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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Mafia Burial Grounds

The FBI has been investigating two suspected mob burial grounds. One is in Queens, New York for the Italian Mafia and one in Atascosa County, TX south of San Antonio for the Mexican Mafia. Both have come up a little short of expectations in terms of yield.

• NEW YORK, Reuters reports: The FBI on Monday (Oct 25th) ended a three-week excavation of a vacant New York City lot suspected of being a mob cemetery after finding just two skeletons and abandoning hope of unearthing more bodies. The skeletons are believed to be remains of two murdered organized crime family captains, the FBI said.

The FBI had hoped to find more victims in the lot nicknamed "Mafiaville" by local residents, based on testimony from Mafia turncoats...

Authorities had thought they might find the body of John Favara, a former neighbor of Mafia crime boss John Gotti. It is believed Gotti ordered Favara killed after he accidentally ran over and killed Gotti's 12-year-old son.

Favara disappeared after the 1980 accident and has never been found.

Dozens of FBI agents, city police officers and members of the medical examiner's office have toiled daily at the site, using heavy machinery to move the dirt and screen it for evidence.

The New York medical examiner's office was trying to identify the two victims. They are suspected of being Bonanno crime family capo Phillip Giaccone and Dominic Trinchera.

The two were gunned down in 1981 along with Alfonse Indelicato for plotting to take control of the Bonanno family. Indelicato's body was found in the lot weeks after his murder.

Accused Bonanno boss Joseph "Big Joey" Massino, the city's so-called Last Don, was convicted of killing the trio.

FBI Ends Mafia Burial Ground Dig in New York Lot [Reuters]

• The Houston Chronicle reports: Law officers who suspected that a Central Texas ranch was a graveyard for victims of a power struggle within the Mexican Mafia gang have recovered the skeletal remains of one person.

Federal officers on Saturday ended their search for more remains at the ranch in western Atascosa County after digging on the brushy land for three days using bulldozers and excavators.

Authorities failed to locate the numerous other victims of gang violence allegedly buried there as part of a Mexican Mafia graveyard. The remains unearthed Friday were taken to the Bexar County medical examiner's office for identification.

Last week KSAT reported: The remains of a high-ranking official of the Mexican Mafia were dug up Friday at an Atascosa County ranch.

The remains were found in separate locations at a 10-acre site off County Road 310 near Kyote, sources said.

Authorities would not immediately confirm the apparent discovery.

"I don't want to comment, because I don't know what they have, if anything," said Atascosa County Sheriff Tommy Williams.

The state of composition of the body indicated the victim may have been buried at the location several months ago, sources said.

Three informants are at the ranch helping the FBI, the San Antonio Police Department and the Atascosa County Sheriff's Deparment with the investigation of the alleged Mexican Mafia grave site.

The dig is expected to last several days.

Authorities were led to the alleged graveyard following a series of body discoveries. The most recent was Tuesday when the body of a man was found in the truck of a car in the parking lot of an H-E-B supermarket in the 700 block of Southwest Military Drive.

The victim was believed to have had previous ties to the Mexican Mafia.

Sources: Mexican Mafia Body Found At Grave Site [KSAT.com]

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