Friday, January 31, 2014

Asaro Recorded Badmouthing Bonanno Boss

Thomas DiFiore was caught up in the Lufthansa indictment based on the words of capo Vinny Asaro.
Boss Tommy D DiFiore has reasons to be somewhat perturbed at a capo.

Considering all the hoopla over the 36-year-old Lufthansa heist, which is pretty big news, admittedly, garnering coverage around the globe, 70-year-old acting Bonanno boss Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore from Commack, Long Island, must be feeling somewhat marginalized.

Maybe not, but Tommy D is more than likely pretty furious with Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro, considering Asaro's big mouth is the only reason DiFiore is part of the Lufthansa indictment and now living in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. And on top of that, Asaro was caught on tape saying not very nice things about DiFiore.

"Tommy D was not caught in any incriminating conversations by the FBI's secret snitch, Asaro cousin Gary Valenti," Jerry writes this week ."But in recorded talks with his cousin, Asaro managed to implicate DiFiore in the only crime that he is accused of, and establish to a judge's satisfaction that Tommy D is the family's acting boss."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Key Witness's Television Infamy Causing Concern

Hector Pagan, Mob Wives reality television star, will testify against two Bonanno mobsters.
Add caption
The NY Daily News is reporting that prosecutors are actually in a state of "fear" over the fact that jurors for an upcoming gangland murder trial may become starstruck owing to the fact that a former "star" of the reality TV show “Mob Wives” is due to take the stand.

Also of concern is the possibility that jurors might ignore evidence and reach a verdict based on whether or not they want to gain or avoid "the notoriety associated with the show," prosecutors noted in court papers.

Hector Pagan, the "star" witness against reputed mobsters Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso, appeared on the show during the 2010 and 2011 seasons; he flipped during the summer of 2011.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pagan Set to Testify in Upcoming Brooklyn Mob Trial

From NY Daily News: Prosecutors fear jurors for an upcoming gangland murder trial with stars in their eyes may become part of the cast of the reality TV show “Mob Wives.”

Hector Pagan, the star witness against reputed mobsters Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso, has become a recurring plot line on the popular show because he is the ex-husband of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano.

Pagan's so-called "betrayal" of his ex-wife and father-in-law, Bonanno capo Anthony Graziano, will undoubtedly be the subject of further discussion when he takes the stand in Brooklyn Federal Court next month, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri stated in papers seeking an anonymous jury.

The feds want the jurors' identities kept secret to prevent anyone from hunting them down "to generate additional stories," Argentieri warns.

Worse, jurors might ignore the evidence and reach a verdict to "avoid the notoriety associated with the show or seek it out." Pagan is the actual gunman who fatally shot reputed Luchese mobter James Donovan during a stickup in Brooklyn in 2010.

Third Time Not the Charm; Feds Reject Second Ligambi Retrial

From George Anastasia's Big Trial Trial Blog: The Feds are not going to retry mob boss Joe Ligambi on conspiracy and gambling charges having failed to secure convictions following two separate trials in which both juries were deadlocked over these charges.

In a motion filed yesterday afternoon, the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania asked Judge Eduardo Robreno to dismiss the three remaining counts pending against the 74-year-old mob leader.

George Borgesi was released immediately after the second trial on Friday.

Ligambi's attorney on Monday said he hoped to have Ligambi freed by today.

Anastasia quoted him saying: "Hopefully, my client and I will be having dinner together tomorrow night."

Jacobs said he would be buying.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Eddie "Tall Guy" Garofalo Cheated With Big Ang’s Daughter?

Big Ang’s daughter, Racquel Donofrio (of Miami Monkey) allegedly had an affair with Alicia DiMichele's imprisoned husband.
Big Ang and daughter, Racquel

Celeb Dirty Laundry earned its name with its recent report that Alicia DiMichele, convinced that Renee and her friend Carla Murino (whom DiMichele has repeatedly accused of having an affair with her husband, Colombo gangster Eddie "Tall Guy" Garofalo) are “rats” who are selling her out to the press, is actually partly correct -- someone has had an affair with Tall Guy.

A source close to Carla Murino told Dirty Laundry that Alicia's belief that a member of her inner circle has done her dirty -- only it isn't Carla Murino or Renee Graziano.

The blog notes that, on the latest episode of Mob Wives, Big Ang was actually misleading DiMichele and had an ulterior motive regarding why she has been siding with the Philly mob wife and fueling the feud between her and Rene.

NJ Luchese Capo's Son Nailed with Marijuana

The Luchese soldier had 65 pounds of marijuana in his car.
Carlo Taccetta's father supposedly served as
the model for David Chase's Tony Soprano.

New Jersey troopers found 65 pounds of marijuana in a pickup truck on Saturday driven by Carlo Taccetta, a suspected soldier in the Luchese crime family and son of reputed Luchese capo Michael Taccetta, also known as "Mad Dog," a high-ranking member who controlled the family's New Jersey faction in the 1980s-90s and was one of the 20 defendants in the notorious trial considered to be the longest in U.S. history.

Carlo Taccetta, 41, of the Whippany section of Hanover, was stopped on West Bloomfield Avenue in Montville as part of an ongoing investigation Saturday, State Police said.

Troopers found the marijuana after Taccetta gave them permission to search his Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Uncle Joe" in Limbo After Two Jurors Deadlock Panel of 12

Gorgeous George: Capo Borgesi, 50, leaves court Friday with
his wife. He'd been imprisoned since 2000.
In what crime writer George Anastasia called "a stunning rebuke of the government's case," the Ligambi jury acquitted Philly capo George Borgesi, 50, of racketeering conspiracy. The Philadelphia mob's former consigliere was released that same day, Friday, Jan. 24.

Also acquitted, but only of one out of four charges, was mob boss Joe Ligambi, whom the jury found not guilty of witness tampering but remained deadlocked on the three other counts (all specific to Ligambi, leaving him open to possible retrial).

One potential mitigating factor that may offset prosecutors' zeal for a third trial is the fact that the panel of 12 voted 10 to 2 to acquit Ligambi of the remaining three charges: a conspiracy charge and two gambling charges.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lufthansa Overshadows Other Crimes Indictment Alleges

The Bonanno capo of JFK airport during heist:
Vincent Asaro in an undated mugshot.
“We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get, we got fucked all around. Got fucked around. That ­fucking Jimmy [Burke] kept everything.”
--Vincent Asaro, as recorded by cooperator

Yesterday's Bonanno bust was not solely related to the infamous Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy Airport in 1978.

However, the legendary "unsolved" caper that informed a pivotal moment in the Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas" has been the media's primary focus, to the extent that the fact that the crime family's acting boss, Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore, was also caught in the net has been largely overlooked.

Only mobster Vincent Asaro, 72, who has fallen in and out of favor with the Bonanno hierarchy over the years, primarily due to greed, is linked to Lufthansa.

Heretofore, only a Lufthansa cargo agent, described as the “inside man” in the robbery, has been prosecuted. Louis Werner, $20,000 in the hole due to gambling debts, used his knowledge of the incoming cash and jewelry to formulate an idea for a robbery that he then passed off to his bookmaker, Marty Krugman, who then told Luchese associate Henry Hill. The rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bonanno Roundup Nets Acting Boss, Capo Involved with Lufthansa

Vincent Asaro was arrested this morning; he was allegedly the capo who ran
JFK for the Bonanno family back in 1978.

Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro was arrested for murder, racketeering, extortion, arson, robbery and other charges--some of which are linked to the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

He was one of five alleged members of the crime family rounded up by Federal agents in a series of pre-dawn raids this morning in the New York area.

Also arrested were Bonanno acting boss/underboss Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore of Commack, the highest-ranking Bonanno family member not behind bars; soldier John “Bazoo” Ragano; soldier and acting captain Jack Bonventre; and Asaro's son, Jerome. See the indictment here, courtesy of CBS News.

Only Vincent Asaro was charged in the Dec. 11, 1978 JFK robbery itself; both Asaros face life in prison for the murder of a suspected police informant. High-profile informant Henry Hill long ago identified Vincent Asaro as the capo who ran the airport for the Bonanno family at the time of the heist.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Calabrian Ndrangheta, the Most Powerful of Italy's Mafias...

The Ndrangheta, based in Southern Italy, is the most powerful organized crime ring in the world
Calabria, Italy, home to the dreaded Ndrangheta.

“The only thing that can’t be bribed is the weather.”
Southern Italian proverb

If not for the Ndrangheta organized crime syndicate, the southern Italian region of Calabria would be a "failed state." This is due to the powerful grip this large criminal entity has on the economy and virtually all aspects of life in this part of Italy. That sentiment was expressed some five years ago by an American diplomat, whose papers were leaked to WikiLeaks, which published them on Jan. 13.

The American diplomat further noted in the papers that the Ndrangheta had been able to establish itself and flourish due to ineffective and corrupt politicians and port officials, and the absence of strong law enforcement in the region. Also, the focus on the more well-known Sicilian Cosa Nostra also gave this shadowy network the time and space to organize itself and expand.
The poor diplomat probably had no idea that he was actually shortchanging the group. It controls far more than all of Calabria.

The Ndrangheta is today considered to be the most powerful criminal organization in the world, with alleged revenue of about $72 billion. To Americans, it's known as the group with the unpronounceable name that is not the Mafia.

The Ndrangheta (pronounced "en-drahng-eh-ta," the first syllable silent unless immediately preceded by a vowel) is based in the southern region of Calabria, in the toe of the Italian "boot." In the past decade, the group has aggressively expanded and is considered to be among the world's largest cocaine traffickers, often working closely with Mexico's big time narcotrafficantes to supply Western Europe. Called "the Octopus" by some, the Ndrangheta has wrapped its tentacles around Europe, as well as South America, Australia--and allegedly even America. In 2012 during the investigation of 34 Ndrangheta members, Italian authorities uncovered a stronghold based in New York City, a major stopover along the Ndrangheta's international drug trade, where its members meet up with cocaine-laden members of the Mexican cartels. The FBI, at the time, said the Ndrangheta is among its top priorities. Members of the group landed here much earlier, however, and are known to have run intimidation schemes in Pennsylvania mining towns in 1906.

It has also established a formidable presence in northern Italy, where it launders and invests its blood money in "legitimate" businesses, including hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and even the health-care sector.

Domenico Oppedisano, alleged "boss of bosses" of Ndrangheta.

The Ndrangheta is one of several crime organizations of Italy. In addition to the aforementioned Sicilian Cosa Nostra, there is the Neapolitan Camorra (and the Apulian Sacra Corona Unita, a unit that was originally formed in the 1970s to rival the traditional Camorra). Although the Ndrangheta operates independently, it historically has worked with Cosa Nostra primarily due to the geographical proximity between Calabria and Sicily; the two groups share in a common culture and dialect. It turns out the structure of the Ndrangheta is thought to be more Mafia-like than the previous view that it had a more clannish-based, horizontal structure.

It is the unparalleled, shocking brutality of the Ndrangheta that differentiates it from even the explosives-preferring executioners of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.

It was the Ndrangheta who fed a living man to a group of hungry pigs.

What happened in this burnt out car was horrible.

This week, the group is said to be responsible for the murders of a three-year-old boy, his uncle, and the uncle's Moroccan girlfriend.

From La Gazzetta del A preliminary reconstruction of events found that the automobile with Giuseppe Iannicelli, a special surveillance officer, his Moroccan girlfriend Ibtissam Touss, and Iannicelli's three-year-old nephew aboard had burned for many hours. 

The Carabinieri paramilitary police received numerous calls from relatives and friends concerning Iannicelli's disappearance Sunday night. When carabinieri police found the charred automobile, the bodies were so burnt they had trouble understanding how many there were. Investigators are currently working on the hypothesis that the crime may concern local organized crime clans involved in drug trafficking.

The Iannicelli did not repay a debt that he owed to one of the local Ndrangheta clans, it has been claimed.

The American diplomat's confidential papers were written about two years before the 2010 crackdown (one wonders if they were part of the reason for this major campaign by Italian officials) in which 305 alleged Ndrangheta members, including the man considered to be the group's "boss of bosses," Domenico Oppedisano, then age 80, were arrested. In addition, more than $60 million in assets were seized. The effort even generated a handful of turncoats--something this organization is not known for churning out due to the heavy reliance on blood relations.

Described as the largest such effort against the Ndrangheta in 15 years, it involved more than 3,000 police, who raided homes, offices, and "strongholds" across Italy.

In gathering its intelligence prior to the raid, anti-mafia prosecutors infiltrated weddings, baptisms, and other gatherings.

One of the most significant revelations to emerge from the investigation was that the group had a tight hierarchical structure similar to the one used by the Sicilian and American Cosa Nostras; the Ndrangheta, it was learned, is not simply an association of clans, as previously believed.

Intelligence gathering for the raid began as early as August 2009, when investigators infiltrated the wedding of the children of two crime bosses in Calabria; it was there that Oppedisano was named to his post, according to Calabrian anti-mafia prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone.

Two weeks later, on September 2, at the feast of Madonna Polsi, Oppedisano's position was formally recognized; undercover agents managed to videotape the event, documenting as well all the group's major bosses being confirmed in their new positions in the structure.

Law enforcement began recording in August 2009 "all of the major negotiations of the various families," Pignatone said at a news conference.
Francesco Raccosta (l.) and his killer Simone Pepe who fed him
to a pack of hungry pigs.
Some 40 meetings in Lombardy were among those recorded. Lombardy, one of the most populous and richest regions in Italy (it is located far in the north) as well as Europe, had become one of the Ndrangheta's chief moneymaking centers, with operations focusing on excavations for construction sites, trash disposal, and real estate. Of all those arrested in 2010, 160 were taken into custody in Lombardy. Among them: Pino Neri, who police said was in charge of the gang's businesses in Milan, that region's capital and also a focus of the Calabrian crime group.

More recently, this past January, 13 were rounded up in Colombia and Italy; they were said to have formed part of a drug ring that connected the Ndrangheta to Colombian drug dealers. Called "Operation Livorno," it involved Colombian police, who arrested nine, and Italian authorities, who arrested four in the northern Italian city of Trento. The group is accused of transporting cocaine to Europe in shipping containers; more than half a ton was recovered during the operation.

Earlier in January, it was reported that police had managed to crack what is described as an ancient code used to initiate new members. Rome investigators found the age-old document, handwritten and spanning three pages, while pursuing leads about a murder of a member of the 'Ndrangheta crime organization, based in Calabria, according to The Telegraph.

The code uses Greek- and Egyptian-like symbols and refers to a "blood and honor" vow that new members must take.

Aside from drugs, the Ndrangheta deals in fraud, counterfeiting, theft, gun-running, loan-sharking, ­kidnapping and people-trafficking.

The organization, though based in Calabria, controls banks, malls, building firms, supermarkets and clubs throughout Italy.

Top anti-mafia magistrate Roberto di Palma warns: “The ’Ndrangheta is like an octopus and wherever there’s money, you’ll find its tentacles.”

The Italian government declared in an official report: “It is one of the most powerful criminal ­organisations in the world.”

One Italian prosecutor said: “The organization has become as adept at money-laundering as it once was with sawn-off shotguns.”

Writer John Dickie inside an entry to a bunker found in Calabria.

And one of its easiest sources of cash is European Union grants. In the past five years, Brussels has given $2.5 billion for projects such as new roads and wind-farms in Calabria.

The Ndrangheta is said to have ­syphoned off millions in “pizzo” – or Mob Tax.

A third of the syndicate’s income is said to be plowed back into crime.

The rest is invested in “legitimate” business and in backhanders to cops and politicians.

Like the American and Sicilian Mafias, the Ndrangheta initiates its members with rituals designed to bind them to silence for life. Membership is concentrated in poor towns and villages, such as San Luca (the ’Ndrangheta equivalent of Corleone, Sicily, ground zero for the Mafia and, yes, where Mario Puzo got the name of his Godfather character). Reggio di Calabria, the biggest and most populated city in the region, and also the home to the local government, is also of vital importance to the group. Only the Strait of Messina separates it from the island of Sicily.

Entry to a bunker was found in this Calabrian villa, owned by
a Ndrangheti.
Members of rival families meet there for sit-downs. It's where they supposedly resolved the war of 1985-1991 that left 700 dead.

From an informant, the Italian Anti-Mafia Commission had learned the extent of high-level corruption as well as details on how crime money was laundered through legitimate business ventures.

Revelations like these helped to push the ’Ndrangheta even deeper underground, including in the literal sense--a network of underground bunkers have been found across Calabria. Read author John Dickie's take on the Ndrangheta's bunkers here.

The bunkers, linked by tunnels, are made from shipping containers welded together; they even include running water and drainage systems.

The linking tunnels were openly dug in the main street of the Calabrian village of Plati.

In addition, it has been learned that the Ndrangheta bosses formed what is called La Santa, a kind of secret society within a secret society.

Rank-and-file members, to avoid wiretaps and any other bugging, use impenetrable dialect and coded whistles used by Calabrian shepherds.

Last year an Italian prosecutor warned: “The ’Ndrangheta runs the international cocaine market. I urge you not to underestimate the organization or it will be too late.”

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ligambi Jury Reaches Partial Verdict; Specter of Third Trial Rises

"Uncle Joe" Ligambi could be facing trial number three...
The jury in the racketeering conspiracy retrial of old-school Philly mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew, George Borgesi, has reached a partial verdict, but it won't be made public until Tuesday (Monday is a holiday).

Before recessing on Friday, the jury sent the judge a note saying it had reached a verdict on two of the five counts, but remained hung on the other three.

The note highlighted that there was a "firm difference of opinion" over the remaining charges.

Ligambi, 74, is charged with racketeering conspiracy, two counts of illegal gambling and one count of witness tampering. The case against him includes secretly recorded conversations, most of which involve other mobsters as well as cooperators.

Borgesi, 50, faces a single count of racketeering conspiracy that is built primarily on informants' testimony; the consensus of court watchers says that Borgesi's fate depends on whether or not the jurors believe any of the two turncoats that provided testimony during trial.

If jurors voted for guilt on the conspiracy charge, it could lead to sentences of 10 years or more.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bonanno 'Enterprise Corruption' Trial Ekes Along....

Are those stitches in Nicky Mouth Santora's head?

The big Bonanno trial is expected to begin, eventually, but it continues to get ensnared by delays.

The defendants were rounded up last July; they are alleged members of a crew headed by longtime Bonanno heavyweight brokester Nicholas "Nicky Mouth" Santora, who also is on trial.

Santora became a power on the street back in the late 1970s, when FBI agent Joe Pistone used his Donnie Brasco cover to infiltrate the same crew Santora belonged to, under Dominic "Sonny Black" Napolitano.

Former Morgan Stanley Wealth Manager Blames His Dog

The budding filmmaker in court.
We now take a break from our regularly scheduled editorial to give you the following:

Is this guy kidding? I almost choked on my coffee while reading the following story this morning. I wanted to give it a mention... then I discovered the connection to Vinny Gorgeous, and knew I had to do something on it.

The NY Daily New is running a report today that says: "An ex-Morgan Stanley wealth manager who secretly filmed trysts with three women claimed he “accidentally” recorded the romps with cameras that were meant to watch his pet, authorities said Thursday.

Young Couple's Murders Likely Linked to Canadian Organized Crime

Amanda Trottier, left, and Travis Votour, both 23, were
killed violently in their home in Quebec.
This past Monday Amanda Trottier's mother and her husband discovered the bodies of their daughter and her boyfriend, Travis Votour -- both on the main floor of a house in Aylmer, Quebec. However, the murdered couple's 3-year-old daughter was found in an upstairs bedroom unharmed.

The deaths of Trottier and Votour, both of whom were 23 years old, have been ruled suspicious by police. In addition, police have said that the two murders are possibly connected to organized crime, though no details regarding how or why the police made this claim has been offered.

Gatineau police also noted that Votour had been arrested several times before, most recently in May 2013 for drug possession and assaulting a police officer. He was currently facing a few charges when he died -- which could be how the police are linking the homicides to Canadian organized crime.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Canadian Cops Uncover Plans for Desjardins' Escape Caper

Price Of Failure: Sal "The Ironworker" Montagna is pulled
from the water. He was killed after his alleged attempt to have
Raynald Desjardins taken out failed a month earlier.

Canadian law enforcement has foiled plans for an escape plot meant to free organized crime big-shot Raynald Desjardins, according to a story that ran last Saturday in Montreal's French-language La Presse newspaper.

The void at the top created by the sudden death of Vito Rizzuto is making mobsters antsy up north, as expected.

As per the foiled caper, Desjardins would have been freed after his cohorts rammed his prison transport and unleashed a violent barrage of gunfire while the arrested gangster was traveling from prison in Bordeaux to the courthouse in Joliette.

Desjardins was arrested in December 2011 for his alleged involvement in the slaying of former Bonanno acting-boss Salvatore Montagna, who'd been appointed by Vinny Gorgeous Basciano after he was arrested based on the testimony of former boss Joe Massino, who flipped.

Montagna was shot to death on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, shortly after 10 a.m. on Ile aux Tresors, a suburban area on an island near the town of Charlemagne. Investigators believe he jumped into a frigid river in a bid to evade his killers after they started firing at him.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ligambi Jury Speaks the Dreaded Word: "Impasse"

Jurors for round two of Joseph "Uncle
Joe" Ligambi vs. the Feds say they have
reached an impasse--meaning they are
unable to reach a unanimous verdict in
the case.
From  Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog: They've been here before.

The jury in the racketeering conspiracy retrial of mob boss Joe Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi told a judge today that it was at an 'impasse" and unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case.

But Judge Eduardo Robreno told the panel of 11 women and one man to keep working.

"It was a long trial," Robreno said in a brief comment to the panel after the jurors had been called back into the courtroom around 2 p.m. "Go back and continue working."

The jury did just that, then recessed for the day at 4 p.m. Deliberations are to resume tomorrow at 9:30.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Unflattering View of "Mob Wives" Appeared in Federal Court

  • "[That show] is scripted and edited like any other [show], with scenes and lines taken out of context for dramatic effect."
  • "In reality the show is about a group of women, loosely connected by their so-called affiliation with organized crime, arguing and fighting amongst themselves over petty grievances for the viewing pleasure of people who have no lives of their own."
  • "The sad fact of 21st century life is that people will pay large sums of money to produce shows of this nature, which pander to the basest instincts of a society growing less intelligent by the day."
Those are just a few salient points made about the reality show "Mob Wives" by John Wallenstein, attorney for Alicia DiMichele, in a statement filed in Brooklyn federal court last week when DiMichele presented herself before the judge for sentencing. Wallenstein, like any good advocate, is trying to get his client the best deal possible.

DiMichele, 39, faces up to six months behind bars, though prosecutors have agreed they would support her attorney's request for non-jail probation. What prosecutors and Wallenstein can't seem to agree on is the amount DiMichele should pay. Prosecutors are seeking to fine her to the tune of $116,000 for embezzling $40,000 from a trucking company.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Punchy" Illiano, Part of Gallo Crew, Died Yesterday

Punchy Illiano.

UPDATED (1/10): Frank "Punchy" Illiano, a Brooklyn capo with the Genovese crime family, died Monday, January 6, at age 86 of natural causes in New York. Cosa Nostra News learned this directly from a personal friend of the elderly gangster, who noted that Punchy was "very well-respected."

We have since learned that Illiano had been ill for the past two years of his life, and had been suffering nerve damage ever since he had been shot by a sniper in 1974 during the second of the two Gallo wars.

Why Vito Rizzuto Got a Full Catholic Funeral

The funeral procession of Vito Rizzuto departs from the church.
The National Post raises an interesting question Why did Vito Rizzuto get a full Catholic funeral in Montreal, when some bishops in Sicily are refusing mafiosi?

And, we might add, while a large church held a well-attended funeral for Vito, in the U.S., Mafia members and associates -- if widely known by the public as such -- typically have their membership card revoked by the Catholic Church. John Gotti was denied a proper funeral, as was his predecessor, Paul Castellano.

Here's Adrian Humphrey's answer:

As news cameras jostled to capture the solemn grandeur of Vito Rizzuto’s funeral last week, a church bell’s slow toll accompanied the gold-coloured casket of Canada’s most powerful Mafia boss down the front steps of Montreal’s landmark Notre Dame de la Défense, a Catholic Church that has hosted more funerals for notorious mobsters than any other in North America.

The magnificent outline of the historic church in the city’s Little Italy neighbourhood was a comforting façade for a family in grief but leaves questions of what the pageantry says about the Catholic Church’s stand against organized crime and the message it sends to a watching community.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spiro, Alleged Greek Mafia Boss, Declares Innocence

Nick Christophers -- whom I have interviewed in the past -- is the well-known editor of Mob Candy. He has done me the honor of writing a guest blog about Spiro Velentzas, who the feds allege was the boss of the Greek Mafia. He is also the one whom then-Gambino boss John Gotti was referring to when he famously declared: "You tell this punk, I, me, John Gotti... will sever your motherfuckin’ head off!"

Spiro is serving life in prison. Christophers, for one, doesn't believe the feds had the goods to support their allegations, nor to impose such a draconian prison sentence. Spiro, now in prison 25 years, still declares his innocence. And I agree that there is more to this than meets the eye, as well. "Fat Pete" Chiodo is the main reason Spiro is behind bars. Fat Pete became a rat after the Lucheses (unjustly) had decided he was an informant and moved to assassinate him. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sorry, Tweets DiMichele, No Outcome Today

I'm sorry to say there was no outcome today, to be always thanks for all the Love and Support❤️

Manny Garofalo Speaks Out

Kenji Gallo, Colombo turncoat who wrote Breakshot.
“Alicia has chosen to humiliate my nephew Edward and our entire family in the name of my brother who she never even knew. The show’s stupid. I think it’s disgraceful. It’s blood money. It’s my brother’s blood.”

That's what Emmanuel "Manny" Garofalo had to say about Alicia DiMichele and "Mob Wives" in an interview with the New York Daily News.

Manny added that he is so sickened by this "exploitation" of the murder of his brother, Eddie "The Chink," that he's thinking of selling his home and moving to a place where he won't be recognized.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

DiMichele's 'Mob Wives' Salary Revealed by Prosecutors

Alicia DiMichele is to be sentenced tomorrow for her role in a Colombo crime family-related embezzlement scam,
Alicia DiMichele's "Mob Wives" salary was revealed by prosecutors.

Alicia DiMichele, who is to be sentenced tomorrow for her role in a Colombo crime family-related embezzlement scam, earns $8,000 per episode of "Mob Wives," for a total of $96,000.

That is according to papers prosecutors filed in Brooklyn federal court last Friday. DiMichele is, in fact, so flush from her earnings from "Mob Wives" and her two Philadelphia boutique stories that she faces a hefty fine of up to $116,000  for embezzling $40,000 from a trucking company, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors seem to be taking their cue from the Honorable Sandra L. Townes, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Paroled Brancato Seeks Big-Screen Comeback

Brancato Jr.'s mugshot.
“I would say, ‘I warned you about drugs years ago’ — and told him something would happen and something did happen. I would see him and say, ‘I hear you’re doing drugs and you should stay away from that stuff.’ And he’d say, ‘Oh, sure, right.’
“You were there. You caused it.
“Here’s a guy who was in the quintessential movie about not wasting your life and that’s exactly what he did,”

— Chazz Palminteri to Lillo Brancato, an actor he has no plans to get in touch with, according to the New York Daily News.

It should have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- what is known in common parlance as "the big break."

But for Lillo Brancato, Jr. (born March 30, 1976), the success of playing the lead role (Calogero Anello) in the film "A Bronx Tale" (1993), which marked the directorial debut of Robert De Niro, was so very fleeting in the end.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rizzuto Told American Judge About Spot on Lung in 2007

Vito Rizzuto was buried in a coffin made of gold.

Canadian Mafia drug kingpin Vito Rizzuto, 67, died in a very unnatural way for someone in his line of work: of natural causes, on Dec. 23.

His funeral mass this past Monday was held at Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense, a Catholic Church in Montreal's Little Italy. It is the same church where masses were held for Vito's father and one son, both named Nicolo, though the son preferred Nick. (Vito's other son, Leonardo, reportedly practices law).

(The church has a certain notoriety of its own regarding its sizable cupola, brick facade and frescoes -- specifically one fresco painted prior to World War II that depicts Benito Mussolini signing the Lateran Accords in 1929, which recognized The State of the Vatican City, ensuring its "absolute and visible independence" and "to guarantee to it an indisputable sovereignty in international affairs." The treaty's principles are upheld today. Built by Italian immigrants, the church was inaugurated in 1919.)

Genovese Boss Tieri Organized Galante Hit?

Genovese boss Frank "Funzi" Tieri was powerful enough
to run the Commission during tumultuous times.

The historical problem with writing about the Mafia is the basic fact that, since it is a secret society, it doesn't keep records regarding quarterly revenues.

The CEO doesn't writer a letter to the board, informing them of any upcoming plans to "grow" the crime family, etc.

So where do facts used in a given work come from? What is the source of the source? Usually law enforcement documents, such as 302s; trial transcripts of testimony -- then there are congressional  committees; enterprising journalists/historians who find information no one else has either through contemporary sources or by digging through musty old files. Then there are memoirs, such as Joseph Bonanno's Man of Honor and the one written by Nicola Gentile.