Frank Niccoli

Frank Niccoli born 1910 in Chicago, Illinois (disappeared September 2, 1949) also known as "Tony Carbone" and "Frank Burns", was a Cleveland mobster and member of the Mickey Cohen syndicate. He was also a good friend of Los Angeles crime family capo Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno, who later betrayed him.


In the 1940s, Niccoli was reportedly a bodyguard, close friend and business associate of Mickey Cohen who was a bitter rival of the Los Angeles crime family then led by Sicilian crime boss Jack Dragna, vying for control of lucrative illegal activities. Los Angeles family capo Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno had known Niccoli for thirteen years and they had done time together in an Ohio penitentiary in the 1930s. Los Angeles boss Jack Dragna had asked Fratianno, an ex-associate and friend of Cohen, to try to have Cohen's Italian gang members switch over to the L.A. family, among them Frank Niccoli. During his years in organized crime, Niccoli had been arrested for armed robbery, spent time in prison in Cleveland and on April 12, 1949, was arrested and indicted on charges of conspiracy in Los Angeles, for which Cohen posted $50,000 bail that was forfeited after Niccoli's disappearance. Niccoli was once described as a handyman for New York vice lord, Frank Costello, who was sent to California to oversee some of the mob's interests in Los Angeles.

In September of 1949, Niccoli disappeared. According to Fratianno, Dragna told him, "Jimmy, you know Frankie Niccoli, tell him to leave. Give him one warning, and then we're gonna kill him". Fratianno tried to convince Niccoli to switch over to the Dragna family and betray Cohen by setting him up to be killed, but Niccoli refused.


Niccoli visiting Cohen in the Hospital after an attempt on his life

Fratianno then set out to kill Mickey Cohen loyalist Frank Niccoli. It was set up over Labor day weekend in 1949 at Jimmy Frattiano's home near LAX by inviting Niccoli over on a false pretense, soon after Joseph Dippolito arrived and as Niccoli reached to shake Joe Dip's hand, Joe instead grabbed him in a bear hug embrace. Through the open door entered Nick Licata, Carmen and Sam Bruno. Nick pulled out a piece of rope. Jimmy took it and wrapped it around Niccoli's neck while Sam grabbed the other end, Fratianno told Niccoli "Frankie, your time is up". They soon managed to choke the life out of him. While Niccoli was struggling, his bladder let go and he pissed all over Jimmy's floor according to Fratianno. The killers then stripped off Niccoli's clothes, stuffed the body in a mail sack, and threw it in the back of their car. A few hours later, Niccoli was interred with a sack of lime in a vineyard in Cucamonga owned by the Dippolito's, which was a popular place to bury dead bodies for the Mafia. Niccoli's car was then abandoned at LAX. Gaspare Matranga was also a suspect in the murder.

Niccoli reportedly phoned Mickey Cohen the day he disappeared to let him know that he had been invited to Fratianno's for dinner. Cohen called Fratianno a few days later to inquire as to Niccoli's whereabouts only to have Fratianno deny ever seeing him or having invited Frankie over for dinner. In October of the same year another Cohen gang member, David Ogul, also went missing and Cohen was quoted as saying "I'm afraid the guys ain't living. They was swallowed up". Niccoli remained listed officially as "missing" for almost three decades until Jimmy Fratianno became a government witness and revealed his participation in many gangland murders, including Niccoli's disappearance.

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