'Fear City' on Netflix: What Happened to the Leaders of the Five Families?

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia tells the story of how the FBI managed to arrest the leaders of the "Five Families," the Mafia bosses who controlled organized crime in NYC.

The Netflix doc, however, ends in 1986, when the so-called "Commission Trial" comes to its end.

The leaders of the Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno, and Colombo families were all charged with extortion, labor racketeering, murder and more at this trial, but this is not the end of their stories.

What happened to the leaders of the Five Families after Fear City?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Fear City on Netflix.

Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, boss of the Gambino crime family

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Paul Castellano. Getty

Castellano was one of the four mob leaders indicted on February 25, 1985, alongside the leaders of the Genovese, Lucchese, and Bonanno families, acting leader of the Colombo family and four others.

As seen in Fear City, the boss was murdered in a hit organized by John Gotti on December 16, 1985. Gotti would then take over as boss, and would himself be arrested in 1990. Sentenced to life in prison, he died of throat cancer in jail in 2002.

Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, boss of the Genovese crime family

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Anthony Salerno (centre) Getty

At the time of the 1985 arrests, Fortune magazine called Salerno America's most powerful mobster, and he was the lead defendant in the subsequent trial. As such, he was denied bail, in a decision that was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

Eventually, he pled not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to 100 years in prison without parole.

In a separate case not mentioned in Fear City, Salerno was indicted on further racketeering charges for his role in a concrete company who sold concrete at inflated prices to the builders of buildings like the Mount Sinai hospital and Trump Tower.

Salerno died in prison after a stroke at the age of 80 in 1992.

Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, boss of the Lucchese crime family

Anthony Corallo
Anthony Corallo (left) Getty

Though indicted on February 25, 1985, Corallo was only arrested a few days later as he was in hospital at the time of the arrests. In 1987, he was sentenced to 100 years in prison and would die in jail 13 years later of natural causes at the age of 87.

Philip "Rusty" Rastelli, boss of the Bonanno crime family

Rastelli was probably the most ill-fated of all the "Five Families" leaders, spending all but two years of his reign in prison. He was in jail between 1976 and 1983, and then from 1987 to 1991 after being found guilty in The Commission Trial.

He was given a compassionate release from prison in 1991 due to his liver cancer, which would kill him three weeks after his release.

Gennaro Adriano "Gerry Lang" Langella, acting boss of the Colombo crime family

Langella was the underboss of the Colombo family, who became acting boss of the family at the time after Carmine John Persico Jr. went into hiding to avoid being arrested.

He was sentenced to 100 years for his role in the family, as well as 65 years in the subsequent Colombo racketeering trial. He died in 2013 at the age of 74.

Carmine John "Junior" Persico Jr, boss of the Colombo crime family

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Carmine John "Junior" Persico Jr. Getty

Rastelli was not able to stay hidden for–mostly because he chose to hide at the house of a cousin who had been acting as an FBI informant for the past two years. Notably, Persico decided to serve as his own lawyer.

The sentencing judge called Persico, "one of the most intelligent people I have ever seen," but that was not enough to stop him from getting found guilty. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison, consecutive to his 39-year sentence in the Colombo trial. Of all the leaders indicted in the trial, he died most recently, in March 2019 when he was 85.

Fear City is streaming now on Netflix.