Joseph Scorney

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Joseph "Joey" Scorney (c. 1953 Canarsie, Brooklyn - September 28, 1978 Flatlands, Brooklyn) was an Irish-American who was involved in grand theft auto. He turned down becoming a mob associate/car thief for Mobster Roy DeMeo because he wanted to avoid being involved with the mafia, and this led to his murder by Roy Demeo associate's Vito Arena and Ritchie DiNome. The DeMeo crew consisted of car thieves, drug dealers and murderers suspected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of somewhere between 75-200 murders from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.


Vito Arena was a close childhood friend of Scorney who remembered him as "a kid who liked to joyride and hang out at gas stations." He became prolific among Roy's gang of car thieves who was able to disable the typical car's security system and drive away within 30 to 40 seconds. Although he worked for Roy DeMeo, it was strictly "freelance" stating to Richard DiNome that he would never work for "the Mafia guys." A month after his old friend Vito Arena bumped into him on the street, he joined Richard and Scorney's grand theft auto chop shop operation.

During the summer of 1978, Frederick, Vito and Scorney took an estimated four to seven cars a night. Richard occasionally disputed with Scorney about acting as the team's "break and enter" man for the vehicles but their relationship remained steady. He was making an estimated $1500 and $2500 a week. He drove a $3500 Porsche Turbo Carrera including two other brand new luxury cars and lived in a newly furnished highrise apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn where he told criminal associates he hid $25,000 in the base of an artificial plant for bribing police.

Gangland slaying[edit]

On September 28, 1978 Joseph Scorney was murdered, although the motives never became clear to the participants in the murder, or later on to the defense team when Arena was questioned at the 1985 Mafia Commission Trial. Arena and Richard stuffed Scorney's body into a 50-gallon oil barrel and filled it with cement and rolled it off a pier in Center Moriches, New York. The body was recovered in 1982. In 1985 Vito Arena was sentenced to eighteen years for the murder of Scorney.


  • "Witness at Mob Trial Tells Grusome Tale" The Palladium Times November 4, 1985
  • Murder Machine by Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci

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