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Gennaro Langella

Gennaro Adriano Langella (December 30, 1938 – December 15, 2013) also known as "Jerry Lang", was a member of the Colombo crime family who eventually became underboss and acting boss.


Langella was born in 1938 to first generation immigrants from Campania, Italy. He grew up in Brooklyn and was a close associate of future mob boss Carmine Persico. It is believed that Langella secretly became a "made man" in the Colombo family during a time when the New York crime families were not accepting new members. Langella is the father of reputed Colombo soldier Vincent Langella. Crime writer Selwyn Raab described Langella as:

"...a ruthless arrogant loan shark and drug trafficker. His speech was peppered with expletives. He was considered a vain clotheshorse and unlike more contemporary Hollywood gangster attire he favored double breasted blazers, sporty open collar shirts and wrap around sunglasses. He was a regular patron of the Casa Sorta restaurant in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn where he would hold meetings with associates".

Colombo family

Langella quickly rose up through the ranks of the crime family. While Persico served prison time during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Langella doubled as Underboss and even as Acting boss while Persico went into hiding to avoid federal indictments. Langella supervised various labor rackets for the family, including their stake in "Concrete Club", and exerted control over various labor unions, including Laborers Local 6A. He was also in charge of various loan sharking & construction rackets. As acting boss, his consigliere was Ralph (Little Ralphie) Scopo Jr., the son of murdered Colombo crime family capo Ralph Scopo.[1]


On October 24, 1984, Langella, Persico, and other Colombo mobsters were indicted on RICO racketeering and extortion charges in the Colombo case. On February 28, 1985, Colombo, Persico, and other mob leaders were indicted in the Mafia Commission case.

Gennaro Langella's mugshot in 1984

In March 1985, Langella was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the Colombo case. On November 20, 1986, Langella was convicted in the Mafia Commission Trial along with Persico and other top Cosa Nostra leaders in New York. On January 14, 1987, Langella was sentenced to 65 years in prison.

He was last imprisoned in the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP) in Springfield, Missouri, where he died of natural causes on December 15, 2013.