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The Legend of Bugsy Siegel and Las Vegas

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently wrote about the mob's role in the evolution of Las Vegas, describing Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel once again as the gangster with the vision to create America's greatest gambling mecca.
They ought to have known better.

According to the myth, Siegel drove his car across the open Nevada desert under a pale-blue sky with nothing but sun-scorched sand on either side.

He stopped the car to relieve himself -- and a vision flooded his brain of a fantastic hotel-casino sprouting up out of the barren wasteland like a flashy mirage, where people could gather to enjoy in upscale splendor the best food and entertainment as well as first-rate service and, of course, gambling, all kinds of gambling, from felt-covered card-gaming tables to ever-hungry slot machines into which anxious patrons thumbed their coins, gleefully awaiting the ringing bells and flashing lights of the jackpot while sipping a martini.


Siegel, filled with mad inspiration, raced back to …

Feds Find Mafia “Infamnia” in Home of Vincent (Chin) Gigante's Son

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I love writing about old school wiseguys like Chin, and I'll seize any excuse. Those gangsters -- baby boomers, right? -- had such personality, such history (and let's face it, BALLS) compared to today's wiseguys, who simply don't compare with the who's who back when "everyone was killing everyone," as Mikie Scars said for Intelligent Talk. (It's incomprehensible that no filmmaker ever re-created the New York underworld of the 1980s. Such a lost opportunity, it's a tragedy.)



Five members and associates of the Genovese crime family were arrested last week, including a son of Vincent (Chin) Gigante, the legendary Mafia Don known for the crazy act. (Vincent Gigante was such a force, he impacted American pop culture; the HBO series The Sopranos based a key figure, "Uncle Junior," on him.)

The so-called Oddfather more than lived up to the nickname. To wit, the time law enforcement found him in the shower, fully clothed and holding an umbrella…

The Mafia in a New Golden Era?

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UPDATED: Sorry, guys.... been really sick the past week. In the next few days, I will start sending questions to Michael, so please make sure you post all your questions for him here and don't delete them. I PROMISE WE WILL ANSWER EVERY QUESTION.

Michael DiLeonardo was a c
apo in the Gambino crime family when John Gotti was boss. If you look below in the comments section, you'll see questions people have asked Michael about the Mafia, with his answers. I'm keeping this going indefinitely, as long as Michael doesn't mind. Feel free to ask away. Just remember it may take a few days to get answers, so please don't delete your questions....

With Mafia-related murders at an all-time low and cases involving major drug trafficking on the wane, we could very well be in an era that historians will one day recall as the American Cosa Nostra's golden age.



That's Michael DiLeonardo's assessment of the state of the mob today based on his recent interview on Intelligen…

Bonanno Crime Family Acting Boss Joe Cammarano Among 10 Rounded Up in New York City

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On Friday, 10 reputed mobsters, including the Bonanno crime family's acting boss, Joseph Cammarano Jr., 58, were arrested in raids on Staten Island, including one at Xcess Gentlemen's Club in Charleston, according to a report by NBC 4 New York. (The indictment purports to name two consiglieris.)


The bust also included two other mobsters from other crime families, one from the Luchese and another from the Genovese crime families.

All face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, and narcotics distribution. Prosecutors allege that starting in 2012 until this month, the group of extortionists and drug dealers conspired to commit murder and assault in furtherance of the Bonnano operation.





As per news reports:

Albert “Al Muscles” Armetta is singled out for earning his nickname by allegedly getting paid to tune up at least one victim on Bonanno family orders. Or, as the indictment put it, Armettta “did commit and aid and abet the commissi…

Joey Merlino, Alleged Boss of Philadelphia Mafia, Suffers Chest Pains and Is Hospitalized; Manhattan Trial Postponed

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Picked the wrong week to get sick. Still feeling this goddamn bug, but want to catch up on the many breaking news items that of course happened this past week....

A federal judge has postponed the coming week's trial in Manhattan of Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, 55, after the alleged boss of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra was hospitalized for chest pains.


Merlino was admitted to a Florida hospital for two heart blockages. He was reportedly suffering from chest pains, shortness of breath and spasms.




The hospital performed a catheterization on him.

The Mayo Clinic notes the procedure is "used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart.Using this catheter, doctors can then do diagnostic tests as part of a cardiac catheterization."

Merlino was supposed to head to trial here next Tuesday, but…

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