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Showing posts from January, 2011

War-Ridden History of Violent Colombo Crime Family

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The Colombo family is the youngest of the Five Families.

Formerly known as the Profaci crime family, for its original boss, it only became the Colombo family in the 1960s when family member Joseph Colombo went to the Commission to spill the beans on plans made by Profaci's short-term sucessor in cahoots with Joseph Bonanno of the Bonanno crime family.


Boss Profaci was involved in the crime family's first war, against the upstart Gallo brothers who felt the upper-echelon bosses were taking more than their fair share from the soldiers.

New ID Show Spotlights Hit Men

NOTHING PERSONAL, from Investigation Discovery, is a six-part series profiling hit men debuting Wednesday, March 9 at 10 PM ET on Investigation Discovery.

Each one-hour episode is hosted by Steve Schirripa, who played the doomed Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos. Schirripa.

"NOTHING PERSONAL is one of nine new series ID is launching in the first quarter of 2011.

"The premiere episode of NOTHING PERSONAL tells the story of Larry 'Champagne' Carrozza," according to an ID press release.

"With a penchant for expensive bubbly, Carrozza is a flashy young gangster who, after years of service to the Colombo crime family, thinks it's high time he gets promoted. However, it doesn't help his situation when Carrozza starts dating the beautiful daughter of one of the bosses. Eager to prove his loyalty, Carrozza joins notorious hit man 'Big Sal' Miciotta for a routine errand in Brooklyn. The ambitious 30-year-old figures the family is finally taking him ser…

Travolta Has 'Sit Down' With Junior & Co. About Gotti Biopic

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From the U.K.'s Daily Mail website (photos courtesy of Splash News unless otherwise noted)

[Editor's notes inserted where I believe necessary, usually to correct, clarify and question. The writer claims Travolta "signed on" to play the role of John Gotti at this dinner -- but that is not so. From an article on Entertainment Weekly's website: "According to Marc Fiore — the CEO of Fiore Films, LLC — the Pulp Fiction star is in serious talks to play New York City mob boss John Gotti in Gotti, an upcoming film executive produced by Fiore about three generations of the crime family." But, in a parenthetical, the article adds: "(A source in Travolta’s camp says it’s one of four projects he’s considering at this time)."

Overall, I don't think the Brits understand the American mob or the film industry -- or maybe it's some of their journalists that don't; they already think the big bust -- one of the largest in history  -- is going to start …

Junior Gotti Biopic Moving Forward

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UPDATE AT END: Fiore Films, LLC is trying to keep the publicity machine running for its yet-unnamed John Gotti project by reporting that it has signed with ICM to represent the film. What is missing is the meat and potatoes: Who is going to star in the film?

Hopefully, it won't be a re-working of HBO's Gotti, which starred the great Armand Assante (probably the highest-profile mob character actor working today) and was supposedly made with help from Gotti's relatives -- as will Fiore's project.

HBO's Gotti was also based on strong source material, the key to why it is pretty decent: the Jerry Capeci/Gene Mustain book, Gotti: Rise and Fall. However, Junior wasn't even a character in the Assante film, so hopefully we're in for something new -- and something more than a hagrio-pic (a word I think I just invented); in other words, a biopic that turns the character into a saint rather than portraying him realistically. With Junior involved we have to wonder: How…

Friends of Ours: The Big Bust -- All Bark, No Bite?

Interesting story on Friends of Ours Site:

The bust last Thursday against more than 100 suspected mobsters makes great headlines but it remains to be seen whether there is a bite behind the bark. In 2008 nearly 100 suspected mobsters were rounded up in a similar operation pursuant to a joint federal and local investigation dubbed Operation Pathfinder, and "yet only 17 of the 62 men charged in federal court remain behind bars" as reported by Alan Feuer for The New York Times:

Eighteen have finished their prison terms — some less than a year in length. Five received time served and periods of supervised release, and 21 were sentenced to probation or community service. The results were similar among those charged in state court in Queens; 18 of the 26 defendants never saw prison, having received either time served in jail or a conditional discharge, in which charges are dropped if the defendants' proverbial noses remain clean.

Franzese: Former Colombo Mobster Speaks at Maine Campus

“I was bringing 8 to 9 million dollars a week into my operation. I had my own Learjet. I had a helicopter. I had a house in Florida, California and New York. I had 300 crazy guys under me that were willing to do anything I told them to do.

"I was 31 years old."

The speaker is Michael Franzese; his words come from an article in the Maine Campus newspaper. (They spell Colombo as Columbo, but I am not going to bother changing it.)
Born May 27, 1951, Franzese, son of Colombo Crime Family Underboss John “Sonny” Colombo, is a former New York mobster with the Colombo crime family who was heavily involved with the Russian Mafia in the gasoline tax rackets in the 1980s. Since then, he has publicly renounced organized crime, created a foundation for helping youth and become a motivational speaker. And he's written the obligatory book or two that all former mafiosi write after they leave the rackets and have to earn legally.

Major Mob Bust a Hot Media Topic

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Articles are popping up everywhere, all over the media, following the big mob bust the other day.

Following are some links you may want to check out:

Largest Cosa Nostra Sweep in Years

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And you thought getting up this morning for work was tough...just imagine if your alarm clock was beaten by a few hours by the pounding fists of cops and FBI agents ready to pounce on you and drag you out of your life and into jail?


In a pre-dawn sweep this morning, more than 100 mobsters and associates were rounded up -- crusty eyed, probably wearing their PJs and itching for a caffeine fix, though the adrenaline rush from all the flashing badges and guns may have sufficed. All they got were a pair of bracelets and a shove into a backseat. (Boy, those mob lawyers must have been pirouetting through their plush offices in utter glee.)

Charged with such crimes as murder, racketeering and extortion, based on 16 unrelated indictments handed up in federal courts in four jurisdictions, the targets included small-time bookmakers, associates and six "reputed" senior mob figures from three crime families, including the entire leadership of the Colombo crime family. But also taking t…

Tale of Two Colombo Mobsters

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One is 44 years old and dead after attempting suicide. Craig DePalma died last month after spending eight years in a coma following a failed jailhouse suicide attempt. The cause, guilt over his decision to “rat” on his compatriots, including his father, Greg, a Gambino capo, who himself died in prison in 2009 after allowing an undercover Fed get too close to him.

The other is a living legend. At 93 years of age he was just sentenced to eight years in prison. Sonny Franzese brags of killing 60 people with his own hands and lives his life as one of the most remorseless, unforgiving members the American Mafia has seen.

Both were made members of the Colombo crime family, considered one of the most volatile organizations in the New York Mafia.

How Colombos Beat Starbucks at the Coffee Racket

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The Mafia once was synonymous with the toughest criminal organization in the world, powerful enough to sink its tentacles into so many aspects of American capitalism, it was deemed a second, shadow government.

But that was then, and this is now. The mob is certainly not as powerful and rich as it once was, but one thing it's still good at is finding ingenious ways to earn.

One of the more clever and profitable revenue generators was dreamed up by members of the Colombo crime family, according to published reports, who apparently realized that literally nothing is too small to steal -- not even coffee.

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