IN SOME circles it was a run-of-the-mill obituary. Then again, most of our readers probably will view it as an out-of-the-ordinary death write-up, as reported recently by the Associated Press:
"PHILADELPHIA -- Antonio Demenick Pollina, who served as the acting mob boss in Philadelphia in the 1950s, then won a reprieve from his replacement, has died at the age of 100.
". . . Authorities said Pollina, known as 'Migo' and 'Mr. Mig,' served as acting mob boss briefly but lost in a power struggle with Angelo Bruno. Pollina had been designated as boss by Guisseppe 'Joe Ida' Idda, the fourth boss of the Philadelphia mob, who fled to Italy after an arrest and indictment.
"Pollina ordered his underboss, Ignazio Denaro, to murder Bruno, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission. But Denaro informed Bruno and Bruno told 'the Commission,' a national Mafia board formed to resolve disputes among organized-crime families and members.
"The Commission deposed Pollina, made Bruno boss and gave Bruno permission to order Pollina's murder. 'No, let him live,' Bruno said, according to Frank Friel, an organized crime expert. He figured the repercussions of a murder contract would only cause more problems, Friel said.
"The decision earned Bruno, who was assassinated March 21, 1980, the nickname the 'Docile Don,' Friel said.
"Pollina remained inactive in the mob for the rest of his life, although he tried as recently as 1977 to gain a position, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission.
"During Prohibition, Pollina was a suspect in the disappearance of Jacob Dupelnick, a farm owner in Salem County, N.J. Federal agents found a still on the property and Dupelnick said he had rented it to 'tough-looking guys from Philadelphia,' Friel said.
"Dupelnick gave the agents the license tag of a car that was traced to Pollina. The farmer disappeared soon afterward, his house left a 'bloody mess,' Friel said.
"Pollina also was one of five reputed mobsters acquitted of killing Joseph Zanghi and Vincent Cocuzzo on Memorial Day 1927. Zanghi's brother, 'Musky,' testified against the defendants, who included Salvatore Sebella, the first boss of La Cosa Nostra in Philadelphia."
What a life!