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Mob says goodbye to Ferriola

CHICAGO -- Chicago crime syndicate boss Joseph Ferriola was buried Wednesday, the Ides of March, as mob watchers predicted a smooth transition to a new leadership.

Ferriola died Saturday in a Houston hospital of natural causes. He was buried without incident, and with no major syndicate figures in attendance, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

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A Roman Catholic priest presided over a brief memorial service before the burial, referring to Ferriola as 'Joseph.'

'The transition will be very peaceful,' said Jerry Gladden, chief of operations for the Chicago Crime Commission. 'And it has already happened, three to six months ago. Sam Carlisi was given the reigns when Joe Ferriola got sick.'

Carlisi, nicknamed 'Wings,' is an associate of Joey 'Doves' Aiuppa. It is believed Aiuppa has continued to call major shots for the Chicago mob while imprisoned at a federal penitentiary in Rochester, Minn., frequently using Carlisi as a messenger. Aiuppa was convicted of skimming millions of dollars in untaxed Las Vegas casino money.

Other mob watchers predicted earlier the top spot, once held by the likes of Al 'Scarface' Capone and Anthony 'Big Tuna' Accardo, would go to John 'No Nose' DiFronzo. DiFronzo, who lost part of his nose but gained a nickname in a 1949 gunbattle with police, rose through the syndicate ranks as a loanshark, observers said.

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No matter how the hierarchy shakes down, though, Gladden said he expects no gang wars.

'I don't expect any factional flare-up. Chicago has always run fairly smoothly, unlike New York.'

Ferriola, who lived in an opulent castle-like house in suburban Oak Brook, became chief of the Chicago mob by default in late 1985, taking over from Aiuppa.

Two other contenders, Jackie 'the Lackey' Cerone and Angelo 'The Hook' LaPietra, were convicted with Aiuppa. Anthony Spilotro, the Chicago mob's representative in Las Vegas, Nev., faced unrelated charges at the time and was subsequently killed.

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