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Vito Genovese Returns to America, and to Monmouth County

On August 27, 1944, Vito Genovese was placed under arrest in Italy by U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division Agent Orange C. Dickey, who had recognized Vito from wanted posters.  Genovese and Agent Dickey were handcuffed together when they set sail on board the steamship SSJames Lykes, arriving in New York City on June 1, 1945, where Vito faced murder charges.  He was acquitted when a key witness died from suspicious poisoning while incarcerated.

Once again a free man, on July 20, 1946, Vito purchased the F.G. Boffey property at 130 Ocean Blvd. in Atlantic Highlands (pictured above) for $40,000 cash.  According to, the house was built in 1925.  In land records, the house is a “palatial home overlooking the yacht basin.”  Anna would later claim in divorce court that Vito spent $250,000 on improvements to the mansion, including imported carpets, marble staircases and 24-carat gold plates.

To neighbors in Atlantic Highlands, the nattily dressed fellow walking the streets looked like any other businessman.  He described himself as a scrap paper dealer, a legitimate business he established as a cover for his organized crime leadership.  “Genovese has been a familiar sight in the Atlantic Highlands area. He often has been seen in a local supermarket pushing a market basket around. He also has played golf at a club in West Long Branch.”  Vito is described as “a model citizen…he lives a quiet, retired life and is seldom seen about the boro except in the early evening [and] is said to be a generous contributor to local charities.”

August 8, 1948: According to police, “a car driven by Mr. Genovese struck a light standard on Rumson Road and caromed into a long hedge on the Edward Folkner estate, causing considerable damage.”  The car was wrecked, police said, and Mr. Genovese was shaken up but not seriously injured.   Vito was cited for careless driving, and ended up paying a $25 fine plus $2 for “costs.”  


Hunting Down Vito Genovese in WWII Italy. (2009). Online:

Genovese Buys $40,000 Hideaway on Jersey Hillside. (1946).  The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 17, 1946, P. 2.

Vito Genovese Takes Residence In Swank Atl. Highlands Home. (1946). The Daily Record (Long Branch), August 17, 1946, P. 1.

Vito Key Racketeer Wife Says in Court. (1953)  Asbury Park Press, March 3, 1953, P. 1.

Grutzner, Charles. (1969). Ruled ‘Family’ of 450; Genovese Dies in Prison at 71; ‘Boss of Bosses’ of Mafia Here. The New York Times, February 15, 1969, P. 1. Available:

U.S. Marshals Hand Summons To Genovese. (1952).  Asbury Park Press, November 22, 1952, P.2.

Dewey Quoted as Naming Genovese as Gang Leader. (1949). Asbury Park Press, February 20, 1949, P. 2.

Rumson Accident Case Is Postponed. (1948).  Asbury Park Press, August 10, 1948, P. 17.

Pays For Speeding On Rumson Road. (1948). The Daily Record (Long Branch), August 25, 1948, Section II, P. 9.

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