Born on October 30th, 1938 in Gravesend Brooklyn Frank "Curly" Lino had his life's path already mapped out for him. Frank's mother married Frank Lino Sr in a marriage arranged by the boss of the Genovese Family, Vito Genovese. Frank would never get past the 10th grade at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn because he started running with a Mafia farm team: the Avenue U Boys. He used to pull off robberies with the Avenue U Boys but he was soon running a floating game for a made Genovese Soldier.
Frank has lived a charmed life. It may not have been the best life but he lived it to the max. In May of 1962 he got involved with two other men to pull off a robbery of a tobacco store in Brooklyn. While it was going down two NYPD Brooklyn Detectives were shot and killed. Frank was picked up soon afterward and beaten severely in the station house by other detectives who he claimed stapled his hand and shoved a broomstick up his ass. He did have a broken leg and arm. The NYPD has put broomsticks up others asses, so who knows.
The court placed him on 3 years probation after he threatened to sue the city. The other men were given the death penalty that was later commuted to life in prison.
This was not the last time Frank would be a torture victim due to his criminal activity. During the heyday of the Mafia, the real life “Luca Brazi” for Junior Persico, a man named Hugh "Apples" Macintosh (or just Mac) grabbed Frank out of a bar. Mac brought him to a basement where he beat him and tortured him for two days trying to make him give up the names of his friends that had a beef with Persico. He never gave up their names even after he was beaten so badly he suffered a weird eye twitch - a blinking twitch that remained for the rest of his life. So Mac let him go after telling him 'the reason you are being let go is because you didn’t rat. If you did we would have killed you" Frank was so afraid he never looked back until he was well away from that place.
He was made on his 40th Birthday in 1977 in Little Italy. It has been said it was because of his cousin Eddie Lino who was with John Gotti and a major drug dealer. Gotti was very close to Joey Massino at this time.
Frank was asked by his Capo Sonny Red Indelicato to drive him to a peace meeting at a social club in Brooklyn. Sonny Red decided to have Frank drive him to the meeting instead of his son Bruno because he did not really trust the other Capos. He told his son Bruno to kill all the Zips and the rest of the Capos if he did not return. There was a lot of internal strife in the Bonanno Family at the time because the self proclaimed boss Carmine Galante had been murdered by Bruno and others on orders from the Commision. Rusty Rastelli was the real boss but he was locked up, so his most trusted Capo Big Joey Massino was working hard to keep the family together. The Zip Faction, The Canadian Faction, Sonny Black and Joey Massino all lined up against the other three capos. Sonny Red, Dominick Trinchera and Philip Giaccone were all opposing Rusty but they were called into this last ditch peace offering. Things seemed to be going fine when Frank saw three hooded come down the stairs into the club. He saw Joey Massino hit Sonny Red in the head with something and another man jump out of a closet with a gun. He saw Giaccone thrown up against a wall and shot before he fled so fast that nobody on the hit team could stop him.
He then went into hiding but the powers that be did not want him dead. They wanted Bruno who had escaped the massacre. Frank was close to him and knew where he was hiding out. He met with the Underboss of the Gambino Family who gave him a chance to live, if he murdered Bruno. Frank pretended to be looking for Bruno, when he really already knew where he was. The Bonanno Family powers gave the contract to Sonny Black who then gave it to Lefty Ruggiero and Donnie Brasco. Things went downhill from there because Donnie Brasco was an undercover FBI Agent and the Commission's case came down and Bruno was picked up.
Frank was then asked to bring Sonny Black to a meeting because it had come out that Donnie Brasco was an FBI Agent and he was vouched for by Sonny Black. Sonny knew he was not long for this world so he left his jewelry at home for his wife. They got to the house where the meeting was to take place and Frank showed him to the basement. Sonny went first and a few steps down Frank shoved him and when he fell the shooter fired into his body but the gun jammed. Sonny Black told them to "Hit him one more time, Make it good" They did. They would cut off his hands because he shook them with an FBI Agent and Frank Lino's son helped dispose of Sonny Black. The world of the Mafia is crazy because years later when I was at BaMontes in Brooklyn a guy wearing a black over coat was walking back and forth smoking a cigarette. I was watching him and Nicky Santoro a Bonanno Capo told me that he was Sonny Black’s kid. So Sonny's kid is still around those guys.
Frank did it all on the street, from drugs, robbery, pump and dump, extortion to Gambling. He made money from Family Union contracts with school buses. He had conspired with the Lucchese Family to kill a Gambino associate until Sal Vitale the Underboss had a sitdown with Nicky Corrozzo who told him I dont care what the kid did, what he stole its done, we have big plans for him. So that was it for that hit. Good for Frank because when he was locked up later he was going to get shanked in the yard of a prison. When the huge Bonanno family indictments came down he learned that Sal Vitale had flipped and he knew it was over. He flipped becoming the first of many Bonanno's to testify for the Government. He would implicate his own relatives in many Mafia crimes and for that he was rewarded with just 8 years by the judge and is now out and a free man.
I hope he lives a good life and enjoys his freedom. He is older and he knows what he did.