Mob informant Joey Cantalupo once stated in a video documentary that organized crime members "like to keep their wives at home, barefoot and pregnant." Mike Coppola handled things quite differently. He liked his wives to be bloodied and beaten and, if a threat to him, dead. Each of Coppola’s two wives died at a relatively young age. One from murder, the other from suicide.
by Allan May
Doris Lehman was a beautiful dancer. Tall and thin, she had long legs, dark hair and eyes. Many men found her stunning. Mike Coppola was one of them. Coppola, known as "Trigger Mike," had risen through the mob ranks and by the early 1940s was running the Harlem numbers and narcotics operations. Coppola and Doris were married in 1943; the following year a son was born.
One of Coppola’s jobs was to keep the local politicians in harness. When it became known that Joseph Scottoriggio, the Republican district captain in Harlem, intended to back the opposition candidate to mob favorite Vito Marcantonio, Coppola decided to pay him a visit. With wife and father-in-law David Lehman in tow, Coppola and underling Joey Rao were unable to dissuade the determined Scottoriggio.
Early on Election Day morning, Coppola, Rao and two other men attacked Scottoriggio shortly after he left his apartment, delivering a vicious beating that resulted in Scottoriggio’s death six days later.