How Did Joe Gallo Die? Who Killed Him?

Image Credit: Nicole Wilder/Paramount+

‘The Offer’ is a fictionalized retelling of the production of Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather.’ While the plot primarily revolves around Coppola and producer Al Ruddy’s struggles in making the film, the series also details the mafia underworld of New York City in the 1970s. A conflict between Joe Colombo and Joe Gallo bleeds into the streets of New York and the production of the film. The eighth episode depicts the death of Gallo and the conclusion of Ruddy’s trouble with the mafia. Naturally, viewers must be curious to learn more about Gallo’s death and his killer. In that case, here is everything you need to know!

How Did Joe Gallo Die?

Joseph Gallo (also known as “Crazy Joe”) was an Italian-American mobster known for his association with the Colombo crime family and role in instigating the First Colombo War. Gallo was born on April 7, 1929, in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. He started his career as a criminal by becoming an enforcer for Joe Profaci in the Profaci crime family. In 1961, Gallo kidnapped four of Profaci’s top mobsters leading to the start of the First Colombo War and the installation of Joe Colombo as the leader of the Profaci crime family (later renamed Colombo crime family). The same year Gallo was convicted of conspiracy and extortion. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Image Credit: New York Police Department

Gallo was released from prison on April 11, 1971, and allegedly continued his feud with Joe Colombo. Colombo was shot three times on June 28, 1971. Several members of the Colombo crime family were convinced that Gallo had ordered the hit even though the police determined otherwise. On April 7, 1972, Gallo was celebrating his 43rd birthday at Umbertos Clam House in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Gallo was shot several times and was taken to Beekman-Downtown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Gallo was married to actress Sina Essary at the time of his death.

Who Killed Joe Gallo?

Crazy Joe Gallo’s death remains one of the most high-profile and perplexing mob hits of all time. While the case remains unsolved to date, there are several accounts of Gallo’s death that hint at different potential killers. According to Joseph Luparelli, a member of the Colombo crime family, he, Philip Gambino, Carmine “Sonny Pinto” DiBiase, and two other men shot Gallo. Luparelli gave the police a statement leading to the belief that Joseph Yacovelli (who became the de facto leader of the Colombo crime family after Colombo’s paralysis) had allegedly ordered a hit on Gallo. However, the NYPD dismissed Luparelli’s account, and he nor the four other men implicated in the case were charged.

Image Credit: FBI

Another more popular account of Gallo’s death comes from Francis Joseph Sheeran, better known as Frank Sheeran, an Irish-American labor union official with alleged ties to the Bufalino crime family. Dubbed “The Irishman,” Sheeran claimed to be the lone gunman who killed Gallo working on the orders of Russell Bufalino. NYPD homicide detective Joe Coffey and several journalists have supported the claims and believe Sheeran to be Gallo’s killer, as stated in Charles Brandt’s book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses.’

However, in Coffey’s own 1992 memoir, ‘The Coffey Files,’ the former detective stated that according to informants, Carmine DiBiase was the triggerman. Sheeran’s claims have been refuted by the description of the killer obtained by the police matching DiBiase and not The Irishman. Moreover, Gallow’s wife, Sina Essary, stated that multiple men attacked her husband on his 43rd birthday. However, no one has been convicted for the murder of Joe Gallo as of this writing.

Read More: How Did Joe Colombo Die? Who Killed Him?