Thursday, August 30, 2012

Defamation Claim: Renee Hit with $77M Suit for Badmouthing Surgeon

The lawsuit against Renee Graziano -- star of "Mob Wives," probably best known for her hysterical outbursts projected at anyone over anything -- by a plastic surgeon for $77 million has already been pretty widely reported on.

Another perfect day for Renee.


I tweeted it on Twitter -- and was no sooner hit with tweets saying "bullshit!" She has fierce followers -- it's a shame that their denial isn't enough to change the reality of the situation.


I found an interesting angle to the story on the website Plastic Surgeon, which is written by plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel -- no, he didn't do the surgery and isn't the one suing her. It says on his blog that Spiegel is a "world renowned facial plastic surgeon specializing in advanced facial aesthetics for both male and female patients."


He is the Chief of the Division of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Boston University Medical Center, and I think he'd have some good insight into lawsuit filed by the plastic surgeon. Don't be so fast to think he is protecting a fellow plastic surgeon; he could view the other guy as competition!


Here we go:


Mob Wives is a reality show that debuted on April 17, 2011 on VH1 that follows six women in Staten Island after their husbands or fathers are imprisoned for mafia crimes. Renee Graziano is one of the original cast members of the show, and the daughter of Anthony Graziano who is a well-known New York mobster. Another of the Graziano daughters, Jennifer Graziano, created and produces the Mob Wives show.


He performed a full-body lift with a tummy tuck and butt lift on Mob Wives star Renee Graziano in 2011. The procedure was performed during the filming of the reality television show. Dr. Klapper has filed a defamation suit worth $77 million with the Brooklyn Supreme Court as a result of Graziano publicly claiming that the surgery was botched. Lawyer Barry Levin represents Dr. Klapper, and is quoted as saying “She has been on a media campaign to destroy this man’s professional reputation and she has succeeded. His practice has diminished considerably in the last year.”


Monday, August 27, 2012

Are All Mob Informants Rats?

For "LittleItaly7"


WOULD YOU CALL ALL INFORMANTS RATS?

UPDATED: An old Cosa Nostra News poll was focused on the views of regular law-abiding citizens (whom I presume make up the bulk of my readership) regarding whether all informants should be given the denigrating rubric of "rat."


I was quite shocked that 77% of you believe all government informants are rats. A key problem is that we have creeps like Sammy Bull Gravano, Vinny Palermo, John Alite and Hector Pagan to serve as shining examples to guide popular opinion. But not all informants are created equally, I believe. There are some informants -- admittedly in the minority of this segment -- whom I would never classify as being among the aforementioned members of the genus Rattus.


Gravano clearly wanted to save his own ass, and was playing a game with the government, no matter how sincere many of those federal officials thought he was, time tells us it was bullshit: the Bull went back to crime, dealing E, specifically, as soon as humanly possible -- and didn't even go to great lengths to hide it.

Sammy Bull threw away the second chance
the government gave him.

Then we have the case of Vinny "Ocean" Palermo, a former boss of the New Jersey DeCavalcante crime family who eventually became a government witness. On September 14, 2009, the New York Daily News exposed Vinny Ocean's new life in Witness Protection as a strip club operator in Houston, Texas.

Vinny Palermo was a mob boss (only in
New Jersey, though). After he rolled, he tried
to build a strip club/drug ring empire.
Palermo had grown a goatee and the paper ran photos of him. He has been living under the name "Vincent Cabella". Palermo's new strip clubs were called "The Penthouse Club" and the "All Stars Mens Club" and Houston Police say they were a source of drug dealing and prostitution in the Houston area. Palermo claims that many of his Houston friends already know who he is because he was featured in an A&E television special. He lived in a multimillion-dollar gated mansion.

Palermo's son, Vincent Jr, is said to be involved in the day-to-day running of the strip clubs. Local Houston television station KPRC broadcast an expose on Vinny Ocean on September 15, 2009.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Mob War? Camorra Boss Killed After Day at Beach

Marino, "the stump" wasn't too
good with explosives.
This blog focuses primarily on American Cosa Nostra news, but we do make occasional exceptions, such as in this case. This story of an Italian Camorra hit is making headlines around the world.


The AP is reporting that a gunman shot and killed a Neapolitan Camorra boss as he was leaving a pleasant day at the beach to meet his family at their hotel in Terracina, a resort town in south Rome, authorities have revealed.

Gaetano Marino was hit by at least four shots to the head and another five or six to his back Thursday afternoon as he left the beach en route to his hotel, 60 miles south of Rome. His family had returned to the hotel ahead of him, police said. A common precaution, or was a scent of danger in the salt-tanged air?

The murder scene (from the NY Daily News).
The shooting caused panic along the crowded beach, and witnesses told police the gunman fled the scene in a small gray car driven by a second man. Police are in the midst of a manhunt for the shooter and companion, they said.

The New York Daily News added some detail about Marino: Age 48 when he died, he had headed the Scissionisti , or “secessionists” clan, "which had fought a bloody turf war in the streets of Naples for years with the rival Di Lauro clan over control of drug trafficking."

According to Wikipedia, it is actually called the Scissionisti di Secondigliano ("Secessionists of Secondigliano"). It is a Camorra clan from the Secondigliano district of Naples, headed by Raffaele Amato and Cesare Pagano.


"They are also known as "Spagnoli" (Spaniards) because of their endless trips ferrying cocaine from Galicia in Spain. Amato split from the Di Lauro clan and tried to assert the Scissionisti's control over drugs and prostitution rackets in the areas, that included Secondigliano and Scampia. Amato aligned himself with several Sistema leaders, as the Camorra is known in Naples, which included Gennaro Marino [R.I.P.] and Arcangelo Abete. The war, known as the Scampia feud (Italian "faida di Scampìa"), resulted in over 60 murders in 2004 and 2005. The feud caused widespread public revulsion against the Camorra and led to a major crackdown by the authorities," the website noted.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ianniello Was a Huge Earner; with Son's Euology

Matty the Horse died at 92.

UPDATED: Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello (June 18, 1920 – Aug. 15, 2012), who recently died at the age of 92, had pretty much seen and done it all. He was a New York mobster with the Genovese crime family who was more known for earning than killing, and was also a decorated WWII vet.

He's probably one of the few Mafiosi to have assisted the FBI -- not in mob matters but in the Feds' manhunt for the perpetrator of the most infamous child abduction in New York City history, that of 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979. The killer was finally arrested this year -- as if Matty had to hang around to see that that piece of unfinished busines was taken care of.

His well-known, not very flattering sobriquet, “Matty the Horse,” is believed to have resulted from a childhood brawl on a baseball field in which Ianniello, who was at bat, charged the pitcher, a much larger child, knocking him flat on his ass. Someone remarked: “This kid is as strong as a horse.” It stuck.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Mobsters Behind 'Mob Wives Chicago'

We were gonna work a story like this up on our own, but found it already done, by The Beachwood Reporter, which is where the below is from. The story of the "mobster" each character on MWC is connected to. Some are heavy hitters, some not so much.

Behind every good Chicago Mob Wife is a monster who did horrible deeds. We'll let VH-1 describe the wife and we'll describe the monster.


RENEE FECAROTTA RUSSO: Renee is a strong independent businesswoman who was raised by her uncle, "Big John" Fecarotta, following the death of her father. An alleged loan collector and hit man for The Outfit, Fecarotta was Renee's mentor and best friend until being gunned down by fellow mobster Nick Calabrese. Fiercely loyal to his memory, Renee still abides by the "code": never associate with rats . . . take it to the grave.

BIG JOHN FECAROTTA: Renee's mentor and best friend knows something about graves - he was a suspect in at least two murders before biting the dust himself. "He was gunned down while being chased by at least two men through an alley on the Northwest Side," according to Illinois Police and Sheriff's News.


"Fecarotta apparently believed he was being taken to participate in a 3-man hit team. [He] was wearing gloves and was carrying two weapons, one an unloaded .38, when he was shot four times, and a final time in the back of his head, at the doorway of Brown's Banquets Inc., a bingo hall at 6050 W. Belmont Ave in Chicago . . .

"Fecarotta was a juice loan collector for crime syndicate loan sharks. He was a business agent and organizer for Local 8 of the Industrial Workers Union, although federal officials charged he was a ghost employee. He lost the union job in 1982 during a federal probe of the union . . .

"Fecarotta was ranked the number 3 man behind Angelo LaPietra, First Ward and Near South Side rackets boss who was serving a 16-year jail term, at the time."

Fecarotta was also reportedly responsible for botching the burying of the Spilotro brothers in an Indiana cornfield. That's probably why he was killed.


Addendum:

"[Russo] owns Eye Candy Optics in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood," the Tribune reports. "The show has been filming at her store (in addition to The Fifty/50, Roots Handmade Pizza, Hubbard Inn, Fishman's Fabrics, Brunch and Newport Bar & Grill), and she said she hopes to see a bump in sales when the show premieres in June."

-

NORA SCHWEIHS: Nora is back in Chicago to take care of some unfinished business. Nora's father, Frank "The German" Schweihs, was reputed to be one of the most notorious hit men for the Mob. Schwiehs, whose alleged "hits" were not limited to the Mob, has long been rumored to be responsible for the death of Marilyn Monroe. Shortly after his death in 2008, the government confiscated his remains before he could be properly buried. Nora has returned to Chicago to learn the whereabouts of his body. Despite growing up hearing stories of his viciousness and brutality, Nora idolized her father and she continues to defend him . . . even to his grave.

FRANK SCHWEIHS: So much to idolize.


Day of Infamy: When Capone Gave FDR a Ride

Dec. 8, 1941, FDR drove to Congress to make his historical speech and declare war on Japan, bringing the U.S. into Word War II.


On the way to make that speech, FDR was driving in Capone's car, which had been seized when Al went up the river for income tax evasion. It was bulletproof, and at the time, there was not enough money in the budget to afford the POTUS the protection such a car provides.

Upon seeing the slick black 1928 Cadillac gleaming before him, FDR asked the secret service agents what was up.  They told him, noting their concern that Japanese saboteurs may try to assassinate him.

"I hope Al doesn't mind," FDR quipped.

I think ol' Scarface would've been proud.

Don't believe it? Read here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Iceman Knew How to Spin a Cracklin' Yarn



UPDATED, WITH COMMENTS:
Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kuklinski was born on April 11, 1935, and died on March 5, 2006. He was considered by law enforcement to be a hit man for the Mafia, a charge the 6-foot-5, 300-pound, bearded bear of a man did not dispute and actually seemed to revel in.

The Iceman, so named for his modus operandi -- at least one of them; he had several -- of freezing the bodies of victims for years. When found, the internal organs of at least one of the corpses still had frost on them. This was owing to the hit man's failure to wait for the bodies to properly thaw out before dumping them from his Cadillac. He supposedly worked for Newark's DeCavalcante crime family and New York City's Five Families, and claimed to have notched between 100 and 250 hits. Law enforcement doesn't dispute these figures, but remember: the more evil the man, the more angelic his captors appear.

But Kuklinski was not all business. He still found time to find the love of his life (a mass murderer can find a wife, yet a certain still-single, law-abiding editor/blogger can't even get a date for Saturday night these days -- thanks, LL!). In fact Kuklinski was married with children, and lived with them in Dumont, N.J. at the time of his arrest on Dec 17, 1986, after he had met with an undercover federal agent to buy cyanide for an upcoming "job." Kuklinski was charged with and convicted on five counts of murder, six weapons violations, attempted murder, robbery and attempted robbery. He died behind bars, needless to say.

Kuklinski launched his career doing professional hits for the DeCavalcantes in the mid-1950s. Nearly 20 years later, he claimed he became affiliated with the Gambino family, the largest, strongest Mafia family at that time, with Paul Castellano having just succeeded his brother-in-law, the legendary mob boss Carlo Gambino, as head of the family.

Despite Kuklinski's claims that he was one of DeMeo's key shooters, it is difficult to believe him. For one thing, no DeMeo crew members ever admitted Kuklinski had been involved with them. As for law enforcement evidence, there is only a single photograph of Kuklinski at the DeMeo crew's HQ, the Gemini Lounge (and the "horror hotel" one-bedroom apartment attached to it). That visit was reportedly to purchase handgun.


'I Married a Mobster’ Rejoins Reality TV Lineup

Georgia Durante drove
for the mob.
From the NYTimes.com:

I'm not normally a violent person, but I swear, if that bastard had leaned any closer to my don without letting me pat him down first, I would have plugged him between the eyes. Shoot first, ask questions later. I didn’t survive this long in the Mafia — “this long” being about two hours — without learning that.


Whew; sorry. I’m still a little amped up from filming my television debut as an extra in a brief re-creation in the Investigation Discovery docu-series “I Married a Mobster.” I arranged the job only partly because I really, really, really wanted to be on TV. The other reason was to get a look at a little-appreciated corner of the television-acting universe. Documentary programming on cable is full of re-enactments; the scenes often flit by almost unnoticed. But what I learned by participating in one is that a surprising amount of care and acting skill go into making them.


On “I Married a Mobster,” which begins a new season on Wednesday night, significant others (or exes) of actual Mafia figures recount their days of running with the mob. In each episode a sit-down interview with the real-life woman is augmented by scenes depicting important moments in her narrative.


My episode, “Stunt Lady,” which — set your DVRs now — is scheduled for Aug. 29, tells the story of Georgia Durante, who as a young woman became a driver for the mob. The scene I participated in, which was filmed at the Still Bar on Third Avenue in Manhattan, involves a career-defining moment in which Ms. Durante (played by Jen Waite) delivers an envelope to the New York mob boss Carlo Gambino...


Read rest: NYTimes.com

Wives Talk More About Mob Life in Season Two

The marriage of "Mikey Scars" kicks off season two.
From HULIQ:

The public is fascinated by stories of the mob, and often idealizes “the life” as something of an off-the-grid fairytale for those who live it. Sure, there is crime involved, but it stays contained within their little mob world, right? Anyone who gets hurt knows what he was signing up for, right?

Not always.

Investigation Discovery’s I Married a Mobster takes a look at the wives of the mob, some who knew what they were getting into, some who did not.

“The women in I Married a Mobster literally dance with the devil,” Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery explains. “They are strong, resilient and fierce. Indeed, their stories will leave viewers wondering what gets mobsters into more hot water: crossing their Dons or their Donnas!”

In the case of mobster Michael “Mikey Scars” DiLeonardo, crossing his Donna was a big mistake. On August 15, Season Two of I Married a Mobster will look at the story of Toni Marie Fappiano, who married DiLeonardo, unaware of the danger she was jumping into with the pairing. Although her family is filled with men involved with the mob life, Toni Marie was kept in the dark by her loving father, who is not involved with the mob himself. When Toni Marie finally learned the truth—that her husband was not only a mobster, but a made member of the Gambino crime family—it was too late. Her husband had her set up in a home in the suburbs, leaving her and their son alone the majority of the time, and he was embracing the wiseguy lifestyle, which ultimately led to DiLeonardo having a son with his mistress.

Read rest HULIQ

Nora Schweihs Arrested in 2004

Nora's mugshot -- from Starcasm
From Starcasm.net:

"According to booking information with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office attained by Starcasm, Nora was booked on 12/5/2004 and charged with DUI/refusal, resisting an officer with violence and possession of a controlled substance – cocaine. If you’re keeping score that’s one misdemeanor and two felonies. Schweihs was released on $6,250.00 bond the same day.

"Nora was eventually convicted of the DUI, but the more serious charges were dropped. The record also revealed that her place of residence at the time was Hollywood, FL and that she was born 03/12/1963.

"You can find out more about Nora in our initial post about the cast here and I’ll be following up with her serious connection to Chicago’s “The Outfit” crime syndicate in the form of her notorious father, Frank “The German” Schweihs."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nora Gives Chicago's 'Mob Wives' Its Juice

Nora of  "Mob Wives Chicago."
UPDATED, TWEAKED: We've been quiet about the Chicago edition of "Mob Wives" as we have been trying to wrap our arms around the show, get some "situational awareness" as to what's going on -- who is the crazy one, the "good" versus "bad" one; basically, the general plot. [Truth be told, we find it a chore to watch this show; we like the New York cast much better.]

Well, we have finally reached some conclusions about the show and are ready to add our voice to the chorus.

[At the same time, we are still trying to make up our mind about whether the boss of The Outfit -- the single Mafia family that has controlled Chicago since Capone -- is playing both sides against each other, so to speak.

[As we noted in an earlier post, in 1993, 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. In 2005, DiFronzo avoided indictment in the “Family Secrets” trial of the top Chicago Mafia leaders. This fact, along with other federal indictments, has reportedly caused some to question DiFronzo’s true motivation as a Don and possible connections to law enforcement. But as of now, he continues to run the Chicago Outfit.]

The juice that makes "Mob Wives Chicago" zip along-- in our opinion, anyway -- is Nora, who is clearly nuts. She has managed to piss off everyone, especially fellow cast members Renee and even Pia, who was supposed to be, or started out as being, her best friend.

Nora has caused more reality-TV drama than any other member of Mob Wives Chicago -- or New York -- all while hiding behind the guise of one who only wants to be left alone to [star in a reality show, but that's beside the point] to ensure that her father's body is actually where it is supposed to be, in the coffin buried at the grave site that bears the man's name.

Outfit hit man "The German" killed a lot of
people allegedly; some even include Marilyn
Monroe in that category.
Her father was hit man Frank “The German” Schweihs (no relation to Joe "The German" Watts of the Gambinos -- we're of course kidding here).


A recent episode was revealing in that it made you wonder how sincere she is regarding her "father project." Nora calls the funeral home that handled her father's burial -- and pours out her soul when it seems she is getting nowhere with the woman on the other end of the phone.

“Ya know what? No one witnessed my father going into the ground. The funeral director calls my sister and says ‘We’re going to put him in the ground,’ and she says, ‘Oh, yeah, just let them drop him off like a dirty dog’ … I have no closure.”

Nora is told that she can request to have the body exhumed. “Yes, I can have him resumed,” she quips. To this day, I am certain she does not know the difference between "exhume" and "resume." Come on, if she can't bother herself to understand what she is doing on the most rudimentary level, how can -- but I digress.

The grave site of "The German," after the body
has been resumed exhumed.

Keeping the poor, dead father sentiment alive, Nora decides to produce red wine in his honor.Now, the idea of drinking a hearty glass of vino made in honor of her father -- a man suspected of murdering Marilyn Monroe -- is so tasteless, I almost couldn't believe my eyes.

C'mon, folks, let's take a quick look at this man Nora honors:

Francis John Schweihs (February 7, 1932 – July 23, 2008), "Frank the German," was a hit man for The Outfit. He died a mere months before he could be tried, having been under indictment in the Operation Family Secrets case for the crimes of racketeering and extortion.

"It is believed he had participated in, or had knowledge of, many murders going back decades," Wikipedia reports, including on this roster of death brothers Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro and Michael Spilotro, Allen Dorfman of the Teamsters, a disgraced Chicago copinformant Dick Cain, Salvatore "Mooney" Giancana, loanshark Sam "Mad Sam" DeStefano, hit man Charles "Chuckie" Nicoletti and others.

It has also been rumored, as noted earlier, that he killed Marilyn Monroe, though we believe suicide, likely accidental, has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

When indictments first came down, Schweihs lammed it, as was widely reported at the time. When he was caught, his trial was initially to be held separately, owing to his illness from cancer. He remained in jail pending his trial, and his health started improving, to the extent that he was finally scheduled to go on trial in October 2008. But he died before this could happen -- on July 23, 2008, from cancer.

“The German” was widely feared -- even by top mobsters. Law enforcement officials believe he was a psychopath. While researching "The German," I learned that he had never served a day in prison, and had died before he could be put on trial at long last.

Big Ang's Son Arrested for Peddling Painkillers


The news about AJ's arrest back in June has finally happened on Big Ang's show -- so we can see this show was filmed about three months back.

For interesting background, read this post about Big Ang's own legal problems.

From the New York Post::




Big Ang’s son is in big trouble.

The offspring of the buxom, big-lipped reality-TV star featured on VH1’s hit series “Mob Wives” was arrested today for peddling painkillers and other drugs in Brooklyn, The Post has learned.

Anthony (AJ) D’Onofrio, 23, surrendered at the 68th Precinct stationhouse in Bay Ridge after he was indicted in a five-person narcotics ring involving the sales of Oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine, police sources said.

The operation began in October when undercover officers with the NYPD’s Brooklyn South Narcotics Unit made contact with dealer Michael Donovan, 22, who soon introduced the undercovers to D’Onofrio and three other pushers, sources said.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mob Hit Man, 86, Sprung After 50 Years in Prison

Mob hit man 'Kayo' whacked a
fellow mobster in 1961.
From Fox News:

An 86-year-old mob hitman is on the streets after serving nearly 50 years behind bars for a 1961 rubout ordered by Mafia legend Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano, according to the New York Daily News.
"The mobster... is still remorseless about his crimes..."
Harold “Kayo” Konigsberg, who used a cord from venetian blinds to strangle Anthony "Three Fingers" Castellito in his upstate New York home, was quietly sprung from a New York prison in a surprise parole from a life sentence, allowing him to spend his final days at a gated community in Florida, according to the paper.

[To read a transcript of the parole hearing, click here.]

The gangster was released in June from Mohawk Prison in Rome, N.Y., where he'd been held for nearly a half-century after being sentenced for 20-to-life for the contract killing of Castellito, a Teamster rival of Provenzano. Castellito's body was allegedly buried in New Jersey but was never found.


Philadelphia Capo Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

Philly capo Martin Angelina
was arrested following an
early-morning assault.
The US Department of Justice:

Martin Angelina, 50, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving loan sharking and illegal gambling, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and George C. Venizelos, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

At the plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Angelina pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra (LCN) Family through a pattern of racketeering activity. He admitted to the court that he attempted to collect payments related to usurious loans by using extortionate means and operated an illegal video poker machine business in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2012.

Angelina was among 14 members and associates of the Philadelphia LCN Family charged with crimes involving racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling, witness tampering and theft from an employee benefit plan in a third superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia on July 25, 2012. The other defendants charged in the 52-count third superseding indictment included Philadelphia LCN Family boss Joseph Ligambi, Philadelphia LCN Family underboss Joseph Massimino, George Borgesi, Gaeton Lucibello, Anthony Staino Jr., Damion Canalichio, Louis Barretta, Gary Battaglini, Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito, Robert Ranieri, Joseph Licata and Louis Fazzini.

Gaeton Lucibello pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges on Aug. 2, 2012, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 26, 2012. ...

Click above link for entire release.

RELATED STORY:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When Licavoli Tapped His Cane, Lives Would End

I started a Mafia memorabilia collection a couple of years ago. I have a tie, a straight razor, cufflinks (two pairs), a religious medal and a miniature model of an old fashioned cannon on two wheels.

All these items belonged to Roy DeMeo, the Gambino capo who ran a crew that was often assigned the family's wet work.

Each of Roy's aforementioned former belongings arrived at my doorstep packaged with a notarized statement signed by the mobsters son, vouching for its authenticity. Al, the son, sent me playing cards in each package that he said were from one of his father's decks; I guess it was a friendly gesture for my buying so many of his father's possessions, which he had sold off ebay.

Cool, huh? But not as cool as an item a collector I know has: the cane that belonged to Jack Licavoli, the Cleveland mob boss during the 1970s -- that volatile time when Danny Greene declared war on his former partners in the mob. And the cane played its own role in history, including in the story of Greene.

Cleveland boss Licavoli
"Jack White," or "Blackie," as Licavoli was called, would tap the cane on the floor whenever he ordered a hit, as if to punctuate his declaration. I have been told about this mannerism by an anonynmous source who spoke with guys who were present many times when such orders came down, along with the tip of the cane. (Licavoli may have carried the cane as a result of being shot in the leg in 1928, but I have not been able to confirm this.)

He must have really banged that thing pretty hard when he ordered Greene to be taken out; as anyone who knows his history, or has watched the film "Kill the Irishman," that dude was like a giant hemorrhoid growing right out of the crack of Jack's ass.

Licavoli (August 18, 1904 − November 23, 1985) was one of the earliest organized crime figures to be convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act).


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Colombo Capo "Jr. Lollipops" Carna Dies in Prison

Reputed Colombo capo Joseph "Junior Lollipops" Carna, a 30-year Mafia veteran, died of natural causes at a federal prison hospital while serving a six-month sentence for money laundering, according to officials on Friday. So reports the NY Daily News.

Carna, 71, was set to leave the Devens Medical Center in Massachusetts on Oct. 14, said a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Colombo caporegime "Junior Lollipops" Carna.

Carna supposedly was involved in the "Deep Throat Killings" of 1982, in which former nun Veronica Zuraw was killed by a stray bullet during a a planned hit outside her Gravesend home. The targets were the Perainos, family associates who were believed to be skimming from the Colombo bosses' shares of the profits from the triple-X film Deep Throat.

The targets of the hit were porn king Joseph Peraino — who was left paralyzed — and his son, Joseph Jr., who died.

Carna got his unusual nickname -- Junior Lollipops -- from his father, who owned an eatery called "Lolly's" in Brooklyn.

Back in March “Junior Lollipops’’ Carna was jailed for six months and ordered to pay the feds $300,000 for laundering money for mob gambling operations.

He’ll have to spend an additional six months under house arrest when he gets out of prison and pay a $3,000 fine, Brooklyn federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled back in March.

Carna has been affiliated with the Colombo family for more than 30 years and has a string of arrests dating to 1959.

When Corruption Infected 'New York’s Finest' -- 40th Anniversary of Knapp Commission

Forty years ago, a miasma of general lawlessness descended upon New York, rendering our “Fun City” designation something of a bad joke. Myriad problems — the city’s looming fiscal instability; a crumbling infrastructure; the vise-like grip of the Mafia; an influx of cheap heroin — had combined to make parts of the city a living hell.


And perhaps the ugliest fact of all was this: The most frequent predations against the populace were carried out by rank-and-file NYPD cops, who awaited a cash payoff or similar “consideration” from everyone in town. So reports the  NYPOST.com in "New York’s Foulest."

The real Serpico, who seemed to be the
only honest cop in the NYPD back in the
early 1970s.                      FROM GETTY
Sure, members of New York’s Finest were heroic when the situation demanded it, but the impolitic question being whispered four decades ago was no longer whether the average NYPD cop was corrupt, but rather just how corrupt was he?

At one Brooklyn precinct, entrepreneurs running a card game from a second-floor apartment were left undisturbed, so long as they remembered to throw $10 to cops, who impatiently honked their horns until the bill magically floated down to them.

One enterprising cop moonlighted by illegally wiretapping a particular bar’s public telephone, so he could listen in on random conversations, hoping to find out where he could steal money from drug dealers.

"A patrol car was literally a ticket to ride."

And precinct “desk cops” performing essential administrative functions would routinely expect and receive daily payoffs — a $5 bill was cool — from their fellow patrol officers for nothing more than assigning them patrol cars.




Saturday, August 4, 2012

No Rat: Philly Mobster Cops Noncoop Deal

Lucibello



Gaeton Lucibello finalized a plea agreement that does not require him to rat out any of his near-dozen Cosa Nostra pals facing trial later this year, including the family's chieftain.

He won't testify about any alleged crimes committed by Philly mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi or any of the members of the Cosa Nostra organization he runs in Philadelphia.

Added David Fritchey, chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force in the U.S. Attorney's Office: "It's a noncooperation agreement."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penn Station Gem Shops Broad Array of Mafia Books


Manhattan has changed with the times to a startling degree, and not always in good ways.

Take for example the death of the mega bookstores, which rolled into the city like the Russian T-34 tanks at Stalingrad in 1942, only to start fading from the region with startling rapidity in a handful of years. Back when I covered my nut by freelance writing I even reported on this tragic phenomenon for The Real Deal. Rising rents, a whopping global recession, along with the advent, and then onslaught, of ebook readers hungry for content that is practically given away by online behemoth Amazon.com helped solidify this trend.

Walk around Manhattan and you likely won't see a single bookstore.

Gone is the giant Barnes & Noble that occupied nearly an entire city block on the Upper West Side, where you could easily disappear for a day, sitting in a comfy chair beside a stack of books you handpicked from the shelves. On those disgusting, sopping 90-degree summer days, it provided an icy haven, complete with a coffee bar where you could sip a tasty caffeinated beverage while perusing a thick, meaty hardcover about some topic you never knew interested you.

The Borders near Penn Station added convenience to the usual perks of the behemoth bookstores: a wide selection, good pricing with lots of discounts and even a plentiful DVD assortment upstairs. Poof, it is gone too.

Now it is up to the explorers among us to find the hidden gems that managed to hold onto their leases through the down and dirty 2008-and-beyond financial crisis. I happened to find one, only it is not so hidden. And readers of this site in particular would love it.

I am talking about Penn Books, the bookstore located on the lower concourse of Penn Station by the Long Island Rail Road. Right there among the hot dog and popcorn vendors and a giant shoe-shine shop where the employees dress like the Blues Brothers, this bookstore has a wide, deep collection of organized-crime related books, as the proprietor Craig told us during a recent visit. Growing up near John Gotti's old Queens-based stomping grounds, Craig is a longtime Mafia enthusiast who carries the latest and greatest -- if you're looking for a mob book, he's either got it or will likely be able to order it for you.

We told him about this site and asked him if he minded if we wrote about his shop, with its penchant for mob-related books. He didn't of course (he doesn't only sell Mafia books; he carries a little of everything, just like you would expect to find in smaller bookstores located in train stations and airports).

Drop by and tell him Ed Scarpo of Cosa Nostra News said "what's up!"

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