John Balistrieri, son of Milwaukee mob boss Frank Balistrieri, dies at 75

This photo shows Frank Balistrieri, center, leaving the federal courthouse in Milwaukee in 1983, with his sons, John (left) and Joseph (right).  Photographed on October 12, 1983.

John Balistrieri, the younger son of Milwaukee crime boss Frank Balistrieri, who was convicted along with his father and brother and fought for years to get back what he lost, has died. He was 75 years old.

John Balistrieri will always be linked to his father — and the crimes they were convicted of — but friends said this week they knew a different man.

“He was the kindest, kindest man you could ever meet,” said Santo Galati, a longtime friend. In recent years, John and his wife, Debi, often ate at Galati’s restaurant, Santino’s Little Italy, in Bay View.

“He was a great father, a great husband and a great friend. I hate all the bad press John got. I have nothing but good things to say about him.”