Big Jim Capotorto was a wannabe Florida “mobster” who became too big for his britches. He got tied up in a huge narcotics trafficking case involving associates of the Gambino and Genovese families. But it was a big shootout in 1976 with Patrick (Patsy) Truglia that Big Jim met his mobster dreams.
James (Big Jim) Capotorto was born in 1942 in Cleveland Ohio. He was a high school dropout though alleged to be a football star and golden glove boxer. Big Jim was one of two adopted children in a household of 52 others his parents had fostered over the years.
Yes, 52. The family didn’t have 54 living in the house all at once but according to an interview Capotorto’s mother gave to the Fort Lauderdale News, they usually had six children under their roof at any given time, including Big Jim and his adopted sister.
She told the newspaper that over a period of 20 years, she washed over 20 thousand diapers and did some 3000 loads of laundry a month.
Can you imagine?
The newspaper had contacted her after Big Jim got into trouble in Florida in January 1962. He was arrested after being caught using a credit card he had stolen from a businessman in Cleveland.
The store manager reported him because he thought there was something odd about this huge guy from Cleveland buying so many tires and so much gasoline.