Cristina Capobianco-Franzese was famous as the wife of John Franzese Sr, an American underboss, and a Colombo crime family member. She married John in the1950s after he divorced his first wife. Cristina used to go to the Stork Club in Manhattan as a teen, and she met John Sr., who made her pregnant.
On getting pregnant at 16, Cristina Capobianco decided to get married to Frank Grillo, not the biological father of the child she was carrying. John Franzese divorced his first wife to marry Cristina; when Frank heard that, he disappeared, leaving Cristina to John, who later married her. At the time of their marriage, the firstborn son was already born, and he thought that Frank Grillo was his father.
While married to John Franzese Sr, Cristina Capobianco had four more children together, including John Franzese Jr, who later testified against his father.
Later in life, Cristina Capobianco-Franzese did not support her husband’s criminal activity, and when her son John wanted out, she supported him. When her son testified against her husband, John Sr was looking for him to kill him, and Cristina was not okay with it; she asked him to plead guilty and let her son live peacefully.
On one occasion, Cristina grabbed John’s wheelchair and rolled him onto the floor; she also barred him from using the washroom. John was annoyed and could her ranting at her. Minutes later, she started yelling at a child her husband had with a mistress. Funnily, even after being harsh on her husband, Cristina later wrote to the judge requesting him to be easy on her husband.
Christina Capobianco also mentioned that her husband was just an old harmless man who needed to be with his family because of his frail health. She even went further and said that she would be responsible for her husband’s actions.
Cristina Capobianco’s husband was one of the few mobsters who lived for a long time. He dropped out of school and started his criminal activities working under the then-leader of the Colombo crime family, Joseph Profaci. John was often arrested for cases of assault and could be released after some time.
Cristina’s husband had been drafted into the army but was discharged after they realized he had mental issues and homicidal tendencies. After his discharge, he continued with his crimes, and this time he was involved in loansharking, fraud, and racketeering in New York City.
John Franzese Sr. opened a dry cleaning store to hide his criminal activities and stated that as his career. He also invested in record labels while extorting others, even leading to their closure. Cristina’s husband was arrested on multiple occasions but never pleaded guilty; however, he was sentenced to fifty years for masterminding bank robberies in the 1960s.
John Franzese Sr. died on February 2020, aged 103, in a hospital in New York City.
Cristina Capobianco-Franzese died in 2012, but her immediate family members did not mention the cause of her death. She was 77 at the time of her death.