POSTED: 9:19 a.m. EDT, May 4, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thomas and Rosemarie Uva were not exactly criminal geniuses.
The couple liked to rob Mafia-run social clubs in Little Italy and elsewhere around the city, which, as just about everyone knows, is a really good way to get killed.
They even had the audacity to force mobsters to drop their pants as they swiped their cash and jewelry and cleaned out their card games.
The holdups proved predictably hazardous: The Uvas got whacked on Christmas Eve 1992.
Fifteen years later, the story of the bandits who made the stupid mistake of stealing from the mob is playing out at the trial of the man accused of murdering them, a reputed Gambino crime family captain named Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia.
"There's virtually no greater insult than robbing the Gambino family where they socialized and hung out," federal prosecutor Joey Lipton said last month in opening statements in Brooklyn.
Authorities say the Uvas began their robbery spree in 1991, apparently believing that social clubs -- home to high-stakes card games -- would provide an easy mark.
Rosemarie, 31, took the wheel of the getaway car and Thomas, 28, armed with an Uzi submachine gun, stripped patrons of their money and jewelry and made the men drop their pants. The couple became known on the street as Bonnie and Clyde.
On the morning of December 24, they were sitting in their Mercury Topaz at an intersection in Queens when they were each shot three times in the back of the head. The car rolled through the intersection and collided with another vehicle before it stopped; police officers found a stash of jewelry with the bloody corpses.
This story put me in mind of an absolutely perfect Terry Pratchett quote from Men at Arms.
Murder was in fact, a fairly uncommon event in Ankh-Morpok, but there were a lot of suicides. Walking in the night time alleyways of The Shades was suicide, asking for a short in a dwarf bar was suicide, you could commit suicide very easily if you weren't careful.
It makes me wonder what the murder rate would be like if we factored out all the 'suicides'. It also makes me ponder the reduction in the crime rate if the mob enforced the law. It dosen't seem to have taken them much time to find those responsible in this case. I can only assume the police were still fumbling along.