The infamous gangster Frankie Yale was said to have been a vicious street fighter. At the age of 19, he was charged with suspicion of homicide after he and a buddy had killed several men inside a Coney Island pool hall when an argument broke out among them.
The murder weapons of choice? Pool cues and billiard balls that Frankie and company used to smash in their opponents’ skulls.
As a tough young street hood, Frankie Yale soon came to the attention of the Five Points Gang based in Lower Manhattan, led by an Italian named Paolo Vaccarelli, aka “Paul Kelly.” Yale joined up, becoming affiliated early on with the notorious Johnny Torrio, who was a key member of the Five Points Gang. It is said that Torrio was the one who “groomed” Frankie and became his mentor.
He took his well-learned lessons and transported them back home to Kings County where, in time, Yale was to become the iconic leader over a large and powerful faction based in the South Brooklyn area of important Calabrian and Neopolitan racketeers.
As he became more powerful, Frankie Yale’s growing “gang” included such iconic future mob powerhouses as Anthony (Little Augie Pisano) Carfano, Antonio (Tony the Sheik) Carillo, Giuseppe (Joe Adonis) Doto, and Generoso del Duca.
Another young hoodlum originally working under Yale’s umbrella was Downtown Brooklyn’s Alfonso Caponi, soon to be better known the world over as “Scarface Al Capone.”