Showing posts from 2017

Son of Sam's First Shooting Suspected To be a Mob Hit

Excerpts from two handwritten letters, the first to the NYPD:

I am not (a woman hater). I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam…I am on a different wavelength than everyone else—programmed to kill. To stop me you must kill me. Attention all police, Shoot me first—shoot to kill or else keep out of my way or you will die. I love to hunt. Prowling the street looking for fair game—tasty meat. The women of Queens are prettiest of all. It must be the water they drink. I live for the hunt—my life. Blood for Papa...
Another, to newspaperman Jimmy Breslin:
Hello from the gutters of N.Y.C. which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood. Hello from the sewers of N.Y.C. which swallow up these delicacies when they are washed away by the sweeper trucks. Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of N.Y.C. and from the ants that dwell in these cracks and feed in the dried blood of the dead that has settled into the cracks. ... -- David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam"

Some of the greate…

Sacra Corona Unita Raises Ante of Violence, Killing Witnesses; Carabinieri Investigators Deployed

Italy’s southern Puglia region was the site of lethal brutality this week courtesy of one of the country's lesser-known organised crime syndicates.

On Wednesday, a group of up to five gunmen riding through the region shot at two other vehicles in separate, but related, incidents, killing four.

The violence commenced on Wednesday when four or five gunmen opened fire on another vehicle, killing two men inside. Law enforcement sources have since identified the man they believe was the main target as a Foggia mob boss, and the other man, the driver, his brother-in-law. (A civil war within the region's Mafia group may have set these events in motion.)

Gunner Lindbloom on the Detroit Underworld

Former Detroit mobster Alan “Gunner” Lindbloom finished a 13-year prison term last year. While inside, he decided that thug life was not for him, so he put down the gun and picked up the pen, so to speak.

He is related to Detroit's infamous Tocco family through his mother. His book, To Be A King, is available now. 

The following is excerpted from The National Crime Syndicate's interview with him. It includes a little anecdote centered on how Gunner, one drunken evening in a nightclub in Manhattan, hit on Luchese crime family boss Vittorio "Little Vic" Amuso's girl....
Where did the nickname ‘Gunner’ come from?

Alan: Believe it or not, my real middle name is Gunner. Originally, my father wanted to name me Gunner. But my Sicilian grandparents Tocco wanted my name to be Alanzo. There was a lot of contention between both sides of my family over this, but eventually a compromise was reached: my name would be “Alan” (a shortened Americanized version of Alanzo) and my middl…

What Our Readers Are Reading

We don't usually see what we are seeing this summer....

A good number of readers are purchasing Mafia-related nonfiction lately. (Apparently, the Bonanno crime family is garnering the most interest.)

Understand that this is all based on our informal, highly un-technical review of our Amazon sales data for July and thus far into August. We are only including a list of titles -- not sales data. We will say that we see these kinds of numbers only in December.

Anthony Accetturo's Wife Nearly Killed Him in a Car Crash, And That Was Only the Beginning

REVISED to include reference to Miami Memo about Joseph(Skinny Joey) Merlino, reputed boss of Philadelphia Mafia....

This is not the kind of item I'd usually cover but August is the slowest of news months and this is just too whacky to let go....

A Broward County woman married to a man with a historic Mafia name was arrested on a Friday late last month. She's married to the son of the onetime top Luchese crime family leader in New Jersey.
Elena Accetturo, 29, faces charges of DUI with property damage, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, battery on an officer and driving with a suspended license. She was released from the Palm Beach County Jail after posting a $12,000 bond

This Writer of Mafia-based Fiction Has Very Real Crime Experience

Looking for a good mob-related read?

You might want to check out To Be a King, a novel "based on a Detroit organized crime family," as the author, Alan Gunner Lindbloom, said of it.

Lindbloom certainly writes with authority, having been an associate of the Detroit Mafia; specifically, the Tocco crime family. He's actually a member of the Tocco family via his mother.

Lindbloom was released from prison last year after serving a 13-year stint for extortion, bank robbery, armed robbery, and several weapons violations.

He certainly hit the ground running since then, writing, giving interviews, appearing on television.

He even launched "Our Thing" (Cosa Nostra in Italian) apparel....

Lindbloom has been setting the mob-related blogosphere on fire, with major stories running on many key Mafia-related news sites, including The Gangster Report, Gangsters Inc., and The National Crime Syndicate -- actually, Lindbloom is writing a series of stories titled The Lindbloom Chro…

Young Tech-Savy Turks Take On Ndrangheta in South Ontario

Around a dozen unsolved incidents of violence have occurred so far this year in Southern Ontario, a volley of gunfire, restaurant bombings, and outright murder.

It's presumed by law enforcement in Canada that this is an ongoing mob war to fill a leadership vacuum created by the death of  "the Canadian John Gotti," as Gang Land News dubbed him.

Vito Rizzuto was waging a war of annihilation against foes internal and external once he returned home after serving a stint in an American prison for participating in a notorious triple homicide of Bonanno capos in 1981.

His death from cancer is the only thing that stopped him from killing more mobsters who either were against him or had shown disloyalty to him. Rizzuto's father and eldest son were slain by Ndrangheta members while he was in prison after Joseph Massino, the Bonanno crime family boss, flipped and gave testimony about Rizzuto's role in the triple murders.

Ever since Rizzuto, the powerful Mont…

Gambino Mobster John Gammarano Died July 22, 2017

John Gammarano died on July 22, 2017, after suffering a long bout with a cancer-related illness, a source told Cosa Nostra News

The source is in a solid position to have knowledge of Johnny G.

The Gambino mobster was buried on July 26.

Gammarano's death was noted on ObitTree by Brooklyn's Scarpaci Funeral Home, as per the website.

Michael Persico's True Status in the New York Underworld

Michael Persico, son of the infamous reputed mob boss imprisoned for life, was sentenced to five years in prison last week in a proceeding during which he was essentially convicted of a crime for which he was never tried and that he never copped to in a plea agreement.

Based on available evidence and this blog's interview with Michael (Mikie Scars) DiLeonardo, a onetime capo from the regime of former Gambino boss John Gotti, Michael Persico, a widower in his sixties who lives with his two daughters, is nothing like the man the judge sought to depict last week.

Desiree Persico, daughter of Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico (Michael's brother) spoke with us as well. (We will incorporate new information from her remarks later today.)

The alleged Colombo associate copped to a loansharking charge back in 2012, but last week a judge in Brooklyn federal court said he was guilty of murder, which had been proven by "more than a preponderance of the evide…

Colombo War's Last Hit Fueled Michael Persico's Extended Prison Sentence


Alas, how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that's wise! 
― Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Michael Persico, who the Feds say is a powerful associate in the Colombo crime family, was sentenced to five years in prison, two more years than prosecutors recommended, last Friday.
The judge factored in an uncharged murder when she sentenced him.

He was concerned about this happening all along; it is what dragged out his plea agreement for six years. 
Persico was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court by Judge Dora Irizarry, who spelled out the reason for the extra time, noting that prosecutors had proved Persico’s role in the 1993 gangland hit by "more than a preponderance of the evidence."

The Daily News reported that: "An acting Colombo capo-turned-informant said Persico helped with weapons for the hit and told him someone knew where to find (Orena faction underboss Joseph) Scopo."
Prosecutors for years believed Persico was involved in the murder of…

Genovese Capo Seeks Separation from Skinny Joey Merlino

NOTE: The attorney for Michael Guidici contacted me in comments yesterday, as some of you probably noticed, and sent me the minutes of the court proceeding. After reviewing them, I don't find the case compelling enough to cover here. Although Guidici was indicted with Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro, his case is not mob-related, obviously....

One co-defendant in the so-called East Coast LCN Enterprise case, alleged Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio, wants to be tried separately from Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

The reputed Genovese capo runs crews in Manhattan's Little Italy and in Springfield, Mass.

Apparently, he has deep concerns that Merlino’s "alleged misconduct could prejudice the jury against him at trial," the Daily News reported, citing court records.
Onofrio and Merlino were arrested last August as per United States v. Pasquale Parrello, et al.

Ex-Philly Mobster on East Coast LCN Enterprise Case; Hammonton Mafia History

We spoke with a longtime Philadelphia source about our previous story, on why the Fed's sought to limit the scope of the FBI's investigation into the so-called East Coast LCN Enterprise (see indictment, here).

Was it out of hubris or incompetence, we wrote.

Our source noted that the FBI's local office in Philadelphia continues its investigation of the Philadelphia mob no matter what happens in New York's Southern District's case.

Potential Philadelphia Connection to East Coast LCN Case Never Pursued

When, precisely, did the FBI's New York Field Office realize that it was screwed?

We refer here to the seemingly immense East Coast LCN Enterprise case, the investigation that resulted in last August's indictment of 46 mobsters, including mobsters from four of New York's five Mafia families and the alleged boss of the Philadelphia mob (who lives in Florida).

(NOTE: Reputed Philadelphia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino is the only alleged "East Coast LCN crime syndicate" member from the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra.)

The answer to that question may shed light on a possible alternative reason for why the Fed's in New York were reluctant to share information with offices in Philadelphia and Florida. The word has been that New York's Southern District was too greedy and didn't want to share the credit on what certainly appeared to be a large, sprawling Mafia case.

Unless, of course, the Feds knew that said case had been mismanaged, poisoned, and due to crash h…

Seriously, We're Closing Up Shop

It's with deep regret that I write the following announcement. It's something I never conceived would happen, and yet here we are....

I want it known that this is not a result of any decision made by me; it's simply an inevitable result of capitalism.
It's actually physically painful to make this kind of announcement, I'm realizing now, as I write this.
It's been years since we launched, but as the saying goes, All good things must come to an end...

A(nother) Real-life Wiseguy Played a Mobster on The Sopranos

John (Cha Cha) Ciarcia, who played a brief but pivotal role on The Sopranos as the consiglieri of the New York-based Lupertazzi crime family, was a Genovese crime family associate in real life.

He allegedly "was involved in everything" regarding the San Gennaro feast, a Genovese capo reputedly told an undercover FBI agent.

Whether he was a former or active associate is open to interpretation, but it's suggested that he was active up until his death at age 75 of natural causes. This story, simple as it is, is unbelievable -- and maybe a decade or two ago, it would have been inconceivable, incomprehensible -- but it's true...

That makes two, so far. Tony Sirico, who played Peter Paul (Paulie Walnuts) Gualtieri, was once a Colombo crime family associate. Some mention Tony Darrow. The one and only... He was allegedly a Gambino associate, but he apparently got hooked up with a mob family after his Sopranos stint (or during) as Larry Boy Borgese.

Old Patriarca Famiglia: The Cheeseman Cometh?

Who's the new boss of the New England Mafia (what's left of the once-powerful legendary Patriarca crime family, anyway)?

Seems Carmen (The Big Cheese) DiNunzio is among the seemingly very select few who fit the bill, as per a story by Gangster Report, a site we link to below.

New Book on Mafia's Biggest Robbery, the Lufthansa Heist

Kirkus describes it as "a straightforward update to the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Airlines heist. Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Anthony DeStefano understands the difficulty of opening new aspects of a crime immortalized in journalism, memoirs, and the film Goodfellas.

“Of all the Mafia heists, rip-offs, scores, and plunders, none has been more iconic a part of American popular culture than the brazen [Lufthansa] robbery.”
Vincent Asaro, who now faces 20 years in prison on charges related to arson, was charged with (and acquitted of) co-masterminding the infamous $6 million Lufthansa heist with James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke; Asaro also was charged with (and acquitted of) murdering Paul Katz, a suspected mob snitch strangled to death with a dog leash.

Kempton's Close Encounters with Mafia Bosses

One morning in the spring or fall of 1988 or '89 (or '90 or '91) while walking to (or from) my office on the Upper West Side, I happened to turn around and see an old man looking at me.

He seemed completely oblivious to his surroundings, so totally lost in thought, it was as if he wasn't really there. He was wearing a three-piece suit and was smoking a pipe and was astride a bicycle.

I realized two things: 1) he was Murray Kempton, then a columnist for New York Newsday (sadly, now defunct) and that 2) he wasn't looking at me; I happened to be standing in his line of sight. He was probably mentally composing his next New York Newsday column.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) was "a rarity among newspaper columnists, a self-effacing humanist bemused at his own leftist politics and filled with compassion for the downtrodden and notorious alike."

Recalling Bad Times for the Bonannos

Richard Cantarella, aka Shellackhead, recently contacted me on Facebook. Or at least I think it was him. In this online world of ours, one can never be too certain.

He asked if I could help put him in contact with Sal Vitale.I'm going to work my sources, but if Good Lookin Sal were to contact me, it'd be somewhat easier and I guarantee confidentiality.

Moving right along, I am sharing here part of a chapter from the short-format ebook I wrote with former  Bonanno capo Dominick Cicale, Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire.

The chapter, of course, has to do with Cantarella.

Who Is "Spanish Carmine," the Mob Associate Arrested in Recent Luchese Bust?

A man of Spanish descent was among the Luchese crime family mobsters arrested in New York in late May.

A total of 15 Luchese members and associates were arrested, one of whom was Carmelo Garcia Babarro, 65, a Basque from Bilbao, who has US citizenship; the four others were already in prison for other crimes during the raid.
The Luchese crime family's street boss, underboss and consiglieri were among the arrested. The defendants face racketeering, murder, narcotics and firearms offenses. As noted previously, the indictment's centerpiece is the murder of former Purple Gang boss Michael Meldish.

Gotti, Wiseguy Vinny Asaro Plead Guilty in Road-Rage Revenge Case

Updated at End
Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro and John J. Gotti, grandson and namesake of the late Gambino crime family boss, pleaded guilty yesterday in Brooklyn federal court to charges related to the aftermath of a road rage incident.

Asaro and Gotti were indicted for torching a car that belonged to a man who had the temerity to drive in front of Asaro at a traffic light in New York City traffic.

Asaro was acquitted in 2015 of charges that he masterminded the notorious $6 million Lufthansa heist in 1978. Asaro, Gotti and a third man indicted in the case will not be sentenced until Oct. 24.

Role the Bonannos Played in Luchese Associate's Murder

The shooting of Enzo (The Baker) Stagno of Whitestone, Queens, was always one of the more bizarre twists in the ongoing story of the gangland-style killing of Luchese associate Michael Meldish.

Now, we finally seem to have enough information to piece this big puzzle together. We also know more about why Bonanno boss Michael (Nose) Mancuso was initially named as a suspect in the Meldish murder.

The Stagno attempted hit occurred on May 29, 2013, at around 6 p.m., as he was seated in his 2009 GMC Yukon, parked at East 111th Street and First Avenue.

Stagno was chatting on his cellphone when he suddenly heard BANG! The window beside him shattered and a bullet punched into his chest, grazing him. Stagno felt a “pinch” and dived into the backseat -- when the next shot was fired.

Greg Scarpa Jr's Symbolic Appeal Victory Plucked Away

A New York federal appeals court ruled last Thursday that the 40-year sentence imposed on Gregory Scarpa Jr. in 1999 will be reinstated.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court judge "had overstepped his authority by shaving 10 years off the sentence," as the New York Times reported.

Scarpa, while imprisoned, helped the government find leftover explosives from the Oklahoma City bombing.

Longtime Colombo Big-Shot Sonny Franzese Outlived Generations

“My father went through twenty damn years of aggravation, my mother’s a nervous wreck, my brothers and sisters are all wrecks. Where is all this honor and this baloney? You can’t believe in this damn oath when you’ve got a family to think of. What about them? My mother’s been alone for seventeen years. So which is the more honorable stand? My father’s position is: This is how I’ve lived all my life, and I don’t want anybody to ever say that I was a rat or a snitch, so I’m gonna die this way. O.K. I guess I can relate to that. But I’m in a different position. I’m thirtysomething years old. I’ve got six children, I’ve got a young wife. And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna put them through what my family had to go through. Especially for something I no longer believe in."
--Michael Franzese
John (Sonny) Franzese was convicted of masterminding bank robberies back in the 1960s. Many have long believed Franzese was framed.

A classic bit of self-justifying bullshit among some law enforcement …

John "Sonny" Franzese Released from Federal Prison

Gangland legend/longtime Colombo wiseguy John (Sonny) Franzese — who set the record for being the oldest inmate in the federal prison system — was released Friday from a Massachusetts lockup.

He's shockingly frail looking but then he turned 100 this past February (we wonder if President Trump sent him the birthday card) and just finished an eight-year bid. Guys facing less time than that have flipped -- nevermind emptying your pockets at 93 years of age.

He served his sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass. for shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in Manhattan.

Top Journo References DeCavalcantes in Story on Republican Leaders

Comparing politicians to Mafia members is rote enough to be a cliche, but seldom have I seen it so well done.

It's no wonder then that the writer in question here is New Yorker editor/consummate journalist David Remnick.

Scrutinizing Donald Trump's Alleged Mafia Ties

A decade ago, an impetuous real estate mogul was compelled to answer a series of questions under oath, a result of his own legal maneuverings.

He had filed a libel lawsuit against a writer for authoring a biography of the mogul.
And the wealthy developer who's been part of Manhattan's landscape longer than I have been alive is of course today's President of the United States. The book he filed the lawsuit over was TrumpNation.

Trump lost the case in 2011 -- free speech and all makes winning frivolous libel suits rather cumbersome -- but the deposition remains -- a relic of a dead legal case. Contained within it is an acknowledgment that, in more than 30 instances, Tump lied extensively and proficiently on a range of issues.

Genovese Wiseguy Cops to Illegal Gambling; Was Once Tied to Fritzy

A reputed Genovese crime family member from Staten Island who was among the 46 alleged wiseguys arrested and charged with racketeering and other crimes in last August's "big bust," has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of running an illegal gambling business.

Alex Conigliaro, 56, was accused of attempting to extort a man who allegedly put him in the hole for nearly a half-million dollars in February 2012. The man, a bookmaker, had accounts with codefendant John (Tugboat) Tognino, who allegedly worked for Conigliaro.

Conigliaro suspected the bookmaker had allowed professional bettors to place wages, which put Conigliaro on the hook for nearly half a million -- the amount he owed the winning bettors, the Feds alleged.

The bookmaker was summoned to a Bronx restaurant (Pasquale’s Rigoletto?), where Conigliaro, a capo, and another alleged mobster confronted him in the basement and threatened him.

Queens DA Organized Crime & Rackets Bureau Statement

The following was released last month by the Queens District Attorney's Office.

It highlights numerous mob-related investigations, including one that resulted in the arrest of more than 80 who'd robbed around $14 million in property from facilities in and around JFK Airport.

Auto theft also is highlighted in the form of, among other things, the bust of Gambino mobsters operating a scrap metal enterprise in Willets Point.

Court Tosses Killer's Defamation Suit Over Russell Bufalino Bio

A federal appeals court dismissed a defamation lawsuit last Monday filed by a convicted murderer serving life in prison.

The lawsuit, over the book The Quiet Don, about the late Cosa Nostra boss Russell Bufalino, had caused the defendant depression, and supposedly made other inmates target him for violence.

In its order, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Louis Coviello, the convict who filed the lawsuit, had failed to pay the fee on time to have his case heard.

Coviello was challenging a lower court ruling that had thrown out the $1 million defamation suit against the book's author and publishers: The Berkley Publishing Group and the Penguin Group.

Genovese Wiseguy Sammy Meatballs, RIP

Includes Correction
I will toast Salvatore (Sammy Meatballs) Aparo this weekend, probably tonight. The 87-year-old Genovese mobster died last month, as per this week's Gang Land News.

Sammy Meatballs, for many years, provided me with an important talisman of sorts, a representation of the physical embodiment of what the Mafia is, a relic I never tire of looking at. I'm referring, of course, to his face....

Sunday Times Profiles Patriarca Mobster in Special Section

In May, the Sunday New York Times ran a special section profile about a largely unknown Boston gangster with ties to a legendary Cosa Nostra boss.

For those of us interested in the mob, this is a good thing....

Reporter Dan Barry's lengthy piece detailed the story of Ralph DeMasi, an aging New England mobster who specialized in robbing armored trucks.

DeMasi was known as a dedicated family man for whom crime was a 9-to-5 job, with the odd late night occasionally thrown in.

Like Gambino capo Joe Piney Armone, in his later years...

Both DeMasi and Armone reportedly NEVER stepped out on their wives.....

 "The police routinely watched him drive off in the morning to lay the groundwork for a planned robbery, then return home in the evening, leaving the carousing to others."

“That was not like the other wiseguys I knew,” a former Rhode Island law enforcement official told Barry. “Ralph was all about work.”

But the thing is, the story is not really a profi…

Now Ex-Mob Boss Ralph Natale Wants to Whack Terrorists

Ralph Natale, former Philadelphia mob boss turned government witness, offered to help the Fed's once again, only this time he wants to do more than testify.

Natale wants to fight terrorists. At least that is what the 82-year-old said on Fox News Insider. Natale appeared on the show to hawk his book, Last Don Standing, this past weekend. During his appearance, he informed host Eric Shawn that "we're pussycats on terrorism" and that he, Natale,"would kill them all."

When Mob Boss Eddie McGrath Ran the West Side

Neil G. Clark is the author of Dock Boss: Eddie McGrath and the West Side Waterfront; the real-life story of the preeminent racketeer on Manhattan's lucrative waterfront and the bloodshed that long haunted the ports of New York City. The book is available now at all major retailers.

And Neil is getting some strong kudos, too, for Dock Boss -- including from TJ ENGLISH! In addition to Scott Deitche, who has written quite a few books about the Mafia, including Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld, and The Silent Don: The World of Santo Trafficante Jr., and our old friend Dennis Griffin, who wrote Andrew DiDonato's book on life as a Gambino associate under Little Nicky Corozzo, Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life Inside the Gambino Crime Family, a must-read for anyone interested in the New York Mafia in the 1990s, a period of incredible violence.

Before becoming a waterfront power, Eddie McGrath started out as a low-level bootlegger during Prohib…

Former Gambino Capo Carmine Agnello Gets No Prison

Carmine "The Bull" Agnello accepted a plea deal on June 1 to avoid prison time, but he must pay the $180,000 tab for the investigation by law enforcement.

It was called originally enough "Operation Goodfella."

Agnello, a former member of the Gambino crime family, was arrested nearly two years ago during a raid of his Cleveland auto body shop. He faced more than a dozen charges, including racketeering and conspiracy. He was charged with running an illegal $4.2 million car-scrapping scheme.

Mob Podcast on Raymond Patriarca Concludes in Brooklyn

The murder rate in the U.S. has fallen dramatically in the past 25 years -- the FBI pegged the decline from 1993 to 2015 at 50% while the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported a 77% drop.

Still, the glut of daily television fare seems to suggest that there's nothing like murder.

As a New York Times story recently noted of true-crime television: "it seems as if this genre has no saturation point." And the trend shows no signs of abating, considering the recent launch of Beyond Reasonable Doubt last Friday, which focused on the story of the Green River Killer, the most prolific serial killer in American history. Debuting this week are Sin City Justice and #Murder.