The former underboss of the Colombo crime family Gennaro “Gerry Lang” Langella died Sunday at the age of 74 while serving out his 100 year prison sentence. The former New York Mafia leader was one of eight defendants tried in the most highly publicized mob cases in history the “Mafia Commission Trial” held in the mid 1980′s. Other defendants in the case were top Mafia leaders which included Carmine “Junior” Persico then boss of Colombo family , Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno then boss of the Genovese family, and Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo then the boss of the Lucchese family. All of the defendants were found guilty on RICO charges and were all sentenced to 100 years in prison in November of 1986. Langella had been sentenced to a 65 year prison for a previous racketeering conviction but was allowed to serve both sentences concurrently.
Starting in 1996 Langella began making what seemed to be a never ending bid to be let out of prison on parole but was unsuccessful. Prosecutors were able to provide testimony from several cooperating witnesses including Gregory Scarpa Sr that Langella had ordered multiple murders on behalf of the Colombo crime family. Langella was also fingered for attending a meeting between the Colombo family and the DeCavalcante crime family from New Jersey where the families divided up territory for the sale of narcotics. In the book “Five Families: The Rise, Decline and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires” writer and former investigative reporter Selwyn Raab describes Langella as being a ruthless drug trafficker and loan shark. He was a throw back to a different era of the Mafia and mobsters.