Gaspare Matranga

Gaspare "Jasper" Matranga (born April 18, 1920 - December 22, 1999) was a soldier and hitman in the Los Angeles crime family who operated primarily in San Diego, California.

Biography

Matranga was born in Balestreti, Sicily, he entered the United States illegally in 1925 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen on October 30, 1942 in Florida. He resided and operated in San Diego, California along with his brothers and fellow members of the Los Angeles crime family, Joseph Matranga and "Big Frank" Frank Matranga. Gaspare was also a close associate of Los Angeles hitman and capo Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno. He was arrested on two separate occasions in 1954 for assault with a deadly weapon. He was the owner of the Cuckoo Club in San Diego and part owner of a record store along with Frank "Bomp" Bompensiero. Matranga was a known professional assassin for the mafia. He was considered the most violent of the Matranga brothers.

In 1951, Los Angeles family member and former bootlegger Frank Borgia was murdered for resisting an extortion attempt from Matranga. Borgia went to boss Jack Dragna to complain, little did he know that Dragna was in on the shakedown. Mobsters Frank Bompensiero and Jimmy Fratianno had someone bring Borgia to a house and they both strangled him with a rope and buried him. Matranga also participated in the murder of Mickey Cohen loyalist Frank Niccoli. It was at Gaspare's house that mobster Louis "Russian Louie" Strauss was garrotted in 1953 in the presence of several other mobsters.

In 1953, Matranga was named a member of organized crime in San Bernardino County. At the time he was associated with Jack Dragna and the Los Angeles Mafia family. Matranga's activities included connections to operations financed by the Teamsters Pension Fund on the West Coast. During his time in the U.S., Matranga was deported on three separate occasions. His daughters married into the Detroit Partnership of the Tocco and Polizzi families.

Matranga reportedly died of natural causes at the age of 79.

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