Mafia chief `wanted to kill Frank Sinatra`

Updated: Oct 23, 2012, 14:33 PM IST

London: One mobster hated Frank Sinatra so much that he wanted to kill the singer, according to secret tapes put forward as evidence at the trial of an alleged mafia “boss.”

The trial of Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, reputed head of the Philadelphia mob, began last Thursday after he was arrested on gambling and extortion charges in 2011.

Prosecutors claim that Ligambi provided video poker machines and other illegal gambling devices to bars, restaurants and shops in Philadelphia.

The prosecution wants to use tapes recorded by a mobster-turned-FBI informant to paint a picture of the violent past of the mob.

However defense attorney Christopher Warren, who is representing Ligambi and another alleged gangster Joseph “Scoops” Licata, described the tapes to jurors as just a “bunch geriatric gangsters talking,” according to

He said that the recordings were not relevant to his clients’ trial.

The tapes were made by mobster Nicholas ‘Nicky Skins’ Stefanelli who became an informant for the FBI and recorded dozens of conversations by wearing a wire.

One conversation took place between 69-year-old Stefanelli and Licata at the American Bistro in New Jersey last April. Louis Fazzini, 45, and Nicholas Mitarotunda, 74, were also allegedly at the meal.

The men talk about a mafia consigliere (advisor) called Antonio “Tony Bananas” Caponigro who was told by Sinatra to “stop talking” during a performance.

The mobster was so enraged, he was said to have “hated” the singer and threatened to kill him.

The gangsters then begin to discuss their other favorite singers - with Bobby Darin, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley topping the list.

One suggests that Presley did a better version of ‘My Way’ than Sinatra.

The discussion around the dinner table then turns to fashion, in particular custom-made shirts, along with how you get a better sleep in prison because no one can call you in the middle of the night.

They also complained that prison sentences were getting longer because, in the past: “Every cop was on the take. Nobody to pinch you. Do anything you want.”