Frederick R. DiNome (August 30, 1935 Pigtown, Brooklyn - February 11, 1986 Emerald Valley, San Antonio, Texas) was a professional drag racer and a member of the DeMeo crew, headed by Gambino soldier Roy DeMeo. He later became a government witness and testified against many Gambino crime family members.
Frederick was one of three brothers born to Italian-American emigrants in Canarsie, Brooklyn. He was born twelve days before Roy DeMeo. His mother died in 1951 when Frederick was 16, around the same time as Roy Demeo's brother "Chubby" was killed serving in the military in Korea. His brother Richard worked for a chop shop in Staten Island stealing cars. DiNome followed him into organized crime and became a member of the DiMeo crew led by Roy DeMeo. Albert DeMeo described Frederick in For the Sins of My Father as, "...A husky guy about five feet, nine inches, a little shorter than my father, and every inch of him was covered in grease. He seemed to exude engine grease from his pores. Freddy had dirty blond hair, a lopsided nose, and tattoos covering both arms. His teeth were stained and crooked, and his fingernails were filthy." In his biography, Albert DeMeo writes that his father had "taken [Albert] by Freddy's house to play with Freddy's children while he and Freddy talked some business." He commented about Frederick's house, "The house was set on nearly two acres, and Freddy's backyard was like a Hot Wheels racetrack. He kept race cars and motorbikes there, and he promised that as soon as [Albert] was big enough, he'd let [him] ride on one of the bikes. He also had a basement filled to the brim with electronic equipment. Hundreds of televisions, VCRS, stereos covered his basement in stacks, still in their boxes." He was a fourth grade drop out. Roy DeMeo gave him cash to have the dental work repaired and to purchase a new wardrobe. He suffered from an undiagnosed case of dyslexia which made him an outsider among the other children in the neighborhood. He was a close friend of fellow DeMeo crew mob associate Peter LaFroscia. He was involved in the murder of car thief and mob associate Joseph Scorney.
He was born and raised in the same neighborhood as Chris Rosenberg, Anthony Senter, Joseph Testa, and Henry Borelli, who would all later become associates in the crew of Roy DeMeo. He invested the money from his car theft operation and drag racing career and bought a gas station and an automobile body shop and repair business which he named "Broadway Freddy's Diagnostic Center". Although his car repair business was successful he was usually broke. He had borrowed money from his friend Roy DeMeo since 1971. He did not like working with fellow Gemini crew member Henry Borelli because Borelli had a laid back attitude, showed up late at his automotive center to steal cars and complained about his workload, stealing seven to ten cars a day. Car ring mob associate Abdullah Hassan later complained directly to Roy DeMeo that someone was stealing the radios from the cars before they were shipped off to Kuwait. Roy DeMeo would personally instruct and mentor Frederick in the Gemini method of human dismemberment following the murders of Khaled Daoud and Ronald Falcaro. Henry Borelli and Vito Arena who were present during the murders and assisted in the dismemberment would later state that in court they witnessed Frederick cut off Falcaro's genitalia and stick it in the mouth of his severed head.
In 1971 he was filing for divorce and fighting with his ex-wife over custody of his son and namesake, Frederick Jr., and needed $3,000 to pay off the gasoline supplier of his automotive center. He would later remarry in September 1977. Frederick associated with both the Lucchese crime family's Clyde Brooks and Paul Vario, but due to his reputation for being erratic and infantile, he was denied becoming a made man. He moved to Long Island and was granted full custody of his son.
DiNome's eccentricities were viewed poorly by other mobsters, such as his owning a pet monkey that he housed at the garage named "Susie" which he trained to pump gas at his fueling station. He frequently smoked marijuana, but hid this from his friend Roy DeMeo who openly disapproved of any indulgence in illegal narcotics.
DiNome would act as chauffeur to Roy DeMeo, and DeMeo had him help out in transport truck hijackings from John F. Kennedy International Airport. Although Freddy was never able to get his driver's license because of his dyslexia he was said to be a capable chauffeur because he never forgot where a certain address was after someone directed him to the location. After moving to Long Island during a heated domestic dispute with a neighbor he snatched the neighbor's dog and decapitated it and then left it on the man's porch. He introduced Vito Arena into the DeMeo crew.
Professional drag racing career
Freddy began his professional drag racing career in 1967 after building a racecar that he financed by selling stolen Volkswagens. His racing pseudonym was "'Broadway Freddy' DeName". Late night television commercials promoted his appearances at local and national racetracks and he was making $100,000 a year. He raced almost exclusively on the East Coast, at Madison Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey; Atco Raceway, Atco, New Jersey; New York National Speedway on Long Island, New York; Lebanon Valley Speedway near West Lebanon, New York; New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire; Maryland International Raceway at Budds Creek, Maryland; and at Richmond International Raceway in Henrico County, Virginia. He raced some in southern California during the winter of 1968 or '69, notably at Lions Drag Strip in Wilmington (Long Beach). After he sold his fuel dragster, DiNome switched to Funny Car with a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro that ran at most twelve to fifteen races a season. After his Camaro, DiNome raced a 1972 Ford Mustang, a Chevrolet Monza and a 1976 Buick Skyhawk that he called "Saturday Night Fever", the name taken from the movie starring John Travolta. Frederick never won a major race. He competed once or twice at the NHRA Summernationals, the UHRA (United Hot Rod Association) Summer Nationals, the New England Funny Car Nationals at New England Dragway and some of the Don Garlits' PRO (Professional Racers Organization) races of the mid-1970s. Except for the UHRA shows at New York National and the Epping race he never qualified for any of those races.
In 1976, his busiest season, he raced ten times: his first race was at the Cars Magazine event at Atco where he lost to Roy Harris driving Gus Wunsch's "Brutus" Mustang II. His last race was at the Lakeland International Raceway, now the USA International Raceway in Lakeland, Florida, for the Don Garlits PRO race, where he did not qualify for entry with an 8.10-seconds run. His best run of the season was a 6.91, but at that time he had Harlan Thompson behind the wheel. Thompson drove two rounds before losing to Gary Burgin. He stayed on as an owner in 1977, with Thompson as the main driver.
In 1978, Thompson competed in just three events. In his first race in 1978 at an eight-car show at Englishtown, New Jersey, he ran a 6.69 which made him a runner-up to Jimmy King in the King & Marshall Chevrolet Monza. Roy DeMeo, his cousin Joseph Guglielmo and Albert DeMeo attended his races.
After a near fatal car crash during one of his races, his drag racing career floundered before he finally gave it up for good to pursue a career in organized crime. Roy DeMeo, who was at the near fatal race in the stands, said about the horrifying incident, "I went to watch Freddy once and he crashed. He climbs out of the car and he's on fire. He looks like an astronaut who has crash landed. The firemen are hosing him down, but he looks up at me in the stands and begins to smile and wave like some kids were squirting him by the pool. Don't tell me Freddy is crazy. I know he is fucking nuts."
DiNome reportedly committed suicide in 1986.