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What's in Store for the Philly Mob if Ligambi Retires

Joe Ligambi, who recently got out of prison following two mistrials for what primarily amounted to gambling-related charges, says that he is done, finito, with Cosa Nostra.

Lufthansa Heist Overshadows Other Alleged Crimes

The recent Bonanno bust was not solely related to the Lufthansa heist. However, the legendary caper that informed a pivotal moment in "Goodfellas" has been the media's primary focus.

Does Anyone Believe Bugsy Siegel Created Las Vegas?

As much as Americans love the story of Bugsy as the inventor of Las Vegas, the truth is that most of the stories are fabricated.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Italy Focuses on "Metadata" to Track Organized Crime

According to Fast Company | Business + Innovation, "a team of Italian academics are showing how metadata can reveal the structure of organized crime groups with a software tool called LogAnalysis (link is to a savable PDF of the full report), which combines information from mobile phone records with police databases. And among LogAnalysis's first users is the Carabinieri, the Italian military police."

Emilio Ferrara, a postdoc at Indiana University, created LogAnalysis with three researchers from the University of Messina in Sicily. The platform “infers, with pretty high confidence, the roles of individuals involved in criminal activity from communication data, simply looking at patterns and network features,” he told Fast Company.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meyer Lansky Wrote a Diary.

Lansky and wife, Teddy; taken in
Havana, Cuba.
Meyer Lansky wrote a diary.

Not exactly breaking news; the story was posted on Rick Porrello's in 2001, but I was not aware of this and am counting on some of you not being aware, either.

Lanksy is the one guy from the dawn of organized crime in America who most likely would've written something. He spoke about the importance of a good education throughout his life. I don't recall any such proclamations from the likes of Lanky associates Lucky Luciano or Bugsy Siegel on that topic.

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets most notably in Las Vegas and Cuba, when the island off the Florida coast seemed to be a potential new frontier for the Mafia, a place where it would be on an equal footing with the government, allowing it the freedom to develop its rackets unimpeded by law enforcement.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Natural Death Spotlights Periods of Violence in Ontario Underworld

Frank Papalia, underboss.
Frank Papaliabrother of John "Pops" Papalia, a violent mob boss later known as "The Enforcer"died last week, on April 15 at age 83. [There were four Papalia brothers, the other two were named Rocco and Dominic.]

Hailed as one of the last remaining figures of an infamous Mafia dynasty based in Ontario, Canada, Frank Papalia had been suffering a long, slow decline from Alzheimer’s disease in a Hamilton-based nursing home when he died.

Fate was less kind to brother Johnny, who'd been a well-known bootlegger, then a drug dealer involved in both the French and Pizza Connections. Johnny may have also been suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease when in May of 1997 he was shot in the back of his head in the downtown Hamilton parking lot of a vending machine company he'd owned.

Johnny, who originally worked with Carmine Galante and the Bonanno family, switched his allegiance to Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino, with whom Papalia's father had been a longtime associate. Becoming a capo for Magaddino in 1960 gave him and the Ontario-based Papalia family the power to be on top in Ontario, which was overrun with various mob families and other organized crime groups.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rev. Al Was "Our Gun for Hire," Says Ex-Colombo Capo

Jerry Capeci is truly an amazing journalist.

He interviewed Michael Franzese, former Mafioso (son of Sonny Franzese and an ex-capo in the Colombo family) turned born-again Christian minister, about the whole Rev. Al blowup, but adds a jarring twist to the already unbelievable story:
"...Franzese says Sharpton, who has been preaching since his teenage days on the streets of Brooklyn, has yet to truly confess his many sins. 
"He was a gun for hire, our gun for hire," recalled Franzese, the college educated wiseguy, in an exclusive Gang Land interview. 
"Franzese said that Sharpton often used his influence with black entertainers and others to earn cash payoffs from mobsters and mob-connected firms in legitimate ventures as well as scams. 

Gangland Tour of New York's Infamous Crime Scenes

Cool, cool website; thanks to my friend for calling this out:

Infamous New York | A Gangland Tour of New York City's Most Infamous Crime Scenes: "Before the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and Prohibition put him on the map, Al Capone received his bachelor’s degree in gangsternomics courtesy of Johnny “The Fox” Torrio, a future mafia chieftan who got his start as the leader of the James Street Gang.

A dormouse of a man with button eyes and a nose like a thimble, Torrio could only be described as one of the finest criminal mastermind’s of the 20th century, and it all started on James Street, a tiny sliver of a street that is one of the last remaining vestiges of the old Corlear’s Hook neighborhood.

Life in crime came early for Torrio. As a boy he worked in his stepfather’s illegal moonshine den at 86 James Street. In 1904, the urchin started promoting boxing matches, where he met the bantamweight fighter and gangland kingpin, Paul Kelly. Kelly, a suave racketeer whose real name was Paolo Antonini Vacarelli, captained the Five Points Gang, a mob that ran Little Italy and fixed elections for Tammany Hall."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mobsters More Sensitive, Family Oriented Than Other Criminals

Free Press Journal: "A new study has found that members of the Mafia are more sensitive, family orientated and less selfish than other murderers, says ANI.

According to a research by Italian researcher Professor Adriano Schimmenti, which looked into incarcerated Sicilian mobsters, members of the Mafia also appeared to have lower psychopathic traits than other criminals, the Independent reported.

The research involved 30 inmates who were psychologically assessed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R) which measures psychotic characteristics. Seven of the Mafia members had been convicted of murder, 17 for violent crimes and the remainder for crimes such as drug trafficking, sexual exploitation and kidnapping, according to Discovery Magazine."

Oh, brother....what some publications will do to differentiate content!