Midge Renault’s disappearance has a striking similarity to the Jimmy Hoffa abduction
It was as if his killers took the abduction and murder of Jimmy Hoffa and followed it to a T. The year was 1979. New Haven, Connecticut’s most notorious mobster, Salvatore “Midge Renault” Annunziato, kissed his wife goodbye and got into a car driven by Genovese Family soldier Tommy “The Blond” Vastano. A second car, driven by Midge’s acolyte Pasquale “Shaggy Dog” Amendola, followed. But somewhere along the way, Midge waved Amendola off. It was the last time anyone saw him.
The 30-year-old disappearance of Midge Renault is being recaptured this week in the New Haven Independent, where reporter Christopher Hoffman is delivering a smartly written five-part series. Though little-known outside Connecticut, Midge cut a wide swath within the city. Writes Hoffman: “He’d shot men, beaten them, started riots, destroyed
restaurants, shaken down contractors, corrupted cops, politicians and
union officials, run illegal card and craps games and been arrested
dozens of times for everything from breach of peace to attempted
murder.” But Midge was also known for throwing around $100 bills, picking up restaurant tabs, and buying drinks for the house.
By 1979, his reign was coming to an end. The FBI warned of a contract out on him. Midge had been reduced to shaking down residents and skimming from union Christmas parties. But as Hoffman writes, the three decades leading up to this moment were very good while they lasted.