St. John’s Cemetery “Celebrities”

Here’s some “fun” info called to my attention by Doug Leblang. It consists of “famous” people (mostly mobsters) buried in:

Saint John’s Cemetery
80-01 Metropolitan Avenue
Queens, New York, USA

Abbundando, Frank “The Dasher” b. 1910. d. February 19, 1942.

Frank (The Dasher) Abbundando was a member of a murder-for-hire gang made up of low-level Jewish and Italian gangsters working out of Brooklyn N.Y. during the 1930s. This gang came to be known in the news media as Murder Inc. The gang carried out gangland murders in the New York City area under the direction of Lepke Buchalter and Albert Anastasia. Abbundando died in the electric chair at Sing-Sing prison on Feb. 19,1942. He was 31 years old. (bio by B. Heneage)<br.
Specific Interment Location: Section 12, Plot P, Grave 75.

Cause of Death: Execution by electric chair at Sing-Sing prison.

Atlas, Charles b. 1892. d. 1972.

Body Builder.

Cause of Death: Heart attack.

Colombo, Joe (Joseph) b. 1923. d. May 22, 1978.

Mafia Boss. Joe Colombo was the head of the Colombo Family (named after him) from 1963 until he was shot in the head and critically wounded at a rally for the Italian American Civil Rights League (which he started) at Columbus Circle in New York City on June 29,1971. Colombo’s shooting was ordered by Carlo Gambino. Colombo never came out of the coma caused by the shooting and died on May 22,1978.
Cause of Death: Died after being in a coma from a shot in the head.

Dellacroce, Neill “The Hat” (Aniello) b. 1914. d. December 2, 1985.

Neill Dellacroce was the Underboss of the Gambino Crime Family during the reigns of Carlo Gambino and Paul Castellano. Dellacroce died of natural causes on December 2, 1985. His death created a vacuum in the Family that lead to the murders of Gambino Family boss Paul Castellano and Underboss Thomas Bilotti on Dec. 16,1985. Their murders were ordered by John Gotti. John Gotti then ceased power of the Gambino Family with Frank DeCicco as his new Underboss. (DeCicco was killed by a bomb that was placed under his car on a Brooklyn Street on April 13,1986).

Specific Interment Location: “Wooden Section” of the Cloisters.

Cause of Death: Natural causes.

Galante, Carmine “Lilo” b. 1910. d. July 12, 1979.

Mafia boss of the Bonanno family. He and Luciano and Montreal crime boss frank Petrula organized the infamous French Connection, (heroin pipeline). He was murdered at Joe and Mary’s’ restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.

Cause of Death: murdered.

Gambino, Carlo b. August 24, 1902. d. October 15, 1976.

Boss of the Gambino Mafia Family from 1957 (when he took over after the murder of Albert Anastasia) until he died of natural causes on Oct.15,1976.

Specific Interment Location: Cloisters.

Cause of Death: Natural causes.

Genovese, Vito b. November 27, 1897. d. February 14, 1969.

Mobster – ‘Boss of all Bosses.’ He died in prison.

Higgins, Vannie d. June 19, 1932.

Famous Prohibition Era rum runner from Brooklyn,N.Y. He was shot by men of “Murder Inc” on June 18,1932 on a Brooklyn Street and died the next day.
Specific Interment Location: Near grave of Carmine Galante.

Johnson, Wilfred “Willie Boy” b. September 29, 1935. d. August 29, 1988.

Johnson was an associate in the Gambino Family and close friend of John Gotti. He was also a Top Echelon” informant for the FBI from 1966 until 1985. He provided the FBI information on John Gotti and other Gambino Family members (his code name was “Wahoo” because he was part American-Indian). The FBI revealed the fact that Johnson was an informant in a 1985 hearing but he refused to enter the Witness Protection Program. On August 29,1988, Willie Boy was shot to death in a hail of 18 bullets in front of his Brooklyn home.

Cause of Death: Shot to death.

Lucania, Salvatore “Lucky Luciano” b. November 24, 1897. d. January 26, 1962.

Mafia Figure. Died of a heart attack at the Naples, Italy airport.

Cause of Death: heart attack.

Maione, Harry “Happy” b. 1908. d. 1942.

Gangster. He was part of the Murder Incorporated a group of professional killers who worked solely for the National Crime Syndicate in the 1930s. The killers received assignments and payments to murder total strangers in the New York area or anywhere in the country, murdering anyone selected by the syndicate board. Murder, Inc. was destroyed when Reles turned informant in 1940.

Specific Interment Location: Section 37, Range L, Grave 1.

Cause of Death: Executed by electric chair..

Maranzano, Salvatore d. September 10, 1931.

Gangster. His grave is only yards from the graves of the men who ordered his murder: Vito Genovese and Lucky Luciano.

Specific Interment Location: Section 25.

Cause of Death: He was murdered in his office in Manhattan by Meyer Lansky’s men on orders of Lucky Luciano.

Profaci, Joseph b. 1898. d. June 6, 1962.

Mafia Boss. After his death the Profaci Family became the Colombo Family.

Rastelli, Philip “Rusty” b. 1918. d. June 24, 1991.

Philip (Rusty) Rastelli took control of the Bonanno Family after the murder of Carmine Galante in 1979. He was sentenced to twelve years in a federal prison in 1986. Rastelli was released shortly before his death for humanitarian reasons and died of cancer in a Queens,N.Y. hospital on June 24,1991 at the age of 73.

Specific Interment Location: The Cloisters.

Cause of Death: cancer.

Tieri, Frank “Funzi” b. 1904. d. 1981.

Frank ( Funzi ) Tieri was the boss of the Genovese Family from the early 1970’s until his death of natural causes in 1981. After his death, Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno became head of the Genovese Family.

Specific Interment Location: the “Wood Section” of the Cloisters.

Cause of Death: natural causes.

Willett, Louis E. b. June 19, 1945. d. February 15, 1967.

Medal of Honor recipient. Killed in action in Vietnam. Medal of Honor Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Willett distinguished himself while serving as a rifleman in Company C, during combat operations. His squad was conducting a security sweep when it made contact with a large enemy force. The squad was immediately engaged with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire and pinned to the ground. Despite the deadly fusillade, Pfc. Willett rose to his feet firing rapid bursts from his weapon and moved to a position from which he placed highly effective fire on the enemy. His action allowed the remainder of his squad to begin to withdraw from the superior enemy force toward the company perimeter. Pfc. Willett covered the squad’s withdrawal, but his position drew heavy enemy machine gun fire, and he received multiple wounds enabling the enemy again to pin down the remainder of the squad. Pfc. Willett struggled to an upright position, and, disregarding his painful wounds, he again engaged the enemy with his rifle to allow his squad to continue its movement and to evacuate several of his comrades who were by now wounded. Moving from position to position, he engaged the enemy at close range until he was mortally wounded. By his unselfish acts of bravery, Pfc. Willett insured the withdrawal of his comrades to the company position, saving their lives at the cost of his life. Pfc. Willett’s valorous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Cause of Death: Killed in action.

Jeffrey Braverman – Mar 29, 2003


Evelyn Barber – Mar 29, 2003

Another is John Gotti – d. June 10, 2002

Emilio De Simone – Apr 7, 2003

Everybody buried in St. Johns died to get in there.


Leave a Reply