Saturday, December 31, 2016

Neil Dellacroce Plotted to Overthrow Carlo Gambino?

You sometimes come across a scrap of information in a decades-old news story that upends much of what you thought you knew about the Mafia.

Aniello Dellacroce, who rose in the Gambino crime family to become Carlo Gambino's underboss, is considered historically to have been an old-school gangster,  one whose mantra seemingly was: "The boss is the boss is the boss."





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Scars on Gambino Boss Castellano's Reign

For Bucky
The Mafia "is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."₁ 

Cosa Nostra News exclusive
Friday, December 16th, marked the 31st anniversary of the most famous gangland hit of the 20th century, the 1985 execution of Gambino boss Paul Castellano and his underboss and driver, Thomas Bilotti, outside Sparks Steak House in midtown Manhattan.

Castellano was shot six times and Bilotti four times.

The story of why Paul Castellano was killed has been the topic of books, films, magazine articles, newspaper stories and television documentaries. The details have been recounted again and again.

Castellano is historically viewed as the precursor to John Gotti.

Consantino Paul Castellano
Paul Castellano, formerly Gambino boss, died December 1985.
Owing to heavy mainstream interest in his high-profile successor, Castellano has been given short shrift; he's been mocked, derided and trivialized, cast as a deliberate foil to John Gotti, the polished, well-groomed "gangster from central casting." Castellano wasn't a tough guy; he thought he was a Fortune 500 CEO. He deliberately isolated himself from the street, shunning his own capos, soldiers and associates to meet with his top guys at his stately suburban mansion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Daughter of Allen Smiley, Only Witness to Bugsy Siegel's Murder, Wrote Memoir



Allen Smiley worked for around 10 years of his life with Cecil B. DeMille, "a founding father of the Hollywood film industry, and the most commercially successful producer-director in cinema history," as noted in The Art of the Hollywood Epic biography.

But Smiley decided it was more worthwhile to join with Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, who'd installed himself in Los Angeles to get pieces of various action for his New York friends (and himself).

Despite what one high-profile biography says about Smiley growing up in Manhattan with Siegel and Meyer Lanksy, his daughter told us otherwise.

Allen Smiley was only witness to Bugsy Siegel's murder
Allen Smiley on left; Luellen on right; unidentified woman in middle.
Allen Smiley was born Aaron Smehoff in Kiev. His family immigrated to Canada and settled in Winnipeg when Allen was five years old, his daughter writes in her memoir, Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute.



"Dad met Ben in 1937," Ms. Smiley told us. "Dad spent one year in New York after running away from home in Winnipeg. He moved to Los Angeles in 1927."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Unsolved 1970 Hit Heralded Years of Murders in New York Mafia



Sunday, Feb. 1, 1970, was a frigid day in upstate New York.

Snow carpeted the rural town of Saugerties, based around 40 miles south of Albany.

It was the kind of day that beckons one to go outside and live. Warmly ensconced in winter outfits -- as well as caps, scarves, mittens, rubber boots -- three brothers and some friends heeded the call.

Who drilled this still-unidentified body with four bullets in 1970?
Inhaling the crisp air and tumbling onto the snow-swept grounds of their parents' weekend estate, the brothers and friends pushed one another on a sled.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mob Boss's Grandson Nabbed (Plus Why Persico Opposed Lilo Hit)

Colombo crime family boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico's grandson recently underwent eye surgery, though he still seems to have vision problems.

As recently reported, Persico's grandson (and namesake) mistook a total stranger for someone he thought he knew.

Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico
Carmine (Junior) Persico
The 25-year-old grandson of Mafia royalty apparently has a beef with whoever he thought he saw.

Persico, backed by three guys, punched the stranger in his face outside the Brooklyn bar the Kettle Black, in Bay Ridge. "You look familiar," Persico allegedly snapped at the puzzled victim.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Mafia's Not-So Enigmatic 1946 Havana Conference



Meyer Lansky had a dream that rivaled the one widely (and inaccurately) attributed to Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel regarding transforming a sizeable stretch of the Nevada desert into a gambling mecca.

Lansky wanted to create an empire of Mafia-owned casinos that stretched across the Caribbean. He'd use Havana, Cuba, as his base of operations, where he and childhood friend/chief criminal cohort Charlie (Lucky) Luciano could work together.

Fate in the form of Fidel Castro didn't allow things to develop the way Lansky and Luciano hoped.
Lansky lost out on a major opportunity to build another fortune. Luciano, however, had it worse. He was returned to Italy, a country he despised. The Sicilian Mafia was robbing him blind.

Charlie Luciano in Rome after he was kicked out of Cuba....

DeCavalcante Capo Cops to Planning Rival's Murder


DeCavalcante crime family capo Charles Stango yesterday admitted to planning the murder of an organized crime rival, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a press release.

Stango, 72, of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to one count of knowingly using an interstate facility – the telephone – with the intent to murder a rival.
Charles Stango
Charles Stango


ALSO READ: John Riggi, Mafia's "Last Legitimate Boss"

He also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his supervised release, which he was serving following his imprisonment on racketeering charges in New York.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Stango was arrested on April 14, 2015, along with a crew of DeCavalcante members and associates who operated in New Jersey and elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Newsletter Focuses on Bugsy Siegel






Exclusive material about Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel's life and crimes and murder will be the focus of my pending monthly newsletter, debuting next week.

(You will note a style change: from now on I am going to use parentheses instead of quotations around nicknames, on first reference only. This is for reasons too complicated and boring to explain.)

Sign up now; it's going out by the end of next week.


If you'd like to advertise in the newsletter, I'm offering very competitive rates, so here's your chance to get your book or product or service in front of thousands of people interested in the Mafia.

Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel
 Specific readership data is available to those interested in purchasing advertising.

Rates are not expensive, believe me. 

Authors who need to promote a book should definitely contact me (publishers aren't as active and effective in this area, I know).

  Contact me to discuss at Cosanostranews @ gmail dot-com...




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

MUST SEE: Rare Bugsy Siegel Footage


Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was killed on June 20, 1947, at 10:45 pm West Coast time.

[Watch film footage below, the man wearing the maroon jacket is said to be Bugsy. I don't know...but first see the rare footage that is Bugsy Siegel....)

The gangster often identified as the visionary of Las Vegas was 41 years old. As recounted (here), he was killed around three months after The Flamingo reopened in March 1947, once construction was completed.

This IS rare footage of Bugsy Siegel.....


At least one gunman crept up to a French window with a 30-30 carbine, resting the rifle on the lattice work of a trellis outside the Moorish‐style mansion Siegel shared with Virginia Hill at 810 North Linden Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Siegel sat on a couch, his back facing the gunman, who was only about 15 feet away, separated by glass. Siegel flipped through a copy of the Los Angeles Times he had picked up after dining at Jack’s on the Beach, when the gunmen squeezed off nine shots, two hitting Siegel in the head and two more tearing through his chest.

He died nearly instantly, and the high-profile murder, subjected to an intensive investigation, remains unsolved to this day.

Is the man in the maroon jacket Bugsy Siegel?


The two most common theories identify the shooters as either Frankie Carbo, a former associate who helped Siegel commit an early murder, or Eddie Cannizzaro, a low‐level operative for LA gangster Jack Dragna, the boss Siegel had squeezed out of the lucrative wire-racing racket.

But is the identity of the shooter as important as who was at the other end, the man who gave the order?

Here's something interesting I learned while researching this story: Bugsy was not alone when he was killed. Trusted friend and associate Allen Smiley was with him that night, sitting on the other end of the couch. Little has been written about Smiley or what he knew about the murder. His daughter, Luellen Smiley, has written a book about the her father. Excerpts and stories about Smiley can be read here, on her blog.


New Bugsy book looks to be authoritative.

Smiley and Siegel had met in Hollywood; Bugsy had begun vising the West Coast city in the 1930s to run rackets for the East Coast Mafia. Smiley's friendly demeanor supposedly served as a soothing balm capable of mitigating Siegel's notorious mercurial outbursts.

Smiley owned a piece of the Flamingo hotel, as did other mobsters (many other mobsters, in fact), and these business partners, according to the prevailing wisdom, are most likely responsible for Siegel's death. Meyer Lansky was part of this group of investors and the man who probably gave the order to whack Bugsy, although a deported Charley "Lucky" Luciano may have originated the order. This is definitely a topic worth taking a closer look at, perhaps in a later article.

The motive, in any case, was quite obvious -- too much cash had disappeared. Construction of the Flamingo had run into huge cost overruns. Girlfriend Hill was allegedly skimming (with or without Bugsy's knowledge).





Allen Smiley, who amazingly escaped injury, is the only eye witness. Luellen attributes her father's escape to luck. "It went right through his jacket, the bullets. The only reason he was saved is that he acted quickly and dove to the floor," she said.

After the murder, Smiley went on the lam for about a year. Some believe he had known about the hit in advance. His daughter doubts that. "Did he know it was coming? No, I don't think he'd be sitting there," she said. Luellen gave the New York Post an interview a few years back.


The original Flamingo, completed by Siegel.


Smiley told police that it was too dark for him to identify the shooter(s).

He told a longtime friend quite a different story, according to said friend, Lem Banker, the Las Vegas sports gambler, who is still at it today, apparently.



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cuba, Once the Mafia's New Frontier




In 2003, New York-based Bonanno crime family members called Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto and told him the worst possible news.

The Bonanno crime family's boss, Joseph Massino, had flipped, they told Rizzuto.

Rizzuto faced serious trouble. Massino could implicate him in a triple homicide in New York City, in 1981. Massino had actually orchestrated the hit on three dissident Bonanno capos.

Alerted to a pending arrest for three homicides, Rizzuto and his wife promptly flew to Cuba, taking a flight the very next day to the Melia Las Americas, a resort in Varadero, Cuba.

There, the Rizzutos bided time in the five-star resort's tropical-style rooms, each of which offers a beach-side view via a balcony; they could dine in any one of its seven restaurants (ranging from casual, poolside snacks to fine dining), as well as pay a visit to the hotel's three bars and one nightclub.
Meyer Lansky, the Mob's Accountant
Meyer Lansky represented the mob in Cuba.
Santo Trafficante Jr. hated him.

"Vito went there to assess his options," said a retired Montreal Mafia investigator.