Donald Frankos

Donald "Tony the Greek" George Frankos, (born November 10, 1938 Hackensack, New Jersey - died March 30, 2011 Dannemora, New York), was a Greek-Italian hitman and associate of the Lucchese crime family, who later became a government witness.


Donald was born to George Argiri Frango, who was born in 1891 in the town of Kardamyla on Chios, Greece. His father left Chios as a young man in 1905 as a crewman on a ship owned by his godfather named Livanos and never returned. His father George arrived in Jersey City in 1919 and worked as a boiler-room supervisor with Bristol-Meyers in Newark, New Jersey and secured part-time work as a handyman. At the age of forty, George married Donald's mother, Irene who was thirty-five years old and an immigrant from Syracuse, Italy. He is the brother of Georgia born in 1932, and James, born in 1935. In 1936, his father established a construction company and built single-family homes in Rutherford, New Jersey but went broke during the Depression. George and Irene divorced in 1938, while Irene was pregnant with Donald. Irene died shortly after Donald was born from complications with his birth. His father remarried and moved to Franklin, Louisiana in an attempt to make money as an oil well driller, but was unsuccessful. Donald's father died in 1943 at 52 years old, and Donald was legally adopted by his paternal uncle, Augustine Frangos, who was 28-years old and his 17-year-old wife Hope, who Donald would later call "Mother." His uncle Gus painted bridges. Although Augustine legally adopted Donald and changed his name from Donald George Frangos to Donald Gus Frangos, he never called him father. He attended classes at a Greek Orthodox faith-based school. In 1949 his uncle moved his family to New York City and they lived in a cold water flat on 47th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

In 1993, authors William Hoffman and Lake Headley released the book Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia's Most Notorious Hitman, written with the cooperation of Frankos.

In 1974, Frankos murdered Lucchese crime family associate Richard Bilello. Frankos claimed while he was imprisoned he participated in a number of mob murders outside of prison via the use of phony furloughs provided by corrupt prison officials.

He claimed he took part in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, with a hit team consisting of himself, and Irish-American mobsters John Sullivan and Jimmy Coonan. According to Frankos, Hoffa was lured by his close friend Chuckie O'Brien to a house owned by Detroit mobster Anthony Giacalone. Once there, Hoffa was shot and killed by Coonan and Frankos using suppressed .22 pistols. Hoffa was then dismembered by Coonan, Sullivan, and Frankos. They left the body in a meat locker in the basement of the house for a lengthy period of time, while debate raged as to how to dispose of it. It was later picked up by a fourth hitman, Joseph Sullivan. It has been asserted that he sealed the body in an oil drum and buried it underneath Giants Stadium, however no evidence has ever been found to substantiate this claim.

The television show MythBusters featured an episode involving the possible burial of Hoffa at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Ground-penetrating radar revealed no disturbances beneath the playing field.

The New York Department of Corrections inmate information site shows Frankos died March 30, 2011. The details of his death are not available.

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