Wednesday, April 30, 2014

28 Busted for Running Mafia-Linked Tobacco Smuggling Ring

Inspector Michel Pelletier, from the Sûreté du Québec; Annie
Beausejour, with Canada Border Agency; James Spero, with
US Homeland Security; and Superintendant Denis Blanchard,
with the RCMP 
The Globe and Mail: Canadian law enforcement arrested 28 people Wednesday in a crackdown on tobacco trafficking that allegedly involved the Italian Mafia and native organized crime.

Nicola Valvano, 53, who was described as an influential member of the Montreal Mafia, was among the arrested.

The Toronto Sun reported: "It's the "largest investigation of contraband tobacco ever undertaken in North America," according to Quebec provincial police."

About 400 law-enforcement officers – including members of the Quebec provincial police, the RCMP, other police forces, customs agents and U.S. authorities – were involved in the operation.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Did Mafia Prompt Stonewall Uprising?

"[Carlo Gambino] didn't personally go in there and pat people on the ass. They weren't supporting the gay lifestyle, they were supporting their own lifestyle [and robbing a lot of people in the process]..."

Exploring Mafia’s role in NYC’s gay bars | gay news | Washington Blade: "Author Alex Hortis will lead an audio-visual presentation focusing on his new book, “The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York” (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2014) at the Enoch Pratt Free Library on May 7 at 7 p.m. He will discuss how and why the Mafia was able to run many of New York City’s gay bars in the 1960s and 1970s and will include a local perspective.

Bail Denied for Bonanno Boss Tommy "Sweet Tooth" DiFiore

Bonanno boss Tommy D should've hid the wrappers!
According to a New York Daily News exclusive, Bonanno boss Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore has been desperately seeking bail since his arrest on extortion charges this past January, claiming jail is aggravating his Type 2 diabetes.

At the same time, DiFiore has reportedly been "stuffing his face with junk food high in sugar and carbs."

So what do the Feds do? At his bail hearing last month in Brooklyn Federal Court, they called on Dr. Robin Edwin of the MDC in Brooklyn to testify.

(Why does this remind me of third grade?)

Asked about the aging gangster's commissary purchases, "Edwin ticked off the gruesome details: Ramen-flavored chili noodles; Hershey candy bars 6-pack; Pringles potato chips; jalapeno wheels; jalapeno squeeze cheese; peanut butter."

It's 50 Years for "Little Dino" Saracino

Little Dino
Dino "Little Dino" Saracino, 41, who won an acquittal for the 1997 murder of off-duty police officer Ralph Dols in a split verdict, was sentenced to 50 years for racketeering.

The Colombo soldier allegedly won his button by carrying out the Dols hit for then-acting boss Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, who wanted Dols hit for marrying his ex-wife.

“It seems like what he mainly wanted out of life was to be a member of the Mafia and he attained that goal,” said Federal Judge Brian Cogan.

Both Cacace and former acting boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli also were cleared, by separate juries, of the Dols slay.

Last week, Gioeli was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to 18 years in prison for racketeering and murder conspiracy.

In a split verdict that stunned many trial watchers, Gioeli and Saracino were acquitted in 2012 of several murders that could have sent them away for life. In addition to Dols, the two  were also cleared of the 1999 slaying of Colombo underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo, and the 1995 execution of Colombo associate Richard Greaves.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ponzo, Who Lammed It in Idaho, Gets 28 Years

According to KBOI 2: "A Boston mob associate who spent years on the lam in Idaho as a cattle rancher has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Enrico Ponzo was convicted in November of several federal crimes including the 1989 attempted killing of Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, who later became the boss of the New England Mafia. Ponzo fled Massachusetts in 1994.

The 45-year-old Ponzo pleaded with Judge Nathaniel Gorton on Monday to sentence him to no more than 15 years, saying he had turned his life around while living in Idaho."

Patriarca Mobster Who Lammed It for 16 Years Faces 40 Today

Ponzo lammed it and began
life as a new man: an honest
citizen, to boot.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Enrico Ponzo, the mobster who spent more than 16 years on the run (including more than a decade as a cattle rancher, then later as a web designer in Idaho under an alias), is scheduled to be sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Prosecutors have recommended a 40-year-sentence, saying the 45-year-old Ponzo is a "vicious, violent, cold-blooded criminal."

Ponzo, representing himself, requested 15 years or less, saying he lived a "hardworking, selfless life in Idaho ... as a stay-at-home dad" and community volunteer.

He was convicted in November of several crimes, including the attempted murder in 1989 of Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme."

Giacomo Luppino: Last Old-Style Mafia Boss

The American Mafia's Commission in 1931 decreed how Canada would be carved up.

Quebec, including the key city of Montreal, fell under the purview of Joseph Bonanno; Southern Ontario, including the waterfront steel-making town of Hamilton, belonged to Bonanno's cousin, Stefano Magaddino.

Don Luppino

 The two feuded the rest of their lives over Canada, which had been recognized as a key platform from which to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Europe.

Carmine Galante, the mental dullard with the low IQ who is believed to have banged 90, including a renowned Italian journalist, was among the first to recognize this (for Bonanno) and was consumed with a passion to capitalize on his discovery until his brutal gangland death on Knickerbocker Ave., in 1979.  He'd begun using his connections in Canada to control the importation of drugs, primarily heroin, into America for distribution on the streets of New York and other major cities.

Verduci Exposed Mafia’s ‘Canadian Cell’

Verduci alerted Italy to the
Ndrangheta's presence in
Canada.
According to Adrian Humphrey's National Post story, Carmine Verduci, 56, the hit man shot several times outside Regina Sports Café near Toronto, has the distinction of being the man who "accidentally alerted" Italian police to the existence of a “Canadian cell” of the Ndrangheta.
An investigation showed he was the ’Ndrangheta’s transatlantic messenger: He “had the task of travelling between Italy and Canada, acting as a carrier of news between the Italian group and the Canadians,” prosecutors said. 
Following him, wiretapping his cellphone and tracing emails, authorities linked at least 40 people who were either Canadian citizens or current or former residents of Canada.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ontario's Mysterious Luppino Family

Johnny "The Enforcer," head of Papalia family,
one of three key Mafia families that dominated
crime in Hamilton, Ontario.
Historically, three key Mafia groups emerged in Hamilton, though there were other families and organized crime rings in the tough steel town located on the border of Ontario's Great Lakes.

They were the Papalia family (initially an outpost of Stefano Magaddino's Buffalo, New York-based family), the Luppino family (of which more to come) and the smallest family of the three, the Musitano crime family, which is a faction of the Calabrian Ndrangheta that wanted to dominate the area.

The Musitano family was behind the 1997 hit on Johnny "The Enforcer" Papalia, boss of that family, as well as the killing of then-Papalia family underboss Carmen Barillaro two months later. They also considered taking out the boss of the Luppino family, presumably in a move to dominate Hamilton, a key city in the Ontario province in terms of historical organized crime.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rizzuto's Return: Vendetta Continues with Verduci Hit in Toronto

Rizzuto died before Christmas last year. He's said to have been behind hits on Ndrangheta members. 

Canoe.ca in Toronto reports that dead mob boss Vito Rizzuto's vendetta is continuing even now, four months following his funeral.

As reported here, Rizzuto years ago had begun a move into Ontario following the killing of Johnny "Pops" Papalia by a Ndrangheta faction out of the Hamilton area. The two groups were apparently working on an alliance that seems to have gone south.

Friday, April 25, 2014

That "Sick World He Was Once Part Of"

Frank Lino now calls the Mafia a sick world.
Funny how he didn't realize it until after he
was arrested for six mob hits.
Frank Lino is off the hook.

The former Bonanno capo, 76, was sentenced to time served for participating in six mob murders, along with racketeering crimes. He had already served eight years in prison after his 2003 arrest and was out on a million-dollar bail when he appeared today for sentencing.

"Looking tanned, and wearing black-framed eyeglasses and a double-breasted suit, Lino sheepishly raised his hand when Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis glanced around the courtroom looking for him," The New York Daily News reported.

“Oh, in the business suit,” Garaufis observed.

Lino’s cooperation was described as being “extraordinary” in that he'd helped to bring down around two dozen Bonannos, including former family boss Joseph Massino who also has since joined Team America.

Lino also revealed the burial locations of three slain gangsters, as prosecutor Nicole Argentieri noted.

How Significant Was Apalachin Mob Meeting, Really?

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the infamous trial resulting from the disastrous 1957 meeting in Apalachin, New York (humorously depicted at the start of Analyze This).

The resulting conspiracy trial, United States v. Bufalino ultimately led to acquittals.

The meeting showed the Mafia had existed, but J Edgar Hoover had already begun investigating it with his Top Hoodlum Program.
Roadblocks stop mobsters fleeing from 1957's hastily called Apalachin summit.

Prosecutors actually had won a jury's "guilty" verdict, but an appellate court overturned it on an appeal.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How Luciano Got Lucky, Other Myths Exposed in Cipollini's Book

Luciano offers a rare smile.
Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangster Legend, scheduled for release next month, will put to bed some key mysteries surrounding one of the most mythical Mafia figures in organized crime's history.

The book's author, Christian Cipollini, in a recent interview, told me he's made some startling discoveries while writing the book about "Lucky," including how the gangster got his famous nickname, which believe it or not, has never been adequately detailed.

With Lucky Luciano, a lot of facts are up for grabs. No one has ever even categorically explained how one of the founding members of the modern Mafia got the scars for which he was so famous. Some will even argue that he was not even a founding member of the modern Mafia.

"The guy fascinated me," Cipollini said.“There’s so much mythology around him."

DiMichele Changes Plea After Anti-Mafia Judge Sides with Union

Just a crazy gal! Alicia DiMichele stands
outside her Addiction boutique clothing
store, presumably smiling for paparazzi
As we've long noted,  Judge Sandra Townes does not go easy on organized crime figures in her courtroom.

The surprising twist that played out yesterday in Alicia DiMichele's case in Brooklyn Federal Court stems from Judge Townes' view that DiMichele should pay millions in fines and restitution to a union's benefits fund, which DiMichele had originally plead guilty to pilfering as per a Colombo family racket. 

In the end, Judge Townes accepted a figure even larger than the hefty $116,000 prosecutors had been seeking, versus the $20,000 amount originally agreed to.

Although it may or may not have had an impact on Judge Townes's decision (though considering DiMichele's lawyer's harsh words for the reailty show, we kinda believe it did have an impact on the decision), it appears that DiMichele certainly didn't help herself when she agreed to appear on the show "Mob Wives." It was, to put it plain and simple, a dumb thing to do...

DiMichele, the wife (or ex-wife? we still don't know) of Colombo soldier Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo, Jr., withdrew her guilty plea for embezzling union funds from the trucking company she and her husband owned, and also revealed that she had earlier resigned from the reality TV show “Mob Wives.”.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prosecutors Discuss the Pagan "Testify Down" Strategy

Pagan testified at a murder trial in
which he was the actual murderer.
Recently the WSJ.com ran a story about a "rare and risky legal strategy" used by prosecutors. Turns out they even have a name for it: Testifying down.

Guess who they were referring to! (Well, at least he's still in the clink, as we learn..)

In two recent cases in Brooklyn, one of which was the James Donovan murder trial, in which Pagan testified,  "... [t]he government used cooperating witnesses—"big fish"—who admitted to more serious crimes than the charges faced by the people they were testifying against.

"This is, generally speaking, the opposite of how cooperating witnesses work. Usually, legal experts said, the goal is to get those witnesses to admit to wrongdoing, cooperate with the government and to walk the investigation up the ladder, obtaining evidence against leaders or those potentially engaged in more serious crimes. In exchange, on the recommendation of prosecutors, cooperators typically end up serving reduced or no prison time."

This Site Surpasses 2 Million Page Views

Lineup of early organized crime members; Luciano, Lansky in middle....

I will make this brief... I have a certain profile of a certain writer I have been drafting for days, and think I finally have it in the shape I want. Now, the polish must be applied....

Two million (well, 2.03 million, to be more precise) is a lot of page views; it's a lot of anything.

I want to thank all of my readers, who looked at my blog 2 million times in the past couple of years.

I will keep on delivering content, but I will also try to take this operation to the next level by more aggressively selling advertising to hire the designers and writers I need to assist me in this effort. I don't want to explain what I mean by stepping to the next level; why reveal my strategy to my competitors, but it has everything to do with two words: tertiary and destination.

Now, if I can only get advertisers.... For 150 bucks your ad can get around 150,000 views per month. I don't think you can beat that, frankly. I can't believe more people aren't knocking on my door.

I'm going to have to start knocking on theirs....

See ya at the 3 million mark, which I plan to hit this year.

You keep reading; I'll keep writing....

Wandering what is the top-read story on this blog?

Fino's Fight: Cleaning Up Magaddino's Corrupt Union

Ronald Fino, Moscow, 2005.
(Facebook)
Here is Alexandra Forry's interview with Ronald Fino, a native of Buffalo, New York, who worked as an undercover operative for both the FBI and CIA. He's testified before Congress regarding Mafia control and corruption in the Laborers' International Union, as well as the Russian mafia and the illegal shipments of weapons to terrorist organizations, and has also testified in numerous organized crime cases in Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Newark, Las Vegas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Canada. He now works as a private investigator based in Williamsburg, Va.

Conversation with Ronald Fino | Alexandra Forry ~ Putting Timeless into Romance:

Reading your book was such a fascinated read, about your life as the heir to the Buffalo mafia’s throne that turned his back to fight for the rights of American Justice. This book reads like a thriller movie as he walks along on a dangers path between good and evil. Could you sum up what you did so my reader can under you story?

I was never the heir to the throne. I was born in Buffalo, New York. My father Joe rose through the ranks of the Buffalo Mafia under long-time mob boss Stefano Magaddino, attaining the rank of captain, overseeing his own crew.I joined the corrupt Laborers’ Local 210, controlled by Magaddino, and after years of experiencing the corruption up close, I decided to run for business manager and clean up the union. After an overly successful election, I found that the power did not lie with the union, but powerful members of the Buffalo Mafia.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Italy Focuses on "Metadata" to Track Organized Crime

According to Fast Company | Business + Innovation, "a team of Italian academics are showing how metadata can reveal the structure of organized crime groups with a software tool called LogAnalysis (link is to a savable PDF of the full report), which combines information from mobile phone records with police databases. And among LogAnalysis's first users is the Carabinieri, the Italian military police."

Emilio Ferrara, a postdoc at Indiana University, created LogAnalysis with three researchers from the University of Messina in Sicily. The platform “infers, with pretty high confidence, the roles of individuals involved in criminal activity from communication data, simply looking at patterns and network features,” he told Fast Company.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Meyer Lansky Did Unthinkable: He Kept a Diary

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets in Las Vegas and Cuba
Meyer Lansky and his wife, Teddy; photo taken in Havana, Cuba. 

Meyer Lansky kept a written record of some events -- he kept a diary, as Rick Porrello's AmericanMafia.com reported.

Lanksy, who was there at the dawn of organized crime in America and was known for his razor-sharp business and street acumen, was the one most likely to have kept such a document. Throughout his life, he spoke of the importance of a good education, not something that Lanky friends and partners such as Lucky Luciano or Bugsy Siegel are known to have proclaimed.

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets in Las Vegas and Cuba, when the island off Florida's coast seemed to be a potential new frontier for the Mafia, a place where it thought it could operate with impunity under the auspices of a friendly government. The goal was to operate where it had the freedom to develop its business rackets (primarily gambling and money laundering) unimpeded by law enforcement.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Natural Death Recalls Tumultuous Times in Ontario Underworld

Frank Papalia—brother of violent former mob boss John "Johnny Pops" Papalia, aka The Enforcer—died on April 15 at age 83.

Known for being among the last remaining figures of an infamous one-time Mafia dynasty based in Ontario, Canada, Frank Papalia suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in a Hamilton-based nursing home when he died. [There were four Papalia brothers, the other two were Rocco and Dominic.]

John "Johnny Pops" Papalia

Fate was less kind to brother Johnny, who'd been a well-known bootlegger and later, as a drug trafficker with links to both the French and Pizza Connections (which, actually, were the same operation, a longtime, ongoing one that involved the Sicilian Cosa Nostra as well as Corsican crime families.)

Johnny may have also been suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease when in May of 1997 he was shot in the back of his head in the downtown Hamilton parking lot of a vending machine company he then owned.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rev. Al Was "Our Gun for Hire," Says Ex-Colombo Capo


Michael Franzese, former Mafioso (son of Sonny Franzese and an ex-capo in the Colombo family) turned born-again Christian minister, told Gang Land News some interesting information about the whole Rev. Al blowup, and adds a jarring twist to the story.

Namely that Sharpton once had very close mob ties, to the extent he was involved in certain rackets involving the Reverend using his civil rights bully-pit to generate cash that he shared with the mob.

"...Franzese says Sharpton, who has been preaching since his teenage days on the streets of Brooklyn, has yet to truly confess his many sins.

Gangland Tour of New York's Infamous Crime Scenes

Cool, cool website; thanks to my friend for calling this out:

Infamous New York | A Gangland Tour of New York City's Most Infamous Crime Scenes: "Before the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and Prohibition put him on the map, Al Capone received his bachelor’s degree in gangsternomics courtesy of Johnny “The Fox” Torrio, a future mafia chieftan who got his start as the leader of the James Street Gang.

A dormouse of a man with button eyes and a nose like a thimble, Torrio could only be described as one of the finest criminal mastermind’s of the 20th century, and it all started on James Street, a tiny sliver of a street that is one of the last remaining vestiges of the old Corlear’s Hook neighborhood.

Life in crime came early for Torrio. As a boy he worked in his stepfather’s illegal moonshine den at 86 James Street. In 1904, the urchin started promoting boxing matches, where he met the bantamweight fighter and gangland kingpin, Paul Kelly. Kelly, a suave racketeer whose real name was Paolo Antonini Vacarelli, captained the Five Points Gang, a mob that ran Little Italy and fixed elections for Tammany Hall."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mobsters More Sensitive, Family Oriented Than Other Criminals

Free Press Journal: "A new study has found that members of the Mafia are more sensitive, family orientated and less selfish than other murderers, says ANI.

According to a research by Italian researcher Professor Adriano Schimmenti, which looked into incarcerated Sicilian mobsters, members of the Mafia also appeared to have lower psychopathic traits than other criminals, the Independent reported.

The research involved 30 inmates who were psychologically assessed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R) which measures psychotic characteristics. Seven of the Mafia members had been convicted of murder, 17 for violent crimes and the remainder for crimes such as drug trafficking, sexual exploitation and kidnapping, according to Discovery Magazine."


Oh, brother....what some publications will do to differentiate content!

Harsher Laws Fueled Mafia Expansion Outside Italy

Da Ciro, one of 23 restaurants seized by the police in Rome.
"Buy everything."
--An Italian mob boss caught on wiretap in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell; he was giving an order to a lieutenant who'd just been told to immediately go to East Germany.


The International New York Times reported that harsher laws in Italy have led criminal rings to seek new territory abroad. In this year alone, according to the report: "Italian officials seized € 51 million, or $70 million, in mob properties and other assets in Rome, providing a small glimpse of the legal business interests that southern clans control in the capital."

The "mob economy" as Italian officials call it, "has rapidly expanded across Europe."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mob Book Helped Solve Double Murder

Larry Neumann: Despite mountains of evidence, was never
Charged for a double homicide he committed when someone
"disrespected" his ex-wife. He was a member of Frank Cullotta's
crew in Las Vegas, the Hole in the Wall Gang.

June 2, 1981. Morning. An apartment located behind the P.M. Pub drinking establishment in Lakemoor, Ill. (If a reader recalls another apartment located behind a bar, it wouldn't be inappropriate.)

Two people are found dead in the living room. One of the dead had been the owner of the P.M., 37-year-old Ronald Scharff; the other was barmaid Patricia Freeman. The previous evening was actually her first night working at the pub.

As noted on the website Murder in McHenry, Lakemoor, situated about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, was then a community that had served as home to around 800 souls.

Did Puzo Steal The Godfather's Most Famous Line?

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Many phrases from The Godfather film (or book) are not only highly memorable, but are often articulated in daily affairs, I'd wager; perhaps mostly in jest, though it is not inconceivable that some lines also could be used occasionally against more formal backdrops.

I myself used an expression -- "It's business; nothing personal" -- during tense negotiations over certain revenue owed to me (and still owed to me) for services rendered: the writing of several  labyrinthine, tortuously dull financial news stories, coupled with the copy editing of many additional ones.

I was told "the check was in the mail" about three-four times before I made inquiries regarding said check. Such a thing had never happened to me before in my entire professional career.

I kept hearing: "I'm cutting the check now; it'll be in the mail this afternoon."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mob Scribe Denny Griffin On the Book Business

Dennis Griffin has written several books on
organized crime in America; Frank Cullotta and
Andrew DiDonato were among his subjects--
and are now good personal friends.
Dennis Griffin writes about a lot of things, perhaps most notably, the Mafia. When I interviewed him recently, one of my first questions was: "What do you consider the most difficult part of the book-writing process?" I expected a few possible responses, one or two involving a firearm.

"Promotions," he said immediately, as if that answer had been lurking on the tip of his tongue all along.

I nearly fell out of my chair. "What about the research?"

Giancana Whacked for Defying Outfit

Sam Giancana (born Salvatore Giangana; June 15, 1908 – June 19, 1975) had a wealth of nicknames—"Momo," "Mooney," "Sam the Cigar,"—during his decades’ long membership in the Chicago Outfit, of which he was nominally boss from 1957 to 1966.

Giancana is widely remembered today for his “connections” to JFK through Judith Campbell Exner, allegedly one of his mistresses. Giancana was murdered under mysterious circumstances after a police detail assigned to protect him was called off.

Sam Giancana had many nicknames—including "Momo," "Mooney" -- and started his life of crime quite early in life as part of a street gang.
Sam Giancana's murder remains unsolved.
This cast a spotlight on many suspects, none more controversially than the CIA, with whom Giancana supposedly had a relationship back in the 1960s. Allegedly, the mobster, and other underworld figures, assisted the CIA in an effort to depose Cuban strongman Fidel Castro, though none of the agency's machinations proved successful. (Castro outlasted just about everyone who'd tried to oust him.)

Giancana's death, officially unsolved, likely was ordered by Outfit bosses whom Giancana had rebuffed repeatedly—refusing to share what he deemed  "personal" wealth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra Infiltrate Germany

Germany's problems partly begin in Calabria.
The Local: "Last Friday, a Cologne court began the trial of Gabriele S. - a Sicilian immigrant accused of tax fraud. The case is part of the larger investigation called the Scavo Commission into mafia outreach in the Rhineland that has uncovered far more than shell companies and tax evasion.

"The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany from construction to alternative energy, from waste management to shareholding of large companies or banks.

“They buy votes and influence elections through bribery, corruption”, said Roberto Scarpinato, attorney general of Palermo’s court of appeals and anti-mafia pool, in an article published in Wired Italia.

Philly Mob a "Recipe" for "Violence" as Wiseguys Return

Ligambi, if still boss, will have to keep together different
family factions returning to Philly from prison to hold the
peace, many observers say.
Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29: For mob boss Joe Ligambi the living is easy.

The 74-year-old wiseguy can be seen most days relaxing at his South Philadelphia home after two juries failed to find him guilty on federal racketeering charges. He was released after two long trials and almost three years in jail. But while he's chillin at home at 17th and Federal, trouble is brewing over who controls the local wiseguys and the ever dwindling mob dollar..

"Everybody's getting out, the pie's a little smaller, the money's not out there anymore, they might think they have devys on it and there could be some problems," said John Apeldorn, former commander of the city's Homicide unit and organized Crime Unit during the mob's hay day in the late 1980s and 1990s.

"Could something happen, I think there's a recipe there for violence absolutely," he added.

Canada Nabs "Mob Wives" Format Rights; Other MW News

Natalie Guercio....
Jonesing for some "Mob Wives" news? We found some juicy tidbits... read on!!!

First up, would you be interested in watching a spinoff to the tune of  "Montreal Mob Wives?" Based on a recently reported deal, such a show may be in the cards, though it seems to us the Montreal story may have already piqued and died -- with Vito Rizzuto.

VH1 'Mob Wives' Format Acquired for Canada - The Hollywood Reporter: "The deal between Bristow Global Media and Electus International could see a local version of the mafia-women series come north of the border.

Bristow Global Media has inked a deal with Electus International to acquire the format rights for Canada to the mafia-centric reality series Mob Wives. There's no word on a Canadian broadcaster for a local version of the U.S.-based VH1 reality series about women whose husbands or fathers are doing time for mafia-related crimes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cullotta Debuts Organized Crime Seminars

As already reported, I've spoken with Frank Cullotta a few times now and have been following up on several leads he's given me.

Meanwhile, I became aware of this new Organized Crime Seminar he is offering.

Anyone interested should call the phone number below.

Email me -- eddie2843@gmail.com -- if you'd like a copy of the flyer, here:


Free Mafia Books Available Now on Amazon Kindle

As of now, the below listed Kindle ebooks were available from Amazon.com for free. But please double check that they are still free before you purchase:

Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1 - New York City
Length: 246 pages
Joe Bruno (Author), Marc Maturo (Editor), Lawrence Venturato (Editor), Nitro Covers (Illustrator)
4-star average based on 51 reviews
Collection of true crime stories dating back to 1800s

R.I.C.O.
Length: 249 pages
Tony Steele (Author)
4-star average based on 70 reviews
When 12-year-old Dmitri Burke’s father is murdered, he provides a steady income for his family by running numbers for Mafia boss, Paul D’Annunzio. His plans to establish his own crime family are derailed when he takes a murder rap for his boss...

Mother May Have Been Mafia's Target in Savage Triple Homicide

Two-year-old Domenico was killed in a savage
slaughter by the Mafia in Southern Italy.
A 30-year-old woman, and not her mobbed-up boyfriend, is considered to have been the likely target of a hit in Southern Italy last month that killed her, her boyfriend -- and her 2-year-old son.

As reported in March, a Mafia hit team engaged Cosimo Orlando, 43, in a high-speed chase with before driving his car off the road and slaughtering Cosimo and two of his passengers: girlfriend Carla Maria Fornari and her son Domenico. Two other children in the car survived.

As the UK's Daily Mail reported: "The trio were killed instantly" when the hitmen "opened fire with machine guns riddling [the vehicle] with bullets..."

The hit's location -- at Palagiano, near Taranto, in the southern Italian region of Puglia -- is considered to be a stronghold of the local mafia, the Sacra Corona Unita.

Originally, the hit was seen as revenge for a double homicide committed by Cosimo in 1998.

Yesterday, the Mirror Online reported: "The target may have been the boy’s mother Carla, a mob widow who testified against her husband’s assassins in 2011 while pregnant with Domenico.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fama Wouldn't Roll; Gambino Associate Last of Dying Breed

Daniel Fama
Reputed Gambino crime-family associate Daniel Fama no longer faces charges for allegedly being the getaway driver for the 1990 gangland hit of Edward "Eddie the Chink" Garofalo ordered by then Gambino boss John Gotti.

But for about one year, he's been psychologically dealing with the pressure of a possible mandatory life sentence. On top of that, he lost eight months of his life in jail -- and all probably because he wouldn't roll for the Feds.

According to papers announcing the indictment, filed in New York's Southern District, Fama had been charged with the crime of killing a person who was believed to be a government informant, a federal charge.

The case was filed against Fama in the first place due to testimony, ironically enough, from another member of the Garofalo hit team-- Joseph “Little Joey” D’Angelo, who was one of the two men who actually fired the fatal shots into Garofalo outside his home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The other gunman was Frank “Frankie Fapp” Fappiano. Both flipped for the Feds.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

10 Things the Mob Didn't Know About Rev. Al



The Smoking Gun has compiled a lengthy report based on documents and interviews to tell the story of how Rev. Al Sharpton, beginning in the 1980s, worked as a mob informant for an organized crime task force of FBI agents and NYPD detectives (some of whom reportedly gave Sharpton up to the Smoking Gun).

We've put together a list of 10 things we believe the mob would love to know about Rev. Al.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rev. Al Sharpton Was Paid FBI Mafia Informant

Al back in the '80s.
Al Sharpton's Secret Work As FBI Informant | The Smoking Gun:

The Smoking Gun claims that the Rev. Al Sharpton is a former paid FBI Mafia informant.

A lengthy investigation by The Smoking Gun has uncovered remarkable details about Sharpton’s past work as an informant for a joint organized crime task force comprised of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, as well as his dealings with an assortment of wiseguys.

Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the “Genovese squad,” Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.

New Info Released on "Diabolik," Sicilian Boss of Bosses

Sicilian Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro (born 26 April 1962) is probably one of the only mobsters whose nickname was derived from an Italian comic book series, called Diabolik.

In news touted around the world recently, Italian police said they have received new information from a reliable informant, which apparently marks the first time in nearly four years that investigators were able to update the mobster's computer simulated portrait (known as an "identikit").

Add caption
He is considered to be one of the new leaders of Cosa Nostra since the arrest of Bernardo Provenzano in April 2006. He didn't rise to prominence until April 2001, when the magazine L'Espresso put him on the cover with the headline: Ecco il nuovo capo della mafia ("Here is the new boss of the Mafia").

He has been a fugitive since 1993.

According to Forbes magazine he is among the 10 most wanted criminals in the world

The 52-year-old is said to have a receding hairline and also is blind in one eye, according to the informant.

Film Tells Story of Married Couple Who Robbed the Mob

Rob the Mob, directed by Oscar-nominee Raymond de Felitta (City Island, Bronx Cheers) and starring Michael Pitt, Nina Arianda, Andy Garcia and Ray Romano, opens in cinemas next month.

The film purports to tell the true-life story of Thomas and Rose Marie Uva, a married couple who made the foolhardy, fatal decision to make quick cash by robbing Mafia social clubs in Little Italy, Queens and Brooklyn, a crime spree that ran from the summer of 1992 to near the end of that year, specifically on Christmas Eve 1992, when the two were killed.

Thomas and Rose Marie Uva; the press dubbed the married
couple as "Bonnie and Clyde."
In nearly every robbery, 21-year-old getaway driver Rose Marie waited in the car while Tommy, hefting an Uzi, would simply walk into the clubs, the doors of which were open.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mob Plotted Adolf Hitler's Death: Lansky's Daughter

Lansky's daughter breaks silence - Sun Sentinel: "Growing up as the daughter of Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky seemed to be glitz and glamour for Sandra Lansky. Sandra was a wild child of the late 50s and 60s who was raised with a privileged life in upper class Jewish splendor in New York City. She was silent on many of her father's secrets until now.

"Sandra, who resides in Plantation, has broken her 50-year-silence with a tell-all memoir, Daughter of the King: Growing Up in Gangland, where she recounts her life as a Mafia princess and of organized crime's purported influence at the highest reaches of government and world affairs. She co-wrote this book with author William Stadiem and they will both share its highlights on March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Jewish Museum of Florida-Florida International University, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach, during a free event organized by FIU's Jewish Studies Initiatives.

"Through writing a book about herself, Sandra was able to also write about her father, whom she adores and misses. Book highlights include her drug addiction and its impact on her family, her troubled relationships with famous men, including Dean Martin who she dated at age 16, Meyer's role in creating Las Vegas as we know it today through his gambling empire, and his plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Meyer moved to Miami Beach in the late 1940's and died there in 1983. Stadiem said that Sandra wanted to share a very unique perspective."

Sandra Lansky Talks About Memoir in Florida

Sandra Lansky March 30, 2014 from YouTube:

"

Q&A with Sandra Lansky at Jewish Museum of South Florida.

Read our story: Daughter's Memoir Offers New Portrait of Enigmatic Lansky

Bonanno Associate Gets 18 Years for "Joe Pistone" Hit?

Former Bonanno underboss from days
of Donnie Brasco was arrested not too
long ago.
We don't get it... Is it really just a coincidence that the mob -- specifically, a Bonanno associate -- robbed and whacked a guy with the same name as a well-known undercover agent for the FBI who infiltrated the same crime family using the famous alias of Donnie Brasco in the late 1970s?

Bonanno mobster gets 18 years in prison for 1992 murder of Brooklyn man and dog - NY Daily News: "A reputed Bonanno crime associate was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the home-invasion murder of a Brooklyn man and his beloved dog — nearly twice the term he thought he’d get under a plea deal with the government.

"Neil Messina, 52, found out Friday that Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto may have gone easy on some Mafia oldfellas, but is more than ready to severely punish violent mobsters.

"Rob the Mob" Film Has "Vinny Gorgeous" Character

Reviews are starting to pop up all over the Internet regarding "Rob the Mob," a film about the Uvas, a married couple who made the foolhardy, fatal decision to make quick cash by robbing Mafia social clubs in Little Italy, Queens and Brooklyn.



Their crime spree ran from the summer of 1992 to the day of Christmas Eve 1992, when the two were killed. Shot in the head, each, by the Mafia.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mobsters Have Fewer "Psychopathic Traits" Than Other Crooks

The researchers never heard of Tommy Karate Pitera, no doubt.
DiscoverMagazine.com asked: Are The Mafia Psychopaths?

And the survey says: Mafiosi showed lower psychopathic traits than other criminals.

(They obviously never heard of Tommy Karate Pitera, or even this guy, both of whom kept souvenirs, I might add... (I know, but we could spend hours listing every psycho in the American Mafia...))

Sicilian Informant: Berlusconi "Put Italy" in the Mob's Hands

Silvio Berlusconi
Mobster informant points to Berlusconi, Dell'Utri - ANSA English - ANSA.it: "A mobster-turned-informant told prosecutors in a deposition Thursday that three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi and former Senator Marcello Dell'Utri were credited with "putting the country in the hands" of the Mafia by a notorious Sicilian boss. From a jail in Rome, Gaspare Spatuzza recalled a conversation in 1994 with Cosa Nostra boss Giuseppe Graviano.

"He said, 'I told you that things would turn out all right'. Then he said the name Berlusconi, and added that our paesano Dell'Ultri was also involved, and thanks to them we had the country in our hands".

Dell'Utri is appealing to the supreme Court of Cassation a seven-year sentence imposed in March by a Palermo court that convicted him of Mafia association."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Daughter's Memoir Offers New Portrait of Enigmatic Lansky

Sandra with the "Mob's Accountant"; Lansky's pinches were
all gambling related.
REVISED, EXPANDED: Sandra Lansky has written a 229-page memoir, Daughter of the King: Growing Up in Gangland, which she describes as an expression of the deep love she held for her father, Meyer Lansky.

Born Meyer Suchowljansky (July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), Lansky was a major organized crime figure who worked closely with associates such as "Joe Adonis" and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, though he was closest to Charles "Lucky" Luciano, both as a friend and business partner. It can be categorically stated that Lansky stayed true to his dear friend until the end, which came much earlier for Luciano.

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets across the country, most notably in Las Vegas, as well as in Cuba, which had been poised to serve as the mob's new frontier, a place where it was to be on an equal footing with the government, allowing it the freedom to develop its rackets unimpeded by law enforcement, as well as amass its fortunes without an IRS lurking over its collective shoulder.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Listen Up: Frank Cullotta Talks to BBC, Audio Included

R
Frank Cullotta, 1970s?
Sky Valley Chronicle Washington State News: "So what's Frank Cullotta doing these days in his golden years? At the age of 75 he's running five-hour bus tours in Las Vegas to the former murder scenes and other crime haunts he inhabited during his mobster years in Vegas. Back then Cullotta says his crew "controlled Las Vegas" on behalf of the Chicago mob. Now he says he wants to show visitors the reality of life as a mobster."

Cullotta gave the BBC Radio 5 show an interview about his new job that you can listen to here .

Gotta say, I wasn't impressed with the broadcaster; his questions, for the most part, were repetitive. Seems like he wasn't listening to Cullotta, just asking fabricated questions.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Real Man Never Hits a Woman

We at Cosa Nostra News are amazed anyone would even debate who was at fault in this situation.

Our grandmother taught us: a real man never hits a woman, even if she calls him bad, awful names... even if she were to punch him in the face.

This bouncer should be ashamed of himself, as should any blog that hints something like Guercio is going to "call the Mafia in" -- to supposedly what? Beat the guy up? Kill him?


That's sheer nonsense...

Reality TV star Natalie Guercio was punched in the face by a bouncer at Delilah's Gentleman's Club last Thursday when she was judging the Entertainment of the Year event

Police arrived and took down a report; Natalie ended up in the emergency room sporting a battered face.

Natalie did not press charges.