Barring any spectacular 1999 year-end closeout, the century’s greatest Mafia hit will remain the barbershop rubout of Albert Anastasia, Murder, Inc.’s so-called Lord High Executioner. And while the city was shocked by the brazen October 1957 murder, it now turns out that Anastasia’s own brother – waterfront rackets boss Anthony “Tough Tony” Anastasia – believed his sibling deserved to die.
That’s what Tough Tony told the FBI during clandestine meetings with federal agents, according to bureau documents recently unearthed by a Freedom of Information Act request. In a remarkable family and mob betrayal, Anastasia told agents that “I ate from the same table as Albert and came from the same womb but I know he killed many men and he deserved to die,” according to an August 1962 FBI memo.
Anastasia, who died soon after his secret FBI meetings, told agents about a variety of Mafia matters, including which gangsters were allied with Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. Tough Tony, who ran the longshoremen’s union, requested that information he provided be disseminated only to FBI agents and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Anastasia did not want U.S. Attorneys to know of his cooperation because he “felt that this was a politician’s job and continually changing.”
The disclosure of Anastasia’s covert activities surely will come as a surprise to his surviving family members – a tight-knit and high-profile group that includes son-in-law Anthony Scotto, who succeeded Tough Tony as Brooklyn dock boss and was a reputed Gambino crime family member; daughter Marion Scotto, who runs Manhattan’s popular Fresco restaurant; and granddaughter Rosanna Scotto, the veteran Channel 5 news anchor.
For more intriguing documents, visit ‘The Smoking Gun’ online at thesmokinggun.com.