Yesterday, federal prosecutors began their case against two mobsters for the deaths of Thomas and Rose Marie Uva. The Uvas, who were killed on Christmas Eve 1992 in Queens, were known as "Bonnie & Clyde" to mob families after they brazenly robbed mafia hangouts. The robberies were particularly embarrassing to the mob (Thomas Uva would run in with a machine gun, while Rose Marie Uva was in the getaway car), and the Bonanno and Gambino families both tried to claim they killed the couple. However, it was hard for the feds to establish how many robberies the Uvas committed, since the mob didn't report them.
The two defendants, Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia and Alfred DiConglio, are Gambino family associates, and during federal prosecutor Joseph Lipton's opening, you start to learn the rules of how not to deal with the mob. "The Uvas ... took their money and jewelry and made the men drop their pants. Pizzonia vowed to find the couple and make them pay with their lives." Uva even messed up the hair of one older mobster. (An investigator told the NY Times “You don’t mess with a wiseguy’s hair. That adds insult to injury.”) Lipton also said, "Those murders were committed for one reason, disrespect." Pizzonia's lawyer claims that many people wanted the Uvas dead.
Pizzonia and DiConglio are also on trial for killing Frank Boccia, another member of the Gambino crime family. Boccia had slapped around his mother-in-law, who happened to be married to a Gambino captain, Angelo "Fat Andy" Ruggiero. Lipton said, "Hitting your mother-in-law is bad, but when it's the wife of a made member of organized crime, it's fatal."