Raymond Patriarca

Il Patrone
Birth Name:
Raymond Loreda Salvatore Patriarca
Birth Date:
March 17, 1908
Birth Place:
Worcester, Massachusetts
Death Date:
July 11, 1984
Place of Death:
Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
Cause of Death:
Heart attack
Cemetery Name:
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
Raymond Patriarca was an American mobster from Providence, Rhode Island, who became the long-time boss of the Patriarca crime family, whose control extended throughout New England for more than three decades. Even at an early age, Patriarca was charged with hijacking, armed robbery, assault, safecracking, and auto theft. He was indicted as an accessory to murder before Prohibition's end in 1933. During the 1940s, Patriarca continued to rise in power. In 1950, mobster Philip Buccola fled the country to avoid prosecution for tax evasion, and Patriarca took control of his criminal operations. Throughout the notoriety of the last half of his life, Mr. Patriarca insisted he was a legitimate businessman who operated the National Cigarette Service, a vending machine business, in the Federal Hill section of Providence. But law-enforcement officials contended that Mr. Patriarca controlled a web of illicit activities that spread across New England, including loan sharking, numbers lotteries, trafficking in marijuana and cocaine and, for a time, jukebox vending rackets and the smuggling of immigrants. Make no mistake, Patriarca 30-year reign was brutal and violent with the mob boss arrested more than 30 times on charges ranging from bootlegging to conspiracy to murder, and served several prison sentences. The last was a six-year term at the Federal penitentiary in Atlanta stemming from his 1968 conviction for conspiracy in the slayings of Rudy Marfeo and Anthony Melei at Pannone’s Market in Providence, Rhode Island on April 20, 1968.

Fun Facts

In March 1970, Patriarca and several of his associates went on trial for murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the chief witness being robber and notorious hitman John “Red” Kelley, who afterwards went into the federal witness protection program. Kelley gave testimony linking Patriarca and other family members to the murder of Rudolph “Rudy” Marfeo and Anthony Melei. Kelley had been contracted by Patriarca to kill Marfeo. Kelley lived another 30 years in the witness protection program. Interesting to note that Kelley was approached by the CIA to act as a hitman for the execution of Fidel Castro.

Law enforcement lore had it that Frank Sinatra received the engagement ring he gave Mia Farrow from Patriarca, who procured it from a wiseguy who had stolen it from Damon Runyon’s widow on Cape Cod.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Gate of Heaven Cemetery

550 Wampanoag Trail

Riverside, Rhode Island, 02915


North America


Map of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Riverside, Rhode Island.
Map of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Riverside, Rhode Island.

Grave Location:

Section 21, Lot 9

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery drive straight ahead veering slight right. With the building on your left, turn left then a quick right then right again and park. On the left side you will see a dirt path for cars that leads to the back of the cemetery (it is usually chained off). Walk to the end of that dirt path to the large mausoleums that line the back of the cemetery. Walk to the right approximately 6 mausoleums and you will come to the Patriarca Mausoleum with a bench on the outside along with additional family members buried outside of the mausoleum.

Grave Location GPS

41.79430864471928, -71.34058146482258

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