Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Worst Card in the Deck

Masseria murder scene; note the ace
of apades -- fate or fiction?
Joe "The Boss" mugshot.
The New York Times FYI section is running an interesting Q&A today, titled "Coney Island’s Big Hit" -- and we are glad the writer noted that the card more than likely was slipped into the dead mob boss's hand by an enterprising photographer -- just like an enterprising cop may have slipped the famous cigar into a dead Carmine Galante's mouth....But it's kind of funny that the Masseria killing created the fear of the ace of spades -- considered the "death card" by Mafiosi and others -- when all along it may have been manufactured rather than an act of fate.

Also our good friend/mentor Sonny Girard in his comment below has reminded us that Lucky Luciano used all-Jewish shooters for the Masseria hit, most likely because Joe The Boss, who had a knack for escaping assassination attempts, would be unlikely to recognize Jewish gunmen. Anyway, this was an iconic mob hit, just like Anastasia in the barber chair some 25 years later, and Crazy Joe Gallo a decade or two later on, also in a restaurant, and Paul Castellano -- but that is material for another post.

Sonny -- we have a standing offer, anything you write we'd publish. If people would start helping to support our site we could even pay you.

Sonny is a retired mobster who more than earned his stripes and is taking life easy in Florida; he did his time and know is dedicated to writing, mostly correcting the voluminous amount of falsehoods that have crept into Mafia history over the many decades it's been around. He's written some great fiction, too, which you should also check out. (I have read and re-read all his works and recommend them all highly. Find them at his site: Sonny's Mob Social Club. He's the real deal; the life we try to write about, he actually lived.)

Sonny, la tua scrittura è sempre apprezzato e rispettato. Cosa Nostra News è sempre un amico ... Grazie, Ed

Q. I’d like some information about the killing of Joe Masseria, the mob leader also known as the Boss, in 1931. All I’ve heard is that the shooting took place in Scarpato’s Coney Island Restaurant and that Lucky Luciano was supposed to have been there.

A. On April 15, 1931, Giuseppe Masseria’s afternoon luncheon meeting was interrupted by four bullets in his back and one in his head. He had been dining at Nuova Villa Tammaro, a seafood restaurant at 2715 West 15th Street in Coney Island, Brooklyn. It was run by Gerardo Scarpato and named for the owner’s mother-in-law, Anna Tammaro. On his way to lunch, Mr. Masseria had parked his steel-armored sedan, with plate glass an inch thick, at a garage nearby.

The police found Mrs. Tammaro bending over the gang leader’s body. Mr. Masseria lay on his back. Playing cards were strewed around the room. A photographer snapped an image of the dead mobster with the ace of spades clutched in his right hand; that card, however, might have been staged. Mr. Scarpato said he had been out for a walk at the time.

The assailants left their coats, which were never successfully traced. No one was arrested.

Mr. Masseria had been widely regarded as the top Mafia leader in New York for about 10 years — “Bigger than Al Capone,” one anonymous detective was quoted as saying by The New York Times — and his shooting ended a rivalry with Salvatore Maranzano and a yearlong round-robin of bloodletting known as the Castellammarese War. It also paved the way for the rise of the notorious five mob families, with Lucky Luciano replacing Mr. Masseria as a family head.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Billy Cutolo Whispered: 'Three for My Father...'

"Wild Bill" was feared and respected --
and he was considered the real deal.
The Discovery channel certainly did not go out of its way to promote “Mobster Confessions,” its new Mafia-related series, the first episode of which detailed the story of Bill Cutolo Jr.’s efforts to nail the Colombo family members who had whacked his father.

I have written repeatedly that I am not in any way connected, but if my father were killed and I happened to have access to a pistol, like Billy did, and if I actually knew who was behind my father’s murder, I’d say I would get in my car, find them and kill them all until they stopped me by putting one or two in my head.

But that’s easy for me to say, sitting here typing this, knowing full well my father would never be killed by mobsters because he is in no way connected, either.

Apparently Billy’s first sentiment upon learning his father had been “disappeared” mirrored my own.

“Three for my father,” he says he told Colombo mobster Jackie DeRoss after learning his father’s fate. DeRoss, in response, apparently dropped by after giving Billy some time to cool off to see how the Cutolos were holding up (and probably to try to steal Wild Bill’s book). According to Billy, DeRoss offered with his condolences a veiled threat to the family, which had been acting quite “emotionally” over the death of the family patriarch, reminding them there were “young kids” in the Cutolo mix.

For background on why “Wild Bill” Cutolo was killed, there is ample coverage online and on this site. Suffice it to say, he had chosen the wrong side in the Colombo civil war (of the early 1990s) and let’s just say the winning side had a long memory.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rapper GFella Lauds 'Mob Wives' of New York

From the VH1 Blog:
"Westchester, NY’s GFella is a rapper who identifies strongly with his Italian-American heritage (and his purported family history of mafia connections). Naturally, then, he recorded a rap ode to Mob Wives. A former member of Confidential (a hip-hop also-ran that came up under Queen Latifah and appeared on the Romeo Must Die soundtrack), GFella is also a Mob Wives super-fan, judging from his shouts-out to the reality quartet and lyrics like “Jail visits, Fed joints, TV rules for the kids.” GFella hasn’t gotten much notice in the New York hip-hop scene lately, except thanks to his collaboration with Big Pun’s son. But he sure got our attention with this track. And Drita D’avanzo is a fan, too."

We at Cosa Nostra News love Drita, so feast your eye and ears on this Gfella vid, too:

SEE ALSO: GFELLA Offers Hip Hop Ode to Linda Scarpa

TVMobwives Gets the Goods from "Little Linda" Interviews "Little Linda" Scarpa! (Audio) | TVMOBWIVES.COM:

Linda Scarpa -- looking fine.

"Growing up 'Little Linda' Scarpa realized very early on that her dad was different from most dads...

"Greg Scarpa was a killer, but to his family he was a loving husband and father, who would protect them at all costs. When Scarpa contracted the HIV virus from a blood transfusion, he was still as dangerous as ever.....

"Greg Scarpa's family knew what he did for a living and witnessed some of the horror firsthand."

Click above link, listen to Gfella's ode to Linda, than the interview. We will offer a story tomorrow on anything new that Linda has added to the story of Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's Official: 'Big Ang' Gets Own VH1 Show

We admit it -- we didn't think it would happen ... but it did. Shows how much we know! Big Ang has her own show -- and the complete cast and concept have been revealed. From the people who gave you Mob Wives (including Jennifer Graziano herself -- see how much loot you can grab if your pops was a murdering, thieving Mafioso all his life? Only unlike J. Gotti Jr., whose "high-profile" film about his pops  is going nowhere, JustJenn was smart enough to know it's sometimes better to be behind the camera), you get this, from VH1:

VH1 is joining Angela "Big Ang" Raiola for a wild adventure sure to add a little sizzle to the summer heat.  Known for her breakout appearances on VH1's hit series "Mob Wives," Big Ang will be sure to bring laughs as large as her personality with the premiere of VH1's "Big Ang" on July 8 at 9PM ET/PT.
During her reality television debut in the second season of VH1's hit series "Mob Wives," Big Ang became the undeniable sweetheart of Staten Island.  VH1's "Big Ang" will follow the sassy and loveable leading lady as she hangs out at her popular Staten Island bar, The Drunken Monkey, schmoozing with her inner circle, especially- 'da wise guys,' her canine sidekick Lil' Louis and of course fan favorites from the original "Mob Wives" series. 
As the matriarch of her crew, Angela Raiola, aka "Big Ang," embraces the spotlight with her collection of diamonds and fur. Growing up in the heart of Brooklyn, this self proclaimed "bad girl" comes from mafia royalty. Niece of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, Big Ang has proven she can handle the heat from the gangsters. Her son, Anthony Donofrio, aka A.J., is a 23 year-old ladies man who may have learned a trick or two from his heartbreaking mother. Next is little sister Janine Detorewho is willing to take on anyone who crosses her family, and is deservingly referred to as "The Family Protector." Additionally, viewers will finally get to meet the lucky guy who won Big Ang's heart- her husband, the infamous Neil, a 38 year-old sanitation employee. 
Big Ang holds family close to her heart and her relationships have proven that friendship and family go hand-in-hand. After 30 years ruling the neighborhood with childhood friend Linda Torres, Big Ang and Linda still know how to get a little crazy and remain inseparable. Jennifer Patafio, aka "Little Jen," is as loyal to her red lipstick, stilettos and scotch as she is to Big Ang and her wise guys. Completing the rat pack is long-time friend and "nephew" Anthony Cracchiolo.  With his lady killer instincts and an eye for business, Anthony prides himself on his gentlemanly ways and his part in expanding The Drunken Monkey. 
VH1's "Big Ang" is the true definition of "living large." She lives in a world with larger-than-life laughter and fun, but most importantly, an overwhelming sense of loyalty and love from family and friends.  This wild and eclectic bunch will do just about everything but disappoint. ...

Read rest here.

Big Ang clips, etc. can be found here.

'Wall Street' Wiseguys Make Cosa Nostra Look Like Chump Change

From the Sky Valley Chronicle Washington State News:

According to Rolling Stone magazine the mainstream media boys blew it big time by not covering this trial of some Wall Street “ wiseguys” calledUnited States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm.


Because, says a new story by Matt Taibbi “Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties – not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.”

So what’s special about this case? The trial against “three faceless financial executives” was historic, says Taibbi.

Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time “the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street,” according to Taibbi.

Read rest, here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ramsay: a New Yorker Who Speaks British

My post on Peter "Petey Pasta" Pellegrino has consistently ranked among my top 10 all-time favorite posts. The link to the story is here: Hoodwinked: Long Island Restaurateur on Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' Was a Mobster. I am running the following post, from an old abandoned blog of mine (that may spring back to life one day), to give those of you not familiar with Gordon Ramsey and his reality-TV cooking shows an idea of what happens to those who appear on Kitchen Nightmares, or his other shows, such as the Best Restaurant show referenced below.

I don't think it's fair if any of you come to conclusions about Peter without knowing what Ramsay and his shows are all about. 

So no mobsters in this one, but context.

One of my favorite Ramsay shows is an episode of U.S. Kitchen Nightmares, called The Secret Garden, wherein Gordon is faced with the living embodiment of a cliche: the arrogant French chef, a breed of homo-sapien that seems particularly capable of arousing the dark side of Gordon Ramsay. He lived and studied in France as a young apprentice chef, and maybe his betters were hard on the giant Scotsman in whom perhaps they had eyeballed the potential of a new Antoine Careme, only with the physique of an athlete. Maybe they were a little tough on old Gordon, creating a subconscious inferiority complex, and now, whenever dealing with a French chef, he feels it's payback time.

Anyway in this episode we are treated to such Ramsay gems as:
  • "You seem quite proud of that food. Don't take this personal: I think your food is crap, tasteless, bizarre, long winded, boring and just badly done." 
  • "You are fascinated by crusted items and stuffing things."
  • "Jane [waitress], I am not asking you to blow smoke up his asshole." 
  • "Every time I say something to you, all you do is smile at me." 
  • "I am trying to get into your mind, so I can start breaking down how stupid you are." 
  • "His head is so far up his own ass, he can't even breathe anymore." 
  • And the inevitable:
  • "GO F---- YOURSELF!"

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Mobsters Corner Turncoat Hill, Shoot Him Dead

    "I'm gonna die at 69? Cool! Ha! Ha!"
    Sorry, loyal readers, I just couldn't resist. This is the headline so many of you wanted to read, really, really badly...

    Henry Hill, a low level drug-dealing associate of the Lucchese family,  assumed a high-profile position as a mobster that he never rightly earned simply because he "rolled" for the police.

    Hill, whose life was the inspiration for the book "Wiseguy," which served as the basis for the theatrical film "Goodfellas" by Martin Scorcese, was clipped by natural causes (for a lifelong drunk and drug addict that is)  on June 12, 2012. He was 69, and probably would have gotten a good laugh out of dying at that age, which had to be his favorite number.

    As for how he died, so far, the only official word is "Hill's girlfriend tells TMZ that the ex-gangster's heart 'gave out.'

    Hmmm. Richard Kuklinski, the Walter Mitty of the mob, who pretended to be a hit man for the Gambinos (we think he murdered people -- but not for money, rather for the hell of it, or as the Brits say, for shits and giggles), claimed to have killed a variety of men by giving them heart attacks. Coincidence? Very, very highly likely.

    May he rest in peace; luckily for him, not in pieces.

    (Hey, had it not been for Hill, we wouldn't have Goodfellas.)

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Even Mafiosi Find Use for Social Media

    G. Robert Blakey, author of the RICO act.
    I literally stumbled upon a blog purportedly written on an ongoing basis by Gambino associate/convicted murderer John Burke; it certainly could be John, or a proxy, someone writing for him. Former Bonanno boss/convicted racketeer "Tommy Shots" Gioeli has a blog which I believe his daughter writes for him based on his words.

    These blogs are interesting in that they give us a direct pipeline into the minds of these men, who reporters mainly write about from the side of law enforcement; it is Feds and prosecutors that dole out information. The mob doesn't distribute press releases.

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    PART TWO No 'Solid Evidence' Supports Dols' Alleged Crimes: Former NYPD Detective

    "Joe Waverly" Cacace
    In my earlier post on NYPD officer Ralph Dols, I noted that he had been accused of selling steroids and having connections to Russian and Italian organized crime. But no details were ever released about Dols' so-called crimes.

    I spoke with a detective who was part of that small team working the Dols' homicide. The detective said there was "nothing solid, nothing concrete" about any of the charges "that said Dols was a corrupt cop."
    Investigators, after spending years chasing a couple of gooses (more on that coming), finally came to believe Dols ran into problems with the Italian mob in the late 1990s for simply marrying Kimberly Kennaugh, the ex-wife of Joel Cacace, another Colombo boss. Cacace later supposedly gave the order to Gioeli to put someone on the job of going about the murder of the cop.

    The chosen hit man -- turncoat Dino Calabro -- and another assassin wearing baseball caps and gloves confronted Dols outside his home after the cop had returned from his after hours' job and was emerging from his parked car.

    "What's up?" Dols said. He was shot several time and lay in the street bleeding. It took him a long time to die, apparently. In the hospital, while the doctors were frantically working on the young, well-built officer, he was using every ounce of quickly draining energy to give cops standing by, pads open, pens wobbling, leads on his killers, which weren't very helpful but clearly said a lot about Dols' determination and bravery; he was a cop doing his job to the very end...

    Dols' reputation got slimed after his death. He is alleged to have sold anabolic steroids in Brooklyn's 70th Precinct, the same place where Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was dragged into a mens' room and sodomized with a busted broom handle by ex-officer Justin Volpe in 1997, the same year Dols was slain, reported.

    NYPD officer Ralph Dols, killed in 1997 at the age of 28.

    It was during the years-long investigation into the Dols' killing that, ironically, caused the police to end up shunning one of their own.

    The basis of the steroid accusation, that Dols was a dealer, was the fact that Dols was heavily into working out and there were rumors that he had used steroids, not sold them, but used them on himself. "Did he use steroids? That doesn't make him a corrupt cop," the detective said.

    As for the "Russian connection," the detective on the Dols' taskforce said this part emerged owing to an "incident" Dols had had with a Russian in a short time period prior to his murder.

    "Dols had argued with a Russian who had nearly drove over him in his car [Dolls had been walking across the street; the car narrowly missed him]. Dols just argued with the guy, saying to the driver that he [the driver] could've killed him [Dols, by running him over with a car]," the detective added.

    Lastly the Mafia connection was worked. The detective was amazed that the investigation had not begun with Cosa Nostra, considering the fact that Dols had married the ex-wife of a high-powered Mafioso, "Joe Waverly" Cacace, who has a reputation for toughness.

    "That was Dols' only connection [to the Mafia], his wife, Kim," the detective said.

    After wasting years shadowing Russians around, the group finally decided to start looking into the Italians. Considering who Dols' was married to -- and, more importantly, that his wife's ex-husband was a well-known violent Mafioso with an army of killers at his disposal, all of whom had taken a blood oath to follow orders.

    "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck..." the detective said.

    The team swung the telescope around, found Cacace and kept him in their sights until they identified the players involved in the shooting, doled out indicments and had the first trial, for Gioeli, who got a mixed verdict, both guilty and non-guilty.
    As for Dols, his reputation had been muddied from several corners. The rumors about steroids; overblown theorizing about what caused a simple argument in the street; and the fact that Dols' was married to a Mafioso's former wife -- who was hesitant to cooperate, offering very little information that law enforcement was seeking -- was enough for the NYPD to decide to turn its back on one of its own and whisper into the media's hypersensitive ear.

    "The assumptions [brought about by the investigation into Dols' murder, meaning he was never under any shadow with the department while alive] tainted him," the detective told me.

    Kimberly Kennaugh: Her love for Dols
    caused his Mafia-organized hit.
    The NYPD refused to put up a memorial plaque for Dols in Police Headquarters, but his housing bureau colleagues did honor him in their Coney Island, Brooklyn, station: His locker remains a shrine in the Police Service Area No. 1 locker room. Locker-shrining is common practice in the NYPD when a cop is slain.

    "Ralph had that locker and no one else can ever use it," said officer Anthony Cerenzio in a Daily News article.
    "I want his name cleared. It was unjust what they did to him," [Dols' wife] Kennaugh said.

    As noted former Colombo boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli and sidekick Dino "Little Dino" Saracino beat federal charges related to Dols' murder, which were the worst crimes with the longest sentences; the two were however found guilty of planning the murder among other Mafia-related crimes.

    I should add, however, that according to widely published reports, including in The Daily News, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is mulling levying a state murder case against Gioeli and Saracino, sources have said.

    And, no, it would not be double jeopardy, because murder charges brought in state court would differ from the federal racketeering murder charges, former federal prosecutor Brad Simon said. Charging individuals for the same crimes twice happens often when Cosa Nostra members have a seat at the defendant's table.

    But Gioeli and his fans are making the most of their "victory."

    The aging, sickly gangster reportedly received a standing ovation from fellow inmates at his home at the Metropolitan Detention Center. "For killing a cop," one of my sources, a retired NYPD detective who worked organized crime in New York City, said disgustedly.

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    NY POST: Paid Colombo Informants Got Away with Murder


    Colombo family informants received six-figure sums for snitching to FBI then got away with murder: Congress report from crusading researcher Angela Clemente (aka "G-mom") -

    TG Not Winning Any Popularity Contests

    George from Canada wearing
    his trademark pompadour.
    When news broke that "Tommy Shots" Gioeli would not be convicted for murdering a cop, I could tell a lot of my readers were pleased, with some probably even tossing a fist pump or two.

    I sensed this not based on my ability to read minds, a talent I reserve for when I can generate some cash; rather, my assumption is based on the number of pageviews the story continues to receive as well as the degree to which some have "shared" it via Twitter and Google+, for example.

    Even Gioeli's fellow inmates were pleased, applauding when the former Colombo boss had returned to his New York City jail cell on the night the jury reached their "stunning" verdict.

    It's been like that since time immemorial. A large segment of the public just plain "likes" the Mafia, seeing them as daring, dashing "men of honor," who are tremendously affluent, clad in sharp, custom-made suits, with a beautiful woman on their arm and a black Mercedes parked in the driveway running across the front of their mansion, maybe on Staten Island.

    The public either doesn't know or care about the "Mafia tax" imposed on them in every business sector the mob dominates, typically by controlling a key union. The brilliance of the mob's M&A strategy is that it entails the formation of profitable partnerships with the legitimate companies the mob is extorting, awarding these company's their own slice of the pie, meaning a share of the market, as well as the promise of no competition. How this actually works varies, depending on the business. For example, when bids are involved, the company whose "turn" it is can safely submit a hugely inflated bid, taking comfort in the fact that his supposed "rivals" will make even larger bids. In other businesses, companies can cover the mob's "take" as well as boost their own revenues by raising consumer prices.

    Keeping everything running smoothly is the Mafia's lack of concern about human life; mobsters will not hesitate to murder anyone that gets in its way or who threatens the revenue flow. The willingness, ability and resources to commit murder is, and has always been, the key to the Mafia's power.

    "The public doesn't care," Sammy "The Bull" Gravano told Barbara Walters in their widely watched interview after the John Gotti conviction. "They seem to even like us."

    Surveillance shot of two top Bonnanos debating where to have lunch.

    I kinda sorta get that same feeling, running a blog such as this one. Last year, I ran a poll based on the question of whether readers of this site consider informants to be rats. As I consider most of my readers to be citizens, I was quite shocked that 70% of you believe government informants, the bad guys who in theory put away a large group of even worse bad guys, are rats.

    Now I turn to the large (I mean huge) number of very negative comments under various stories that mention one particular mobster who is not so well liked -- at least by a seemingly large portion of this blog's readership. He's not a rat, either -- he's the victim of one.

    I think many of the comments are from people who know or knew this particular mobster on some level. Also in the mix, this mobster has two daughters who have created and operate a hugely successful reality-TV program for VH1.

    I am referring of course to TG Graziano, father of Jen and Renee, the creator/producer and star, respectively, of "Mob Wives," a new series of which commences tonight in the Windy City with a whole new cast of misfits about to spring into American pop culture.

    Here is a sampling of some of the nasty things said about the Little Guy.

    AnonymousJanuary 26, 2012 5:47 PM
    t.g let a filty spic in the mob and he is now a rat.(pagan) t.g will soon sleep with the not sure but dont the mob work like that? he should hope he stays in jail or maybe become a rat himself.his daughter put a big bulls eye on him for the greed of money. what a shameful and dysfuntional family. put a wig on t.g and he looks like renee maybe they should make her a made women.why not t.g made all a bunch of flunkies anyway.they are all coke heads and drug users and are shameful to the italian culture.shame on vh1.i watched 3 shows and will not ever watch again.they should all rot in jail then rot hell.

    AnonymousApril 13, 2012 9:04 AM
    it could'nt happen to a better scumbag.t.g. got what he deserves his hole rotten life was all about cheating and deceiveing every one he ever dealt with.he let you think he was your friend and take every thing you had he is a greedy piece of s--- i hope he lives a long life in jail

    AnonymousApril 14, 2012 7:45 AM
    hector went back with that fat ugly piece of s--- just to get close to t.g. you could see it on his face every time she came near him or kissed him he wanted to through up i'm so happy for the family i did'nt know t.g.but the stories i hear about him he got what he deserives rot in jail scumbag

    AnonymousApril 13, 2012 9:24 AM
    i agree with you t.g. has 3 daughters i guess you can call them girls if you put a whig on t.g. he looks like all his fat pigs

    AnonymousApril 13, 2012 11:01 AM
    i went to school with them and i agree with you they are fat and ugly.when growing up they thought their s--- didn't stink the whole family are low lifes just look wear they came from T.G. the lowest scumbag ever

    It's enough to make one wonder: why is TG so... hated. Reading through the above, and additional, comments I don't think it's due to the show. One of my trusty law enforcement sources told me that TG didn't hesitate to go after the smaller revenue-generating opportunities, as well as the large, thinking nothing of, say, shaking down small corner storefronts and restaurants in his own neighborhood.

    The detective recalled how Graziano once inadvertently made another retired detective quite wealthy. What happened was one night TG walked into a local eatery, got in front of the owner and proceeded to shake him down for a weekly payoff or something. The detective happened to eat in that place a lot, and was dinning there that very night. Somehow he got involved in the little discussion -- telling TG to go jump in a lake and stay the hell away from the restaurant. End of story.

    Coda: The owner was so happy, he graciously gave the detective shares in the business. The restaurateur was so terrified of TG that he considered what his retired patron had done to be the equivalent of slaying a dragon or exorcising a demon.

    Detectives certainly have a lot more leeway in how they can handle certain situations, especially when the mob is involved. And negative comments can be posted on a blog with the poster safe and protected by their anonymity.

    Talking trash about Graziano may be popular on the Internet, but on the street it can get you killed. It certainly led to the murder of at least one Bonanno mobster.

    Gerlando Sciascia (pronounced shaa-shaa) (1934 – murdered on March 18, 1999), also known as "George from Canada," was a capo for the Bonanno crime family who was aligned with the "zips." George was among the shooters who took out the trio of Bonanno capos seeking to take control of the family from "Rusty" Rastelli. He'd been seen shooting Sonny Red in that small massacre.

    As Wikipedia reports, "In the 1990s, relations between Bonanno boss Massino and Sciascia had started to sour. As capo of the Bonanno crew in Montreal, Scascia was becoming more independent of Massino and more aligned with Vito Rizzuto. Growing richer and stronger, Rizzuto [running the supposed "sixth family"] became less willing to defer all decisions to the Bonannos."

    When TG, a Massino loyalist, once strolled into a family meeting flying high as a kite on his narcotic of choice -- cocaine, my source said -- Sciascia noticed and grew furious; he started telling other Bonanno family members that Graziano was a drug addict, essentiallly calling for TG's execution. Massino -- this was not long after his fat ass had finally reached the big seat as boss -- heard about Sciascia's complaints and took them as a challenge to his authority.

    On March 18, 1999, Sciascia came down with a sudden case of several gunshots fired into the back of his head. The hit man drove "now-George formerly from Canada" to a deserted Bronx street and dumped the body. As fate would have it, a passerby witnessed the gruesome scene and immediately called the police. For a long time, law enforcement thought George was a victim of random  street crime.

    About a decade later, Massino, after flipping for the Feds, plead guilty to the murder of George from Canada, ordering the slaying of the slick, savvy mobster who called them as he saw them.


    Dad Graziano Is Speaking to 'Mob Wives' Daughters, Despite Rat Pagan

    'Donnie Brasco' Back in News As Bunch of Bonannos Busted -- and One Gambino

    Bonanno Capo/Father of 'Mob Wives' 'Star' Back in Prison 

    Renee Graziano's Ex Is a Rat, Puts Her Dad Back Inside

    Saturday, June 9, 2012

    Did Officer Dols Get the Benefit of the Doubt?

    Gioeli was found not guilty 
    for Dols' killing.
    Dedicated to TD and JS; some of us never forget that there are still heroes in the world.

    I like Tom Selleck -- he's among my favorite actors. I didn't care so much for the young Tom Selleck, the Magnum PI Tom Selleck, of one of the highest-rated shows on U.S. television. But I started liking him when he stood up to Rosie O'Donnell, TV's former perennial pain in the ass.

    I thought he made a great casino boss on the television show Las Vegas, strong enough to yank the torch from Jimmy Caan, who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth since departing the onetime hit show, which ended abruptly before the start of what should have been the sixth season. As Changing Channels wrote: "It appears that the cliffhanger season finale of Las Vegas (it ended with Molly Sims' pregnancy in crisis, while Tom Selleck was apparently returning from the dead) that aired on Feb. 15 [2008] was really the series finale. NBC has canceled the show after five seasons... "

    I'll never understand how some people are able to make such boneheaded decisions and still manage to remain employed. I enjoy the remaining key Selleck vehicles: Blue Bloods and the Jesse Stone made-for-TV movies. The movies are growing extremely dark, which I like. Tom has taken Stone and made him his own. And Selleck enjoys tremendous popularity among the masses. I have some firsthand evidence: An old abandoned blog I used to write still generates comments and views for a post I wrote about Selleck, called "Tom Selleck's 'Fitz Special' Brings Reality to Blue Bloods."

    "Joe Waverley" Cacace, who still carries
    slugs fired into his chest, ordered Dols'
    murder after the cop dared to marry the
    mafioso's ex-wife.
    The last Jesse Stone episode's title was derived from a key line of dialog that runs throughout the two-hour episode, which had to do with the very public murders of two police officers by a bomb. Were they killed because they were on to something, or because they were dirty.

    "I think it looks like they were dirty," Stone, Selleck, said, analyzing the deaths.

    "They were dirty..." another agent of law enforcement says, thinking he's only agreeing with Stone.

    "Not the same thing," Stone/Selleck abruptly retorts.

    Stone knows things that look a certain way may be a deliberate miscue, a false story readily prepared and served. The human mind wants to impose order on chaos, even when the order is not there. Heroin and a ton of money were in the blown up car with the cops  -- they "looked" dirty. But as the show reveals, they were not dirty; someone very dirty needed to both kill them and make them look dirty.

    (When you think about it, that whole "plant drugs and money on a good guy to make him look bad" trick is entirely B.S. if anyone would think about it for a minute. Why would whoever killed the guy in the first place leave a fortune in drugs and money with the guy's corpse? He probably killed the guy for money or drugs in the first place, so why in God's name would he leave the drugs and money with the dead body instead of taking them with him because he is a.) a drug dealer, b.) a drug addict and/or c.) a robber who murders for cash or drugs. This whole scenario had to haved been invented by screenwriters because in the real world it's a paradox; it just wouldn't happen....)

    But the line I referred to earlier, that runs through the movie and gives it its title, is spoken repeatedly by Stone/Selleck whenever the "dirty cops" theory arises.

    Kimberly Kennaugh -- did Joe Cacace order a cop's murder
    just to break her heart?

    "A cop deserves the benefit of the doubt."

    Benefit of the doubt: to decide you will believe someone or something;

    Officer Dols, who was murdered by Mafia gunmen, looked like he was dirty. Did officer Dols, I wonder, get the benefit of the doubt, a sentiment of dignity bestowed even on a fictional character; I wonder if this formerly alive human being who enforced the law was ever awarded the same sentiment.

    What if Dols wasn't dirty? Just forget what you think you know, and wonder -- did he get the benefit of the doubt, a certain time and spatial allowance in which a white-hatted law enforcement agent interested only in truth and justice has a chance to possibly drag to prison the truly guilty by their thumbs and clear the name of the innocent.

    The Dols' story begins with former mobster Dino Calabro -- a former mobster is either retired or a rat; this one is a rat -- reading a newspaper one morning in 1997, or trying to. It seems that day's front page stopped his reading; he was "stunned," he said. Later, when it was OK for him to admit to murdering Dols, he said that the front page that day had carried a picture of a man he, Calabro, had murdered just the previous day (that was one hellluva "scoop" for that newspaper, in journalistic parlance!), and the victim, he said he had thought, before the morning paper, anyway, was a citizen and not the off-duty NYPD patrolman the man had actually been.

    "I was amazed," Calabro testified at a recent Mafia murder trial. "We don't typically kill police officers. That's just the rule — you don't hurt kids and you don't kill cops." Did he really include the qualifier "typically?" If an informant intentionally lies, they lose any privilege they may have gotten; it's best to hedge your lies, logic would recommend. And the motto he voiced is not really true: as Bugsy Siegel famously said, "We only kill our own." It is known that generally all citizens and cops -- as long as they don't cross the line and get "in bed" with the mob -- are off limits. Many mobsters have been killed for committing such offenses. Not all, but some. (And Calabro left "women" off his list, as well, unless he considers them fair game for a gunshot or two.)

    Dino (Little Dino) Saracino was also in the
    hot seat with Gioeli for the Dols murder.
    A Brooklyn jury was Calabro's audience in the courtroom, and they all were probably quite absorbed to hear what is considered the ":first detailed account" [but apparently not necessarily accurate; being "first" and "detailed" is not the same thing as "accurate" -- at all] of the slaying of officer Ralph Dols. Calabro was duped into killing him, he claimed. We don't give guys like Calabro the same benefit of the doubt that we'd give a regular cop, would we? Turns out, we do -- and then some.

    Prosecutors allege Dols was among six slain during the 1990s at the hands of Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, the former reputed boss of the Colombo crime family, who was on trial the day Calabro was providing his first detailed account of a cold-blooded cop murder. Gioeli, please note, was found not guilty of Dols' murder, which was only one count in the indictment against him. [Note: We have amended the details of Gioeli's charges -- while he was found not guilty of the murders (he was charged with six) he was found guilty of planning to murder Dols, which is a lighter charge with a lesser sentence of 10 years versus life -- "from now on" -- for committing outright murder. Sentences are slated to be handed down in September.]. But "not guilty" does not mean the same thing as "innocent."

    Several turncoats, including Calabro, had pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Gioeli about the gangland slayings in exchange for leniency. [They had a motive to tell a story that made Tommy look bad; it looks kinda fishy, aye? But the monkey in the wrench is Gioeli is an evil son of a bitch who killed an awful lot of people, mobsters and others, including, famously, a former nun, in the "Deep Throat Murders," and even a former prosecutor.]

    Investigators believe Dols ran afoul of the mob by marrying the ex-wife of Joel Cacace, another Colombo boss. Cacace later supposedly gave the order for Dols' termination; Mafia bosses are more powerful then a President. They are more like Kings or Emperors, doling out death, even if it's only to suit their mood -- or out of a rage of jealousy..

    Calabro said he had been told the "target" worked at a Queens social club and was on the Colombo family's shit list; you don't stay on that kind of list for a very long time. You are speedily added to the death list. Calabro said Gioeli ordered him to kill the worker when said worker arrived home at the end of his shift. The newspaper report I am looking at even describes Calabro as a "witness." The end of the story is that Calabro and another assassin wearing baseball caps and gloves confront Dols after he emerged from his parked car.

    "What's up?" Calabro said Dols said, right in the moment before the silence of the day or night -- we are not given the time -- was split apart by the cracks of gunshots from both gunmen. While Dols was on the street, dying, a large and growing puddle of blood beneath his body, the hit man dashed away, slowing up just long enough to shove their guns down a nearby sewer.

    Calabro said he confronted "Tommy Guns" once he had read the front page the next day. [From here on, Calabro's story gets a little sketchy, in my opinion.]Calabro said he told Gioeli, "What the fuck? The guy's a cop." Calabro said Gioeli acted like he himself was also surprised.I'll bet -- but who knows for sure. I think Gioeli and Cacace knew for sure, but maybe Calabro was low level enough that he didn't need to know.

    Calabro testified that his first instinct was to seek retribution against Cacace "because he screwed us." A single soldier taking out a boss on impulse because the boss supposedly tricked him into killing a cop? And the boss in question is Joel Cacace?

    That sounds like pure bullshit to me. I don't believe Calabro -- or many low-level soldier -- would have the balls to confront Gioeli, let alone Cacace, who has survived at least firefights, evidence of which still exists in the form of the bullet or two still lodged in his chest. Read a bit about "Joe Waverley" Cacace here. The post notes that "Cacace is one of the few members of the Colombo war that wasn't killed or sent to prison for life. But he was badly wounded, and not for the first time.

    "Cacace had received a gunshot wound in 1976, when he was ambushed by three robbers near his florist shop in Brooklyn. After being shot in the chest, Cacace wrestled a handgun from one of the robbers, shooting one of them dead. The remaining robbers fled the scene and a critically wounded Cacace erratically drove to a local police station with the robber's bloodied corpse in the backseat.

    "Overall, [Cacace] is believed to have been shot in the chest several times in his life of crime..."

    Calabro said Dols' killing, when it came up in conversation, would cause the chatty-Cathy gangsters to silently mime injecting a hypodermic needle into their arms — reminding each other that killing a police officer means punishment of death by lethal injection. [But not always, and not for everyone apparently.] This anecdote too sounds a little fishy, a bit... forced.

    More to come tomorrow about both Dols's story, with a focus on how and why the belief he was dirty took root. Also I have two former NYPD detectives who I know believe Dols is innocent. They must have given him the benefit of the doubt -- and found enough proof in their own hearts and minds to hold on to. I will be talking to them.

    NYPD officer Ralph Dols. RIP.
    If you are an NYPD detective or cop or anyone who knew Dols and would like to discuss him with me -- even anonymously, privately on the phone or via email -- just start the process by writing me at and we can set up an interview or do it however you want. I am a professional journalist with 20 years of experience.

    I am hoping at least one NYPD cop or detective out there will contact me; a white-hatted lawman who gives Dols the benefit of the doubt.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Top 15 Global Crime Bosses of 2012

    Two issues I have about this post: I just recently did a "list story" or two; and it breaks my mandate, which is to strictly follow traditional Italian organized crime in America -- the Mafia. But I decided to run it because I had solid retorts to both of my concerns: 1.) It is superior to the previous lists in terms of interesting hard news; and 2.) What the hell if I include the Sicilian and Italian Mafias as well as other ethnic crime groups, especially considering the immense power believed to be in the hands of a Russian crime boss.

    So, I present the following by way of

    There are certain people in the world that you don’t want to mess with: those who control some of the largest organized crime operations on the planet. Organized crime has always been a problem, but as we move into 2012 some syndicates have exploded with profit and influence. Criminal groups that used to follow illegal schemes have turned to more reliable forms of profit....

    Liborio Bellomo
    Bellomo LiborioIn the United States the Mafia is most active in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New England, Detroit, and Chicago. In New York there are five main families that run operations, including the Gambino, Lucchese, Genovese, Bonanno, and Colombo clans. The largest and most powerful of these families is the Genovese crime family. The Genovese family is known for running offshore gambling websites. In the 21st century the Genovese syndicate contributed to the U.S. mortgage crisis by taking advantage of easy bank loans. In the history of the crime family only five members have ever turned state’s evidence.

    Officially, the current acting boss of the Genovese crime family is an imprisoned man named Daniel Leo, who is scheduled to be released in 2013, but another man named Liborio Bellomo (Big Barney) is said to be one of the fastest rising Mafia members in the United States today. In 1992, Vincent Gigante thought enough of Bellomo to give him control of the Genovese family’s day-to-day operations at the age of 35. Bellomo was considered Vincent Gigante’s logical successor as boss until he was sent to prison in 1996.

    In 2008, Bellomo was released and regained his position in the family. His exact role is yet to be revealed, but many assume that Liborio Bellomo is one of the top gangsters of New York. Among the five families of New York the current acting bosses include Vincent Badalamenti (Bonanno), Domenico Cefalu (Gambino), Carmine Persico (Colombo), Steven Crea (Lucchese), and Daniel Leo (Genovese).

    John DiFronzo
    NormalIn organized crime it is rare for a high profile boss to remain out of jail and in power for a long period of time. John DiFronzo has accomplished this. He is the current leader of the Chicago Outfit. The Chicago outfit is one of the largest crime syndicates in the United States. They are known for violence, turf fighting, and have operations in many cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami. One of the Chicago Outfits biggest competitors is the Russian Mob. Unlike most organized crime groups, the Outfit has members from other ethnicities besides Italian Americans, including the Polish, Welsh, and Japanese-American populations. To this day, the Outfit has a strong influence from Al Capone.

    In 1993, a man named John “No Nose” DiFronzo took over as the boss of the Chicago Outfit. DiFronzo was a veteran enforcer and caporegime of the family. He got the nickname “No Nose” because he sliced off part of his nose while jumping through a window during a 1949 clothing store burglary. DiFronzo is known for his dangerous temper. However, little information is available about his true personality. In 2005, DiFronzo avoided indictment in the “Family Secrets” trial of the top Chicago Mafia leaders. This fact, along with other federal indictments has caused some to question DiFronzo’s true motivations and possible connection with the police. As of 2012, he continues to run the Chicago Outfit.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    'Gotti' Biopic Not Suffering from Travolta Scandal

    In view of our article about the scuttling of this project we believe it is only fair to present this, from Radar Online:

    Media reports that filming of the Gotti biopic has been affected by the negative publicity John Travolta has endured over the masseur sex scandal are not true, is exclusively reporting.

    In fact, a source close to the production tells that producers of the film and the Gotti family are fully supporting the actor and that filming is scheduled to begin later this year.[Note: emphasis added.]

    Seven men, including three masseurs, have accused the Pulp Fiction star of sexual misconduct. Travolta's attorney has vehemently denied the allegations.

    "The producers of the Gotti film, as well as the Gotti family, fully support John Travolta 110 percent, and the allegations that have surfaced against him haven't harmed the project in any way, shape or form," Steve Honig, publicist for Fiore Films, producers of the project, tells "I can't be more clear about this, this does not impact the film in any way, shape or form. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year and we will be making an announcement shortly about distribution for the movie. It's a very exciting time, and we are all looking forward to filming begining.""...

    Read rest: John Travolta's Sex Scandal Isn't Effecting Gotti Biopic

    Sicilian Mafia Moving in on America's Cosa Nostra?

    Nature abhors a vacuum. So does organized crime.

    Scholars will tell you, correctly, that the U.S. Mafia was always independent of its Sicilian/Southern Italian counterpart, although the U.S. version did borrow some of the old country's trappings, such as the concept of "omerta," which basically means, don't talk, ever.

    But like rats fleeing a sinking ship (where do these rats go, by the way? I mean, a sinking ship is out at sea, isn't it?), made guys, including management, and associates have "flipped" and continue to "flip" on anyone and everyone. It is safe to say the U.S. mob has been decimated.