Anthony Russo (mobster)

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This article is about the Genovese crime family figure. For the Gambino crime family figure Tony Russo, see Ettore Zappi.
For other people named Anthony Russo, see Anthony Russo (disambiguation).

Anthony Russo (July 13, 1916 – April 26, 1979), aka Little Pussy, was an Italian-American Genovese crime family figure who was a reputed Boss of Monmouth County, New Jersey. He is also the supposed inspiration behind the fictional character Big Pussy Bonpensiero.[citation needed]

Russo was a skilled cat burglar which is how he earned his nickname "Little Pussy" short for "Little Pussycat". He was a made man in the Newark, New Jersey crew of the Genovese crime family which was run by veteran mobster Ruggiero "Richie the Boot" Boiardo. Russo was shot to death in Long Branch, New Jersey on April 26, 1979, while on an Easter furlough from prison.[1] His killers were identified in FBI reports as Thomas "Pee Wee" DePhillips, a capo in the Genovese family, Anthony DeVingo, a soldier and enforcer in the Genovese family who controlled gambling and loansharking in parts of Essex County, and Joe "Joe Z" Zarro an alleged Genovese associate whose operation spread into Passaic County. "It was a typical mob contract", said one investigator familiar with the case. "It was obvious from the start it was someone he knew, someone he trusted." Federal authorities indicated they always suspected DeVingo but couldn't produce enough evidence to charge him. No weapons were ever recovered.[2]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (April 27, 1979). Anthony Russo, Jersey Crime Figure, Found Slain; No Comment on Motive. New York Times
  2. ^ The Dark Past of Long Branch [1] The Death of Anthony Russo Anthony