Sunday, April 13, 2014


Anthony Baratta was a Capo in the Gambino family in the golden years of the Mafia.  His son Anthony “Bowat” Baratta Jr followed him into the life.  Bowat was always an earner in the Harlem crew of the Lucchese Family (the neighborhood he grew up in was no longer a Gambino territory).  Most of his money came from the Heroin business.

He would work with the guys on Pleasant Avenue, aka The Pleasant Ave Connection.  So many guys came out of that group, but they all paid with long periods behind bars.  Bowat took a Heroin pinch way back when one of his guys was dealing with an undercover cop.  They saw Bowat picking up the Heroin and then placing it in a car to be picked up after the cash was exchanged.  He tried for an appeal but that didn't go any place, so he did his time.  

Bowat was close to guys in the LA Family, so his power stretched across the country.  He rubbed some guys wrong because they felt he had "Airs" about him, like he thought he was royalty. He became a Made guy in Lucchese Family's Bronx Faction in 1978, after being sponsored into the family by the powerful underboss Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro.  It should come as no surprise, because Tom Mix was a huge heroin dealer until later in life when he took over control of the construction rackets for the Lucchese Family.

Once Bowat was released for his heroin dealing, he became the Capo who ran the Bronx Faction and he would be on the ruling panel after Vic Amuso went away.  He would take part in the September 1991 planned killing of Al D'Arco at the Kimberly Hotel with Frank Lastorino and soldier Mike Desantis.  That turned out bad and Al D'Arco was able to escape and would later flip after they threatened his family.  

Bowat must not have learned a thing because he took part in an induction ceremony in October of 1991 that would become known as the Mafia Class of 1991, Bowat along with 6 members of the family ruling panel and 3 soldiers inducted 5 men into the family.  One man he sponsored, Thomas D'Ambrosia, because he was a big part of his Bronx Heroin crew.  Another man inducted that night was Frankie Gioia who would flip because Lucchese Mobsters were going to kill his father while Frankie was locked up.  Everyone else that took part in the Class of 1991 would be locked up in less than 3 years with one dying behind bars.  

Bowat would take a plea deal for 15 years in 1993 and then in 1995 he would be indicted for taking part in the murder of two men over garbage hauling.  In 1996 Bowat was in Otisville FCI where he became friendly with Andrew Higgins who was the son of well respected Tony Higgins.  They got involved in a Heroin deal and bunch of guys ended up going down for it.

Maybe Bowat liked being locked up, who can say.  He had to give up cigars while locked up so he started to smoke a pipe.  He liked to cook while locked up, he would get kosher baked beans from the Jews and then put a ton of hot peppers in them. They would be so hot there would be sweat on his bald head.

In 1992 the Lucchese Family and the Mafia hit an all time low (even for them) when they targeted turncoat Peter Chiodo's sister, Patricia Capozzalo for murder.  The rule used to be that families were off limits, but in a family that was run by the crackhead "Gaspipe," there were no rules.  So Michael "Baldy" Spinelli and Dino Basciano ambushed Patricia just after she dropped off her two children at school.  They wounded her but failed to kill her before they got away.  Baldy had enlisted his mentally challenged brother Robert Spinelli to drive the switch car after they dumped the van used in the hit.  Baldy would soon be locked up for the attempted hit but that did not stop him from wanting to be a made man in the Lucchese Family.  He felt that he was not getting credit for his part in the hit so he lobbied for his induction.  Soon the crackhead Gaspipe was locked up with him.  So Gaspipe and Bowat decided that since Dino Basiano had flipped they would induct him into the family.

So in 1993 Bowat took part in what must have been the worst induction ceremony ever in the bathroom of MMC Manhattan.  There would be no chanting, no pistol or knife and no Saint Card, what Baldy would get was burning toilet paper in his hand while he took the oath.

Today Bowat is free along with a number of the Class of 1991.  He is now free to use his table at Rao's 3 times a month as long as he keeps away from other guys on his list.  Maybe when he gets off parole he will step up and start making moves.

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