Updated: July 23, 2020 04:42 PM
Created: July 22, 2020 06:15 AM
CHILI, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Mafia. It made headlines decades ago with bombings, murders and corrupt cops. In a News10NBC exclusive, we're going inside the evidence of a 1967 homicide in Chili that was never solved. Investigators say the victim, Norman Huck, 33, of Parma, was a low-level Mafia associate.
It was December 1967. The United States was in the midst of the Vietnam War. At the same time, there was another kind of war brewing in Rochester.
"The mob in Rochester was big at the time. Real big," Monroe County Sheriff's Investigator Andrew Belmont said.
While many people remember the mob wars from the late 1970s in Rochester, the underground crime network was very active the decade before.
On Dec. 20, 1967, Huck, a two-time convicted felon, was found dead on the side of Ballantyne Road in Chili.
"He was found face down with three bullet shots to the back of the head," Inv. Belmont said. "Whoever put him out here definitely didn't want him to be found."
Inv. Belmont is working to solve this case. He showed News10NBC never before released crime photos from the scene.
Huck grew up in Rochester and Gates but lived on West Ridge Road in Parma before he was killed. He had just been released from prison.
Inv. Belmont says Huck was a strong-arm collector for the mob. He was a big man. Huck stood at 6'2" and was nearly 250 pounds. His rap sheet was long. Huck went to prison twice. In 1952, when he was just 18 years old, he was charged with grand larceny and a violent assault. That would lead to his first stint in prison. He got out, but his crimes didn't stop.
In 1963, Huck would go to prison again. This time for assaulting some Rochester Police officers and another man at the Keyboard Lounge that was at the corner of East Main Street and Gibbs Street where the downtown YMCA is now.
While in prison he was given a message.
"He was told, 'You're going to die as soon as you leave here,'" Inv. Belmont said.
Huck was released from the Auburn Correctional Facility on Dec. 1, 1967. Twenty days later he was dead.
"It's a typical mafia-style killing. It's your best friend," Inv. Belmont explained. "He got into the car with someone he trusted and took three bullets to the back of the head for it."
There are several theories about the motive. A week or two before Huck was killed he was at a local bar. Inv. Belmont says the Rochester mob boss at the time, Frank Valenti was there, and he sent Huck and the men he was with a round of drinks.
"Norm takes a drink. Salute, and dumps the drink on the ground in front of him disrespecting him," Inv. Belmont said. "Not the best choice at the time."
Investigators think money could also have been a motive, and says Huck thought of himself as a lady's man.
In the Mafia culture, you don't go with another guy's lady," Inv. Belmont explained. "It sounds like he may have done that one or two times, again, making more enemies."
Sheriff's deputies at the time retraced Huck's last day. That afternoon he was at a pool hall on East Ridge Road in Irondequoit.
"He's never seen again after he leaves the location," Inv. Belmont said.
All these years later Huck's killer has never been caught.
"He was living the life like he was a top dog and that was definitely not the case," Inv. Belmont said. "That's part of what got him taken down real quick."
Could Norman Huck's killer still be alive today? It's possible. If you have any information on his murder, call 911 or Investigator Belmont at 585-753-4725.
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