As reports have covered in-depth, Francesco Frank “Franky Boy” Cali, of the Gambino crime family, has been fatally shot outside of his home. Moreover, Cali was shot while having dinner with his family in Todt Hill. The mob boss is said, by reports, to have had a very low-profile lifestyle, in contrast with bosses such as John Gotti, according to PEOPLE magazine.
The magazine also states that Cali had few run-ins with the law, which was unlike some of the other names in mob history. Cali’s shooting was reported by The New York Times and other news outlets as having taken place in Staten Island.
Cali’s neighborhood, Todt Hill, in Staten Island comes to light as a point of study in the wake of his story, because of Todt Hill’s history and characteristics. So, what are the facts about Todt Hill?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Investigators Have Sealed Off the Scene Outside Frank Cali’s Home in Todt Hill
The New York Times reports that Cali resided at 25 Hilltop Terrace in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island–before he was shot by an unidentified gunman who fled the scene in a blue pickup truck. This Todt Hill address, according to reports, is located in a very affluent Staten Island neighborhood.
Investigators have sealed off the scene of the shooting, according to reports, as they look for suspects in the shooting of Cali, and figure out the suspect’s motive.
2. The Todt Hill Neighborhood in Staten Island Is Known for Mob Ties
Todt Hill has some history, as many mob members and bosses have laid their marks, mostly quietly, and sometimes famously, in the neighborhood over decades.
According to The New York Times, Paul Castellano, who led the Gambino crime family until 1985 when he was killed, had a mansion there on Benedict Road.
Todt Hill also housed many other names within the Italian mob, according to The New York Times, including the reputed mob boss, Salvatore Gravano, who is known as Sammy the Bull, and whose daughter, Karen Gravano, starred in the hit reality television series, Mob Wives. Gravano reportedly informed on his boss John Gotti, says The New York Times.
3. A Home in Todt Hill Was Used to Film The Godfather
Many may be familiar with the Hollywood mobster film called The Godfather…with no shortage of the character, Don Vito Corleone’s quotes:
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.”
Well, according to reports, a Tudor-style house on Longfellow Avenue in Todt Hill, actually served as the setting of Corleone’s home in The Godfather.
In a particular scene from the neighborhood, the don Corleone greeted wedding guests for his daughter’s wedding, at the beginning of the film, and his Todt Hill home is famously shown.
4. Todt Hill Has Opulent Mansions Listed for Millions
Todt Hill is a typically peaceful neighborhood. The affluent and relatively posh area boasts some of New York City’s finest views and homes.
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge can be seen from Todt Hill on Staten Island–and it is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. “Highest natural point: Todt Hill,” tweeted NYC Parks last year (as shown above).
The New York Times has an article that describes Cali’s home as being a large red-brick, two-story, colonial style house in the neighborhood. As can be viewed on the real estate site, Zillow, homes there can be as much as $4 million.
If you’re a doctor, lawyer, or executive who values privacy, reports say that this neighborhood would have been a candidate for those looking in Staten Island, because neighbors aren’t ones to host “cookouts” or be less than private.
5. Frank Cali’s Neighbors in Todt Hill Appeared to Have No Idea He Lived There
According to The New York Times, Cali and his family had lived in Todt Hill and likely lived there in its quiet, because neighbors had not known who lived where.
Reports from the paper stated that one resident, in particular, noted that he had lived in his house for 12 years and had never met any of his neighbors.
Todt Hill’s neighborhood just had that vibe.
Another neighbor who spoke to the Times, Prashant Ranyal, said, “Whenever you see nice areas you feel like it’s peaceful.” Then, Rayal added of Cali’s fatal shooting, “When something like this happens you definitely have a second thought about it.”
“Nobody talks to nobody around here; it’s crazy,” yet another neighbor named Salvatore said, according to The New York Times. “People kind of keep to themselves. They like their privacy.”
The neighbor said their street was quiet and full of old homes. “Dead quiet all the time,” he reportedly told the newspaper.
There are barely curbs or sidewalks in the neighborhood, as streets are carved naturally by the trees and greenery around.
New Yorkers might see Todt Hill as an escape from the city. Todt Hill is about 20 miles from midtown Manhattan.
The New York Times says that the neighborhood has neither restaurants nor shopping.