John Morrissey was the business agent for Local 580 of the Architectural and Ornamental Ironworkers Union. He helped the Lucchese Family and three other New York families steal millions of dollars in kickbacks from replacing windows for the Housing Authority. They would rig the bids so they controlled the millions of windows that required replacing every year. The Mafia would get 1-2 dollars per window replaced by the companies they controlled. If an outside company replaced windows they would break them or send unproductive Union workers to do the work. The Mafia families all profited off this scam for over a decade until a Genovese associate named Peter Savino who handled the scam started working for the FBI.
John, also known as Sonny or Sonny Blue, was a tough Irish Union man. He was a longtime Lucchese associate and helped his friend Vic Amuso, the new boss of Lucchese family, get up to speed with the scam. The problem was that Sonny Blue worked closely with Peter Savino for years.
Savino had done more than a dozen hand-to-hand payoffs, all observed by the FBI, with Sonny Blue. When I was working with the FBI and we had to exchange cash or payoff someone we would pick the place if possible. If the target picked it, I would relay that to the FBI and they would thumbs up or thumbs down. I would say can we meet someplace closer blah blah. The FBI would ring the area with surveillance vehicles and agents. Then they would get it all on tape. If the area was too crowded they would use vehicles with remote cameras. I would try to do the hand off in the open or in a place where they could get confirmation. This would seal guys (like Uncle Manny Garafolo) fate. Then again, he was only given a very light sentence.
Back to the Lucchese Family. Under Vic Amuso and the crack head Gaspipe Casso, they operated the family through fear. That is no way to run any business. Nobody felt they were on solid ground. So when Vic and Gas got confirmation from the other families that Savino was an informant, they had to take action. They could not get Savino because he was in WITSEC, so they started murdering people who they felt were weak and would lead to them.
This put the tough Irishman Sonny Blue in their sights, even though he was never close to flipping. They gave the contract to Capo Fat Peter Chiodo, a man who could weigh between 450-550 lbs and was 6’5”. They told him: Sonny is talking, make him disappear.
Fat Pete grabbed his associate Tommy Irish to drive Sonny Blue and himself way out to Morris County, NJ, where they were building a housing development to meet with Vic Amuso. Sonny Blue was happy to see his friend, so he was very relaxed. Once they arrived at the site they all walked into a model home they were using as an office. Once inside, Fat Pete left to find Vic and then another associate walked up behind Sonny Blue with a silenced pistol. Sonny Blue turned and saw what was happening and he yelled, “I Am not a rat!” The man fired and then the pistol jammed. Sonny Blue lay on the ground in pain saying it hurts, hit me again. The backup shooter removed a snub nose pistol and fired 4 times but it did not kill Sonny Blue. He was still in pain until the man cleared the silenced pistol and finally killed him. They used a backhoe to dig a hole out behind the home and they dropped Sonny Blue in it. He would not be found until Fat Pete flipped. He missed the windows case.
This is another example of the poor leadership of Vic and Gas. The decline of the Mafia starts in the leadership and then trickles down.