‘Tiny’ Manzo

From the New York Daily News,  April 26, 2009:

They live in a land of made men and unmade beds.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey” are coming next month, with the latest installment of the hit reality show introducing a quintet of Garden State gals – including two with a mob pedigree.

Sisters Dina and Caroline Manzo – they married a pair of Jersey brothers – provide a real-life link to “The Sopranos” for the Bergen County-based program.

Their father-in-law, Albert (Tiny) Manzo, was executed mob-style in August 1983, after he and Gambino family soldier Peter A. Campisi were suspected of skimming from a mob casino on Staten Island.

“A couple of weeks later, they found Tiny Manzo in the trunk of his car,” recalled Robert Buccino, a New Jersey organized crime expert.

The 350-pound mobster took four slugs to his torso. His naked body – the arms and legs bound in plastic – was discovered in the trunk of his parked Lincoln-Continental outside a supermarket in Hillside, N.J.

The killing was never solved.

Campisi, a made man and Tiny’s partner in the casino, suffered a similar fate, Buccino recalled.

The colorful Manzo, who ran for mayor of Paterson in 1974, also owned the Brownstone Restaurant – one of the main backdrops for action in “Housewives.”

His two wealthy sons, Albert and Tommy, still operate the venerable Paterson catering facility. Blond Dina and red-headed sibling Caroline are the first pair of sisters featured on the hit show.

They all live in pricey Franklin Lakes, an exclusive enclave that’s home to a pair of New York sports legends – Phil Simms and Willie Randolph – and disgraced ex-NYPD boss Bernie Kerik.

Despite their lavish lifestyles, huge bankrolls and pricey McMansions, household chores remain an issue for these capo di cutie capis.

A preview show caught Dina Manzo and daughter Lexi feuding over the mess in the 12-year-old’s bedroom. Regular episodes begin airing May 12 on Bravo.

Nowhere in the preview, which introduced the five titular housewives, is there mention of Tiny, his murder or his mob ties.

Dina and her sister stress their Italian heritage and devotion to family.

The other housewives are their brother’s wife, Jacqueline Laurita, and local women Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub.

Look for Staub to cause the most in-season fireworks: She’s feuding with Dina Manzo, enjoying phone sex with a guy known only as “Guccimodel” and carrying a cell phone with nude pictures of herself.

“You either love me or you love to hate me, there is no in-between,” she announces. Her bio brags about a “history of celebrity hook-ups” that will no doubt emerge in future episodes.

The Jersey girls, in their debut, pinball between vapid and vain as they live the high life. They work on their tans, spend outrageously, flash endless cleavage and visit the beauty parlor.

Carmela Soprano, eat your heart out.

Which is not to say the show wouldn’t benefit if Tiny was still around. When Albert Manzo made his mayoral run, he was a law-and-order candidate advocating public hangings.

“He was a real character,” Buccino said. “A huge guy. He was well-known.”


3 comments on “‘Tiny’ Manzo

  1. Does anyone remember the non Guido of the bunch (the Middle Eastern guy) making a comment about how he obtained his fortune? In gas stations right? I remember reading or seeing on a documentary that the Mob in Jersey, New York and other New England towns were running scams on gas stations. Does anyone other than me see a connection here?


    • I dont know but that’s intriguing. Your talkin about Kathy’s husband right? I thought the story about why Tree’s dad and Kathy’s dad don’t talk no more over $200 was a little lame.


      • Yeah right, all about family until they get pissed off like Teresa and her bro Joe, and Dina and Carolyn, and Teresa and Kathy, and on and on it goes. It’s family and families just have problems-Italian or not.


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