Milwaukee crime family

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Milwaukee crime family
Founded byVito Guardalabene
Founding locationMilwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Years active1918–present
TerritoryGreater Milwaukee and some cities in all Wisconsin (as Madison)
EthnicityItalians, Italian Americans are made men. Other ethnicities as "associates".
Criminal activitiesSkimming, gambling, narcotics, racketeering, murder, extortion, bookmaking, bribery, and loan sharking
AlliesChicago Outfit
Five Families
Rivalsvarious street gangs in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee crime family or Balistrieri crime family is an American Mafia crime family based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1] The crime family was considered a branch of the Chicago Outfit. The family's most influential boss was Frank "Mr. Big" Balistrieri, who was greatly involved in the Las Vegas skimming casinos.[2] Today, the crime family is nearly extinct, since Balistrieri died in 1993, with the Chicago Outfit gaining control over some of the illegal rackets in the area.[3]

Historical leadership[edit]

Boss (official and acting)[edit]

  • 1918-1921 — Vito Guardalabene — died on February 6, 1921 from natural causes.[3]
  • 1921-1927 — Peter Guardalabene — the son of Vito Guardalabene was boss until 1927.[3]
  • 1927 — Joseph Amato — died of natural causes on March 28, 1927.[3]
  • 1927-1949 — Joseph Vallone — the Commission decided that the Milwaukee family would answer to and remain under the Chicago Outfit's power. Vallone retired in 1949 and died on March 18, 1952 from natural causes.[3]
  • 1949-1952 — Salvatore "Sam" Ferrara — in 1952 he was voted out by his family and members of the Chicago Outfit forced him to step down.[3]
  • 1952-1961 — John Alioto — trained his son-in-law Frank Balistrieri.[3]
  • 1961-1993 — Frank "Mr. Big" Balistrieri — imprisoned March 1967-June 1971. In the late 1970s, with his two sons Joseph and John worked with Bonanno crime family capo Michael Sabella. He was imprisoned from 1983-1991 for his involvement in Las Vegas skim racket. He died of natural causes on February 7, 1993.[3]
    • Acting 1967-1971 — Joseph "Joey Bal" Balistrieri Sr. — Frank's son and capo, became underboss in 1993.
    • Acting 1983-1993 — Peter "Pete Bal" Balistrieri — Frank Balistrieri's brother and underboss.[3]
  • 1993-1997 — Peter "Pete Bal" Balistrieri — he died of natural causes on August 17, 1997 [3]
  • 1997–2014 — Joseph "Joe Camel" Caminiti — he was Frank Balistrieri's consigliere Died January 2014.[3]
  • 2014- Peter 'Pitch' Picciurro

Current members[edit]

  • Boss Peter 'Pitch' Picciurro
  • Consigliere John "Johnny Bal" Balistrieri — the Frank Balistrieri's son, John has served as lawyer until 1984, when he was suspended and each was later disbarred. John Balistrieri's application to get his law license back was rejected by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in August, 2014.[4]
  • Soldier Aaron "Blue Eyes" Getrieri—operates loan sharking in nearby Brookfield[5]

It is believed that the Chicago Outfit have taken control of most of the rackets of the Milwaukee crime family due to no longer being as powerful as they once were, the Chicago Outfit also represented the Milwaukee family on the American Mafia Commission and played a large part during Frank Balistrieri's reign.


  1. ^ Peter J. Devico The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. (pg.154-156)
  2. ^ United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Searches Conducted on March 8, 1980 Archived January 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jay C. Ambler. "Milwaukee, WI Crime family" (2000) Rick Porrello's American
  4. ^ Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects crime boss' son John Balistrieri bid to practice law, Journal Sentinel, August 12, 2014
  5. ^ "Milwaukee Mafia" 1900s-present

Further reading[edit]

  • Schmitt, Gavin. Milwaukee Mafia. Arcadia, 2012.

External links[edit]