Best Known For
Roy DeMeo is best known for his time in the New York mafia, especially the Gambino crime family.
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Gangster. Born Roy Albert DeMeo on September 7, 1942 in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. The son of Italian immigrants, Roy DeMeo got involved in the underworld at a young age and pursued a profitable loan sharking business after graduating from high school.
In 1966, DeMeo's criminal career took off when he met Gambino racketeer Nino Gaggi. He and Gaggi set up a loan sharking business, while DeMeo began compiling his own crew for car theft and drug trafficking. DeMeo's men, often called the Gemini Crew, included Richard "Iceman" Kuklinski, Chris Rosenberg, Joseph Guglielmo, Anthony Senter, Henry Borelli, and Joey Testa.
DeMeo allegedly committed his first murder in 1973 at age 30. At the time, DeMeo and Gaggi were silent partners in a pornography film lab that was raided by police. The proprietor, Paul Rothenberg, was arrested and it was believed he would squeal under police pressure. DeMeo called Rothenberg for a meeting at a local diner, then shot him to death in a nearby alley.
This was the first of many hits for DeMeo, who began killing anyone who managed to get in his way. He also started performing hits for money, making himself a well known hitman in the underworld. His crew often performed these murders at the Gemini Club and his efficient killing style became known as the Gemini Method. One member would lure the victim to the club, where the others would team up on him. The bodies would then be dragged to the bathtub to bleed dry, then chopped into pieces and put into bags. The bags were placed in cardboard boxes and dropped into Brooklyn's Fountain Avenue Dump.
DeMeo became an official member of the Gambino Crime Family in 1977 after brokering a partnership between the Gambino family and an Irish-American crime organization called the Westies. The deal gave Gambino a take on the Westies profits in exchange for some profitable union kickbacks and a percentage of murder contracts. He further cemented his standing in the family with his hugely profitable auto theft ring known to authorities as the Empire Boulevard Operation.
By the early 1980s, the FBI had launched a massive investigation into the Gambino family and began holding stakeouts in the neighborhood outside the Gemini Club. Informants had tipped off authorities that several murder victims had been seen entering the club before disappearing. Around this time, it is said that Gambino boss Paul Castellano put out a hit on DeMeo, assumedly in an effort to take off the heat, but that he had difficulty finding anyone inside the family willing to do the job.
On January 18, 1983, DeMeo's body was found peppered with bullets inside the trunk of his abandoned car.
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