Posted in 2003
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Samuel "Little Sammy" Corsaro was born in 1943 in Nutley, New Jersey. Later he moved to Clifton, New Jersey where he would remain till his death. Like all mobsters Corsaro also started out in petty crime but in 1969 he decided to rob a liquor store. During the robbery things went drastically wrong and Corsaro shot the liquor store clerk, the clerk did not survive his wounds. Corsaro was caught and sentenced to prison. In prison Corsaro organized a program in which he taught other inmates the upholstery and interior design trade which prepared them for jobs on the outside.
Corsaro did his time but hadn't given up on the chance of getting out early. Behind the scenes his lawyers were working hard to gain him an early release. Using among things his upholstery and design program as proof of his rehabilitation they tried getting him pardoned. And in 1983 he finally got his break. Governer Tom Kean pardoned Samuel Corsaro for the 1969 murder of the liquor store clerk. After 14 years of imprisonment Corsaro was now a free man.
Prison had failed to change him, he wasn't interested in leading a legit life. Back home he started hanging around with the same crowd and focused all his efforts into leading the criminal lifestyle fulltime. Eventually Corsaro ended up with the Gambino Crime Family first as an associate and later as a made guy, a soldier. Corsaro's ride had just begun he was a very powerful mobster listed in an 1988 report by the State Commission investigating organised crime as a Gambino soldier active in loansharking, gambling operations, and drug sales in Essex and Passaic counties. By now he was the second man in the New Jersey faction of the Gambino Family second only to Robert "Cabert" Bisaccia. Things weren't all good, dark clouds were appearing on the horizon for Corsaro.
In that year, 1988, several New Jersey mobsters were indicted on racketeering charges, Corsaro was charged with conspiracy and racketeering, including an unsuccessful plot to firebomb the offices of the state's Organized Crime Task Force. In a trial that lasted nearly a year unusual things happened. There were courtroom shouting matches that nearly ended in fist fights, three defendants required hospital stays midtrial, and someone shot up a jurors car. In 1993 Corsaro heard the verdict he didn't want to hear: guilty! He was sent back to prison. Due to the unusual events at his trial the appeals dragged on for years eventually he saw some light at the end of the tunnel. In 1999 prosecutors struck a new plea deal with Corsaro. His 26 year sentence was reduced to an 8 to 16 year term. Corsaro was released on parole in 2000. Back on the streets again, things were looking better than ever for Corsaro his close friend and fellow mobster Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri had been moving up through the ranks of the Gambino Family, allegedly climbing to the rank of acting Underboss. And in the mob if you go up you take your friends with you. Just when it looked like "Little Sammy" Corsaro had finally gotten a break, tragedy struck. On July 5, 2002 Corsaro died from an heart attack, he was 59 years old.