The Boiardo House

The Boiardo family was one of the biggest crime families in NJ. It began with Ruggerio “Richey the Boot” Boiardo who worked in the beer trade during prohibition, before changing to running numbers after prohibition was repealed. With the housing explosion in NJ, homes are much closer to one another you can look down the long driveway and even approach the rear entrance if you dare. Is this advisable? Probably not. There is one story of a cub scout mom who drove up the Boiardo driveway thinking it was Riker Hill Park which is located a few blocks away. The armed guards outside the home not-so-politely advised the woman and her cub scouts to leave.

The following is a quote from the book, THE BOYS FROM NEW JERSEY, by Robert Rudolph.

In his prime, Boiardo was a bruiser who modeled himself after Al Capone ad who sported a $5,000 diamond belt buckle that earned him the nickname “Diamond Ritchie”.

Richie the Boot had been one of the true celebrities of prohibition-era NJ. Portrayed by the authorities as the reigning patriarch of organized crime in NJ until his death in 1984, Boiardo had risen from immigrant stonemason to become one of the most powerful and feared members of the state’s organized crime power structure.

A familiar figure in Newark politics, who as local ward leader mingled freely with both the prominent and notorious, Boiardo had slipped from public view when the Addonizio case propelled him and his son back into the limelight. In 1969, Hugh Addonizio a former 7 term Congressman who had been touted by those in the know as a potential candidate for governor of NJ, was completing his second term as mayor of the state’s largest city and preparing for a third run for that office. Amid the background of a heated mayoral campaign that as to mark the last hurrah for the old line white power structure in the increasingly black dominated city of Newark, Addonizio and 14 other persons were indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion-conspiracy charges that tied Addonozio to reputed mafia Boss Anthony (Tony boy) Boiardo, the son of the flamboyant gang lord Richie the Boot. Addonozio was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison.

But beyond exposing the corruption of Addonozio and his cohorts, the prosecution of the former Newark mayor had served another purpose. it made something of a household name of Richie the Boot and Tony Boy, and reawakened public awareness of the role of the mafia in NJ.

The public attention was heightened when the press began publicizing stories about Boiardo’s fortress like home and the goings-ons rumored to have taken place there. The estate was featured in a double page spread in life magazine, which described the home, aptly enough, as designed in “Transylvanian traditional.” For along the dark drive leading up to the main house was a bizarre collection of statuary: likenesses of the entire Boiardo family, their busts and name plates arrayed on pillusters surrounding the padrone of the dynasty, a youthful Richie the Boot, outfitted in formal riding wear, sitting astride a prancing white stallion

A less familial but grisly feature of the estate was a private crematorium. It was here, underworld rumor had it, that Boiardo disposed of his enemies, burning them on a huge iron gate after they had been murdered. Oh he just did it to show everybody what a great guy he is, that he had the guts,” one mobster explained. “He’d tell them he’ll take anybody’s problems…” Tony boy had been indicted along with Addonoizio, but was severed from the trial when he suffered a heart attack. Although he subsequently became a familiar figure at his favorite gold courses, he never recovered his health sufficiently to be able to stand trial.

On April 20, 1978 the younger Boiardo, who once adopted a more sedate and business like image then once-boisterous father, and who was reputedly fronting for underworld forays into the world of legitimate business, died at Community hospital in Montclair after lingering for weeks in critical condition since suffering a heart attack on good Friday.

In his declining years, the elder Boiardo had become something of a recluse, rarely venturing from the cloistered confines of his sprawling baronial mansion, which as located just over the crest of the West Orange Mountains in Livingston. Guarded by wrought-iron gates and stone pillars topped with bronze swans, the house was located at the had of a winding drive, hidden from the road by a forest of tall trees and shrubbery. The main house was constructed of imported Italian stone, resembling the dark brooding fortress of a feudal lord.

There, behind the walls of his private property, the once-robust Boiardo had passed his time puttering about in vegetable patch that, in a final glimmer of his once characteristic humor, had been marked with the sign GODFATHER’S GARDEN.

Boiardo outlived his son and heir presumptive by more then six years, passing away at the age of 93, a frail stooped, white hared shadow of his former image as a brawling gun-toting hood who had survived an assassin’s bullet in the early 1930’s.

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80 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Fallon on July 27, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Is there any mention of Mario the grandson who died in a car accident on the night of graduation in 1977

    Reply

  2. Posted by Matthew whalen on March 5, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    My dad was mickey whalen. He told me about all these stories…how he knew those guys when he was a kid and Mr. boiardo. It’s actually pretty funny.

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  3. Posted by Karen on January 31, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    Life magazine carries the story in the September 1 1967 issue. What happened to the stautures of the family and Richie on the horse?! Who was the artist? terrific folk art. Are they carved wood?

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    • The statue of the horse is still there. The busts of the grandchildren have been removed. They were made of a cement and/or plaster mix. Don’t recall the name of the person who sculptured them nor the full name of the artist who did the painting. His first name was Pat.

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      • Posted by marsha on March 28, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        For Roger Hanos: Which daughter of Ritchie had the nickname Tootsie?

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        • Richie’s first born, Agnes, was nicknamed “Tootsie”.

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          • Posted by marsha on March 30, 2014 at 4:41 PM

            Thanks….Is there a website with additional family photos? I did not see a photo of Agnes in the book.

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            • Posted by Roger Hanos on March 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM

              Marsha, if you go to our Facebook page In the Godfather Garden there are over 100 photos, some videos and articles about Richie the Boot. Aunt Agnes, “Tootsie”, appears in one of the photos. I have another 1943 photo of her and a circa 1941 wedding video but they don’t appear on the site. She was a real beauty. According to my mother, Rose, besides being a beautiful woman she was very intelligent. Regrettably, I am unable to attach a photo on this site.

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      • Posted by Grange Rutan on August 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        His name was Pete Penna and at one point he took a bullet meant for Uncle Richie…and was told he could live forever up at the “house.”

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        • Hi Grange! Although a talented artist and handyman at the Livingston Estate, the person who actually sculpted the busts was not Peter.

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  4. Posted by M. Maddalena Annitto on November 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    My mom and aunt Marge were very close friends of Phyllis and Rosie. I remember well going up the long driveway and being in awe of the statue of Ruggiero Boiardo on the horse along with the busts of all his children. I remember the day my aunt Margie found out about the accident with Phyllis. She was cleaning the windows and the window dropped down suddenly crushing her neck. Never did find out what happened to Rosie who I remember as being a blond. I remember going to the pool and being frightened by the peacocks roaming the pool area. My brother Carmine went to Seton Hall with Richie and as far as I know he stayed away from any inference to the family. He is well know respected orthopedic surgeon in NJ and known in his field. I remember my brother’s wedding, the FBI were outside taking plate numbers of those in attendance. My dad, who was a police officer in Newark, went outside and told them to leave. This was a private affair and they had no reason to intrude on this happy occasion. My dad dealt with the best of them and also struggled with my mom’s friendship with other so called members of organized crimes in Newark. All in all if you read the stories about “Richie the Boot” you will see how he helped many families during the depression. Give the family a break. let them rest in peace.

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  5. Posted by Robert Pasquariello on August 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I just finished the book “The Godfather’s Garden” Intreging to say the least. I drove up to the estate today and was dying to get a tour. I love that stuff. I would love to walk through the house and explore those tunnels. If walls could talk!

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  6. I remember spending many Saturdays & Sundays on the estate as a young boy,my grandfather knew Mr. Boiardo, my father & mother would hang out with Mario & Phyllis Balestro ( they all used to call my father ” cousins”) I spent a lot of time with Mario and his brother Michael. we knew everyone who lived there and then some…I also nearly drowned in the pool when I was 4 years old- my father pulled me out, I wasn’t much of a swimmer. a lot of fond memories…. Anthony Popola

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    • Posted by Roger on May 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Anthony, I do recall your mom and dad (Cousins). Good friends. We lived next door to the Balestros. If you haven’t already visit In the Godfather Garden Facebook or website. There are many photos of the estate and people you may have met. Roger (cousin to Mario and Michael).

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      • Posted by Anthony J Popola on May 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        Thanks Roger, I didn’t think you would remember..i was the chubby little boy… I also remember you, Daryl, Lillian and your mom and dad…I wiil check out the FB page, as I am on there too. hopefully we will talk again….Tony

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    • Posted by Joe on August 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Anthony, know the name but cannot put a face to it. Mario and I were good friends growing up. I lived accross the street. We kind of went different directions in high school if youn know what I mean. Had a lot of fun with Mario. Lots of stories. Knowing I was interested in the military Pete P. gave me all his WWII gear to have and play with. Loved playing with Bella and Blackie.

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  7. I was friends with Pat Penna and spent many a week-end enjoying the Boiardo’s and Penna’s hospitality. My parents used to wonder at the men always in the woods with sacks and the reason for the peacocks. LOL..I wonder what they would say if they KNEW! Mrs Penna taught me how to make a killer pasta fagioli. I lost contact with Pat Penna…does anyone have any info on where I can find her??? We graduated in 1961.
    Judy

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    • Judy, I lost track of Patricia. However, I’ve been told that she resides in Florida.

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      • I just got an email from Holly who was also a friend of Pat’s. She said Pat lived in FL near Cape Canaveral. She has suffered major blows in her life with losses and wants no communication anymore. So sad…her friends could lighten her burdens!

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      • Pat & John Penna are my cousins. Yes she does live in fla. WE also spent many weekends on the estate. Pete & Jackie were my Aunt & Uncle

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        • I knew Pete Penna well…He started the GARDEN STATE EARTH MOVING AND MINING ASSOCIATION in the late 60’s. It was “good” to be associated with him!

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        • Jaime…I would love to reconnect with Pat…can you ask her if she would send me an email…if she wants nothing to do with reconnecting that’s OK…Tell her it’s Schultzie she can email me at umd489@embarqmail.com Thanks a bunch.

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        • Posted by John Monda on January 12, 2014 at 3:49 AM

          My parents especially my Father was cousins with Pete Penna..but then everyone who came from the same town in Italy were all Paesones , ,we spent many a day at the estate,,Patricia was a bit older than me but Johnny Penna and I played and ran all over the estate,,every square inch,,we showed up there at all hour and just drove right in,,never anything mysterious going on,,we also spent times in the Boot’s house, He use to cook for us…,I remember on the second floor seeing two piles of diamonds,,One big pile and one small pile,,he was passing the time counting diamonds,,,no one would ever touch them, The last I spoke with Pete several years ago just as he was leaving for Florida,,sadly he passed away soon after…..His wife Jackie ( Rita ) predeceased him by several years,,,

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  8. To answer the question about Ritchie the boot owning the Victoria Castle, is true. Stories my dad told me were that he owned this restaurant back in the late 30’s and 40’s, then closed the doors to that restaurant and opened up a new restaurant called The Sorrento on Park Ave. in Newark, N.J in 1953. Ritchie owned it for 4 years til my dad Thomas Pannullo bought it from him in ’57 which he renamed it THOMM’S RESTAURANT which was family owned and operated til 1985. Anybody wanting to hear more stories can email me……michaeltheflash1@aol.com MAP

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    • Your Dad, Thomas Pannullo, was interviewed for the book “In the Godfather Garden The Long Life and Times of Richie the Boot Boiardo” by ” Richard Linnett and provided some very nice stories. Please convey our thanks to him again. The book is scheduled to be released on March 16th. Best regards, Roger Hanos, grandson of Richie.

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  9. Finally, fans and friends of Richie, the definitive biography is coming out in March by Rutgers University Press: IN THE GODFATHER GARDEN: THE LONG LIFE AND TIMES OF RICHIE “THE BOOT” BOIARDO. The book is based on many years of research, lots of interviews and the recollections of his grandson, Roger Hanos. You can pre-order the book on Amazon:

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    • Posted by Owen T. Clarke, Jr. on March 25, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Just finished reading this book. A real eye-opener. But left unanswered is the Author’s Mother the daughter of Willie Moretti?

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      • My mother did have a brother named Will Moretti, although he wasn’t THE Willie Moretti. When she was a little girl they used to get phone calls late at night, strange men calling for Willie as in THE Willie.

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  10. Posted by Ray on November 22, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Worked for local sweet shop, used to cater events for the Boiardo’s. Became friends with Pete and Mario. Always had my trust and respect. I remember when I had the pleasure of being pulled over by the local cops, they would ask me, see you where up at the Boiardo house, so whats going on? My answer as usual, Want to know, go up and ask them….Dumb ass….To those who are no longer here, Rest In Peace, to those I have not seen in many years, hope all is good.

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  11. Posted by Patricia on October 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Growing up in the late 60’s, my best elementary school girlfriend’s, Aunt Edith, was Ritchie The Boots “Housekeeper”….I was invited to the “castle” many times…I remember the peacocks roaming around the property and all the big statues of the family….the amazing pool with an entire kitchen outside. We were only entertained on the bottom floor of the house…he used to come down and throw silver dollars at us. Aunt Edith used to take us to some exclusive dress shop in Livingston and let us pick out whatever things we wanted.

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  12. Posted by shirley on February 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    i use to play with a boy there in early 70s.we would run around that garbage burner.i had slipped on the corner of it.broke open my head.the guy that was watching us was so mad that he had to use his jacket to cover his head.i was also there when the daughter died cleaning the window.i will never forget that day.i Would Sit With The Old Man Inside This Arch Of Flowers While They Would Talk.he Was So Nice To Me.i still love that house till this day.

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  13. Posted by Kathleen on November 25, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Very interesting site. I have been looking for information on “Tony Boy” and his family and there doesn’t seem to be much. I grew up in Verona two houses away from he and his family. His daughter was a good friend of mine in grade school. We went to OLL in Verona and used to walk to school every day. I can remember having what I now know were body guards following us as we walked the mile. In later years I asked my mother if she wasn’t terrified and she told me that she knew I would never be safer. We also had the FBI parked in front of our house several times watching their house but my mother was always told it was for the protection of the Boiardo’s. I do know I can remember some good times and a warm friendly family.

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  14. Posted by Jimmy Knuckles on November 17, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Back in the late 1950’s (I graduated from LHS in 1965) we lived on Bryant Dr. We used to go up McClellen Ave to the end and then climb through the woods to “Richie’s Castle”, which was the Boiardo house. There was also an old style, white radar dome near there as well. We would peer through the barbed wire topped fence and, I think, we used to be able to see some of the statues near the pool. Usually someone would spot us and we’d run down the mountain getting torn up by the trees and briars. I attended St. Philomena’s school and remember some kid would be delivered via a black limo each morning while we arrived on rickety old yellow buses. Cannot recall the kid’s name, however.

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    • I also graduated from LHS IN 1965 and lived on Berkshire a stones throw from you and as kids we used to hear the errie and menacing sounds of his peacocks. I also made a couple trips up and over the fence. There was a wrought iron gate flanked with statues of the family members sitting on mosaic pedistals. Black angry looking swans sat on two higher pillars on each side of the double gates. The boy that you probaly saw was Roger Hanos a classmate and friend. richard

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  15. Posted by donna belott on November 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    My husband dated Tony’s daughter in the 1960’s. An interesting experience going to pick her up with armed guards in three piece suits!!! Ah the good old days of Essex County!!

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  16. Posted by Stavalo on October 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    My grandfather was very good friends with Mr. Boiardo back in the 60’s-70’s. My mother has many memories of going along with my grandfather up to Ruggiero’s house in Livingston to visit.

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  17. Posted by nj guy on September 4, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Mario never graduated in 1977, He had to complete summer school in order to get his diploma. Apon his death the principle gave Mr. Bollestro his sons diploma.

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  18. Posted by Johnny on June 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Richie “The Boot” was my grandfathers Godfather…….The estate also had tunnels under the house that we were forbidden to go near. Too many memories to list…..A wonderful family and I’m glad to be part of it!!!

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    • Do you know anything about a restaurant called Victoria Castle? It was popular back in the 30’s and 40’s I think. Located on 7th Avenue. I am trying to find out information for a family whose grandfather worked as the chief chef sometime back. Thanks.

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  19. I use to go up to Boiardo’s house and swim in their pool. My Aunt and Uncle lived two houses away. My Uncle knew Richard Boiardo. My uncle had a huge cleaners he used to own. My friends did not believe me about the size of their pool, because at the time I was 13 years old. I brought them up to his house and they were amazed. One time I brought I guess they were his grandsons and they went swimming in my Aunt’s pool. I remember parties on the weekend up there at the estate. They had a rowboat and I think a mermaid or something in the middle of the pool. I believe they even had their own drive-in-movie theater there. I do have a lot of memories up there. Every time I went up there Mr. Boiardo was working in the garden and had his large belt on. These are some of the moments I remember.

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  20. Posted by Bill MacKenzie on August 26, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    In the 60’s and early 70’s I knew Pete Penna, who lived on the estate and was the “caretaker” for the “Boot”. I was allowed to enter the estate and visit Pete who headed the “Garden State Earth Moving and Mining Association”, of which I was a member. One rule: if the gates were closed, no one was allowed to enter. The driveway up to the estate had two gates. At the corners of the winding driveway were statues of family members with their names on the bottom. There were groups of family statues in at least two area as you transversed the drive. The estate had a guest house where Pete lived, and sprawling grounds. It was a grand estate, and “The Boot” had many deer on the property he enjoyed watching. When the deer would die (natural causes) he would put them into the crematory which was on the property for disposal. I was a witness to this. Pete Penna was in charge of the estate and had told me that Life Magazine had flown over the estate and taken pictures (they would later publish). Everyone knew the stories, but as many times as I was there I never saw anything amiss.

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    • Posted by sam on April 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Hey Bill,

      Fascinating info. Love to talk to you. I’m working on a project about the Boot. Here’s my email

      samlackawanna@gmail.com

      many thanks

      Reply

    • I remember When we drove up the driveway you had to drive past 2 German Shepard’s jumping on your car. They were tied on either side or the driveway almost nose to nose. At the bottom of the driveway were men taking pictures & recording license plates .We were in the pool the day in 1967 when Life Magazine photographers flew over the estate in a helicopter taking pictures. Later we saw Pete & the gardeners chase the helicopter to the local airport. I overheard them talking later that they took their cameras. Their are pictures of the estate in life magazine around 1967

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  21. Posted by Jean on August 8, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    WOuld like to buy it. Contact me at jeanivv@gmail.com

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    • Posted by Carly on August 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

      Jean, Dr. Richard Boiardo, renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon out of Meadowlands Hospital, Secaucus, NJ is the owner. He’s a family member who is unrelated to the organized crime family. That’s who you contact if interested, only if serious about purchasing, however, I wouldn’t count on him selling it….

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  22. Posted by Dave on June 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    I grew up visiting “Mr. B” as we called the grandfather. I remember going there from when I was around 5 till around age 16. We went to Mr B’s house at lease 40 weekends each year, during all of those years. There were great times there w/pool parties in the summer and large dinners in the winter. He would take large groups of people to Sam’s Farm which was a restaurant in Mendham. There was no sign on the place. He would have 20-30 guests. Me and my cousins would go play the old “light gun” game in the basement. Then we would run up to Mr.B to tell him how many times we hit the guy going back and forth in the game and he would give us a dollar for each time we hit him. He was great to my family!

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  23. Posted by Elad on April 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Tony was my sister’s Godfather. May his soul rest in Peace. He was good to our family.

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  24. Posted by Ex-Livingstonite on July 19, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    I remember Steve, and the day he drowned. It was terrible – beyond terrible actually. I was in his class at Heritage.. It was a horrible period of time for all that knew him.
    I also remember Mario. Wasn’t his last name Bollestro? (sp) He was killed when his jeep overturned up on Rt 10 – just past the circle, if I remember correctly.
    As for the “house”.. I can tell you that there were SOOO many stories ,, no clue what was true or not. I know that we had driven past the house many times – Not sure what we were looking for but it made for an interesting tale as I grew up.
    There are many links on Google if you look hard enough… and some even have pictures..
    I also remember hearing that Mario’s mom had died an “untimely death” – something about a broken neck while cleaning windows..

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    • Posted by Lisa on August 14, 2010 at 2:21 AM

      I was in Mario’s class in Heritage. He took me up to the house after school one day when we were in 7th. grade and I met the grandfather. He was very old and looked tiny with a cane. Very nice to me. The house looked exactly like they describe above. It looked like a building you would see in Italy. All brick with a flat roof. And I think it might have had statues on the roof as well. Mario told me the “incinerator” was for the huge parties his grandfather would throw when he was younger. A wood burning outdoor stove. Everything around there supported that. It was right by the pool. He told me that his mother had died when a window she was washing fell on her neck and broke it. So many untimely deaths. He lived on the estate with his father in another house. A very ordinary looking split level house. He was adopted, by the way. He struggled with the unwanted notoriety of the family in the 70’s. Mario did die in an overturned Jeep on Route 10. I think he was with a boy named Jack Hall, and it was on graduation night.

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  25. Posted by Picardi on March 19, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Grew up on Beaufort Ave in the early 70s and remember being fascinated by the house as it was on the bus route to/from Riker Hill school. Cool site – many thanks!

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  26. Posted by Frank on March 18, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    I used to work at kennel products co. in caldwell on bloomfield ave in the early 70’s.Richie Boiardo used to buy bird seed from me about once a month. he was a nice old man

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  27. Posted by Steve on March 18, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    love your Ritchey the Boot story. My parents had the opportunity to know him in the 70\\\’s. All they remember is that he always kept his back to the wall. Thanks for the research and time you have devoted to keeping Jersey

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  28. Posted by Antoine Bregman on March 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Dr. Richard A. Boiardo is my uncle (my mother’s, sister’s husband/my mother’s brother in-law) and until he moved from his estate in livingston, I was always at his house playing with his kids (my cousins). It was actually very nice. I would sleep there sometimes for weeks at a time. The only reason why everything is chained up currently is because they moved in the last two years and they still own the house and do not plan on selling it. They’re NOT a crime family, I swear!!!

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    • Posted by Elad on April 6, 2010 at 5:15 PM

      Richard is a very nice guy and same with his dad, Tony. I second you.

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    • Posted by Carly on August 22, 2011 at 6:19 PM

      I will back this up 100%!!! My family & I know Dr. B & his family, and he has strived to keep his life SEPARATE from the organized crime relatives throughout his life…he’s a straight shooter and EXCELLENT Orthopaedic Surgeon in Meadowlands Hospital, Secaucus, NJ….as well as a very KIND man.

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    • Posted by Jezmund on November 19, 2011 at 2:35 AM

      just kinda curious how you’re related exactly, Antoine… Richie is supposedly related to my grandfather but I’ve never gotten a clear answer as to how exactly… My grandpa’s name is Michael Cherello.. he just passed away in the about 9 months ago.. he had been the principal of one of the high schools in Hanover township..can’t remember which one… His mother was Mildred Sisto.. where i think the link comes in… And Frank Molinari (used to be house dr. for the meadowlands) is my mother’s cousin.. if any of those names ring a bell .. lemme know.. or send me an email at mbglosser@gmail.com i’m really interested in figuring out the exact genealogy of this and i don’t feel like shelling out hundreds of dollars to some crappy website.. then again.. you could be from a completely different side of the family as well… and yes. .Dr. Boiardo is 100000% legitimate to all those naysayers

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    • Posted by Carly on November 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Not a crime family Antoine(tte)????
      You must have lived a life in denial.
      Dr. Rich B. estranged himself from THAT…he had a rep to protect although to this day obviously it follows him everywhere…but let’s call a spade a spade!

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  29. Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

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    • Posted by lostinjersey on March 17, 2009 at 10:06 AM

      hey thanks. only about 30% of the content has been moved from my old site, so check back over the next few weeks. I hope to have everything moved here by the end of the month.

      Reply

  30. Posted by Peg Leg on March 10, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    I used to hang out at the Boiardo estate with my friend Mario Boiardo before his untimely passing. Although it was spooky on the grounds at night, I was only treated as a true guest and in a very friendly manor by Mr. Boiardo and his staff.

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    • Posted by Bagel Maker on April 30, 2009 at 6:31 PM

      It’s nice to see someone remembering Mario Boiardo. He seemed like a good kid who was mature, quiet, and polite. I graduated from LHS in 1978 and thought he was a year younger, but must be wrong – since I do not see his picture in the under-class section. Maybe he was a year older and graduated in 1977? I know he passed away in a vehicle accident around the graduation period of 1977 or 1978. In any case, he once got involved when some kids were going rough me up in the woods, behind the Lancer’s football grandstand, and prevented it from happening – speaking on my behalf as “being alright”. We seemed to know one another without ever becoming fully acquainted and I think he thought of me as I did him – well.

      Another person I remember is Steve Dickson, who passed away in 1975 while playing in the brooks during a hard rain period that summer after 9th grade. He too, was calm and classic in style. He gave me my first course on girls during a 4th grade Hillside school class trip to Trenton. What a guy. It’s a shame Steve wasn’t remembered in our Crossroads class yearbook along with Mary Newman and Phil Hornung, two other great kids.

      Indeed these folks did exist and memories of are fond.

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      • Posted by AC Guy on May 23, 2009 at 9:28 AM

        Steve Dickson was good friends with my brother Mike and his friends Rocco Mita, Eric Magnusson, Brian Wild, Pat Buckley, Al Capacino.

        Steve joined his friends Chris Oelz, Bill Farely and maybe one other teen as they rafted down a brook during a massive rain storm. The brook which runs/flows south behind the Shop-Rite on S. Livingston Ave is normally a foot or two deep but during this late summer storm (1975) it had risen to a raging 8 to 10 ft rapids-like river that almost flowed over the bridge on Northfield Rd just east of S. Livingston Ave by Burrels.
        I grew up a few blocks from there and watched that day with gathering crowds as rescue workers searched for Steve. Chris and Bill had been pulled from the waters but Steve was not found until later that day.
        Steve had a sister Pat Dickson who would be class of 1979…She was a Heritage JHS with us and of course was devastated.

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      • Posted by Lisa on August 14, 2010 at 3:28 AM

        Mario graduated in 1977. It is my understanding he died on graduation night. I went to school with him in Junior High.

        Reply

        • Posted by Scott on April 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

          Yes, he died graduation night, June 14th 1977. (I was LHS ’77 myself). He was in a Jeep with at least three other kids I knew. The Jeep was broadsided by another car at the intersection of Rt.10 and Walnut St. I heard about it the following morning. I went back to LHS late that morning and there was this hysterical girl crying and screaming “He’s dead! He’s dead!” into the pay phone in the front lobby. That’s how I found out about Mario’s passing.

          Reply

      • Posted by Frank on January 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        For somone who supposetily new Mario , his last name was not Boiardo it was Balestro , he did not have the same last name of his Grandfather .

        Reply

      • Posted by Gail on April 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        I also am a 1978 grad of LHS. As I recall, Mario graduated in 1977, and died graduation night when his jeep, with three passengers, overturned on Route 10. Sad.

        Reply

  31. Posted by Antoine on March 10, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    Dr. Richard A. Boiardo is my uncle (my mother’s, sister’s husband/my mother’s brother in-law) and until he moved from his estate in livingston, I was always at his house playing with his kids (my cousins). It was actually very nice. I would sleep there sometimes for weeks at a time. The only reason why everything is chained up currently is because they moved in the last two years and they still own the house and do not plan on selling it. They’re NOT a crime family, I swear!!! There is not a sculpture garden right now. The sculpture garden, if you’re talking about the busts of the heads of everyone in the family, was knocked down by my aunt after her and my uncle, Dr. Richard or Ruggierio Boairdo got married. And the estate isn’t abandoned, they moved last year, but they still own the place. Please do not tresspass.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ben on May 27, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      Here is something I have yet to see mentioned amongst all the sensationalism….

      Dr. Boiardo is the #1 guy in the USA to perform partial knee replacement surgery. He is the *only* guy in the entire country with the new robotic arm technology, and he’s about to apply it to hip replacements. This will change the way the medical profession handles joint replacements forever!

      The gal I’m currently dating just had her left knee joint repaired by Dr. Boiardo at St. Michael’s in Newark. She spent one night in the hospital, and here it is a week later and she’s on her feet!! While she still has some pain issues, they are minimal compared to complete joint replacement and that’s pretty darned good for that kind of surgery.

      I pass Dr. B’s cards out to folks all the time. Yep… he’s that good!

      Reply

      • Posted by allan hess on May 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        I have had right elbow surgery,,left shoulder-rotator cuff(twice),,left knee partial-mako-plasty surgery…all from Dr.B….He is one of the best Orthopaedic surgeon’s in NJ,,and the country….And he is a great guy also…Understand’s your needs considerably….Happy Memorial day,,,Dr.B & family….A.H.

        Reply

  32. Posted by Ladybug on March 10, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    I spent many years hanging out on the Boiardo estate.I grew up with the boots grandson and met Ritchie on many occassions. He was a very nice old man.The houses and statues and grounds were magnificant.The family that lived ther treated me as one of thier own .In all the years I spent as a kid and an adult Ive never experianced one wierd occurance on the Boiardo estate.anyone who says anything differant is full of shit. As kids however we did take great pleasure in scarring the shit out of tresspassers.But they were usually local kids we didnt like. Feel free to contact me if someone says otherwise. Also for the best article ever about the Boiardo estate check out Life magazine July 1967.

    Reply

    • Posted by #1 Grandson on April 25, 2010 at 4:50 PM

      Thank you Ladybug for getting the facts straight on Pops. (The bust with the finger in his ear)

      Reply

      • Posted by Ms Marks on March 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        so much is written about 60’s and 70’s without one word regarding Darrel Hanos,younger brother of Roger and sister Lillian.
        I went to Squiertown school, Old Rd (now Cerebral Palsey location)
        The aviary for peacocks was close to Penna’s House.
        Pool Houses named Kings and Queens and patio juke boxes.
        Certainly not just enclosed deer but ostrich as well.
        w

        Reply

        • Finally some one mentions Pete Penna! I was friends with him and visited often. So many comments here that claim to know it all and probably never had been there…..

          Reply

          • Posted by Ms Marks on March 14, 2013 at 11:48 PM

            Actually John Penna, two years older than me is more who I remember. Adorable Blonde haired handsome young man.
            Grandpa Boiardo loved his flowers and going up right side of driveway one day there he was. Digging in the dirt and planting. To this day I remember he was wearing a wool sweater with moth holes. I was 10yrs old and I rememeber chuckling
            how funny I thought is was,the mansion in the background,& yellow cadillac convertible by the garage. Edith is named as Mr.B’s lady friend. I think I remember her being an attractive red head. The grounds were surene and manicured. Always intrigued by the entrance at gates. The stone wall to the right had a built in gatekeepers booth,complete with phone.For the next 6 -7 yrs visiting off and on, only saw a man in the booth once. How impressed I was to have gates open and allow my unannounced visit on my bicycle!

            Reply

  33. Posted by Debra on March 10, 2009 at 9:52 PM

    We recently moved across the street! I wandered around,and noone escorted me out. It looks like some caretaker may be there, but its in bad shape, abandoned, cars, garbage, ect. There are locks on the rear, and back gates are open. Where do you find info on it?

    Reply

    • Posted by Carly on November 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      Dr. Boiardo, estranged himself from organized crime & is the heir as of 2 yrs ago to that home. Google “Ritchie the Boot” Boiardo spelled like that…& LIFE mag has an old article circa 1970’s w/some photos of what it used 2 look like. It was beautiful. Still can be. And there’s ALWAYS a man or men there. Don’t be fooled.

      Reply

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