May 15, 2004 by

Raymond Ferritto


Categories: Criminals

Mob hit man Raymond Ferritto died on May 10 of congestive heart failure. He was 75.

A native of Erie, Pa., Ferritto was hired by the Cleveland Mob in 1977 to kill Danny Greene, a member of the Irish Mob. Godfather James “Jack White” Licavoli and Underboss Angelo “Big Ange” Lonardo were in a turf war with Greene. When they learned he planned to visit his dentist, Licavoli and Lonardo contracted Ferritto to assassinate him.

While Greene was getting his teeth examined, Ferritto and Ronald “The Crab” Carabbia planted a bomb in the passenger side door of his car. As the Irish mobster opened the door to his car, Carabbia triggered the bomb and blew up the vehicle, killing Greene.

Artist Debbie Spotz saw Ferritto at the scene of the bombing and drew a detailed sketch of his face. She gave the rendition and Ferritto’s license plate number to her father, a local police officer. The state of Ohio used the sketch and other evidence to indict Licavoli, Lonardo, Ferritto, Carabbia and 15 other members of the Cleveland Family.

After his arrest, Ferritto heard that the Mob had taken a contract out on him. So he cut a deal, turned state’s witness and testified in the 1978 trial. On the stand, Ferritto admitted to being hired by the Cleveland Mob family and participating in Greene’s murder. Carabbia and his associate, Pasquale “Butchie” Cisternino, were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Everyone else walked. Cisternino died behind bars in 1990 and Carabbia was paroled in 2002.

Ferritto, who also claimed responsibility for the 1969 slaying of Cleveland gangster Julius Anthony Petro, served less than four years in prison for both killings. He retired from the “business” in 2000, and moved to Florida.

23 Responses to Raymond Ferritto

  1. Denise (Schneider)Frank

    My Mother Esterina Difranco-Schneider was a first cousin to Raymond Ferritto. Her mother Pasqua DiFranco and Michael Ferritto(Aunt Rose) were very close. I have a photo dated 1939 of Raymond and his siblings. I am searching for photos that are dated much later. Please help!! Thanks

  2. Raymond Ferritto

    If anyone truly knew my grandfather you wouldn’t be on here bragging about it. Angela is right and for those people that don’t know I am now the true Raymond Ferritto

  3. Joe

    I saw Ray Ferritto on a mafia documentary once giving an interview and he truly seemed to be a nice, calm kind of guy. He transmitted tranquility. Also looks like a good friend of mine from Massachussets named David Munsay (who is half Italian). Ciao

  4. Sean Soboleski

    He was my dads Ex-wife father.
    I remember him taking me to fancy resturants and he even paid for our vacation to disneyland when i was little. I dont care what he did, He always treated me good, and for that, i will truly miss him
    Rest in Peace,
    Sean S.

  5. the last don

    the last don is who i am and ray ray you are the true raymond ferrito i never knew your grandfather but i knew you and your mom.
    life is grand and those who speak ill words of the dead get soft spoken with a bullet to the head remeber the trueness of them all for greats are the ones who fall a tribute from the last don

  6. Don

    According to my father, I am distantly related to Pasquale “Butchie” Cisternino. My great grandfather Luigi had a brother named Mike (Michele in Italian) – they came from an area near Bari in Italy and first came to New York. Luigi stayed in New York, and Mike went out West, settling in Cleveland. Butchie was either his son or his grandson – a distant cousin of my father. I remember hearing about him as a boy, something about a talent for car bombs. I didn’t know he passed away in prison – I’m sorry to hear that. My condolences to the family.
    – Don Cisternino

  7. mia

    for the cousin of albert ferrito in cleveland,oh-xxx- do you know if this is the same Albert who once was married to a Swedish woman and they had a son? thanks so much!

  8. Luca

    lol @ “He transmitted tranquility”.
    Are you an idiot?
    He put hot 9.0678 mm slugs in people’s brain pans.
    He wasn’t “tranquil” you imbecile. He was a mob hitman.

  9. Jimmy Ugotz

    This is for Don Cisternino, where ru from?? Butchies adopted son just died, Billy, about eight mos ago. Who exactly are you related to? My family is from Bari, near Puglia, and we all came over together, and then settled in the Woodland area, and then Collinwood. I have nevfer heard of you, but that doesn’t mean anything. Butchie went away on that Danny Greene thing w/Carrabia, and Tommy Sinito. Ronnie the Crab was the only one to make it out alive…………Ray was the rat that testified against them all, because Jack White, the boss then wanted him whacked!

  10. Rutger

    So they never got to him…I’m watching this mafia documentary from 1984 right now with an interview with him, he was pretty certain himself he would be murdered

  11. Don Cisternino

    My immediate family is from Brooklyn, NY. My grandfather was Lauro (“Lou”) Cisternino – his father was Luigi Cisternino – they came over from the Bari area of Italy about 1928. My dad (Victor / “Vic”) had mentioned something to me years ago about distant family in Cleveland, and I heard from one of my dad’s cousins that Luigi had a brother named Mike or Michele (in Italian), and possibly more than one sibling, and that part of the family went to the Cleveland area. There are actually lots of Cisternino’s in the world,(Cisternino is a town between Bari and Brindisi – a nice area, I have been there) so I don’t know for sure. In the old days, when Italians first came to the US, there was a lot of Mafia in the neighborhoods, so it was not uncommon for someone to get involved since there were very few good jobs for Italian immigrants and lots of discrimination against us. Nowadays it’s a different story. I don’t support crime of any kind, but I do think it is important for people to keep a certain perspective on why people felt they had little or no alternative to survive in times past and so got involved in organized crime. From what I’ve seen, it’s something people are born into. In my family’s old neighborhood in Brooklyn, there were connected guys everywhere. People grow up surrounded by wiseguys, who basically controlled most of what went on in the neighborhoods, and sooner or later ordinary people get involved because they had little choice in order to get by. These days, things are quite different. I live outside of the city, and I don’t go back to those places. I imagine it was similar for Butchie back then – he probably grew up with it all around him and that’s how he got involved. I’m sorry to hear about the death of his son and about his passing. It’s a sad story. We hear so much these days about other ethnic groups that have suffered in the history of the US – but not much about what Italian-Americans have gone through. People make movies either glorifying or vilifying us, but very few even come close to understanding us. Nobody sets out to be branded as a criminal or die in prison – people act like there was never any discrimination against us. Do you think it’s any coincidence Butchie and his associates were warring against an Irish crew? Italians had been competing with the Irish for jobs and status and survival since the day we got off the boat. These days it’s not such an issue since Italians have largely assimilated into greater “white” America, but even up until not too long ago, assimilation was a much bigger issue.

  12. chris spinelli

    this is for don family is from bari as far as im concerned,ray didnt go soon enough..he was a RAT!!! simple as that..and was instrumental in putting my good friend,ron carabbia,away for over two decades.ron is a stand-up guy-a real “man’s-man.’i know him and his wife,josephine(jo-jo)very well,and have much respect.Morte Ala Francia Italia Anela!!!

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