Christopher Colombo is the son of New York mob boss Joseph Colombo Sr. The elder Colombo was shot at a rally in Columbus Circle in 1971, after which Chris and the rest of his family had to care for their bedridden father. The elder Columbo never recovered from his wounds. He died in 1978.
The New Yorker has posted a profile of Chris Colombo by writer Tom Robbins. It’s pretty standard fare, including the son insisting that La Cosa Nostra isn’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be.
I was struck by the closing paragraphs:
Nowadays, Mob killings are rare. “There is some talk that the Commission said they can’t do hits anymore,” Mouw said. “They’re still doing the beatings and the strong-arm stuff. But, as far as Mob hits, they’re not happening.” New York’s last true gangland rubout occurred in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx, in November, 2013, when Michael Meldish, a member of a freelance criminal outfit called the Purple Gang, was shot to death. In 2019, the top leaders of the Lucchese crime family, the acting boss Matthew Madonna and his underboss Steven Crea, were convicted of the murder, along with two other men. Sentenced to life in prison, they are appealing the conviction.
There were fears of a new Mob war when the reputed boss of the Gambino family, a low-profile man named Francesco Cali, was gunned down in front of his Staten Island home, in March, 2019. But the slaying stemmed from a new kind of mayhem: the alleged killer, a QAnon follower, had become convinced that the mobster was a “deep state” representative. According to the accused’s lawyer, the man saw himself as a vigilante for President Trump. (He has been ruled mentally unfit to stand trial.)
Chris Colombo told me that his own days of crime are done, but he still looks over his shoulder. As the son of one of New York’s most famous mobsters, he believes that he remains a rich target for the law. “I’m a ten-point buck in their eyes,” he said.
In recent years, he has worked in the restaurant and construction industries, and he is currently a financial consultant. (“I was always good with numbers,” he told me.) In his spare time, he volunteers at a nonprofit that teaches reading and science to underprivileged youths. “You are only as good as your last deed,” he said. “If you take the crime out of what they say is Italian organized crime, the ethics are really very good.”
Not involved in crime, but has worked in the “restaurant and construction industries.”
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