The Start

Grainy film. Black and white. Two figures moving. A bright flash of light. And it’s over. The tape runs on, but it’s already done.

A man’s life, taken, quickly and quietly, in an empty parking lot. One man is dead. The killer, unnamed and unknown. That was five years ago.

swing frame

An Italian one-eyed man was shot and killed over loaned money. This isn’t a Sopranos episode — though it could have been.

John Gasparinetti was shot and killed in the parking lot behind a bank, days before Christmas 2009. A behemoth of a man, destined for football stardom in his younger days until a flying roman candle claimed his right eye, long since replaced by glass. Still good enough for semi-pro football, he played for years before hanging up his cleats.

Four daughters and three wives later, two decades removed from his family before returning to their lives for another generation, he was dead. One shot. Back of the head. Execution style. Murdered.

The shooter has never been caught.

A life cut short, but one big enough to celebrate.

Today, his family remembers a man who was larger than life, in size, stature and stories.

Start the story…