With the recent passing of Joe Todaro Sr who the feds claim was the last official boss of the Magaddino crime family many wonder now who will take the reigns of the Buffalo mafia.
But the better question may be is there anything left of the tattered mob family to lead. Law enforcement sources and many mafia experts believe the once formidable crime family has but 20 active made guys remaining at most with many of them now elderly. Hamilton , Ont. and Utica crews that were once subservient to the Buffalo family are now all but dead with recent busts and the 1997 assassination of Hamilton leader John “Johnny Pops” Papaglia.
“Joe Todaro Sr”
So does anyone really want to step up and take the lead making them a target for law enforcement to lead what little is left of the Buffalo La Cosa Nostra. One possibility for the big seat in Buffalo many believe is Leonard “The Calzone” Falzone. Feds claim Falzone was named as consigliere of the Magaddino family in 1987 and took over as acting boss of family when Todaro stepped down in 2006. He was a long time enforcer and hit man for the family and moved up the ranks according to the feds but he denies having any mob ties. Falzone had very few run ins with the law until the 1990’s when he was convicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy.
Another name being tossed around is that of Frank “Butchie Bifocals” BiFulco who some see as the leading contender. Feds claim that BiFulco has been a feared enforcer for the Magaddino family since the 1960’s and made it to rank of capo. Although he is coming off doing a 10 year sentence for the torching of a leased car in a parking lot in 2001. Also being tossed into the mix to be Todaro’s successor is Bobby Panaro. Feds claim that he is a mob soldier in the Buffalo crime family and was convicted in 1999 for conspiring to extort a mob associate who was later murdered. Panaro was acquitted of charges relating to the murder. He denies being a mob soldier and a member of the Buffalo mob.
Does any of these guys really want the headache’s that come with being a mafia boss in this day and age ? Only time will tell as we wait and see if anyone steps up to fill the void or if the Buffalo mafia family just fades away like many other Cosa Nostra families have over the last several years.