News World Gambino crime boss Francesco ‘Franky Boy’ Cali gunned down in New York
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Gambino crime boss Francesco ‘Franky Boy’ Cali gunned down in New York

Frank Cali kept such a low profile, police knew him as the Invisible Don. Photo: Twitter
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The boss of the New York Mafia’s Gambino crime family, Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, has been shot dead, cut down by a hail of bullets outside his Staten Island home.

Cali, 53, was shot at least six or seven times and then run over, just to be sure, by a blue pick-up truck driven by the shooter shortly after 9pm on Wednesday in front of his home, police said.

The Gambino crime operation is one of the five historic Italian-American Mafia families in New York, making its money through extortion  gambling, prostitution, drugs and it’s influence over corrupt unions.

The hit on Cali comes mere days after former Colombo family don Carmine “The Snake” Persico died of natural causes at the age of 85 in a federal penitentiary.

While investigators have made no comment on possible links between the two deaths, Cali’s murder was the first major gangland assassination in three decades, raising fears of a mafia war.

Cali ascended to the Gambino throne after the conviction and death in prison of the infamous John Gotti, the “Dapper Don” whose flashy suits and Hollywood-style profile made him a stale of the New York tabloids.

His successor was the polar opposite – so much so that NYPD detectives took to calling him the Invisible Don for his low-key profile and suburban lifestyle.

Cali was among 62 people arrested in 2008 on federal racketeering charges. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to extort money and served a 16-month sentence.

There is no known motive for the shooting of Cali, a police commander told Reuters.

“There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing,” police said in a statement.

-with wires