6/28/1971 - During an civil rights rally in New York City protesting their portrayal in the media as being gangster people, American born 48-year-old mob boss Joseph Colombo Jr., the leader of the Joseph Profaci Mafia family (the mob family Mario Puzo used to create the fictional Corleones) is shot ... just like in the movies!
Approaching the speaker's podium set up in Manhattan's Columbus Circle to address thousands of attendees at the second Italian-American Unity Day, Colombo takes three automatic slugs to his head and neck, bullets that leave the criminal leader a comatose drooling vegetable with permanent brain damage (he will eventually suffer a heart attack and die in a New York City's St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in 1978).
The culprit in the attack is Jerome A. Johnson, a 25-year-old black hoodlum from Brooklyn carrying photojournalist press credentials ... and reaping what he sowed, Johnson himself is shot a second gunman who vanishes into the crowd and is never identified, an act that makes it obvious that the shooting was more than just Johnson having a bad day.
Never solved, the list of suspects and motives include Colombo's ongoing war with Profaci Family killer "Crazy" Joey Gallo, mob leaders upset with the attention Colombo's Italian-American League is bringing to the Mafia, Colombo assisting Paramount Pictures in the making of The Godfather, payback for an argument with Carlo Gambino in which Colombo spits in the face of his Syndicate leader, and the power grab of capo Carmine Persico. who is in turn gunned down by irritated Colombo bodyguards) ... a hit contracted by the Gambino crime family (orchestrated by hitman "Crazy" Joey Gallo) as a show of displeasure at the attention law enforcement agencies are giving to Colombo's civil rights activities. No such thing as the Mafia ... nice try Don Colombo!!!!!!!!!!!!