Giacomo "Jackie" DiNorscio (20 July 1940 ––14 November 2004) was a member of the Philadelphia crime family and, later, the Lucchese crime family who at different times operated in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Florida. DiNorscio was convicted of narcotics charges and sentenced to 30 years in prison. During his incarceration, he and many others related to the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction were part of the longest federal trial ever (21 months) in which he was both a defendant and provided his own legal counsel. DiNorscio was prominently featured in the book The Boys from New Jersey: How the Mob Beat the Feds by Robert Rudolph and was portrayed in the Film "Find Me Guilty" by actor Vin Diesel.
DiNorscio's father Dominick, who also went by the name "Tommy Adams", had been a ranking member of the Philly mob under mafia boss Angelo Bruno and his son Jackie would also become a soldier in the Philadelphia crime family. On 21 March 1980, the longtime Don of the Philadelphia family, Angelo Bruno, was killed resulting in a huge vacuum. Anthony Accetturo and Michael Taccetta on the other hand, used their situation to establish a new foothold in Philadelphia, as a part of the Jersey Crew, with illegal gambling and loansharking operations. Because of the bad relations between the two factions in Philadelphia's crime family, as well as both Taccetta and Accetturo taking advantage of the situation, the relationship between Philadelphia and the New York Families, especially the Luccheses, eventually turned worse than ever, which led to all cooperation between the families being completely terminated. It was around this time that prominent Bruno member, "Jackie" DiNorscio, and many others, defected to the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese crime family to make more profit and to avoid being killed.
DiNorscio operated primarily in drug acquisition and distribution. He first became involved in drugs when he moved to Florida after being released from a prison stint. In Florida, he saw the vast millions that could be made from this illicit activity and decided to become involved in it. DiNorscio was described as "nuts" by those who knew him and for his first drug deal he arranged a meeting with some Colombians who came to pick him up in a Mercedes, blindfolded him and took his gun. They then took him to a room where five other Colombians were waiting, the men showed DiNorscio a suitcase full of money and he pulled out a gun he had hidden on his back and even though he hadn't enough bullets to kill them all DiNorscio told them "I'll shoot four and the fifth I'll beat to death". He then took the money and drove away in their Mercedes. DiNorscio became successful in the drug business owning a Rolls Royce and two Mercedes Benz.
DiNorscio once tried to strong-arm an undercover agent into buying his girlfriend a car and later confided to another associate that he needed to get the car for his girlfriend because she came to visit him to the prison every Saturday to give him a "blow-job" in the visiting area and had to have a car to get there. From Rahway prison, DiNorscio continued to carry out his illegal activities through his associates selling stolen cars, stolen bearer bonds, committing extortion and other crimes.
On 10 February 1985, DiNorscio was attacked by his cousin, Joseph Alonzo, who shot him five times with a .22 caliber handgun and left him for dead allegedly for muscling him out of a business. Alonzo would later turn to the government for fear of retribution and become a witness against DiNorscio and other members of The Jersey crew. DiNorscio was residing in Pompano Beach, Florida at the time of his indictment in what would turn out to be the longest mob trial in history.
During the early 1980s, US law enforcement started an operation to determine all organized crime activities in the North Jersey area, as a four-year-long investigation was finally announced, and indictments were brought up toward 20 members of Jersey Crew. Capo Anthony Accetturo was brought from Florida, the Taccetta brothers were arrested in Newark, and 17 other known members were put on trial for 76 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) predicates, which included loansharking, extortion, racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering, drug trafficking, arson and thefts, as well as murder and conspiracy to commit murder. In late 1986 and early 1987, the trial first began. During the trial, DiNorscio went on to fire his lawyer and represent himself during the entire trial. Although not popular with Anthony Accetturo and Michael Taccetta, DiNorscio is reported to have charmed the jury, as the trial ended in 1988, acquitting all 20 defendants. The prosecutors were stunned, as the Jersey Crew went right back where they left off.
Reporter Robert Rudolph who witnessed the entire trial surmised that the surprise verdict was the result of "too many defendants were tried at the same time; that the case went on so long that the jurors became restive; that the defense succeeded in discrediting many of the mobsters who had become informants; that the judge did not exercise proper control; that "Jackie" DiNorscio, who usurped his lawyer and called himself "a comedian, not a gangster," turned the trial into a circus".
During the trial DiNorscio also came into conflict with lead Prosecutor Vincent "Grady" O'Malley and at one point went on a rant stating; "Next time he calls me a fat motherfucker I'm going to kick his ass. Mr. O'Malley called me a fat scumbag motherfucker. Did you say it? you yellow motherfucker. He called me a fat scumbag motherfucker Judge...". DiNorscio also reportedly challenged another government attorney to a "wrestling match".
Later years and death
On 31 March1989, DiNorscio was indicted in a federal court in Florida accusing him of fraud in connection with his activities in a mail-order gem business. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years to be served concurrently with the drug conviction he was already serving. DiNorscio was released from jail on 23 November 2002, after serving 17.5 of the 30 years in prison he was sentenced to.
He was portrayed in the film 'Find Me Guilty' by actor Vin Diesel. He died near the end of the shooting of the film on 14 November 2004, which portrayed his participation in the The United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al. trial.