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Thread: More on Bobby Woods' (Salvation) murder

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    More on Bobby Woods' (Salvation) murder

    Sopranos Actor Shook Down Gay Club Owner
    May 04, 2010 Dapper Don

    Tony Sirico, the actor who played Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri on The Sopranos, once was known as Gennaro Sirrico, and according to a March 19, 1970 article fromThe New York Times he allegedly was a former manager of the nightclub Salvation at One Sheridan Square which had become a gay hotspot through the influence of Robert Wood who was murdered in February 1970 with five bullets to his head from a .32 automatic. The NYT article alleges Sirico, who had been arrested in connection with the shake down of John Addison who operated the gay club The Together at 308 East 59th Street, "was a former manager of the Salvation . . . whose owner was murdered last month" according to police:
    The police and Federal and state investigators are seeking a possible link between an underworld take-over of the Salvation -- as alleged in letters written by the slain owner, Robert J. Wood, and sent posthumously to District Frank S. Hogan and United States Attorney Whitney North Seymour Jr. -- and the reported harassment of John Addison, operator of a 59th Street discotheque known as the Together. * * * A police official said that Wood's letters, which named several men listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as members of the Mafia, described "a classic case of how organized crime moves in on bars and nightspots, puts its members or associates on the payroll, and eventually takes over. The Salvation, at 1 Sheridan Square, had been patronized by cafe society when it opened in 1967 but is said to have begun catering to homosexuals after Wood put money into it. It went out of business four months ago after the Mafia, according to Wood, drained off the profits and had him operating at a loss of $2,000 a month.
    Sirico was not accused or charged with the Wood murder although he was convicted for shaking down Addison as reported by Reuven Fenton for the New York Post:
    Before he became a knee-breaking henchman on TV, Sirico was a low-level, gun-toting shakedown artist who threatened to kill cops and hinted that he once whacked a guy with five bullets in the head. In 2006, reported that Sirico had been busted 29 times for charges ranging from armed robbery to disorderly conduct. Sirico was sentenced to seven years behind bars, but served just three, for shaking down a Manhattan nightclub owner in 1970. * * * Sirico was working his mob magic on a disco called "Together" in Midtown - telling club owner John Addison how he dealt with guys who didn't obey. "You hit them over the head with a baseball bat and they come around," said Sirico.
    At Sirico's sentencing hearing the ADA stated the following:
    He said there was one guy who gave him a hard time also, who refused to give Junior Sirico the respect he thought he deserves, who refused to comply with every wish and whim of Junior Sirico, and that was Bobby Woods, and he said, "You saw what happened to him," and Mr. Addison knew what happened to Bobby Woods. Mr. Bobby Woods was found dead with five bullets in his head in Queens with a .32 automatic. He told Mr. Addison that this could happen, and Mr. Addison was afraid, and he came to the District Attorney’s office and filed a complaint.
    In 1980 John Addison was convicted of tax fraud in connection with a skimming operation on another gay club he operated. Following the murder of Wood, The Salvation re-opened under new ownership in May 1970 as The Haven -- which dubbed itself as "the ultimate teenage club" -- until the state closed it down in July 1971 as an alleged "virtual congregation of narcotic addicts." In reviewing The Haven for the Sept. 3, 1970 issue of The Village Voice, Lucian K. Truscott IV alleged:
    The scene is drugs and kids. In that order. It's a teen club for the super-hippie teeny-bopper who doesn't drink, is beyond grass and acid, and is looking for kicks. The Haven. It used to be Salvation until its owner was found floating face-up in the East River and the new name and management took over. * * * It still looks like Salvation, but there's no liquor – perhaps because its clientele is too young to drink anyway.
    The murder of Robert Wood -- like many murders tied to the gay bar industry -- never was solved. In 1975 the NYDA and NYPD initiated an investigation dubbed Operation Together to look into the Wood and several other gay murders, mob control over some gay bars, drug trafficking and child prostitution. The investigation allegedly implicated officials at the highest levels in New York City politics, power and society, and a mobster visited one of the detectives warning him to close the investigation because of where it would lead. The investigation continued, and then a fire bomb was tossed through the window into the apartment where the detective and his family lived. Two weeks later, "top brass" at the NYPD closed down Operation Together in 1977 over the objections of the ADA and two detectives assigned to the case.

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    Re: More on Bobby Woods' (Salvation) murder

    First there was Reefer Madness, now we're on to Gay Bar Madness


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