The Kansas City crime family is a Mafia family based in Kansas City, Missouri.
Crime FamilyThe earliest history of Italian-American organized crime can be traced back to the DiGiovanni brothers, Joseph DiGiovanni and Peter DiGiovanni, two Sicilian mafiosi who fled Sicily and arrived in Kansas City in 1912. It wasn't long before they began making money from a variety of rackets.
Their fortunes improved greatly with the introduction of Prohibition. His gang became the sole bootleggers in Kansas City. Their rackets at this time were controlled by John Lazia who expanded the gang's rackets. He would soon become the top man in the now much larger and more powerful organization. The gang was given virtually free hand to operate by Tom Pendergast who controlled politics in the area.
When Prohibition ended in 1933 the family ,although already involved in various order rackets, began extorting the now legal bars. On July 10, 1934 Lazia was assassinated, probably on the orders of his Underboss, Charles Carollo who ruled as Boss until his arrest in 1939 for tax evasion. His Underboss Charles Binaggio now became the new boss and expand the family's areas of labor racketeering. He also became involved in politics and planned to challenge the Pendergast machine by having his candidate elected for the Missouri Governorship. He succeeded and Forrest Smith was elected. He also thought up a bold plan to control Kansas City's Police Department. The plan failed when Smith refused to go along with this. Now seeing Binaggio as a liability, the Mafia's nationwide Commission decided Binaggio must go. He too was gunned down on April 6, 1950. His successor, Anthony Gizzo, would not last long. He died in 1953.
The new boss was now Nicholas Civella. He expanded the family's rackets greatly and forged alliances with families from other cities making it a very powerful organization. He also used the Teamsters to fund casinos in Las Vegas. In 1975 Civella was imprisoned on gambling charges for betting on that year's Super Bowl. Around this time there was a war in the family over control of the River Quay entertainment district in which three buildings were bombed and several gangsters were killed. In 1980 Civella was convicted of bribery. Released in 1983, he died shortly after. His brother became the new boss but was imprisoned a year later.
William Cammisano became the family's next boss and expanded the family's territory into other cities. He died in 1995. Anthony Civella became the new boss. He died in 2006. The acting boss of the family is believed to be John Sciortino, also known as "Johnny Joe", godson of former Don Anthony Civella.