Castellano 'Talked Himself to Death,' Investigator Says

Associated Press

A death contract on reputed crime boss Paul Castellano was approved by fellow members of the Mafia "commission" after they learned he gave away mob secrets in conversations monitored by federal agents, investigators say.

"You could say Castellano talked himself to death," an unidentified investigator told the New York Daily News in a report published in today's editions.

The 70-year-old Castellano, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, and his confidant, Thomas Bilotti, 45, were killed by three gunmen Dec. 16 outside a Manhattan steak house.

Electronic Bug Planted

Two years ago, the Brooklyn-based Organized Crime Strike Force planted an electronic bug in Castellano's Staten Island mansion. The device enabled agents to record daily conversations Castellano had with Bilotti and other high-ranking members of the Gambino crime family, according to the report.

"He talked about everything--the bosses, the captains . . . the day-to-day operations, deals that were going down, negotiations with other families," an investigator said.

"He named a lot of names, including the bosses and underbosses of the New York families," the source was quoted as saying.

The source said Anthony Corallo, reputed boss of the Luchese crime family, discussed mob business and frequently cursed Castellano in secretly recorded conversations with his chauffeur in his car.

Tapes to Be Evidence

The Castellano and Corallo tapes are expected to provide the most sensational evidence at the upcoming trial in Manhattan federal court of the members of the commission--the heads of New York's five Mafia families.

The mob bosses apparently learned the contents of the Castellano tapes from their lawyers, who were told what evidence the prosecution planned to present at the trial.

"If any of their capos or soldiers had been caught doing what Castellano and Corallo did," the source said, "they would have been taken out right away."

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