Michael Rizzitello

Mike Rizzi
Birth Name:
Michael Anthony Rizzitello
Birth Date:
March 29, 1927
Birth Place:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Death Date:
October 26, 2005
Place of Death:
Palm Springs, California
Cause of Death:
Cemetery Name:
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
Michael Rizzitello (aka "Mike Rizzi") was a capo (underboss) in the Milano crime family of Los Angeles. Rizzitello's criminal record stretched back to 1947 whe he worked for "Crazy Joe" Gallo in the 1950s who was a member of the Profaci crime family (later named the Colombo crime family). When Gallo attempted to take over the Profaci crime family, Rizzitello was one of his key gunmen who participated in the murder of mobster John Guariglia and Paul Ricci at the HiFi Lounge in Brooklyn on November 11, 1961, along with future LA mob soldier Tommy Ricciardi. Soon after in 1956, Mike Rizzitello moved to California. In California, Rizzitello first became affiliated with the Los Angeles crime family working as a debt collector and extortionist for Salvatore "Dago Louie" Piscopo along with a friend of his named Louie "Lefty" Castiglione. He was also mentored by Joseph Sica; an associate of Piscopo. During his time in Los Angeles he was responsible for conspiracy to commit murder, armed robbery, illegal gambling, racketeering, extortion, loan sharking, mail fraud, insurance fraud, and extortion. Rizzitello's activities were featured in several biography novels by mobsters-turned-informants Jimmy Fratianno (The Last Mafioso and Vengeance Is Mine), Anthony Fiato (The Animal in Hollywood), and Kenny Gallo (Breakshot).

The Rest of the Story

On May 1, 1987, Rizzitello and Joey Grosso attacked William Carroll, the chief financier for the Mustang Club in Santa Ana, over an extorted money dispute. A month later, Rizzitello was returned to federal prison for a parole violation—associating with known criminals. In October 1988, Carroll named Rizzitello and Grosso as his attackers. Rizzitello was sentenced on April 20, 1990, to a total of 33 years in prison; 25 years for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, three years for great bodily injury to Carroll, two years for use of a firearm, and three more because Rizzitello was a convicted felon with a firearm. Fifteen years later, terminally ill with cancer, Rizzitello died on October 26, 2005, in Palm Springs, California. He was still in custody at the time of his death.

Ever wonder what a hitman says to his victim just before he pulls the trigger? “This is for not letting us eat,” William Carroll claims Rizzitello told him just before firing the three shots. When Carroll refused to pay the $5,000 a week in protection money for the Mustang Club in Santa Ana, Mike Rizzi followed Carroll to an empty parking garage in Costa Mesa where Carroll survived three shots to the back of his head, which left him permanently blind.

Michael Rizzitello once lived at 25250 Community Street in Canoga Park, California.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Forest Lawn Cemetery

69855 Ramon Road

Cathedral City, California, 92234


North America


Map of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California
Map of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California

Grave Location:

Mission Santa Rosa Mausoleum, West Interior, Space 3

Grave Location Description

To find the final resting place of Italian mobster “Mike Rizzi” Rizzitello, convicted murderer, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal gambling, loan sharking, mail fraud, insurance fraud, and extortion, as you are facing the fountain, turn left and go to the second outdoor mausoleum. Turn right into the interior of the mausoleum and look on the bottom row. Note that the Mission Santa Rosa Mausoleum sits between the Mission San Luis Rey and the Good Shepherd Mausoleum.

Grave Location GPS

33.81559013609081, -116.44155511126498



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