Mob targeted Rudy
Persico wanted him whacked in '86 to avenge life sentence
The mob assembled a team of hit men to whack Rudy Giuliani nearly two decades ago, when the future mayor was a Mafia-busting federal prosecutor, the Daily News has learned.
The extraordinary plot was set into motion after Giuliani, then Manhattan U.S. attorney, sent Colombo boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico to prison for life after a historic 1986 mob trial dubbed The Commission Case, several law enforcement sources said.
Persico ordered Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace, then a rising star in the crime family, to put together a team of mobsters to kill Giuliani and George Aronwald, who once worked in the Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force, sources said.
"The Colombos wanted to send a message. They wanted Rudy and Aronwald dead," said one investigator with direct knowledge of the conspiracy to whack Giuliani.
Prosecutors believe Cacace wrote "Aronwald" on a slip of paper and showed it to mobster brothers Enrico and Vincent Carini, along with a third hit man, Frank Smith.
But the bungling hit squad mistakenly killed Aronwald's 78-year-old father, an administrative law judge who ruled on city parking tickets, instead.
The Giuliani murder plot was slated to be revealed during Cacace's trial on murder and racketeering charges in Brooklyn Federal Court, several law enforcement sources said.
But the reputed acting Colombo boss pleaded guilty to racketeering charges on Aug. 13, admitting his role in the Aronwald murder and another homicide.
"In March 1987, I passed a message to someone," Cacace, 63, said during his guilty plea.
"I know that by passing the message a person would be killed," he said.
During Cacace's plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Notopoulos said, "People were to be killed because of the manner in which they engaged in certain prosecutions."
Prosecutors refused comment on whether one of those people was Giuliani.
Months after the Aronwald murder, the Carini brothers were whacked, found in separate cars on a Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, block.
Smith is now a government witness and told investigators about the Giuliani murder plot, law enforcement sources said.
Giuliani recently was alerted that he had been marked for death but brushed off the Colombo contract as an occupational hazard of a prosecutor targeting the mob, sources said.
A spokeswoman for Giuliani, Sunny Mindel, said the former mayor was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
Under his plea deal, Cacace is expected to get 20 years in prison - but could be hit with other charges.
His sentence likely will put an end to a storied mob career that included two attempts on his life.
In 1976, when he was a florist in Brooklyn, three holdup men tried to force Cacace into his car at gunpoint. Cacace was shot in the chest but managed to grab the weapon from one of the men and opened fire, killing him.
The two others leaped from the car as the critically wounded Cacace drove to the 61st Precinct station with a dead body in his backseat.
In 1992, Cacace was ambushed outside a Sheepshead Bay social club by a gunman with a rifle. Shot in the chest and testicles, Cacace dropped his dry cleaning and returned fire.
KD Editorial: I WISH THIS JOB WAS FULLFILLED, I WONDER WHAT STOPPED HIM, I HATED GUILIANI FOR MANY REASONS, BUT THE MOST WAS TAKING AWAY OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH LOSS OF MY FIREWORKS!!!! MY FUKIN FIREWORKS WERE STOLEN FROM THE GUILIANI ADMIN CALLED COPS.. FUCK HIM I WISH THEY PUT A HIT ON HIM, THE MOB WOULD HAVE BEEN MY HERO AT THAT EXACT MOMENT, BUT OH WELL YA CANT GO WITH EVERYTONG IN LIFE... IM ANNOYED AT THIS NOW.. STUPID MAFIDIOTS!