Roy DeMeo: The Ruthless Mobster And His Infamous Crew

Roy Albert DeMeo, a name that strikes fear into the hearts of many, was a notorious figure in the American Mafia during the late 20th century. Known for his brutality, cunning, and meticulous attention to detail, DeMeo was the leader of a crew that would become one of the most feared and formidable in the history of organized crime. In this article, we delve into the life of Roy DeMeo and explore the criminal empire he built, along with the notorious crew that stood by his side.

Early life and entry into organized crime

Roy DeMeo was born on September 7, 1942, in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. Growing up in a working-class Italian-American family, he was exposed to the influence of organized crime at an early age. In his teenage years, DeMeo began associating with local street gangs, gaining a reputation for his quick temper and violent tendencies.

Through the late 1960s, DeMeo’s organized crime prospects increased on two fronts. He continued in the loansharking business with Gaggi, and began developing a crew of young men involved in car theft. It was this collective of criminals that became known both in the underworld and in law enforcement circles as the DeMeo crew.

By the 1970s, DeMeo had established himself as a ruthless enforcer and an integral member of the Gambino crime family, one of New York’s infamous Five Families. With his intelligence and ruthless demeanor, DeMeo quickly rose through the ranks, catching the attention of the family’s leadership.

DeMeo joined a Brooklyn credit union in 1972, gaining a position on the board of directors shortly afterward. He utilized his position to launder money earned through his illegal ventures. He also introduced colleagues at the credit union to a lucrative side-business, laundering the money of drug dealers he had become acquainted with. DeMeo also built up his loansharking business with funds stolen from credit union reserves.

The DeMeo crew and the Gemini method

The DeMeo crew, also known as the “DeMeo Gang” or the “Gemini Crew,” consisted of a tight-knit group of mobsters handpicked by Roy DeMeo himself. The crew earned its nickname from the Gemini Lounge, a mob-operated bar and headquarters located in Brooklyn.

What set the DeMeo crew apart from others was their reputation for extreme violence and their expertise in disposing of bodies. They were allegedly responsible for over 200 murders during their reign of terror. The crew employed a method known as the “Gemini Method,” in which victims were lured to a location, often the Gemini Lounge, tortured, murdered, and then dismembered before being disposed of in various locations, including the infamous “Mafia graveyard” at the Fountain Avenue Dump in Brooklyn.

The process of the Gemini Method, as revealed by multiple crew members and associates who became government witnesses in the early 1980s, was to lure the victim through the side door of the lounge and into the apartment in the back portion of the building. At this point, a crew member (almost always DeMeo according to crew-member-turned-government-witness Frederick DiNome) would approach with a silenced pistol in one hand and a towel in the other, shooting the victim in the head then wrapping the towel around the victim’s head wound like a turban to stanch the blood flow. Immediately after, another member of the crew (originally Chris Rosenberg, up until his 1979 murder, according to government witness testimony) would stab the victim in the heart to prevent more blood from pumping out of the gunshot wound. By then, the victim would be dead, at which point the body would be stripped of clothing and dragged into the bathroom, where the remaining blood drained out or congealed within the body. This was to eliminate the messiness of the next step, when crew members would place the body onto plastic sheets laid out in the main room and proceed to dismember it, cutting off the arms, legs and head.

The body parts would then be put into bags, placed in cardboard boxes and sent to the Fountain Avenue Dump in Brooklyn. So many tons of garbage were dropped each day at the dump that it would be nearly impossible for the bodies to be discovered.

Some victims were killed in other ways for varying reasons. At times, suspected informants or those who committed an act of disrespect against a member of the crew or their superiors had their bodies left in the streets of New York to serve as a message and warning.

Infamy and downfall

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the DeMeo crew was involved in a range of criminal activities, including loan sharking, drug trafficking, auto-theft, racketeering, pornography, and contract killings. Their ruthlessness and efficiency made them a valuable asset to the Gambino crime family.

However, their reign of terror would come to an end when law enforcement began closing in on their activities. The crew’s downfall began with an investigation into stolen cars, which eventually led authorities to uncover their involvement in numerous murders. Roy DeMeo was arrested in 1982 on charges of racketeering and murder but was released on bail. Before he could face trial, he was found dead in his car on January 20, 1983, reportedly a victim of a mob hit.

DeMeo’s son Albert wrote that in his final days, DeMeo was paranoid and knew that he would be killed soon. In his final days, DeMeo was seen wearing a leather jacket, with a shotgun concealed underneath.

His car was discovered and towed to a nearby police station where it was searched by Organized Crime Control Bureau detectives. DeMeo’s partially frozen body was found in the trunk with a chandelier on top of it. He had been shot multiple times in the head and had a bullet wound in his hand.

Legacy and pop culture influence

Roy DeMeo and his crew left an indelible mark on the American Mafia’s history and popular culture. Their gruesome methods and high body count fascinated and terrified the public. The story of the DeMeo crew has been the inspiration for various books, documentaries, and films, including “The Ice Man”, “The Irishman”, and “Gemini Lounge”.


Roy DeMeo and his crew were synonymous with brutality and ruthlessness during their time as active members of the Gambino crime family. Their criminal activities and the infamous Gemini Method made them feared by both rival mobsters and the public alike. The downfall of the crew and the death of Roy DeMeo marked the end of an era, but their legacy continues to captivate the imagination of those fascinated by the dark and violent underbelly of organized crime. The story of Roy DeMeo and the DeMeo crew serves as a chilling reminder of the extreme lengths some individuals are willing to go to maintain power and control within the criminal underworld.

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