Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Real Mobster Tells "Untold Story"

"I was part of the criminal underworld for... three decades, since my early teens, in Brooklyn, New York.

More specifically I was an associate of the Gambino Crime Family with blood ties to Cosa Nostra in Sicily. I’m speaking in the past tense because those days are long behind me. I made a decision to turn my back on the Mafia.

I betrayed the unspoken oath I had taken as a teenage criminal on the rough and tumble streets of Brooklyn, to never rat out anyone, not even your enemy.

The government was now using me to build a case against members and associates of the Gambino Crime Family."

Not many of you, I bet, probably have experienced a full-cavity strip search. I certainly haven't.

Well, "Mr. Fitzgerald," author of The Untold Story of A Top Echelon Informant: What the Government is Hiding and Protecting (a 12-page story available on Amazon Kindle priced at $2.99), excerpted above, writes of strip searches, among other things. He estimates he's gone through full strip and cavity searches "hundreds of times."

Did Philadelphia Mafia Dodge a Bullet?

According to the indictment, Joey Merlino and two Genovese crime family capos ran the East Coast LCN Enterprise
Merlino faces up to 20 years but the Philly guys may have been spared -- from this case.

George Anastasia, writing this week's Gangland News column, reports that "in a strange twist ... federal authorities in New York who hit Skinny Joey last month with racketeering charges that carry up to 20 years in prison seem to have done a much bigger favor for Merlino's Philadelphia mob crew."

Last month's"East Coast LCN Enterprise" indictment named members and associates of four of New York's five crime families (the Colombo crime family was absent) plus the Philadelphia-North Jersey crime family -- even though Merlino was the only one from Philly to be arrested. And he wasn't even in Philadelphia at the time of the bust; he was in Florida.

According to the indictment, Merlino and Genovese crime family capos Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello and Eugene "Rooster" O'Nofrio had "supervised and controlled members of the Enterprise engaged in illegal schemes."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DeCavalcante Associate Gets 2-Plus Years for Cocaine Distribution

Charles Stango has yet to be charged following
the DeCavalcante bust of March 2015. 

A DeCavalcante crime family associate was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for selling more than a half-kilo of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman noted this yesterday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Walls imposed the sentence in Newark federal court. (Press release is here.)

Last December, John "Johnny Balls" Capozzi, 36, of Union, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine (as did associate Mario Galli, of Toms River, New Jersey).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Spotlights Gangster's Grizzly Hollywood Slaying

Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl Crane whacked Stompanato in 1958
Mickey Cohen's goodbye to Stompanato
This article first appeared in the Dec. 24, 2015 issue of Smashpipe; re-blogged via Tony's website of collected writings.

By Tony Sokol

Lana Turner, the daughter of a bootlegger, was discovered at a soda shop in Hollywood after she left home in the wake of her father’s gangland execution. The “Sweater Girl Judy” pinup girl became a Tinseltown legend, paired onscreen with the likes of John Garfield in the classic noir film The Postman Always Rings Twice, and off-screen with stars and mobsters. She became a notorious legend after the stabbing death of one of those mobsters.

A new book called Movie Star and the Mobster talks about the stabbing death of Lana Turner’s lover Johnny, a former marine known as “Handsome Harry” when he got a job as an enforcer for famous LA gangster Mickey Cohen.

It wasn’t Lana who whacked Stompanato in 1958, but her daughter Cheryl Crane, Turner’s child from her brief second marriage to restaurateur Stephen Crane. Crain was acquitted on the grounds that she was protecting her mother. By the time Cheryl was 10, Turner was on her fourth husband. Cheryl herself had been violently and repeatedly raped by Lana Turner’s fourth husband, actor Lex Barker. When Lana found out, Crane said in an interview, Turner held a gun to Barker’s head while he slept, decided not to spend the rest of her life in prison and kicked him out of the house instead.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

We Don't Break Our Capos. We Kill Them

Mob associate Michael (Cookie) Durso flipped against the Genovese crime family and wore a wire hidden within a $3,000 Rolex wristwatch for three years -- all the while recording thousands of hours of "privileged" conversations among high-ranking members of the Genovese crime family.

In the end he rode off into the sunset of the Witness Protection Program with wife Vanessa. Financially, the couple was not hurting, either; they were able to bring millions of dollars with them, as Gangland News reported on February 21, 2002.

Mob associate Michael "Cookie" Durso flipped against the Genovese crime family and wore a wire hidden within a $3,000 Rolodex wristwatch
Farby Serpico, former Genovese acting boss

Durso had been meeting with prosecutors to discuss flipping -- due to his longstanding beef over the murder of his cousin, a Genovese crime family loanshark. Durso was to meet with Mark Feldman, the head of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Organized Crime unit, and Paul Weinstein, a chief prosecutor, for a third time on June 17, 1998.

He couldn't make that meeting, though, as he was arrested for participating in a 1996 gangland hit. But the very next day, Durso pleaded guilty and began his years-long undercover mission of recording mobsters, "every one of (whom), had they known he was recording them, would have killed him," as Weinstein later said.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Turncoat Linked to Gambinos for Decades Freed by Florida Governor, Feds

It's not very often a governor, his cabinet, three federal prosecutors and other government officials go to bat  for a former drug addicted mob associate -- but that is exactly what happened yesterday.

Ronnie "One-Arm" Trucchio and John Alite were both convicted based on Bonner's grand jury and trial testimony in Tampa
Scene of a murder

Kevin Bonner, for the past decade, had been serving 24 years of a state sentence at an undisclosed federal prison.

And yesterday his sentence was commuted, thanks to the Feds, as well as the state of Florida. Bonner has put away, or on trial, a multitude of Gambino wiseguys. A former Woodhaven resident, he has testified about mob mayhem and murder going back to the early 1980s.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"The Last Don Standing" to Reveal Longtime Mafia Secrets

Last Don Standing: The Secret Life of Mafia Boss Ralph Natale by Larry McShane and Dan Pearson will be available in the U.S. next March. 

The Amazon Kindle version is available for pre-order now at the discounted price of $12.99, a savings of 50 percent. The book, about the life of a former boss of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra will download to Kindle devices on March 21, 2017.

Natale is the first-ever mob boss to turn state’s evidence, as the book's description notes.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ronnie "The Rottweiler" Kerner: Last of the Tough Jews

Cosa Nostra News Exclusive 
Ronnie Kerner is one gangland figure you probably never heard of.

And that's precisely the way he wanted it.

by 2013 Ron Kerner was arrested by the FBI for Hobbs Act Extortion a major OC charge and conspiracy
Ronnie Kerner 

A duel citizen of the United States and Israel, Ronnie was born in New York City. He grew up in Manhattan a troubled child, although he did not come from poverty. In fact, he seemed to have had plenty of opportunities. However, the divorce of his parents left his home life ugly.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Why Did Federal Agents Raid Victoria Gotti's Home?

Peter Gotti departs Queens Criminal Court
after bail hearing.

Federal agents conducted authorized searches of Victoria Gotti's estate in the Long Island town of Old Westbury, as well as an auto-parts store located in the New York City borough of Queens.

The auto-parts shop is owned by Victoria's ex-husband Carmine Agnello, who is in jail pending a racketeering case, but it is run by the former couple's three sons.

The sons "appear to be the targets of the probe rather than their mom," the New York Daily News reported, adding that a federal prosecutor from the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's tax fraud section is overseeing the inquiry, which appears to have originated with the IRS.

Victoria's ex-husband's lawyer declined to comment for the News story, which referenced the 2015 trial of Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro (who was found not guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court), noting:

A snitch secretly taped a conversation inside the auto parts store on Liberty Ave. in Jamaica. The snitch, Asaro's cousin Gaspare Valenti, commented on the tape that the Gotti grandson "is a sweetheart."

Valenti and Asaro greeted John Gotti Agnello at the auto parts store in November 2011. The two were there to see a mob associate known only as Jumbo.

Agnello is in jail pending trial on racketeering charges.

Read Victoria Gotti Takes Surreal Potshots at 'Mob Wives'


Two weeks ago, a Queens judge used a new word to respond to a bail request submitted on behalf of another grandson of the legendary Gambino boss.

Fuhgeddaboudit, was the word the judge used in her reply, denying the requested bail.

"The mob prince, also named John Gotti, was charged with running a lucrative oxycodone drug ring and is being held in solitary confinement — something “cruel” and akin to “punishment,” defense lawyer Gerard Marrone said during the bail hearing at Queens Criminal Court, according to the News.

“We are dealing with an individual with psychological issues," Marrone said. “He’s had a very, very serious addiction issue for years."

The defendant's father is Peter Gotti, a son of the late Gambino crime boss John Gotti.

A $2 million bail package secured by property was available, Marrone said.

However, according to the News, Judge Dorothy Chin Brandt "didn't allow the issue to proceed to the point of discussing who would be coming forward to vouch for Gotti if he is sprung on bail."

Her reasoning was that he wasnt, so no one was needed to vouch for him.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wiseguy Jerry Chilli Was a One-Man Crimewave

Jerry Chilli*   died last Saturday from throat cancer; a private funeral mass will be held in Florida, which is where the Bonanno capo spent the greater part of his adult life. (Especially after New Jersey law enforcement officials, in no uncertain terms, told him to depart New Jersey.)

Bonanno capo Jerry Chilli served lots of prison time, which some chalk up to his involvement with the notorious Costabile "Gus" Farace,
Jerry Chilli, at the top of the game.

Chilli was a stone-cold gangster who shunned the limelight, who never "talked" and never took a step back, even when he knew there could be a steep price to pay. He was a tough guy with his fists who made his bones with a gun.

The younger of two brothers (his brother moved up faster and earned more), Jerry Chilli served lots of prison time, which some chalk up to his involvement with the notorious Costabile "Gus" Farace, the mob associate who executed an undercover federal agent on Staten Island in 1989. (A 1991 made-for-television film about Farace is available on DVD featuring several actors who today are high profile, including Samuel L. Jackson and Frank Vincent.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Gerard "Jerry" Chilli, Reputed Bonanno Capo, Died Yesterday: Sources

Bonanno crime family capo Gerard "Jerry" Chilli died yesterday in Florida
Gerard "Jerry" Chilli

Former Staten Island resident and reputed Bonanno crime family capo Gerard "Jerry" Chilli died yesterday in Florida of cancer, according to Cosa Nostra News sources.

Chilli, 81, was reportedly last living in Hollywood, Fla., based on news reports.

He died of throat cancer, according to sources. "Cigars got him," said one former Bonanno crime family associate, who added that Chilli had been in the hospital for the last couple of months.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Profile of The Grim Reaper's Daughter, Linda Scarpa

Earlier this year, Linda Scarpa, daughter of Colombo mobster Greg Scarpa, appeared on Crime Watch Daily, a true-crime show about which we have written in the past, partly to promote her recent memoir.

Cosa Nostra News contributor Nick Christophers described Linda Scarpa's book, The Mafia Hit Man's Daughter, as one of the "few books (that) have truly captured mob life" accurately. (See the story here.)

Gregory Scarpa, known as "The Grim Reaper," was one of the most violent mobsters ever to strut through New York City's boroughs -- and the fact that he was a longtime high-echelon FBI informant only made him more dangerous. As noted in January of this year, a federal judge years ago had voiced his belief that Scarpa's former FBI agent handler Lindley DeVecchio was indeed guilty of passing on key intelligence to Scarpa, who then put it to use to murder mob rivals.

Cadillac Frank Pleads NOT Guilty; DeLuca Flipped

Headline corrected; story expanded
Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme has pleaded not guilty to the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

Salemme, 83, copped to the charge on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Rhode Island ex-mobster Robert "Bobby" DeLuca cooperated with investigators, according to an affidavit, which also noted that DeLuca had implicated Salemme in the murder.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Implications of Recent "East Coast" Syndicate Case

Genovese crime family was a focal point of Recent East Coast Syndicate Case
The Chin's Triangle social club suffered the same fate as the Ravenite: gentrification.

"We got 30, 40 guys. Don't let anyone tell you that we're dead, 'cause we're here." 
--Genovese capo Alan "Baldy" Longo speaking in October 2000
with Michael "Cookie" D'Urso, a mob turncoat.....

Jerry Capeci of Gangland News discussed last month's bust of dozens of mobsters for large-scale racketeering conspiracy on an episode of MetroFocus hosted by PBS show producer William Jones.

Reputed members of an East Coast crime syndicate were charged in midsummer with racketeering, extortion, loansharking, gambling, credit card fraud and healthcare fraud. The indictment depicts an interesting version of how the New York Mafia seems to be evolving.

Though largely focused in New York, crimes alleged in the case also occurred in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey.

Cadillac Frank Formally Indicted; The Saint Slated for October Release

Yesterday, Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, one-time boss of the New England Mafia, was formally indicted for the 1993 murder of a Boston nightclub owner whose body was found this past March in Providence, Rhode Island by law enforcement authorities acting on a tip.

Salemme, Paul Weadick, who also is named in the indictment, and Salemme's son, who died in 1995, have long been suspected of involvement in the notorious disappearance of the nightclub owner, Steven A. DiSarro.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, charges Salemme and Weadick with the murder of DiSarro, a federal witness. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Film About Historical Rise of Two Outfit Bosses Slated by Michael Mann

Michael Mann is planning to film the story of two of the Chicago Outfit's most notorious and ruthless bosses
Tony Accardo, aka "Joe Batters", was nicknamed by Al Capone
for his skill at pummeling people.

On September 7, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, who were famously paired in the Michael Mann film Heat, will be reunited, with Mann, for a panel discussion to be hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Beverly Hills' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

The discussion will follow a viewing of a new digital restoration of the 1995 film.

As was reported earlier this year, Heat is due for a prequel by Mann. The acclaimed filmmaker has also stated that he'd approved a true-crime novelization for his new publishing label, Michael Mann Books, to detail the story of Chicago Outfit bosses Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. For the book, the debut project for Mann's imprint, the director has teamed up with Don Winslow, the bestselling author of The Cartel "to co-create an original novel about the complex relationship between two Organized Crime giants," as Deadline reported, further noting that "the project will be developed into a feature film that Mann will produce and possibly direct, based on the novel and a pre-existing screenplay Mann co-wrote with Shane Salerno."