Saturday, June 24, 2017

John "Sonny" Franzese, 100, paroled again

John "Sonny" Franzese is blind, deaf and confined to a wheelchair. Now aged 100, he was released from prison on Friday in Massachusetts, where he was the oldest inmate to be incarcerated in the United States. John "Sonny" Franzese spent much of his adult life entering and leaving prison, having been paroled at least six times. His last incarceration was in 2010, at the age of 93; He was convicted in a ransom case involving New York dance clubs.

Raised in New York City, in the late 1930s Franzese joined the Profaci crime family (later named the Colombo crime family) under boss Joseph Profaci.
Franzese bore a close physical resemblance to boxer Rocky Graziano, one of his friends. His first arrest came in 1938, for assault. Franzese operated out of New York City and New Jersey and was involved in racketeering, fraud, and loansharking. He is believed to have been elevated to caporegime in the Colombo family in the mid-1950s and by 1964 he had been promoted to underboss.