“What’s mine is not yours to give.”
Brother of Jackie Aprile and uncle of Jackie Aprile, Jr. and Adriana La Cerva, Richie was completely in and of the world of the New Jersey mob. He was a ruthless and feared racketeer, although at first glance he might not have seemed especially imposing. In a profession rife with big-muscled bigmouths, Richie was comparatively small and taciturn. But what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in pugnacity. He could intimidate with his eyes – his “Manson lamps,” Tony dubbed them – and he emerged from ten years in Rahway Penitentiary unscathed. Richie’s prized possession was a leather jacket he stripped from Rocco DiMeo, reputed to be “the toughest guy in Essex and Hudson Counties.”
Richie was equally notorious for taking offense at the slightest of slights, earning him the nickname, “Itchy Richie.” Ultimately it was that very itchiness that did him in. Upon his release from prison, Richie was unable to adapt to the changes that had taken place in his absence, especially the fact that the boss was now Tony Soprano, a “jerky kid” from the old neighborhood. Richie and Tony were constantly butting heads; Richie felt that his years in prison entitled him to more than Tony was willing to let him have. Finally, Richie decided to make a move on Tony, and sought Junior’s support. But Junior weighed his options and tipped off his nephew. Upon learning Richie’s intentions, Tony decided to hit him first.
As it turned out, his sister beat him to the punch. Richie and Janice, who were high school sweethearts, had rekindled their relationship and were engaged to be married. One night, as Janice was preparing dinner, she and Richie got into an argument about his son, Richard, Jr. Janice opined that “Little Ricky’s” vocation, ballroom dance, is a legitimate art form, and asked, “if he was gay, what difference does it make?” Richie answered by shoving his fist into her face. But Janice got the final word, so to speak, by calmly pumping two nine-millimeter slugs into Richie’s chest. Instead of taking over, Richie ended up being taken to Satriale’s, and then buried – as Tony sarcastically told Janice, “someplace on a hill, overlooking a little river, with pinecones all around,” – in several individual plastic bags.
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