Alphonse D’Arco Sang Like Nobody’s Business

Alphonse D’Arco, born July 28, 1932, grew up near the Brooklyn Navy Yards, a neighborhood of heavyweight mobsters _ some his relatives. His childhood, D’Arco once recalled, was “like being in the forest and all the trees were the dons and the organized crime guys.” AOL had the story behind his ratting out his mob associates today. He walked into the woods without hesitation.

Two tenets of the old-school Mafia appealed to him: Loyalty and honor. Both extended into his personal life. In 1959, D’Arco first met future Luchese family boss Vittorio Amuso. He was soon making money for the Lucheses in a variety of ways: Hijacking. Drug dealing. Burglary. Counterfeiting. Arson. Armed robbery.

D’Arco became a made man in a ceremony held in a Bronx kitchen. “I should burn like this paper if I betray anyone in this room,” he swore. It was Aug. 23, 1982. He was particularly good with dates, as federal investigators would learn.

D’Arco had long ago resolved the differences between mob life and straight society. As John Q. Citizen, D’Arco would have lived by the rules. As Alphonse D’Arco, mobster, he would abide by the Mafia’s code. He obeyed orders and his elders, kicked money up to the bosses. He never cooperated with law enforcement.

“D’Arco gave them great value for the money,” said defense lawyer Edward Hayes. “D’Arco is a lunatic, but he has a story.”

Once, in a Brooklyn courtroom, D’Arco stood before a federal judge who noted they had grown up in the same nearby neighborhood. “Yeah,” D’Arco replied. “And we both rose to the top of our professions.”

Bruce Cutler was Gotti’s attorney the last time Al sang in court. His voice booming, Cutler recited a litany of perks that came D’Arco’s way from his agreement to be an informant: No jail time. A new identity. An attorney, free of charge. “That’s another reward, yes?” Cutler asked.

“I don’t see anything to be a reward,” D’Arco responded without hesitation. “I’d trade it all to go back on Spring Street.”