Steven Franse

Posted: 13th April 2011 by admin in Genovese Family, New York

Steven Franse

(October 13 1902 -June 18, 1953)


Steven Franse was born in Istria but grew up in Massachusetts. He moved to New York in 1934 but finally settled in the East Harlem section of Manhattan. He was born October 13 1902. He was a New York mobster that is related with the Genovese crime family .He was also a close associate of mob bosses like Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Vito Genovese.

Steven Franse’s life can not be told without mentioning Vito Genovese. Genovese left for Italy in 1937 because he was indicted for murder. His business interests were left to Franse because he was his close friend. Other than plain friendship, both were partners in business such as nightclubs in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan.

Genovese had a wife by the name of Anna. When he left, he instructed Franse to take care of his wife. Eventually, Franse and Anna became partners in legitimate businesses which went well in the absence of Genovese. The partnership went on for a while until such time that Anna filed a divorce in 1952. Because of the unexpected action from his wife, Genovese blamed Franse for his wife’s sudden decision.

Aside from filing divorce, Anna also disclosed many embarrassing details regarding Vito Genovese’s ill-gotten wealth. She also revealed about safety deposit boxes, gambling activities and other connections, loan sharking deals and number of illegal activities. For some reason, Genovese did not take action against his wife, but instead turned his rage against Steve Franse, his trusted friend, whom he had left to guard and protect Anna when he fled to Europe in 1937.

While his wealth and dealings were publicly exposed in June, 1953, Tony Bender called Valachi to a meeting and told him Franse had to be killed. Bender told Valachi that Franse had become an informer to federal agents (which was not true). Genovese tasked one of his lieutenants, by the name of Anthony Strollo, to set up the murder of Franse. In turn, Bender ordered Joseph Valachi, a future mob witness to run the hit.  Tony Bender was supposed to have received instruction from Vito Genovese. The reason was not about Vito’s domestic problems, but that Franse had become a rat often used as an excuse to justify any unjustifiable killings. Vito felt betrayed by Franse and he had to be eliminated.

At about 4 a.m. on the morning of June 18, Valachi was waiting at the Lido, a restaurant he owned in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. Franse, 58 years old, arrived on a visit, accompanied by two other soldiers in the family, Pat Pagano and Fiore Siano. As Valachi was pouring drinks and socializing, Franse was attacked, brutally beaten and strangled to death by Pasquale Pagano and his nephew Fiore Siano. In chilling detail, Valachi explained how the killers applied extra force and venom in their beating, as instructed to do so by Bender. Franse’s body was later loaded into his car and taken to East 37th street in Manhattan where it was found during the day by the police authorities.