‘Tyrannical’ Philly Mafia boss Nicodemo ‘Little Nicky' Scarfo Dies in Prison

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  • Mob boss was serving 55-year sentence
  • Government considered him amongst the most violent crime leaders in the country
  • 25 mobsters were murdered in Philadelphia during Scarfo’s four-year reign
  • "His exercise of naked, brutal power destroyed whatever loyalty he may have fostered in his subordinates” claims one book on the life of Scarfo

Notorious Philly mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo (pictured right for those reading this from a laptop computer) reportedly passed away in a prison hospital over the weekend.  He was 87 and in declining health.

Scarfo had been serving a 55-year sentence for gambling, loan sharking and racketeering.

Philly.com offered up this chilling assessment of Scarfo’s life:

Once described in a government sentencing memorandum as "a man who sought and achieved a career in the major leagues of crime," Scarfo was considered one of the most violent organized crime leaders in the country.

David Fritchey, the former head of the Organized Crime Strike Force in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia described Scarfo as "bloodthirsty" and told Philly.com his penchant for violence not only was detrimental to the city, it also contributed toward factionalism and distrust within his own organization.

"I think his family will certainly mourn his passing, but on the whole, the city wasn't a better place for him having been here," Fritchey said.

During his reign between 1980 and 1985, some 25 mobsters were murdered in the city.

He and seven associates had been previously convicted for plotting the 1985 murder of well-known South Philadelphia gambler and mob associate Frank "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso, but were later acquitted.

"His exercise of naked, brutal power destroyed whatever loyalty he may have fostered in his subordinates and caused some to look to law enforcement for protection," read a 1987 report by the Pennsylvania Crime Commission that assessed the reasons for the demise of Scarfo and his mob family.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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