How Did Joe Colombo Die? Who Killed Joe Colombo? – ‘The Offer‘ chronicles the difficult creation of Francis Ford Coppola’s famous 1972 gangster thriller ‘The Godfather.’ While the film focuses on producer Al Ruddy’s difficulties in creating the film, it also includes scenes from the life of real-life mobster Joe Colombo.
Colombo meets a horrible end in the seventh episode of the series, leaving viewers to wonder what happened to the crime boss in real life. Here’s all you need to know about Joe Colombo’s death, including how he died and who killed him.
Read Also: Who Was Joseph Colombo, and What Did He Do?
What Caused Joe Colombo’s Death?
Joseph Anthony Colombo Sr. (also known as Joe Colombo) was born in New York City on June 16, 1923. Anthony Colombo, a member of the Profaci crime family, was his father. Colombo was raised in an Italian-American family in New York. He dropped out of high school and became a member of the United States Coast Guard.
Colombo tried his hand at business after being discharged from the army in 1945. Colombo would eventually join the Profaci crime family, following in his father’s footsteps. He progressed through the ranks of the mob to become a mob captain.
After the death of Giuseppe “Joe” Profaci, the head of the Profaci crime family, a power struggle erupted inside the mob to govern the family. Colombo triumphed and took over as the new head of the crime family, which he renamed the Colombo crime family. Colombo formed the Italian-American Civil Rights League in April 1970, ostensibly as a political advocacy group but in reality as a front to improve the mafia’s image.
Joe Colombo was at the second Italian Unity Day rally in Columbus Circle on June 28, 1971. The Italian-American Civil Rights League hosted the rally, which was a huge event in the Italian-American community. During the rally, however, Colombo was shot three times, with one bullet striking him in the head. Colombo survived the ordeal, but the shooting left him crippled.
Colombo died of a heart attack on May 22, 1978, at the age of 54, after never fully recovering from his paralysis. Lucille, his wife, and their five children survived him.
Who Killed Joe Colombo and Why?
Jerome A. Johnson, a 24-year-old African-American, shot Joe Colombo at the second Italian Unity Day event. Johnson pretended to be a news reporter at the event and received a press pass, allowing him to get close to Colombo. Johnson was quickly assassinated by Colombo’s men after shooting the respected mob boss.
According to various news accounts, Johnson was not acting alone and was working for Joseph “Joe” Gallo, popularly known as “Crazy Joe.” Gallo had returned from prison a few months before the shooting and refused to attend a peace meeting with Colombo. Gallo had also grown close to Nicky Barnes and other criminals from Harlem, a primarily black neighborhood, during his time in prison.
As a result, there was speculation that Gallo had planned to assassinate Colombo and had dispatched Johnson to carry out the assassination. There is, however, no proof linking Johnson to Gallo. Colombo did not die as a result of the shooting in the end. As a result, he wasn’t formally murdered and died of natural causes.