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Showing posts from August, 2013

Retired Camorrista Considers American Mafia's Sad Fate

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Mr. DeLucca, who wrote a series of articles for me months ago, is back. He contacted me and to my surprise had no intention of writing, he was just being cordial, a lost art in America. I asked him if he'd write some more articles and told him that people had emailed me for some time after he'd stopped writing for this website. He was quite surprised, so he said he'd think about it. Then, this morning, I just got this story from him. I gave it a quick edit -- how I wish I had someone to give all my writing "a quick edit" -- and here it is, hot off the presses as they used to say. When reading DeLucca forget about what is truth and what is not - that's not a cop out; the point is you have to just give yourself over to an artist painting a picture for you of America's Cosa Nostra as seen through the eyes of an Italian steeped in the old world traditions and culture. I see DeLucca's work as a reflection of America itself, with echoes of both the good and…

Roy DeMeo Mugshot: Colorized or in Real Color?

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Massino Shot One of the Three Rebel Capos? Galante Was Bonanno Boss?

Does anyone believe either of those things in the headline are true? I assume I don't even need to write this post about NatGeo's "ITAM" -- I assume my readers would know better...

Replay! GFELLA Offers Hip Hop Ode to Linda Scarpa

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I had watched a few episodes of GThing, G-Fella's 11pm Saturday night half-hour show on the FUSE network, before I noticed it. Then when I did notice it, I was like, holy crap. I didn't recognize him or something but all of a sudden I realized the dude that G was calling Uncle Ralph was Ralph Altro; I knew the guy! It was a lifetime ago, in Bayside, Queens.

Ralph, if you are reading this, salud, my friend!

Then, on the last episode, I saw Ralph's wife, who I also knew, for, like, years! So Ralph, tell Maria I said, salud! Maria is one tough broad; if anyone can keep a wiseguy like Ralph in line, it's Maria. She's Albanian, like Drita from Mob Wives. Nuff said!

The Mob's Greatest Hits: Frankie Cheech Bomb Plot

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The car bombing that wiped out Gambino big-shot Frank "Frankie Cheech" DeCicco was really collateral damage from the hit on Paul Castellano.

Who knows how close New York's Mafia came to shooting it out. Probably a lot closer than the public has believed.
Frank DeCicco (November 5, 1935 - April 13, 1986) was John Gotti’s underboss when he was slain at the behest of  Vincent“The Chin” Gigante, who seemed to have partially outsourced the job to Luchese bosses Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso and Vittorio Amuso. (A New Jersey based Genovese capo also was tasked with the job.)

Joe Massino, Last Godfather, First Rat

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Joseph Charles Massino (born January 10, 1943) was boss of the Bonanno crime family after the death of his mentor, Phil “Rusty” Rastelli.

Massino is considered to be among the last of the clever, old-school dons, hence the "last Godfather" rubric. This only added to the shock that whirled through organized crime upon the revelation of Massino’s transition to government informer after losing a massive RICO trial in July 2004. He had been convicted of racketeering, seven murders, arson, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, conspiracy and money laundering and was told he would be a candidate for the death realty, which likely fueled his decision to become, in mafia parlance, a rat.

The 1970s Were the Mob's Golden Age?

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Sonny Girard, the retired gangster/working writer, has drafted a couple of interesting essays on how NatGeo got quite a bit wrong last week on its "Inside the American Mob" debut episodes.

Click here to read it; you should.

I had some notes I've been meaning to flesh out into a post, so I might as well do it now. I have to say one of my thoughts aligns perfectly with Sonny's -- which I take to mean I got it right.

Jimmy, We Hardly Knew Ya, Part 1

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James Caan. Does the man really need an introduction? How many times have how many of us seen him in The Godfather, Sonny, getting ripped apart by machine gun fire at that Long Island Causeway toll booth, a scene that, supposedly, was staged by director Francis Ford Coppola to be reminiscent of the final death scene of Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) in the film Bonnie and Clyde.

Ah, Sonny. "The most impulsive and violent of [Godfather] Vito's children and, before Michael's rise to power, the most involved in his father's criminal operations," said IMDB.

Sonny was always my favorite character in the Corleone family saga, followed by Don Vito, followed by Don Michael. Scenes that will remain unblemished, playing ceaselessly on movie screens in my Memory Palace , include Sonny literally banging Lucy Mancini against the door at his sister's wedding; smashing a camera and spitting on the ground in front of the FBI agents sniffing aro…

Jimmy The Gent: Mastermind of Lufthansa Heist

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James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke (July 5, 1931 – April 13, 1996), an Irish-American gangster with ties to the Lucchese family through his association with Lucchese capo Paul Vario, is probably better known as “Jimmy Conway.” That was the fictional name he was given in Martin Scorcese’s cinematic masterpiece Goodfellas, in which award-winning thespian Robert DeNiro took on the role of Burke. 

Rumor has it, Burke was so pleased that DeNiro was playing him that he phoned the actor from prison to give him a few pointers. Author and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi has denied this, although the scribe did admit that men who had known all of the key mobsters portrayed in the film spent time on the set. 
Burke needed much help on the publicity front. Burke was an interesting, colorful personality, a master criminal of a bygone age, when cops and businessmen could easily be bought off. Burke was also a sociopath, and probably a psychopath, who pulled off the biggest caper of his day, the notorious L…