Gaspare "Jasper" Calo (born September 13, 1891- died July 1973) was a mobster and short lived boss of the Rockford crime family.
Calo was born on September 13, 1891 in Casteldaccia, Sicily. Calo left for America in 1923 and eventually found himself in Springfield, IL. While there he teamed up with the Zito brothers. Joe Zito would eventually become a key figure in the Rockford rackets while his brother Frank became the untouchable crime boss of Springfield and an important ally to the Rockford crime family and the Chicago Outfit. Joe Zito would also become Calo's brother in law. While in Springfield Calo was arrested for violating the Prohibition Act and was said to be one of the top bootleggers and engaged in white slavery, which in short means he along with the Zito brothers were pimps.
By the mid 1920s Calo and Zito ventured to Rockford and formed alliances with Antonio Musso and Anthony Riela, the latter eventually becoming a capo in the Bonanno crime family in New Jersey. The relationship between Riela, Zalo and Zito would endure forty years and into the late 1960s.
Boss of Rockford
During the early days of their tenure Calo and Zito established the Sunlite Dairy, which later became Devon Products, Inc. In 1961 Devon was purchased by Muller-Pinehurst Dairy, Inc. By the time Antonio Musso became boss Calo was already well-established and well-respected. Musso made him his underboss, a spot Calo would enjoy for 20 years.
When Musso passed away in May 1958 Calo assumed the seat as boss. However one of Musso's top capos, Joseph Zammuto, thought differently and he had the majority of Rockford's rank and file members supporting him. Calo was well respected and was pressured to step down as boss. Reminiscent of the warning shot fired at Manhattan kingpin Frank Costello in 1957, Calo received similar treatment following Musso's death when his personal residence was fired upon. Calo got the picture and relinquished his throne within months of proclaiming it to Zammuto. It was believed that Tony Riela, evidenced by phone calls placed to Calo and the Zito brothers, had a hand in smoothing out bad feelings and any further acts of violence against his longtime friend.
Retirement to Sicily
By now Calo had grown very wealthy through property holdings, which were obviously purchased through illicit funds. Calo had also made a habit of sending monies back to Sicily to be invested on his and his family's behalf. It was believed to be at the urging of his wife that he retired from the Rockford crime family and in October 1961 both returned to Sicily. Gaspare 'Jasper' Calo lived in luxury for over ten years, free from any hassles or cosa nostra politics.
He died in July 1973 while residing in Casteldaccia, Sicily.