Thursday, January 29, 2015

Philadelphia Cosa Nostra Family Has New Boss

Skinny Joey Merlino
EXCLUSIVE: Phil Narducci has been named boss of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra Family, according to several sources who requested anonymity.

What is not known is whether he is the official boss or acting boss for Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who is serving a short stint down in Florida.

Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and Joseph "Chickie" Ciancaglini, Sr. are sharing the position of consiglieri.

The underboss position is officially unfilled, though it is believed that South Philadelphia-based capos Stevie Mazzone and John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini may fill the void by serving as street bosses for the often-troubled Philly crime family.

John Alite Blasts Mob Hypocrisy, Junior Gotti

When John Alite testified against John Gotti Junior, he was mauled by the media. Newspapers ran front-page stories and headlines calling him a rat, and sought to portray him as everything from a junkie to a liar.
John Alite
"Carnesi was the one spreading the story that Junior was cooperating...
"Tell Carnesi to ask the FBI to tell him why he flew to Florida to see Danny Marino."
-- John Alite in an exclusive interview

John Gotti Junior came uncomfortably close to being convicted following his fourth trial, the one in which John Alite testified.

Still, the New York Daily News, quoting only two jurors, tried to paint a very different picture (as did other newspapers). We note the following:
NY Daily News: "The votes finally stood 6-5 for conviction on racketeering, with one undecided; 7-5 for acquittal on one murder charge; and 6-5 for acquittal with one undecided on a second murder count....  
"Enough is enough," said Juror No. 8, who asked to remain anonymous. 
"If they try him again, it'll be an abuse of prosecution," said juror Paul Peragine, standing outside the Manhattan federal courthouse in a black overcoat. 
"Their case wasn't credible," added Peragine, who voted for a full acquittal. "Their witnesses weren't credible."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Former Gambino Enforcer Gives Candid Video Interview

John Alite talks to Cosa Nostra News on the record.

I am working on the story now. Some of what he told us is in the interview above. We will try not to duplicate too much of the information.

I am trying to reach a couple of people for comment; I doubt I'll get very far.

Monday, January 26, 2015

FBI 302 Proves John Gotti Junior "Talked"

The book reveals for the first time the
existence of a 302 transcript of John Gotti
Junior's 2005 proffer session.

EXCLUSIVE: Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia by George Anastasia, available tomorrow, will quote and include a five-page 302 that resulted from John Gotti Junior's "proffer session" with federal authorities. This is according to an emailed excerpt from the book.

The meeting occurred at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in lower Manhattan on January 18, 2005. 

The 302, never before revealed to the public, is solid evidence that, despite all Junior's denials, he and two of his defense attorneys met with federal prosecutors and FBI agents.

Couple of Stories You Won't Find in a Certain Ebook

Does John Gotti Junior, in his 500-plus-page book, tell the one about the former NYPD detective who gave the Gambino crime family confidential information about a 1983 murder that condemned a witness to death?

Does he tell the one about the Gambino capo who allowed Gaspipe Casso to murder his own nephew, James Hydell, who'd been part of a team that had tried and failed to take out Gaspipe in a hail of bullets? You shoot a guy like Gaspipe and miss, you kill yourself because you're already a dead man.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Alite: Bookmaking "the Least of Doing Anything Wrong"

Who ratted on Alite in the first place?

 In early March 2014, "60 Minutes Sports" on Showtime aired an interview with John Alite, marking the former gangster's first interview since finishing an eight-year prison sentence for racketeering two years ago.

Alite was an associate of the Gambino crime family before deciding to flip and become the Fed's "star witness" against John Gotti Junior in a 2009 trial that ended with a hung jury.

Alite had been keeping a low profile since getting out of prison.

Book Murder Machine Missed "Hell of a Lot," Montiglio Says

We spoke with Dominick Montiglio recently -- and we provide here the Q&A that resulted.

Dominick, as you'll read, notes that "Murder Machinedid not tell the whole story, which certainly got our attention. 

"A hell of a lot was left out... Great stuff!!" he told us.

Montiglio, for those not familiar, is the nephew of Anthony "Nino" Gaggi, a capo who was a rising star within what Jerry Capeci has called the "white-collar wing" of the Gambino family during the reign of Paul "Big Paul" Castellano.
Dominick Montiglio, former emissary to the murder machine...
Gaggi died in 1988, never attaining the position of underboss he'd long sought when he was close to the Gambino boss before the spectacular 1985 coup by John Gotti.

It's through Montiglio's eyes that much of Murder Machine is told.

Murder Machine relates the story of how, after Carlo Gambino died of natural causes in 1976, the ruling members of the Gambino Family met at Nino and Dominick's Brooklyn home ("the bunker") to name a new boss. 
Roy DeMeo also hunted people.

Gaggi expected the best but prepared for the worst. He taped a gun under the kitchen table and sent Dom upstairs to watch the front of the house from an upper-storey window armed with a machine gun. If there was shooting, he told Dom, take out anyone who departs through the front door. Dom was fully prepared to carry out his uncle's orders, even speculating how he'd be on the run for the rest of his life. Despite the tense build up, there was only a brief, somber discussion. Castellano was named the new Gambino boss. In turn, Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce remained as underboss of the family (by rights, many believed, Dellacroce should have ascended to the top spot).
Nino held up under questioning. The feds even admired his
formidable loyalty to the Mafia credo.

Gaggi was promoted to capo of Castellano's old crew and remained close to Castellano, hoping to become underboss eventually. However, the trouble that Roy caused Castellano (after ordering DeMeo's murder, Paul was later indicted because of Roy's massive car-theft ring) precluded Gaggi from ever assuming the position.

DeMeo and his crew are suspected of murdering as many as 100 people (although some estimates reach as high as 200) between 1973 and 1983. Dominick became a government witness in 1983 following his arrest for extortion. Montiglio returned to Brooklyn to become an artist.

COSA NOSTRA NEWSDescribe Roy DeMeo to us...we get two different views of him, one from Murder Machine, the other from Roy's son Albert in his book, For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life

DOMINICK MONTIGLIO: Roy was a man who after a murder, would be in a rush to bleed the body out & chop it up so he could go home & eat dinner with his family, make love to his wife & then sleep like a baby! I mean that's how detached he was from killing people. It didn't bother him in the slightest & I think murder ended up becoming an adrenaline rush for him, he needed it. But when it came to family & friends he was fiercely loyal. After my uncle Nino ordered him to murder his protege Chris Rosenberg, he locked himself in his office & cried for 2 days cause he loved him so much. So he truly had two sides absolute remorseless killer & then absolutely 100% caring family man who would do anything for his family. Although I know that he got his son Albert to do a few things that really messed him up, I mean the kid wasn't cut out for that life & I think he ended up in a mental asylum.

CNN: So what did you think of Murder Machine? Did Jerry Capeci nail it? Also, we heard you scared the shit out of him when you two first met on the elevator... he'd called you a junkie or something in a story....

DM: As for Murder Machine I was really pushing for Philip Carlo to write that thing cause he would of nailed it as he grew up in the life. Jerry & Gene still produced a great book but I don't think they nailed it. A hell of a lot was left out... Great stuff!!

[As to the second question:] You heard about that, did you? [Laughs.] Yeah, I was pretty mad, I was gonna rip his head off but I calmed down. I dealt a lot of drugs but I never dealt heroin & he made me out to be a degenerate junkie... But I kinda have my hands tied as to what I can tell you, if you know what I mean.

CNN: Of course! So, can you give us a taste of what they left out?

DM: Ed it's ok you can ask me anything, just let me think of a few things, I got 100 stories just let me think of a good one. Anything else you wanna know?

CNN: There is one thing about Roy. One of the detectives who worked the case implied that Roy was cooperating.... He mentioned the recording system that DeMeo had installed in his car and how the tape was missing...

DM: There's no way in hell Roy would ever be a stoolie, absolutely not!

One of Those Annoying Notes...

It's just not as fun now that I revealed I was bluffing about the JDL...

Friday, January 23, 2015

There's More to Junior's Sinatra Story, Of Course....

Which Gotti really wanted Sinatra dead?
We're not reading the book, but based on our devotion to our beat, we offer here one anecdote to emerge from John Gotti Junior's self-published ebook. The story involves John Gotti threatening Frank Sinatra's life using Joseph "Joe the German" Watts, one of three guys Junior once discussed privately.

The issue we ponder is which Gotti really posed the greater threat and to whom: Senior in the form of Joe Watts or Junior in the form of his threats against mob scribe Jerry Capeci. The old-school newspaperman apparently read Junior's book, which includes the Sinatra incident,  and then gave Junior a pass.

When he read about Sinatra, Jerry Capeci must've recalled the moment when the Feds advised him to be "a little more cautious than usual." The younger Gotti had hired a corrupt ex-NYPD detective to follow the journalist around to "dig up some dirt."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reading Ghost Blogger Reviews "Last Great Mafia Empire"

Click on the cover to

We'd like to give a shout out to the Reading Ghost blogger for crafting a review of Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire that highlights a key aspect of our approach to writing The Cicale Files series.

Mob books such as Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires tend to provide detailed overviews of organized crime, focusing on a particular crime family, city, or period of time. Often an abundance of names, biographies, storylines, dates and other details swamp the reader. 

And we have wondered how much most readers really take away from these books once they finish the last page...

As bloggers writing about the subject, we of course love these books and we eagerly consume even the footnotes and details regarding source material. But in this case we refer to the mainstream reader, not only the Mafia junkie.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why I Refuse to Purchase John Junior's Ebook

This is my opinion.... published on January 19, 2015...

 I nearly hit the purchase button, but I realized long ago that I simply buy too many ebooks and I have spent more money on Amazon than I'd ever care to admit.

So I downloaded the sample first for In the Shadow of My Father, the new ebook available tonight on

Meanwhile, this book is full of untold revelations in Junior’s personal story. [But are these "untold revelations" at all accurate?
John A. Gotti's first literary effort is for sale now.

As I skimmed Peter Lance's seemingly endless Forward, most of which is an ongoing advertisement for his terrorism books, I read something that nearly blew my mind. I read it again to make sure I had read what I actually thought I had read.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Powerful Genovese Mobster in the Feds' Crosshairs

Victor Colletti


Alleged Genovese crime family acting capo Victor Colletti was indicted in 2005 for running a massive Queens-based gambling operation. He was poised to serve his first stretch behind prison bars at the age of 74. He won on appeal, however, and never served a day.

The state had gone after Colletti, filing a 24-count enterprise corruption indictment in the Supreme Court in Queens County. They missed.

Now the Feds are sizing him up for a prison cell.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Coming Soon: A Cosa Nostra News Exclusive

What is this.... Nothing really, just a weird-looking
picture that doesn't give away anything about the
story I've been working on for the past eight hours.

UPDATE: Well, we didn't make our self-imposed deadline; we need to formally contact someone. We doubt they'll comment, but we need to provide them with an opportunity. 

We've been working on this one for two days and hope to post today.

 We promise this breaking news exclusive includes a lot of new historical information about the organization of one of the five crime families in New York.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bookmaker Granted Bail in Odd Arson Case

In January 2010 a flurry of news reports wrote about a fire in the Middletown restaurant Enzo's.

One of them read: Faulty Fry-O-Later sparks restaurant fire:
"A single-alarm fire started by a faulty Fry-O-Lator inflicted an estimated $250,000 worth of damages at Enzo's Restaurant & Lounge early Sunday morning. One person was injured in the blaze, fire officials said."

The "one person" we now know was the co-owner of the restaurant; he was drunk and somehow got locked inside the place after the other owner started the fire at midnight, according to prosecutors. Earlier in the day, he'd sprayed cooking oil around the kitchen's deep fryer. A professional arsonist had advised the two men earlier that that was the best way to set Enzo's ablaze without getting caught. The arsonist was wrong, as it turns out.

FBI Agent Stole Seized Drugs; Case Dismissed for 28

Please don't click the headline; the Washington Post uses some kind of phantom zone technology that will bring you to their RSS feed; please click the continued link below, instead. Thank you, the management...

Junkie Fed's addiction screwed up cases.

While we focus on organized crime (and are working on multiple stories right now), this story caught our attention today... One has to wonder how often this kind of thing happens, for personal use or not, without the agent getting caught....

The Washington Post reports that FBI agent Matthew Lowry checked out Item 1B4 from the evidence room at the bureau’s Washington field office on an August morning in 2013."

On the log sheet, he scribbled “to lab” in order "to explain why he was taking drugs that had been seized in an undercover operation dubbed Midnight Hustle."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcoming Book Will Detail Mysteries of 1978 Lufthansa Heist On Dec. 11, 1978, a crew led by mob associate Jimmy Burke pulled off a daring stunning heist at JFK Airport that netted $5 million in cash and $1 million in precious stones.

The case, which was immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s movie “Goodfellas,” has puzzled authorities for 36 years. Only one robber was ever convicted for the crime and the whereabouts of the loot has remained a secret…until now.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jenn Graziano, VH1 Served Cease-and-Desist Letter

"I love the name of it. It came about because I love color.
Color changes your mood." Renee on her "invention"
of the Mob Candy brand, after she posed for this picture.

EXCLUSIVE: Both VH1 and Jennifer Graziano today received cease-and-desist letters from an attorney regarding Renee Graziano's continued use of the Mob Candy name on items for which she does not have the rights, according to a source close to the case who sent us a copy of the two letters.

Noting that Renee had ignored previous letters sent to her, the copyright holders' law firm is putting both the "Mob Wives" network and Jennifer Graziano herself on notice that the firm has been "instructed to begin legal action against you if you allow these infringements to continue."

AMC Docudrama Traces Roots of Five Families

AMC announced Saturday that it will unwrap an eight-episode miniseries, “Making of the Mob: New York,” in which it traces the of roots of each of the five crime families that make up the American Mafia.

The series, each episode of which is an hour long, blends dramatic scenes with interviews, archival footage and VFX and spans back to 1905. It traces the rise of Charles “Lucky”Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, along with other notorious gangsters, who went from street hoods and neighborhood gang members to multi millionaire entrepreneurs and bootleggers following Prohibition.

The project hails from Stephen David's production company, which previously produced History's The Men Who Built America.

Gotti Memoir Beats Anastasia's Gotti Book to Market

Cover of new book by John Gotti Jr.
He did live in his father's shadow.
So this is what happened to the movie. John Gotti Jr.'s new memoir may beat George Anastasia's Gotti's Rules to market, but we know the respected Philadelphia-based newspaperman will provide a more objective inside account about the legendary Gambino boss than could any son writing about his father....So we take with a grain of salt Lance's charge below that Anastasia's book is "based almost entirely on the word of disgraced federal witness John Alite."

See what Amazon says of the book Gotti's Rules:

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, 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. Drawing on extensive FBI files and other documentation, his own knowledge, and exclusive interviews with insiders and experts, including mob-enforcer-turned-government-witness Alite, Anastasia pokes holes in the Gotti legend, demystifying this notorious family and its lucrative and often deadly machinations. 
Anastasia offers never-before-heard information about the murders, drug dealing, and extortion that propelled John J. Gotti to the top of the Gambino crime family and the treachery and deceit that allowed John A. “Junior” Gotti to follow in his father’s footsteps. Told from street level and through the eyes of a wiseguy who saw it all firsthand, the result is a riveting look at a family whose hubris, violence, passion, and greed fueled a bloody rise and devastating fall that is still reverberating through the American underworld today. 

Furthermore, Gotti Jr. had to have had a ghostwriter or an editor with a strong hand. More than likely, whatever script had been floating around for the film was simply recast in book format. Laypeople who have never published before are rarely capable of writing a publishable book otherwise....

The book is self-published, so I can't really say that about ghostwriters and editors. I do wonder how Junior came up with the ebook idea.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fappiano, Released by DNA Evidence, Loses Big Time

Alleged Gambino associate Scott Fappiano.

Todt Hill mobster Scott Fappiano, 53, who spent 21 years behind bars until DNA evidence cleared him, lost his "malicious prosecution" case this past week.

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, a Brooklyn judge issued a summary ruling against him.

See Scott Fappiano decision -- click here for PDF.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bonanno Boss's Prison Letters Kick Off Second Dominick Cicale Forum

"Mikey Nose"

(Commenced 11am, Saturday, Jan. 10)...

We can thank Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso for our starting point....

I don't think any other blog or news organization on the planet has ever gotten such direct insight from the man widely considered to be the official boss of the Bonanno family.

The Nose is from the Bronx, where Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, either former acting boss or current official boss, hailed from.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Junior Testified Against Mob Wives Star Big Ang's Cousin

"Renee thinks we're gangsters, we're girls... "
Big Ang

"Big Ang" Raiola.

REVISED SLIGHTLY: Most blogs probably picked up on the idiotic "Ratalie" headline and missed the larger point, in our opinion.

Big Ang is back!

We were concerned last year. As we noted in our end-of-season wrap up, it seemed like all Angela "Big Ang" Raiola did was react...

Vinny Gorgeous, Dom Cicale Back in News About "Nose" Murder Plot

Vinny B, left, Dom Cicale.

NOTE: See first comment below, with Mancuso's response in his own handwriting....

We'd be remiss not to mention that our friend and coauthor Dominick Cicale called us today and told us to check out Gangland News (immediately!) wherein we read the following:

The judge also granted Basciano's motion to add a charge of prosecutorial misconduct to his petition for a new trial. Vinny Gorgeous claims prosecutors elicited false testimony from turncoat capo Dominick Cicale about a Bonanno family plot to murder Michael (Mikey Nose) Mancuso, who succeeded Basciano as acting boss and who is currently viewed as the eventual boss when he is released from prison in 2019.

The Most Famous Mobster You Never Heard Of

Nicola "Nick" Gentile

Nicola "Nick" Gentile was a Sicilian-born Mafioso who spent decades of his life traveling across the United States witnessing key events that occurred during the formative years of the American Mafia.

He personally knew many of the players who established America's Cosa Nostra.

Gentle, born in 1884 in southern Sicily, arrived in the U.S. in 1903 at the age 19. He was associated with the Black Hand during the early 20th century, the infamous Italian crime ring known for extorting mostly fellow Italian immigrants.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Half Wits Write Pro-Renee Mob Wives Blog

Renee Graziano, courtesy of Instagram.
(She lost a lot of weight!)

While doing research, I caught a few "news" headlines that invited scrutiny. 

I honestly still wonder what the world's coming to.... 

Every single one of the stories was from the blog I have previously mentioned, which I am now certain is written and not edited by half wits so obviously biased about the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives" that it's ridiculous. 

"Skinny Joey" Starts New Year Back in the Can

Skinny Joey, back in October 2014.

Philadelphia Mob Boss Joey Merlino is back in prison.

Yesterday, he was supposed to report to a federal detention center in Miami by 2:00 p.m. But not before opening his new restaurant, Merlino's, as the Boca Raton Tribune reported.

He was seen "on a drizzly [late-December] Friday night" darting around the dining area, "greeting diners."

"Merlino hugged. He kissed. He shook hands, laying his hand on a shoulder, leaning in close to talk.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Highly Inflammatory Op-Ed Compares the Mafia to Islam

Genovese mobster Benny "Eggs" was a patriot. He was
awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal
with four Oak Leaf clusters and three Battle Stars. 

Recently, I came across an article about the Mafia that is so inflammatory, I initially decided not to even write about it. But there is free speech in this country...

I write this blog to examine all mob-related topics and news that pique my interest, so I realized that I have no reason not to shine my spotlight here.

Now, I find myself for the first time in the position of defending Cosa Nostra.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mob Wives Hottie Natalie Sees the Frame; Gravano's "Breakdown"

We have written that Karen Gravano departed her Arizona home, hopped on a plane (leaving behind her husband and children, as she herself admitted during what we can only call a "dramatic breakdown" during the last episode of "Mob Wives") and flew cross country to New York so she could defend and/or support and/or whatever her good friend Renee in the face of a vicious tweet Natalie posted.

As I have learned this past week, Karen Gravano did not come to New York to defend Renee because Natalie posted a nasty Tweet. Natalie never even posted the nasty tweet in the first place. In fact, Karen had been bashing Natalie and others on Twitter long before anyone else, and Natalie was simply defending herself and friend Alicia DiMichele.