The Quattrocchi Family
During the years of his reign, Franco Quattrocchi, the king pin of North Jersey's Hudson County mob was like a character out of an old gangster movie. He was tough but sentential, kind to women and children, politically connected and a ruthless Mafioso who was responsible for the murder of at least twenty people.
Hailing from Corleone Sicily, Franco Quattrocchi created a criminal organization based in Hoboken New Jersey that rule Hudson County for over thirty years. From 1955 to 1985 when Quattrocchi was shot and killed in his tavern at Transfer Station in Union city N.J. The age of the Quattrocchi family transpired during a time when most Americans probably thought the Sicilian gangster no longer existed outside Hollywood Mafia movies.
The Quattrocchi family not only existed but also thrived, making millions of dollars annually through racketeering, killing people at will and getting away with it through expert manipulation of "the System". They eluded capture and prosecution in a manner that would have made any other Mafia boss weep with envy.
As a Sicilian American family, the Quattrocchi's flew mostly below the national radar. Unlike other Italian crime families the Quattrocchi family were content to operate in the shadows. Let the five families of New York1 walk the red carpet, their exploits made larger than life by the news media and front page tabloid headlines. Let them come under the scrutiny of the F.B.I who went after other Mafia families with a vengeance.
With other Mafia families dominating the headlines. the Quattrocchi family soldiered on mostly by staying local keeping their operations small and working within underworld parameters that had been in place of more than a century.
The Quattrocchi family may have been the last true old world Mafia family whose staying power was unique to Hudson County New Jersey, but the circumstances of their rise in the underworld were the result of a long and violent history. Like most Italian American crime families their power was based on having local police in their pockets and even a New Jersey state senator under their control.
Like a neighborhood Godfather of long ago, Franco Quattrocchi doled out turkeys to the needy on Thanksgiving and Christmas, gave money to the local Catholic church, did favors for the people of his borgata (neighborhood) and settled local disputes.
He understood the nature of the Italian community in Hoboken New Jersey whose legacy was fundamentally the same as that of the Italians in New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, Philadelphia and myriads of other U.S. municipalities large and small. The ravages of colonialism, hunger, anti Italian and anti-Catholic bigotry had shaped the Italian American identity and created a people who were criticized for being clannish and overly parochial.
The Italians themselves didn't see it that way. Arriving in America en masse under the most dire circumstances imaginable, they did what they had to do: The looked out for another and created social systems that allowed them to advance even though American society
at large was determined to keep them in their place.
The image of the Italian American gangster, a man who went where the money was became romanticized in the 1960's, 70's and 80's. Working class hoods who usually specialized in a specific brand of criminal activity. Weather it was breaking and entry, safe cracking, murder for hire, or body disposal, saw themselves as underworld tradesmen. They were men who eventually ended up on the loosing end of a long ongoing war that started in the late 1980's between Russian and Italian gangs. The Russians, with a far larger and more far reaching structure eventually dominated these confrontations, leaving the Italian mobs ineffective at best.
However, for the Quattrocchi Clan, a neighborhood based gang, remained a viable force in the underworld long after most Italian Americans had assimilated into the suburbs. The Quattrocchi clan inherited certain criminal rackets going back generations.
The Quattrocchi family of Hoboken New Jersey a family structure consisting of brothers and cousins. Were essentially tough talking street savvy hoods who appeared to be caught in a time warp. They were tough, emotional, paranoid men who adhered to a Mafioso code that three men can keep a secret, but only if tow of them are dead.
The fact that the Quattrocchi clan in the later decades engaged in a kind of macabre, internalized violence can only be characterized as self destructive. Should not be surprising. When a morally corrupt institution that has murder as it's ultimate principal goes through a kind of death throws, violent thrashing and self destruction are its ultimate end.
The Quattrocchi clan of Hoboken N.J. was always known for its wild, impulsive, anti social behavior. The Quattrocchi family headed by Franco Quattrocchi lived by it's own set of rules. Franco Quattrocchi was judge, jury, and executioner, as if he were God.