Raymond L. S. Patriarca

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Raymond L. S. Patriarca
Raymond L.S. Patriarca.jpg
Raymond Loreda Salvatore Patriarca

(1908-03-17)March 17, 1908
DiedJuly 11, 1984(1984-07-11) (aged 76)
Resting placeGate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Other namesIl Patrone
John N'Nubile
OccupationCrime boss
Helen Mandella
(m. 1939; died 1965)

Rita O'Toole
ChildrenRaymond Patriarca Jr.
AllegiancePatriarca crime family
Conviction(s)Robbery (1938)
Conspiracy to murder (1970)
Criminal penaltyFive years' imprisonment; served four months
10 years' imprisonment

Raymond Loreda Salvatore Patriarca (/ˌpætriˈɑːrkə/; March 17, 1908 – July 11, 1984) was an American mobster from Providence, Rhode Island, who became the long-time boss of the Patriarca crime family, whose control extended throughout New England for more than three decades. Patriarca died on July 11, 1984.

Early life[edit]

Raymond Patriarca's Providence Police photo

Patriarca was born on March 17, 1908, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Eleuterio Patriarca, an Italian immigrant from the village of Arce, Lazio, and Mary Jane DeNubile, an Italian American.[1][2] At the age of four, Patriarca moved with his family to Providence, Rhode Island, and left school when he was eight to shine shoes and work as a bellhop.[2]

During his teenage years, Patriarca was charged with hijacking, armed robbery, assault, safecracking, and auto theft. He was indicted as an accessory to murder before Prohibition's end in 1933. During the 1930s, the Providence Board of Public Safety named him "public enemy No. 1". He was sentenced to five years in prison for robbery, but he was paroled in 1938 after serving four months in prison.[2]

An inquiry revealed that Executive Councilor Daniel H. Coakley, a close associate of Governor Charles F. Hurley, had drawn up a parole petition based on the appeals of a "Father Fagin", whom Coakley had fabricated. Coakley was impeached and dismissed from the Governor's office. This scandal enhanced Patriarca's reputation in the underworld, as it demonstrated the power of his political connections.[citation needed]

In 1939, Patriarca married Helen G. Mandella and had a son, Raymond Patriarca Jr.[3]

Rise to power[edit]

During the 1940s, Patriarca continued to rise in power. In 1950, mobster Philip Buccola fled the country to avoid prosecution for tax evasion, and Patriarca took control of his criminal operations.

In 1956, Patriarca made drastic changes in the crime family, the biggest being to move his base of operations to Providence, Rhode Island. He ran his crime family from the National Cigarette Service Company and Coin-O-Matic Distributors, a vending machine and pinball machine business on Atwells Avenue in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence.[2][4] Every card game, prostitution ring, and illegal business in Providence had to pay a kickback to Patriarca.[5]

Patriarca's reign as leader of the New England syndicate was rumored to be brutal and ruthless. In one incident, he allegedly ordered an elderly mobster to murder his own son, after Patriarca lost a substantial amount of money on a bad deal. The father pleaded for his son's life, so Patriarca exiled him from the family. Patriarca's underboss Henry Tameleo also persuaded him to relent. In another incident, Patriarca demanded that several members of the crime family pay him $22,000 after federal authorities seized a hijacked shipment of cigarettes that he had financed. He allegedly ordered the murder of his brother for failing to notice an electronic surveillance device placed in his office by federal agents.[citation needed] He allegedly ordered the murder of several members of the McLaughlin Gang during the Irish Mob wars between the Charlestown Mob and the Winter Hill Gang. This occurred when Bernie McLaughlin started interfering with Patriarca's loansharking operations in Boston.


Patriarca's Rhode Island State Police I.D. photo

In March 1970, Patriarca and several of his associates went on trial for murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the chief witness being robber and hitman John "Red" Kelley, who afterwards went into the federal witness protection program.[6] Kelley gave testimony linking Patriarca and other family members to the murder of Rudolph "Rudy" Marfeo and Anthony Melei. Kelley had been contracted by Patriarca to kill Marfeo.

Patriarca and his associates were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder; associate Maurice Lerner also was convicted of murder. The mob boss was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he continued to run his family while imprisoned. Lerner and the other defendants were subsequently exonerated when it was established that Kelley had perjured himself at the trial, as had FBI agent H. Paul Rico, who had corroborated Kelley's testimony.[7]


Patriarca suffered from heart disease and diabetes for many years.[2] He died of a heart attack on July 11, 1984, at the age of 76.[2] He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence, Rhode Island.[8]


  1. ^ Sherman, Casey (2013). Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin. p. 22. Patriarca was a first-generation Italian-American born on March 17, 1908, on Shrewbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, about forty miles west of Boston. [...] young Raymond moved with his family to Providence, Rhode Island, where his father, Eleuterio, ran a liquor store [...] where his mother, Mary Jane (DeNubile) Patriarca, kept a tidy home.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Berger, Joseph (July 12, 1984). "RAYMOND PATRIARCA, 76, DIES; NEW ENGLAND CRIME FIGURE". The New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved March 17, 2020. Mr. Patriarca, the son of immigrants, was born March 17, 1908, in Worcester, Mass., and moved to Providence when he was 4. [...] But there were reports that Mr. Patriarca had political connections. In 1938, after serving only 126 days of a long-term sentence for armed robbery sentence, a Massachusetts state legislator demanded an inquiry into a pardon granted Mr. Patriarca by then Gov. Charles F. Hurley. [...] Mr. Patriarca insisted he was a legitimate businessman who operated the National Cigarette Service, a vending machine business, in the Federal Hill section of Providence. [...] Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the reputed boss of organized crime in New England for more than 25 years, died of a heart attack yesterday in Providence, R.I. He was 76 years old.
  3. ^ Sherman, Casey (2013). Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin. p. 25. By this time Patriarca was newly married to Helen G. Mandella [...]. Helen would give birth to the couple's first and only child, Raymond J. Patriarca, a few years later.
  4. ^ White, Tim (November 24, 2008). "The History of New England's Mob Bosses: A Rhode Island legacy of Mafia Dons". Wpri.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2017. "The Man" ran his massive criminal organization out of a less-than-massive Coin-o-Matic vending machine company on Providence's Federal Hill. The business officially opened in 1956.
  5. ^ "Raymond Patriarca". Crimetown. Gimlet Media. Archived from the original on March 4, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Carr, Howie. "John (Red Kelley)". BostonHitman.com. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Partington, John (2010). The Mob and Me: Wiseguys and the Witness Protection Program. New York: Gallery Books. pp. 123–4. ISBN 978-1-4391-6769-4.
  8. ^ "Gate of Heaven Cemetery East Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island". January 11, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2020. PATRIARCA, Raymond L. S. Mr., Death: 7/11/1984, Section: 21, Block: Crypt, Lot: 9, Grave: 4

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

American Mafia
Preceded by
Frank Morelli
Patriarca crime family

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Phil Buccola
Patriarca crime family

Succeeded by