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THE CASE OF THE STUFFED CANARY
Louie Bagels Sentenced to Life for Racketeering and Murder

07/06/04

Graphic of a frozen canary and FBI seal.On 6/29/04, Louis Daidone, Acting Boss of the Luchese Organized Crime Family, aka Louie Bagels, aka Louie Cross Bay, was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole, for murdering two suspected mob informers and for a long-term loansharking conspiracy.

It's quite a story.

Louie Daidone started his career with the Luchese Family in the early 1980s as a Soldier. You know--the Luchese Family, founded by Gaetano "Three Fingers Brown" Luchese in New York with strongholds in East Harlem and Bronx and specializing in illegal gambling, loansharking, labor racketeering, truck hijacking, drug dealing, things like that.

He rose quickly to Acting Capo, then Consigliere, and finally Acting Boss. But along the way he left his fingerprints on some episodes of classic mob justice.

In 1989, he and two associates, under orders, tailed small-time mob car thief Tom (Red) Gilmore to his home in Queens, then ran up behind him and shot him in the head and neck. Why? He was suspected of singing to us feds.

Then, in 1990, Luchese Acting Boss Alphonse D'Arco called him in: Bruno Facciola is a rat, D'Arco said, Boss Vittorio Amuso wants him whacked. So Daidone made plans.

First he got a dead canary and put it in the freezer. Then he arranged with two associates to lure Facciola to a garage. When Facciola saw his welcoming committee, he ran--but Daidone chased him down and dragged him back, where he was stabbed, shot in the head and both eyes, and had that defrosted canary stuffed in his mouth to prove that "you sing to the feds, you're going to get your head blown off." The body was found in Brooklyn, days later, stuffed into the trunk of his own car.

Was Facciola a rat? Apparently not. Didn't matter.

The long arm of the law. It took time to get the evidence needed to make Louie Bagels accountable for his crimes--time and people willing to testify. But Daidone was arrested in March 2003, following a joint FBI-NYPD investigation. He was convicted in January 2004, and sentenced this week. Case closed.

Links: New York Press Release | New York Field Office | La Cosa Nostra Organized Crime Program