Posts

Showing posts from February, 2012

15 Things You Didn't Know About Donnie Brasco Production

Image
"Donnie Brasco" [is] based on a true story, that of FBI undercover agent Joseph D. Pistone, who spent years infiltrating New York's Bonnano crime family... Its hero, who never fires a gun except on the FBI firing range, was played by Johnny Depp (then best known for quirky, vulnerable man-child roles) and his mentor was played by Al Pacino (as a tired, rumpled mafioso, about a million miles from his Michael Corleone or Tony Montana).

As the film marks its 15th anniversary (it was released on February 28, 1997), here are true tales of what went on behind the scenes, including one star's impulsive wedding, and how the real Pistone braved a contract on his head to ensure that the movie portrayed accurately the mob world he uncovered.

1. In 1976, Pistone was chosen to go undercover as purported jewel thief Donnie Brasco because he spoke fluent Italian, was familiar with the mob (having grown up in Paterson, N.J.), and because he claimed the ability not to perspire under…

'Secret Judge' Was True Underworld Boss: NY Post

Image
UPDATED: Did you now there was a secret judge who quietly ruled the underworld for decades, directing the bosses of a criminal organization made up of loosely connected street gangs? That the "Mafia" was a media invention and did not exist as we know it?

That there were never any "families," and no "Five Families" in New York, with all-powerful bosses at the top? Oh, sure -- these street crews did have bosses, like a man named Carlo Gambino, but he was just middle management, and not the criminal mastermind he is known as today.

The man who really gave the orders was Paulie "Lefty" Della Universita, who ran this Italian entity of non-organized crime crews from the McCarthy 1950s to Reagan 1980s. Among other things, the "Judge," which is only one of the many names he went by, supposedly saved Vito Genovese's life.

Did Catholic Church Give Gotti Raw Deal in Death?

Image
Far be it from me to shed a tear for a murderous scoundrel whose various scams increased the price of everything in my adopted hometown.  But did John Gotti get a raw deal when the Catholic Church denied him a funeral mass?   A scholar makes the case here (PDF), arguing that the Church broke its own rules regarding how to deal with Mafiosi.

AllAboutTRH Blog: Ramona’s Dad a Gambino Capo?

Image
Doing a little research, I stumbled upon this blog, which is running an interesting piece about Ramona Rizzo's past. The story says, among other things, that she has a more direct connection to the Mafia: her father is a Gambino capo named Johnny Rizzo, and Ramona's husband ripped off both her own father and Joe Watts...

Check it out story below, from the website AllAboutTRH Exclusive: ‘Mob Wives’ Star Ramona Rizzo’s Past Revealed! | All About The Real Housewives:

AllAboutTRH Part II: More on Ramona, Including Her 'Mystery' Drug Dealing Jailed Boyfriend

Another interesting post that finally includes info we have been hunting for -- who is Ramona's boyfriend, who was arrested for drugs and whose name was beeped out of tonight's episode. We think we know who Mr. Mystery is, and that we have already covered the story of Ramona's boyfriend's arrest, whose name the below blogger, we think, spells incorrectly as "Scalfini."

Check out our post, from last summer about the arrest of who we believe may be the mysterious boyfriend: http://cosa-nostra-news.blogspot.com/2011/08/staten-island-marijuana-cocaine-bust.html

Once again we present AllAboutTRH Exclusive: Ramona Is A Liar! Plus Find Out The Real Reason Carla Doesn’t Care For Ramona Or Karen | All About The Real Housewives:

A few days ago I read an interesting comment that related to a post I was going to make regarding Mob Wives. It was about Ramona and something that I’ve already heard. I thought I’d share it with you all so you can see yourself.

Julius Bernstein -- the Last Jewish Mobster

Image
Julius Bernstein was a relic of a different era: Raised in the Depression, a genuine World War II hero — and the last of New York’s great Jewish gangsters.

While the Brooklyn native connived for decades in anonymity, his once-secret FBI file — obtained by the Daily News — exposes for the first time a life devoted to earning crooked cash with the Genovese family.

When Women and Children in "the Life" Lose Someone

Image
Don't know if many of you watched the video clip I posted of Diane Sawyer interviewing Sammy Bull back in 1992. I viewed it -- well, listened to it -- several times, and listened closely. I must admit I thought Sammy made some good points about a lot of topics, not just John Gotti.

Some of the families of his victims were also on the show -- the Militos most prominently. They rode the "Sammy is a rat who killed my father/husband" train all the way to the station, and I found myself oddly unmoved by them.


John Gotti's Early "Image Problem"

Image
John Gotti was once the focus of so much media attention, it's difficult to truly comprehend the magnitude, as well as the full ramifications if you didn't live within New York's boroughs.

Yes, Gotti's fame is international. But it's in New York where he truly was first a household name, where the pre-Internet media couldn't get its fill of the man. Most New Yorkers weren't sure what to make of him.

But all that came later. The Don from central casting had forgotten to assemble a press kit to be distributed immediately following his seizure of power on Dec. 16, 1985.

Staten Island Godmother Meets Marilyn Monroe

Image
From Next Magazine, with our apologies:

... The more you learn about [Big Ang] Raiola, the more apparent it seems that she was born to become a local folk hero. After all, this is the mob we are talking about, perhaps America’s most beloved subject of film and television.

The Bull's Victims Eye Royalties from 'Mob Wives' Gravano's Book

Image
From SILive.com:

When Karen Gravano’s tell-all about her life growing up in a fast-living mob family on Staten Island is published on Valentine’s Day, it will be nothing short of heartbreaking for the families of the victims of her father, the notorious hit man and turncoat Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano.

At least two families of the 19 people Gravano was accused of murdering during his mob reign of terror are asking the office of the Arizona attorney general to go after the royalties from “Mob Daughter.”


Investigation Discovery Debuts Season Two of Nothing Personal, Schirripa Again Hosts

Image
The broken relationships featured on season two of Investigation Discovery's Nothing Personal: Murder for Hire are in vital need of professional services, though it isn't the temporary kind from therapists or love gurus.

Rather, the quick fix for these rejected lovers and partners is the more permanent solution provided by a hired hit man. Actor and true-crime aficionado, Steve Schirripa, returns to guide viewers through the twists and turns of each betrayal. The six-episode second season premieres Wednesday, March 7 at 9 PM ET on Investigation Discovery.

Vito Giacalone, Suspect in Hoffa Slaying, Dies at 88

Image
Vito Giacalone, a reputed mob enforcer in Detroit and suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of Jimmy Hoffa, has died at 88.

Giacalone, nicknamed "Billy Jack," was the younger brother of Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone, who died in 2001, The Detroit News reported Wednesday. The elder Giacalone was to have met with Hoffa on the day the former Teamsters president vanished in 1975.

Giacalone died Sunday. A funeral mass was held Tuesday at St. Thecla Church in Clinton, Mich., where he lived.

Paramount Sues to Stop More 'Godfather' Books

Image
The movie studio that controls the rights to "The Godfather" has sued the estate of its creator Mario Puzo, accusing his heirs of wrongfully authorizing new book sequels to the fictional mafia family's story.

Paramount Pictures studio, in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on February 17, accused the estate of Puzo, who wrote 1969 bestseller "The Godfather," of approving sequels to the Oscar-winning movies without the studio's permission and in violation of copyright agreements.

Blast from the Past: Sammy Bull's First Interview After the Gotti Trial

Image
Since I am on a video kick, here is the first interview with Sammy Gravano on ABC's PrimeTime Live after he helped put John Gotti away. (Yeah, the quality isn't the greatest but it does smooth out a little ways into it.) Watching this 1990 discussion some 22 years later, it is indeed difficult not to admit Sammy did score a few points against Gotti, saying if not for the audiotapes of Gotti talking mob business, the Feds wouldn't have gotten him -- and Sammy and Frankie Lo as well. 
And a few anecdotes we missed or have forgotten: When the agents burst into the Ravenite prior to Gotti's last arrest, the "Dapper-soon-to-be-Velcro Don" told them he and his guys weren't going anywhere until they had a cup of black coffee (which is what old Italians call espresso). The agents stood there waiting. Also, Sammy noted that one night at dinner Gotti had Joe Watts tell the restaurateur to jack up the price of a $50 bottle of wine to $200 -- because it was widely kno…

Interesting Show About Donnie Brasco

Image
This includes interesting footage and recordings of Lefty Ruggiero and Donnie Brasco speaking privately. Go to YouTube for part 2, if you're interested... Of note: It has been proven since, Galante was not boss of the Bonanno family; Pistone's view of the family was not 100% spot-on, probably due to his being a lower-level associate mainly kept out of direct family politics, subsequent cases have since proven.


RARE FOOTAGE OF NICKY SCARFO - Gangsters Inc.

Image

Beautiful Moll Distances Herself from Mob Rat BF

Image
From the NY Daily News:
The beautiful moll of an indicted Colombo gangster bailed on her beau’s $2.5 million bond after she learned he turned rat.

Kim Juliano, 49, filed notice in Brooklyn Federal Court last month, begging out of the financial arrangement that helped spring her made man, Reynold Maragni, from jail.
The change of heart came after prosecutors revealed the high-ranking capo had secretly begun wearing a wire to record other mobsters while he was free on bail.
“I am very uncomfortable having this bond attached to me on a personal level,” Juliano wrote to Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto. “I have not heard from Mr. Maragni, nor have I been able to get through to him in over a month,” Juliano’s letter states. “Mr. Maragni is now cooperating as an informant. I have legally signed my name to something that I have been mislead (sic) to believe.”

The letter was sent Jan. 30, about a month after prosecutors revealed Maragni was a government informant.

Matsumoto granted Juliano’s …

The Westies Back -- Reports NY Post

The below is from NYPOST.com:

The Westies are back — with a twist.

Manhattan’s former “Irish Mafia’’ gang — long infamous for running loan-sharking and extortion rackets out of the tenements of Hell’s Kitchen through the early 1990s — has suddenly resurfaced with a highly sophisticated scheme using a fleet of superfast private jets to smuggle high-grade marijuana from California to cities across the country, authorities said.

“It’s rare to run into an organization that’s wealthy enough and sophisticated enough to pull it off” — but they’re doing it, one law-enforcement source said.  At the helm of the gang’s Manhattan operation is John Bokun, whose uncles, Billy and namesake John, were Westies before the neighborhood became gentrified by pricey co-ops and wine bars, authorities said.

The younger Bokun lives in what is now known as the West Side’s Clinton neighborhood and is accused of teaming up with a California drug organization to use his Dassault Falcon executive jet to distribute t…

$6 Trillion in Fake Bonds Seized from Mafia in Switzerland

World affairs | Italian police seize $6 trillion in fake US bonds:

The Italian police have had a busy weekend making arrests after they found $6 trillion of fake US bonds in a Swiss bank account.

It’s not every day that you stumble across six trillion dollars worth of fake bonds hidden in the secret compartments of a Swiss bank account. The investigation into the fake bonds has actually been a pretty big one. Italian, Swiss and American authorities carried out the sting over a year-long period, according to Italian police officials.

Initially, it started off as just a mafia loan shark sting. However, after tapping, intercepting phone calls and fine combing emails, the police realised the mess was a lot bigger then that originally thought.

Six trillion dollars might seem like a stupid amount to print, but just remember it’s only about one third of the US debt.

The bonds were actually seized back in January but we’re only hearing about it now. They were found in three large trunks on t…

'Mob Wives' Recap: Angry Birds: SILive.com

Image
Our weekly update of "Mob Wives," this one courtesy of  SILive.com:

Though the 'Mob Wives' had heftier family issues to confront, the chirping between Drita's camp and Karen's continued.

Drita went on a mission to tame her aggressiveness, so naturally she went to Evolution Boxing to improve her high-flying right hooks. She reminisced to the camera about the first time she let her fists go in kindergarten. The taunts from a bad haircut and parents' fashion choices did not go unpunished. When her daughter later asked her, "do you fight?" on the heels of a police officer's visit at school, Drita froze. Her eyes bulged as she struggled for the right answer while VH1 aired clips from the last two seasons. With the hair tugging, fist punching and yelling swirling in her memory, she was saved by the telephone.
View full sizeVH1Renee Graziano sees a therapist with ex-husband Junior Pagan to work on their relationship. Her soon to be ex-husband Lee cal…

Gotti Pic a Go -- As Is Gotti Grandkids Reality Show

From the NYPOST.com: "Fiore Films — the production outfit behind the in-the-works John Gotti biopic for director Barry Levinson — is getting further into the Gotti business. Sources say the company is developing a reality TV series based on the lives of Gotti’s grandchildren, with Radar Pictures and Compelling Entertainment. The Gotti grandkids — John, Carmine and Frank Agnello, sons of Victoria Gotti — were featured in A&E’s “Growing Up Gotti.” After delays, the feature “Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father,” is to shoot this fall, sources say. The script is by James Toback. John Travolta and Al Pacino are starring, and Lindsay Lohan has been rumored to be in the mix."

Related links:
Cosa Nostra News: Gotti biopic 'coming together'

Cosa Nostra News: Update: Gotti Biopic Obtains Backing of a ...

Cosa Nostra News: It's Official: Gotti Biopic Put 'on Hold'

Cosa Nostra News: Gotti Biopic Sinking Due to Lack of Funding?

Boss "Baby Shacks," Associates Plead Guilty to Racketeering

Image
Five alleged mobsters -- including Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio -- accused of terrorizing and extorting protection payments from strip clubs around Providence, Rhode Island, have agreed to plead guilty to federal racketeering charges, officials said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Two others are going to stand trial, and an eighth defendant already plead guilty and was sentenced to 30 months; he admitted he was part of the mafia, which probably is why his sentence was so lenient; the other five men can be sentenced for up to two decades in prison.

Plea deals were reached with the accused former godfather of the New England mafia, Manocchio, 84; capo Edward "Leddy" Lato, 64; and associate Alfred "Chippy" Scivola, 70, Peter Neronha, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, says in a statement.
Two other men, Richard Bonafiglia, 58, and Raymond R. Jenkins, 47, have also agreed to plead guilty in the case, authorities said in a statement, reports The Boston Globe.
The 

Feds: Reputed Philly Mobster had Home Arsenal

Boston.com: "Federal prosecutors say a 75-year-old Manchester man charged in a probe of illegal prescription drug trafficking is a "made member" of the mafia who had a large arsenal of explosives, guns and other weapons at his home.

Federal agents say they searched Robert Gentile's home on Friday in the drug investigation and found sticks of dynamite, several guns, ammunition, homemade silencers and brass knuckles.

Gentile and an associate, 75-year-old Andrew Parente of Hartford, were charged after the search with illegal possession and distribution of prescription painkillers including Oxycontin and Percocet. A federal magistrate judge in Hartford on Tuesday called Gentile a danger to society and ordered him detained without bail.

Prosecutors say Gentile is a member of a Philadelphia crime family. His lawyer denies the mob allegation."



Vinny TV's Bail Hearing Hijinks

Image
A bail hearing for the reputed Mafia boss known as “Vinny TV” degenerated into a raucous episode that would have been home on the “Jerry Springer Show” Monday, reports the New York Daily News.

Vincent Badalamenti remained in jail when it was all over, but seemed to enjoy his lawyer Ronald Fischetti’s ferocious jabs at the government.

“I don’t know where U.S. attorneys come from today, this is ridiculous,” Fischetti said over a claim that Badalamenti had weighed going on the lam.

The racketeering case had already veered into the bizarre because the main cooperating witness — Bonanno turncoat Hector Pagan — is the ex-husband of “Mob Wives” reality show star Renee Graziano.

Vinny TV, who is actually the reputed acting street boss of New York’s Bonanno crime family, had reportedly dispatched three tough guys to “chat” with a reality-show mobster who failed to pay back a $5,000 loan, the feds said, The New York Post reports.

He allegedly sent the hoods to shake down Pagan.

The gri…

Famous Mob Hits in Las Vegas

Image
From 8 NewsNow.com, TIMELINE: Mob Hits in Las Vegas:

Although the state legalized gambling in 1931 it wasn't until a decade later, when mobsters Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel and Meyer Lansky rolled into town, that organized crime took root in Las Vegas. Here are many of the seminal events that helped Las Vegas establish its mob connections.

1946 -- Siegel, an associate of the Genovese crime family, opened the Flamingo hotel with financial backing from Lansky. The following year Siegel was shot to death in his girlfriend's home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

1950 -- Tennessee Sen. Estes Kefauver, heading a Senate committee investigating organized crime, conducted a hearing in Las Vegas. Among those who gave testimony was Clark County Alderman Moe Sedway, an associate of Lansky and the Genovese crime family.

Read the rest:  TIMELINE

ABC's 20/20 Talks to Karen Gravano

Image
ABC’s 20/20: Sins of the Father -- "Mob Wives" star Karen Gravano, daughter of Sammy “Bull” Gravano, discusses life with dad. Her book Mob Daughter is due in bookstores today, Valentine's Day.




From Amazon, the book you have been waiting for -- or not:

Mob Daughter: The Mafia, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, and Me!







'Mob Wives' Renee and Ramona Go at It, Clip from Tonight's Show

From Hollywoodlife.com:

Are the Mob Wives teams about to be compromised? During the Feb. 12 episode, Karen Gravano‘s allies Renee Graziano and Ramona Rizzo get into a massive, verbal blowout that leaves Renee in tears.

“You wanted to make peace, I’m willing to make peace,” Ramona tells Renee during a preview video.

But Renee can’t get it out of her mind what Carla Facciolo and Drita D’avanzo told her about the rumors that Ramona was allegedly spreading about her. “I’m trying my hardest not to express what’s really on my mind about Ramona saying Junior [Pagan] married me for my father,” she confesses to the cameras. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold my tongue.”...

Read rest of article: Mob Wives Renee Graziano Feels Disloyal To Karen Gravano, Ramona Rizzo

Preview video of tonight's episode:


Get More: Mob Wives (Season 2)

Mobster Joke Book Will Just Kill You (with Laughter)

Image
A book review by Al Lewis for MarketWatch:


When Malcolm Kushner didn’t call me back right away, I was afraid he’d been whacked.

I didn’t think it was such a good idea when Kushner came out with his mafia joke book earlier this month, telling hilarious tales of “Not so wise guys” and “dumbfellas.”

Some of his jokes go like this: “Why was the stupid hit man hospitalized? He was sent to blow up a car and burned his lips on the tailpipe.”

Kushner, 59, is quick to note that this isn’t really a mafia joke book. It’s a mob humor book. No disrespect intended.  It includes a compendium of mobster movies going back to the 1930s. And it features real-life headlines, like this one from a 2003 New York Post story about a mob boss gunned down because he was gay: “Mobster Sleeps with the Swishes.”

Lucky for Kushner, at least some mobsters have a sense of humor. Former Gambino family associate Louis Ferrante contributed this blurb for Kushner’s book jacket: “When the judge threw the book at me, I wish…

The Bull's Victims Haunt Karen Gravano's Book

The day after "Mob Wives" debuts and the big brawl that followed the premiere last night in New York sent at least one person to the hospital, and one of the new cast members was in court watching Federal Judge Sandra Townes sentence her husband Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo to seven years in prison for murder conspiracy, extortion and witness tampering. (We still say we have information that the couple has split up; we wonder if perhaps they got back together for dramatic purposes for "Mob Wives" -- the incentive being the paycheck they are both earning for being on the show.)

Next month the judge will sentence Alicia DiMichele, 40, for embezzling union funds from a trucking company she and her husband once owned. The figure has been placed at $40,000.
Alicia was actually arrested over these charges and has already plead guilty to the embezzlement charge.

“I’ve already plead guilty to embezzlement last year, so I’m actually just waiting for the judge to sente…

The Mafia, Philip Carlo, and the Quacking Duck

Image
Here is the first post I ever wrote for this site; I in fact created this site to have a place to put it!

Despite my obvious criticism of writer Philip Carlo, who sadly died of a horrible disease, I still love his work and have read all his books...



I recently read a hardcover book by organized-crime specialist scribe Philip Carlo about Anthony Gaspipe Casso, a fascinating, psychotic Luchese mobster, who I think is the first mobster in history to flip for the police, then flip back, only once you flip, you really can't flip back. So he is a mafiosi who was thrown out of the mob for deciding to turn state's evidence, only the state decided the evidence he provided wasn't strong enough to outweigh his crimes, which included the torture/murders of a lot of people.

Mashable.com: Former Zynga Engineer Says One Player Spent $100,000 on Mafia Wars

Image
I'll admit it, I was addicted to Mafia Wars a few years back when it first rolled out onto Facebook. I loved it! Not enough to spend money like those jackasses you'll read about below, but I played it every free moment. I grew a crime family that was over a thousand strong. I always took on "hits," not so much for the "cash" (think of it as Monopoly money -- or better yet, Mafia money, worthless outside the game) but to up my kill stats. I relentlessly robbed everyone I could, too.


I kept earning fortunes, then rolling them over to upgrade my weapons, armor and real estate. I must've had a massive fleet of every kind of vehicle you could imagine at my disposal. Soon, everyone was giving me high level posts in their families and I was a "virtual" mob boss sitting on an empire, my stats at such eye-popping levels, no one was strong enough to kill me or rob me. Members of my family, newer at the game or not very good players would come to me for h…

'Geriatric' Gangster Duo Launches Crime Spree

Image
From The Daily Beast: At a time when even Mafia bosses turn informant, two slippery-fingered septuagenarians from Chicago are proving as rare as the famed diamond they stole more than three decades ago.

Back when Joseph “Jerry” Scalise and Arthur “the Genius” Rachel were nabbed for heisting the Marlborough diamond from ritzy Graff jewelers in London, they refused to give up the 45-carat stone. They shunned all offers of leniency during 13 hard years in a British prison, and the owners never recovered the $980,000 jewel.

“If Lloyd’s [of London] wanted to pay enough money, maybe they could,” Scalise joked.

In 1993, Scalise and Rachel returned to a life of crime in Chicago, unchanged save for a slight Irish brogue from their years with IRA prisoners. But the underworld had become a place where everybody was turning rat—including the son and brother of mob capo Frank Calabrese Sr., resulting in the 2005 “Family Secrets” trial, which largely finished the Outfit in the city once ruled by Al…

Full Episode of 'Old Friends, New Archenemies' from Mob Wives 2

"Old Friends, New Archenemies" ( Ep. 205 ) from Mob Wives 2 | Full Episode | VH1.com:

VHI.com keeps copies of all "Mob Wives" episodes -- among other shows -- on its website, so if you miss an episode or want to watch one again, you can by simply going to the site and finding the one you want to watch. Since there was no episode tonight -- I don't know why -- I am attaching the video of the complete show from last week to compensate any "Wives" junkies who need a quick fix... check it out:


Mob Wives (Season 2)

Lee Cheated on "Junior" Pagan's Mistress, Says Renee

Image
"
Renee, riding out her celebrity (you go, girl!), seems to be all over the place these days, doing photo shoots or interviews with print/online sites and on radio.

VH1.com highlights a recent radio interview Renee did with the Breakfast Club, where she discussed a range of subjects, including her plastic surgery nightmare, her connection to Drita D’Avanzo’s husband Lee, and for the first time, offered some insight into the latest with ex-husband Junior Pagan, who was exposed as working undercover for a unique team of DEA/FBI agents.

Pagan helped put Renee's father back in jail by putting on his own radio show -- for the government, with Renee's father the unwitting guest star.

Here's What's Wrong with Mafia-related Journalism

Image
Ever hear of the Blogger News Network?

Neither have I, but I came across the website when a story it was running caught my eye, namely FBI Busts 5 Bonanno Crime Family Members, Plus A Gambino.

(April, 2017: This isn't a story I'd bother writing these days but back then it was the "passion to blog" that fueled me. This is the kind of story that allowed me to build whatever traction I have these days....)

It represents much of what's wrong with how the media covers the Mafia today.

Former Boss Holds No Grudge Against Mob Wives Daughters

Image
Since this story was written, it became known that TG Graziano had been put on the shelf by his mob family because of his daughters' creation of "Mob Wives."

One cover story has collapsed, but another one may be in place. [Or perhaps speculating on the machinations of a reality TV show that blurs the line between La Cosa Nostra, a members'-only secret society built on stealing money, and the rest of the world is a fool's game.]

I just don't know -- but I do know that I dig immersing myself in this stuff and writing about it.

CNNews Evokes 'Barroom Rules' Regarding Comments

I just deleted I believe more than a dozen comments; and I know who wrote at least one of them. I have to apologize to you and however many others contributed to a certain discussion that went on earlier on this blog; I was out all day so I couldn't nip this in the bud. My general policy is, please, please, please comment as much as you can! All feedback, input, criticism is appreciated.

But at the same time I realize I have to evoke "barroom rules," which means talk about anything (stuff that is MAFIA-related would be quite appreciated), but keep opinions on two things to yourselves: Religion and Politics (meaning U.S. politics; you can post all you want about mob politics! I mean no Democrat vs. Republican-type debates.) Those hot-button issues are the most divisive there are, and as much as I believe in free speech, you have to choose your battles...
This is not a platform for those agendas. This is Cosa Nostra News; please keep comments focused somehow, someway on the …

Shameless Self Promotion -- One-year-old Cosa Nostra News Surpasses Quarter Million Hits!

I'd like to thank our readers, the New York Daily News (for crucial early support), as well as Mob Candy's Uncle Frank for letting me bolster my credibility as the sole owner/operator of this site by writing articles for his great magazine, which all Mafia aficianados should be reading!

(Hey Frank, how about those contributor's copies for the Massino and Burke stories I wrote?)
My goal is to ramp-up pageviews by providing more exclusive content. Maybe 2012 will be the year I manage to pull off... well, something. We will certainly keep you good people informed. And, please! Keep the comments coming! I only have feedback (and Google Analytics) to make sure I understand the types of stories you all prefer to read.
Thanks again! EVL or Ed. L. or maybe I'll dust off my old nickname: "Fast Eddie"
PS: Turns out, I did do a little dusting, as you'll all notice...

‘Mob Wives’ Latest Diva Relishes Her 15 Minutes

Image
OK, for me it is inexplicable. I am talking about the level of media attention and celebrity now showering upon former drug-dealing mob moll Big Ang  Raiola. But since I don't think it is a subject worth a great amount of philosophical introspection, I will pass it by.

From the BostonHerald.com interview below, two things struck me. One is that there is actually a "Mob Wives" fanatic out there in the world who is brainless enough to have actually gotten a tattoo on him- or herself of Big Ang's face. I can't help but wonder where on the body they had that ink inserted.... Two, the Chicago version of the show will debut before the end of the year with an entirely different cast (well, geez, we'd sure hope so!).

Have at it:

America's newest sweetheart is a chain-smoking Staten Island diva with a passion for plastic surgery. She's Angela 'Big Ang' Raiola, the latest cast member on the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives."

Raiola debuted on the Ja…

CNNews Poll: Who's the Most Hated Mob Wife of All?

Image
Karen Gravano won the dubious distinction.

Ramona Rizzo is not too far behind.

 After only three-four appearances on the show, that is quite a remarkable feat.

Anyone could vote in this, and all, Cosa Nostra News polls; in this one, readers could vote for one or two wives, and they could change their votes up until the final moments before the poll closed.

I am a bit surprised that Renee could be seen as most loved in that the least amount of people "hate" her -- 38 people, or 11% of the voters. I give her kudos for talking about her depression issues on television. Depression is a major problem in the U.S., and the more the "stars" with the bully pulpits address problems such as this one, the better for society, I believe.

Drita and Carla fared much, much better than Gravano and Rizzo, running about neck-and-neck with each other, close behind Renee -- with 18% (61 votes) and 17% (60 votes), respectively.

Now, I'd like to address some comments below: To Anonym…