Nickname: “Big Joe L.”
Alias “Joseph Lombardi”
Address: 317 Hanover Street, North End of Boston; Bettinson Avenue, Everett, Massachusetts
Born: circa 1897, Salemi, Sicily
Died: July 17, 1969
Affiliation: Buccola Family, Patriarca Family
Little is currently known about the history of the New England mob between the 1930s through the 1950s, when Joseph Lombardo rose to power within that Family while living in the Little Italy section of Boston, in the tenement-lined streets of the Boston’s North End.A consigliore to boss Phillip Buccola from 1931 to 1954, Lombardo gained renewed respect when three days before Christmas in 1931, he knocked off the Gustin Gang of South Boston.The Gustin gsmg a ruthless gang of Irish thugs whom controlled Boston before the Italians arrived.A dispute over bootlegging, ending the Irish mob’s reign.The hits, which brought the Italians into power in Boston & the New England area which consisted of six states Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. This helped shape the all powerful New England Mafia, changing the way it was perceived nationally among other organized crime families through out the United States and the World.
According to the book “The Underboss by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill, Lombardo “became an almost mystical figure, a man of respect who could attribute the endless childish squabbles among his underlings over money and territory.”Known by his initials, J.L., Lombardo had “the bearing and manner of leadership, a core street-toughness and Old World ways that makes those who remember him a icon for his era,” the authors write.
After killing off Gustin Gang leader Frank Wallace and his top enforcer at the Little Italy section of Boston in a Hanover Street building, where Lombardo’s business C&F Importing was located, the mobster went underground, disappearing for nine days before surrendering to authorities on New Year’s Eve.Questioned by Police, the mobster politely refused to answer, apologizing for his lack of cooperation, authors Lehr and O’Neill wrote.A Suffolk County Grand Jury sitting in Boston later freed him and two others charged in the Gustin slayings.He returned to the North End to run a restaurant, as well as the mob’s extremely lucrative gambling and loan-sharking operations, for the next thirty years. he retired from mob business in 1954 and later moved out of Boston to the city of Everett, where he died of natural causes at the age of seventy-two in 1969.It was reported that when Joseph Lombardo retired, this opened the door for Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo to fill in the void in the gambling business in New England, which Angiulo and his brothers made Millions of dollars,as the public records so supports.