Roy Albert DeMeo (September 7, 1942 – January 10, 1983) was an Italian-American mobster in the Gambino crime family. He headed the infamous "DeMeo crew" which operated out of his bar, the Gemini Lounge and is believed to have committed hundreds of murders. Core members of the crew included Chris Rosenberg, Henry Borelli, Anthony Senter, Joseph Testa and Frederick DiNome.
The DeMeo crew were especially notorious for what became known as "The Gemini Method": victims would typically be lured into the apartment behind the Gemini Lounge, shot, dismembered and their body parts wrapped up and sent to garbage dumps in Brooklyn. Most of their victims' remains were never recovered. As law enforcement began to close in on the gang, DeMeo himself was murdered, probably by members of his own crew under orders from Paul Castellano.
Roy Albert DeMeo was born in 1942 in Bath Beach, Brooklyn into a working class Italian immigrant family. As a teen, he began a small loansharking operation which turned into a full-time job by the age of 17. DeMeo graduated from James Madison High School in 1959. He began working in a criminal enterprise while maintaining legitimate business practices. He married shortly after high school and fathered three children. He worked his way up the criminal career ladder through a continued loansharking operation.
Gambino soldier Anthony Gaggi took notice of DeMeo and told him that he could make even more money with his successful business, if he came to work directly for the Gambino family. Through the late 1960s, DeMeo's organized crime prospects increased on two fronts. He continued in the loansharking business with Gaggi, and began developing a crew of young men involved in car theft and drug trafficking. It was this collective of criminals that would become known both in the underworld and in law enforcement circles as the DeMeo crew. The first member of the crew was Chris Rosenberg, who met DeMeo in 1966 at the age of 16.
Rosenberg was dealing drugs at a Canarsie gas station, and Roy helped him increase his business and profits by loaning Chris money so that he could deal the narcotics in larger amounts. By 1972, Chris had introduced his friends to Roy and they began working for him as well. The members of the crew included Joseph Guglielmo (Roy's cousin), Joseph Testa, Anthony Senter and Joseph's younger brother Patrick Testa.
Roy joined the Boro of Brooklyn Credit Union that same year, gaining a position on the board of directors shortly afterward. He utilized his position to launder money he had earned through his illegal ventures. He also introduced colleagues at the Credit Union to a lucrative side-business, laundering the money of drug dealers he had become acquainted with. Roy also built up his loansharking business with funds stolen from credit union reserves.
His collection of loanshark customers, while still primarily those in the car industry, soon included other businesses such as a dentist's office, an abortion clinic, restaurants and flea markets. He was also listed as an employee for a Brooklyn company named S & C Sportswear Corporation, and frequently told his neighbors he worked in construction, food retailing and the used car business.
In late 1974, a conflict that had erupted between the DeMeo crew and a young bodyshop owner named Andrei Katz had continued to escalate. In May 1975, Roy was informed by a police officer that, as a result of this conflict, Andrei was cooperating with authorities. In June he was lured to a place where he could be confronted. After being abducted, he was stabbed to death and then dismembered. An accomplice who helped bait Katz confessed her role and Joseph Testa and Henry Borelli were both arrested. They would secure an acquittal at trial in January 1976.
This was the first known murder committed by the DeMeo crew, and for years was thought to have been the first occasion where Roy or members of his crew had dismembered a body for disposal. In 2003 however, new information was provided to the FBI by Bonanno underboss Salvatore Vitale, who claimed that in 1974 he was ordered to deliver the corpse of a man who had just been murdered to a garage in Queens so that it could be disposed of.
When he arrived at the location, Vitale claims, Roy DeMeo was present along with several other men who may have been early members of the DeMeo Crew. Vitale also claims that Roy had a knife with him, presumably to dismember the corpse. This information suggests that DeMeo and his followers may have been involved in murder and dismemberment earlier than previously thought by law enforcement.
As the 1970s continued, Roy cultivated his followers into a crew experienced with the process of murdering and dismembering victims. With the exception of killings intended to send a message to any who would hinder their criminal activities, or murders that presented no other alternative, a set method of execution was established by Roy and crew to ensure that victims would be dispatched quickly and then made to disappear. The method of execution was dubbed the Gemini Method, named after the Gemini Lounge, the primary hangout of the DeMeo crew as well as the site where most of the crew's victims were killed.
The exact process of the Gemini Method, revealed by multiple crew members and associates who became government witness in the early 1980s, was as follows: typically, the victim would be lured through the side door of the Lounge, and into the apartment that made up the back portion of the building. At this point, a crew member (almost always Roy DeMeo, according to crew member turned government witness Frederick DiNome) would approach with a silenced pistol in one hand and a towel in the other, shooting the victim in the head then wrapping the towel around the victim's head wound like a turban in order to staunch the blood flow.
Immediately after, another member of the crew (originally Chris Rosenberg up until his 1979 murder, according to government witness testimony) would stab the victim in the heart in order to prevent any more blood from pumping out of the gunshot wound. By then the victim would be dead, at which point the body would be stripped of its clothing and dragged into the bathroom where it was left while the remaining blood drained out and/or congealed within the body. This was to eliminate the messiness of the next step, when crew members would place the body onto plastic tarps laid out in the main room and proceed to dismember it, cutting off the arms, legs and head.
The body parts would then be put into bags, placed in cardboard boxes and sent off to the Fountain Avenue Dump in Brooklyn, where so many tons of garbage were dropped each day that it was a near impossibility for the bodies to ever be discovered. During the initial stages of an early 1980s Federal/State task force targeting the DeMeo crew, a plan by authorities to excavate sections of the dump in order to locate remains of victims was aborted when it was deemed too costly and likely to fail at locating any meaningful evidence.
Some victims would be killed in other ways for varying reasons. At times, suspected informants or those who committed an act of disrespect against a member of the crew or their superiors had their bodies left in the streets of New York to serve as a message and warning. As well, there were occasions where it would not be possible to lure the intended victim into the Gemini Lounge, in which case other locations would have to be used. A yacht owned by one of DeMeo's men was used on at least one occasion to dispose of bodies as well. Dominick Montiglio, who visited DeMeo frequently to pick up payments for Anthony Gaggi, said in an interview that if the crew didnt kill at least three people a week, they would be depressed.
Further Criminal Career
In the latter half of 1975, Roy became a silent partner in a peep show/prostitution establishment in New Jersey after the owner of the business became unable to pay his loansharking debts. Roy also began dealing in pornography, including bestiality, which he sold to his New Jersey establishment as well as connections he had in Rhode Island. When his superior Nino Gaggi found out about Roy's involvement in such taboo films, he ordered Roy to stop under the threat of death. Roy did not stop however and Gaggi continued to accept his weekly payments. Gaggi's nephew Dominick Montiglio claimed that the subject was simply never mentioned between the two men after the initial confrontation, and as long as Roy continued to provide copiously for his boss the violation of his order was never addressed.
Another forbidden subject between Roy and his boss Nino was narcotics. In the Gambino Family, as most of the other Mafia Families in the country, drug dealing was an act punishable by death for any members caught being involved, owing to the stiffer sentences imposed for such crimes. It was feared by the administrations of the Mafia Families that those facing such harsh penalties would be more likely to flip, or become cooperators for the government. Gaggi and DeMeo, like many others however, continued to deal in narcotics despite the warning due to the massive amounts of profits earned.
By this time, Roy's drug operations had expanded greatly from his initial operations in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He had recently started selling cocaine out of the Gemini Lounge and was also the financer of a large marijuana operation that imported the drug from Colombia in 25-pound bales. The marijuana would be delivered from offshore freighters and sold out of a Canarsie bodyshop. Roy's weekly tributes to Nino continued to increase from his drug operations and Nino continued to feign ignorance as to the source of the money.
As 1975 drew to a close, Roy was almost indicted due to IRS investigations into his income. Months earlier, the Boro of Brooklyn Credit Union had been pushed into insolvency as a result of DeMeo and his colleague's plundering of its finances. As a result Roy quit the Credit Union, avoiding law enforcement attention that increased as the Union was merged into another one. Despite this, Roy had already gained the attention of the IRS earlier in the year. Before an indictment could be handed down against him however, he utilized false affidavits from businesses owned by friends and acquaintances claiming that he was on their payrolls as an employee. These affidavits served to account for some of his income and he and the IRS reached a settlement.
In May 1976, another murder was committed by the DeMeo crew. Joseph Brocchini, a made member in another of New York's Five Families, was involved in an argument with Roy related to a pornography business both were involved in. The argument turned into a physical altercation when Brocchini punched DeMeo in the face, giving him a black eye. Mafia protocol prevented DeMeo, an associate of the Gambino Family, from retaliating in any way against Brocchini or he would be killed. DeMeo went to his boss Nino and explained the situation. Dominick Montiglio, Nino's nephew who was now fully working for his uncle, claimed to have been present at this meeting, where DeMeo allegedly swore revenge regardless of the rules.
Nino responded that they would never be given permission but reportedly agreed with Roy's intentions, merely advising him to ensure that the murder could not be traced back to them. On May 20, 1976, Roy and Henry Borelli shot Brocchini five times in the back of the head in the office of a used car dealership he owned. The office was ransacked and the other employees were blindfolded and handcuffed prior to the shooting in order to give the illusion that the murder was the result of an armed robbery gone bad.
In the following month Vincent Governara, a young man with no organized crime ties, was shot down by Roy and Anthony Gaggi. Gaggi had held a long-standing feud with Governara and had told his nephew Dominick Montiglio to keep a lookout for him. One night Dominick spotted Governara's car outside of a building hosting a craps game in the New York neighborhood of Bensonhurst. Once informed of his nephew's discovery, Nino, along with Roy and Dominick, excused themselves from a birthday party being held at the time for Dominick's wife and drove to the location where Governara's car had been seen. There, the trio waited until Governara left the game and approached his car, at which point Nino and Roy shot him several times. Governara died in hospital a week later.
One month later in July, Roy flew to Florida and murdered George Byrum, another man targeted for revenge by Nino Gaggi. Byrum had provided information to robbers that led to Nino's Florida home being robbed. Roy lured Byrum to a hotel under the pretenses of a business deal. As soon as Byrum walked into the room he was shot to death by DeMeo. Roy, Nino, and Anthony Plate, a Gambino soldier operating out of Florida, originally planned to dismember the corpse in the hotel room and transport it out in suitcases. The plan was quickly abandoned due to the presence of construction workers near the hotel room and the body was found shortly thereafter lying in the hotel's bathtub with its head halfway sawed off.
Roy's sources of income, as well as his crew, continued to grow. By July 1976 he added an automobile firm by the name of Team Auto Wholesalers to his loanshark customers. The owner of Team Auto, Matthew Rega, also purchased stolen vehicles from the crew and sold them off at a New Jersey car lot that he owned. He also involved himself with hijacking; targeting trucks that were delivering or receiving shipments from the John F. Kennedy International Airport. His crew now included Edward Grillo, a hijacker who had just been released from prison.
Roy allegedly added to his body count according to various sources, including an FBI informant who reported that Roy DeMeo was a "ruthless killer" who had killed at least a dozen people and dismembered their bodies to make them disappear. Nino Gaggi's nephew Dominick Montiglio, who sometimes drove Roy on errands, also claims that during one trip around this time Roy had pointed to a recently built gas station and stated that he and his crew had buried the bodies of two victims under its foundation.
In the fall of 1976, the Gambino family went through a massive change when its boss Carlo Gambino died of natural causes. Paul Castellano was named the boss, with Aniello Dellacroce retaining the position of Underboss. The implications of this were twofold for Roy. His superior, Nino was elevated to the position of Capo; taking over the crew of men Castellano headed. This promotion was beneficial for Roy, whose mentor was now even closer to the ruling Gambino hierarchy. Another advantage was that now that Carlo Gambino had died, new associates would be eligible for membership into the family.
Castellano did not immediately "open the books" for new members however, opting instead to promote existing members and change around leadership of the crews he now presided over. He reportedly told Gaggi he was against the idea of DeMeo ever being made for a number of reasons. Castellano's illegal activities focused more on white-collar crime, and it was said by both law enforcement and other mafiosi that he looked at himself as more of a businessman than a gangster. He looked down on the street guys, such as Roy, who were involved in things like auto theft and hijacking. Additionally, Castellano felt DeMeo was unpredictable and did not feel he could be controlled. Nino's attempts at persuading Castellano to consider inducting Roy were continually rejected.
Despite the considerable contributions Roy had already made to the Gambino's, not least of which were his tens of thousands of dollars worth of weekly payments to Nino Gaggi, by Spring of 1977 DeMeo was still not a made member. Reportedly distraught at the situation, Roy continued to look for more opportunities to bring in larger amounts of profit to his superiors.
The Westies Alliance and Rosenberg
DeMeo found what he needed to ensure that he would be officially inducted into the Gambino family when he formed an alliance with a gang of Irish-American criminals known as the Westies soon to be headed by James Coonan. Coonan's only obstacle to assuming control of the westside and its lucrative money making enterprise was Mickey Spillane, the mainstay of criminal activities in the area for 20 years.
In May 1977, Roy and Edward Grillo murdered Spillane at the behest of Coonan, who then became the top criminal figure in the westside. Roy, sensing an opportunity to create a vast source of income for his superiors, informed Anthony Gaggi of the possibilities of a partnership between the Westies and the Gambino Family. Shortly afterwards, Coonan and his second in command Mickey Featherstone were called to a meeting with Paul Castellano, becoming a de-facto arm of the Gambino crime family and agreeing to share 10 per cent of all profits. In exchange, the Westies would be privy to several lucrative union deals and take on murder contracts for the Italians.
It was his pivotal role in the Westie/Gambino alliance that reportedly convinced Castellano to give Roy his "button", or formally induct him into the crime family. DeMeo was made in mid-1977, being put in charge of handling all family business with the Westies. He was also ordered to get permission before committing any murders and to avoid drug dealing. Despite this warning, DeMeo's crew continued to sell large amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and a variety of narcotic pills, a violation many members of all Five Families continued to commit through the late 1970s and early 1980s due to the tremendous profits gained.
Although he had been ordered by his superiors that he had to get permission before any murders, DeMeo continued to commit unsanctioned killings. In July 1977 Roy and his men committed a double homicide, shooting to death Johnathan Quinn, a successful car thief suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, and Cherie Golden, Quinn's 19-year old girlfriend. DeMeo and his men dumped the bodies in locations where they would be discovered to serve as a warning against cooperation with authorities. When questioned by his superiors as to the motive of killing a young woman, Roy claimed she was a risk and may have cooperated had the police pressured her.
By 1978, Roy was heard bragging to associates that he had murdered 100 people. It was also during this year that he put out word among not just the Gambino family but the other New York Cosa Nostra families as well that he and his crew were available for murder contracts. In at least one case, the crew charged a relatively paltry fee of $5,000. Other murders were committed for free, Roy describing them to crew members as "professional favors".
He added to his crew Frederick DiNome, who served as his chauffeur but also became involved in the crew's various illegal activities. DiNome was reportedly fiercely loyal to Roy, who had befriended him when the two were teenagers. DiNome credited DeMeo for saving his life after a car crash at a drag race, in which the burning car exploded just as he was saved by DeMeo from the wreckage. DeMeo used a knife to cut the seat belt.
In November 1978 DeMeo and his crew murdered one of their own members, Edward Grillo. Grillo, who had fallen into heavy debt with DeMeo, was killed after Roy and Nino Gaggi felt that he was becoming susceptible to police coercion to cooperate against the crew. Grillo, who was dismembered and disposed of like many of the crew's murder victims, was the first occurrence of intra-crew discipline.
The next member who was murdered by Roy and the crew was Chris Rosenberg, Roy's second-in-command within the group and reportedly his most loyal ally. Rosenberg had set up a drug deal with a Cuban man living in Florida and then murdered him and his associates when they traveled to New York to complete the sale. The Cuban had connections with a Colombian drug cartel and violence was threatened between the Colombians and the Gambino family unless Rosenberg was murdered. Roy was ordered to kill Rosenberg but stalled for weeks.
During this period of time Roy committed his most public murder on April 19, 1979, the victim being a college student with no criminal ties named Dominick Ragucci who was paying for his tuition by being a door-to-door salesman. DeMeo saw Ragucci parked outside his house and assumed it was an assassin. After a car chase, which consisted of Freddy DiNome at the wheel with Roy DeMeo and Joseph Guglielmo hanging out of the windows firing wildly (Guglielmo even shot holes in the cars floorboards in his excitement). Ragucci was shot to death by Roy when his car became too damaged to continue driving. Roy, convinced it was an assassin from the drug cartel, returned home and gathered his family. He drove them out of New York and left them at a hotel for a short time.
DeMeo's son Albert wrote in his book, For The Sins of My Father, that Roy started crying when he discovered he had killed an innocent boy. In the meantime, the murder of the college student had infuriated his superior Nino Gaggi, who ordered him again to kill Chris Rosenberg before there were any other innocent victims. In May 1979, Rosenberg, who reportedly had no knowledge of the Colombian situation, arrived at a meeting of the DeMeo Crew and was shot in the head by Roy. Crew member Anthony Senter then finished Rosenberg off when he managed to get up after Roy shot him.
Unlike Grillo, Rosenberg's body was not dismembered or made to disappear. The Colombians had demanded that his murder make the papers otherwise they would not believe it had actually occurred. Roy's men placed Rosenberg's body in his car and left it on the side of Cross Bay Boulevard (near Gateway National Wildlife Refuge) to be found. Albert DeMeo wrote in his book that Rosenberg's murder affected his father deeply, and that when Roy came home after the murder, he went into his study room and didn't come out for two days. Likewise, testimony from Frederick DiNome and Vito Arena claims that Roy expressed regret at having to kill Chris and at times appeared depressed over it.
Empire Boulevard operation
As 1979 continued Roy DeMeo began to expand his business activities, in particular his auto theft operation, which would soon become the largest in New York City's history. Dubbed the Empire Boulevard Operation by FBI agents, the operation consisted of hundreds of stolen cars being shipped from ports in New Jersey to Kuwait and Puerto Rico. Roy put together a group of five active partners in the operation, all of whom earned approximately $30,000 a week each in profit.
Aside from the active partners, other associates and crew members performed the actual stealing of the automobiles off the streets of New York. Among these associates was Vito Arena, a long-time car thief and armed robber who began working for Roy in 1978 after murdering his old partner. Like DiNome, Arena would become closely involved with the DeMeo Crew by the end of the 1970s. In 1979, the scheme was nearly stopped by a legitimate car dealer who threatened to inform the police. He was murdered along with an uninvolved acquaintance before he could provide the proper authorities with information.
In late 1979, Roy and Nino Gaggi became involved in a conflict with Capo James Eppolito and James Eppolito, Jr., two made Gambino members in Gaggi's crew. They were both respectively the paternal uncle and cousin of the corrupt former New York City Police Department detective, Louis Eppolito. Louis Eppolito's father, Ralph Eppolito, was James Eppolito's brother and also a made member of the Gambino family.
Eppolito met with Paul Castellano and accused DeMeo and Gaggi of drug dealing, which carried the penalty of death. Castellano, to whom Gaggi was a close ally, sided against Eppolito in the situation and gave Gaggi permission to do what he pleased. He and Roy DeMeo shot the two to death in Eppolito Jr.'s 1978 Ford Thunderbird en route to the Gemini Lounge on October 1, 1979. A witness driving by right as the shots were fired within the parked car managed to alert a nearby police officer, who arrested Gaggi after a shootout between the two that left Gaggi with a bullet wound in his neck.
Because Roy had split up with Gaggi as they left the scene, he was not arrested or identified by the witness. Gaggi would be charged with murder and the attempted murder of a police officer but through jury tampering was convicted only of assault and given a 5 to 15 year sentence in Federal Prison. DeMeo would murder the witness shortly after Gaggi's sentencing in March 1980.
The Empire Boulevard Operation had continued to expand through 1979 and 1980 until the warehouse serving as its headquarters was raided by agents from the Newark branch of the FBI in the summer of 1980. The FBI had been surveilling the warehouse and some of the men unloading vehicles there and had shortly thereafter obtained a search warrant. Henry Borelli and Frederick DiNome were arrested in May 1981 for their roles in the operation, but there was not enough evidence to arrest any of the other active partners. Roy ordered Borelli and DiNome to plead guilty to the charges in hopes that it would stop any further investigations into his activities by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies.
List of murders committed by the DeMeo crew
Name Date Reason Paul Rothenberg July 29, 1973 Shot twice in the head in an alley in Flower Hill, New York by Nino Gaggi and DeMeo after suspected of cooperating with authorities. Andrei Katz June 13, 1975 Kidnapped in Manhattan, taken to Pantry Pride Supermarket in Rockaway, Queens where he was stabbed to death and dismembered by DeMeo, Henry Borelli, Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa after Katz testified before a Grand Jury in May 1975. Vito Borelli Mid-1975 Gambino boss Paul Castellano ordered his death after Borelli made a statement on Castellano's appearance and made the comparison to Frank Perdue in front of his daughter. He was shot in the face and body at a building in Manhattan owned by Anthony Rabito and former Bonanno underboss Salvatore Vitale allegedly drove his body to a garage in Queens, where he saw DeMeo holding a knife to dismember Borelli. Joseph Brocchini May 20, 1976 43-year old Lucchese family soldier Brocchini was shot 5 times in the head inside of his office by DeMeo and Henry Borelli in Woodside, Queens as a result of previously arguing with and punching DeMeo. Vincent Governara June 12-19, 1976 34-year old Governara was shot multiple times by DeMeo and Nino Gaggi as revenge for breaking Gaggi's nose in a fistfight in the late 1960s, later died in hospital. George Byrum July 13, 1976 killed by Roy DeMeo for tipping off thieves that led to Nino Gaggi's vacation home in Florida being robbed; 42-year old Byrum was shot in the face and stabbed 11 times. Mickey Spillane May 13, 1977 shot and killed by Danny Grillo and Roy DeMeo as a favour to James Coonan. Charles "Ruby" Stein May 15, 1977 61-year old Genovese/Colombo associate, killed by DeMeo crew member Danny Grillo and James Coonan; Grillo shot Stein 6 times. His body was dismembered by members of the Westie gang. Jerome Hofaker June 1977 23-year old Hofaker was shot and killed by Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa for getting into a fight with Joey's brother Dennis Testa. John Quinn & Cherie Golden July 20, 1977 DeMeo crew shot and killed 34-year old John Quinn for testifying before a Grand Jury and his 19-year old girlfriend Cherie Golden. Daniel Conti October 29, 1977 28-year old Conti was shot and killed by DeMeo and his brother-in-law Peter LaFroscia after concerns he would cooperate due to an investigation being opened into a failed hijacking attempt involving the DeMeo crew. John Costello November 1977 20-year old Costello was shot to death by Peter LaFroscia and Roy DeMeo after concerns he would cooperate with law enforcement into an illegal hijacking involving the DeMeo crew. Michael Mandelino & Nino Martini March 19, 1978 both were shot multiple times in the head by the DeMeo crew. 37-year old Mandelino was accused of setting up Peter LaFroscia for robbery and 38-year old Martini had no involvement. Patrick Presenzano/Prisinzano March 23, 1978 31-year old Bonanno associate, son of Bonanno family capo Angelo Prisinzano (1908-1979), beaten, shot and killed then throat slit from ear to ear by Roy DeMeo, after refusing to return stolen jewellery from an associate of Roy DeMeo. Kevin Guelli June 9, 1978 28-year old cocaine dealer, shot and killed by DeMeo crew member Chris Rosenberg after he attempted to scam him out of $10,000. Michael DiCarlo May 16, 1978 Lucchese associate, his death was ordered by a Lucchese capo for raping a young boy. He was shot, stabbed, beaten and sodomized by DeMeo, Joseph Guglielmo, Danny Grillo, Henry Borelli, Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa. His body was dismembered. Joseph Scorney September 28, 1978 28-year old Scorney was shot and bludgeoned with a sledgehammer by Vito Arena and Richard DiNome after refusal to join DeMeo's auto-theft operation. His body was put into a concrete filled barrel and dumped off of a pier. Arena was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1985 for his murder. Danny Grillo November 14, 1978 44-year old DeMeo crew member Grillo was killed and dismembered by Chris Rosenberg, DeMeo, Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa for racking up gambling debts and acquiring drug addiction. Gary Gardine November 30, 1978 25-year old Gardine was shot and killed by Chris Rosenberg after he failed to pay him back from a marijuana deal. Gardine was found inside the trunk of his torched car. Peter Waring February 7, 1979 30-year old cocaine dealer, he was shot, stabbed and dismembered by DeMeo, Henry Borelli and Paul Dordal at the Gemini Lounge for being a suspected informant. Scott Cafaro February-March 1979 Shot multiple times, DeMeo crew hired by rape victim's family to kill Cafaro. Fred Todaro February 19, 1979 60-year old Todaro was shot by Roy DeMeo and stabbed by Chris Rosenberg after his nephew hired the DeMeo crew to murder him due to dispute over the building in which they duplicated pornographic films. Charles Padnick, William Serrano & 2 Unnamed March 17, 1979 Shot and killed by Chris Rosenberg with Juan Matta-Ballesteros during 12-kilo cocaine deal, Rosenberg was shot in the head and arm; however, he survived. Jamie Padnick March 19, 1979 Shot, killed and dismembered at the Gemini Lounge by DeMeo crew after he travelled to New York to investigate his father’s disappearance. Dominick Ragucci April 19, 1979 18-year old college student, mistaken for a Cuban hitman parked outside his home. DeMeo chased him from Massapequa Park, New York to Suffolk County, Long Island, shot 7 times by DeMeo after he crashed his car. Chris Rosenberg May 11, 1979 Shot and killed by Roy DeMeo and Anthony Senter to avoid a war with the Cuban drug cartels over the March 1979 cocaine rip-off murders caused by Rosenberg. James Eppolito & Eppolito Jr. October 1, 1979 Nino Gaggi was given permission by Gambino boss Paul Castellano to kill 62-year old Gambino capo Eppolito and his son after he implicated DeMeo and Gaggi in narcotics involvement and cheating 33-year old Eppolito Jr. out of $7000 in a cocaine deal. Both of them were shot in the back of the head inside of a car in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Khaled Doud & Ronald Falcaro October 12, 1979 Both were lured to Frederick DiNome's auto shop in East Flatbush, Brooklyn then shot, killed and dismembered for being competitor of stolen car ring and suspected of cooperating with law enforcement against DeMeo. Joseph Coppolino March 7, 1980 37-year old Coppolino was stabbed and decapitated by Roy DeMeo after suspected of implicating DeMeo to law enforcement in seized 23-ton marijuana shipment. Patrick Penny May 12, 1980 21-year old Patrick Penny was shot 9 times in the head by DeMeo and Richard DiNome after he testified against Nino Gaggi. Charles Mongitore & Daniel Scutaro June 5, 1980 30-year old Mongitore was shot 14 times by Henry Borelli and Roy DeMeo then slit his throat, after he refused to drop an assault charge on the son of Gambino soldier Salvatore Mangialino. His friend 25-year old Daniel Scutaro was killed after he asked for the whereabouts of Mongitore. Both bodies were found in the trunk of a car near Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn. Frank Amato September 20, 1980 Gambino boss Paul Castellano ordered his son-in-law's death after hitting his pregnant daughter Constance, shot and killed by Roy DeMeo, body dismembered by the DeMeo crew James Bennett April 29, 1981 65-year old Lucchese associate set to testify against DeMeo crew member Richard Mastrangelo, shot twice in the head by Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa. Joseph Viggiano December 4, 1981 Shot, killed and dismembered on the 11th floor office of Show World Times Square, Manhattan by Gus Kalevas and Roy DeMeo, owed money to Kalevas. Paul & Al Viggiano December 21, 1981 The son and brother of Joseph Viggiano, both were lured to a meeting and shot to death by Roy DeMeo after investigating the disappearance of Joseph. John & Anthony Romano July 4, 1982 Shot and killed by DeMeo after believing the Romano brothers set-up DeMeo crew member Peter LaFroscia for robbery in 1978. Media
Downfall and murder
By 1982, the FBI was investigating the enormous number of missing and murdered persons who were linked to DeMeo or who had last been seen entering the Gemini Lounge. It is around this time that an FBI bug in the home of Gambino family soldier Angelo Ruggiero picked up a conversation between Angelo and Gene Gotti, a brother of Capo John Gotti.
In the conversation, it is discussed that Paul Castellano had put out a hit on DeMeo, but was having difficulty finding someone willing to do the job. Gene Gotti mentions that his brother John was wary of taking the contract, as DeMeo had an "army of killers" around him. It is also mentioned in this same secretly recorded conversation that, at that time, John had killed fewer than 10 people, while DeMeo had killed at least 38. According to mob turncoat Salvatore Gravano, eventually the contract was given to Frank DeCicco, but Frank and his crew couldn't get to DeMeo either. DeCicco allegedly handed the job to Roy's own men.
Albert DeMeo wrote that in his final days, Roy was paranoid and knew that he would be killed soon. DeMeo considered faking his own death and leaving the country. However, instead he left the house one day and never returned. Albert DeMeo later found Roy's personal belongings such as his watch, wallet, and ring in his study room, and also a religious pamphlet indicating that Roy had gone to confession before his death.
According to the book Murder Machine, in his final days Roy DeMeo was seen wearing a leather jacket, with a shotgun concealed underneath. On January 10 1983, DeMeo went to crew member Patrick Testa's bodyshop for a meeting with his men. A few days later, on January 18, he was found murdered in his abandoned car's trunk. He had been shot multiple times in the head and had a bullet wound in his hand, assumed by law enforcement as being from throwing his hand up to his face in a self-defense reflex when the shots were fired at him. Anthony Gaggi was suspected by law enforcement officials of being the one who personally killed DeMeo, although it is likely crew members Joseph Testa and Anthony Senter were present as well.
Gaggi was not charged with the crime, although he was charged with a number of other murders. He died of a heart attack during his trial in 1988, aged 62. According to Anthony Casso's 2008 biography, Roy DeMeo was killed at Patrick Testa's East Flatbush home by Joseph Testa and Anthony Senter following an agreement with Casso, who was given the contract by Gotti and DeCicco after they were unable to kill DeMeo during the fall of 1982. The Casso biography notes that DeMeo was seated, about to receive coffee, when Testa and Senter opened fire. Anthony Gaggi was not present.
In April 1984, Colombo crime family soldier Ralph Scopo was overheard explaining to an associate that DeMeo had been killed by his own family because they merely suspected that he would not be able to stand up to legal charges that resulted from his stolen car ring. The motive as suggested by Scopo is widely accepted by law enforcement and other sources. Another reason was that DeMeo was attracting too much attention from the FBI.
DeMeo's crew was soon rounded up and the core members Henry Borelli, Joseph Testa, and Anthony Senter were imprisoned for life after two trials that saw them convicted of a collective total of 25 murders, in addition to extortion, car theft and drug trafficking. The convictions were secured in large part by testimony of former members Frederick DiNome and Dominick Montiglio.
Paul Castellano was indicted for ordering the murder of DeMeo, as well as a host of other crimes, but was killed in December 1985, while out on bail in the middle of the first trial. The murder was ordered by John Gotti, who thus became the new boss of the Gambino family.
Media and Trivia
The story of DeMeo and his crew have been featured in the Factual books Murder Machine  by Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci
For the Sins of My Father  written by his son Albert DeMeo.
The story of The DeMeo Crew and the Gemini Lounge was featured in the Factual Crime Book Houses Of Death by Gordon Kerr.
Through a family friend, personal items claimed to have once belonged to Roy DeMeo, including artifacts supposedly from the Gemini Lounge, have been continually sold on ebay from 2007 through 2010, with an accompanying notarized certificate of authenticity. Among the items sold and claimed to have belonged to Roy DeMeo are numerous neckties, shirts, cups and glassware, money clips, pistol grips and holsters, pocket knives, rosaries and religious medals, etc.
Roy DeMeo drove a Yellow Cadillac Coupe De Ville.
Despite being a killer he was a loving father to his family. he never missed birthdays, he came home every weekend and never missed sunday roast, he never shouted or punished his children as they were very well behaved, he encouraged his children to practice their talents, and he never cheated on his wife he was a strong family man.
A Documentary shown on the Biography channel was made about Roy DeMeo.
Roy DeMeo features in the eleventh episode of UK history TV channel Yesterday's documentary series Mafia's Greatest Hits.
Ray Liotta played DeMeo in the 2012 film The Iceman an adaptation of Anthony Bruno's book about DeMeo's associate Richard Kuklinski, The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer.