Roy DeMeo was one of the most notorious mob hitmen that operated in New York City in the United States of American. He was so deadly that he was #3 on the list of the Top 5 Mob hitmen in America, and he and his crew were credited with killing between 100 to 200 persons in their operation.
He was a much-feared hitman and mobster, who other equally famed mob hitmen dared not mess with. His life as a mobster was portrayed in the film Boss of Bosses (2001) in which Michael Miranda played his character, his life was also portrayed in the film adaptation of a book about one of his associates, Richard Kuklinski titled The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-blooded Killer (2012) with Ray Liotta portraying him.
The Biography of Roy Demeo
Roy Albert DeMeo was born in Bath Beach, Brooklyn in America on September 7, 1940. His father, Anthony and mother, Eleanor were working-class Italians of Neapolitan heritage. He grew up with his brother Louie and sister Ana.
What business was he into before joining an organized crime family?
DeMeo was not doing badly in his chosen type of business before he was recruited by Anthony Gaggi – a known soldier in the Gambino crime family. He was into loansharking and stole cars, which he then sold to some of his associates who owned car shops. Gaggi informed him that he could and would make much more money and become more successful in his business if he joined their “family”, and he did.
Formation of the DeMeo crew
After he became a member of the Gambino family, Roy Demeo thought it wise to put together his own gang to help him with his business and to also carry out tasks that may be assigned to him from time to time by the family.
The very first lieutenant that he took on board was a 16-year-old Marijuana dealer named Chris Rosenberg – who he met in 1966 at a Canarsie gas station, where he usually distributed his illicit drug. DeMeo wooed Chris over with the promise to loan him a lot of money which he could use to expand his business so he could deal in larger volumes of Marijuana. He also recruited one of his cousins named Joseph “Dracula” Guglielmo and a few of Chris’ friends recommended to him – Anthony Senter, Patrick and Joseph Testa.
He also used quite frequently the services of his henchmen like Richard Kuklinski and Henry Borelli, who helped carry out his businesses and killed for him when requested to. These were the men who helped DeMeo become the famed notorious mobster and killer that he was, and to the men of the law, these individuals would become a gang popularly referred to as the DeMeo’s crew.
The very first “hit” of the DeMeo crew
Towards the end of 1974, a conflict broke out and rapidly gathered storm between Andrei Katz – an auto repair shop owner and one of DeMeo’s known business associates in the auto theft ring and the DeMeo crew. By May 1975, a police officer on DeMeo’s payroll informed him that Katz, as a result of their ongoing rift, was already cooperating with the police and was ready to incriminate him.
A month later, DeMeo and his crew quickly swung into action and employed the services of some individuals to lure Katz into a location where he can be confronted, as soon as he was lured there, they abducted him and stabbed him to death before proceeding to dismember his body.
A female accomplice who helped lure Katz to his doom later confessed to the authorities and both Henry Bonelli and Joseph Testa were promptly arrested, but they were both acquitted in the trial in early 1976. This incident was definitely the first time the DeMeo crew would eliminate a foe, but it definitely wasn’t their last one.
The Gemini Method
In 1970, DeMeo and his crew owned a lounge called the Gemini Lounge which also doubled as their hangout spot. If and when they needed to get rid of anybody and make them disappear forever, they would invite their target to the lounge but rather than have them go in through the main entrance, they would lead this individual in through the side door and into an apartment building at the back.
Once in the building, a crew member – which was most times DeMeo himself would approach their victim, shoot them in the head with a silenced pistol and immediately wrap the victim’s head with a towel to slow down the spurting blood. Another crew member – usually Rosenberg, would then stab the victim’s heart to prevent more blood loss from the gunshot wound.
They would then remove the victim’s personal effects and drag the body into the bath tub to drain off the remaining blood. The body would then be moved to the main room where they would proceed to dismember the victim’s body – head, legs and arms, place them into plastic bags and then cardboard boxes and ship them off to Fountain Avenue dump in Brooklyn, where it would get mixed with tons of waste received by the facility daily and never to be seen again.
This execution and disposal method by DeMeo’s crew was referred to as the Gemini Method and this was used mostly for victims they never wanted to be seen again. For other executions where they needed to send a message to others, they would usually leave their victim’s body in the street to serve as a deterrent to others. They also used other methods to kill their victims, but that was on very rare occasions.
How did DeMeo die?
Here’s a family photo. The family lived in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Gambino executions happen there every now and then. pic.twitter.com/E93j0m1RtR
— Kath (@mopeng) March 17, 2019
By the early 1980s, DeMeo had gained a notorious reputation as a mobster who surrounded himself with an army of killers. He was under investigation by the FBI who had established the fact that several people seen entering the Gemini Lounge, were never seen again after that. The Gambino family became nervous about the FBI’s net tightening around DeMeo and Paul Castellano was believed to have put a hit out on DeMeo but was finding it difficult to get a hitman to execute the job due to DeMeo’s reputation.
Eventually, the job was given to Frank Decision, but he and his crew could not get near DeMeo, and in desperation, he was said to have given the job to DeMeo’s own crew members to execute on his behalf.
On January 10, 1983, DeMeo went to Patrick Testa’s house for a meeting with his crew members, and when he didn’t show up at his daughter, Dione’s birthday party later that night, this got his family members worried about his disappearance as he was never one to miss such an important occasion.
10 days later, his Cadillac car “surfaced” at the parking lot of the Veruna Boat Club in Brooklyn, with his partly frozen body in the trunk – ridden with several bullets fired at his head, with a chandelier placed on the trunk of his car. A few days after his mysterious disappearance, his son Albert found the personal effects – ring, wallet, and wallet, which he had on him on the day of his disappearance magically surfaced in his study room, alongside a catholic pamphlet.
Several members of the Gambino family while working as FBI informants, stated that DeCicco gave the DeMeo hit job to a contact who knew Joseph Testa and Anthony Senter, and these two members of DeMeo’s crew were said to have shot him multiple times in the head on the day he was gruesomely killed.