Francesco Cali, reputed boss of New York’s Gambino crime family, shot dead

Frank Cali thought to have headed the Gambino crime family since 2015 was shot and killed in Staten Island

"There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing", police said in a statement.

But the new generation still engages in old-school crimes - loansharking, gambling, extortion - that can make enemies and spark bloodshed.

The Gambino family was once among the most powerful criminal organizations in the US, but federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s sent Gotti and other top leaders to prison, diminishing its reach.

Cali is thought to have taken the helm of the Gambino family in 2015, replacing Domenico Cefalu.

An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours".

Cali becomes the first Mafia boss murdered in NY since Paul Castellano was gunned down outside Sparks steakhouse in Midtown in 1985.

The body of mafia crime boss Paul Castellano lies on a stretcher outside the Sparks Steak House in NY after he and his bodyguard were gunned down December 16, 1985. A witness told the publication they heard three more shots in addition to the six that hit Cali, and described a distraught and panicked scene as the mobster's family ran outside to try to help him.

While imprisoned, John Gotti never betrayed the mafia code of silence known as Omerta, which allowed the Gambino family to remain operational. "But I guess old habits die hard".

"Cali is seen as a man of influence and power by organised crime members in Italy", US assistant attorney Joey Lipton told the court, the New York Daily News reported at the time.

The driver then reportedly bent down and picked up a license plate that had detached in the crash and handed it to Cali before producing a gun and shooting Cali multiple times. Unlike the well-dressed Dapper Don of the late 80s and early 90s, Cali had kept a low profile.

A paparazzi darling who sported flashy suits with his signature slick pompadour, police ultimately toppled Gotti and incarcerated him for conspiracy and murder in 1992.

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno organisation, was shot dead at a takeaway restaurant in the Bronx, New York. But at the age of 89 - roughly five years after he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in 11 murders, Bulger was found dead in 2018 a West Virginia prison.

Cali became the de facto godfather of the Gambinos in 2015.

A week ago, Persico died after serving 33 years in prison.

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