The Sinister History of Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, Murderous Mafia Underboss

The Sinister History of Anthony

( – Do you ever complain about one of your work colleagues? Well, be grateful you didn’t work with Anthony Casso. This brutal Mafia enforcer was a menace to society – and an even bigger menace to his own organized crime family.

Anthony Salvatore Casso was born in Brooklyn on May 21, 1942. His father, once a small-time criminal, was now working as a longshoreman, and tried to keep his son away from crime. But, Anthony’s godfather was a member of the notorious Genovese crime family, and the boy admired the gangster lifestyle. By his teens, he was part of a street gang, and at 21, he was recruited by the Lucchese crime family, the third most powerful in New York.

Casso soon earned a reputation for brutality in the Lucchese family, starting out as a loan shark and enforcer. He once broke a man’s toes with a forklift as a “joke” about the victim’s new boots. Then, in 1985, he was hired to assassinate Gambino family boss John Gotti, the infamous “Teflon Don” – and that launched a new career as a killer.

In April 1986, Casso violated the New York Mafia’s no-bombs policy, attempting to kill Gotti with a bomb in another don’s car. Gotti escaped, but now Casso was on a roll. He bribed two NYPD cops to act as sources and hired killers; they murdered eight Mafiosi who had become police informants.

Casso also started killing informants – or suspected informants – himself, murdering at least 17 and maybe as many as 36. He ordered the deaths of about 100 more people in a crazed effort to purge the “family” of police sources. Then, in a final irony, he became an informant himself.

Arrested in 1993, Casso offered to sell out his former colleagues in exchange for witness protection, making him one of the highest-ranked snitches in Mafia history. He just couldn’t behave, though, and in 1998, after a string of assaults on other inmates and bribery attempts on guards, he was removed from the Witness Protection program and sentenced to 455 years in prison. In the end, he only served 22 of them before dying of COVID-19.

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