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Gary and Camillius “Cam” Robinson examine the entire life of Crazy Joe Gallo from the perspective of his henchman Pete the Greek Diapoulos. Pete the Greek was a childhood pal of Crazy Joey Gallo who remained a part of his crew and was actually sitting with Crazy Joey Gallo that fateful night at Umberto’s Clam House when unidentified gunmen entered and walked directly to their table firing their guns. Pet the Greek had a handgun and he was wounded as he returned fire. the government will charge Peter Diapoulus with having a gun and he will spend a year in jail. These same cops never charged anybody with the murder of Crazy Joey Gallo. Pete the Greek collaborated with a well-known writer named Steve Linakis.
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Guys called Crazy Joey Gallo “Joey the Blond” because he had blond chest hair. Around 1950 when Gallo had a charge pending, the court had him diagnosed with mental illness at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. They believed he had schizophrenia. During this time, the cops started calling him Crazy Joey. He was a violent maniac who might beat down somebody just because he didn’t like the way they looked. He went to prison for about ten years, where he learned the Evelyn Wood speed reading technique. He read, read, and read, giving himself a graduate degree level of knowledge in just about everything. After he got out of prison that last time in the early 1970s, he dressed the part of a New York hipster of the 1950s. He liked a dark shirt, white tie, and pinstripe suit. He would wear sunglasses inside. He became friends and the pet of many sophisticated New Yorkers like David Steinberg, Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, playwright Neil Simon, and Joan Hackett. Just before his murder, a TV show called, How They Cover Me was about media coverage of celebrities. He was to appear with Gore Vidal, Abbie Hoffman, Otto Preminger, and Bella Abzug.
Cam and I tell the Joey Gallo story and the First and Second Colombo War. A famous book by New York Columnist Jimmy Breslin titled The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight is about the Gallos and their war with first the Persico family and then the Colombo family. Mario Coppola used many of the situations and incidents in the Colombo wars in the Godfather. Peter Diapoulos tells in “The 6th Family” how he first met Crazy Joey. He was leaving their grade school, and he saw Gallo fight with a much bigger kid. Diapoulos said he started to step in when Gallo told him to lay back. He then grabbed a large flower pot and broke it over the bigger kid’s head, knocking him out. He started hanging out with Joey, Frankie “Punchy” Illiano, and a guy called Mike the Bandit at a candy store on 36th and 14th Avenue. Later in his life, Punchy will move to the Genovese crew with Joey’s brother Albert “Kid Twist” Gallo and live out his life as a mobster. They started burglarizing neighborhood homes and graduated to robbing small businesses. He told a story about how Mike the Bandit got a massive 1939 LaSalle. They used to pick up this neighborhood girl named Marilyn, and they would take turns doing her in the back seat. He told a story about them renting horses in Prospect Park. When Gallo’s horse was balking, Crazy Joey got off and punched the horse several times. He was also hanging out with Larry “Kid Blast” Gallo, Joey’s brother. They used to get into fights at Prospect Hall, where they had Knights of Columbus-sponsored dances.
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1 thought on “Crazy Joey Gallo Part 1”
We were with blacks well before Joey went to jail