James S. “Jimmy” Duardi

Jimmy Duardi was the nephew of a made man named Gaetano “Tanno” Lococo. He had Jimmy Duardi“made his bones” by the 1960s and after a cooling off period in California, Jimmy was back in Kansas City. He was a big (6’2′ 275 lbs.) man with a big dominating personality. It appears that he was given the south part of Kansas City because he did not live in the Little Grove Ok 2Italy (5th and Troost area) or north of the river as did most of the mob guys. Jimmy lived close to Gregory and Ward Parkway. In the early 1970s, Jimmy Duardi and another KC Mob associate (an associate is not a made guy) named Nathaniel Brancato (connected to Fairyland Park) used an ex-con and Native American named Clifford Bishop to connect with another Native American gangster from Oklahoma, Jack Michael King. If you Click on the above names, you will get many more details about this conspiracy. I will give you the shorthand version.

Jimmy Duardi and Nate Brancato used Bishop and King to make connections with club owners in the Grove, OklahomaGrove Ok 1 area. They wanted to have an open county with gambling and prostitution in this resort community. They bribed Frank Grayson, the county prosecutor, and an investigator to assist them. Duardi used Bishop to muscle in on the ownership of a club named Mr. Yuk. That club owner, Jess Roberts, got nervous and wanted out. Roberts was kidnapped and shot three times. He lived to testify and all the conspirators went to jail.

This case was an important interstate organized crime conspiracy case and the judge in this case refused to sentence the participants to more than short sentences. Jimmy Duardi will soon be back on the street.

Now, gambling is legal at the Grand Lake Casino.

35 thoughts on “James S. “Jimmy” Duardi”

  1. You have a few errors in this post, first Jimmy Duardi was not a big man he was around 5’6″. The picture you have under his name is actually a picture of you William Cammisano.

    1. KC Joe, thank you for your comment. I just double checked the photo and if you look on page 129 of Mobsters in our Midst, you will find Duardi’s photo and it is the same photo. You will find a Willie Cammisano photo from about the same year on page 127. They do look a lot alike.

      In regards to his physical size, I remember following a much bigger guy than you describe. You may be thinking of his uncle, Tanno Lacoco, was about 5-6. Jimmy was one of the more colorful guys I investigated. When he moved out of his house into an assisted living place, a KCPD Intelligence guy attended an estate sale at his house. He found James Fratianno’s, Jimmy the Weasel, book. In it Jimmy had made notes about what he thought was not true. Jimmy was a real mob guy that lived and breathed the life as a La Costra Nostra Sicialian mob guy.

      1. You Gary you might be right, I met Jimmy a couple of times back in the late 70’s. I seemed to remember a smaller guy, but I could be wrong. I just remember thinking, this guy is a mobster LOL. When I met him the first time he was with the guy who owned the Italian joint on wornal, Jaspers I think it was called. I met him again at his bar on Metcalf, cant remember the name. It was a long time ago and I was pretty young so who knows, your probably right, hell you did it for a living LOL.

      2. Jimmy was as close to 6′ as they come very deep stern voice stood out over others. Last time I saw him was at my Dads services in 1993

      3. I worked at Bobby Ds night club owned by Nate Broncato. James Duardi came in every night because he was best friends and businesses partner with Nate. I worked for Nate and talked to Jim Duardi daily. That picture is him. Yes he was a big man. George, former doorman at their club.

    2. That picture is definitely Jimmy. I grew up next door to him during the 60’s and mid 70’s on 70th Terrace between Valley Road and Ward Parkway. He was every bit of 6 feet tall as well. He used to send me to Broadmore Market on Wornall Road just south of Gregory to pick up bread and milk. Always gave me a $20 and made sure I came back with the right change. He’ pay me a $1 for the trip which was good money for a ten year old kid in those days. His daughter (nicknamed “Doogie”) was a good friend of mine and we hung out. He always had garage sales which, although i didn’t know it at the time, were used to sell stolen merchandise. I was unaware of his status in the mob until he went to jail for shooting someone around 1976 to 1977. Then I knew!

      1. I lived next to him in mid 80’s unaware of his background. He and Leslie were incredibly nice, when his daughter JAmie (doogie) moved back to KC she and I became friends. Learned about his profession when he was arrested in 1986

  2. Nate Brancato did his time after the Grove Ok. Investigation. He kept his mouth shut and would have gained respect. One of the pieces of evidence as to who was a “made” guy or who had gotten his button were the written records obtained from Tuffy DeLuna. Nate Brancato seemed to drift into mob obscurity after he was released. His name was not on the list of who received a piece of the skim found at Tuffy’s. While Jimmy’s name was not found on the list, he was very active until he died. For example, he used his Oklahoma connections to get explosives to use on the Spero boys. Now, after saying that, Brancato could have been made and stayed below the law enforcement radar.

    A side story about Grove was an IRS agent and a KCPD guy drove down there to look around. They were watching the Mr. Yuk club and a car full of locals tried to corner them to see who they were. A short car chase later and they got away.. At the time the local authorities were compromised.

    1. Thanks Gary, and you were right it was Tano Lococo I was thinking about not Jimmy. If you remember Paulie Scola, he told me Nate got his button, I grew up with some of his boys in the Northend and spent a lot of time around these guys, but he could have been talking out his ass. I had a verbal altercation with Nate at his restaurant in Grandview, Harry T’s. Paulie found out and told me that he was untouchable, not that I was going to do anything LOL anyway.

  3. This what I am trying to stimulate. Conversations from people who had first hand experience with mob guys. I have a law enforcement perspective, but actually that is limited to their known actions. Mob guys have families, normal non business friends and neighbors. They go to funerals, eat out, get their cars fixed and all the rest of what we all do. I became friends with one of Jimmy’s neighbors and they told me he took fresh fruits or vegetables out to the city trash guys each week.

    1. For many years I’ve heard stories regarding 1970s in Grove, Ok., where my family lived and some apparently wrapped up a little in and around mob crimes. I would love to ask some questions for my own knowledge as those times touched my life.

  4. Kathrine Panning

    Ok, apparently I was on the wrong track I think. How would I go about finding out who someone was in a pic?

  5. Does anyone know if Nate Broncato former business partner of Jim Duardi, former owner of Bobby Ds Night club in KCMO. Is alive? George, former Doorman for Nate at Bobby Ds

    1. George, I cannot figure out is Nate Brancato is alive. I can’t find any obits and I think he would have an obit in the KC Star. Thank you for your input and interest. yes, Duardi was a particularly tall and big guy for an Italian especially. I will ask around over the next few weeks to see what can learn.

      1. Thank you for responding regarding Nate Broncato. His other partner Bobby Hill at the bars Bobby Ds would also be interesting to know how he is doing. Bobby had the liquor license that Nate needed to open the club. It was all Nate’s money but Bobby had the bar experience. Both were great guys! And so was Jimmy. I have a lot of stories regarding these guys but belongs in a book. LOL George Temple Doorman for Nate.

          1. Jimmy was tall..6’1″ or so. I think everyone has pointed that out. The loudest most imposing figure that I have ever known to this day. He was also very much before his time with health and nutrition. Worked out every day…extremely strong and intimidating hand shake. Gary I am interested in speaking to you further about your point of view. I grew up seeing him every day from about 1980 till his death.

  6. My dad new Jimmy and played on a soft ball team sponsored by the Old Fortress Tavern wish is now BB’s BBQ. I went to St. Augustine Catholic school with Mario Brancato. Thank’s for your research.

    1. The Fortress, more than one police party was held in the basement. Jimmy was friends with everybody on the south side of town. He was an old school La Cosa Nostra guy. I saw that Nate Brancato just died. Here is a link to a new book written as fiction but it is a first hand account of life around these south side criminals. The author worked for Nate Bancato at Bobby Dee’s on Wornall. https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Bar-Confessions-Professional-Safecracker-ebook/dp/B072PT8Y1D/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=

  7. Hi, Gary —
    Enjoyed the podcasts and writing you have done on Jimmy Duardi. I’m writing something about him and his time in Vallejo CA, where I was raised. As a teenager hanging out with the son of one of Duardi’s friends, I met Duardi and heard some of his stories — but those stories were nothing compared to what you have written about and what I have found in Internet searching. I know Duardi came to Vallejo about the time of the George Weaver murder, and know that he was a pretty popular guy around town. Some people had an idea about his background, but definitely not all. Look forward to hearing from you. Email is great, but phone if you can. 775-240-6314. By way of introduction, I was a reporter in Nevada for the Associated Press for 37 years, covering the gambling industry among other things. Did some writing about the Civellas.
    Brendan Riley

  8. I am trying to find mugshots of Clifford Bishop and Thomas ‘Hiway’ Simone involved in the Kansas City mafia. Does anyone have a link?

  9. I live in Jimmy Duardi’s old house now on W 70th Terrace. We had the house remodeled when we moved in in 2009 and the construction crew found a whole bunch of boxes of .38 Rounds in the wall.

    1. I lived next door to Jimmy (at 1008 W 70th Terrace) from ’66 to ’76. At some point in the early ’70’s, they had a trampoline for Jamie (Doogie) in the back yard and we used to hang out back there all the time. One night, Jimmy came home while we were all there and he was very upset about something and said “all you kids gotta get out of here right now!” As he said it, he motioned with his arms and I saw his handgun in his holster under his arm from his open jacket. Needless to say, we all left immediately!

      1. Do you have any idea what year that was? Somebody commented that they now live in his old house, and they found a box of .38 bullets in a wall. I spent many an hour waiting for him to leave in 1976 so we could follow him.

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