Dominick Cataldo was born in Lower East Side, Manhattan in a small apartment on Essex Street, his father Samuel Cataldo was a Sicilian immigrant from San Cataldo and member of the Profaci crime family. Dominick and his brother Joseph Cataldo both joined the Colombo family.
In 1972, Cataldo started an illegal bookmaking operation and casino out of an after-nights club located on 87th Street just across Atlantic Avenue, which was one block over and one block down from Salvatore Polisi's apartment on 95th Avenue and 88th Street.
The Gerard Pappa murder
On June 16, 1980, Colombo/Genovese crime family associate/Soldier Gerard Pappa was shot to death in a Brooklyn luncheonette by a Colombo hit squad. It was for revenge of carrying out the murder of suspected Colombo police informant Ralph Spero, the uncle of mobster Angelo Sepe. He was murdered by Dominick and his nephews Nicholas and Joseph. Knowing how hard Gerard would be to kill, that he was always armed, very fast and very game, they were hiding in the luncheonette's rear kitchen when he arrived. They approached him from behind and shot him in the head with a sawed-off shotgun, literally blowing his head to pieces. He was killed instantly. Sammy Gravano later spoke of feeling great sadness and remorse for the loss of his childhood friend. Genovese crime family mob boss Vincent Gigante was suspected of handing down the murder contract, but was acquitted of his alleged involvement in the murder in 1997.
Indictment and incarceration
The "books" for membership into La Cosa Nostra had been officially closed since the late 1950s. Following the death of Carlo Gambino in 1976, the last remaining mob boss to have decried such a rule, the books for proposed members were reopened. Cataldo received his membership into the Colombo family in the late 1970s.
Because of the testimony and evidence gathered by Ianuzzi during Operation Homerun, Cataldo was convicted for a host of racketeering crimes or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act predicate acts. In 1985, Cataldo was sentenced to 35 years in prison. On April 27, 1997, Cataldo died in prison of cancer.
- Taylor, Nicholas, Sins of The Father The True Story of A Family Running From the Mob Backinprint (August 2002) ISBN 0-595-24067-4
- Schumacher, Michael, Dharma Lion : A critical biography of Allen GinsbergSt Martins Press (December 1994) ISBN 0-312-11263-7
- Ianuzzi, Joseph, Joe Dogs: The Life and Crimes of a Mobster Simon & Schuster (June 1993) ISBN 0-671-79752-2
- Dietche, M. Scott "The Beating of Joe Castellano" Rick Porello's Featured Article www.americanmafia.com 1999
- Albanese, S. Jay Contemporary Issues in Organized Crime