A video shows Gambino crime boss Frank Cali emerging from his Staten Island home on Wednesday night in his very last moments. He apparently was responding to the sound of a pickup truck backing into his Cadillac SUV in his driveway, causing the license plate to detach.
The video, as described to The Daily Beast by a law enforcement official who has seen it, then shows Cali pausing to close his front door, perhaps out of concern for his family inside, or maybe just to ensure a dog or a cat does not get out. He steps over to the driver of the pickup truck.
The driver is wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap, so his face is not clearly visible as he and Cali speak. Cali reaches into his pants pocket, as if to suggest he had a gun.
The driver then bends down and picks up the license plate. He holds it out to Cali, who takes it and steps over to the rear of the SUV.
Cali has his back to the driver as he puts the license plate into the rear compartment of his SUV. The driver chooses this moment to produce a gun and shoots Cali.
Cali goes down. The driver stands over Cali, firing again and again, as if to make absolutely sure his victim is dead. His face remains obscure, but the muzzle flashes are unmistakable.
The driver then calmly walks back to the pickup truck and drives away, having committed the first New York mob boss hit ever recorded on video.
The aftermath of other big mob hits were recorded iconic still images; Albert Anastasia on a barbershop floor in 1957; Carmine Galante sprawled in a back garden in 1979, the cigar in his mouth; Paul Castellano in the street outside a midtown steakhouse in 1985.
But this one in 2019 was recorded on video by a surveillance camera outside Cali’s home. His family declined to make it available to police, who returned with a search warrant. And now detectives were out searching for a gunman who will always be remembered for the moment he bent down and picked up a license plate and handed to a mob boss who was in his final moments.