Salvatore LoProto – aka “Sally the Blond” and “Sal Proto” – was born on April 22, 1926, in Lodi, New Jersey. He was generally known as “Sally the Blond,” but other listed aliases included “Sally Blue Eyes” and “Dennis the Menace,” a sort of apropos nickname as it relates to an incident that happens later in his life (at least the “menace” part.)
At one point, a U.S. government report listed him as going by the name Salvatore DiPalermo. No relation to the infamous Dean of Dope Dealers Joe Beck DiPalermo, but an interesting alias, nonetheless. This is especially so since LoProto was a Lucchese soldier and also involved in narcotics trafficking in the East Harlem area as was Joe Beck. While Joe Beck was a capo in the Family and had his own crew, LoProto served under Big John Ormento, also a notorious narcotics trafficker. But perhaps the government just got their names mixed up.
NYPD # B-355232, FBI #921798
Salvatore LoProto and The Garbage Industry
Besides narcotics trafficking, Salvatore LoProto was involved in loansharking and the garbage industry. He owned and operated a small commercial hauling business in Lodi, New Jersey that serviced large shopping centers in Paramus. The company operated out of the garage of another hauling firm owned by Frank Stamato where Sally the Blond was apparently employed as a dispatcher.
As a side note, Frank Stamato was the owner and operator of Frank Stamato and Company, Inc., one of the largest garbage contracting firms in North New Jersey, even though, originally, it was primarily a construction firm. In 1956, he was put on probation for five years and fined $6,000 for tax evasion for failing to report personal income derived from his firm.
Stamato was also allegedly an associate of Genovese Family acting boss, Jerry Catena. And his name was repeatedly mentioned by Genovese capo Gyp DeCarlo when the FBI planted bugs in DeCarlo’s headquarters, The Barn, back in the 1960s. But Stamato denied any involvement with organized crime, and his lawyer once said that Stamato was “haunted” by that allegation ever since the tapes were revealed to the public.
Salvatore LoProto lived most of his life in New Jersey and also owned a home in Miami. His criminal record is very thin with arrests only for bookmaking, illegal possession of firearms, possession of narcotics, and vehicular homicide, but it doesn’t appear he served any jail time for these charges.
A Tragic Accident
LoProto was married twice. His first marriage was to Mildred Pisciotta with whom he had three children. But on June 11, 1956, tragedy struck as the couple was returning home to New Jersey from a wedding in New York.
At about 5:15 a.m., as they were exiting the Lincoln Tunnel, LoProto slammed into a guard rail. He suffered minor injuries, including a cut on the scalp and broken ribs, but Mildred was seriously injured and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. She was only 24 years old at the time and left behind not only her husband but also three young children ranging in age from one year to five years old.
The Lincoln Tunnel, by the way, is a one-and-a-half-mile tunnel connecting Manhattan to New Jersey that runs under the Hudson River.
It’s unclear whether LoProto’s arrest for vehicular homicide was related to this accident, but more than likely it was, and no disposition could be found relating to that particular charge.
However, during the accident investigation, cops found traces of heroin in a secret compartment in his car. He was charged a few days later on June 21 with possession of narcotics, but the case was later dismissed because the amount of heroin wasn’t significant enough to be in violation of narcotics laws at the time.
James Bond – Take One
Back on March 18, 1955, a government report said that Salvatore LoProto was arrested in New York City with his capo, Big John Ormento. The two were driving in LoProto’s vehicle when they were pulled over – the why is unclear – and while searching the car, cops found two loaded pistols, including a .22 caliber equipped with a silencer. Officials believed the duo was on their way to commit a mob murder.
How the cops found the weapons is rather interesting. The guns were hidden in a secret compartment located in the front seat of the car which happened to be a 1952 Chrysler registered to LoProto’s sister, Betty Licata. And the compartment where the guns were found was similar to the one the cops found in LoProto’s car after his June 1956 fatal car accident.
Taking a page out of a James Bond movie, authorities said that the guns could be accessed after turning on “two electronic appliances” located on the dashboard and then pushing a button on the driver’s seat side hidden in the upholstery between the driver’s legs. After the button was pushed, the front portion of the passenger seat would spring forward (the secret compartment,) and the guns could be accessed.
A Mafia Marriage
Sally the Blond later married Delores Livorsi, the daughter of Genovese capo Frank “Cheech” Livorsi. Delores had previously been married to Sam Meli, who was the son of Detroit bigwig and capo Angelo Meli. Delores had three children from her marriage to Meli, and she and Sally the Blond had one child together.
Livorsi was also a narcotics trafficker who was once convicted and sentenced to 15 years for tax evasion stemming from his failure to pay taxes on profits made from black market sugar.
Cheech Livorsi also had other daughters, one of whom was married to Johnny Dio’s brother Tommy Dio; and another, who was married to Big John Ormento’s son, Tommy.
In November 1959, LoProto was arrested and later charged with bookmaking after police found an envelope in his coat pocket containing a slip of paper on which 13 numbers were recorded. He was acquitted of the charge.
In 1964, he appeared before a grand jury convened by U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau targeting organized crime activities in New York City being perpetrated by the Lucchese Family, including labor racketeering, narcotics, and gambling. Thirty members of the Lucchese Family were subpoenaed, including Tommy Lucchese himself, Carmine Tramunti, Vincent Rao, and Steve LaSalle. All subpoenaed pleaded the fifth.
“Dennis the Menace”
In 1967, James Bond entered Salvatore LoProto’s life again (sort of) after he was arrested at his New Jersey home and charged with extortion. Newspapers dubbed this, “The Goldfinger Case.”
Apparently, he had traveled to Miami, Florida in an effort to get a guy named Manuel Goldfinger to pay back a loan. Authorities said LoProto loaned Goldfinger $5,000, but with interest, Goldfinger owed Sally the Blond $14,000.
Goldfinger actually lived in New Jersey, but after LoProto threatened his wife and kids when he didn’t pay back the loan, Goldfinger fled to Florida. LoProto followed him there seven days later.
During the trial, authorities claimed that, at some point, LoProto assaulted Goldfinger, knocking out 22 of his teeth. (Adults only have 32 teeth in their mouth, by the way.) Authorities also claimed that LoProto assaulted Goldfinger’s partner, stabbing him with an ice pick, and bashing him in the head with a baseball bat.
Prosecutors told the jury that LoProto was a loanshark who caused a “continuous river of violence to flow from New Jersey to Miami.” But after a three-day trial, the jury wasn’t convinced, and acquitted LoProto. After all, as his attorneys said, all he was doing was trying to collect on a loan.
Salvatore (Sally the Blond) LoProto, who never spent a day in jail despite his seemingly nefarious activities, died in April 1971 of unknown causes. He was only 45 years old.