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Showing posts from April, 2016

Novel Revisits WW2 New York When Mob's Power Reached Pinnacle

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Yes, Montagna part two and a lot of other things in the works -- just saw this, thought it might interest some of you. Good historical Mafia fiction is hard to find....


"War makes patriots of us all — even Mafia capos. Albert Anastasia, a big deal in Murder Inc., enlisted in the Army. Joseph (Socks) Lanza, who controlled the rackets at the Fulton Fish Market, let naval officers work undercover on his fleet. And Long Island mobsters were said to have helped capture saboteurs who came ashore from a German submarine. These and other real-life gangsters appear in THE LETTER WRITER (Knopf, $26.95), Dan Fesperman’s dynamic novel set in New York during World War II."

The New York Times today includes a story about this fictional book that takes place during WW2 and includes real Mafia figures among its characters.

Among them is Meyer Lansky, "who arranged for Mafia dons to coordinate their war efforts with Frank Hogan, the New York district attorney, and Charles (Red) Haffende…

Priest Passed Deadly Intel to Outfit Member

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In February of this year the Feds revealed that a former prison chaplain passed "sensitive information" about a Chicago Outfit turncoat to an imprisoned mobster who had a lot to gain by killing the turncoat.

The allegations were filed in court after the priest, Eugene Klein, in a surprise move, pleaded guilty just as his trial was to commence.

The Catholic priest initially was indicted for planning a theft with feared former Chicago Outfit member Frank Calabrese Sr.


Why Was Sal the Iron Worker Montagna Whacked?

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On the morning of Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day in America, longtime criminal Jack Simpson, 71, drove a white Ford pickup truck northward on Celine-Dion Boulevard (the celebrity pop-singer's hometown had named its highway after her).

Simpsons was heading to his house in Charlemagne, an off-island suburb of Montreal, Quebec, where a deadly rendezvous had been planned.

Former Bonanno Boss's Restaurant for Sale

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A building recently advertised as available for sale was once the Casablanca Restaurant, the Queens-based eatery formerly owned and operated, off-the-books, by Joseph "Big Joey" Massino, the former boss of the Bonanno crime family who flipped and testified.

Located at 62-15 60th Lane, the 5,250-square-foot building is built on 1,800 square feet of land, a DY Realty Serviceslisting noted, adding that it includes a usable basement, full sprinkler system, overhead drive-in door and great signage visibility.

In our $2.99 ebook, Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire, I included a detailed description of the place, which the so-called Last Godfather used as a sort of social club.

Nothing New: Sensationalizing the American Mafia

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On occasion, while researching one story, another story raises its head and says "howdy".... One such story greeted me today courtesy of the New York Post website; it puts an interesting spin on 2011's infamous "Mafia Takedown Day," when 127 gangsters were hauled off to jail. The story's juiciest stuff is based off anonymous sources. But it also features "on the record" sources, including Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco) and Joaquín "Jack Falcone" García, the renowned former FBI agent who worked as many as five separate undercover cases simultaneously.  During Operation Jack Falcone, Garcia infiltrated Greg DePalma's Gambino crew. Garcia authored a book about it: Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family. He told me he chose the name based on the Italian magistrate killed by the Sicilian Mafia.

Wiseguy Who Posed as Rancher Gets More Time for Guns

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A longtime Boston Mafia associate who was a fugitive from Massachusetts justice for 16 years was sentenced to 46 months on multiple charges in Boise recently, news reports revealed.

That's in addition to the 28-year-sentence the mobster has already received.

Enrico Ponzo, 47, after participating in a failed hit that was part of a New England Mafia war, fled Massachusetts in 1994, with law enforcement in hot pursuit. Following years on the run, Ponzo settled in a small Idaho town -- and for the next 10 years, the Boston wiseguy successfully posed as a rancher named Jay Shaw.

Octogenarian Gangster Gets Two Years for Parole Violation

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REVISED, CORRECTED: A Bonanno wiseguy pushing 82 who claimed he was retired from Cosa Nostra life was still sentenced to two years in prison for hanging out with his old pals.

Joseph "Joe Desi" DeSimone, (not Anthony, as was mistakenly written) is a capo in the Queens faction who formerly worked under Phillip Giaccone. DeSimone was allegedly involved in the 1981 slayings of capos Giaccone, Dominick Trinchera and Alphonse Indelicato. Joseph was known to have been active in loansharking and extortion. DeSimone recently finished 12 years in prison for a mob hit, and his defense attorney had hoped for a wristslap four-month sentence.

Brooklyn federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis wasn't having it.

Rizzuto Clan's Chief Enemy Doesn't Mind Prison?

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Raynald Desjardins appears to have nothing left to lose, to paraphrase the Montreal Gazette.

The 62-year-old former trusted lieutenant of the Rizzuto organization last week told a Quebec Superior Court judge that he is willing to wait for a period that could ultimately last longer than a year for his sentencing hearing. This follows Desjardins guilty plea to conspiracy for the November 2011 murder of former New York-based acting Bonanno crime family boss Salvatore Montagna.

Desjardins, an influential organized crime figure who used to be a right-hand man to Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on July 6, 2015..

Mobster's Murder Plea Stemmed from Gambino Turf War

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On a recent Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Gennaro “Jerry” Bruno, a Gambino crime family associate, pleaded guilty to racketeering, a 2002 murder, and conspiring to impede grand jury testimony.

Bruno stood before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, who accepted the guilty plea. As per the agreement, Bruno will be sentenced to 21 years in prison at a May 6, 2016 hearing.

Back in October 2014 an indictment was unsealed charging Bruno, then described as an associate of the Gambino crime family under Joseph “JoJo” Corozzo, with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.

Technical Problems Gumming Up the Works

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Some may have noticed that I haven't been posting lately. It's really annoying because I've got some cool stuff that should've been posted already.

The moment I've long dreaded finally arrived, you see. It happened last night. My heretofore loyal desktop computer rather abruptly died, which in turn nearly caused me to die (twas only a fleeting feeling of cardiac arrest).

A few deep breaths and a swift pull from a bourbon bottle helped (for about three seconds). I am determined, however, to use whatever resources I can to post content until I get a new computer. That said, since my resources are rather limited: my tablet (which I'm using now), cellphone, and a super portable Acer laptop that's so slow I may smash it to pieces this very night, posting is going to slow down a lot. (It's possible to provide assistance if you're so inclined.)

Mob Wives' Star Cleared of Assault Charges

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"Mob Wives" star Drita D’Avanzo’s assault charges were dropped last week, the Daily News reported, "after her victim declared omerta and refused to cooperate with prosecutors, officials said."

She declared omerta.... right...

As noted, D'Avanzo, 40, was busted for fighting at Mary Bratti's Amboy Road home in Staten Island's Tottenville section at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 in what had all the markings of a classic celebrity-gotcha setup.

Bonanno Capo Wins Re-sentence Despite His "Stupidity"

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Anthony “Little Anthony” Pipitone was initially given a two-year sentence, twice as much time as his two pals got for violating the terms of their parole by attending the Bonanno crime family's holiday shindig last December.

The reason his time was doubled apparently was due to his "stupidity," though newspaper reports don't clarify whether the judge meant that Pipitone alone was stupid or if he was simply twice as stupid as the other two.

On March 30, news reports noted that a Brooklyn federal judge agreed to re-sentence one of the three Bonanno mobsters violated for attending the holiday bash.