Thursday, July 31, 2014

BigTrial's Anastasia Writes Book that Demystifies "Gotti Legend"

John "Junior" Gotti From the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Honor and The Last Gangster—“one of the most respected crime reporters in the country” (60 Minutes)—comes the sure to be headline-making inside story of the Gotti and Gambino families, told from the unique viewpoint of notorious mob hit-man John Alite, a close associate of Junior Gotti who later testified against him.

In Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty years covering crime, offers a shocking and very rare glimpse into the Gotti family, witnessed up-close from former family insider John Alite, John Gotti Jr.’s longtime friend and protector. Until now, no one has given up the kind of personal details about the Gottis—including the legendary “Gotti Rules” of leadership—that Anastasia exposes here.

Isgro, Veteran of Payola Probe, Faces NY Gambling Case

Joe Isgro leaves a New York courthouse today.
Cosa Nostra News was the first to break this story on Joe Isgro...

Houston Chronicle: "He's been one of the nation's most influential record promoters, the producer of an Oscar-nominated movie, a defendant who successfully fought racketeering charges in a high-profile payola case, and an admitted loan shark who shook down borrowers in ritzy Beverly Hills.

Now the roller-coaster life of Joe Isgro is taking another plunge, with new charges that he helped run a mob-linked gambling operation.

Isgro, who once helped get airplay for songs by such stars as Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson, pleaded not guilty to gambling, conspiracy and money laundering charges Wednesday in New York City. He for years has denied any connection to organized crime.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Michael Franzese's "God the Father" Coming Soon

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GOD THE FATHER takes us on an ‘untold’ personal journey of Michael Franzese, a young and charismatic Capo in the Colombo Mafia during the 1980‘s-90‘s and who’s notorious father Sonny Franzese was also a renowned Underboss.

Off-shore Website Was Front for Mafia Bookmaking

Two New Jersey men today admitted to conspiring with the Genovese organized crime family in an illegal sports betting website, said federal prosecutors.

The group was arrested in May 2012.

Joseph “Joe Graz” Graziano , 77, and Dominick "Harpo" Barone, 44, each pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in U.S. District Court in Newark. Both face sentences of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when they are sentenced in November.

The scheme involved a website, which they called “the office,” that was based off-shore in Costa Rica, which reportedly plays host to scores of legal gambling sites.

Where the Mob Once Found Its Members

Vito Genovese in the mid 1940s.

The Mafia has always recruited from the streets. Both Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino in the 1950s enlisted soldiers in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn from a Brooklyn street gang called the Jackson Gents.

Interestingly these street gangs are still around today, while groups like the Purple Gang and the Bath Avenue Crew, Italian mob-affiliated gangs that more closely resemble the Mafia and were considered farm teams, seem to have died out.

Twists in the Road for Cosa Nostra News

The Road of Death, Bolivia.
Well, I've finally done it.

I went and accepted a full-time position. 

I had been getting along nicely, but then lost a freelance client. I couldn't replace them, so I had to go "legit" and accept a full-time position in Manhattan.

I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to having lunch with my friend Nikki, too!

Anyway, I am going to be posting less as a result. I know, this news probably gladdens my critics, but as I say, as much as I enjoy praise, it is the critics who make you better.

No more three-to-five stories a day.... I am not, however, throwing in the towel. I will write for this blog probably until the day I die, of old age or a mob hit if I finally piss them off too much.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Who's This Babe? Wouldn't You Like to Know...

Who's the babe?

You can read all about her on my sister site, Requiem for an Editor, which is actually my first blog.

It evolved into this blog, which, of course, focuses on Cosa Nostra in America, as well as in Canada -- all three Mafias in fact (Cosa Nostra, the Ndrangheta and the Camorra) and related organized crime groups across the globe.

Requiem is where I write about everything else.

The "everything else" category includes stories on Evelyn McHale -- read why she is called the most beautiful suicide case ever -- and "Revenge Porn," the key promulgator of which is Tor, an anonymizing web browser that provides a safe way for you to enter and navigate the “dark net."

Hey, what else do you think I would write about?

Anthony Spero Bred Pigeons and Gangsters

Spero died in prison in 2008.
Anthony Spero, former consiglieri and acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, died nearly six years ago.

The once-supremely powerful "Old Man" of the American Mafia was 79 when he passed, a guest of the Federal Medical Center of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.

Spero was a stone cold gangster who lived it, walked it, talked it, breathed it. The only thing that may have captivated him as much as "the life" were his pigeons. That and frying chicken cutlets in the back of his club on Bath Avenue in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. He also ran the Big Apple Car, a limo service.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Murderous Mob Turncoats Will Come to Light

Angela Clemente.
We are reprinting a story from Feb. 3 of this year because we have heard new information from a reliable source that a flood of previously classified FBI reports in the process of being made public will identify two high-level informants for the FBI. 

We can only assume that this information has to do with the classified FBI documents being sought by Angela Clemente, a forensic analyst who spent the past 15 years researching the FBI's relationship with mob turncoats. (ANGELA CLEMENT IS NOT OUR SOURCE REGARDING THE NEW INFORMATION.)

According to our source, who would only speak on the condition of anonymity, the documents will prove that two high-level mobsters, one with the Colombos and one with the Gambinos, were high-level informants for the FBI.

Who's the Luchese Boss? Still Vic Amuso

GangLandNews reported that Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, whose reign atop one of New York's Five Crime Families was one of the Mafia's bloodiest and most violent, did not lose his crown in 1992, as originally reported.

He's been boss all along, even following his 1992 trial and conviction. (Amuso was called the "Deadly Don" by Assistant United States Attorney Charles Rose. Amuso faced 54 counts related to loan-sharking, extortion, racketeering and narcotics dealing -- plus nine murders.)

Vic Amuso remains official boss.

Age 79, he's serving life in prison at Cumberland FCI.

Amuso initially ran the Luchese crime family with (and was somewhat overshadowed by) former underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso, who is serving life in prison following a failed bid to flip.

Joe Isgro Pinched in Los Angeles

Joe Isgro
UPDATED: Academy Award-nominated producer, Purple Heart veteran and reputed Gambino soldier Joseph Isgro was picked up in Los Angeles last week on gambling charges, sources in Los Angeles confirmed for this blog.

He was arrested on July 18 by LAPD detectives and was being held in the Valley jail in Van Nuys. He will be brought to New York to face gambling-related charges that are close to reaching the statute of limitations.

One source told us:

They're supposed to have two NY detectives pick up Joe in L.A tomorrow and transport him to NY by commercial airline. It was good of them because if they'd brought him to NY on Friday he would have had to spend the weekend in Rikers. Now he will stay overnight at the Tombs and post surety bond when he gets to court the next day.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mob Club or Just a Social Club?

Social club?
We don't see many members-only clubs these days and are wondering how many are still around.

This one on Hempstead Blvd. in Elmont is so blatant with the signs and old guys speaking Italian that we gotta admit, we're curious.

What the hell is it?

Jimmy Cosmo Gets Ready to Pay the Piper

Back in mid-January of last year we reported about an alliance among the Canadian and American Mafia, outlaw bikers and a Mexican drug cartel that supplied New York City with nearly a billion dollars in marijuana.

Running the group was French Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer, who was busted following a five-year probe by the DEA and police from Laval, Quebec, where Cournoyer once lived.

The drug alliance included a partnership between Bonanno associate John "Big Man" Venizelos and Jimmy “Cosmo” to form a $2 million “hit” fund so the group could quickly hire hitters to murder snitches.

Jimmy Cosmo faces sentencing in New York next month on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PBS Theory Links Hoffa, Giancana, Rosselli Hits

Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran
Did Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran kill Hoffa?

As one journalist noted: Sheeran's "deathbed confession" is still the most believable theory ever to come to light.

“History Detectives Special Investigations,” “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” -- which ran recently this week -- purported to take a fresh look at the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa, the former head of the Teamsters union who vanished from the face of the earth on July 30, 1975.

It was the perfect mob hit and a high-profile public figure, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Judge's Call to Mother Marked Him for Mafia Hit

Paolo Borsellino was killed by a car bomb in 1993 near his mother's house.
Judge Borsellino
The Sicilian Mafia listened to the telephone calls of judge Paolo Borsellino before slaying him, gaining vital intelligence that assisted them in committing the hit in July 1992.

This is based on a conversation mob boss Totò Riina had with a fellow prison inmate that was recorded by the authorities, Reuters sources said.

Borsellino and five of his security officers were killed by a car bomb near his mother's house.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bonannos, Standing Firm, Reject Prosecution's Deal

Santoro arrested in 2013 for enterprise corruption.

Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora turned down a plea deal for 7-to-21 years in prison Wednesday in exchange for copping to a top count of enterprise corruption. The offer shaves about a year off the minimum term he’d face if convicted at trial on that charge.

Prosecutors also offered Anthony “Skinny” Santoro 9-to-18 years behind bars, the longest term after Santora, which his lawyer said he also wouldn’t accept, noting: “It’s ridiculous, it was a non-violent gambling offense."

Santora and eight associates were busted last August for a variety of mob rackets.

Chicago Outfit Members Arrested for Robbing Cartel Stash Houses

Robert Panozzo, 54, Paul Koroluk, 55, Panozzo's son, Robert Panozzo, Jr., 22,
Maher Abuhabsah, 33, and Koroluk's wife, Maria Koroluk, 53.

Members of a drug-dealing street crew tied to Chicago’s Outfit got their product by posing as police officers to gain access to Mexican Cartel stash houses, which the mobsters then pilfered for drugs.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Mafia crew consisted of four men who are part of the Panozzo-Koroluk Street Crew. The men were known to utilize violent methods, once slicing off the ear of a reported cartel member who lied to them during one robbery.

The Outfit-tied crew members were arrested Thursday after investigators set up a sting operation in Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood.

Robert Panozzo, 54, Paul Koroluk, 55, and Maher Abuhabsah, 33, and Panozzo’s 22-year-old son, Robert Panozzo, Jr., were held without bail in Cook County bond court Saturday.

Milwaukee Phil Drove a "Hitmobile" Too

Milwaukee Phil
A recent story about the killing machine on wheels discovered in New Orleans, the one driven by the son of the underboss of the Marcello crime family that several law enforcement officials insisted no longer exists, reminded us of something we'd come across in our general story research.

Another mobster had also retrofitted a vehicle for killing a lot of people. His name?

Felix "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio (1912-1971) was one of the Chicago Outfit's most feared hitmen.Originally from New York, he moved to Chicago when he was still a child. As a teenager, he moved to Milwaukee where he fought as a boxer under the name of "Milwaukee Phil". .

He's said to have taken out 13 or 14 fellow mobsters deemed unworthy of breathing. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Murder Mobile Tied to Old Mafia Family

Carlos Marcello died in 1993.
A 1998 Ford pulled over for a traffic stop one night in early May in Old Metairie, a major part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, may have opened a can of worms for law enforcement officials in the region.

That is because it seems to indicate a Mafia family, considered long dead, may in fact be quite active.The van, which had stolen license plates, was driven by two men, one of whom was the son of the former underboss of the Carlos Marcello family.

When Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies pulled the van over, they quickly discovered a disturbing scene in back. They had stumbled upon a virtual killing machine.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Leonetti Blames the Father for the Son's Crimes

BAD OLD DAYS: Phil Leonetti, back in his prime.
Leonetti Rips Uncle, Says Cousin Didn't Have A Chance | Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog: "The younger Scarfo never had a chance, said his cousin, mobster-turned-government witness Philip Leonetti.

"He's really not a gangster," Leonetti, 61, said in a telephone interview with Bigtrial this week. "His father had him under his spell...I used to tell him, 'Nicky, get away from these guys.' And when he was talking to me, he would agree' But then he would talk to his father and..."

The words trail off, but the point is clear. Leonetti, the one-time underboss of the Scarfo crime family, followed his cousin's trial from afar.

Detroit Mob Boss Jack Tocco Dies

Tocco, Detroit mob boss, had a bachelor's degree 

Jack Tocco  pleaded for mercy -- perhaps for the first time in his life.

“My wife’s life and my life have been destroyed,” he said . “I would like the privilege of dying at home with my family.”

Tocco wasn't facing one of the hit men like the type he himself had probably ordered over his decades-long run as a mob boss. He was facing a judge in federal court in December 2003.

It was sentencing time for being convicted for running Detroit’s Mafia for 30 years.

Mob Book "Undercover Cop" Not Entirely Accurate...

Mike Russell claims credit for bringing down the Chin.

By Dan Goldberg | The Star-Ledger

As an undercover New Jersey state trooper, Mike Russell says he infiltrated the mob and brought down dozens of wiseguys, all after taking a .32-caliber bullet to the head. It is quite the tale told in “Undercover Cop: How I Brought Down the Real-Life Sopranos,” which was released Aug. 6.

Publisher’s Weekly gave it a glowing review, writing, “This tell-all page-turner is all the better for being true.”

Except it’s not entirely true. Some important facts are at best stretched, at worst fabricated.

If Uncle Joe Retires What Happens in Philadelphia?

Joe Ligambi, who recently got out of prison following two mistrials for what primarily amounted to gambling-related charges, says that he is done, finito, with Cosa Nostra.

Ligambi wants to relax, to summer in Longport and winter in Florida.

Anyone in Ligambi's position would say the same thing, but the question is, does he really meant it?

And if he does, who will step in and take over?

Former Philadelphia Cosa Nostra boss Joe Ligambi
Ligambi received widespread praise for bringing peace
to the worn out Philadelphia family.

The volatility for which the Philadelphia crime family was once well-known can return as swiftly as the time it takes to pull a trigger. Two generations historically at odds with each other have been working together (the old Scarfo gang and the Merlino young turks). The ability to rivet these two enclaves together is among the skills "Uncle Joe" is credited for having. But with or without him, shifts in power are inevitable as the family's composition changes (with some members returning to the street, and others heading off to prison).

As acclaimed crime reporter George Anastasia has written: "History indicates that the job of Philly mob boss leads to a jail cell or a coffin. Of the six mob bosses who preceded Ligambi, two were brutally murdered and the other four ended up doing long prison terms."

Ligambi, 72, is known as the peaceful Don who cooled down flaring tempers and stabilized a crime family riven by decades of strife and rampant violence that began with the spectacular shotgun murder of Angelo Bruno in 1980 and continued on through the regimes of Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, John Stanfa, and Ralph Natale, then Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who, along with the family's young guns, had fought an open war against boss Stanfa for control. (Natale has been described as a front boss for Merlino when Merlino went off to prison.)

Ligambi, who was part of the Scarfo gang but also showed he was able to adapt under Merlino and when the time came, had the chops to be boss and keep the family together.

Ligambi gets kudos (ironically from both law enforcement and the Five Families) for stabilizing the troubled Philadelphia-South Jersey branch of the American Cosa Nostra, thereby ending the violence.
He also revived the crime family, which was close to extinction.

But he's a wealthy man (most likely) and has served a lot of time in prison. By remaining boss, it's quite likely he will return to prison eventually. So it's a matter of, what's most important to him now. Continuing to build a crime family, a difficult task these days, may no longer top his list, especially with the shifting alliances on the street as old Scarfo loyalists return from prison.

As George Anastasia wrote: "... is it any wonder that Ligambi, who has spent more than 12 years of his adult life behind bars, has had enough? He did 10 years for the murder of Frank “Frankie Flowers” D’Alfonso before the conviction was overturned in 1997. After his indictment in May 2011 on racketeering conspiracy, gambling, and loan-sharking charges, Ligambi was held without bail for more than two years while awaiting trial.

"...Ligambi had a relatively peaceful and, one would assume, lucrative run. He may be smart enough now to just walk away. In the past year, he has beaten the feds twice in a case that has landed 10 of his associates in jail. That case finally came to an end last month with prosecutors announcing they did not intend to try him a third time. It was a victory for the mob leader and his nephew and co-defendant George Borgesi, who was acquitted of a conspiracy charge."

That could very well mean the Feds have dropped a case they considered a loser in order to focus on another one.

They certainly have major crimes on the book, the kind that doesn't go away based on statutes of limitations.

In Ligambi's case, peace should not be mistaken for weakness.

Three major murders remain unsolved -- all of which occurred during Ligambi’s reign. These are the hits on Ronnie Turchi in 1999, Raymond “Long John” Martorano in 2002, and John “Johnny Gongs” Casasanto in 2003.

"Authorities have names connected to those shootings and bits and pieces of information upon which to build cases," Anastasia wrote.

No indictments appear to be forthcoming, but Ligambi, a long-time mobster, knows the past -- especially what's happened to many others who have had his job.

Angelo Bruno was a Sicilian-American mobster with close ties to Carlo Gambino. Bruno ran the family for two decades until his murder in 1980.

Bruno -- born Angelo Annaloro -- was, like Ligambi, a peaceful man, called "The Gentle Don." He ran the Philly mob from 1959 until his death in 1980. His reign is viewed as the Philly family's golden age. It's difficult to believe Ligambi, or anyone, could revive the family's fortunes to that extent, which can be said for American Cosa Nostra in general. The golden days are over.

Bruno preferred deal-making and bribery to murder. He hated flashy thugs like the diminutive Scarfo who Bruno once said was as worthless as a paperclip. Eventually, Bruno got rid of Scarfo, not by whacking him, but rather by "banishing" the violent-prone gangster  to the then-backwater of Atlantic City.

During his time in power, Bruno shunned the spotlights of both the media and law enforcement, much as Gambino himself had done. All of this, of course, was before the FBI's "full court press" application of the RICO act. Bruno focused on traditional organized crime businesses, such as gambling and loansharking. He also was personally involved in the lucrative vending machine business. Apparently, despite his moniker, he was quite willing to threaten store owners who didn't want to work with him.

Then, from about 1970 to 1977, Bruno vanished. In 1970 he was off to prison for refusing to appear before a Grand Jury. He was sentenced to three years but was let out early based on a medical condition (a bleeding ulcer). He then flew to Italy to revive himself. When he returned the criminal landscape had evolved a bit.

Gambino had died, and Bruno now appeared to be a weak boss in the eyes of his own consiglieri, Anthony "Tony Bananas" Caponigro, who'd been scheming for years and finally launched his coup on March 21, 1980, when the 69-year-old Bruno had his head blasted apart with a shotgun while seated in his car in front of his home at the intersection of 10th Street and Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia.

Nicky Scarfo is widely considered to be
responsible for creating deeply rooted
turmoil in Philly that remains today.
Caponigro had made a fatal mistake and the Commission took action. A few weeks later, Caponigro's body was found stuffed in a body bag in the trunk of a car in New York City. About $300 in bills were jammed in his mouth and ass (signs of greed). He'd been tortured and killed; associates implicated in the attempted coup were later whacked one by one.

The Commission had ordered Caponigro's murder because he assassinated Bruno without their sanction. It's been said that Caponigro had been a victim of the machinations of the Genovese family, who had attempted to stir up unrest within the Philly family, possible for reasons having to do with Atlantic City.

The Commission officially crowned Bruno's underboss, Philip Testa, who quickly moved to build up the family, inducting new members and, in an effort to unify the family, promoting certain others.

In an amazing development, Testa's reign ended abruptly, in about a year, when a nail bomb blew him to pieces in front of his house. Peter Casella, who Testa had made his underboss, and Frank "Chickie" Narducci, a capo, were behind the plot.

The Commission, once again defied, determined what had happened. Scarfo, who'd earlier been promoted to consiglieri, was promoted to boss. Casella fled to Florida, where he later died of natural causes, and
Narducci was gunned down in the streets.

Scarfo ran a particularly ruthless regime and ordered over a dozen murders during his tenure. The big Scarfo trials of the 1980s, and then those of Stanfa and Merlino in the 1990s decimated the mob in Philadelphia, as did the murders ordered by Scarfo and the ones resulting from she shooting war between Stanfa and Merlino, who survived several botched hit attempts.

So if Ligambi steps down, considering that the Philly mob is composed of two distinct generations, old timers from the Scarfo era and the young Merlino turks, who would take over?

As Anastasia noted, George Borgesi, 50 is back on the street and "remains a wild card for those watching where the mob may be headed."

Some are wondering if "Skinny Joey" will return. He's been in Florida since his release from prison three years ago and insists he has no desire to return to South Philadelphia.

Two top Merlino associates, Steven Mazzone and John Ciancaglini, are also back on the street; some allege Ciancaglini controls rackets that once belonged to Borgesi, who could make a move to retake them.

Another key figure to watch is Phil Narducci, 52, a mob soldier who spent more than 20 years in jail. He belonged to the Scarfo organization in 1988 when convicted. Narducci said he had no intention of going back to that life. But law enforcement sources say otherwise. Philip Leonetti, the Scarfo underboss who became a key government witness, said Narducci is the one to watch. “He’s a real gangster,” Leonetti told Anastasia; he said the Scarfo guys who are home--Narducci, his brother Frank, the Pungitore brothers, Joe Grande and others--still view Merlino, and even Borges, as “punks” who used the Scarfo rep to prosper in the underworld.

Meanwhile, Scarfo son Nicodemo S. and mob wannabe Salvatore Pelullo are on trial in federal court for secretly taking control of  a Texas-based mortgage company in 2007 from which Scarfo, 48, and Pelullo, 45, allegedly pocketed $12 million (and played the theme to "The Godfather" film at a celebratory dinner with the board).

While Ligambi's trial was about $5,000 gambling debts and $25,000 extortionate loans — federal prosecutors in Camden were detailing purchases of Bentleys ($217,000), yachts ($850,000) and lavish homes ($715,000) with money allegedly taken from FirstPlus Financial, the mortgage company.

In another federal courthouse in Philadelphia, defense attorneys are negotiating a global plea deal for Joe Vito Mastronardo and a dozen co-defendants in a multimillion-dollar bookmaking case.

Mastronardo, according to the indictment, had clients betting from $20,000 to $50,000 per game. Wire transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars to offshore bank accounts were discovered. More than $1 million in cash was found buried in Mastronardo's backyard.

"... the Scarfo and Mastronardo cases are examples of where the money is and where the mob, at least the few mobsters who have the smarts to pull it off, will go," Anastasia wrote.

Does It Matter Who's Boss in Philly?

Gorgeous George walks out of jail after 13 years. It wasn't a total waste of time
as the hottie on his arm married him while he was in the clink.

George Borgesi, 50, is trying to take the big seat, a source told Cosa Nostra News, but he is facing pressure from allies of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

Borgesi ain't no Joe Ligambi would be an understatement; the two (Uncle Joe really is Borgesi's uncle) don't like each other. Skinny Joey doesn't like Borgesi, either.

And as the troubled, fracture Philly mob prepares to evolve (likely not for the better), other ethnic crime groups, including one considered a threat to national security, are vying for power.

"Georgie Boy" has nevertheless been trying to assert himself -- and one person telling him to stop is Skinny Joey, through his viceroys on the street: Stevie Mazzone and John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini, both of whom are from the tough South Philadelphia faction.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Drunken Monkey Slugger Pleads Not Guilty; More Blog Buzz for DiMichele

Fasano and his attorney in court.
The man accused of fatally punching another man outside the Drunken Money in West Brighton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today for manslaughter and other charges.

The bar was made famous based on its affiliation to Big Ang Raiola, one of the stars of the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives."

Stephen Fasano, 23, punched Abdou Cisse, 46, in the head, knocking him to the ground, and cracking his skull on June 8 outside the Drunken Monkey bar, said authorities.

Cisse was trying to calm down Fasano outside the bar, and Fasano responded by punching him twice in the face — not once, as initially reported by police.

What Followed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Reenactment of the killing of seven men on Al Capone's orders.

Cosa Nostra News is pleased to present the following story by author Chriss Lyon, who wrote the true crime book "A Killing in Capone's Playground."

Everyone has heard of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the 1929 slaughter of seven associates of the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran during the Prohibition Era.

Not many are aware of the events that followed, however, which exposed small town America to the inner workings of big city brutality.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Judge Block Decides Patsy Was Indeed a "Patsy"

Judge Block sides with young wiseguy.
As Jerry Capeci reported a few weeks ago on, a guilty Florida-based Colombo crime family associate facing two years in prison for money laundering got off with no prison time.

The Colombo associate can thank, of all people, the judge.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederick Block decided that Patsy Truglia, who was convicted for participating in a money laundering scheme with his crime family's consigliere, was really a "patsy" in the case.

The Colombo consiglieri, Thomas Farese, was arrested around 6 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2012, by FBI agents in south Florida, where he lives, officials said. He had just been promoted to his new post around that time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Canadian Hit Man Ken Murdock Paroled

The Musitano brothers who once employed Murdock and were Rizzuto allies.
Canadian hit man Kenneth Murdock is out on parole, the National Post's Adrian Humphreys has reported.

Murdock played a pivotal role in mob politics in the Hamilton area of Toronto, where he was sentenced to "life" for killing mob boss Johnny "Pops" Papalia and two of his close associates on the orders of his long time employers, the Musitano crime family, one of three key crime families in the Hamilton region. The other two were the Luppinos and Papalias.

According to Murdock himself, shortly after the hit on Johnny Papalia in 1996, the Musitanos had considered taking out the three brothers who together ran the Luppino family, presumably in a move to dominate Hamilton, a key city in the Ontario province in terms of historical organized crime.

PBS Analyzes Mob Boss's Role in Case of Hoffa Disappearance

2015 Update: Get ready to get sick of Jimmy Hoffa. The 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the notorious mobbed-up former Teamsters boss swiftly approaches...

Citizens' Voice: "New light is shed on the old mystery in an episode of “History Detectives Special Investigations,” “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” which aired on July 22 on PBS and its affiliates.

Hoffa, the former head of the Teamsters union, vanished from the face of the earth on July 30, 1975. No trace of him has ever come to light.

The History Detectives’ investigation focuses on who killed Hoffa and why.

The who is most likely hit man Frank Sheeran, who did so at the directive of Kingston-based mafia boss Russell Bufalino, according to some experts.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Today in '72: Sinatra Made Explosive Performance for House Committee

Sinatra wasn't smiling at House
Crime Committee.
On July 19, 1972: Frank Sinatra burst into the House Crime Committee pursued by a pack of photographers and television cameramen and denounced it for a character assassination.

"I am not a second-class citizen – let's make that clear," said the singer angrily in an opening statement made when he was flanked by his lawyer. "How do you repair the damage that has been done to my reputation by a second-class punk?"

Sinatra had been asked to appear to explain why he had invested $55,000 in the Mafia-controlled Berkshire Downs racetrack.

The Crime Committee had threatened to subpoena Sinatra to appear and was also interested in the Rat Pack leader's response to Joseph "The Baron" Barboza's allegations that the singer had business dealings with Raymond Patriarca, whom the Crime Committee had named a "New England organised crime figure."

Veteran British Newscaster Explores American Mafia

Sir Trevor Howard
What is interesting about this upcoming show is that they contacted yours truly to meet with them (the production team). 

They never followed through and called me when they were in New York, but I've heard over the months from various guys who are starring on the show. One in particular told me he was the sole focus of the show, which is not true. I did learn quite a bit from that piece of business, however....

From York Press: "Sir Trevor McDonald is set to take on the Mafia in a new ITV documentary.

The veteran broadcaster wants to show viewers the "reality" and not the "mythology" of the Mob in the show.

Trevor will look at the day-to-day lives of men within the secret crime organisation as well as undercover law enforcement figures, the Radio Times reported.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Renee's "Gruesome Ass Renovation" Brings New Fan...

Cosa Nostra News is hereby a confirmed fan of Renee Graziano's. ""Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano got worked over HARD by a plastic surgeon -- while wide awake -- all in the pursuit of the perfect butt, and the video is a total train wreck ... centered on the caboose, of course.

Graziano tells TMZ she sought out fat-sucking lipo doc Ayman Shahine to harvest gobs of fat from her butt and lower back to re-shape her ass. As we told you ... GG from "Shahs of Sunset" also got a butt lift recently.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Story of Spero and the Bath Ave. Boys

Paul Gulino, left, with Jimmy Calandra.

Story is here: Bath Avenue Crew Rose High, Fell Hard

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DiMichele Pleads Guilty Again, Agrees to $40G Restitution

Alicia DiMichele is due to plead guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court next month for stealing union funds, the newspapers reported today.

We'll believe it when it happens, as this case has been fraught with twists and turns.

This means DiMichele will change her plea yet again in order to agree to pay $40,000 in restitution to Teamsters Local 282 for embezzling funds "— but her brother had to step in Tuesday to write the first check," the New York Daily News reported

Brother Anthony wrote a check out for the initial restitution payment of $20,000.

As noted, Judge Sandra Townes allowed DiMichele to change her not guilty plea because the judge had decided to impose a restitution amount even larger than the hefty $116,000 prosecutors were then seeking.

The parties had originally agreed to an amount of $20,000. Basically, Townes prompted DiMichele to agree to pay twice the amount of the original agreement.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ava D'Arco: Mob Boss's Daughter Like No Other

Ava at a masquerade party
Ava Marie D'Arco, daughter of Al D'Arco, is wary to say much on the record beyond the words her father offered us in "Mob Boss," the book about his life and times in the Luchese family and afterward.

Ava is mentioned a few times in the book, along with the rest of her family and the places they lived, probably the only places where Al could go and not have the weight of the mob and its politics on his head.

Ava was witness to much, but says very little.

An early mention of her in "Mob Boss" has her sitting in a high chair while Al is readying to serve his first real time in prison.

It's a telling detail, Ava sitting in the high chair, a silent witness to what was occurring, stretching across the decades of her and her family's life in New York. With a major mob figure for a father, she must've been witness to quite a lot.

But in our ongoing correspondence, she prefers to tell me things like: "I never smoked a cigarette a day in my life. I never drink, except for special occasions and then it would be only maybe a single glass of wine."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

For Alleged Colombo Capo, Crime Really Does Pay

John Staluppi, an American yachtsman supposedly known as much for his love of James Bond action films as yachts, is building up a super fleet of megayachts.

Diamonds Are Forever is his latest addition, and at 200 feet and with four decks, it is Staluppi’s largest megayacht to date. The ship's luxurious design includes two panoramic master suites and four guest staterooms; it even includes a central elevator.

John Staluppi -- yacht owner and James Bond aficionado -- was identified by the FBI as a member of the Colombo crime family.
The World Is Not Enough, indeed.....
Staluppi -- yacht owner and James Bond aficionado -- was identified by the FBI as a member of the Colombo family back in the early 1990s. An informer told the Feds Staluppi switched sides during the Colombo war in 1992, which quite a few guys did after potential usurper Vittorio Orena, with whom Staluppi had been aligned, was arrested.

But Staluppi still seems to have made it in the macro world, to the extent that the media seems to know him better as a yachtsman and a car dealer and a lover of 007 action flicks -- than as a mobster.

A source, a former law enforcement official, alerted CNNews to Staluppi's doings in legitimate business with the Diamonds are Forever acquisition.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New York Has 5 Families, But New Jersey Has Seven

South Philadelphia mob associate John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto wanted to become a made member of one of New York's historic Five Families, the Gambino crime family, in 2002.

But Johnny Gongs ran out of time. New York remained a hope and a dream for Johnny Gongs. And all his hopes and dreams came to an end when he was murdered the next year, by the mob family in Philadelphia.

John Alite told authorities he had met with Casasanto several times after Casasanto came home from prison in 2002. According to Casasanto, Gotti wanted Alite to bring him to New York "to introduce him to a couple of guys . . . to get him straightened out," Alite testified.

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Lynda Milito Blasts Multimillion-Dollar Gravano Daughter Book

First ran on 3/26/11 -- another all-time top 5 story seemingly unaccounted for in our stats... reposting it; subject matter still relevant, it would seem. reported: Self-proclaimed "Mafia Wife" author Lynda Milito said "Mob Wives" reality show star Karen Gravano is "giving Staten Island a bad name."

"She's writing a book?" asked Mrs. Milito in a late night phone call to the Advance. "She doesn't know what she's talking about. How can she? She was only 13 when her father did what he did and my husband disappeared."

Mrs. Milito, 64, widow of Gambino captain Louie Milito, said she is "furious" that Ms. Gravano, 38, daughter of turncoat Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, is inking a tome about growing up mobbed up.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What Happened at Calabria's Gioia Tauro Port One Day

A United States cargo vessel loaded with hundreds of tons of Syria's chemical weapons left an Italian port Wednesday to destroy the arms at sea as part of the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapon stockpile.

The MV Cape Ray steamed out of the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro after a 12-hour operation to transfer the chemicals from a Danish ship, the Ark Futura.

It was heading into the open sea where it will neutralize the chemicals — including mustard gas and the raw materials for sarin nerve gas — with special machinery outfitted in its cargo hold.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Luchese Family Poised to Massacre Albanians in '04

Alex Rudaj, former Albanian boss.
EXCLUSIVE: Back in the 1990s, the Albanian Mafia in New York was named the Rudaj Organization, for Alex Rudaj, the boss of the group.

But the members gave their group a formal name: "The Corporation." They started operating in 1993 in Westchester, then spread into the Bronx and Queens, eventually running into mob-affiliated crews.

The Corporation's operations ceased in late October of 2004, when Alex Rudaj and 21 others were hurriedly arrested by the FBI and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office.

The arrests of the Albanians occurred earlier than the Feds had planned because they had gathered some intel that Luchese family members were arming themselves to the teeth and were planning to shoot it out with the Albanians and kill as many of them as they could.

Scarfo, Pelullo Face 30 to Life for FirstPlus Crimes

Nicky Scarfo Jr. 

Luchese mobster Nicodemo S. Scarfo and associate Salvatore Pelullo were convicted today of looting more than $12 million in less than a year from a mortgage company, and used the money to buy homes, weapons, ammunition, a plane, luxury cars, jewelry and an $850,000 yacht they named "Priceless."

Both men, because of prior criminal convictions and their roles in the racket, face 30 years to life. Judge Kugler is slated to sentence the two in October.

Specifically, Scarfo, the son of former Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo D. Scarfo, was convicted of multiple counts of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Pelullo, who prosecutors said ran the business takeover, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and related counts.

Scarfo and his co-defendants used threats of harm to take over the board of publicly held FirstPlus Financial Group, a Texas-based mortgage company. Then they had the company buy shell companies the co-defendants owned so they could steal the assets, prosecutors contended. FirstPlus is now defunct.

The government said the men conspired in 2007 to get the money from FirstPlus by hiring shell companies owned by Pelullo and Scarfo as consultants, then by using FirstPlus to buy those and other shell companies the two formed.

Brothers John and William Maxwell, both executives at FirstPlus, were found guilty Thursday of wire fraud. The judge revoked their bail, saying they faced more than 20 years.

Scarfo and Pelullo have been held without bail since December of 2011.

During the trial, prosecutors played for jurors recordings that they said established that the business dealings were mob-related, including some jailhouse recordings of conversations involving the elder Scarfo in which his son and Pelullo talk about the company takeover.

In 1989, the younger Scarfo was the victim of what authorities have described as an attempted mob hit in a South Philadelphia Italian restaurant. He was shot a half-dozen times. His father, sharing a prison cell with Luchese boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, made an arrangement whereby his son was inducted in the Luchese family.

Blogs Keep Shilling for "Mob Wives"--Possible Sale Means Nothing to Fans

Jen Graziano, producer of "Mob Wives."
If the Weinsteins were to sell the television segment of the company, assets would include“Mob Wives” ... Some blogs are creating the impression this means the end for the show! But think about it -- would you spend a fortune on a reality show -- and then toss it? Does that make any kind of sense...?

They use a scrap of info from one blog -- The show's been filming for a few weeks -- but it is boring!

...And Alicia DiMichele quit! The fans want her back! So the producers want her back!

... And Renee Graziano hasn't even started filming yet because she's still promoting a book!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Which Mobster Would You Be?

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