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The Clericuzio crime family was a criminal organization that originated as a small but violent Mafia clan in Sicily before moving to the United States. In America, the family was led by Don Domenico Clericuzio.
The Clericuzio family began many years ago in Sicily as the Clericuzio clan, founded by Croccifixio Clericuzio. They defeated their rivals, the Forlenza family by murdering Pietro Forlenza on his sickbed. When the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini rose to power in Italy, the Clericuzios opposed him with force. They murdered the local Fascist prefect, they attacked Fascist garrisons, and when Mussolini gave a speech in Palermo they stole his prized bowler hat and umbrella imported from England.
Because of this, there was a massive concentration of armed forces in their province. Five hundred members of the Clericuzio clan were killed outright, while another five hundred were exiled to the arid islands in the Mediterranean that served as penal colonies. Only the very heart of the Clericuzio survived, and the family shipped young Domenico Clericuzio to America, where he managed to thrive and form a successful business and criminal empire.
In the late 1960s, the Clericuzio family was drawn into a war with the Santadio family. There was a potential for peace after Don Domenico's only daughter, Rose Marie, fell in love with Don Santadio's son, Jimmy. However, all hopes for peace were shattered when Don Domenico's favorite son, Silvio, was murdered by Jimmy's brothers. At Silvio's funeral, Jimmy swore that he and Don Santadio had no foreknowledge of the attack on Silvio. Rose Marie also revealed to her father that she was pregnant, after which Don Domenico gave his consent for her to marry Jimmy. However, he stipulated that the only member of Rose Marie's family to be present was his nephew, Rose Marie's cousin and family enforcer Pippi De Lena. On the wedding night at Don Santadio’s house, Pippi, along with Rose Marie’s brothers, Giorgio, Petie, and Vincent, mercilessly murder Don Santadio’s entire family, including Jimmy, wiping out the Santadio family. Later, Rose Marie gives birth to a son, Dante. Rose Marie is mentally unstable after witnessing her husband's murder at the hands of her family.
Pippi is ordered to take over the Santadio's 49% share of the luxurious Xanadu Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on behalf of the Clericuzios, allowing the owner, Alfred Gronevelt, to remain as majority owner with 51%, but now under the Clericuzio protection. Pippi then marries a young showgirl working there named Nalene. Don Clericuzio, who disapproves of the marriages, sends Pippi and his new wife to relocate to Las Vegas permanently. Nalene and Pippi have a son, Croccifixio "Cross" De Lena. Dante and Cross are baptized the same day in a ceremony at the Don's residences. As Don Clericuzio's main objective is to legalize sports gambling across the US, he announces on the same day to other members of the organized crime that he will retire from all his interests except for gambling, conceding the rest of his interests to his associates. The gathered Dons also agree to let Don Clericuzio handle their illegally obtained money like a bank and keep in from law enforcement in exchange for a 5% tribute.
The adult Dante, who has a strong rivalry with Cross, is made aware of the true circumstances of his father's death from his mother, grows resentful and insists in participating in the Family business and activities, despite the Don's wishes that his descendants should start entering legitimate society. Giorgio convinces the Don to allow his grandson to be an active member of the family enforcers and, along with a reluctant Pippi, carries the order of eliminating a former family friend, Virginio Ballazzo, for betraying omertà, the Mafia code of silence. Pippi worries that Dante takes too much pleasure in killing his enemies and after one more job together in which Dante unnecessarily tortures the mark, Pippi decides to quit the business and enter retirement. Dante conspires with Jim Losey, a Los Angeles police detective on the family payroll, to take the family "back to its glory", believing he'll eventually be able to replace Don Clericuzio.
Pippi is murdered on the doorsteps of his fiancée’s house and Cross suspects that the Clericuzios are behind it and confronts Don Clericuzio at Pippi’s funeral. Cross visits Rose Marie in a hospital for the mentally ill and she tells Cross to inquire about the Santadio war, more than 20 years prior. The Don and his three sons finally tell Cross about the events of the Santadio war. Cross suspects that it's Dante who killed his father and Lia Vazzi believes that Losey is involved. In Los Angeles an actress, Falene, tells Cross that she knew Hugh Marlowe, the mugger who was identified as Pippi's murderer shot dead by Jim Losey. She tells Cross Hugh was not capable of murder and that Marlow was simply a police informant for Losey. Cross interviews with Losey's corrupt partner in the LAPD and confirms his suspicions that Dante killed Pippi. Lia and Cross learn that Dante is planning to kill Cross in Las Vegas and Lia suggests that The Don should intervene. Cross believes that Don Clericuzio would never act against his own grandson. Always loyal to Cross, Lia kills Jim Losey for conspiring to kill Cross. Cross is lured by Dante to one of the Xanadu’s luxury villas, but Cross, being forewarned, kills Dante.
Giorgio flies to Las Vegas to take Cross and Lia back to Quogue to answer for Dante's disappearance. Realizing the Family has already figured it out, Cross confesses he killed Dante in revenge for his father’s murder, and he also tells the Don that Dante likely conspired to kill all of his uncles in revenge for his father's death and to gain more power in the Family. Lia Vazzi is sentence to death by the Don, and Cross is told to pay a large amount of money. Cross offers his entire 51% ownership of the Xanadu as payment for Lia’s life. The Don and his sons agree. Don Clericuzio allows Lia to return to Sicily and Cross is ordered to leave the Family forever. The Don also maneuvers to purchase Loddstone Studios as punishment for betraying Cross and the Family, and makes Claudia, Cross’s sister, head of the studio.
After Don Domenico dies of old age, Cross is called back from exile to become the new head of the Clericuzio family as he investigates a series of murders of family allies, including his late wife, Athena.
Clericuzio crime family structure(1965-1990)
|Don Domenico Clericuzio||
Clericuzio crime family structure(1990-1996)
|Don Domenico Clericuzio||
Clericuzio crime family structure(1998)
|Don Cross De Lena||
- ca. 1900-1920s — Croccifixio Clericuzio — imprisoned and pented in 1920s.
- 1930s-1998 — Domenico "The Pope" Clericuzio — moved to the U.S. in 1920s, deceased in 1998.
- 1998-Unknown — Croccifixio "Cross" De Lena — .
- 1964-1992 — Virginio Ballazzo — turned informant and murdered in 1992.
- 1992-1998 — Petie Clericuzio — murdered in 1998.
- 1998 — Vincent Clericuzio — murdered in 1998.