Joseph Todaro, Sr. - Succession of Bosses

Succession of Bosses

For roughly 6 years the Buffalo crime family that Joseph Todaro Sr. continued to be a top member of throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s was led by a succession of Acting bosses, including Sam Pieri from 1969–70, Joe Fino from 1970–72 and Sam Frangiamore from 1972–74, until legendary La Cosa Nostra Boss and charter Commission member, Stefano "The Undertaker" Magaddino dies on July 19, 1974 of a heart attack at age 82 after leading the Buffalo crime family for 52 years. After Magaddino's death the Commission sanctions Samuel "Sam the Farmer" Frangiamore as the official Acting Boss of the Buffalo crime family until a new Boss is officially elected by the crime family and sanctioned by the Commission. Frangiamore allegedly choses Capo, Sam Pieri Sr. as his Underboss or it would seem as they allegedly led the crime family together after the death of Magaddino in 1974. Frangiamore stays on as Acting Boss for a year then according to some crime writers and the F.B.I. in Buffalo, Sam Pieri is elected Boss in 1975, but this may not be the case as it has shown over the years to possibly be false and that Sam Frangiamore was the leader throughout Sam Pieri's perceived reign. The Buffalo crime family stays under the leadership of the Pieri-Frangiamore regime from 1974–84, while capo, Joseph "Lead Pipe Joe" Todaro Sr. with the help of his son, Joseph "Big Joe" Todaro Jr. continues to run his criminal operations, his successful pizzeria and other business investments while he amasses more power, influence and popularity in the crime family throughout the 1970s. Sam Frangiamore and Sam Pieri stay in power throughout the 1970s, Sam Pieri imprisoned once again in 1978 and eventually dying in 1981, Frangiamore leads the crime family until the mid-1980s and retires.

By 1980, Joseph Todaro Sr. is one of the most powerful Buffalo crime family members with a faction of loyal allies who support Todaro Sr. as the future successor to the crime family's leadership position. Throughout the 1970s, the Buffalo crime family continued to be a dominant force in Western New York's underworld with the help of capo, Joe Todaro Sr. and his crew, but since the split in 1969 and the death of their once powerful and influential patriarch, Steve Magaddino, the crime family had been divided and weakened by years of internal conflict and strife, leaving a crime family who once experienced a high level of power, influence and respect within La Cosa Nostra a shell of its former self. Joe Todaro's Sr.'s popularity among Buffalo crime family members and with La Cosa Nostra members across the United States was well known and his supporters included bosses from other crime families including Bufalino crime family Boss, Russell Bufalino, Rochester crime family boss, Samuel "Red" Russotti and the New York Bosses of the Genovese and Gambino crime families. Joseph Todaro Sr. received a lot of support from many of the longtime Buffalo crime family members he was allied to, but many of the younger members also looked to Joe Todaro Sr. as a crime family leader and a highly respected man in La Cosa Nostra who could motivate, re-organize and re-unite the Buffalo crime family after a decade of being divided and weakended. By the start of the 1980s, Joe Todaro Sr. was seen as a leading contender to replace Acting Boss Sam Frangiamore when he retires or dies, but there was also Frangiamore's Underboss at the time, Joe Pieri Sr. who along with his brothers, Sam Pieri and John "Johny Ray" Pieri had led the Buffalo crime family throughout the 1970s.

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