Aniello (O’Neill) Dellacroce – aka “O’Neil”, “Mr. O’Neil”, “Neil Dellacroce”, “Father O’Neill”, “Timothy O’Neil”, “The Pollack”, “The Tall Guy”.
Side Note: In the Italian language his first and surname literally means “little lamb of the cross” – Aniello (lamb) – Della (of the) – Croce (cross)… hence Aniello Dellacroce.
In honor of the all-important celebration of Easter for the Roman Catholic people, his parents picked such a gentle, biblical name to give their son…But his name would become a strange, cruel twist of fate that O’Neil should by chance grow up to be one of the deadliest, and reportedly cruelest, mafioso to ever live and operate in America. The “little lamb of the cross” he was not!
The highly-decorated NYCPD detective and resident organized crime expert Ralph Salerno once said he had met dozens and dozens of Mafia figures in his lifetime, but that there were only two mafiosi who actually shook him to the core, unnerving him, Aniello Dellacroce and Carmine Galante.
He stated that “They had bad eyes, I mean they had the eyes of killers. You looked at Dellacroce’s eyes and you could see how frightening they were, the frigid, cool glare of a stone killer.”
Joseph Coffey, a former top New York City mob investigator himself stated that “Dellacroce was one of the scariest individuals I’ve ever met in my life, and I’ve met them all. Dellacroce’s eyes were like he didn’t have any eyes. Did you ever see ‘Children of the Dammed?’ His eyes were so blue that they weren’t even there. It was like looking right through him.”
The FBI once described Dellacroce as a notorious, very tough racketeer who had a “proclivity toward violence” and was “the heir apparent” to Carlo Gambino himself.