Raymond Patriarca Jr.

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Raymond Patriarca Jr. (born February 24, 1945), a.k.a. Ray Junior and Junior, is a former gangster from Providence, Rhode Island and the son of Italian-American mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca, after whom the Patriarca crime family was named. The crime family has two factions: one in Providence, Rhode Island and the other in Boston, Massachusetts. He was boss of the crime family for six years after the 1984 death of his father.

Crime family

In 1970, Patriarca Senior (also known as Il Patrone) was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with several of his mob family associates. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but continued to run his crime family while there.[1]

Patriarca Sr. continued to be pursued by law enforcement for the rest of his life, and he was charged numerous times for a variety of crimes until his death in 1984. In 1983, he was charged with the murder of Raymond Curcio, and he was arrested in 1984 for the murder of Robert Candos, whom the mob boss believed was an informant.[2]

Il Patrone died of a heart attack, aged 76, on July 11, 1984, bringing into question the leadership succession of the New England crime family.

New boss

After the death of Il Patrone, the New England Mafia began a period of slow decline, resulting from both legal prosecution and internal violence. Jerry Angiulo was the family underboss until he was incarcerated, and he attempted to take over as boss despite being in jail. However, the family's top lieutenant Ilario "Larry" Zannino backed Junior for the position. The National Commission approved Junior's ascendancy to leadership with the backing of the Gambino Crime Family, and his position was confirmed. Angiulo was demoted and Zannino was made consigliere.

Junior was considered a weak leader compared to his father. He managed to keep the peace in his crime family due to the support of the Gambino crime family of New York. Zannino was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1987, and it further weakened Junior's position. With Zannino in jail, William "Wild Guy" Grasso became underboss. Grasso was known for his ruthlessness, and some law enforcement officials believed that he was actually in charge.[3] However, these rumors ended when Grasso was murdered in June 1989 by a Springfield, Massachusetts-area gangster with ties to the Genovese crime family.[3] Nicholas Bianco then took over the family's Providence operations.

On March 26, 1990, Junior, underboss Bianco, and 20 other family members and associates were indicted on numerous racketeering, extortion, narcotics, gambling, and murder charges. The arrests were described as "the most sweeping attack ever launched on a single organized crime family."[citation needed] One of the most damaging pieces of evidence was a tape recording of a Mafia induction ceremony, at which 13 Mafiosi were present. The FBI was able to match Junior's voice to the tape due to a radio interview in which he participated.[4] Because of this embarrassment, Junior was replaced as boss by Bianco, who maintained a very low profile. However, in 1991, Bianco was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while eight other family members were convicted of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. Bianco died in prison in 1994.

Raymond Patriarca Jr. was sentenced to eight years in prison in 1992 after pleading guilty to racketeering charges. On January 6, 1992, all of the defendants in the RICO trial pleaded guilty and received lengthy sentences and large fines.[citation needed] In 1993, 26 others were indicted and convicted for running a bookmaking operation. Cadillac Frank Salemme took over the family after the trials and moved their base back to Boston.[5] When Junior was released from prison, he eschewed organized crime and went into retirement.

Father and Son

Raymond Patriarca Senior's Rhode Island State Police I.D. photo

In 1986, Junior testified before the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives during the impeachment of Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph A. Bevilacqua Sr.,[6] a former criminal defense lawyer accused of consorting with organized crime figures. The hearings led to Bevilacqua's resignation.

During the hearing, FBI wiretaps were introduced into evidence of a conversation that took place between Il Patrone in the time of 1962–1965. According to the FBI logs:

Ray tells Ray Jr. that when he gets married to marry an Italian girl as she will stand by you when you're in trouble, or won't call the police if you slap her in the mouth.[6]

After testifying, Junior defended his father before the press:

My father never, never, never told me about hitting women, Italian women, bothering women. I want to apologize to all the people in the state of Rhode Island because my father...never had a conversation with me like that about women, marrying an Italian girl so you can hit an Italian girl. He never spoke to me like that. In fact, my first wife was Jewish and my stepmother is Irish. My father respected all women.[6]


  1. ^ Partington, John (2010). The Mob and Me: Wiseguys and the Witness Protection Program. New York: Gallery Books. pp. 123–4. ISBN 978-1-4391-6769-4. 
  2. ^ "AROUND THE NATION; Alleged Crime Boss Pleads Not Guilty in Massachusetts". The New York Times. NEW BEDFORD, Mass.: The New York Times. March 31, 1981. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Barry, Stephanie (December 11, 2011). "Organized crime in Springfield evolved through death and money". Springfield Republican. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "No defense for this plea". Mafia Today. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Murphy, Shelley (February 24, 2000). "A contrite Salemme sentenced to 11 years". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Morgan, Thomas J. (15 April 2011). "Today in history: Patriarca Jr. says dad respected women". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
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