By STEFANIE COHEN
CRUEL CAPO: "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia plotted the Queens hit on...
September 6, 2007 -- He was a faithful churchgoer with six grandchildren who hosted lavish family dinners on holidays - often cooking the meals himself. He was a hardworking truck driver who did what it took to make sure his family's needs were met. He was a pillar of strength when older family members took ill, and a generous uncle who doted on the younger generation.
But Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia was also a coldblooded killer who orchestrated the murder of two young lovers as they finished their Christmas Eve shopping because they had the audacity to rob his social club.
Pizzonia's darker side outweighed all his good deeds yesterday as Judge Jack Weinstein slapped him with a 15-year sentence yesterday for masterminding the 1992 hit.
Despite an outpouring of character references from family members, friends, and neighbors who wrote voluminous letters to the judge in anticipation of sentencing, Weinstein ensured the 64-year-old Gambino capo wouldn't be cooking family dinners for his loved ones until he turns 79.
"If the defendant's life were to be portrayed by a TV show or movie, it would require a split screen," Weinstein said before handing down the stiff sentence in Brooklyn federal court.
"On one screen they'd show a courtly, well dressed, polite and soft-spoken gentleman who is a fine neighbor, devoted to his family and generous to friends.
"On the other side of the screen would simply be shown a hardened criminal, a lifelong member of a vicious gang of bookies, loan sharks, extortionists, and coldblooded murderers."
"The defendant's criminal side warrants 20 years," the judge continued. "How much credit can be given for the worth side? The answer is not much."
Pizzonia was convicted in May of conspiring to kill Thomas and Rosemarie Uva, a Bonnie and Clyde duo with a death wish who came up with a short-lived scheme to get rich by robbing Mafia social clubs, including Pizzonia's beloved Cafe Liberty in Ozone Park.
A jury cleared Pizzonia of actually pulling the trigger in the double homicide, and acquitted him of killing neighborhood hoodlum Frank "Geeky" Boccia. But Weinstein said the government had proven all three murders by a preponderance of evidence and sentenced him accordingly.
The maximum sentence Pizzonia faced was 20 years - the most allowed under the racketeering conspiracy statute.
The normally nattily dressed Pizzonia ducked into the courtroom in his prison duds and eyeglasses.
He gave a furtive smile to his supporters seated in the gallery, including what must have been the entire roster of Cafe Liberty - a dozen white-haired men wearing loud print shirts and loafers.
Pizzonia's wife, Barbara, sat in the front row between the couple's two grown sons. His goumada, Patricia Bilello, stared straight ahead from the second row.
Pizzonia showed no reaction when the judge slapped him with 15 years. Both his wife's and his girlfriend's eyes filled with tears.
Before the judge spoke, he gave Frank Boccia's sister, Josephine, a chance to vent her anger at the gangster. Boccia was killed in 1988 after he got into a shoving match with his mother-in-law, Jenny, who also was the wife of a powerful capo. His body was never recovered.
Although prosecutors Joey Lipton and Paige Petersen presented an eyewitness who fingered Pizzonia as the shooter, jurors said they couldn't convict without a body.
"That morning my soul was ripped from my body," Boccia said in describing getting a call from her mom to say Frank was missing.
"My family will never find any closure. We will never be able to accept the cruel and inhumane way Frankie left this earth."
During the trial, Gambino turncoat and Boccia's brother-in-law Anthony Ruggiano said Pizzonia and some cohorts, including himself, lured Boccia to Cafe Liberty with promises of a get-rich-quick scheme.
Once there, Pizzonia called Boccia to a back room, grabbed a revolver, and shot him repeatedly in the head.
According to Ruggiano, Pizzonia paused midway to reload, said "This guy don't want to f- - -ing die," and then shot him a few more times.
Another witness, Thomas Morea, said he helped Pizzonia dump the body in the Atlantic Ocean after gutting Boccia like a fish to make sure he sank to the bottom.
The Uva double homicide caused dissension in the mob underworld when both Pizzonia and a Bonanno gangster tried to take credit for the slayings. John Gotti and Joe Massino, heads of the Gambino and Bonanno families, called a sitdown to settle the dispute.
Bonanno underboss Salvatore "Good Looking Sal" Vitale told jurors that Gotti told Massino: "That was our work. We took care of that. Our Little Dom did it."
"The idiots who testified against him were the hardened criminals," said Cafe Liberty member Joseph Moraglia, 80, as he shuffled out of the courthouse.
"He helped a lot of people out," added Augostino Falzarano, 81. "He did a lot for the church."
Another elderly Pizzonia supporter refused to comment. "I couldn't hear what was going on," he said.http://www.nypost.com/seven/09062007/news/regionalnews/double_life_of_mafias_kindly_k.htm?page=1