I-Team Report: Lunch with 'No Nose'
March 11, 2009 (WLS) -- With last month's life sentences for several top hoodlums, Outfit investigators say John DiFronzo is now the undisputed boss of the Chicago mob.
He's been called "No Nose" ever since part of his nose was sliced off while jumping through a window during a Michigan Avenue burglary.
After the I-Team was told by numerous organized crime sources that John "No Nose" DiFronzo holds a regular luncheon meeting at a west suburban restaurant, we took a look for ourselves.
A train whistle signals the approach of noon in west suburban River Grove.
Also like clockwork on this Friday is the arrival of John DiFronzo to the Loon Cafe.
The 80-year-old convicted mob boss has driven his shiny new pickup truck a few blocks from the Grand Avenue home where he has lived for years.
He is the first one at the restaurant for "Lunch with No Nose."
"Mr. Difronzo's been there on a regular basis. The earlier story was that he was in there like clockwork every Tuesday night. It was his local watering hole just like a lot of guys in Chicago have their local wateringhole. Rumor has it that he's in there a bit more frequently these days," said John Binder, author of "The Chicago Outfit."
His nose long since re-cast from the old days and more likely to be called "Johnny Bananas" to his face, DiFronzo is the first to arrive.
His brother Peter shows up next. The owner of a suburban waste-hauling firm, Peter DiFronzo is a convicted warehouse thief who did time at Leavenworth. Mob investigators say, like his brother, Peter is a fully initiated "made" member of the Chicago Outfit and believed to be his brother's most trusted lieutenant and advisor.
Then comes Marco "the Mover" Damico, a one-time bricklayer and DiFronzo protoge. Damico is a convicted mob capo with a 50-year criminal history of gambling, racketeering and toug guy intimidation.
"Marco at one time was running the Elmwood Park Street Crew. I wouldn't be surprised if they found him a higher stature position if one was available right after he got out," said Binder.
Next to arrive, another DiFronzo brother, Joe, a former juice loan boss, once convicted of running the nation's largest indoor marijuana farm.
Other DiFronzo chums walk in, until the table for nine is full, for what could be a command performance.
"Anybody in the Outfit would go when they're called. It's a very hierarchical organization. A lot of these guys would spit in the face of the devil walking through the doors of Hell," said Binder.
For decades the Chicago mob has been conducting business at restaurant dining tables. One of the most famous photos in Outfit history was snapped in 1976 and was later found by the FBI during a raid. It shows a group of mobsters at a table.
Except for Joey "the Clown" Lombardo who was just sentenced to life in prison, the crime syndicate leaders seen together in the photo are all dead.
But now, there is a new family photo, taken by the I-Team just last Friday as John "No Nose" DiFronzo dishes out pizza to the Outfit's upper crust.
DIFRONZO: How ya doin' buddy?"
After the two hour pizza and wine meeting, DiFronzo was first to leave.
GOUDIE: "How was the meeting?
DIFRONZO: What meeting?
GOUDIE: The pizza lunch.
DIFRONZO: Oh, yeah. that was good. That was good."
GOUDIE: You come here a lot?
DIFRONZO: No, first time.
GOUDIE: Mr. Damico in there?
DIFRONZO: I have...I don't even know who he is.
GOUDIE: I thought I saw him going into your lunch.
DIFRONZO: No, I haven't seen him. He hasn't been around."
DiFronzo was not charged during the landmark Family Secrets trial in 2007 that took down major mob bosses and solved more than a dozen gangland murders.
But key witness and hitman Nick Calabrese testified that DiFronzo had a hand in the grisly, 1986 murders of Las Vegas mob boss Anthony Spilotro and his brother Michael. During a sentencing hearing last month, Park Ridge dentist Dr. Pat Spilotro challenged the government to arrest DiFronzo for his part in killing of his brothers.
GOUDIE: "Pat Spilotro said he wanted to know why the government hadn't picked you up in connection with Family Secrets.
DIFRONZO: I, uh--don't know anything about it...sorry.'
"From the federal government's point of view, the jury believed Nick Calabrese, they believed everything he said. The government convicted everybody. One of the things Nick Calabrese said was that John Difronzo was one of the guys beating on the Spilotros. He's the one guy left still alive who was identified by Nick Calabrese who hasn't been indicted and tried," said Binder.
GOUDIE: Are you concerned that you may end up in Family Secrets two?
DIFRONZO: I'm not concerned at all...bye bye...nice talkin' to you."
The pleasantries may soon be finished for John DiFronzo.
Thursday afternoon the final defendant from Operation Family Secrets, corrupt Chicago policeman Anthony "Twan" Doyle, will be sentenced.
Then in two weeks mob informant Nick Calabrese is scheduled to be sentenced . But Calabrese' work as a government witness will probably not end. His next appearance could come against the man they call "No Nose."
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