Joseph Guglielmo, 1980

Joey "Dracula" Guglielmo (1928 Bath Beach, Brooklyn - 1983) was the first cousin of Gambino crime family member Roy DeMeo. He was a brutal hitman as any of the DeMeo Crew and although his penchant was for the pornography rings that the crew operated out of the city, Joey was also a convicted felon who had done prison time for a bank robbery.


In the book For the Sins of My Father, written by Roy DeMeo's son and Guglielmo's nephew, Albert DeMeo considered Joe a "teenage stepbrother in my Uncle Joe. My grandfather DeMeo had died when Joe was a baby, and when Grandma DeMeo returned to her native Bologna, Italy without Joe, my parents (Roy and Gladys) took him in as their own. The five of us formed a happy, traditional Italian-American family."

He once robbed a bank in broad daylight dressed as a woman. He stole a getaway car, held up the bank in the middle of the afternoon, and then flipped the stolen car in his hurry to get away. He stripped off the woman's clothing as he ran down the busy street but neglected to wipe off the makeup. The manager of the bank quickly identified him in a police line up. Joe, who still wore the makeup immediately responded to the bank manager's accusations, "How the fuck do you know it was me? I was dressed like a woman."

Guglielmo's "Dracula" nickname has been attributed to either the gangster's all-night revelries in pornography studios, or to the blood rituals he allegedly performed with the blood of mob victims in his apartment. Albert DeMeo, Roy's son and nephew of Gugliemo, assumed that Joseph earned the nickname because of his tall frame and gray complexion. Albert said "He looked like a walking corpse dressed in baggy sweaters and pants, and resembled Bela Lugosi." He was an excellent cook who regularly prepared pasta dishes for Roy and Albert. By the end of the DeMeo Crew's reign, it had become well-accepted that Guglielmo and DeMeo were serial killers.

After his release from prison he moved into an apartment behind the Gemini Lounge, living in a sparsely furnished room with just a mattress. This was the room where Roy and Joseph would dismember their murder victims. Joe was more than a little perverted. He had a fascination with sex toys, and his large collection of unusual devices took up quite a bit of space in his apartment behind the Gemini Lounge. After he got out he also went to see his grandson Richard Guglielmo not knowing his grandson for over 10 years now have 3 children Anthony, Joey, and Nick.


By the early 1980s, the DeMeo crew was under heavy investigation by the FBI. Warrants were handed out for many of the crew members. It was around this time that Joseph Guglielmo disappeared. Law enforcement originally suspected that the same crew members who killed DeMeo also murdered Guglielmo to prevent him from becoming a government witness. It was also assumed Guglielmo's lack of discretion was a contributing factor to his murder.

However, according to Albert DeMeo's book, Guglielmo was not killed, but actually fled New York to avoid prosecution. Albert claims he drove Guglielmo to the airport and never heard from him again. However, this account remains unsubstantiated.

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