Bosco or Boško “The
Yugo” Radonjić is a Serbian nationalist,
a former operative for the Central Intelligence Agency and
later leader of the Westies, a
predominantly Irish-American gang
based in New York's Hell's Kitchen.
immigration to the U.S., Radonjich
worked in conjunction with the CIA for many years against Communism in his homeland of Yugoslavia.
recorded odyssey in the U.S. began in 1970, when he moved into the
West Side of Manhattan where he worked as a parking lot attendant and
became an explosives expert for the Serbian
In 1975, Radonjich took part in a bombing at the Yugoslav mission
to the U.N.
in which no one was hurt.
he plead guilty to conspiracy charges in the 1975 bombing of a
Yugoslavian consul's home and for plotting to bomb a Yugoslav
social club, both in Chicago.
release in 1982, Radonjich moved back to New York’s West Side
and began working as a minor associate of Jimmy Coonan.
Radonjich was able to
seize control of the gang following the imprisonment of many of the
Westies leadership during the late 1980s. Under his leadership, he
was able to reestablish the Westies' former working relationship
with the Gambino crime family
under John Gotti
, and was involved in the
jury tampering during Gotti's original 1986 trial for racketeering
He supervised Westie underling Brian
's highly successful burglary ring using two Hispanic
gang members until the arrest of Bentley and his group in the early
1990s. Later investigations under Michael G. Cherkasky
, chief of the Investigations
Division of the District Attorney's Office, would eventually force
Radonjich to flee the country in 1992 to avoid prosecution.
While on the run, Radonjich became a close advisor to Radovan Karadžić
, the fugitive
leader charged with war
crimes, whom Radonjich described in a 1997 Esquire
article penned by Daniel
Voll as: "My angel, my saint."
several years of hiding in the former Yugoslavia, he was arrested by U.S. custom officials while on
a stopover in Miami,
Florida on January 28, 1999.
Held without bail, he
was tried under a 1992 indictment for jury tampering in Gotti's
The charges against Radonjich were dropped shortly after because
the key witness in his case, Gotti's former Underboss turned
FBI-informant Salvatore "Sammy the Bull"
, was charged with drug related offences while in the
. Radonjich has since left the United States and
currently lives in former Yugoslavia.
In popular culture
- Davis, John H. Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the
Gambino Crime Family. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN
- English, T.J. The Westies: Inside the Hell's Kitchen Irish
Mob. St Martin's Paperbacks, 1991. ISBN 0-312-92429-1