Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Manzoni's Top 10 Reasons Why I'm a Good Guy

I wish all of you -- whomever you are, wherever you are -- 
a very happy new year -- and here's to dedicating ourselves
to realizing our potential in 2014!


I liked "The Family" despite its much-lamented unevenness, as the critics kept pointing out. The fact that the film swings from comedy to violence as bloody as anything seen in movies like Goodfellas seems to have confused some--disturbed, is more likely.

We all know how popular top 10 lists are this time of year; this one is as good as any.

Manzoni, a former Mafioso from the U.S., is hiding out in France (didn't know WitSec was allowed to stuff criminals into neighborhoods in other countries -- turns out they can't).

The film is based on a book written by a Frenchman about the U.S. mob. Only he seems to know the Sicilian mob a lot better; that is why the American Mafia in this film behaves more like its Sicilian brethren. But don't worry about that -- enjoy the clip.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Galante Hit Paved Golden Path for Rizzutos

Canada’s most famous Mafia boss died last week right before Christmas, after dedicating the last year of his life to retaking his kingdom from usurpers and traitors.
Vito Rizzuto in his prime.

If Mafia history were taught in school, the date May 5, 1981, would be wrought with significance.

That was the day of the infamous three-capo take-down in Brooklyn, when Bonanno family loyalists took on three bosses who were forming a rival faction to take control of the family.

The loyalists won--and the family would continue to be run by its nominal boss, Philip Rusty Rastelli, a mostly impotent figure who held the top spot much longer than he would've liked in order to provide the true boss, Joe Massino, with cover.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Mob Wives" Poll: Too Close to Call...


I probably wouldn't stop covering "Mob Wives" in any event; the show is too popular.

I don't "do" show recaps (some of the best I've ever read can be found here and here, to name a couple). But when the show, in some way, shines a bright light on the inner workings of La Cosa Nostra, I try to capture it.

As for the too popular comment, of my top 10 posts for the past month, half were related to "Mob Wives":


Leaked Court Records Expose D'Avanzo Mob Ties

Bull Victim's Son Prompts 'Mob Wives' Reboot: Kare...

Wanna Know Each Mob Wife's Net Worth? Read This......

Renee's Mob Candy Line: 'Everything a Mob Princess...

Lee D'Avanzo, Not Tall Guy, Behind "Mob Wives" Reb...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Mob Blog on Blogspot

Cosa Nostra News wishes you all a belated Merry Christmas Eve/Christmas Day -- and my gift to you all is a little "mob candy"... no, I am not Renee, I am referring to mob candy of the eye candy type...

My friend Miami says "happy holidays" as well....

Special video clip from Robert DeNiro coming soon....

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Alleged 'Mobster' Hired Hit Men to Kill Three

Ronald Galati Sr.
We have never heard of a gangster "hiring" a hit man. Sounds like something a guy pretending to be a gangster would do....That is why we find so confusing the latest big-news Philly mob story -- that of Ronald Galati Sr., who is described as a mob associate who while under investigation for insurance fraud, hired hitmen to take out three targets.

Philly's NewsWorks reported that Galati had been an associate of former Philly mob boss [Joseph 'Skinny Joey'] Merlino and had also been convicted of racketeering in the 1990s for his connection to a murder plot planned by rival mobster John Stanfa. (Is this a copy editing mistake or did Galati change his allegiance? Depends on whether "planned by" should be "planned for" -- but we digress.)

SFGate reported that Galati Sr., 63, now behind bars again, has been the focus of an ongoing insurance-fraud investigation. He was arrested last week on allegations that he had hired hit men to kill three people. Attempting to take out one of the targets, two of the hitmen were caught and arrested.

Galati worked at American Collision & Automotive Center in South Philadelphia, of which his son, Ronald Galati Jr., is president. Philly.com noted that the "auto-body shop has received more than $1 million from the City of Philadelphia for working on police cars and other city vehicles, is known for cozying up to cops by throwing block parties or repairing their personal vehicles at a discount."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rizzuto's Death 'Will Trigger a lot of Upheaval' - The Globe and Mail

Rizzuto was strong enough to be a peacemaker; his successor
has savvy shoes to fill.

Montreal Mob boss Vito Rizzuto's death 'will trigger a lot of upheaval' - The Globe and Mail: Canada's most powerful Mafia boss, Vito Rizzuto, has died in a hospital, raising the spectre of further turf violence for control of the Montreal underworld.

Mr. Rizzuto died at Sacré-Cœur Hospital at 4 a.m. Monday, one of his former lawyers, Jean Salois, confirmed in an interview.

Mr. Salois said the 67-year-old Mr. Rizzuto died of natural causes. Radio-Canada, which first reported the death, said Mr. Rizzuto died of lung problems."

A spokeswoman for Quebec's coroner said her office had examined Mr. Rizzuto's death. "It is a death by natural causes, beyond any doubts. Therefore there will be no coroner’s investigation,” Geneviève Guilbault said.

“It’s news no one was expecting,” said former RCMP organized-crime analyst Pierre De Champlain.

He noted that Mr. Rizzuto was the rare crime boss who has enough power and authority to act as a peacemaker among various crime syndicates.

Vito Rizzuto Dies; Rise in Mob Violence Likely in Canada

Recent photo of Vito.

Thanks to Aly Isaac for YouTube video.

In the end it was the banality of smoking cigarettes that got him rather than a smoking gun. Vito Rizzuto, 67, died of cancer in a local hospital, shortly before Christmas.

While fighting to regain what was his -- as well as avenge the murders of his son, father, brother-in-law and other supporters -- he'd been secretly fighting lung cancer. He was found to have the disease will still in an American prison, where he was serving a six-year stretch for helping the Bonannos in the early 1980s take care of an inter-family dispute (ironically, he would later outgrow any need for ties to the New York families).

While Rizzuto was away, the media wrote him off, saying the Montreal crime boss was finished. Some of his cohorts -- primarily the former Calabrians who had joined the Rizzutos after the bloody wars of 1970s Montreal -- split away and tried to retake control of the family.

The most prominent man -- the leader of the anti-Rizzuto confederacy -- was Joseph DiMaulo, formerly Rizzuto's underboss. His strategy was to exterminate the Rizzuto family, period. He would be shot dead less than a month after Vito's return from prison, in late 2012.

Cosa Nostra News had recently dubbed Rizzuto Mobster of the Year for coming back and reasserting himself to reclaim his role as King of the Montreal Volcano.

CBCNews: Vito Rizzuto, the former head of the Montreal Mafia, died Monday morning at Sacré-Coeur Hospital following health problems.

Radio-Canada is reporting that the 67-year-old man was hospitalized on Sunday for pulmonary problems. His death comes just over a year after his release from an American prison.

"The man known as the Teflon Don dies quietly? [It was] quite a surprise to many, many people," said Julian Sher, the senior producer of CBC's the fifth estate and an investigative journalist who has covered the Montreal Mafia extensively.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lee D'Avanzo Cause of Mob Wives Reboot?

Karen Gravano may have been on to something when she said someone wanted her off the show.

But according to a source who spoke with Cosa Nostra News on condition of anonymity, that someone is Lee D'Avanzo, not Eddie Garofalo.

Lee and Drita D'Avanzo.

We wrote in a previous post that Alicia DiMichele's husband, Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo, is "figuring to be a major star" in the upcoming season. This was based on a Jerry Capeci story in which Karen Gravano was the source (there were two other sources, but only Karen went on record). Karen had a theory about why Jennifer had revamped most of the cast of "Mob Wives" -- supposedly to make DiMichele and Garofalo's former marriage a centerpiece of the show. The Tall Guy has been in jail for three years and will soon head off to prison to serve his seven years sentence. Alicia learns her fate in January, as we noted.

According to Karen, it was the Tall Guy who secured his wife a role on the show -- while ousting the other three mob wives: Karen, Ramona and Carla.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Montreal Boss Vito Rizzuto Apparently Claims Another

This one was shot to death under the noonday sun last Wednesday.

Roger Valiquette Jr.'s bullet-riddled body was discovered in the parking lot of a rotisserie restaurant in the Montreal suburb of Laval, near his Mercedes SUV.

Valiquette was "well-known in the Mob underworld," according to published reports. He is believed to have been part of a rival faction that had vied for control of the Rizzuto family's rackets. Running this faction had been Joseph Di Maulo, the first to die once Vito Rizzuto returned home in October 2012; he had been taken into custody by U.S. authorities in 2004 for participating in the take-down of three capos who were considered to have been conspiring to take control of the Bonanno family from Philip "Rusty" Rastelli after the storied hit on Carmine Galante.

Rizzuto's father and son, along with several other associates were murdered while he was behind bars.

Rare Wiretap Audio of Whacked Gambino Boss Big Paul

We had been cruising YouTube when we came across this: audio of "Big Paul," obviously holding court.

(Thank you, Jodie980! Please contact me...)

I would assume these were the recordings made when the Feds wired Big Paul's "White House" on Todt Hill on Staten Island. The quality is not the greatest, but I have always wanted to hear Big Paul -- this is the first time I ever came across wiretap recordings with his voice on them.

More to come...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cleveland Gangsters Handle Media Relations 'Old School' Style

We consider ourselves part of the media, but we still enjoyed this 1982 video clip posted on YouTube in which Cleveland gangsters John Calandra and James Licavoli attack newspaper photographers as the two emerge from the courthouse following their conviction on racketeering charges. (They were allowed out on bond.)

I believe Calandra (a member of boss Licavoli's inner circle) is the one in yellow strangling the woman with her own camera cord. I know that because Licavoli is the one swinging the cane at them.

Here is some background from a Cleveland ABC affiliate: [It's] just after the 3:45 p.m. announcement of [Licavoli's and Calandra's] verdicts. A throng of media await the men outside the front doors of the courthouse, including WEWS reporter Paul Orlousky and WEWS videographer Bob Wilkinson. Licavoli and Calandra try to avoid the waiting media by exiting through the rear parking lot of the courthouse on Rockwell Avenue.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Colombo Underboss "Gerry Lang" Died in Prison

Gerry Lang was serving a 65-year sentence even before the Commission Case began.

Gennaro Langella, a former high-ranking member of the Colombo family, died on Sunday at the US Medical Center for Prisons in Missouri.

He was 74 and still serving the 100 years he was sentenced to at the conclusion of the historical Commission Case of 1986. In death, he joins legendary mob bosses Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo of the Lucheses and "Fat Tony" Salerno of the Genovese clan, also given draconian prison sentences. (Though Fat Tony was only a front man for Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, he himself towered in stature and was a Cosa Nostra legend as much as Gigante.)

Langella was convicted of a grab bag of mob-related crimes, but foremost among them was that he'd been in the administration of a Mafia crime family: underboss of New York’s Colombo borgata, one of the most strife-ridden families in all of the Mafia.

Many Colombo members are related by blood. They also are among the most violent-prone of the five New York families, having been forged by three inter-family wars, two of which involved the Gallo brothers, and the third, Victor "Little Vic" Orena, a designated acting boss who tried to assume power.

During the trial, Langella was found guilty alongside seven other Mafiosi. Also convicted was Langella’s Colombo crime family boss -- the already incarcerated Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who defended himself at the trial (unintentionally providing much-needed comic relief in the process).

Prosecutors convinced the jury that eight defendants were members of the “Commission” that was in place to oversee all Mafia business in the United States since the early 1930s.

That the Commission had originally been established to prevent inter-Mafia wars and unauthorized murders, among other things, and had therefore probably saved the lives of many innocent citizens who could have been hit by stray bullets, could of course not be viewed as a mitigating factor. There are many ironies here...

The trial lasted 10 weeks, and all defendants were found guilty in November 1986. The following year, seven of them, including Langella, were sentenced to 100 years in prison for their crimes.

Rudy Giuliani, in his pre-mayoral days, as U.S. Attorney prosecuted them -- and not without at least an iota of regret, based on two interviews he participated in in recent years.

According to The Independent: Langella was born in December of 1938 to first generation immigrant parents from the Campania region of Italy (where the Camorra now holds sway).

Growing up in Carroll Gardens area of New York, Langella was a close associate of his cousin and future boss Persico, who was five years his senior and already leader of the Garfield Boys (later renamed the South Brooklyn Boys) – a teenage street gang that terrorized New York’s Bensonhurst neighborhood.

Langella was officially “made” into the Colombo crime family in early 1976 and quickly climbed the ranks thanks to his close relationship with Persico, acting on his boss’ behalf when Persico was jailed in the early 1970s and again in the early 1980s.

He was later named the Colombo's official underboss.

Before the Mafia Commission Trial, Langella had been sentenced to 65 years in prison in another racketeering prosecution and was serving time with the Commission Case began.

Langella’s funeral will be held on Saturday morning in Brooklyn.

The Colombos are the only New York family not named after its progenitor, Joe Profaci. The Olive Oil King, as he was known, had left behind a mess that included an ongoing feud with the Gallos. Also, Profaci underboss Joseph Magliocco took over, but the succession plan did not receive Commission approval. Magliocco, his face slapped, accepted an offer from Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno to help him carry out an audacious plot to seize control of all New York rackets by assassinating Carlo Gambino, Thomas Lucchese and Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino, who was powerful enough to have earned his own seat on the Commission.

Magliocco contracted his top hit man to pull off the hits.

Joe Colombo may have lacked judgment later in his life, but when given those orders, he blew the whistle -- showing fealty to the Commission, he revealed the entire plot to Don Carlo. Colombo was then named boss, and the Profaci family redubbed the Colombo family.

Carlo Feared Pitera Death Threat for 'Butcher' Book

Guy in the middle had no idea what the future held when this
photograph was snapped.

Philip Carlo (April 18, 1949 – November 8, 2010) wrote best-selling novels and non-fiction, focusing mainly on sociopaths, pedophiles and psychopaths.

A popular, beloved writer and New York figure, he also was known for letting the occasional fact stray in his non-fiction, which spans the range from mobsters, including Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera, to serial killer Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez -- with Richard "The Ice Man" Kuklinksi falling somewhere in between.

I just finished reading Carlo's final book, "The Killer Within"; he in fact died a few weeks after completing it, of the horrifying illness ALS -- better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Turns out, of all his subjects it was Tommy Karate who was weighing on his mind the most heavily toward the end of his life.

Camorra Clan Busted for Christmastime Poinsettia Racket

Poinsettias are known in Italy as Christmas stars... 
BBC News reported that Italian police have arrested four alleged gangsters who had been engaged in a Christmas-related racket -- namely, the crew was allegedly forcing shop owners to buy poinsettias - known in Italy as Christmas Stars - at prices of up to 100 times wholesale.

The gangsters, working in Naples, were demanding as much as 100 euros ($140) a plant for the past three holiday seasons, police say.

Owners who refused had their shops vandalised.

"It wasn't someone dressed like Santa Claus tapping on the doors of shop owners and businesses... Instead there were four emissaries of the Mazzarella clan," police said.

The men were trying to raise funds for legal fees of jailed gang members, police said. They should have charged 300 times wholesale; arrests and wars have taken a massive toll on the Mazzarella clan, which is a shadow of its former self.

The Mazzarellas are Camorra. (Charles DeLucca writes occasional articles about his observances and thoughts regarding organized crime, Italian-style, in all its various guises and locals, the Camorra chief among them.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Battle for 'Mob Candy' Brand Has Begun

Heath Norman Wasserman holds the copyright for the brand Mobcandy (yes, one word, but it doesn't matter) in all but one of the product categories in which Renee Graziano has launched lines under the same brand name.

Wasserman and Frank DiMatteo, owner/publisher of Mob Candy magazine, are partners, Cosa Nostra News has learned from DiMatteo.

DiMatteo also said that two cease-and-desist letters were so far sent to Graziano regarding her use of the Mob Candy brand; to his knowledge, they were both ignored, he said. A meeting is scheduled for next week, the 23rd, DiMatteo said. Lawyers will be involved. The agenda: what to do next.

Wasserman also has dibs on the Mob Candy name in many product categories in addition to the categories in which Renee has launched products -- except for jewelry, which Graziano has properly copyrighted, DiMatteo said.

Wasserman, who is in the arcade machine vending business in Chicago, is planning on extending the Mob Candy brand into additional product categories as well, DiMatteo said, including adult videos.

This site has reached out to Renee Graziano for comment in the past. Ms. Graziano, if you would like us to report on your side of the story, please contact us. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Capone Still Most Popular Mobster: American Gangsters Website

The general public is still primarily interested in Al Capone.
Al "Scarface" Capone was the most un-Mafia-like boss in the Mafia. 

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (Jan. 17, 1899 – Jan. 25, 1947) is still the most popular of the American Gangsters, according to David Brooks, the proprietor of American Gangsters, a website that sells fans a range of products featuring images of famous mobsters in American history.

This is based on an analysis of what Brooks sells through his website. And the general public is still primarily interested in Capone, the most popular mobster in America, and probably has been since the Roaring Twenties, as Brooks told us in a recent interview.

True aficionados of the Mafia, however, are more interested in Lucky Luciano, Brooks noted.

Mafia Capo Elicits Nostalgia for San Gennaro, 'Littler Italy'

A recent San Gennaro Feast, which will be 87 years old next
year. A fashionable group of newcomers wanted to have it
reduced by 50 percent...
Genovese capo Conrad Ianniello, 70, who five years ago was found to be extorting vendors at the San Gennaro Feast, plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges, federal prosecutors said. He admitted to disrupting a Long Island company's labor union's efforts.

He conspired with other alleged street guys in 2008 to "pave the way for an alleged Genovese associate, who was an official at another union, to unionize the company instead, prosecutors charge," according to SILive.com.

He was caught on wiretap on April 17, 2008, thanking co-defendant and Genovese associate Ryan Ellis for delivering a message to the union not to organize the Long Island company.

"You got his (expletive) attention. He called me," court papers quoted him as saying. "He says they got nasty. ... I said, 'I got your (expletive) attention now, don't I?'"

Ellis also plead guilty.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Capeci on Tracking New York's Five Families

Jerry Capeci enjoys lunch on the New York Times.....

For me it began with Carl Kolchak, a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter played by Darren McGavin, who investigated stories that invariably lead our intrepid journalist head-on into supernatural forces that had somehow infiltrated our universe.

Then it was Jerry Capeci... I voraciously read his Gangland column in print and then online. For all I knew gangsters fell into the same category as monsters and things of the night.

I figure despite who my heroes were, I'd never be personally involved, never thought I'd get to know one, never mind multiple wiseguys. 

Did Someone Confuse the Tall Guy and Lee D'Avanzo?

The Garofalos.
As we reported in a previous post: Karen Gravano is claiming Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo was a key player in putting together the cast of the latest season of "Mob Wives," which now includes his wife.

Gravano also said -- you'll have to re-read the post for a full recap if you're interested as I don't feel like rewriting the damn thing-- "Apparently Jen also gets Tall Guy himself, as well. As Capeci wrote: Garofalo will be heard on the show via select tape recordings. An honest to God gangster will speak on Mob Wives!..."

We have been hearing a gangster's voice on the phone. Only it's not the Tall Guy's...

Alleged Mob Boss Gioeli on Joe Waverly's Victory

Tommy Gioeli on Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace's victory (at least he stopped putting the blame for the murder on Wild Bill, see story)...

Alleged Mob Boss Tommy Gioeli's Voice:

In today's post I would like to congratulate my friend and onetime codefendant Joel Cacace on his justified victory over a petty, deceitful, and corrupt prosecution team led by my old nemesis, the new head of the Organized Crime Dept. for the Eastern District of New York, Elizabeth "Lizzy the Liar" Geddes.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Apalachin Finally Put the Mafia on the FBI's Radar

About three weeks ago, we passed the 56th anniversary of the infamous meeting at Apalachin, when cops raided Joe Barbara's House. They didn't have the slightest inkling of what they were getting into -- and I refer here to the Mafia....
J. Edgar Hoover could no longer deny the existence of a
national crime ring working in the U.S. He preferred chasing
Communists and destroying people he didn't like.

On Nov. 14, 1957, New York state police official Edgar D. Croswell noticed a suspicious number of expensive cars with out-of-state license plates converging in his small town of Apalachin.*

He and his troopers began jotting down license plates. Croswell, owing to his knowledge of the mob (specifically, Carmine Galante who was in town that November day; Crosswell had arrested him previously and was well aware of who he was) knew something was up. (Croswell also had no illusions about Joseph (Joe the Barber) Barbara (a more appropriate nickname would've been Joe the Butcher), who was hosting the shindig at his large estate.)

When Vito Genovese summoned the National Commission, he was planning to hold the meet in Chicago. For some reason, Stefano Magaddino suggested the Apalachin estate of lieutenant Barbara. )

Friday, December 13, 2013

Former Genovese Boss's Son Busted for Kiddie Porn

Arthur "Artie" Nigro, onetime mob boss serving
life; his son was found hawking kiddie porn.
The New York Post is reporting that the son of imprisoned former Genovese mob boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro was busted Wednesday on kiddie porn charges in The Bronx, according to the police.

Joseph Nigro, 35, was allegedly using a file sharing network to trade, store and download a mountain of sick images and videos showing children under 16 engaging in sex, sources said. After confiscating his computer, investigators analyzed the hard drive, which revealed the illegal images, sources said.

Nigro confessed to the crime and was slapped with promoting and possession of sexual performance of a child.

In September 2011, former acting boss of the Genovese family Arthur Nigro and two associates, Fotios Geas and Ty Geas, were sentenced to life in prison in Manhattan federal court for multiple crimes, including the 2003 murder plot against Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno. Authorities alleged that Nigro ordered the hit to increase his power in the Genovese family, and to punish Bruno for allegedly speaking to the FBI.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mobster of the Year: Vito Rizzuto Is Montreal's King of the Volcano

Cosa Nostra News names Vito Rizzuto as Mobster of the Year, 2013. (We did this not knowing he would die about a week shy of the year's end, but considering what he achieved in the world he chose to live in--reclaiming what was his and having his enemies chased down and killed--the man certainly fit the bill. Buona fortuna, Vito...)

Vito Rizzuto, continuing his ongoing vendetta against all his enemies, apparently sent a message as far away as Mexico last month, ending the life of Moreno Gallo while he was attempting to enjoy his retirement/exile from his homeland in a sun-baked beachside resort.

This is one of the most recent hits allegedly ordered by Rizzuto -- but authorities are certain it is not the last.

Rizzuto is back on top -- his opposition apparently wiped out. However, he is still hunting down those who turned on him, whomever they are and however far they attempt to flee. Experts say Vito is showing his Sicilian side now and likely will wait for years if necessary to hunt down and shoot on sight those on his "death list." Enabling the elderly Mafia strongman to continue his bloody purge is the younger breed of Canadian mobsters -- men in their 30s and 40s -- sons, cousins and other blood relations of Rizzuto as well as trusted members of his inner circle.

Monday, December 9, 2013

'Mob City' -- Good Gangster Fare, Off to Slow Start

mob city2From Media Life Magazine: When we think of classic gangster films, we think of their snappy dialogue, full of street poetry, and their atmospheric cinematography. But the main reason we remember the films is because they told a good story.

TNT’s six-hour miniseries “Mob City,” which pays homage to those old films in every well-lit shot and well-wrought line of dialogue, forgets to grab us early with a compelling plot. Though viewers will enjoy the look and feel of the show, they could lose patience. Even at the end of the first two hours, it’s unclear whether what the characters will eventually do — as opposed to how they appear and express themselves — will be worth our time.

But since the series’ creator and director, Frank Darabont, has made leisurely storytelling a virtue in such movies as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” and in AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The American Gangsters Website Capitalizes on a Uniquely American Genre

As a society most people are fascinated by living a different lifestyle than they live. Whether it's a famous ballplayer, an actor or even a musician -- we all sometimes muse about living the life of another.

Many of us also fantasize about being infamous mobsters--thugs, hit men and even godfathers. Whatever their station within the mob, these are men who chose this lifestyle -- and they are known as American Gangsters and they left their mark on history.

Capone, Siegel, Luciano, Gotti and others lived by their own rules. Whether you’re a fan or a critic we can’t deny that their legacies have enchanted millions of us. And, they have served as examples later followed by legitimate business: The booze-running days of Prohibition brought us NASCAR as we know it today, and from the illegal gambling halls came the bright lights and casinos that today glow along the Las Vegas strip. Even the numbers rackets served as a forerunner, to today's state lotteries and scratch-off cards.

American Gangsters will give you a glimpse of these men, the lifestyles they lived and the footprints left behind from their journey across the American landscape of history.

--Adapted from the American Gangsters website

David Brooks is proprietor of American Gangsters, a website that sells fans a range of products featuring images of famous mobsters in American history.

"I came up with the idea after seeing how popular the Mafia was becoming again. I wasn't aware of how popular the Mafia had become among the American public," Brooks told us, adding that he began to learn of "the mob" when he was 10 yeards old. "The first name I ever heard was Benjamin Siegel but what sparked the interest was that my grandfather worked for Siegel. My grandfather passed away before I was born--but I know he wasn't involved with organized crime and that he just worked for Siegel.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

DiMichelle To Face Tough Judge on Sentencing Day

New mob wives Alicia, left, and Natalie.
When the New York Post makes a cover story out of you visiting a courthouse to hear a judge sentence your husband to prison and focuses much of the reporting on the clothes you are wearing, you can pretty much conclude your 15 minutes have begun.

It was the day after the "Mob Wives" premiere, at which at least one party goer was brought to the hospital following the major brawl that busted out there, and Alicia DiMichele, a new star on the show, was off to attend the sentencing of her husband, reputed Colombo enforcer Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo, Jr., at Brooklyn Federal Court.

Federal Judge Sandra Townes sentenced the mobster to seven years in prison for murder conspiracy, extortion and witness tampering.

Next month the judge will sentence DiMichele, 40, for embezzling union funds from a trucking company she and her husband once owned.

Like most of us would be in in her shoes, she is concerned, she told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview.

And she should be. Based on what we know, Judge Sandra Townes is not known for cutting those with mob connections slack. And since DiMichele already has plead guilty, she will stand totally naked on judgement day (metaphorically speaking, perverts).

Must Read: Sonny Girard on "Mob Boss," the Al D'Arco Story

Gaspipe reportedly wanted
Little Al whacked, so Al turned.
Sonny Girard is a former street guy -- retired now, he's written several fictional novels and is involved in other creative endeavors... If I could wish for one person to read "Mob Boss" and give me their take on the book about Al D'Arco's life and crimes, it would be Sonny Girard.

He lived the life, and actually knew Al back in the days...he offers a unique perspective invaluable to all interested in the Honored Society.

Sonny did years in prison without a mumble and whenever I do a story that has something to do with informants, I always say silently to myself: Sonny, forgive me... Sonny didn't rat; he did years of his life in prison, like so many mobsters have done, are doing, and will continue to do. Then, later he was asked to write a tell-all about the mob, naming names... He was offered a fortune to do it.

He said no.

How many in his shoes would've done the same? How many guys working for the other side would've done the same?

They don't make em like Sonny anymore, and more's the pity for the Mafia....

I just finished reading “Mob Boss,” the life of Little Al D’Arco, by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins. In short, Little Al was a member of the Lucchesi crew who found himself as acting boss when boss of record Vic Amuso and underboss Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso went on the lam to avoid being arrested and tried in the Feds’ multi-mob-family “Windows Case” of the time. “Mob Boss” follows D’Arco’s life from his growing up in the Navy Yard area of Brooklyn to his sudden rise and equally quick fall to become a government witness. As I read, I found this book to be very personal. I had traveled and hung out in many of the locations mentioned and knew quite a number of major and minor characters discussed, some quite well. One person I’d come across on occasion but didn’t know at all was Al himself.

Imprisoned Sicilian Mafia Boss Toto Riina Threatens Prosecutors

Toto Riina Mafia
Italian Mafia boss Toto Riina has threatened to kill Palermo prosecutor Nino Di Matteo (Reuters)
Mafia Overlord Toto Riina Renews Threats to Kill Palermo Prosecutors: ‘Corleone Doesn’t Forget’ - IBTimes UK:  Jailed Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore 'Toto' Riina has renewed death threats against prosecuting magistrates over an alleged truce deal between the Italian state and Cosa Nostra.

The latest revelations have prompted MPs to demand the matter be referred to parliament.

Riina, who is serving a life sentence in Milan's Opera prison, was taped vowing Mafia vengeance against Palermo prosecutor Nino Di Matteo and his colleagues, while speaking to a fellow inmate and mobster.

"We can't forget this this Di Matteo," Riina was recorded as saying. "Corleone does not forget."

Known as "The Beast" for his brutality, Riina, 83, is a native of the rural Sicilian town of Corleone - a name made famous by the Godfather movie trilogy.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Story Behind FBI Special Unit C-38

Supervisory Special Agent
Seamus McElearney.
It was publicly proclaimed by no less than Attorney General Eric Holder that the FBI decided to sharply reduce resources allocated to battling the New York Mafia.

This was revealed about three years ago -- concurrently with the infamous event known as "Mafia Takedown Day," when some 120 mobsters were arrested in their bathrobes at dawn--high noon for busting down the doors of nice, well-kept suburban homes.

The FBI historically has had one squad assigned to each New York crime family, back during those decades when they systematically dismantled organized crime in the city, the so-called golden years of the mob.

In contrast, as of this past June, the FBI had on the streets only two New York City-based squads to keep an eye on the 700 or so members -- and estimated 7,000 associates -- of the Five Families, according to Gangland.com's Jerry Capeci.

To say it another way, the FBI mob effort has been cut in half since 2008.

Which begs the question: why would the FBI so cavalierly announce this?

And raises, for this blogger, another one: what the hell is FBI special unit C-38?

'Mob Wives' Debut Party Becomes Slugfest, Guercio's BF a Bruiser

FROM TMZ.com: Here's a shocker ... there was a huge fight at the "Mob Wives" premiere party in NYC last night -- with flying bottles, police and broken bones, TMZ has learned.

Sources involved with the situation tell TMZ ... it all started when the BF of new cast member Natalie Guercio (pictured below) got into a verbal argument with another partygoer ... and things quickly escalated.

We're told more than ten people started fighting in the middle of the venue ... and multiple sources tell us glass bottles were fired across the party.

One source tells us one of the partygoers suffered a broken ankle in the melee ... but we haven't been able to confirm that. We do know one person was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.


Law enforcement tells us ... someone called police around 10:48 PM ... but by the time cops arrived, the fight was over.

FYI -- the whole thing went down at Greenhouse ... which is located in the same building where the Chris Brown vs. Drake bottle-smashing brawl broke out back in 2012.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Renee's Mob Candy Line: 'Everything a Mob Princess Would Wear'

We were shocked how many views this story racked up since we first ran it a year ago. Considering the more recent news about the cease-and-desist letters, we thought we'd post this again....

Episode one of season four of “Mob Wives” began with a party in Philadelphia.

Renee hired a new model to work with her new clothing line.

What line is that, some of you may ask. Well, Mob Candy (by Renee Graziano) is the name of the brand she has been talking up and promoting on the Internet for the past year or so. It includes a a lot of products: Mob Candy Jewelry, Mob Candy Apparel , Mob Candy Shoes, and accessories and t-shirts.

Frank DiMatteo, owner, Mob Candy.
Folks who look leftward on this very web page will see Renee posing for the cover of Mob Candy magazine; no, it is not part of her line.

Mob Candy magazine was in fact launched in 2007 by others with no ties to her then or now. Prior to the publication, the brand had originally been used for a line of Mafia-inspired clothing. But even before that, there was a company called Mob Candy that sold, well, candy...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giuliani: Mafia Violence Has 'Certain Rationality'

Rudy Giuliani enjoys discussing the two Mafia contracts placed on his head.
The mob's contracts on Rudy Giuliani fell from $800,000, by
the Sicilian Mafia, to $400,00, from Carmine Persico.

Rudy Giuliani almost sounded wistful, maybe a bit maudlin, as if he was getting sentimental about the old days of New York, when organized crime held sway over the city and was a major focal point of law enforcement's efforts, as opposed to the Islamic terrorists who have stolen the limelight in the past two decades.

He claimed that the Mafia in Sicily put an $800,000 contract on his head while he was New York City's Mayor. 

Speaking as a guest on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable-channel show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now," the onetime prosecutor seemed to relish that he was once important enough to be a target for organize crime.

Giuliani was U.S. Attorney before becoming the mayor, from 1994-2001.

"Certainly, no one sent them to prison for the lengthy periods of time that I did," he said of American mobsters, adding that the mob had paper on him within his first year in office as mayor. (Still, don't the judges do the sentencing?)
Carmine Persico

"They offered $800,000 to kill me. Then, toward the end of the time I was the mayor, a particular mafia guy who we convicted and put in jail for 100 years put out a contract to kill me for $400,000."

Giuliani, who turns 70 in May of 2014, also added with a laugh, "I kind of felt bad that I went down in value. I started at 800, I went down to 400."

In any case, he never was that concerned about threats from members of organized-crime gangs.

"Now, when we start talking about Islamic extremist terrorism — that worries me more, because they are suicidal.

"Part of why I didn't worry about the Mafia was because there was a certain rationality to their kind of violence. This other kind of violence is completely irrational violence."

We started wondering which of the New York mob bosses put away in the Commission Case was sore enough to put paper on Rudy's head... Could it have been the guy who hired Sailor?

But, alas, no -- in fact Giuliani told this exact same story about himself, as reported back in August of 2011.

Back then, Giuliani was hosting AMC's Mob Week special, during which he told the U.K.'s Mail Online that dealing with Mob bosses was "very, very exciting." And, by the way, he had been on not one, but two mafia hit lists, he said.

Two years ago, Giuliani named Carmine 'The Snake" Persico as putting a $400,000 price on his head.

"You know, they threatened to kill me twice... When I was first starting they put out an $800,000 contract to kill me, the Scillian Mafia did.

"And then I was U.S. Attorney for five and a half years. I was at the very end, just about to leave, and Carmine Persico (de-facto boss of the Colombo crime family, currently serving life imprisonment) put out a contract for only $400,000 to kill me.

"Come on, five and a half years of work and my value gets cut in half?" Giuliani quipped.

We are impressed he didn't stray from the original facts -- not even a little bit... but he could've come up with a new punchline, at least.

Monday, December 2, 2013

1970s Probe Spotlighted Legendary Pittsburgh Mob Boss

John LaRocca, for thirty years was what Vince Isoldi tried to be on his
short-lived reality television show.
The Mafia is widely believed by the American public to be behind the assassination of JFK. But if it were, which mobsters, exactly, were involved in the hit -- the planning, shooting, etc.?

Pennsylvania's Trib Live noted an incident which for a time drew the spotlight on two little-known New Kensington gangsters: Gabriel “Kelly” Mannarino and his brother Sam — both of whom were part of the one-time rich and powerful Pittsburgh mob family of John LaRocca, who held power for some thirty years. The family has since nearly disappeared due to aggressive law enforcement tactics.

Both LaRocca and Mannarino were partners with Tampa mob boss Santo Trafficante in owning the Sans Souci hotel and gambling casino in Havana, Cuba. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nassau Police Sergeant Played Secret Role in Lufthansa Case

Courtesy of the Long Island Press

There are so many mob stories right now, I can't keep up. I have been Tweeting them from original sources fast and furious (which reminds me, RIP Paul Walker, 40 years of age).

The Lufthansa Heist is back in the news, with a new wrinkle.

TheLongIslandPress.com is running a story called "Lufthansa Heist: Nassau Cop Breaks Silence on Mob Case that Left 16 Dead, $6M Missing." Specifically, the report notes: "Despite the story being told again and again, few people knew the key role a Nassau County police sergeant played in helping to identify the perpetrators—until now. Through thorough police work and natural instincts, he turned a wannabe gangster into a witness whose testimony helped convict [Louis] Werner."

'Mob Wives' Debut Already Playing Out in the Press?

According to an article published on Page Six on Sunday, Nov. 17, Alicia DiMichele Garofalo has been cheating on her jailed husband, Ed "Tall Guy" Garofalo, with a married man.

We researched and reported on Alicia DiMichele in an earlier article in which we noted the couple was divorced or at least in the process of divorcing, and were separated -- and now she's suddenly married, even with the name Garofalo tacked on -- just in time for the season four debut of Mob Wives.

Interesting how these shows seem to work - they change the facts first in a PR blitz, to pave the way for the various "conflicts" on the show.

We also note that Lee D'Avanzo, husband of Drita, one of the two or three mob wives still on the show, had ties to Garofalo (as well as TG Graziano). Interesting that the new mob wife and not-fired mob wife have a Garofalo relationship in common, Alicia  more, um, directly, and Drita apparently through her husband. It's probably nothing! Right? We don't know what Lee's up to these days but we know what happened to TG thanks to his daughters' show.)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Colombo Gangster Joe Waverly Acquitted of Ordering Dols Hit

Surveillance photo of Joe Waverly
Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, a high-level Colombo mobster who still carries lead in his chest from previous gunfights, has been acquitted of ordering the killing of an NYPD officer who married the Mafioso's ex-wife.

A jury took only four hours to reach their verdict clearing Cacace of murder in aid of racketeering in the killing of Police Officer Ralph Dols, who was shot to death in 1997 outside his home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The verdict was reached yesterday, Nov. 26.

Last year, Colombo gangster Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli was acquitted of carrying out Cacace's alleged order, along with Dino Saracino.

Cacace, 72, didn't walk out of the courtroom a free man following his acquittal as he is in the process of serving a 20-year sentence for racketeering after admitting to carrying out a hit on a federal prosecutor.

He is not due to be released from prison until 2020 when he will be close to 80.

Officer Ralph Dols

It has been alleged that Cacace ordered the hit on Dols for marrying Kimberly Kennaugh, the mobster's ex-wife. 

Sources confirmed that despite the acquittal, what was alleged to have happened is actually what happened. But as G. Robert Blakey said, bad facts make for bad cases

The prosecution didn't have the goods. An anonymous jury once again rejected the testimony of cooperating witnesses Dino Calabro and Joseph Competiello, who were part of the hit team that killed Dols. 

Both pleaded guilty to the cop killing and are hoping they will receive a reduced sentence in return for their cooperation.

Caught on Italian Wiretap:'This Pig Can Really Eat!'

Wonder if the mob reads Thomas Harris... they either stole this from the third Hannibal Lecter novel, or Harris stole it from them, though he seemed to associate this peculiar ritual to the island of Sardinia... I kind of doubt this has anything to do with Harris. Man-eating pigs, I hadn't realized, are not as uncommon as you may think, even in the U.S.

Italian mafia fed man alive to pigs, police say - ChicagoTribune.com: ROME (Reuters) - A group of Calabrian mafia assassins beat a rival with a spade and fed him alive to pigs, Italian police said after rounding up 20 people for various mob crimes including five murders.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to All

To all my readers, no matter which side of the law you're on, I want to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving! Can't believe Christmas is upon us already and writing "2013" finally stopped looking weird to me; before I know it I will have to get used to writing 2014...

Don't eat too much turkey and what do you all say we try to do a good deed each day. All of us are capable of this, even FBI agents and mob bosses!

Remember: Pay it forward! I hated the movie, but love the phrase....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bio Bunk: No Way Snake Whacked Mob’s Executioner

Two men, with scarves draped across their faces, clambered into the shop and opened fire on a relaxing Anastasia. Anastasia allegedly lunged at the mirror in which he saw the shooters’ reflections.
Anastasia whacked by Gambino drug dealers--not Persico/Gallo faction.
Albert Anastasia (Umberto Anastasio, Sept. 26, 1902 – Oct. 25, 1957) was one of the most ruthless and feared Cosa Nostra mobsters in U.S. history, bar none.

A co-founder of LCN, Anastasia during the pre-war years ran Murder Inc., a group of primarily Jewish hit men always on call. He was boss of what became the Gambino crime family in 1957, having killed his boss, Vincent Mangano. Anastasia's own execution in a midtown barbershop is one of the most spectacular mob hits ever. It was the most high-profile "hit" since the big mob war of the 1930s. And Carmine "the Snake" Persico and the Gallo brothers had nothing to do with it.

One source told Cosa Nostra News: "Joey Gallo went around after the Anastasia hit telling people to call he and his pals the 'Barbershop Quartet.' That means nothing. I have had guys intimate to me that they clipped a certain guy, when I knew for a fact they had nothing to do with it."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cosa Nostra News Thanks Susan Ferritto

From YouTube: "The very first reality mob convention in Las Vegas. A small tribute to those who participated in this year's first annual reunion for those of us who celebrated back in the day":

Susan Ferritto is a good friend of ours and we want to take a minute to thank her for all the help she has given us behind the scenes, setting up interviews, getting us tickets to the Vegas convention which we ultimately couldn't attend because of work, and finding hot topics for us to report on and write about.

You will see new stories we're working on in the weeks and months ahead.... 

Susan, you're one classy lady. And a looker too. Ray Ferritto may have been a "big bad Mafioso hitman," but he sure as hell wasn't all bad if he was smart enough to marry you! [And if he were still here, we sure as hell wouldn't have said this out loud -- especially the "looker" part!]

We still wish he was here -- no disrespect intended at all!


Everyone read her book and check out her Facebook page.

JFK Assassination 50 Years Later: Mafia Still a Suspect

Bensonhurst native Marco Manfre, who marked his 2013 debut on Cosa Nostra News with this story, is the author of two books, Returning to the Lion’s Den: Life in an Organized Crime Family and The Outcast Prophet of Bensonhurst, both of which are set in the Brooklyn borough of his childhood, based on people who defined that place and time for him.

At the time of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination I was glad Marco sent this. I always found it interesting that the mob's involvement in one of the most infamous "hits" in history has always been a given for G. Robert Blakey, the main drafter of the RICO act and self-proclaimed smarty pants who named it after Hollywood gangster Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello (played by Edward G. Robinson) in "Little Caesar."