobello became a caporegime, he supervised a crew from his headquarters at "Club Arthur's', a social club on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. From 1991 on, Santobello was heavily involved in loansharking, illegal gambling in the form of craps games, bookmaking, and numbers running.
On October 24, 1994, Santobello was convicted on ten counts of gambling and was sentenced on March 27, 1995 to 78 months in prison. Relaxed and joking during the trial, Santorello pleaded with the judge for leniency at the sentencing hearing, citing his family ties:
"This has been a very delicate situation for me. After getting married, having a daughter, I don't think I would be so foolish to subject myself to going back to prison at this stage of my life. I've done my best to bring my daughter up in the right manner."
Santobello also claimed that the police had a vendetta against him because of his reversed 1950 murder conviction. On June 12, 2000, Santobello was released from federal prison.
In popular culture Edit
The 1973 Sidney Lumet film Serpico dramatized the Santobello arrest, Santobello's name was changed to Rudy Cosaro in the film. In 1968 as he pulled policy numbers from behind a removable brick in a South Bronx building. Serpico hauled Santobello to the police station and handcuffed him to a railing in the interview room. After leaving the room for a few moments to attend to paper work, Serpico returned to find that his fellow detectives had released Santobello and were laughing with him. An outraged Serpico dragged Santobello across the room, handcuffing him again as his colleagues told him to take it easy. "Rudy is good people," said one detective. "This is who your friend is, he's a fucking cop killer," screamed Serpico as he threw Santobello's rap sheet at the detectives.