John-John Veasey’s Life After the Philly Mob

He was one of the most colorful characters in the history of the Philly mob — a charming killer who tangled with two MAFIA bosses, survived three gunshots to the head, and suffered Through the revenge murder of his own brother. Then he went into the Federal Witness-Protection Program — and built a new life for himself that may have been even crazier than his first one

After Veasey hung up, he kept drilling Joe Fudge.  “I did his elbows first, then I did his knees. Then my drill bit broke.” Veasey handed Joe Fudge a loaded gun. “Go ahead and shoot me,” he dared. “The Devil ain’t gonna die.” But Joe Fudge was in flight mode after being tortured, so John threw the bleeding mobster out on the street.

The next day, Veasey’s parole officer played back the automated interview. She was shocked to hear buzzing and screaming, so she called Veasey to ask: “What’s all that noise in the background?”

Veasey explained he’d been using an electric dildo on Lorraine, his wife.

ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1993, Veasey and two other mobsters—Frank Martines and Giuseppe Gallara—drove past the Melrose Diner at 15th and Passyunk and saw a white Cadillac Seville in the parking lot that they knew belonged to Frank Baldino, a bartender who was a go-fer for Joey Merlino. They were under orders from Stanfa to kill on sight anybody associated with Merlino. So they had a conference. “They wanted him dead,” Veasey says. “I argued that I thought he was harmless.”

Veasey lost, so the hit men waited for Baldino to finish his chopped-steak dinner. When Baldino came out of the Melrose, he got in his Cadillac and put the car in reverse.

Veasey raced up to the driver’s window. “Yo, Frank,” he yelled. Baldino looked up and started to roll down the window. “Don’t worry about that,” Veasey said as he rammed his .45 through the glass and started shooting. He emptied his gun, hitting Baldino seven times in the head and torso. Veasey saw Baldino’s head bounce back against the seat, and blood fly everywhere.

Veasey was wearing a dark Fila sweatsuit, a present from brother Billy. Following Mob protocol, he changed outfits after he fled the crime scene. Local TV stations, however, broadcast descriptions of the assailants that included the Fila sweatsuit. The cops didn’t know who killed Baldino yet, but Billy Veasey did. When John walked into his house, he found Billy sitting on his couch. “Where’s the fucking sweatsuit I bought you?” Billy yelled. John made excuses. “You killed Baldino,” Billy said, but John denied it. Billy yelled at John, saying he had to be out of his mind—he’d just killed two men in two months! “Get in the car,” Billy told his little brother.

John was still off drugs, but he’d picked up a new bad habit—-smoking up to four packs a day. Billy was a passionate non–smoker. So John used his smoking as an excuse, saying he didn’t want to stink up Billy’s car. But he got in because Billy insisted. Billy promptly punched John in the mouth. “That’s for stinking the fucking car up,” Billy said. Then he drove John around South Philly, alternately yelling at him and trying to talk some sense into him.

JOHN VEASEY WAS NOW the most feared mobster in town. He renamed his Rottweiler and  pit bull “Al Capone” and “Frank Nitti,” to fit his new gangster lifestyle. But brother Billy wasn’t impressed.

Billy Veasey lived in two worlds. He was a tough kid and street fighter who had done time, once for assault, once for a weapons charge. He worked as a demolition contractor with his own crew. Peter J. Scuderi, a lawyer and friend of Billy’s, describes him as a “human wrecking ball.” But Billy was also a great hockey player. And when he played hockey around town, he made new friends. Billy didn’t want to be a gangster. He aspired to be upwardly mobile.
Billy had a beautiful wife and a son, Billy Jr., also a hockey player, who had just won a scholarship to the prestigious Episcopal Academy. Billy didn’t want his son to hang out on street corners; he wanted his son to go places he couldn’t. He was horrified that his little brother was a gangster.