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A Tampa mobster was supposedly killed by a hitman. His son now says it was faked

Paul Guzzo, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in News & Features

TAMPA, Fla. — When Angelo Bedami returned from hiding in Sicily in 1983 to turn himself in for smuggling millions of dollars of drugs into Florida from Colombia, federal law enforcement’s initial question had nothing to do with his operation.

“Was your father there? That’s the first thing they asked me,” Angelo Bedami, now 72, said. “I told them I didn’t see him.”

His father was Joe Bedami Sr., a convicted mobster and alleged hitman who went missing in 1968. For decades, it had been presumed that he ended up on the other side of a hit. But there were lingering doubts, which prompted the question: Was Joe Bedami Sr. really dead?

Apparently, he wasn’t, at least according to his son.

For years Angelo Bedami had played along with the narrative that his dad was killed. But, in early January, he changed his story when pressed by the Tampa Bay Times.

His father survived for decades under a different name after he disappeared. He is buried in Sicily as “Joe Salza,” his son now claims.


Remember this is Angelo Bedami talking, a man whose stories have shifted and changed over the years and who had been linked by bloodlines and his own actions to one of the most notorious crime families in America. But he is adamant that his father lived a simple life long after he was last seen in Tampa.

“I spent time with him there when I was in Sicily,” said Angelo Bedami, about his time in Italy in the 1980s.

That’s where his father fled to avoid standing trial, for at least one still unsolved murder or other crimes that included torching a department store.

Angelo Bedami initially asked to meet with the Times to talk about another topic. He wanted to state for the record that his own five-year drug trafficking sentence, considered light given the scope of his drug dealing, was not because he had cooperated with authorities.


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