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Francesco Carrone, also known as "Buzzy" or "Buzz", was an Italian-American Gambino crime family associate (1938 - 1975 Walpole, Massachusetts). He was a close friend of Thomas Agro and Peter Calabrese.
Born in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, Carrone allegedly earned the nickname "Buzz" from his psychotic behavior and violent temper. Frank joined the Gambino family as an associate, working under capo Thomas Agro and later capo Carmine Fatico in the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club crew. He was involved in bank robbery and hijacking as a "stick up man". Carrone also trafficked small shipments of cocaine, marijuana and Quaaludes in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Fellow crew member Joseph Ianuzzi described Carrone before his terrifying disfigurement as "a tall and handsome Italian" mobster. Before his disfigurement, Carrone suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. After his mauling, Carrone's condition was made worse by a severe case of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Receiving facial disfigurement
His right eye was gouged or shot out leaving him with a slightly demented look on his face from the severed nerve endings and paralyzed facial muscles with an empty right eye socket and a demented expression on his face, giving the impression half of his face was smiling. It is unclear how or who was responsible for Carrone losing his eye, if it was involving La Cosa Nostra matters or if it was accidental. This ultimately made the once handsome and youthful Carrone, once known for his stunning good looks stand out in a crowd with his horrible ghastly disfigurement. It is also unknown if the horrible accident caused Carrone to suffer from permanent brain trauma, caused by the injury, making him psychopathic. As a result of the injury Frank suffered from depth perception issues in the years following his accident.
It is unknown why Frank did not consult an ocularist and have an ocular prosthetic set into his eye socket. In 1972 or 1974 (depending on which source you read) "he stood out from the rag tag group of mobsters emulating class".
Being put on the shelf
Carrone was exiled from his crew and the Gambino family for robbing banks without Fatico's permission. Carrone now started robbing banks on his own. In May 1972 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agents Patrick Colgan and Thomas D'Onofrio were looking for Carrone about a string of bank robberies in New York. A number of bank tellers implicated Carrone, describing him as "bizarre looking man with one eye and a gun". One day the two agents spotted Carrone exiting an apartment building in Little Italy. Carrone saw the agents and drove off. The FBI chased him at speeds up to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h). As the agents approached children crossing at a cross walk, they attempted to slow down, but their brakes failed. Carrone sped away, but immediately plowed into a woman's car. When the agents got out of their car, a bystander told them that Carrone was hiding under the steering wheel in his vehicle. Almost immediately, Carrone popped out and starting firing at the agents. In the confusion, Carrone managed to escape.
Angering the Mob
After the FBI shootout, FBI supervisor John Good approached Fatico and told him to give up Carrone. Fatico could not comply because Carrone had fled to Boston. This caused a period of major FBI harassment brought on by Carrone shooting at the FBI agents. Furious at the trouble that Carrone had caused the Gambino family, Fatico put a contract on Carrone. Fatico allegedly offered to induct anyone who murdered Carrone into the Gambino family. However, Carrone remained a fugitive. He was also featured as a fugitive on the television program America's Most Wanted, but no one turned him in.
Capture in Massachusetts
In 1974, low on money, Carrone robbed a bank in East Boston, Massachusetts in the Financial District, Boston, Massachusetts. However, a silent alarm went off and Massachusetts state police troopers were soon chasing him. The troopers chased Carrone into some nearby woods. One trooper, tiptoeing through some heavy underbrush, suddenly heard three loud clicks behind him. He turned with his gun drawn and saw Carrone standing there, his gun pointed at the trooper's head. Fortunately Carrone was out of ammunition. As the trooper leveled his own gun at Carrone, Carrone pleaded with the trooper, "Do it". However, the trooper arrested him.
Time in prison
Carrone was sent to prison at Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts. Other inmates soon convinced Carrone that the Gambino family was going to murder him. Carrone spent his days quivering in fear, convinced that at any moment one of Carmine Fatico's soldiers would poison his food, or waylay him in a dark corner. FBI agents periodically visited Carrone, allegedly determined to make his life miserable. Carrone suffered from insomnia brought on chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Joe Dogs: The Life and Crimes of a Gangster, by Joe Dogs Iannuzzi
- Goombata: The Improbable Rise and Fall of John Gotti and his Gang, by John Cummings and Ernest Volkman