Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa

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Anthony Senter and Joseph Testa, better known as the Gemini twins,[1] are two mobsters in the Lucchese crime family. Senter and Testa are former members of the DeMeo crew in the Gambino crime family. In 1989, both Senter and Testa were found guilty of racketeering and 10 counts of murder, and each was sentenced to life in federal prison.[2]

Early life[edit]

Anthony Senter
Born
Anthony Michael Senter

1955 (age 63–64)
Canarsie, Brooklyn, New York, United States
NationalityAmerican
AllegianceGambino crime family - DeMeo crew
Lucchese crime family
Conviction(s)Racketeering, 10 counts of murder
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment

Anthony Michael Senter was born in Canarsie, Brooklyn, New York to immigrants Michael Senter (Northern Italian) and wife from Rovereto, Italy. The original family name was "Sente", but was later anglicized to "Senter", his uncle, Gambino and Colombo associate, Robert Senter, owned the Canarsie Recycling Company in Canarsie. As a young man Anthony worked at both his father's small debris removal business and his uncle's sanitation company. Robert Senter gained notoriety for the kidnapping and murder of Emanuel Gambino, the nephew of Gambino crime family boss Carlo Gambino and nephew of Paul Castellano.

On December 4, 1972, Robert Senter was arrested and confessed to the murder of Gambino, he also revealed the identities of Rickard Nilsson and Warren Schurman who were his two accomplices. On June 1, 1973, Robert pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. After his release Robert was murdered by Colombo crime family associates from Brooklyn on orders from Colombo crime family capo John Matera. Anthony Senter married an Italian-American woman on July 24, 1977 at a catering hall in Canarsie, Brooklyn; the wedding was attended by many criminals including Gambino crime family member Roy DeMeo.

Joseph Carmine Testa
Roydemeo2.JPG
Joseph Testa and Roy DeMeo in a 1982 FBI surveillance photo.
Born1955 (age 63–64)
NationalityAmerican
AllegianceGambino crime family - DeMeo crew
Lucchese crime family
Conviction(s)Racketeering, 10 counts of murder
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment

Joseph Carmine Testa was born in 1955 in the United States. Testa was one of nine children born to a transport truck driver and a housewife, his brother Patrick Testa also became a mobster, joining the DeMeo crew.

Gemini twins[edit]

Growing up, Anthony Senter became close friends with Joseph Testa; when Testa was fifteen, a thirteen-year-old neighbor was mugged by a knife-wielding Puerto Rican man from East New York. The assault victim complained to Testa, who gathered Senter among others and led the group in a borrowed car, spending the day searching for the assailant. In 1973, Testa was nearly killed in a bar fight with a Puerto Rican opponent, when the assailant's knife punctured his lung. Senter hunted down the Puerto Rican and nearly beat him to death with his fists.

By 1970, at the age of 12, Senter had already been convicted of auto theft three times. Testa and Senter had all of their cases dismissed because they were juveniles at the time. Testa and Senter became known as the "Gemini twins," because they were always together, and the primary hangout of the DeMeo crew was the Gemini Lounge.[2]

DeMeo crew[edit]

Chris Rosenberg hired Senter and Testa to wax his Corvette and Porsche and steal cars for him. Rosenberg introduced his friends Senter and Testa to Roy DeMeo, who asked them to join his crew. DeMeo, Rosenberg, Senter and Testa became the core of the DeMeo crew, and became notorious for their ruthless violence; the crew was suspected to be involved in 75 to 200 murders throughout the mid-1970s and into the early 1980s, when the majority of the surviving crew members were brought to justice.

Senter gained a reputation for providing the crew with significant revenue from auto theft. Testa was a full-blooded Italian, and was eligible to be inducted into the mafia.

Although Senter was a large earner for the Gemini Lounge crew, he was highly disliked by Albert DeMeo, the son of Roy DeMeo. Albert's personal judgment of Senter was that "there was something slick and phony about him", he had a collapsed lung from a near-fatal knife fight, and chain-smoked. He was always to be seen pressing his hand against his chest and complaining that he couldn't breathe.

Murder of DeMeo[edit]

On January 10, 1983, Roy DeMeo went to crew member Patrick Testa's bodyshop for a meeting with his men. A few days later, on January 18, he was found murdered in his abandoned car's trunk, he had been shot multiple times in the head and had a bullet wound in his hand, assumed by law enforcement to be from throwing his hand up to his face in a self-defense reflex when the shots were fired at him. Anthony Gaggi was originally suspected by law enforcement officials of being the one who personally killed DeMeo. Gaggi was not charged with the crime.[2]

According to former Lucchese acting boss Anthony Casso, DeMeo was killed at Patrick Testa's Canarsie home by Joseph Testa and Senter following an agreement with Casso, who was given the contract by Gambino crime family Boss Paul Castellano and Frank DeCicco after they were unable to kill DeMeo in the fall of 1982. DeMeo was seated, about to receive coffee, when Testa and Senter opened fire. Anthony Gaggi was not present.[3]

Move to the Lucchese family[edit]

After the murder of Roy DeMeo, Senter and Testa drifted into the Lucchese crime family. According to Casso, they were responsible for the murder on June 13, 1986 of Russian-American gangster Vladimir Reznikov. Reznikov had reportedly threatened the life and family of Marat Balagula, a Ukrainian immigrant who ruled the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach. Balagula, who was then masterminding a multimillion-dollar gasoline bootlegging operation, had been paying tribute to the Five Families, who regarded him as their biggest moneymaker after drugs.

Arrest and aftermath[edit]

On September 14, 1989, Senter and Testa were both sentenced to life imprisonment; as of 3rd December 2016, Senter continues to serve his sentence at the United States Penitentiary (USP), Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Testa is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute in Terminal Island for crimes that include multiple murders.[2]

In 1994, it was discovered that pension dues were being paid into a Teamsters pension account in Senter's name by a cousin of Senter, one Dominic Vulpis, who owned a garbage company. A court investigator determined that $30,000 of dues had been paid into the account over a six-year period while Senter was in prison on a life sentence. Union officials said Senter could have qualified for a pension of $1,400 a month if the payments by Canarsie Recycling had continued for another five years.

Senter will not collect the pension; the Teamsters disqualified Senter as a member and barred his pension, it is unclear if Senter's cousin, Dominic Vulpis, or the garbage company he owns received a refund of the fraudulent dues.[4]

References[edit]

Sources

  • DeMeo, Albert. For The Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life, 2003, ISBN 978-0-7679-1129-0
  • Mustain, Gene and Capeci, Jerry. Murder Machine. 1993, Onyx 0-451-40387-8
  • Carlo, Philip. Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss 2009, Harper 0061429856

External links