One of the largest regimes of the legendary Luciano/Genovese Crime Family was the one headed by longtime “capo di decina” Antonio (Tony Bender) Strollo. Dating to the mid-1930s, this particular crew oversaw the activities of dozens of formally inducted soldiers and literally hundreds of crew associates of every size and stripe.
With boss Lucky Luciano’s deportation back to his native Sicily in the 1940s and his underboss Vito Genovese having fled the United States to avoid prosecution on a murder charge around that same era, Lucky elevated his trusted consigliere Frank Costello to the coveted position of “Acting Boss” of the Family to watch over the shop, so to speak.
But during his extended absence in Italy, Vito was eventually captured and returned to the states to face justice. He was tried, but later acquitted, for the murder of small-time hood, Ferdinand (The Shadow) Boccia.
With his acquittal, Vito once again set his sights on becoming the top man in the Family…the boss! In his bid to gain back his underworld power, at first, Vito bided his time. He slowly reestablished himself within the Family by making friends and alliances among key soldiers and capos he was closest to before his hasty departure overseas years before.
Genovese also reached out to old allies he had in other Cosa Nostra Families across the country. Most notably, members of the “Napolitani” faction of the Italian underworld.
By the mid-late 1950s, he felt secure enough, once again, to make his ultimate grab for power. He started scheming and plotting to overthrow “Acting Boss” Frank Costello, commissioning several of his loyal soldiers to carry out a deadly plot.