Chicago mafia leader Joseph Lombardo passed away on Saturday at the age of 90 while doing a life sentence according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The aging mobster was dealing with various medical problems including throat cancer according to recent reports. It’s still unknown as to what the cause of death was. Lombardo known as “the Clown” was convicted in the landmark 2007 Family Secrets Chicago Outfit trial. The trial also took down other Chicago mob heavyweights including Frank Calabrese Sr. and James Marcello. The case included various charges including multiple mafia murders many of which the jury ultimately deadlocked on although it wasn’t enough to help any of the defendants beat the feds extensive case.
“Joey the Clown Lombardo”
Joseph Lombardo was convicted of racketeering, extortion, loan sharking and the murder of his former friend and businessman Daniel Seifert. According to prosecutors, Seifert was brutally gunned down in front of his wife and young son back in 1974. Seifert was reportedly ready to testify against the Clown in a Teamsters pension fund fraud case. But Joey the Clown maintained that he never knew Seifert planned to testify and didn’t kill him.
During the notorious Family Secrets trial Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Markus Funk said “Mr. Lombardo is a mobster, He’s an Outfit member. He is an Outfit boss with no remorse. He has shown no remorse.” Lombardo claimed he was not given a fair trial but U.S. District Judge James Zagel was not in agreement. He put Joseph Lombardo behind bars for life!
Lombardo’s criminal career began at an early age as a thief and tough guy before being introduced into the Chicago Outfit. He began as a driver and over the years made his way through the ranks. He was seen as a rising star at one point and was seen by some as a possible successor to former boss Anthony Accardo. He has multiple run-ins with the law over the years which landed him behind bars for extended periods of time.
The former Grand Avenue crew boss built quite the mafia resume and was once described as one of the Chicago Outfit’s most colorful and ruthless characters. He was certainly anything but a clown even though the infamous nickname stuck with him throughout the years.