Domenico Di Ciolla

Domenico Di Ciolla (died 1931) was a former Genna crime family soldier in Chicago who later moved to Los Angeles where he became one of the earliest leaders of what became known as the Los Angeles crime family.


Di Ciolla originally lived in Chicago and was aligned with the Genna gang, also known as the Genna crime family, rivals of the Chicago Outfit. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1926 and became a lieutenant of Rosario DeSimone and was the alleged killer of August Palumbo in 1928 to take control of Palumbo's liquor operations, which he had inherited after the imprisonment of Albert Marco. Di Ciolla was formally accused of the gangland slaying of Palumbo, but was acquitted. Palumbo was the seventh bootlegger killed in a six week period during that year, he was allegedly killed for refusing to merge his criminal operations with Rosario DeSimone's, who later became the Don of Los Angeles. Why Di Ciolla moved to the West Coast is something of a mystery, whether he was sent to expand the Genna Gangs influence or either he was an ambitious young upstart looking to scout out new terrain and carve out a place for himself in a rich new territory. Di Ciolla was ambitious, a veteran of the brutal Chicago liquor wars and had the ability to negotiate and employ diplomacy in his favor.

At the time of his death, Di Ciollas wife(Elizabeth) was pregnant with their 3 child.

Grab for Power

In 1931, Di Ciolla tried to challenge higher powers by moving into syndicated gambling rackets, he imported muscle from Chicago to aid in his take-over bid, friends, relatives and soldiers of the Genna organization. In the end Di Ciolla himself would wind up being murdered. DiCiolla was described as "contemptuous, savage, treacherous, a natural double crosser and extremely greedy in his business dealings", but also smart, considerate and personable when he chose or not to be.

For Domenico alliances were only temporary means of convenience. On many occasions, he would enter into an advantageous agreements with every intention of renegotiating the terms or disregarding it in the most brutal and final manner possible. There was no one deal he cherished and adhered to. These were all personal traits and attributes that well could have been the reason leading up to his demise, dashing all hopes he had of making a name for himself and forming a power-base of operations in Southern California.

Di Ciolla was found murdered along a lonely stretch of road near Downey with half of his face and head blown off by a shotgun blast, leaving DeSimone, known as "The Chief" and Joseph Ardizzone and their gang as the dominant force in Los Angeles organized crime. Ardizzone himself would soon disappear in the same year never to be seen again.

One hypothesis for Di Ciolla's death is that it was ordered by DeSimone and Ardizzone. The other that members of Di Ciolla's own gang may have killed him as his relationship with his henchmen was described as "strained". The young, wealthy and exceedingly arrogant Di Ciolla was said to sometimes fly off the handle and his treatment towards his underlings haughty, overbearing and patronizing.

Whatever the reason for his downfall, Di Ciolla was without a doubt a killer with and ambition, apparently brought down by his own proficient use of violence and arrogance.

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