Thursday, May 31, 2012

'Gotti' Film Gets Whacked, Forbes Reports

Happier Days: Apparently, we will never know how good or
bad the film would have turned out.
Forbes is reporting that Fiore production's much-hyped 'Gotti' film is as dead as the heyday of Cosa Nostra.

It is probably one of the most over-written films never to have made it to the screen, with producer Marc Fiore fighting an uphill battle, seemingly part of it of his own making, such as the endless bad press following negated negotiations with Joe Pesci, an actor many cinema fans enjoy watching, especially in Mafia films.

But the "final nail" in the coffin, the article says, no doubt speaking what many think, likely is the bad tabloid press engendered by John Travolta -- who was to play the role of the infamous Gambino crime boss.

"True or not, [this type of scandal is] corrosive to this sort of project," the Forbes article says, adding, "Said one ex-participant, 'I doubt John Gotti Jr. would want him playing his father now,'" a sentiment that would seem to fly in the face of what Mrs. John Gotti Sr.has been saying in defense of the actor.

The film seemingly had a new lease on life, briefly, when it was announced late last year that Barry Levinson was going to helm the film as director, and that a new producer had arrived, Ted Field, "who’s come in to save Marco Fiore (aka Marc Fiore)," reported Showbiz411, which added that Field had been negotiating distribution rights with Summit Entertainment.

But money issues continued to dog the film."For some time, Ted Field of Radar Pictures said he was going to raise the necessary $45 million to make the film. But that hasn’t happened," Forbes reports.

John Travolta was not the only big name attached to the project, the "idea" of which was hyped by producers only a year ago at Cannes. Others who signed on, or may have, or were supposed to have, included: Al Pacino, Kelly Preston (Mrs. Travolta was going to play Victoria Gotti Sr. -- but who know's if she will even be playing Mrs. Travolta much longer?), Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian (!) and Ben Foster.

The article also notes that producer Marco Fiore "spent four years in prison for a boiler room scheme on Wall Street... A whole book had been published about the scheme.

"Fiore then brought in another former Allenwood State Penn inmate as executive producer.... No money was paid to anyone. The 'Gotti' movie dragged on and on."

We have a feeling someone got paid something.

For on update on Travolta's problems, check out  John Travolta: More Proof He Was In New York, Not L.A., on Day of Alleged Assault.



Related links:

Gotti biopic 'coming together'

Update: Gotti Biopic Obtains Backing of a ...

It's Official: Gotti Biopic Put 'on Hold'

Gotti Biopic Sinking Due to Lack of Funding?




Monday, May 28, 2012

‘Sopranos’ Fans Still Haunted by Abrupt Ending

Yes, I count myself among these fans. From NorthJersey.com:


Every weekend, On Location Tours takes a busload of pilgrims to Holsten's in Bloomfield so they can check out a table in the back. It bears a little sign saying, "This booth is reserved for the Soprano family."


Stars James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler sitting at a booth in Holsten's in Bloomfield in the last episode.Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler in the infamous booth in Holsten's in Bloomfield.

"They usually go to the booth, sit down, take pictures … get some food, some souvenirs, maybe ice cream, some candy," says Ron Stark, one of Holsten's owners, who notes that fans of the late HBO show continue to stop by on their own, too.

It's been nearly five years since Tony, Carmela and A.J. Soprano came together in that booth – as Meadow struggled to parallel park outside – for what turned out to be the most controversial last supper in television history. It was there that Tony put a coin in the jukebox and played Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " – a song that suddenly ended, the same second that the screen went black, and just as Tony looked up to see Meadow coming through the door. Not faded to black, but stopped cold, wrapping up six seasons of the HBO series that became a national obsession and, for a time, made North Jersey the center of the television universe....

Read rest, Five years later, ‘Sopranos’ fans still haunted by the show’s abrupt ending - NorthJersey.com


RELATED POSTS


Cosa Nostra News: Tony Gets Whacked at Sopranos' End: Imperioli


Cosa Nostra News: Gandolfini Baffled, Angered by Sopranos Abrupt Finale


Cosa Nostra News: 'Paulie Walnuts' Sirico's Mobster Past Hyped Again


Cosa Nostra News: Actor-Turned-Mobster Darrow Learns a Very Public Lesson About the Mob


'Mob Wives Chicago' Debuts New Cast in Trailer

From Digital Spy:


The trailer for the series --  a spin-off of the Staten Island, New York-set Mob Wives -- introduces viewers to the new cast, Reene Fecarotta Russo, Nora Schweihs, Pia Rizza, Christina Scoleri and Leah Desimone.

The Mob Wives series follows women whose husbands or fathers are doing time for crimes connected to the Mafia.

"The mob is Chicago. It's in the pavement, it's everywhere. This is where it f**king started," says one of the women at the beginning of the trailer.[Ed. Note: She's wrong; it didn't start in Chicago.]

"Anybody that says it's a glamorous lifestyle is not really in this lifestyle," says another woman on the VH1 show.

Mob Wives Chicago debuts on VH1 on June 10 at 8pm ET.



B&W Pix of 'Lucky' Luciano, the Prostitutes Who Helped Dewey Put Him Away

From Mail Online, a treasure trove of old photographs of Lucky and the prostitutes who helped Dewey steal the trial, and put one of the founders of Cosa Nostra away for years before deporting him...


He evaded police capture for decades, terrorising the city of New York with his gambling, drug trafficking and extortion - and rising to the Mafia's helm.

But these photographs capture the moment Charles 'Lucky' Luciano - the Italian-born gangster considered the father of modern organised crime - was finally caught by police.

The images, now archived at the New York City Department of Records, include his mug shot and incriminating pictures of the high class prostitutes he was accused of employing.

In 1936, Luciano was dragged before a judge after prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey - who would later run for president - accused him of running a $12-million-a-year prostitution ring in New York.

Caught: Gangster Charles Luciano in a February 1931 mugshot after he was arrested for leading a prostitution ring. His right eye is drooped after he was stabbed and left for dead, earning him the nickname 'Lucky'
Charles Luciano in a February 1931 mugshot 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151027/Black-white-pictures-mob-leader-Charles-Lucky-Luciano-high-class-prostitutes-led-1936-arrest.html#ixzz1wCIHTR56

Mafia Daughter Linda 'Scarpa' Schiro in NY Post

Linda Schiro is working on her memoirs.
Linda Schiro, aka Scarpa, provides more anecdotes and details than have appeared in her previous interviews on "I Married a Mobster" and "The Joy Behar Show." As is noted in the article, she is also working on a book of her own, which I will read before I read Karen Gravano's tripe, no matter how many weeks on the NY Times best seller list it lasts.

From NYPOST.com:


It was 1983, and Linda Schiro, a 14-year-old Catholic-school sophomore from Midwood, smoked pot for the first time with her best friend, a boy from the Brooklyn neighborhood.

When her dad somehow found out, he, like any father, was upset.

But he wasn’t any father. He was Greg Scarpa, a top Colombo captain and one of the most feared wiseguys in history.

Scarpa flew into a rage, tracked down the boy and delivered a savage beating, pummeling his face into mush.

The father of the battered teen was no less angry. He took his son, whose eyes were grotesquely puffed up and nose was broken, to the Scarpa house and demanded an apology.

But Scarpa was still angry. Brushing off the father, he frog-marched the beaten boy upstairs — and made his daughter look at the boy’s mangled face.

“How he survived, I don’t know — it was a massive beating,” Schiro recalls. “Greg said, ‘See, this is what happens when you give my daughter drugs!’ ”

It worked: She never touched pot again.

“Little Linda” Schiro, now 42, has spent her life dealing with the guilt and turmoil of being the daughter of a mobster. She’s working on a memoir and agreed to sit down with The Post for a sneak peek of what she calls “my twisted tale.”

Her dad was a legendary character who bragged that he stopped counting his murder victims when he reached 50. Among his nicknames were “The Grim Reaper” and “The Mad Hatter.” He called himself “The Killing Machine” and signed letters to his family “KM.”

Schiro grew up seeing it all, knowing he made millions dealing drugs, running numbers and taking bets, through loan-sharking and shakedowns....


Read rest, Mafia daughter Linda Schiro says her dad Greg Scarpa beat and scared away friends and had man who tried to rape her killed - NYPOST.com


RELATED POSTS


Cosa Nostra News: Judge: FBI 'Must' Release More Scarpa Files


Cosa Nostra News: Linda Scarpa Featured on 'The Streets Don't Love You Back' Webcast


Cosa Nostra News: Greg Scarpa: Mobster Played Key Role in Historic Civil Rights Case

Thursday, May 24, 2012

'A Cosa Nostra till I Die...'

Peter Zuccaro
Peter Zuccaro
A former Gotti underling speaks out about the infamous Gambino boss who brought down the family built by and named for one of the greatest mob bosses of the 20th century, Carlo Gambino, who at the pinnacle of his career was widely considered to be the unofficial "boss of bosses," --  a title done away with following the slaying of the last man to officially hold it, Salvatore Maranzano, back in the 1930s.


Although the title is often bandied about in describing some mob bosses throughout Cosa Nostra's history, Gambino, however, truly fit the bill, at one point secretly controlling at least three of the five bosses on the Commission, always based in New York, Mafia ground zero.



Gotti had a big mouth.
Carlo's single greatest mistake was a whopper, though. And that was the decision to make "Big Paul" Castellano, who was both his cousin and brother in law, his successor. This led to Castellano's murder in the mid-1980s and the rise of John Gotti, who with little more than his big mouth, eventually brought down the Gambinos and the Mafia to such a low, Italian organized crime likely will never recover. Gotti's worst legacy was Sammy the Bull's informing, setting a precedent which many Mafiosi didn't bat an eye in following when their own back was pressed to the wall. "If Sammy could do it, so can I..."


Anyone who knows anything about the mob knows the role Gotti played in destroying it. But in case you don't, this is taken from the NYPOST.com:

John Gotti whacked the mob.

The publicity-loving “Dapper Don’’ — who could never keep his mouth shut — played right into the hands of law enforcement by transforming the Mafia from a secret society into a public spectacle, a fellow mobster said yesterday.

“He ruined everything,” Peter “Bud” Zuccaro lamented in Brooklyn federal court.

“He publicized everything that was going on. He brought everything that was supposed to be a secret society right out to the forefront, right into the press,” said Zuccaro, a longtime Gambino associate who flipped in 2005 to become an FBI informant.

Gotti took the helm of the Gambino family after orchestrating the very public execution of his predecessor, Paul Castellano, outside Sparks Steak House in December 1985.

And after that, nothing was the same. What had been a secret criminal culture, Zuccaro said, was transformed into a swaggering enterprise — with flashy wiseguys ignoring omerta and bragging about their exploits.

Older mob leaders had stayed under the radar, blending into the workaday world by pretending to hold legit jobs while they conducted their criminal business in quiet meetings.

But Gotti was seduced by the celebrity life — and turned into more of a diva than a don.

He loved posing for cameras and thrived in the spotlight — and soon Mafia secrets became public knowledge.

Quiet meetings in small groups at diners became a thing of the past.

Suddenly mob business was conducted by “guys reporting to the [Ravenite Social] Club while the FBI is surveilling you,” Zuccaro said, speaking of the clubhouse in Little Italy where the nattily dressed Gotti held court....

Read more: Fame-loving Mafia boss John Gotti’s public persona brought down the mob, according to testimony by a Gambino underling - NYPOST.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why the Decavalcantes Hit "Johnny Boy"




Riggi made Johnny Boy acting boss, then made him dead after D'Amato's
mistress began discussing what happened in the bedroom.

New Jersey mobster John "Johnny Boy" D'Amato was murdered in 1992 while holding the title of acting boss of the Decavalcantes, a position he supposedly won thanks to some secret maneuvering by Gambino boss John Gotti.

D'Amato's gumare, or mistress, told the wrong people that Johnny Boy was a homosexual and they killed him in a hit that supposedly inspired Sopranos creator David Chase to create the Vito Spatafore story line realized towards the end of the series.

Described as a member of the fictional DiMeo crime family -- the crime family Tony Soprano was boss of --  Spatafore (played by   Joseph R. Gannascoli) was married with two children and was a closeted homosexual close to the fiction New York mob boss, Phil Leotardo, played by Frank Vincent.


Wall Street and the Financial 'Heist' of 2008-09

"Lucky" Luciano, third from left (on his right is Meyer Lansky), and his young
turks may have reorganized crime, turning it into a cash-generating machine, but
they are nothing versus what certain Wall Street titans have done and continue to do.


You think the Mafia is an evil organized crime empire? The mob is peanuts... Find out who the real Godfathers are -- the men who run such "families" as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Think I am kidding? Read on...

From The Guardian:

Bernard L Madoff ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, operating it for 30 years and causing cash losses of $19.5bn. Shortly after the scheme collapsed and Madoff confessed in 2008, evidence began to surface that for years, major banks had suspected he was a fraud. None of them reported their suspicions to the authorities, and several banks decided to make money from him without, of course, risking any of their own funds. Theories about his fraud varied. Some thought he might have access to insider information. But quite a few thought he was running a Ponzi scheme. Goldman Sachs executives paid a visit to Madoff to see ifthey should recommend him to clients. A partner later recalled: "Madoff refused to let them do any due diligence on the funds and when asked about the firm's investment strategy they couldn't understand it. Goldman not only blacklisted Madoff in the asset management division but banned its brokerage from trading with the firm too."

UBS headquarters forbade investing any bank or client money in Madoff accounts, but created or worked with several Madoff feeder funds. A memo to one of these in 2005 contained the following, in large boldface type: "Not to do: ever enter into a direct contact with Bernard Madoff!!!"

JPMorgan Chase had more evidence, because it served as Madoff's primary banker for more than 20 years. The lawsuit filed by the Madoff bankruptcy trustee against JPMorgan Chase makes astonishing reading. More than a dozen senior JPMorgan Chase bankers discussed a long list of suspicions.

The Securities and Exchanges Commission has been deservedly criticised for not following up on years of complaints about Madoff, many of which came from a Boston investigator, Harry Markopolos, whom they treated as a crank. But suppose a senior executive at Goldman Sachs, UBS or JPMorgan Chase had called the SEC and said: "You really need to take a close look at Bernard Madoff. He must be working a scam."

But not a single bank that had suspicions about Madoff made such a call. Instead, they assumed he was probably a crook, but either just left him alone or were happy to make money from him.

It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the globalfinancial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident....

Read the rest: Heist of the century: Wall Street's role in the financial crisis



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crazy Mafiosi You May Never Have Heard Of

From the website/blog Guyism. I only included the Italians on the list, which actually has seven criminals on it, because I consider the Mafia to be the word for America's Italian organized crime ring, aka, La Cosa Nostra. The Mexicans and Russians -- among other ethnicities -- may have their own versions, but I cringe when I hear them called mafias.


Also I don't know if I agree with this list. I mean dudes like "Crazy Joe" Gallo -- whose very nickname was Crazy -- are not in the ranking. But I supposed that's because of the "you may never have heard of." Still, you could use that angle and go backwards decades, into the 1920s and 1930s, and come up with some really sick bastards who NO ONE has ever heard of, to such a degree we could've deleted the qualifier "may never have" from the title...


Whether it’s watching mobsters shoot up the big screen or make newspaper headlines, American culture has had a long running affair with gangsters. More often than not, prison or death seems to be the mafia’s retirement plan. Here are seven mobsters you may have missed.

 Stefano “Steve the Truck Driver” Vitabile

stefano 130x120 7 Mafia badasses you probably havent heard ofStefano started out as a soldier and later rose to consigliere of the NJ-based DeCavalcante family. In 1990 he was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy, but his violent streak is what landed him a life sentence in 2006. Following an argument in 1991, he ordered the killing of underboss, Louis LaRasso. He also whacked acting boss Johnny D’Amato after hearing about homosexual rumors. Neither body was ever recovered.
Liborio “Barney” Salvatore Bellomo
Liborio Bellomo 130x120 7 Mafia badasses you probably havent heard ofBorn in Sicily, Bellomo became a capo in the Genovese outfit before 30. He soon took over the racketeering, heroin trafficking, and prostitution rings for East Harlem’s 116th Street Crew. Rising to become acting boss he was indicted on extortion and murder charges in ’96. He plead guilty to lesser charges and served a 10 year sentence. As of 2008 he’s a free man. 
Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno
fatTony 130x120 7 Mafia badasses you probably havent heard ofThis NY mobster rose to become the front boss of the Genovese crime family. Known for his fedora and cigar chomping, he earned the nickname “Fat Tony” focused on extortion, money laundering, illegal gambling — the guy knew about the dollar. In 1986 he even earned Fortune Magazine’s top spot of gangster in wealth and power. He became diabetic and died of a stroke at a prison hospital in Springfield, Miss.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Momma Gotti Defends Travolta in Sex Case

Up ya nose with a rubber hose. Travolta a gay sex harasser?
"So what if he's gay?" mob widow Victoria Gotti is quoted saying in the U.K.'s Mail Online.

Mrs. Gotti, widow of legendary New York gangster John Gotti, launched an impassioned defence of the actor amid claims that he sexually harassed two three male massage therapists and a cruise ship worker.

She is doing so because it would seem she is a staunch defender of gay rights; well, it's either that or the fact that Travolta, 58, is set to play her husband in an upcoming film. Maybe both reasons?

The latest developments in Travolta's gay sex scandal  are not looking too good for the actor who gave us such memorable films as "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease."

Just as one of the original accusers had begun pulling out -- no pun intended -- a third stepped forward, and unlike the others, even named himself.

Reports the Mirror Online: "Former massage therapist Luis Gonzalez said he spent an afternoon with the ‘Pulp Fiction’ star at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, California, in 1997."

He is quoted as telling the National Enquirer, that paragon of journalism excellence in the U.S.: "He’s a great kisser. I know because I had sex with him and he loved it."

Click here if that story interests you.

Don Carlo didn't pat gays on the ass, but he used their
alternative lifestyles to put food on his table. A lot of food.

From an historical perspective, the Mafia is known for two contradictory impulses when it comes to homosexuality. First, they are an equal opportunity criminal organization: They will steal from anyone, gay or straight, black or white. The other impulse is they feel intense animosity toward gay made guys, who are typically quickly executed once their secret is out.

But when it comes to forming partnerships with non-Italians, I have heard that there is one ethnic group the mob does prefer to do business with over others -- namely Jews, as one fella informed me over a light lunch one rainy Saturday.

I will give my goodfella friend the name of Paulie Cazzo, a fake name, as anyone who understands Italian would probably guess pretty quickly. I am recalling our conversation from memory, but it pretty much went along these lines:

"My father loved working with Jews," Paulie told me.

"Why is that?" I asked. He thought I was Jewish; I kept reminding him I wasn't, because I started to feel guilty by not correcting him, like I was lying to him or something. But he'd always forget, and the next time we'd meet, I am Jewish all over again. I stopped reminding him. These days he calls me Meyer as a nickname (I am actually half German/half Sicilian).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AllAboutTRH Exclusive: Interview With Drita D'Avanzo

From All About The Real Housewives:

Drita D'Avanzo
"AllAboutTRH had an exclusive interview with one of our favorite Mob Wives, Drita Davanzo. Drita’s always been my favorite because she is simply a bad ass with a good heart. I asked her all the questions we’ve all been dying to know including where her friendship with Renee stands, what she thinks about Ramona and if she felt set up at Renee’s party! Drita doesn’t hold back and give’s us honest answers on how she really feels in this must read interview!"

Click here for the full interview.

Joe Bruno: Jen Graziano Says She Smelled a Rat

Pagan wanted a larger role on
Mob Wives, as did the FBI.
Damage control has begun for the producers of "Mob Wives." Read this piece from Joe Bruno on the Mob:

Jennifer Graziano, the creator of the VH1 TV Show Mob Wives had her “Duh” moment in her recent interview with the New York Post. Jennifer G. told the Post she should have known her ex-brother-in-law Hector “Junior” Pagan was a rat, when he seemed overly interested in appearing on her show.

When Jennifer G. asked Pagan, before the second season of Mob Wives, if he really wanted to be on the show, he eagerly said yes.

“It’ll ruin you on the street,” Jenifer G. told Pagan.

“No,” Pagan replied. “I don’t care about that anymore. I want to be in it.” (the FBI wanted Pagan to be in it too; wired for sound, of course)

“I should have known then that something was wrong,” Jennifer told the Post.

No spit, Sherlock.

Friday, May 11, 2012

'Baby Shacks' Gets 5 Years for Strip Club Plot

"Baby Shacks"



The former New England Mafia boss was sentenced Friday to 5½ years in prison for his role in the shakedown of Providence strip clubs, becoming the first ex-Mob leader to be locked up in a case that has ensnared nine people described by prosecutors as having ties to organized crime.

The sentence for the 84-year-old Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio means he may live out his final days in prison. He turns 85 next month.

Manocchio's role in the extortion plot went back to about 1992 and netted $800,000 to $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains through protection payments paid by strip clubs, including the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge, according to prosecutors. Manocchio maintained at his sentencing that he never personally threatened anybody.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gioeli Escapes Cop Slay But Guilty of Racketeering

From National Post (via the Associated Press):

Tommy Shots apprehended; he still faces up to 20 years.
A reputed Mafia boss and a co-defendant were convicted Wednesday on racketeering charges. But in a blow to the government, they were acquitted of the most shocking crime in their federal case: the unsolved gangland slaying of an off-duty New York Police Department officer in 1997.

A jury delivered the mixed verdict for the defendants — Thomas “Tommy Guns” Gioeli, the reputed former boss of the Colombo crime family, and reputed mob soldier Dino “Little Dino” Saracino — on its fifth day of deliberations in federal court in Brooklyn.

Gioeli, 59, had been charged in a total of six murders, including that of Officer Ralph Dols, dating to the 1990s. Jurors found that he and Saracino were involved in murder plots but also concluded that prosecutors failed to prove they actually killed Dols or the others.

The two defendants smiled broadly and slapped their lawyers’ backs after the jury left the courtroom. They face up to 20 years in prison at sentencing on Sept. 14. The murder counts had carried a possible life term.

Outside court, defence attorney Adam Perlmutter said the verdict was a repudiation of the government’s star witness, admitted assassin Dino “Big Dino” Calabro.
Dino Saracino

“It’s clear (jurors) rejected the vast majority of what Dino Calabro had to say,” the lawyer said.

Prosecutors had no immediate comment.

Investigators believe Dols ran afoul of the mob by marrying the ex-wife of Joel Cacace, another Colombo boss. On the witness stand, Calabro, at the time a Colombo associate, described being recruited by Gioeli for a “piece of work” wanted by Cacace.

Gioeli misled Calabro by telling him the target was a worker at a Queens social club who was in trouble with the family, Calabro said. The witness described how he and Saracino donned baseball caps and gloves before confronting Dols as he got out of his car.

“What’s up?” the officer asked before both men opened fire and left him fatally wounded on the street, Calabro said. The killers tossed their guns in the sewer as they fled, he said.

Calabro said he only learned the victim was a police officer by reading newspaper headlines the next day.

“I was amazed,” he said. “We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just the rule — you don’t hurt kids and you don’t kill cops.”

Another witness, Saracino’s brother Sebastian, testified that he was ordered to get rid of a Cadillac used in the Dols rubout. The testimony drew a courtroom outburst by Saracino.

“Don’t call me your brother no more! … Stop lying, Sebby!” the defendant shouted as he was led to a holding cell while jurors took a break.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Capone's Legacy to Cosa Nostra: Pay Taxes!

Al Capone, a murdering racketeer, but whether he can be
considered a legitimate Mafioso is doubtful.
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) ran a Prohibition-era crime syndicate in Chicago, dubbed "The Outfit," but which became better known as the Capone gang. His era ran from the early 1920s to 1931, after which he was convicted on federal charges of tax evasion, and sentenced to federal prison. His incarceration included a term at Alcatraz federal prison. Toward his end, he suffered mental and physical deterioration due to late-stage neurosyphilis, and on January 25, 1947, he died from cardiac arrest.

Despite his crimes, Capone's reputation soared due to his carefully orchestrated Depression-era acts -- donating to charity, opening soup kitchens, even positioning himself as a sort of Robin Hood, and was even "sympathetic" enough to weep during the more poignant moments of certain operas, which he loved (Stalin cried during opera, too, make of that what you will) -- but then fell into the sewer in the wake of his involvement in the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, when seven rival gang members were executed, a crime so brutal and hideous, he lost his fan club.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book World Review: Ed Falco's ‘The Godfather’ Prequel

The Book World section of The Washington Post reviewed "The Godfather" prequel, written by Ed Falco, and yes, he is related to Edie Falco, who played Carmella on "The Sopranos." It sure is a small world; I doubt I will be reading this book, unless any readers out there will give me a big thumb's up...


"Mario Puzo (1920-99) was one of 12 children born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen to two illiterate Neapolitan immigrants. Puzo graduated from City College, loved the novels of Dostoyevsky and in his 20s began writing stories for pulp magazines. He published two little-noticed novels, and then, in his late 30s, deeply in debt (he gambled) and with a wife and five children, he set out for entirely mercenary reasons to write a novel about the Mafia, an organization about which he knew almost nothing.

"I remember reading “The Godfather” when it was published in 1969. Like millions of others, I couldn’t put it down. Puzo had drawn brilliantly on the pulps and Dostoyevsky to create a crime story like no other. His powerful narrative carried violence to shocking new levels (even horses weren’t safe). Most strikingly, in Puzo’s fictional universe, leaders of the Mafia, previously regarded as ignorant, homicidal thugs, were transformed into men of honor, men of respect, American businessmen who were sometimes obliged to do harm to others, although the best of them, such as Puzo’s Don Vito Corleone, deeply regretted that necessity. ..."


Read the rest: Book World: ‘The Family Corleone,’ by Ed Falco, a prequel to ‘The Godfather’ - The Washington Post

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tommy Karate Was More Serial Killer Than Goodfella

A Bonanno crime family member from the mob's recent past who calls to mind the workings of a violent earlier crew known as the murder machine recently tried to get out of prison.

Tommy Karate, nose smashed in, comprehending his career's end.

But Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera's appeal was crushed (just like his nose when the DEA arrested him) by a dead judge, who while alive penned the legal documents that validated the denial.

As Forbes reported: "A federal court of appeals yesterday denied a criminal defendant’s Motion To Compel Post-Conviction Relief in the form of DNA testing of six items related to the crimes at issue.

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