FBI Mugshot of Henry Borelli 1981

Henry Joseph Borelli also known as "Dirty Henry" (born 1948) was a New York mobster with the Gambino crime family who became a member of the violent DeMeo crew.


Not much is known about his early life other than that he was born c.1948 in New York City. The backyard of his home abutted the backyard of Joseph Testa's.

Henry, on occasion, travelled to Morocco to purchase hashish. In 1974, at age 26, during what would be his last trip to Casablanca, he was arrested while in possession of a test amount. He was released, but with a warning that if he was to return to the country that he would be thrown in prison and never leave again. After his return to Canarsie, he sought a job at his father-in-law's car service company. When he was younger, he had ambitions to be a police officer and had taken the entrance exam and passed. Unfortunately when New York City froze the hiring list during a budget crisis, he was arrested twice for petty burglary, ruining his candidacy for the police department. He was a lover of Babette Judith Questal who he met in 1972 when she hailed down his car-service escort car. Henry was tall, dark and handsome who was casual about having an affair as his wife was also engaged in a relationship with another married man. He was well built and fastidious about his clothing and was regularly accepted entry into the high-class discos.

DeMeo crew

The DeMeo crew was an infamous group of murderers, car thieves and drug dealers associated with the Gambino mafia family. Led by Gambino soldier Roy DeMeo, the crew included Joseph Testa, Anthony Senter, Joseph Guglielmo and Chris Rosenberg. From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, the DeMeo gang was suspected of 75 to 200 killings, many in the Canarsie area of Brooklyn. Borelli was a drug dealer before he joined the DeMeo crew.

Due to his reputed efficiency as a shooter, Borelli acquired the nickname "Dirty Henry" in homage to the Clint Eastwood movie character Dirty Harry popular in the 1970s. his usefulness as an enforcer and hitman, Borelli become a made man in the Gambino family.


In 1986, Borelli was sentenced to life in prison and a concurrent sentence of 150 years for 15 counts of auto theft. In sentencing Borelli, Judge Duffy stated,

"You have been convicted of being what is generally called a contract killer. Henry Borelli, you profess Roman Catholicism. I would suggest that what you should do is beg God for forgiveness."

The judge recommended that Borelli never receive parole. Although Borelli successfully appealed the life sentence, the 150-year sentence for the auto theft was upheld. As of April 2008, Borelli is serving his sentence at United States Penitentiary Hazelton; a high security facility in Preston County, West Virginia. His projected release date is 10-10-2072.

He is now eligible for parole. Although Borelli has been eligible for parole since 1996, he has waived his parole consideration and has failed to appear before the Commission for parole hearings. This may be because of the unlikelihood of Borelli being released given Judge Duffy's recommendation that Borelli never receive parole.

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