Joe Bruno on the Mob – Lynda Milito – Part Five
In 1980, Louie Milito, Sammy Gravano, and Stymie D’Angelo took a trip to South Jersey to kidnap and kill John “Johnny Keys” Simone, 69, a top Capo, and considered by his contemporaries a “man’s man.” This was right after the boss of Philadephia, Angelo Bruno, was shot and killed in his car by assassins unknown. Simone wanted to succeed Bruno as Philly and South Jersey mob boss, but the National Mob Commission settled on Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo as Bruno’s successor. Scarfo convinced the New York bosses that if Scarfo was to rise to the Philly throne unimpeded, Simone had to go. The contract was given to Gravano, and he took his two best buddies, Milito and D’Angelo, with him to do this “piece of work.”
Gravano said this was a job he regretted, but he had no choice.
“I felt terrible that a man with such balls had to be hit,” Gravano wrote in his book Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano’s Story of Life in the Mafia. “But this was Cosa Nostra. The boss of my family had ordered it. The entire commission had ordered it. There was nothing I could do.”
When the four men reached the spot of the execution, Milito had his gun ready.
Gravano wrote, “Simone took a couple of steps away from the van. Without a word, he lowered his head, quiet and dignified. The shot immediately leveled him to the ground. He died instantly. He died without pain. He died La Cosa Nostra.”
The Simone hit ingratiated Gravano to Castellano, but the feeling was not mutual. Gravano thought, as did other Gambino capos, that Castellano was too removed from the streets. Big Paul considered himself a well-read and well-bred aristocrat, but he had little in common with the guys in the trenches doing the grunt work.
In 1981, Sammy and Louie went partners in the “Plaza Suite Disco,” which became one of the most popular nightspots in the borough; a Brooklyn version of Studio 54. Gravano was the major “shareholder,” and Milito was his “junior partner.” The club featured popular entertainers, including Chubby Checker and The Four Tops.
The money was rolling in for Gravano and Milito, and all was right with the world. That is, until in June of 1982, when a shady businessman named Frank Fiala decided to wreck havoc on the joint.
On the surface, the 37-year-old Fiala was the owner of the Patterson Machine Company, a manufacturer of marine parts and supplies on the Brooklyn waterfront. However, in reality Fiala was raking in tons of dough dealing huge quantities of cocaine and making more on the side distributing kiddie porn.
Fiala paid $40,000 to rent out the Plaza Suite Disco for a birthday party he was throwing for himself. For the forty grand, Fiala thought he had the right to trash the club and give the employees a hard time.
The next day, Fiala showed up in Gravano’s office.
“What do you want?” Gravano said.
Fiala took out a big knife and stuck it face down in Gravano’s desk. “I want to buy this place,” Fiala snarled. “How much do you want?”
Gravano smiled. “One million bucks, in cash.”
Fiala said that would be just fine.
The deal they agreed to was this: $100,000 in cash as a down payment (which Fiala immediately gave to Gravano), $650,000 in gold bullions under the table (which Fiala also gave to Gravano), and $250,000 cash at closing.
Gravano couldn’t believe his good fortune. He figured the place was only worth $200,000.
However, Fiala was either stupid or insane. Before the deal closed, Fiala acted like he was already the boss of the club. He started remodeling the interior, and he hired his own bouncers. The final straw was when Fiala entered Gravano’s office, and decided he wanted to break through a wall to make a bigger office. When Gravano and Milito strolled Gravano’s office, they saw Fiala sitting in the chair behind Gravano’s desk, with a lit cigar in his mouth, and his feet on Gravano’s desk.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Gravano barked at Fiala. “This doesn’t belong to you till the closing. Get the hell out of here.”
Fiala smiled at the two mobsters. Then he reached into the bottom desk drawer, took out a Uzi machine pistol, and aimed it at Gravano.
“You ain’t so tough,” Fiala said, fingering the trigger. “What are you going to do now?”
Both Gravano and Milito stood speechless.
Fiala waved the gun menacingly at Gravano. “You fucking greaseballs! You do things my way!”
Gravano and Milito sneered at Fiala, and then exited the office.
When Fiala left the club at 2 AM, he was surrounded by several men wearing ski masks and wigs; including Milito, Nicholas Mormando, and Michael DeBatt.
Mormando yelled, “Hey Frank, how you doing?”
As Fiala turned to Mormando, Milito rushed up behind Fiala and shot him in the back of the head. Then Louie stood over Fiala’s body, and fired a shot into each of Fiala’s eyes (that was for the kiddie porn).
A split second later, Gravano emerged from the crowd, and spat on Fiala’s dead body.
The killers rushed off, and even though the murder had been witnessed by several bystanders, no one was ever arrested for the murder of Frank Fiala. It was discovered later that Gravano had greased the palms of the so-called Mafia cop, Louie Eppolito and his partner Sal Carracappa, so that the Fiala murder case would disappear from the police blotter.
As for the cash and gold bullion Gravano had already received from Fiala, Gravano pocketed the entire amount, and Louie Milito got beans.
Later, Gravano bragged to Milito, “I just bought a horse farm; all cash. And I’m giving you 20 percent.”
Milito soon found out that 20 percent of nothing is nothing.
A few days after the Fiala murder, Lynda Milito found a fake mustache, a bottle of glue, a revolver, two ski masks and a pair of sunglasses, behind a bunch of handkerchiefs in a bedroom bureau.
When she confronted her husband about her bizarre discovery, Louie said, “They belong to Sammy; they have nothing to do with me.”
Lynda asked her husband if he had anything to do with the murder in front of the Plaza Suite Disco.
Louie sneered at Linda, “What do you know, you’re Jewish.”
When Sammy Gravano became an informant a decade later, in the trial of his boss, John Gotti, Gravano named Louie Milito as the Fiala shooter.