Monday, March 30, 2015

CLICK HERE for Part 2 of Mafia with Sir Trevor

Sir Trevor hosts two-part series on the mob.

to watch part Two 

Sir Trevor McDonald seeks to show viewers the "reality" and not the "mythology" of the Mob on the program.

Episode Two: After spending three months travelling across New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Southern California, Trevor hears detailed accounts of life in the Mafia as he meets major figures at home, at work and in bars, as well as on the streets where they operated for the documentary The Mafia with Trevor McDonald.

In the second episode, Trevor learns more about the lives the former mobsters have made for themselves since trying to leave the Mafia behind.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Killing Alite (and Anyone in the Car With Him)

Alite was marked for death.

In 1995, a member of the Gambino crime family plotted the violent murder of John Alite and anybody in the car with him, according to a former Gambino associate directly involved in the conspiracy who was going to be one of the shooters.

Stephen Newell, about whom we've previously written, told us the hit was to be staged at a towing company/auto-body shop in Queens at the intersection of Crossbay Boulevard and Redding Street. Alite would pull up in his car to meet someone -- and two men would open fire from a passing van.

One of the gunmen, arrested on an unrelated charge, revealed the plot, prompting the FBI to visit Alite with a warning.  This is only one such plot; no doubt there were others. 

We caught up with Stephen Newell a few weeks ago. He'd seen our story and had some corrections and amendments. Newell is an interesting person. He is mentioned in both Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia and Shadow of My Father.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bonanno Family Readying for War? Probably Not....

Was Palazzolo set to take control of the
Bonanno family's Queens action?

Arrested yesterday was mobster John Palazzolo, 77, a reputed street boss of the Bonanno crime family's Bronx faction -- or at least he was; it appears he's been knocked down in rank.

Apparently the Feds found him committing a serious crime: having coffee with other wiseguys.... Well, we take liberties here. He was found "suspiciously meeting" other mobsters in the parking lot of a diner.

When wiseguys meet in the parking lot of a diner wouldn't they naturally act suspiciously? What exactly defines "suspiciously"? We had a little chuckle over this one. It sounds to us like whatever is left of the FBI working OC in New York is crying out for attention...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

At Danbury Prison, Albanians, Mafiosi Duked It Out

Jerry Capeci's GanglandNews today reports that "25 inmates — including five mobsters and two Albanian hoods whose names Gang Land has obtained," engaged in a "bloody jailhouse brawl"during leisure time in the rec room of the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, on Saturday, March 14.

Danbury, the article noted, is a low-security facility that houses 750 sentenced inmates.

Alex Rudaj,of Albanian Mafia.
Following the violent confrontation, everyone involved was "thrown into "the hole" after receiving stitches or treated for cuts, bloody noses and other non-life-threatening injuries."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interview With "Mob Wives" Cast Member

This year Mob Wives really lived up to its tagline: Trust No One....

This year most of the drama on Mob Wives occurred off screen and after the season ended following a two-part reunion that got heated enough to make Vivica Fox weep. (It almost makes you forget she did a pretty good job kicking ass herself in Kill Bill. See pic--->.)

Since episode one, the major dynamic of the entire season was proclaimed loud and clear: this year it's all about the bitch called pay back that ultimately took the form of an implied major confrontation between Natalie Guercio and Natalie DiDonato.

But the big fistfight or shootout or whatever we all expected never happened. (Nor did we relish the thought of it. We don't like the idea of two women fighting.... we want women to act, well, womanly, not like dudes...And, yes, we did interview one of the cast members and we will get to her following some prefatory remarks.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Wannabes" Star Helps Boost Brancato's Acting Career

Lillo Brancato to star in mob film alongside Alec Baldwin.

After spending eight years behind bars for his role in the killing of a city cop, Lillo Brancato, the actor known for his “A Bronx Tale” debut and a small recurring role in The Sopranos season two (he was one of the two guys who shot Christopher) has "landed a part in a boxing epic being filmed in Brooklyn and Staten Island."

The New York Post reported that Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover and Mike Tyson star in "Back in the Day," the story of a Bensonhurst youth who trains to be a prizefighter under the tutelage of a local mobster.

Not a single cliche in this one!

According to the Post, Brancato, 38, called the Hollywood role a “blessing” and gave all the credit to producer and star William DeMeo.

CLICK HERE To Watch Mafia with Sir Trevor in the US

We got the link -- for real. Here it is -- ready?


Sir Trevor McDonald seeks to show viewers the "reality" and not the "mythology" of the Mob on the program.

Episode One kicks off with John Alite and Michael Franzese, as well as Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, who speaks here publicly for the first time since providing his damaging testimony. He lives in constant fear of Mafia reprisal.

Sir Trevor hosts two-part series on the mob.
In one scene, DiLeonardo drives Sir Trevor down the one block of Little Italy that remains, Mulberry Street, to offer a passing glimpse at the place where he was formally inducted into the Gambino crime family on December 24, 1988.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Member of Mob Wives....

Who did we speak to?

We spoke with one of the cast members of Mob Wives today and will post the interview tomorrow today, Wednesday.

We'll include some input from a couple of anonymous sources, but the major thrust of the article will be attributed to the lady with whom we spoke today.....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Scarfo Jr. Sought to Retake the Philly Mafia

Nicodemo S. Scarfo and pal Salvatore Pelullo are slated to face the music (though it's continually been postponed) for their efforts to steal around $12 million from FirstPlus Financial. Scarfo, 49, the son of imprisoned mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo, faces nearly life in prison, as does Pelullo, 47, an associate who helped loot the Texas-based mortgage company.

Also scheduled for next week: yet another meeting as per the defense's efforts to win a new trial by maintaining that the jury in the FirstPlus case never should've been exposed to any mob-related discovery material.

Nicky Scarfo Jr was shot six times while dining here. He and walked out
of the hospital a week later, having suffered only flesh wounds.

The trial of Scarfo and Pelullo did not involve the Mafia, defense attorneys contend. Therefore, the prosecution's references to the mob "prejudiced the jury and [served] to glamorize and sensationalize an otherwise mundane financial case, defense attorneys have argued," as George Anastasia noted on BigTrial.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Mob Wife Who Threw Sex Parties

Lots of news stories in the summer of 2001 fell down the memory hole after the brutal 9/11 attacks.

A certain Gambino crime family associate who in his heyday was as powerful as an inducted member was likely quite pleased that one developing story from that summer was essentially shut down.

This ex-mob wife, formerly married to Joe Watts
should've had a television show.

Largely know for being one of John Gotti's lieutenants, Joseph "Joe the German" Watts began his rise in the mob during Carlo Gambino's reign. Watts made a name for himself with the Gambinos under Paul "Big Paul" Castellano.

Monday, March 16, 2015

America's Most Powerful Labor Racketeer

Anthony Scotto, left, lawyer James LaRossa.

The son of TV news anchor ­Rosanna Scotto made news last week when he was arrested on charges of swiping an expensive designer purse. What garnered our interest was a note at the end of the New York Post Page Six story:

[Rosanna] Scotto, 58, is co-anchor of WNYW/Channel 5’s “Good Day New York” ... [and] is co-owner of her family’s restaurant, Fresco by Scotto, on East 52nd Street. She is also the daughter of Anthony Scotto, a former boss in the Gambino crime family....

Scotto, while never the boss of the crime family, was a powerful figure in his own right. His story heralds an earlier era of America's Cosa Nostra, when mobsters were able to discreetly rise high in big business. Scotto is considered to have been the most powerful labor racketeer in the entire country in his heyday in the 1960s-70s. He earned two additional distinctions nearly unbelievable today: He once lectured at Harvard and was considered by a sitting American President for the powerful position of U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Anthony M. Scotto (born May 10, 1934) was a labor racketeer who ruled the Brooklyn waterfront. He had mayors and even a governor or two in his pocket at one time or another and -- at his peak, before his first and only conviction at age 45, which ushered in his early retirement -- he was a vice president of the International Longshoremen's Association, as well as the head of Local 1814 in Brooklyn.

Time magazine described Scotto as a "personable and articulate man who favored $500 pinstripe suits and expensive Manhattan restaurants."

A 1979 New York Times article revealed a great deal of biographical information about the low-profile gangster. Scotto, who was raised in the Red Hook-Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, studied law and political science at Brooklyn College and, according to John H. Davis's Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family, graduated.

Lost in thought: Albert Anastasia (the "Lord High Executioner" himself)
with his wife at a social event.

In 1957, he married Marion Anastasio, whose father was Anthony Anastasio, then a capo in the Anastasia crime family under his brother, Albert Anastasia, the much-feared former organizer of Murder Inc.who assumed power by ruthlessly murdering Vincent Mangano, who'd been boss of the crime family from 1931 to 1951. Carlo Gambino launched his own coup against the "Mad Hatter" the same year "Young Tony," Scotto's then-nickname, married. (Appalachin took place as well.)

While Anastasio didn't mount a plot to avenge his brother's murder (as far as we know), he wasn't exactly on board with Gambino, either. "Tough Tony" even held back substantial sums of money from the wily new mob boss. Anastasio, as an officer of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and Local 1814 in Red Hook, wielded immense power because he effectively controlled the Brooklyn waterfront.

It wasn't until 1963, when "Tough Tony" died and Scotto -- who worked the docks with his father-in-law since Scotto's 1957 marriage to Marion -- took control of the ILA local that Carlo Gambino was truly in control of the Brooklyn waterfront. 

A grateful Gambino inducted Scotto into the family around the same time.

Scotto quickly rose in business and eventually counted politicians as part of his circle. His credo was to instill "harmony" on the waterfront. The press dubbed him a "new breed labor leader."

Scotto eventually attained the third-highest position in the labor union.

By the 1970s Scotto was considered to be one of the most powerful mafiosi in New York due to his political clout. He even enjoyed a friendship with U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, a man most mobsters considered a mortal enemy.

That same decade, Scotto was twice named as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He also was said to have raised millions for Democratic candidate Hugh Carey's 1974 gubernatorial campaign. Scotto reportedly dealt with Carey several time regarding political appointments and labor issues.

Scotto, under Gambino's orders, closed the docks so the workers could participate in Joseph Colombo's Unity Day rally. Around 150,000 people showed up in Columbus Circle in New York City on that June day in 1970. The participants included U.S. Congressmen and several prominent entertainers. 

About one year later, Scotto kept the waterfront open, also under orders, as Gambino had withdrawn his initial reluctant acceptance of Colombo's "civil rights" effort. Colombo was shot in the head during the second rally and lingered on in a coma before finally dying in 1978.
President Jimmy Carter considered Scotto a candidate for the position of U.S. Secretary of Labor. Carlo Gambino had been planning to make Scotto president of the entire ILA as well.

Gambino died and Paul Castellano ascended to the top in the fall of 1976. Big Paul, who believed he was made from the same white-collar mold as Scotto, was planning to go forward with Gambino's wishes of promoting Scotto. "We're gonna have a president," Castellano boasted on tape, referring to Scotto's taking control of the entire ILA, according to Mafia Dynasty.

Criminal charges tainted the man before he could reach the lofty pinnacle, however. On January 17, 1979, Scotto was indicted on 33 federal bribery and racketeering charges, including pocketing some $300,000 over five years from two businessmen who employed his union workers.

Later that year, he was convicted on all charges.

At his sentencing US District Judge Charles E. Stewart, Jr. remarked that he was "extremely impressed" by letters from former New York City mayors Robert Wagner and John Lindsay, as well as major businessmen, and labor leaders -- all of whom had requested leniency for Scotto. On January 22, 1980, Stewart bypassed a 20-year imprisonment sentence and was handed five years instead.

Scotto was released in 1984 and has not been indicted since then. A reliable source told us he decided to retire. Still, turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano named Scotto as a member of the Gambino crime family in the 1990s.

After Castellano's assassination in 1986, John Gotti appointed Red Hook mobster Anthony Ciccone to be his chief on the Brooklyn waterfront. Ciccone was visibly in power until December 19, 1991, when he was compelled by the feds to resign his posts with the ILA.

He remained the "unofficial power" though for quite some time, in fact long after Gotti was off the streets. On June 4, 2002, Ciccone was indicted on charges of exerting illegal control over two ILA locals.

Ciccone, also accused of attempting to extort actor Steven Seagal, was released from prison on April 24, 2013.

PS: Former Rep. Michael Grimm obviously had no idea who that NY1 reporter was when he threatened to throw him from the US Capitol balcony and “break [him] in half. Like a boy.” The journalist, Michael Scotto, is Anthony Scotto's nephew.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Illuminating The Mafia's "Brutal, Unforgiving Hierarchy"

Sir Trevor McDonald's two-part series The Mafia With Trevor McDonald debuts this month.

We previously ran a trailer for the show.

The show seeks to provide insight into the Mafia's "brutal, unforgiving hierarchy," as the Daily Mail noted.
Former Philly mob boss Ralph Natale

The program debuts Monday, March 23 at 9 pm -- however, of you're in the U.S. you'll probably have to watch it via your computer.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gotti Dishes on Godfather, Goodfellas, Sopranos

Click below link for videos

John Junior Gotti says he never watched “The Sopranos,” and that the real truth of “the life" resides between “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas."

He said this as a guest, along with Peter Lance, on Coast to Coast AM, which aired on March 10th.

To access all segments of Junior's Michael Smerconish interview on CNN, during which he discussed the film adaptation of “Shadow of My Father," see Peter Lance's website.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Feds Bust DeCavalcantes, Confirm Sicilians in Charge

10 members and associates of the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family were arrested today
Surveillance image of former DeCavalcantes.

A total of 10 members and associates of the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family were arrested today for running a prostitution ring, drug trafficking and plotting to kill a rival, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

The complaints confirm that the New Jersey family is run closely with the Gambinos in New York and that both have Sicilian members in leadership positions today.

Frank "Shipe" Nigro, 72, Paul "Knuckles" Colella, 68, Mario Galli, 23, and Anthony "Whitey" Stango, 33, all from New Jersey, were arrested this morning and face the bulk of the criminal charges cited in the complaints unsealed today. Also taken into custody today were Charles "Beeps" Stango, 71, of Henderson, Nevada, and John "Johnny Balls" Capozzi, 34, and Nicholas Degidio, 37, both from New Jersey.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Emails from Wiseguys Who Read Cosa Nostra News

Emails from mobsters writing to Cosa Nostra News

I get lots of email. Mostly from mob enthusiasts asking me to cover this or that.

I have yet to receive a communique from, say, a beautiful women in town seeking someone to show her New York's many unique splendors.

Sometimes I get emails from mobsters.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Onetime "Shooter and Gentleman" Gene Gotti Embittered by Prison

In this life, there’s a lotta hypocrisy that you just learn to live with—like there’s a rule against dealing drugs, and Gene Gotti [another Gotti brother], is doin’ a long bit for that; you’re not supposed to go with other goodfellas’ wives—happens all the time; you’re not allowed to kill a big boss without the other families’ permission—John Gotti and Sammy whacked Nasabeak [Beak-nose Paul Castellano] and almost started a war.

Ah, Christ on the fucking cross. Right now I'd give my fucking life just to have fucking Buffalo win one.
--John Gotti

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 

A Brooklyn-based Bonanno crime family associate who served time with Gene Gotti took issue with the headline to this story today and contacted us accordingly.

He strongly disagrees with our use of the word "Gentleman."

"You're losing your touch. Don't get it twisted: I would never bow down to Gene Gotti. Gene was a blabbermouth that talked about every wiseguy he ever knew. Don't give him the benefit of the doubt: He truly was a punk."

He is one of several we've spoken with about Gene Gotti.

An ex-Gambino associate, an Italian who was formerly a member of the "Cowboy crew," which kidnapped drug dealers for ransom and murdered some of them, expressed a similar point of view.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trailer for High-Profile UK Documentary on the Mafia

Sir Trevor McDonald (considered England's Walter Cronkite) interviews a bevy of former wiseguys in an ITV documentary titled "The Mafia with Trevor McDonald."

See an excellent trailer here (we are unable to embed, so you must click the link): WATCH TRAILER

As we noted, 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.

Guercio Audio Played for Drita on Mob Wives....

It's difficult keeping up with Mob Wives' season five "rats" subplot.

Everyone on the show is a rat and/or is accusing someone else of being a rat.
This is all nonsense, of course -- as was most of Mob Wives. 
Many friends needed to unburden themselves by telling me: Ed, the show ain't real... 
I know it wasn't real. So what? This is a blog.... people don't understand that writing about fake reality shows is a pretense that allows one to slip social commentary inside the story. 
The problem is that if you do this too shrewdly, it may fly over readers' heads. (The obverse is true too, however: if you do it clumsily, the same thing might happen anyway.)  

Anyway I am reposting this on 12/29/2016 as I update coding on the 1,600-something blog pages. (I am loving every minute of this -- I just may blow my brains out depending on how many more hours of this I have to go. I intend to copy and paste code until I awake facedown on the keyboard.)
I am starting with my most popular stories of all-time; this one, here, is in the top 30.
Which is another common theme running through all my Mob Wives stories: These stories generate the clicks that pay the bills. 
It's about the dough, bread, the dollahs, ya folli me? 
I don't write this cause I am a dedicated advocate -- it's not a matter of whether or not to believe it -- or whatever.

As for this audio above: it certainly sounds like Natalie Guercio... certainly sounds like a very personal conversation, too. And it certainly sounds like "the boyfriend" -- who thinks he's a gangster and is yelling at this beautiful woman for "ratting him out"...Well, I think this was definitely entrapment. Natalie sounds a little tipsy and this jerkoff of a boyfriend -- such a wimp he was sure to distort his own voice! -- is tape-recording her in a personal conversation!

Well, bo, you happy now? Did you get all that fckn attention you wanted?

And now December 2016, ask yourself: what'd it get you? You lost Natalie Guercio, son, you ain't ever gonna be nothing but a losah in my book, pal o mine..... 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

VH1 Mob Wives Series Finale: Will There Be Blood?

Tonight is VH1's Mob Wives series finale.

We finally got a chance to watch last week's episode and came to a realization hypothesis: Renee's baptism plays out, then we cut to a restaurant scene where Natalie DiDonato is providing Drita with proof that supposedly will finish off Natalie Guercio.

Kind of like The Godfather's infamous baptism scene in which Michael Corleone is taking part in the ceremony in a Catholic Church, no? The scene is inter-cut with scenes of the enemies of the Corleone family getting whacked one by one, and is probably one of the most famous scenes in film history (if not history, period.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Perspective on Mob's Marijuana Business

Arthur Mondella

We're jealous! Jealous that we didn't think of this first -- to incorporate the feedback of a Mafia expert to give the story of the suicided Cherry King more juice... 

Also, all you hear about is the mob selling heroin and cocaine, but they also sold a lot of dope (meaning weed, grass, smoke, pot, etc.) and this article quotes an ex-gangster to provide insight... One of our longtime readers commented about the prices, saying: "His prices are right for '90s prices," as our "Larry Jefe" notes in this story's Featured Comment below. He adds: "Since the late 90's most MJ in NYC was shipped from Vancouver thru Monteal and later in the 00's California, with an exception for the best quality indoor which NYC has always been known for growing."

From the New York Daily News: “Cherry King” Arthur Mondella was likely making millions of dollars from his secret pot-growing farm, according to an expert in the city’s illicit ganja trade — former pot farmer and ex-Gambino gangster John Alite.

Cops say Mondella grew at least 100 plants at a time in the basement of the Dell’s Maraschino Cherries factory in Red Hook — which could have earned him $10 million a year, according to Alite.

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?

Junior Gotti Punked Out in the Pod, Says Co-Defendant

In 1998, John A. "Junior" Gotti III was slapped with a wide-ranging RICO indictment (t
"He abused everybody in his past. He didn't give anybody
a break in any realm."


In 1998, John A. "Junior" Gotti III was slapped with a wide-ranging RICO indictment (the "Christmas Tree RICO," so named because it includes people allegedly involved in different crimes packaged together for procedural purposes under the top name on the indictment. In this case, it was Junior.)

This was the "Scores Case," which occurred prior to the sweeping indictment linking him to three mob-related hits and a host of other felonies, initiated in Florida, that led to Junior's four RICO trials.

It also occurred prior to Junior's proffer session with the Feds, documented in an FBI 302. That meeting occurred at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in lower Manhattan on January 18, 2005.