Frank Cali's murder is the first hit on a Mafia boss since John Gotti arranged the assassination of then-Gambino head 'Big Paul' Castellano - outside Sparks Steakhouse - in 1985.
The notorious assasination saw Castellano, 70, and his underboss Thomas Bilotti, 47, both shot in the face by a three-man hit squad just after the two victims had stepped out of their car.
Castellano's reign as kingpin had begun in 1976 after the death of Carlo Gambino.
The Gambinos were the most powerful of the five families of the New York City mafia and worth an estimated $500 million a year.
Gambino capo John Gotti (left) was part of a three-man hit squad that shot Mafia kingpin Paul Castellano (right) outside a steakhouse in 1985
Big Paul was made boss instead of the likely heir, the then-underboss Aniello Dellacroce - a decision which annoyed those loyal to Dellacroce.
They were further enraged by Castellano's insistence on living as a recluse in his mansion in Todt Hill, Staten Island, which earned him the moniker, 'the Howard Huges of the Mob'.
When Dellacroce died of cancer in 1985, Castellano disrepected the Family by not attending the funeral.
The final nail in his coffin was when he made Capo Thomas Bilotti his underboss.
John Gotti, who had been