People romanticize the Mafia in movies, but the truth is very far from the picture on the big screen.
Betty Hydell, the sister-in-law of Gambino capo Daniel Marino, has plenty of reason to know that the real Mafia is not a bunch of good natured hoods cracking jokes and eating cannolis. Betty lost two sons to two different crime families.
James Hydell took part in the attempted murder of Gaspipe Casso, who would end up living and later became the Lucchese family underboss. James and a few Gambino guys had waited outside a Bensonhurst Brooklyn restaurant named the Blue Ox. They shot him numerous times, and he lived. Gaspipe heard through the grape vine who had tried to kill him, and he unleashed his corrupt cops, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to bring James Hydell to him. He planned to torture him to find out who else had been part of the attempted hit. They went by his mother Betty Hydell’s house looking for him. Years later she saw Eppolito on TV and she knew he was one of those looking for her son James before he disappeared. James was kidnaped by the Mafia cops, thrown in their truck, and dropped off to Gaspipe in a parking lot. Gaspipe took him and then tortured him for hours to find out who was with him on the attempted hit. Then Gaspipe made him disappear so the family would never know what happened to him.
Legend has it that Betty hid some of Daniel Marino’s cash in a bank safety deposit. Frank Hydell, her other son, somehow stole it. Betty had to give up her home to pay back the money her son had stolen.
I have been told that Frank Hydell was not like his brother, and had a big mouth. He and some buddies were going to grab a score on 18th Ave Brooklyn from a night deposit at a bank. Frank had a minivan that he had stolen from Long Island. They were waiting in the minivan and that night it was cold. They saw the man they were going to rob heading to the night deposit, but because of the cold, he ran instead of walking. There was also an accident within sight on the corner, so there were a couple of cops close by and the guys called it off.
The Gambinos began to suspect Frank, because a few times he should have been locked up for things but nothing happened. A crew of bank robbers was taking down a score on 13th Ave Brooklyn and Frank drove his car. There was a snow storm that night and his car could not be moved. The next morning he had to see his parole officer but nothing happened.
The Gambinos asked Marino, who was locked up at the time, if they could kill Frank. He gave his blessing.
They used a Gambino associate named Eddie Boyle to murder Frank. Frank’s own friend lured him to a Staten Island Stripclub where Boyle shot him in the back.
The Hydell brothers were no Saints. James was a bad guy who attempted to murder Gaspipe. Frank was suspected of a murder, stole from his own uncle and was working with law enforcement. In the end, they were murdered by their so-called friends.
The Mafia is nothing funny or romantic, it is a deadly and serious criminal enterprise.