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Showing posts from 2014

A Mob Boss Whacked Natalie DiDonato's Cousin

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Philadelphia's Natalie Guercio will soon be joined by Philadelphia's Natalie DiDonato on the VH1 reality show Mob Wives.

We don't know when the new Natalie will appear but she's rolled out her social media accounts and has been stomping on Natalie Guercio's guts.... and deleting at least one earlier tweet that noted a family connection, specifically that "Frankie Flowers" was her cousin.

Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi allegedly "made his bones" by killing DiDonato's cousin -- assuming Frank "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso is her cousin.

Ligambi, former Philly mob boss, now consiglieri, was convicted of murdering "Frankie Flowers," who was a wealthy, longtime associate of the Philadelphia crime family under Angelo Bruno; Frankie Flowers was whacked in the mid-1980s by Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo regime.

As for Ligambi, after serving 10 years for the murder, he was acquitted following a retrial.

Natalie Did…

Rivals, Traitors Remain on Rizzuto Hit List

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Vito Rizzuto drove around the streets of Montreal in an armored car and brazenly sent his assassins across the world to kill those who defied him.

In this group count traitors and Calabrian mobsters from Toronto.
Vito's bloody street war to annihilate any and all rivals and defectors didn't end with his death in December 2013. 

Suspect Named in 'Mob Wives'-related Slashing Attack

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Rodolfo “Rudy” Lopez is wanted for the box cutter attack that left London Rene, 37, with gashes on his face, stomach and arm after a dispute outside Club Output, sources said.

"Mob Wives" star Natalie Guercio's boyfriend, Rene was knifed in a Brooklyn nightclub, toward the end of December. TMZ broke the story, noting that Rene has been slashed on the right side of his face after the attack in Club Output [in Williamsburg, Brooklyn].

Rene was hospitalized following the attack, and according to TMZ, he told police officers he considered himself lucky to be alive.

The Mob's Control of Prizefighting Molded Sport's Evolution

Incredibly absorbing documentary about the mob's decades-long control of prizefighting.



Most notable - the film uses modern technology to highlight the so-called "phantom punch" that sent Sonny Liston to the mat. This knockdown -- further screwed up by the referee, a former boxer himself -- marked the beginning of the end of both Liston's boxing career and the mob's influence over the sport. (Some even believe the mob murdered Liston.)

The two fights between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship were among the most watched and controversial fights in the sport's history.

The phantom punch ended the second fight between Muhammad Ali (then still known as Cassius Clay) and Sonny Liston.



New York's Four Crime Families?

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A small-time dice game caused a mob boss's defense attorney to take a huge gamble.

He lost.

As a result, on June 10, 1969, 12 volumes (more than 2,000 pages) of conversations between various mobsters and New Jersey crime boss Simone Rizzo DeCavalcante were released to the public. A book was issued as well. Sam the Plumber: The Real-Life Saga of a Mafia Chieftain condensed the voluminous disparate recorded discussions and provided context.



Former Mafia Capo Dominick Cicale Answers Your Questions

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DOMINICK CICALE, A FORMER CAPO IN THE BONANNO CRIME FAMILY, ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS  In 1999, Bronx-based Dominick Cicale finished his second years-long bit and hooked up with Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, then an up-and-coming member of the Bronx faction of the Bonanno crime family.

Initially he'd been closely affiliated with "Big Ernie" in the Genovese family.


Decades of Mob Violence Behind Waterfront Case

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The week before Christmas 2014, three North New Jersey-based Genovese crime family mobsters pleaded guilty to waterfront racketeering in a case going on for years -- since January 2011's Mafia Takedown Day.

But the Genovese family's control of the New Jersey waterfront goes back decades and includes many storied mobsters of the past who killed and were killed for control of the lucrative waterfront rackets of the Garden State. The Genovese family even ran its own hit squad, which focused on murdering FBI informants, among others.
The bloodless indictment by comparison likely will end with three men serving three-year prison sentences.

New Mafia Group Found in Rome

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Italian Law Enforcement Officials Call It Italy's Fifth Major Mafia Group


In a story posted this week about Matteo Messina DenaroThe Independent notes that Italian law enforcement has uncovered what is believed to be Italy's fifth major Mafia group. It's based in Rome.

The organized crime group is less violent prone than the traditional Mafias and seems to largely rely on corruption. In terms of age, it goes back "at least three administrations."

Kindle Countdown Deal: "Last Great Mafia Empire" on Sale

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Now available at a holiday promotional price as part of the Kindle Countdown Deal:
Cosa Nostra News: The Cicale Files, Volume 1: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire.
Life (and death) inside the Mafia... in the words of a former Bonanno capo....
Dominick Cicale was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. From a young age he was closely associated with the Genovese crime family, considered the most powerful Mafia group in America. Fate intervened. 
In 1999 Cicale forged a tight alliance with Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, then an up-and-coming member of the Bronx faction of the Bonanno crime family. Under Basciano’s tutelage, Dominick rode the fast track: he was inducted into the American Cosa Nostra and swiftly rose from soldier to capo, amassing great wealth and power. Cicale befriended and associated with numerous high-ranking figures within all of New York's Five Families as he plotted and schemed in a treacherous world where each day could be his last. 
This installment views…

"The Clown" Didn't Surprise the FBI

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We have always been fascinated by Chicago Outfit member Giuseppe Lombardi -- aka Joseph Patrick “Joey the Clown” Lombardo Sr. (born January 1, 1929), who is serving life in prison.

Gus Russo indicated Lombardo may have been the boss or part of a panel of bosses. However, the nice, neat and likely extensively inaccurate Wikipedia entry notes that from 1999 to 2007, "Joey the Clown" Lombardo was consiglieri. Actually, we have seen that title attached to Lombardo in many other stories.

Let's say he was a "high-ranking" member and be done with it.



2011 Report: Did Mobster Order Own Son's Death?

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Some of you may have already heard or read this story. I assume many of you have not...

From the MailOnline, which published this in April 2011: It is a Mafia murder mystery that has remained unsolved for years.

But investigators finally believe they might have got to the bottom of what happened to family mobster Nicholas Cirillo, who vanished seven years ago and has not been seen since - his death may have been ordered by his own father.

Genovese gangster Nicholas disappeared on Mothers' Day 2004, two weeks after an altercation in the Bronx with fellow mob man Vincent Jr. Basciano and Dominick Cicale, part of the infamous Bonanno family.

"Five Families" Book Incorrectly Credited Spero

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REVISED SLIGHTLY: We'd hate to hazard a guess as to how many Mafiosi are named in Selwyn Raab's excellent Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires. But we do know one who is not mentioned. Raab not only failed to name this Bonanno family gangster; the former New York Times investigative reporter also inadvertently credited onetime Bonanno consiglieri Anthony Spero for something that resulted from the innovation of this unnamed mobster.


DeStefano's Next Book Details Mafia in New York, Other Ethnicities

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Due for a June 1, 2015 release, Anthony DeStefano's history of organized crime in New York City from the mid-19th Century until today is titled Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History.

An author we make it a point to read, DeStefano has noted on his blog that, in writing the book, he sorted through hundreds of archival and current photographs "but it was worth the effort."

"Gangland New York" deals not only with Italian organized crime but also "the gangs and criminal combinations of the Irish, Chinese, Jews, Russians, Albanians and many others, including the Greeks."


Wonder What John Gotti Junior Has Been Doing?

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Mafia Series Based on True Events in Development From 'Mortal Instruments' Producer (Exclusive) - TheWrap: A new scripted series about a mafia war that spanned U.S. and Canadian borders is in development from Don Carmody Television, Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions and Triplicity Entertainment.

Conceived by former New York mobster John A. Gotti (pictured above), the scripted period series is inspired by true events that took place in a power struggle between the New York mafia and two rival mafia families in Canada.


Gambino "Underboss" Arrested -- But Who Is He?

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REVISED: Jerry Capeci got confirmation about Palmeri's rank; he's not a member of the administration. We didn't get "confirmation," without which this kind of speculation is entirely warranted. 

U.S. and Italian law enforcement officers arrested Francesco Palmeri, 61, early today in his Brooklyn apartment. Also arrested were seven other gangsters, two in the U.S. and five in Italy.

According to the Italian arrest warrant, the Sicilian-born Palmeri is the underboss of New York City’s Gambino family.

However, Frank Cali supposedly holds that title.

So who is Francesco Palmeri?

Jerry Capeci has never once written about a gangster with that name. We couldn't find any relevant information about Palmeri, aside from the flood of reports regarding his arrest today.


What Variations of the "Teardrop" Jailhouse Tat Mean

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From Jon's Jail Journal -- Prison Tattoos: What Teardrop Means In Jail: See video below in which Shaun Attwood explains what the teardrop tattoo means, as well as different variations of it....

English Shaun, who was featured on a NatGeo program, spent six years in one of America’s toughest jails—run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. (I incorrectly reported in a previous story that he had served a "few" years; it was more than a few.)

This blog features a few stories about "English Shaun," a good friend. One of my personal favorites is about an old-school mobster with whom Shaun had done prison time. Shaun is an author and he recently released a new version of his book "Hard Time: Life with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in America's Toughest Jail ."

The 2nd Edition of the book is free via whichever link is appropriate:
UKKindleUSAKindleiTunes, KoboSmashwords, (download to any computer, phone or device).


Lowdown on TG, Father of "Mob Wives" Gals

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One of the first things Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano did as acting boss of the Bonanno family was bust down the five acting capos that Anthony "TG" Graziano had around him, according to our colleague and former Bonanno capo Dominick Cicale.

"What is this? The Bonanno family or the Graziano family?" Basciano complained to Dom, referring to the Staten Island-based capo who reportedly has since been shelved by the family because of "Mob Wives," the reality show that was the brainchild of TG's daughter Jennifer; Renee, one of the show's stars, is another of his daughters.

UPDATED: Mob Wives Season Five: Reality Check

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From Enstars:


The new season of VH1 hit reality show Mob Wives should be called World War III because the woman on the show are at war, literally, and the drama doesn't look like it's dying down anytime soon.
Season 5 of the reality series made its debut on Wednesday and by the looks of the show, it's clear that the women may be not be in a jolly mood this holiday season.
During the season 5 premiere of 'Trust No One,' viewers quickly learn that cast mates Angela Raiola (Big Ang) and Drita D'avanzo are now opening up to Natalie Guercio (Renee Graziano's sworn enemy) and of course that wasn't going to sit well with Graziano.
Luckily for Graziano, she didn't cast all of her trust in one basket, and her BFF Karen Gravano is back and the two are not a force to be reckoned with; Guercio is going to learn this lesson the hard way.
In addition to the dynamic duo being the best of friends, their fans have their backs, and after the premiere episode, viewers imme…

Mob Hitman Who Likely Killed "Tony Bender" Dies

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"Kayo was an animal on a leash for [Bonanno capo Joe] Zicarelli and others.  All they had to do was unsnap the leash and he'd kill for the fun of it."  -- Federal agent

An 89-year-old mob hitman who was probably responsible for the murder of Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo, a high ranking Genovese crime family capo, died in late November, about two years after finishing a 50-year prison sentence.

Harold "Kayo" Konigsberg died five days after his 89th birthday and was buried in Florida, where he'd been living in a nursing home and terrorizing his fellow residents.

Thanks to "Gossip Extra" for Crediting Cosa Nostra News!!!

We wanna give props to Jose Lambiet of Gossip Extra -- finally, someone out there recognized us -- and actually included a live link!!

It was due to our story on Kayo:

BREAKING NEWS — Retired Mob Hit Man Who Bullied Residents in Broward County Assisted Living Dead at 89!: "According to Cosa Nostra News, Konigsberg shot and/or strangled his victims with his bare hands. Many times, the bodies of the people he killed could not be found."

Jose Lambiet is one okay dude in our book!!!!




The Night They Hit Spilotro Crew's Frankie Blue

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An interesting story on Tony Spilotro is on Gangland Wire: On June 9, 1980, the night Frank Bluestein, aka “Frankie Blue”, was murdered, Frank Cullotta had warned him that the Las Vegas police department was following him.

"Frankie Blue" knew someone was on his ass, but he was certain it was criminals -- a group with bad intentions, looking to rob him.

And that didn't give him a moment's pause. It was actually an occupational hazard. Garbage men may tweak their back while hefting trash cans, mobsters might get shot or robbed or both.

So "Frankie Blue" was like “I got a gun if anybody tries to rob me.”


Mob Candy Publisher Unveils Memoir About Gallo Crew

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Mob Candy publisher Frank DiMatteo has written a memoir -- now available -- about his life in the crew of Joseph "Crazy Joey" Gallo.

Introduction:
"I guess you can say each person has a choice of which road to follow in life, sometimes you don't have the power to make that choice. In my case, life came at me so fast that I never had the opportunity to hit the brakes. I grew up around my father's world, a world that few have ever learned to understand or justify. That world has been termed "The Underworld". You might say, I was bred into the Mafia. It was always around me and I was always around it. I knew the ways of the street as well as I knew my ABC's, in fact, I knew the streets better.


I knew all these men and they all knew me, most of them watched me grow from a baby to the full grown man I am today, Frank DiMatteo. This was the world I grew up in and to me, it was as normal as family life on television, like "Leave It to Beaver". Al…

Mafia Life in New York Circa 1997

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Andrew DiDonato's downfall was already under way before he even realized it.

But he knew without a doubt that his boss and cohorts were sizing him for a body bag.

Experience taught Andrew how to find the traps. This was a skill quickly cultivated by Mafia associates who planned on living a long life, especially associates who took to the life with DiDonato's vigor.


Ultimately, Andrew never killed anyone.

To this day he is thankful that he never crossed that line.

Genovese East Coast Gambling Ring Busted Up

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The Rockland DA's Office took down an alleged Mafia-linked sports-betting ring today, with more than a dozen arrests this morning.

Fourteen suspects are charged with multiple felony counts following a 16-month probe into a multimillion-dollar monthly sports-betting ring that allegedly operated in Rockland, New York City, Bergen County in New Jersey, and Florida, according to law enforcement officials.

All those arrested were arraigned and released without bail today.

The ring took bets on professional football, basketball, baseball and college sports, Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said.


Read "Gangsters in Paradise" Series

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"In the 1970s and ’80s, state and federal officials proclaimed Palm Springs a Mafia haven, saying it had been that way since the 1960s...." 
The Desert Sun is running a five-part series that explores how the Mafia established a presence in Southern California's Coachella Valley.

Stories in the series so far (see end for link):
Gangsters in Paradise
Mafia leaders liked to spend their winters in the desert. They didn’t like any dirty business in their backyard, but that didn’t stop them from murdering a PS civic leader in Indiana. 

Montreal Mafioso Who Chose Against Rizzuto Family Shot Dead

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UPDATED: Tonino Callocchia, member of Italian Mafia, gunned down in Rivière-des-Prairies | Montreal Gazette: "After months of relative peace within Montreal’s Mafia circles, one of its members was fatally shot in a restaurant in Rivière-des-Prairies Monday afternoon.

Police sources have confirmed that the city’s latest homicide was Tonino Callocchia, 53, a man who survived an attempt on his life in February 2013 and has been described in past parole decisions as “an active member of the Italian Mafia.”

He was shot in an eatery by two masked assailants.



Bonanno's Plan Kept the Peace in Canada's Mafia

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The Mafia in America evolved into one organization linked to the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, though from its inception it was composed of former members of all Italy's Mafias, including the Calabrian Ndrangheta and Neapolitan Camorra.

Likely due to immigration trends, Canada is composed of two distinct Mafia organizations, the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Calabrian Ndrangheta.


 The American Mafia did business with both groups, apparently not noticing the difference or using any rivalries to manipulate the territory.

Paris Police Nab Mobster Named "Last Corsican Godfather"

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Corsican mobster Jean-Luc Germani, France's most wanted man, was arrested Thursday by Paris police.

Branded the last of the Corsican godfathers by French media, Germani, on the lam for three years, was arrested when a detective in the midst of tailing another man recognized him, despite a drastic change in appearance (he'd put on weight and grown his hair long; he was also wearing a baseball cap and eyeglasses).

Germani was charged with threatening police officers with a firearm outside his trailer in 2011, according to AFP. The 49-year-old Germani was previously wanted for the 2008 murder of Jean-Claude Colonna, a cousin of former Corsican godfather Jean-Jé Colonna, who died in a mysterious car accident in 2006. Germani was charged and jailed in 2009 but eventually freed.


Why Vito Rizzuto Whacked Joe Bravo

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In May 2013, the charred, bullet-riddled remains of two gangsters from Canada were found in Sicily. Italian police feared a trans-Atlantic Mafia war was brewing.

Actually, the battle was already raging. Vito Rizzuto, the Montreal Godfather who died last December, had taken care of business. Yet again. So far, the death count is pegged at more than 40, with law enforcement having recovered bodies in Montreal, Toronto, Mexico and Italy.



Wiretap recordings played at the trial of the suspected murderers explain something we've been puzzling over since May 2013: namely, did Rizzuto induct non-Italians into the Montreal Mafia?

Graphic Novel Mafia Apocalypse Debuts

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Mafia Apocalypse is a true-crime graphic novel based on the experiences of Dominick Cicale, a former capo in the Bonanno crime family.

Written by Cicale and Robert Sberna – and illustrated by award-winning artist Chris Guiher – this 32-page dramatization is a unique look at the secret society of the Mafia.



A Bath Ave. Story: Kill One of Ours, We Kill Two of Yours

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In the late 1980s/early 1990s, mobsters and associates were routinely murdered in New York's five boroughs.

In places like Bath Avenue, the remains of violent gangland hits were found in car trunks or slumped over steering wheels; they ripened in the backs of trucks and vans. Some were buried, many never to be found. The victims were shot late at night or in the early morning when no witnesses were around. But bullets also flew in broad daylight, sometimes just across the street from a police station.

Often, law enforcement--NYPD, DA's detectives, the Feds--knew who the killer was, but knowing and having the evidence to prove it in court are two different things and can be worlds apart.

Molotov Cocktail Thrown Into Restaurant Once Frequented by Vito Rizzuto

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Early this morning, someone threw a Molotov cocktail into a restaurant once frequented by deceased Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto.

The burglar alarm went off and police and firefighters arrived at around 1am local time.

La Cantina restaurant, located on St. Laurent Blvd. at Legendre St., was aflame. Firefighters extinguished the fire, limiting damage. When arson was found to be the cause, police took over and are investigating.

No one has been arrested.



RealityTVScandals Breaks Mob Wives Exclusive

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Exclusive: Mob Wives Creator Jennifer Graziano Criminal Past + Did Renee Graziano Reject Her Bi Racial Nephew? - Reality TV Scandals: The thrust of the story is that, during a sentencing hearing years ago, Mob Wives creator Jennifer Graziano's lawyer revealed that:
"Jennifer’s family did not accept her biracial child who was only two years old because he was not white. Get all of the details and click to read...   "The court document is a good read; the prosecutor slams the claim of Jennifer Graziano‘s “psychological problems” by revealing Jenn has a master degree in Psychology."

Mafia Hitman "Confesses" to Assassinating Kennedy

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We still believe in the lone-assassin theory (Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone) since reading Gerald Posner's excellent analysis of the assassination, Case Closed. But we don't claim to have the monopoly on wisdom, especially when guys like G. Robert Blakey believe exactly the opposite.

Blakey famously said:

"Jack Ruby all by himself is substantial enough reason to believe in the Mafia's involvement [in the assassination of JFK]... The Mafia profited by JFK's death. What's worse is, they got away with it."

In Galante’s Grip, Montreal “Wept and Bled”

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Cosa Nostra News: The Cicale Files, Volume 1: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire is not a full-sized book; it is about 70 pages and the ebook is $2.99, the price Amazon suggested.

If you signed up for my newsletter you will have already read this excerpt.

Here I attempted to drill down into an  infamous piece of Mafia history, specifically Bonanno crime family history.

The Day "Jimmy Gap" Almost Bought It

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Jimmy "The Gap" Calandra, a well-known former gangster out of Brooklyn, provided me with an excerpt of a manuscript he is working on about the life and crimes of the Bath Avenue Crew.

I've been waiting for him to email me the thing for three goddamn days but I finally have it, am giving it a read and will post it later today.

Calandra made an appearance on National Geographic's documentary about the New York Mafia. He also made news last year when he visited his old stomping grounds and stepped into a Dunkin' Donuts on 18th Avenue. A couple inside recognized him and harassed him. The male, a local convicted hoodlum, shouted "rat" at him while the lady threw a cup of coffee in Calandra's face.



How Rizzuto Got His Revenge, Mafia-Style

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Adrian Humphreys' National Post story is required reading for anyone interested in the Canadian mob war (which included both Cosa Nostra and 'Ndrangheta members) that reached its bloody crescendo under the stewardship of now-deceased Montreal Godfather Vito Rizzuto.

The article focuses on new information regarding how Rizzuto swiftly took charge when he returned home from prison, marshaled his forces and with true Sicilian cunningness, set loose the dogs of war by first testing his own men's loyalty.


He seems to have taken a page from John Gotti's playbook by topping his death list with the names of those who blinked when he summoned them.

Kenji Gallo on Mafia's New Communication Tactics...

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From this week's Breakshot Blog by friend Kenji Gallo (a onetime associate of the Colombo family who became a turncoat charged with running a radio show for the feds. Kenji also wrote a great book about life in the mob -- particularly in the crazy madhouse known as the Colombo family. We wrote a little about Kenji and his book back in this post.) some interesting info on how the mob communicates...

"The Colombo’s were aware that the FBI and others were always watching or listening to them so they adopted some new tactics. A thumb across the cheek was how they referred to a made guy and a thumb across the back was their way of indicating a Capo. All the families used methods close to this, in Los Angeles they would point to the chest for a soldier, the shoulder for a Capo and the sky for Pete Milano the Boss.



The Outfit Under FBI Fire

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This has been quite a year for the Chicago Outfit, which saw an historical transition in July in terms of the guy in the big seat. Johnny “No Nose” DiFronzo, suffering from health problems, was replaced.
Meanwhile, Gangland News noted that The Chicago Outfit has been facing a full-court press from law enforcement involving the FBI and the Cook County prosecutor's office.

Four members of the Outfit's Cicero crew were recently convicted on federal extortion charges. Frank Orlando and Robert McManus lost at trial on charges of conspiring to extort money for Mark Dziuban, then vice president of sales for American Litho, a printing company in Carol Stream.

Interest in Vince Isoldi Baffling...

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When a story cracks my all-time top-10 list, I take notice.

One story about Vince Isoldi, the "Godfather of Pittsburgh," is now number 6 on that list (see below). What I find interesting is it is kind of a "nothing" story.... I included info from a couple of restaurant reviews in the piece!
Interestingly, it doesn't follow the usual formula.... As you can see on the list below, usually the top posts generate the most comments, I assume a byproduct of interest in the topic. But in the Isoldi story, there is not a single comment.

So what do you all think? Why is this show so popular?

Ndrangheta Members Arrested; La Santa Induction Rite Videotaped

A video of one conversation between clan leaders and Italian transcription can be seen here.

Italian anti-mafia police arrested 40 Ndrangheta members in northern Italy this week, and even filmed a "series of initiation rites," according to IBT. The video clip above contains reference to La Santa, a "secret society within a secret society."

According to Mafia Brotherhoods: Organized Crime, Italian Style by Letizia Paoli, the santista rank was established at the end of the 1960s by Girolamo Piromalli, leader of the Piromalli family in Gioia Tauro, along with bosses of other families, to create a way around traditional Ndrangheta rules forbidding drug trafficking.

Quebec Corruption Probe Ends; Findings Due April

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The Quebec corruption probe called the Charbonneau Commission, created in late 2011 by then-premier Jean Charest amid widespread public pressure, which worked to illuminate Mafia ties to the province’s construction industry, ends today, Friday, Nov. 14.

The Commission led to "startling testimony from bureaucrats, engineering executives and construction bosses about widespread collusion aimed at hiking the price of contracts," according to The Globe and Mail, which noted that the first witness to "drop a bombshell" was an ex-construction boss now facing charges of corruption. Lino Zambito testified for days about his links to a "bid-rigging cartel, a Mafia tax on projects and corrupt city officials who accepted kickbacks."


Alex Hortis on the Mob and New York City

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C. Alex Hortis last week spoke about his book The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York.

Hortis's book sets the benchmark for books about the early history of the Mafia in New York. He answers with lucid reasoning based on fact festering questions long victimized by speculation.

Why for instance did the transitional handoff of the reins of organized crime stop with the Italians? Organized crime throughout history was dominated by different ethnicities -- the Irish, the Jews -- but once the Italians gained dominance, they formed an American Cosa Nostra and have controlled it ever since.
No other ethnic group ever usurped the Mafia. Plenty of candidates were put forth by the media: the Jamaican Posses, the Russians, the Albanians.

But the only true "mafia" in America is the Italian Mafia. Why is that? Hortis's answer is convincing. (Unless you've read his book, the answer you think is correct is more than likely not).

A fan of ga…