24 Apr 08
Two Tonys Solves the Murder of Joe Hootner
Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Claims all his victims "had it coming."
Earlier in Jon's Jail Journal, Two Tonys had briefly mentioned the murder of Joe Hootner. After reading that blog, the son of Joe Hootner emailed to ask if Two Tonys would be willing to describe the circumstances surrounding his father’s death.
Two Tonys wrote:
In regards to S’s inquiry, ask him if he knew a guy named Rudy Perfido who mysteriously went missing with his old man. The guy was in the pizza business. Ask him the name of the pizzeria. I can understand the interest of trying to find out about his old man. Maybe we should rest his mind about his old man. I mean, I didn’t whack this guy. I can only pass on the info I picked up by the guys who claimed to do him and why he got taken out. If that would ease his mind and all those whackers are dead (they are) I feel I will do the right thing. No harm no foul. We want to do the right thing here. I don’t want to make sport of a guy’s missing father, so the more I think about it the more I’ve decided to help the guy, and I’ll tell you what I was told of the guy’s old man.
I used to pick up a bag of old guns (.38’s - .32’s shit like that) from this pawn shop on 4th Ave in South Tucson. This old dago and his son ran it. Somehow he skimmed a few old guns, throwaways, and saved them for Peter Licavoli. I’d pick them up maybe 3 times a year, take them out to Pete’s ranch, the Grace Ranch east of Tucson. One day I get a call to go to the pawn shop. So I go down. The old guy, whose name was Nick Corona, gives me an AR-15 with a scope on it for Pete Licavoli. This was about 1968. So I deliver it to Pete. His son Mike tells me later Pete kept it for himself.
So I get a job from this guy who’s being shook down by the Bonannos (Bonanno crime family) to whack Joe and Bill Bonanno and this lame Pete Magadino out of Buffalo. So I put a crew together and we’re setting up the hit. It was going to be a beauty. We had a way of setting them up at a desert restaurant called El Corral on River Road. So I get this idea I’ll go and ask Pete Licavoli for that gun. My guy, who was named Vic, says he can make it fully auto and we can kill everybody with it and they’ll be like Swiss cheese. My job was going to be after Vic sprays them and they’re down, I’ve got to run up with my shotgun and put one in everyones head. This way nobody lives wounded. This guy calling for the contract was a developer with a big project highrise on the board, but those scumbags kept fucking him up with the zone board. He wanted them gone. And he paid good and I got the guy to front me the money, all of it, $10,000. A lot of cake in ’68.
So anyway, I go see Pete Licavoli. He’s out by his pool at the ranch. So I get with him, just the two of us. He’s got an olympic pool with a nice decorated bath house where we talk. I explain to him what I’m getting ready to do. Now you got to remember he’s not my boss, but I do things for him and he does things for me. It’s a quid pro quo. But I know he’s not to be disrespected. (He was my boss in Detroit at one time.) And he called on me for a few favors in his retirement in AZ (the gun delivery is an example). Anyway, I tell him what’s going on and what I’m working on, and I pop the question to him can I buy his AR-15 with scope to put in this work. Well he looks at me and thinks a min or two, then this is what he says, “No! you can’t have it. For reasons I don’t have to explain to you, I can’t get involved in this thing you are going to do. But I’ll tell you this, get the sons of bitches. They’re hated all over the country. Get ’em good and if you ever tell anyone this conversation took place, I’ll make a liar out of you. You understand?”
Yeah, I understood he hated the Bonannos. And I could forget about his help in any way.
Pete Licavoli, Joe Bonanno, Charlie Battaglia and his brother in law all go into a business venture developing a tract of land with homes. It was called Telesco Terrace. So Pete Licavoli has to go to prison in Atlanta for refusing to appear before Congress “investigating organized crime.” So he had this guy Hootner, who was running a book (a bookie for him), designated as his guy while he was away to get his end of the $ and do with it as instructed. Well, Charlie Battaglia and the Bonannos start skimming while Pete Licavoli is in the joint, and they got Hootner, who Pete Licavoli tells me with all sincerity is one of the nicest gentlest guys around, but Pete thought Hootner could handle this no rough stuff assignment. Well they got his bookie $ and the development $ and I guess they conned Hootner pretty good. But just before Pete Licavoli gets out of the joint, they whack Hootner so he can’t run the whole thing down to Pete Licavoli. Pete licavoli finds out from Tony Telesco, after they fuck Tony Telesco’s end of the $.
Now Pete looks at me and says, “And you know who the cops think had Hootner killed?” He says, “Me.” He was mad at having to ride the heat.
But you have to remember at one point, the Bonannos were strong, real strong. But now they were weak, real weak. They had just got run out of New York. They were a real fucked up crew. But my point is, Pete Licavoli talked real good of Hootner, said he was a real trustworthy guy, but that gang of thieves broke him down and killed him along with a runner of his named Rudy Perfido. Pete Licavoli couldn’t retaliate, it would have been too much to bite off. He had to eat it. But he did wish me luck with my project, and sent me on my way. No gun for Two Tonys.
But we went on with our plans to get these bastards. When Pete Licavoli told me the whole country hated them, he meant other outfits, or as the movies say, families. Now the developer decides to call off the hit. His name was Walter Prideaux and he turned into an FBI informant for David Hale a renegade FBI agent who lost his fuckin mind and job, but that’s another story.
Getting back to S’s inquiry about his dad. Now years later, I’m at the Sahara Hotel in Tucson and Charlie Battaglia comes in. He says he’s got to talk to me so we go out to his car. He tells me he’s got this guy who’s just got whacked in the car trunk and will I help him put him away.
I said, “Who is it?”
Well it was this one eyed Jewish guy from L.A. named Jules. They called him Julie. The Batts says he’s got a spot out by Rockin K Ranch ready to go.
So I tell him, “Look, Charlie, I’m not going for it. I don’t know why or what this is about but I’m not involved and not up to driving across town 30 miles with a stiff in the trunk that I’ve got no involvement with. A piece of work is one thing and a favor another. Besides it’s Saturday night and I don’t want to change and I’ve got some broad stopping in to have a drink. This joint is hot and the cops are probably checking us out right now. Find somebody else. I’m not involved. Don’t come at me on a spur of the moment with shit like this. This is how guys get busted. No disrespect intended.”
We go out and he drives off. I go back into the hotel bar.
Now it’s almost a month later when he comes into the hotel and acts as if the world is his oyster. We’re having a few drinks. It’s a slow night, no band playing, and I ask him what’s up. It’s seldom we see him downtown. He’s sort of in the bag but he says he’s meeting a guy named Angelo down here later.
So we have a few drinks and I say to him, “Hey look, no hard feelings about that night a few weeks back.”
He says, “No sweat. It’s over.” Then he smiles and says, “Hey, back in the day, I had to put two away by myself. It took all night. In fact they’re all in the same area.” Then he joked and said, “I might open a burial service in my old age.”
“Anybody I know?” I asked.
He looked at me and smiled and said, “No. You don’t know. This was before your time out here. But they were friends of mine and I did as proper as could be, all things considered. Yeah, one was a real gentleman. He just got caught up in the life.”
And for about 5 seconds I saw some sadness come over the Batts as if he was actually sorry for his chosen profession. His guy never shows up, and he has a couple more drinks and leaves.
Now later my buddy Sal shows up and I run this all down to him. He says when him and Batts were partners in Tucson Vending Company, Batts got drunk one night and was all melancholy about killing Joe Hootner, who he said was a good guy. He talked shit about Rudy Perfido, but like Joe.
So S, that’s what I know about your old man. He seemed to have a rep as a good man. And he probably was. He just got involved with a bunch of crooks on a different level than him. Bad decision. It’s all about decisions. You asked, I told you what I know. Personally, I believe that’s what happened.
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