this day in crime history: january 14, 1979

On this date in 1979, Lucchese crime family associate Thomas “Two-Gun Tommy” DeSimone was reported missing by his wife. Turns out he was whacked, reportedly by members of the Gambino family. DeSimone, who was believed to have killed at least ten people, apparently killed someone he shouldn’t have. I guess if you kill enough people, that’s bound to happen eventually. Anyway, DeSimone’s victims included William “Billy Batts” Devino, a made man with the Gambino family, and Ronald “Foxy” Jerothe, a protege of future Gambino family boss John Gotti. Killing made men without permission is a big no-no in the mob, which Tommy found out the hard way.

He was lured to his death by Lucchese family members who told him he was being “made,” and that they were taking him to the ceremony. But instead of getting made, he got dead. DeSimone’s body was never found. His remains were thought to be buried in a “mob graveyard” on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

Tommy DeVito, the character played by Joe Pesci in the movie Goodfellas, was based in large part on Thomas DeSimone.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Thomas DeSimone

The Free Information Society – DeSimone, Thomas

truTV – The End of Tommy DeSimone  

7 thoughts on “this day in crime history: january 14, 1979

  1. John D.:
    Makes me wonder if there wera any ties to Philly, because we used to have a DeSimone CADILLAC dealership in the area…and they always seemed to be “busy”.
    (make a damn fine front for money laundering…among other things)

    Tommy never did seem like the BRIGHTEST crayon in the box.
    Good story.
    Roll safe


    • Not sure if he had a Philly connection. But Philadelphia was having its own mob problems back then. The following year, “Gentle Don” Angelo Bruno would be murdered. His successor, Phil Testa, was murdered a year after taking the reins of the Philadelphia family. He was succeeded by Nicky Scarfo, who was so kill-happy, he made John Gotti look like Mr. Rogers.


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