KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Carl Spero, killed by a bomb Monday, had a criminal record that spanned three decades, but he was best known for his clashes with the powerful Civella crime family following the 1973 slaying of one of his brothers.
Spero, 44, died in the blast at about noon at a used car lot where he worked, becoming the fourth member of his family to die violently in what police say were crime-related deaths.
Sgt. Jim Treece, spokesman for the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, said investigators have no suspects, have not identified the type of bomb and do not know the motive. Treece said, however, that Spero's background lent numerous hints as to the motive.
Sources told the Kansas City Times that animosity between the Speros and the Civellas stemmed from the 1973 gangland slaying of Nick Louis Spero, a former Teamsters union official whose growing influence bothered the Civellas.
'The bad blood between the Civella family and Spero's dwindling faction was so bitter that it transcended the recent imprisonment or deaths of virtually the entire hierarchy of the Civella organization,' the newspaper said.
Spero was left partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair following an attack at a tavern in 1978 in which one brother, Michael, was killed and another injured.
Joseph Spero, injured in the attack at the tavern, died in 1980 in an explosion in a south Clay County storage shed. Authorities ruled that deathan accident, concluding he had been making a bomb and that it exploded.
Carl Spero's criminal record began at age 16 when he confessed in court to 38 burglaries, committed to get money for car payments for late model cars he and his friends owned.
The Times said Spero has been arrested for armed robbery and burglary, and was frequently linked to theft rings.
Carl Spero's wife, Antoinette LanFranca Spero, choked on a piece of food and died in April 1982 about a week after testifying in a court case in which Carl Civella was accused of planning to bomb a car outside a Kansas City, Kan., club that Carl Spero frequented.
Carl was survived by a sister and two brothers, Vincent Spero of the Kansas City suburb of Excelsior Springs, Mo., and Sam Spero of Chicago. Funeral arrangements have not been made.