US & Canada

Mobster 'Vinny Gorgeous' guilty of murder in New York

Vincent Basciano
Image caption Vincent Basciano was already serving life without parole

A convicted New York City mobster has been found guilty of murder for ordering the killing of an associate.

Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, 51, was already serving a life sentence. He was convicted of murder, racketeering, conspiracy and other charges.

The case was based in part on testimony from a mob boss who wore a secret recording device while jailed with him.

Prosecutors said Basciano had ordered the 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo, whom he described as "a dangerous kid".

The Brooklyn jury heard testimony from Joseph Massino, who was convicted in 2004 of murder, racketeering and other crimes and agreed to wear a wire while jailed with Basciano and "chat him up" about the killing.

Massino testified Basciano had admitted ordering Pizzolo's death.

"He said he was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker," Massino testified last month.

Prosecutors say Basciano, known as Vinny Gorgeous and Vinny from the Bronx, became acting boss of the Bonanno crime family in 2004 following the conviction and imprisonment of a slew of top-ranking mob figures, including Massino.

Jurors heard a recording of Basciano boasting: "I'm a hoodlum, I'm a tough guy. Whatever happens, happens."

Prosecutors said Basciano had ordered the killing of Pizzolo as payback for a drunken tirade in which he demanded induction into the crime family.

The killing was also intended to send a message that Basciano "doesn't play around", another mob figure testified.

Prosecutors said Basciano, the one-time owner of a beauty salon who was known for his temper, had become acting boss of the Bonanno crime family in 2004 following the conviction and imprisonment of a slew of top-ranking mob figures, including Massino.

He could face the death penalty when sentenced.

More on this story