Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tony the Head-lum

BY J.P. RICH Off The Cuff/

Tony GranitoCheck out “Tony the Head” here on the left. You can see how he got his nickname. That’s a noggin!

Tony the Head’s real name was Anthony James Granito, alias Tony Granato, Genero, and Marino. According to published reports, he was a syndicate loanshark, gambling boss, and “top aid” of Cicero mob boss Joey Aiuppa in the 1960s, before Aiuppa became the Outfit’s top boss in the early 1970s.

Born in 1918, Granito was convicted in 1941 on armed robbery charges and served three years in the slam. Assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and numerous gambling arrests peppered his rap sheet throughout the years.

In the late 1960s, Granito got to brainstorming with that big head of his and came up with a new sideline. Next thing mob watchers knew, the Cicero hoodlum was a real estate tycoon, with holdings in the Bahamas. No taxes in the Bahamas sounded great to him. His good fortune was cut short with an indictment and conviction in 1970 on charges of falsifying applications for thousands of dollars in loans. Back to jail he went. Aw schucks!

According to Outfit soldier turn mob rat Nick Calabrese, the January 31, 1978, double murder of burglars Vincent Moretti and Donald Renno was committed inside Granito’s Cicero restaurant. As detailed in a lengthy article on this site, Moretti was punished for burglarizing the suburban home of Outfit boss of bosses Tony Accardo and Renno was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

By 1978, Tony Granito was 60 years old and not involved in that kind of stuff, so he wasn’t at his restaurant at the time of the murders. Perhaps his pals didn’t even tell him why they wanted to use his restaurant that blistering cold Tuesday night.

Tony Granito, who gave new meaning to the word headstrong, died at the age of 65 in 1983.

OK, so his head’s not that big.

Copyright © 2010, 2011 | J.P. Rich Off The Cuff. All rights reserved.

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