Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What Does Today’s Mob Look Like?



We don't believe the Sicilian Mafia controls any of the Five Families (or any American Mafia family, period) as the author posits in the following story. He never replied to our query for clarification.


The Death of the Mafia?
Harvard Political Review:
In mid-1950s, the Italian-American criminal organization known as Cosa Nostra was enjoying the peak of its political influence and economic success. At the time, many questioned the organization’s presence. 

J. Edgar Hoover completely denied its existence for years. And unfortunately for the criminals describing themselves as “businessmen,” their reign atop the criminal underworld was swiftly coming to a close. Why did the power of Cosa Nostra begin to decline? Is this decline indicative of the death of the mob? And what does today’s mob look like?




The factors that led to this near cessation of overwhelming power are numerous, but two stand out as the most influential. The first is the death of omertà, the code of silence, and the resulting convictions. The second factor involved other criminal organizations pushing Cosa Nostra to the periphery as a result of competition. In spite of these factors, though, the mafia is still very much alive.

Death in the Family
The downsizing of the mafia began in 1959 with the arrest of Joe Valachi. Valachi was associated with the Genovese family of New York, which was prominent in Cosa Nostra. Offered a deal in which he could either testify about the mafia or face the death penalty, Valachi decided to talk. In an interview with the HPR, Jeffrey Robinson, author of The Merger: How Organized Crime is Taking Over the World, claimed that this was a pivotal point in the history of the Italian mob: “He broke omertà. That’s really a very important moment because until then nobody talked … the FBI realized that they could get inside Italian organized crime.” According to Robinson, FBI agents began approaching mob figures and offer protection from prosecution in exchange for information on other mobsters. It was an overwhelmingly successful approach.

This strategy leveled serious blows to the structure of Cosa Nostra, culminating in the Mafia Commission Trials of 1987 that indicted each head of New York’s Five Families. In 1992, even John Gotti, known as “Teflon Don” because charges never seemed to stick to him, was convicted on charges related to his organized crime activities. Omertà was dead for Cosa Nostra. According to Robinson, so many people flipped that the Sicilian mafia was able to enter the scene and take control of three of the Five Families of New York. They have maintained control to this day.

Ending an Illegal Monopoly
Cosa Nostra’s peaceful cooperation with other criminal organizations also contributed to the group’s decline. Traditionally, moving onto another group’s territory ensured a war. But according to Robinson, as Russian fraudsters relocated to Miami (Colombian territory)—followed by Italians interested in the heroin market—nobody was being killed. Law enforcement soon came to believe that this was because of collaboration between the organizations. When crack cocaine became readily available, many new criminal organizations got involved, and their quickly expanding influence muscled Cosa Nostra into the periphery. This loss of total power, coupled with the end of omertà, forced the Cosa Nostra into a largely successful effort to downsize.

Several criminal organizations, such as the Russian mob and the Mexican cartels, have filled Cosa Nostra’s power void in the United States. New York University professor Mark Galeotti told the HPR that Russian operations in the United States consist mainly of fraud, including schemes that target the U.S. government. He explains, “There are millions upon millions [of dollars] being looted from Medicare and Medicaid [by Russian organized crime].” Similarly, law enforcement has largely failed in stopping the Mexican drug cartels. In an interview with the HPR, Ioan Grillo, author of El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, argued that despite efforts by law enforcement to stop the cartels, “you still have a drug industry, you still have thousands and thousands of people working for organized crime, you still have millions of consumers of drugs, and you still have high levels of violence.” Grillo also acknowledged the success of other organizations in exporting their gangs to the United States, particularly Colombian gangs and Jamaican “posses.” These organizations may have supplanted the former power and influence of Cosa Nostra. However, despite their reduced influence, the Italians continue to operate.

Into the Modern Era
In the wake of September 11, the FBI’s focus on organized crime has decreased sharply in favor of counterterrorism operations. In a government document titled “10 Years After: The FBI After 9/11,” the FBI acknowledged that it shifted resources from criminal matters to counterterrorism. The document notes that the number of counterterrorist intelligence analysts has doubled. According to current New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton in a 2007 Policing article, “As law enforcement reacted to the aftermath of 9/11, and the United States’ federal dollars and priorities shifted, organized crime groups were able to exploit the reduction in law enforcement attention and moved aggressively to establish new ‘trade routes’ and alliances.” In a 2011 interview with CUNY TV, former New York Times reporter Selwyn Raab claimed that there were once 500 members of law enforcement working on organized crime in New York City. Now, he said, there are around 50, enabling the survival of Cosa Nostra.

According to Robinson, Italian-American organized crime has found a niche role in construction, extortion and protection rackets. In the construction industry, he explains, Cosa Nostra profits by winning bids to do contract work and then fraudulently collecting revenue for unnecessary or absent employees. According to a close friend of Robinson’s who is now in the witness protection program, five percent of all construction funds in the city of New York go to the mafia. Joseph Pistone, a former FBI agent who infiltrated Cosa Nostra in New York, told Quebec’s Charbonneau Commission, which was investigating construction bid corruption, that the mob controls the construction industry via unions. He said that the mafia bosses control unions and subsequently threaten to strike if the company doesn’t relinquish a “fee.” Robinson adds that the mafia still operates protection rackets, in which a business owner will be threatened and then asked to pay a fee for “protection” from this threat.

Despite its reduced influence, Italian-American organized crime is unquestionably alive. The death of omertà, combined with a crowded criminal market, resulted in a downsizing of Cosa Nostra’s criminal operations. It has transformed from a monopoly on the criminal underworld to another small player in a global network. Despite its diminished influence, it has successfully downsized its operations, paving the way for a sustainable, albeit smaller, operation. Cosa Nostra is not dead, and won’t be anytime soon.

Image Source: PD Pics/Pixabay

65 comments :

  1. Hey Ed, I have just listened to an interview that John Alite done in Florida with some radio station. He mentions your website and recommends that everyone go take a look. Here's the problem.. He continues on to say that you have done "numerous interview" with John Jr. And that in the beginning he (Alite ) was turning down all of your requests for an interview but later he gave in. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've read a few of your comments and articles and you have always stated that you have never done an interview with Jr but that you would love to. I only listened to the Alite interview because I've seen you defend him on numerous occasions and I really wanted to give him the benefit of doubt but it only proved one thing to me. The guy is a liar and if lies so easily about something as small as you having interviewed Jr then it is clear to me that he has lied about bigger more important things. He's garbage. The guy is garbage.

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  2. Hello Ed, the zips now run the Gambino family, the Gotti leftovers are just that, the zips are in control. Big question is what the zips do with Gene Gotti, he'll be out in 2 years after doing a 30 year bid, as he must be rewarded, if not it sets a very bad example.
    The Bonanno's have their own zip faction, and they stick closely together on their own, as they are afraid of "lazy fat American rats" that have been common place in the Bonanno's for the 10 years.
    The other three NY families have very little if any zip presence at all.
    Ed, when are you going to have the lovable "DC" on again? I just hope that the rank and file here behave if and when he comes on here again, because they didn't behave the last 2 times he's been on!

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  3. I have heard different scenarios from different people, with some saying Peter Gotti is still official boss and others saying Arnold Zeke is. Apparently, Peter Gotti was named official at some point. I don't know if Squitieri was ever more than acting. But you're right, I was incorrect the Gambinos Sicilians are high profile, I was thinking about the Bonannos and Decavalcantes.

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  4. Yes, and if a guy is "put on the shelf" your not suppose to deal with him or even socialize With him.

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  5. Ed, are you saying that Cali/Cefalu could be lightning rods, so to speak? Are the Gambinos going the way of the Genovese to confuse people about who's in charge?

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  6. Also will you follow up your Decavalcante post about their resurgence?

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  7. Ed, beautiful story at the beginning. I'm feeling a resurgence after reading. How about we round up some bloggers and go out on a stick up? Whatever happens happens, guns ablazin, we go out in glory!

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  8. That part of the Carlo book on Gaspipe disturbed me. There could hardly be a more unsympathetic figure than Gas, but I completely believe they shut him down because he would tear a gaping hole in the narrative the Feds spun, and garnered several convictions from. I am still convinced that as bad as Gotti was, Sammy was worse (if such qualifiers even mean much when discussing murderous gangsters), and that there is something very awful afoot when the govt gets in bed with one murderer to put away someone who has killed less than the informant. That road ultimately leads to the Barboza infamita, where innocent men were robbed of their lives on the word of a lying murderer like the Animal.

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  9. Aren't they also affiliated with the Zetas in Mexico, who supply them with coke to flood Europe with? I thought I read that Mexico arrested a Calab a couple of years ago.

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  10. After all the damage the Gottis have done, why would
    the Gambinos want anyone with that name at the helm?

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  11. Wow ..alite ..gotti jr..when anyone who is made or not makes a deal..does a 302 is an informant.jr who is one of the biggest gangsters son knows this..plus jr admitted he ratted on joe watts and dan marino ..case closed. Like anyone else he talked..his dad ..from what I know killed a guy for not coming in to a sit down..what do you think he would think about he son giving up guys..doing 302's! Alite jr.. henry hill anyone..302.. you talk..yr an informant..it is what it is..just never thought id see a gotti talk..but massino did it..but the son of JOHN GOTTI'? Then make a video..crazy? wow. .here is true story.. guy says they tried to hit gotti at the cvs drug store.& missed kinda makes sense..this come from a real street guy..Jr the guy has balls..i lide to feds.. I made a fake proffer.. I only ratted 2 guys ..its like a scene out of the sopranos..with pussy bumpensaro,.he gets pinched for selling h..then tony soprano finds out about the 302..took him on a one way boat ride..no videos made with lawyers..but he makes up stories when questioned..its DISINFORMATION.lol but JOHN GOTTI JR ,302! He says the zips run the show.. guess we will see how it all plays out..

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  12. Got to agree with u there hawkman. If hes is official boss its gotta be in name only.

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  13. That says a lot about the author!


    None of the 6 NY/NJ families are controlled by the Sicilian mafia although they do have influence in some families more some than others. Take the Gambinos for instance if you agree that Cefalu and Cali are the top guys yes they are sicilian but they are both made into American Cosa Nostra not the Sicilian mafia. They both have been here for decades.....John Gotti himself made Cefalu not some boss in Palermo. So even tho these guys are Sicilian by birth they are American Mafia thru and thru. Mikey Nose, Vinny TV, Barney, Benny Eggs, Herbie, Matty, Charlie Ears and his guys all American.

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  14. Just finished watching John Jr. on CNN, us in the know can say what we want about him as far as the 302, Alite saying he's a punk n rat but, the average people who just saw that which is in the millions are infatuated with that last name and the stories he just told about his father n family, his book was highlighted, you can believe sales are gonna go through the roof after that interview, Alite wishes he had that kind of platform.

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  15. To me, Gotti was a charismatic, tough talking sort who played the role well and had an insane amount of balls and the recklessness of the gambler he was. His charisma pulled others toward him and in his orbit. I've always thought what he pulled off with the whacking of Big Paul a textbook case of how to pull off a coup, and to do it so brazenly, and with the implicit or explicit assistance of so many legitimately rough guys still amazes me. But as a chief executive he was completely unfit, unsophisticated, greedy and far too enamored of himself. He destroyed the Gambinos. Everyone else with his last name had all of his negative traits and none of the traits that enabled him to pull off such an incredible coup d'état.....

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  16. But isn't that exactly the point? Thirty years later and the Gottis' constant craving for a "platform" are STILL haunting the Gambino family...

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  17. You think I'm making this up? You're a guy whose comments I read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/30/nyregion/9-men-posing-as-police-are-indicted-in-3-murders.html

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  18. Someone made a comment on here that is quite correct. The Sicilian Cosa Nostra doesn't control any American families (the writer doesn't come close to proving his blind assertion.... Sicilian members dominate at least one, maybe two of the five families but I don't believe they're beholden to Sicily at all. Cali is related to a Sicilian clan. The Bonanno family certainly has a lively Sicilian faction that was pushing for Vinny Asaro to be boss. I'm speculating as to the third. I find it interesting that the writer (Harvard???) doesn't name the three families.

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  19. Historically but maybe things have changed but from what I have seen and heard I have not seen any evidence that the Sicillian factions of any one family control those respective families in whole. I know Frank Cali married into the Inzerillo clan and was close to a young boss I believe by the name of Gianni Nichi who was very close to to Antonio Rotolo who was one of three bosses in sicily who controlled policy for a time along with Bernardo Provenzano, Salvatore Lo Piccolo but I am pretty sure all are in jail under 41 bis restrictions so how far Calis reach is now is anybodys guess. And the Sicilians in the Bonanno family are not a secret, I remember reading that Toto Catalano was named boss for a short time in the early 80s but had to step aside because of the language barrier. I doubt it would be any easier today. Havent the Sicily guys that were born there and came here or Canada mainly involved in Dope. And in Philly in the 90s Merlinos guys made fun of Stanfa calling him a greaser as they didnt understand him nut what I am saying is that in todays times I just cant see a guy who is truly Sicillian through and through being able to get through to a group as big as the Gambinos as they are Americanized more now than ever. But I may be wrong Im sure if their is money to be made anybody could be boss

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  20. Last post was meant for Johnny D.

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  21. Gotti as you stated is loved by millions and has the attention of the average American moron who has his or her head in the sand like an ostrich. 302 or no 302 this isnt about getting his version of events out there this is about striking while the iron is hot and making as much dough as possible. Im assuming that is why the interview will be aired in installments so CNN adjust advertising costs. And just like Vicky Gotti not knowing her husband was mobbed up I find it hard to believe Mama Gotti did not know her son was in the mob until 93 when she found out he was targeted for murder. Plenty of books and news articles and her husbands Rico trials I am sure touched on it but fantasy land is what you say it is. I am sure she is a very smart lady and street savvy enough to probably think in circa 1990 whatever my son owns millions in real estate doesnt have a set work schedule, hangs out all day at the Bergin with that garbage pail and miscreant Johnny Alite and my husband his father is the most powerful mobster in New York and he tells me he is making all his money in the truckin business. Im sure his occupation was known but moms are moms so I wont delve any further. Just like growing up Gotti and RHONJ for Vicky this is Juniors platform to make some bread I just wonder if they ever cut Pete or Angel in. I hope they make a truckload of money and move to Canada as John Jr said he wished to do years ago but oh wait he cant their is real mafioso up there.

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  22. His interview is like the superbowl halftime show once a year Joe Blow grabs a six pack stick his hand in his waistband and tries to make his wife believe he is interested but doesnt realize true football fans dont watch or remember the halftime BS. What I am trying to say is that anybody who follows these things will not remember his book in ten years or refer back to it time and again for fact checking because most of it is probably fabricated by ghost writers. Just like I dont remember what year Janet Jackson flashed America. I wanna hear from Peter and his other sister Angel why dont they get any press lol

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  23. George Anastasia and Capeci and I would also include Swelyn Raab are premier OC crime writers I doubt he would co sign a bunch of lies printed with his name on the cover if in fact your saying the book is BS. But I bet ya on a fact for fact basis he makes In the shadow of Daddy look like a Kurt Vonagutt novel compared to Gotti Rules

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  24. This is the comment!! Thanks for pointing this out. Few reporters cover the mob like a beat in the old days so a lot of stories like the above are written by I assume academics who don't really know what is going on....

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  25. The point is once you're made official.....

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  26. Indeed this would be the scenario. The Lucheses and Colombo families supposedly both have imprisoned bosses. May be a trend to buffer the street bosses....

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  27. Gotti, say whatever about him now, he was a pigeon, oops I mean peacock (inside joke) he destroyed the mob, etc, but he was the closest thing to a boss of bosses in the sense that he controlled four crime families during his reign (true, the other two tried to kill him). His word was law and his power was absolute, I can agree with Junior on that point.

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  28. He wasn't lying, he was mistaken. He sent me the clip to listen to and I heard what you're talking about.John A didn't start speaking to me until I came to my own conclusions and wrote a few stories about Junior's book. He knows now I've never spoken to Junior. When a major source and gatekeeper starts talking you don't annoy him. I don't believe he ever said that again. But the bigger issue is do you honestly believe what's written in Shadow about, say, the Silver Fox murders? I wrote some pointed criticism of Junior, probably the harshest stuff written about him. It's not easy to basically call for a guy's murder which I essentially did in a story about the proffer session. I don't like doing it but when I write these stories I'm thinking about all the guys who were murdered for even suspected of being rats -- and all the guys who were compelled to flip for a variety of reasons.Some guys flip for self-serving reasons (Hector Pagan) but some were in a no win situation. Some of you don't believe that. And you seem to be the same guys who defend everything junior does. You can't have it both ways. Junior acknowledges he's gotten away with stuff that others never could have gotten away with. I was highlighting this fact. We citizens can debate what a proffer is. I quite understand the "no damage" argument. At the same time, to gangsters there's no question. I got a lot of feedback about the proffer. They hear 302 and they have an instinctive reaction. And they know a lot of lives were destroyed for doing a lot less than a proffer.

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  29. I keep hearing this from a few people but they never give me specifics. I've done a lot of soul searching and have had a few "background discussions." Two things are pointed out to me. What jurors thought about him following the fourth trial and the incident about the guy John abused, threw into a lake, etc., then said junior gave him the okay..... or whatever. It's not convincing evidence to me. But I'm going to look for any info about that post-trial jury pool and report back.

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  30. I would definitely agree with that. For better or worse (much worse for the long term health of the Gambinos in particular and the five families in general), Gotti was "the man"---but I wonder sometimes why he could attract so many followers
    but an even bigger psychopath like Gas couldn't?

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  31. Danny, we think alike.
    You ask great questions! Tick, I wonder that myself. I think I read that he was let out due to advanced age and illness and that the evidence didn't actually show he was quite as culpable as the other defendants. I really wonder what he's doing. Is the family taking care of him? Is he active? How does he eat?

    As for eppolito, I knew a marshal who worked in the fed prison in Tucson who said he would talk to him and Louie basically liked to tell stories about his life and didn't seem to be bothered by tacitly admitting to his crimes. A real blow hard like you would expect. The Good Rat is a great book. Have you ever read Louie's book, Mafia Cop? I read it years before the mafia cops scandal broke and I thought this guy was a total bullshitter. Turns out that book and his appearance on Sally Jesse to promote sealed his fate cuz Hydell's mom recognized him years later. I wonder if it's on YouTube? Check out the Brotherhoods too.

    As for Casso, I thought the Feds shelved him initially because he told them Sammy was a liar, and then he went back and forth on his mafia cops story. I checked out Leavenworth on wiki because I thought gas might be there but he's not listed. Famously arrested.com says he is housed in Minneapolis but I couldn't verify that. From everything I have read, it also seems like every agent and ausa who dealt with him just hated his guts too, which didn't help his cause.

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  32. Is Carmine the one who wooed and seduced Mary Bari and then had the poor girl killed by the Scarpas? Or was that his son? There is a book waiting to written about her murder. It's described in "we're gonna win this thing" but that description is more like a dramatic reconstruction. It's about the worst thing I have ever read about.

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  33. Danny, it was 2004. But don't worry cuz Justin timberlake forgot it too!

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  34. Danny, you bring up interesting points. In Mafia Prince, Leonardo says scarfo hated Sicilians who he called "siggies"....also in that book there is a brief mention of either a soldier or made man who was Italian, but from Argentina, which along with Uruguay and Italy itself is the only majority Italian nation in the world. The passage seems to suggest he was mistrusted because of his argentine connections. I think he was ultimately killed. What I am curious about, was this Argentine-Italian thought of by his fellow wise guys as quasi-Hispanic? Is that why he was not trusted? Anyone have any thoughts on this? It's ironic because Argentina is culturally much more "Italian" than is the US. Is this just another example of the parochialism of east coast wise guys?

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  35. Gotti was never a murderous psychopath like casso, gotti had a strong following who loved him at the time. They hated big paul and his greed and saw gotti as a gangsters gangster. And he was. Casso only scared everyone.

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  36. You are correct -- I think your comment is the one i referenced somewhere....Absolutely 100% agree... I read the article to mean, had Sicilians in leadership roles but to say the Sicilian Cosa Nostra is controlling the American mob is bizarre, totally untrue.....

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  37. Never, Ed. What would make you think that? The piece about the pitiless crew was exhilarating. Reminds me of a couple of guys I grew up with. I miss those days. I'm a chooch these days at a seaside town which name I won't mention. I was getting depressed reading about Alite and Junior, not because of you, but of THEIR story.
    As for the second half, I don't think the Mexican Cartels are making serious inroads to the USA despite the fact that they are flooding the country with drugs. They use the Mexican American gangs here in the USA and they are about as bright as the AB which doesn't say much. Cartel members jailed in USA are paying protection money to the Mexican gangs. They bought some towns along the border on our side in Texas and Arizona, but they own the Mexican government. Owning a government is every organized crime families dream. That's why there aint' a heavy Ndrangheta presence in the USA either, although I hear they've been flocking to Florida for some reason. The Sicilians and the Calabrese got a good grip on the government in Canada. My prediction for Italian American organized crime is eventually with time (20 more years) they will be subsumed by Zips and Ndrangheta and will eventually become sleeper cells as organized crime has become global.
    The Cartels have been getting a break as Obama is a weak minority lover and well as Eric Holder. It's an old story. The Mexicans are the governments flavor at the present time. The only difference is the Mexicans are our next door neighbor, but if they were real Cosa Nostra material, they would make every Mexican and Latino, legal or illegal, stay home and shut the country down, and then name their price. That's what the Italians would have done if they were still the backbone of this country.
    I've seen Russians with my own eyes in Brooklyn. They're tough, but they'll never be as big as the cosa nostra. As a matter a fact, I got the impression that they were a little in awe of the Italians. The Genovese family invented Medicaid fraud and the like. You remember the gas tax scam the Russians invented. They Italians stole it from them. What Happened? Nothing. THe only thing is do the Italians have the same muscle. I would think they do if they were able to fend off the Albanians after a little trouble.
    I think this post was superb, Ed. It should be a featured at the top. Once again, I enjoy reading your articles, but I have to break a little balls once in a while.

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  38. Right. Gotti had charisma and drew people to him. Casso was just a quasi-serial killer. Good point.....

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  39. Very cool post. You raise a lot of really good arguments. Can I address a few? First, as to the Mexicans, I would not underestimate either the cartels or the Mexican Mafia. Thing is, the Mex Mafia has a never ending farm team. Let's say Ital immigration to the US never ended. LCN would be unbreakable. As it is now, it's sorta like Russia....stripped of outlying territories and relegated to its traditional core (east coast). There is a tendency to overlook the intelligence of the Mexican OC element because of soft prejudice. But I can tell you from professional experience that the Mex and Mex-American element is simply inexhaustible. Look, they have friggin sophisticated tunnels that end up in completely Mex neighborhoods in the US. Sounds like Hamas and Israel! Plus these guys ain't afraid of jail....their org was born there!

    Also, your comment on the Russian gas scheme is relevant....but how long ago was that? When Whitesnake and Motley Crue ruled the charts? I do think the others are in awe of the Itals but only because of the magic of Hollywood and history. Let's face it, it's just like this: Ital boxers will always be among the sport's best....but how many have we talked about since Ike was pres? Bottom line.....Itals ain't street people no more. We just aren't not by and large. Some remain but unless their ranks are replenished by another Calabrian earthquake or Isis overrunning the Italy (and that scenario is NOT far fetched).....LCN is just hanging on to what it's got, to swipe from Frankie Valli.....

    That said I think you are dead on in your comments about the future of LCN here in the US.....interesting topic.....

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  40. Of course. I take stuff too seriously sometimes...

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  41. Old school, I was rereading your post.....I thought that the Itals backed down from the Albanians at the gas station? Is that what you meant? I can't remember if I read that story here or where....but all I could think was wow it's like a spaghetti western set in New York....I was hearing a Sergio Leone flick soundtrack and visualizing some crazy don't give a shit Albanian pointing a shotgun at a gas pump screaming in his native Slavic tounge........Marty Scorsese, are you reading this???

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  42. No crap? I am from Phoenix and remember when that happened. In fact, right before he came out of the program, I met him and a girl I now assume was his daughter at a bar. I was drunk and I saw him and I knew it was him. I just knew it. Men don't look like him in Scottsdale, Arizona. He caught me looking at him and asked if I had a problem. I said no but he just looked like someone. He motioned me over, I was pretty drunk. He told me he wasn't sammy but people asked him that all the time....he
    asked if I was Italian and I said yes and dammit if he didn't hug me. Later, I realized the significance of what transpired. A man who had killed nearly 20 men hugged me!

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  43. She was actually his older brothers Alphonse mistress and he had jumped bail and he was worried she could give up his whereabouts to the feds if pressured so the Scarpas killed her and I think Carmine Sessa said somewhere that a dog found her ear and was chewing on it. I think she got killed in 84 and he was captured a few years later in Hartfort while he was making red sauce. He ended dying in the can in 89 I know his daughter is married to Tommy Farese

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  44. Thanks. I thought the story about the ear was something Scarpa told his wife to gross her out as a joke? It's hard to keep these stories straight. These are actually the parts of mob life that fascinate me most...the bit players and the victims and their families. I read that her brother died of a drug overdose. The damage that gangsters do and the repercussions are what really get me. I think nick guidos mom just won a massive settlement. I always think, well what happened to James mcbratneys kids? What is Albert Demeo doing now? Or the family of bulgers victims: how do they cope? What happens to people when their family is killed by people glorified in the media? And am i complicit for being so fascinated by it?

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  45. Hey Hawk I think your right about Cristy Tick I think his lawyers were able to successfully argue on appeal that he in fact was not a part of the adminstration officially of the Luccheses during the timeframe the indictment alleged therefore not making as culpable as the others as you said I did read Eppolitos book back in 95 I believe and came away thinking this guy is a jerkoff but never in a million years did I think Eppolito and Carracappa would be responsible for so much carnage. As for Gaspipe I cant imagine people even being able to be around and not being spooked and when the feds realized he would contradict Sammy they were looking for any excuse to dump him and he gave them plenty.

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  46. In no way are we complicit for following these stories LOL, when I was much younger and first started exploring the subject and watching the movies it all appeared so wonderful but in reality the damage that life does to peoples real families and even the family members of the mob guys is tragic. Most guys that flip and tell their story say they never wanted their sons or daughters to have anything to do with the life but as we have seen even with the best intentions alot of those guys children end up part of something one way or another. Lets look at say the Chins kids I know he told Gotti he was sorry to hear that Jr got made but I think most of his sons were involved in some sort of Labor racketeering on the ports and I believe Andrew Gigante did time over this and his daughter put out a book to cash in on her fathers past. At that same meeting with Gotti and the Chin was Sammy and look he went into the drug business with his boy and he ended up doing 9 years and Gaspipe was there also and I know his daughter married a mob guy Paul Slick Geraci and his son was im not sure about but from everything I have read and all the different stuff out there it appears that a good percentage of people related to wiseguys are attached to the life directly by following the same path or by taking a no show job or a no work job. Sal Reale said that in years running the JFK airport for the Gambinos he would ask an employee to do something and they would say for instance I am Paul Varios cousin I was told alll I had to do was show up clock in and then return to clock out at the end of the day it was never told to me that I had to work. I got a little off track but look at the Persico family of Carmine all his sons have done years in prison with Alphonse doing 25 of the last 30 and will die inside and Larry who did a few years for labor racketeering and Michael who better hurry up and take the deal he has before he gets 20 to life and last but not least even his daughter Barbara is married to Angelo Spata and he is inside. I think the children of these guys see all the trappings of the life and they become accustomed to it and why go and get a real job when you can be like dad and sleep in all day and get by in comfort for some. Others that come to mind are Froggy Galione his father Ralphie Wigs was killed by the Gambinos more than likely and he jumped right into the fray as soon as he was old enough and is now doing the last year of a 20 year bid and Johnny Pappa doing life and his pop Jerry Pappa was murdered or Billy Cutolo who doesnt seem to have an identity outside of being Wild Bills son or the Scopo family and the list is endless and maybe more sons and daughters of these guys are contributing members of society but they surely get none of the press that the others do so we dont have the oppurtunity to know their story. But you are correct it is a fascinating way of life and really interesting to read about thats why in the last I would say 15 years reporting on the mob has become an industry all on it own. Guidos mom I think got five million and Albert Demeo outside of selling his dads stuff on ebay and putting a book out I am not aware of anything else he does or has done.With that said each time a new OC book is coming out I have pre ordered it LOL but for the actual families and victims of these guys its truly tragic.

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  47. Hold ur thought on sicilian mobsters don.t talk. John Stanfa would beg to differ remember he was the boss of the Phila Mob
    who the Genovese and Gambino.s backed then latter left him out to hang even though his roocal and family were sicilian mobsters. Back in the 90.s John made close to over a dozen guys including 2 guys from Sicily Rosario conti Bellochi who was to be his future son in law and Biaggio Andornetto both who would latter testify against him so for Sicilians not talking wait till they get pinched for murder and then make that call
    As for the americans and Sicilians getting along did.nt work out vety well either Joey Mikey chang Gateon lucibello and others deserted John and as for that rule u guys follow in NY can.t kill a made guy doesnt work in phila ur in the way ur going and for being approved for boss Joey made Ralph his lighting rod then latter made himself boss. With no outside approval .As for rules they only apply in todays mafioso when needed. Acting Boss phil narducci Boss is still Joey Merlino they say on the street.

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  48. he was a deadly person lol

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  49. the Albanians were trying to move on luchese guys at one time Bronx and brooklyn

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  50. So, doesn't that make you wonder if Tick was truly guilty of the RICO predicate acts, then? You see what I'm getting at? Believe me, I am no "fan" of these guys. But when that shit came down, it was like an H Bomb dropped. We forget this stuff is nearly 30 years ago, but nothing like this had EVER happened to high ranking Mafiosos before, except maybe Luciano getting railroaded for pimping and Genovese doing time for heroin, but even then, those were state cases, I think, and it's not like they decapitated a sizeable chunk of Mafia leadership. Frankly, I can't figure this out: if I'm surprised that the Mob is as WEAK as it has become, or that it's still as STRONG and durable as it is?? What do you think?


    As for Sammy, I can just see the AUSAs and agents crap themselves when the first thing Gas says is, "hey, you know Sammy? He lied!"

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  51. Totally agree with you, Danny. It's fascinating and I can't get enough of it. You want to hear something, if you google hard enough, you can come across an article online about how one of Jimmy McBratney's kids was trying to peddle a reality show where the victims of mob violence summon spirits of the dead! Can you beat that? The son says that Jimmy was big and had tattoos and used to take him fishing. Something about to me, is poignant. SOrt of like, what a waste.....What did you think of Rita Gigante's book? She seems smart and well-adjusted enough, I guess.

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  52. Man, I love this stuff. Thanks for responding, this stuff is like gold. OK, a few comments: First of all, some of the titans of heavy metal are Itals (Ronnie Dio, Glenn Danzig)....I guess it's a generational thing! But point taken.


    As for the Mexicans....there is a certain cultural similarity between the Itals and the Mexicans, but the Mexicans are and always will be street people, I agree. Although, they do get involved in more sophisticated white collar type stuff like dealing in fraudulent treasure rebate checks. All I'm saying is that, it's easy to underestimate them because of soft bigotry (not accusing you of that), but their sheer numbers and capacity for violence, and the fact that new ones are always coming in makes them a force to be reckoned with for decades to come.


    As for your comments about the Russians, look, this is the way I see it. There will ALWAYS a certain flair for being Italian in this country. Whether it's the mob, Hollywood, whatever. There just will be. No one makes movies about the Russian mob. No one cares. No one likes their language or their food. The Irish, they are just stragglers at this point. The Jews mostly abandoned OC. Still, none of them were EVER as cool as the Itals. I don't know why this is--but it is. Case in point: Tell a total stranger they look really Italian. No one will EVER take that as anything but a compliment. Seriously. The Mexicans, in my opinion, there is a certain flair for the low-riding, oldies-listening Mexican American prototype gangster of the old days. American Me was pretty cool in that sense. But with the Mexicans, it's just so effin' GRIM, man. With the Itals, it's like they want to get rich and stay out of jail. With the Mexicans, it seems like they don't mind bein' poor and almost like they WANT to stay in jail. And the tattoos, and the MS 13 crap....normal Americans can't relate to that. Why don't they control the Long Beach Harbor the way the Itals controlled or control the docks on the East Coast? Very good points. I'm not sure of the answer, other than this: I think they set their sights small.


    About ISIS, I'm not so sure that we would come to Italy's aid, but that's due to political beliefs that I won't bore you with here. What I COULD see happening is this: They infiltrate Italy, and they run up against the locals in the South. What you said about Sicilians is just as true about Calabria and Naples. Those guys don't eff around. It's like ISIS would meet themselves.


    Finally, your point about the FBI is well-taken. To swipe from Rumsfeld, we don't know what we don't know. There could be all sorts of Mob related activity going on that we just don't know about because we don't know. And yes, the FBI likes to trumpet itself.


    Hey, I come to this site exactly for this sort of back and forth. I love it. Your comments are insightful and I hope you keep 'em coming. And let's thank Ed for making it all happen. This is his baby. Thanks, Ed!

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  53. gotti 302 ..wow ..he gave up marion and watts ..

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  54. marino I meant..im beside myself..the guy then makes a video..anyone that does a 302..is an informant..john jr is no different...he is a rat..admits to giving up 2 guys one made..then says he lies to the feds.. makes a fake 302? He is the worst of all..his dad had people killed for not coming in for a sit down..can you imagine if he son went in on a 302..my friend in the Bronx said. the cvs deal was an attempted hit.. they missed..makes sense since the family is controlled by zips..marino must want to kill jr.. he hates rats ..he had his own nephew killed ..john gotti jr ..wow a 302 and he admits to giving up danny and watts..makes videos''.guy has lost his mind ...the thing is we are talking about the gotti's ..the son no less im beside myself ..john gotti jr informant! wow!!

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  55. I used to think the mafia was dead, or a shell of its old self. But think about it, prosecutors were announcing a "death blow", they said they "decapitated the mob" and it's just a "street gang"........this was in 1986!!!!! The mob has changed no doubt and may not sway big industries like it used to. But it makes tons of money and still has many stand up guys leading it.

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  56. How does he eat? With a fork and knife. Tick is loaded. He's got nothing to worry about, only his health.

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  57. One thing is for certain is by 2050 the Latinos will be in the majority in this country, the majority being Mexican, Mexican-American. They're pretty much going to be taking over the politics in this country. Who knows if these gangs will ever tap into that. Maybe then the cartels will start planting flags all over the place. One of the reasons the Mexicans have a grip on the prisons in the southwest is not only the mass numbers, but most of the guards have the same background which means they can always find sympathizers. Unfortunately, I will be dead by then to see what happens and to see Joel Osteen get knocked off the air in favor of the Latin Mass.
    God Bless!!!!!!!!!!!

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  58. Ed, you're a class act. What can I say?

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  59. Yeah, it makes you wonder. I have a library of books on this and so many have titles like "the last days of the Mob" blah blah....but they are still here, right? Obviously, their power here is not what it was. There was a family in Denver and San Jose, for God's sake! But there will always be a lot of Italians in NY and NJ, and there will always be a Mob there....

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  60. ha, good one! Out here west, there was a crooked USBP agent who was importing drugs, and his brother was in the New Mexican Mafia. To a large extent it's the same phenom as the Mafia cops. You get guys from the neighborhood with ties to it, and who grew up around the bad guys, well, this stuff sorta happens.

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  61. you said it hawkman

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  62. 302 is a 302 I don't care if he decided not to got through with it it doesn't matter 3 pages or 300 pages you sit with the feds or any other agency and give info its bad that 302 talks about real guys and about two murders jr says he gave false info looks real to me maybe if he did not try to give the info they would not have gone after him four times you give info then pull out you insulted the feds so they went after him

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  63. theres film footage of when john sr beat one of his trialls and went home it was alite and jr walking into the house with him and that other retard talked to the cameras saying the gottis would like some peace and privacy look it up

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  64. jr doesn't care about anyone but himself right now doesn't care who he talks shit and lies about believe me theres more the 302 shown is not all the pages jr knows its true you sit there all day and only discuss 45 minutes give me a fucking break more is coming out on you pal

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