Showing posts from 2017

New Frank Grillo Mob Flick Streams on Netflix Friday

Frank Grillo's new mob film — Wheelman — streams on Netflix this Friday.

It's not set in Philadelphia -- nor is it based on The Last Don Standing. Grillo starred in films including Captain America and two Purge franchise entries .

In Wheelman, set in Boston, he plays a getaway driver who is double-crossed during a job after he gets a call on his cell and is told to leave two extremely well-armed robbers behind. Why? "They're going to fcking kill you," is why.

Why Is This Wealthy Genovese Soldier Even in the Mob?

You've heard of On the Waterfront? This guy apparently owned it.... Well, huge swaths of it, anyway.....

Reputed Genovese soldier Salvatore (Sallie) DeMeo, 77, was busted on tax-evasion charges this past Thursday for failing to report $2 million in capital gains income and not ponying up about $367,000 in taxes.

However, it's not mob-related, the Feds say. The mob-related stuff was last month. DeMeo got off in September with five years' probation. In Brooklyn Supreme Court he copped to participating in a loansharking and gambling racket.

RIP: Colombo Mobster Joe Legs, Who Helped "Clear Path" for Vic Orena

Joseph (Joe Legs) Legrano, a Colombo soldier serving life for murder -- and a "(l)oving family man" -- died on October 3 at age 75, according to the BOP.

Legrano and Dennis (Fat Dennie) DeLucia, also a soldier as per federal prosecutors, were convicted for the 1988 murder of former Colombo crime family consigliere Vincent (Jimmy) Angelino, a slaying later considered to be a precursor to the Colombo war, which formally commenced three years later.

Happy Birthday, Bill Cutolo


William Cutolo Jr. wasn't someone we'd expect to hear from.

We've written about him without reaching out for comment. In our defense, we honestly had no clue how to contact him for comment at the time, however.

What we wrote was based on information from sources and published reports.

When we initially heard from Bill, he wasn't very pleased with us.

Everything to Know About the Kidnapping/Murder of Carlo Gambino's Nephew

Jerry Capeci nailed the "what the hell?" story about James McBratney and Henry Sentner in a column titled Ralph The Wig Pulled The Trigger; Gotti Got The Glory that ran back in September 2011....

McBratney and Sentner were separate incidents.....

We did make an interesting discovery, however, a transcript of an interview with an FBI agent who was part of the Manny Gambino kidnapping investigation.

An Enduring Mafia Mystery: What Really Happened to Carlo Gambino's Nephew?

"One time Carlo Gambino’s nephew was kidnapped and held for ransom. I had heard the details later on. 

My father had been sent for by Neil Dellacroce, who brought him to Carlo Gambino’s home in Massapequa, Long Island. He had met Carlo two times before with Neil in Manhattan. On the way over, my father was filled in on the details of what Carlo wanted. The five Families had search and destroy teams out looking for the guys who had been kidnapping members of their Family. Neil had chosen my father to lead the Gambino team.

He "Accidentally" Killed Carlo Gambino's Nephew and Was Arrested for It

Henry Sentner, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was pulled over on Interstate 80 in southeast Wyoming by a state trooper for speeding.

He would've been lucky to get off with a speeding ticket, turns out. Ol' Sentner wasn't alone in the vehicle. He was hauling 35 pounds of marijuana.

Why do I write about this, you ask? The article -- attributed to the Associated Press -- makes the following claim about Senter:

He was convicted in the 1970s killing of a nephew of notorious mob boss Carlo Gambino -- and this week he was arrested in Wyoming on drug charges.

Sal Romano, One of the Wealthiest Gangsters in US History, to Publish Memoirs

Salvatore "Sal the Pizza Guy" Romano, the Gambino crime family's operative on Wall Street, has signed with Silicon Valley-based Fuse Literary Agency for representation as he prepares to publish his autobiographical memoir.

Romano made millions of dollars for the Gambinos by way of stock fraud, first serving under the late John "Johnny G." Gammarano and later becoming a top earner for Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, a capo in the Gambino crime family and who was at one time considered a possible successor to John Gotti as boss of the family.

Sammy the Bull Gravano Free from Prison


Salvatore "Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano, 72, the former Gambino underboss who flipped against one of the most infamous mob bosses ever, Gambino boss John Gotti, was released from an Arizona prison Monday.

He served nearly 18 years after his 2000 arrest for distributing and possessing Ecstasy after departing the witness protection program.

Ready? Longtime Gotti Confidant John Carneglia Back in Brooklyn


Longtime Gambino mobster/Gotti confidant John Carneglia, 73, gets out of prison next year, specifically on June 11.

He already has one foot out the door, though, having been moved to a halfway house in Brooklyn, a source told Cosa Nostra News. The BOP inmate locator site confirms this.

His partner in crime, Gene Gotti, 70 (brother of the one and only) is slated for release, on September 15, but hasn't been moved yet from Pollock FCI.

Hear the One About the Cop Who Infiltrated Two Crime Families?


There once was a New York mobster named Vincent Spinelli.

He was considered a dangerous man. A truck hijacker and gun-runner, he was tied to two crime families (the Bonannos and Lucheses) and operated a swag-filled warehouse.

He was known for his nice gold watches and good suits. He also preferred driving around in a Mercedes.

In reality, his name was not Vincent Spinelli, and he was far from being a criminal; in fact, he was an NYPD officer working undercover. The operation lasted three years and led to 42 arrests (21 were reputed Bonanno mobsters, the rest presumably were Luchese members, plus assorted associates -- plus there was at least one grandmother who lived in a social club in The Bronx).

Martin Scorsese on Frank Vincent: "He Made It Look Easy"

"He made it look easy in all respects. He was genuine," Martin Scorsese wrote in a tribute to his friend Frank Vincent.

"Frank Vincent was someone I could count on. He was a natural who was at ease in front of the camera — on a set or on a stage."

Vincent died Wednesday of complications from heart surgery. He was 80. 
Scorsese directed him in three films, all classics: Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995). Vincent's screen debut, The Death Collector, is also a must-see for fans. (Mikie Scars highly recommends it too.)

Vincent's career probably reached its pinnacle with his turn as Phil Leotardo, boss of a New York crime family on The Sopranos.

FOILED: Feds Uncover Reputed Luchese Killer's Plan to Escape Jail

Alleged Luchese crime family soldier Christopher Londonio, who's awaiting trial for the Michael Meldish murder, among other charges, crafted an escape plan to bust himself out of Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, federal prosecutors revealed.

The plan involved dental floss, a priest, and lots of sheets and blankets.

Londonio, 43, planned to use the dental floss as a cutting tool. Meanwhile, he'd solicited a priest to smuggle a blade into the facility and had begun to secretly amass sheets and blankets to use as a rope, according to prosecutors.

What NYPD Found on Frank Costello Could've Ended Las Vegas in 1957

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Apalachin, which has always been of great interest to me....

Apalachin, NY, the infamous location of the November 14, 1957, Mafia Summit, changed everything by finally bringing the full resources of the FBI onto the nation's crime families.

That ill-fated meeting in upstate New York left two legacies in place:
The enormous free reign with which the wiseguys operated for so long was coming to a close as the FBI launched a full-court investigative press against the mob that wouldn't let up -- ever.....(Law enforcement's mob investigations may have periodically waned, but the efforts were forever renewed....)And, never again could J. Edgar Hoover deny Cosa Nostra's existence without looking like a fool.

How Did Vito Genovese's Painting Wind Up in a New Jersey Trattoria?

"Do you see the devil in the tree picking his nails with his mouth trying to figure out which one he wants a rape?"
Since last night we've heard from additional folks about Trama's Trattoria, the New Jersey restaurant where the painting once owned by Vito Genovese hangs.

Not all knew about the painting, but they certainly remember the food. "The Garganelli pasta is out of this world. Don Vito would certainly have approved," said one. (They prefer I identify them as "friends." You can figure out the rest. The fact is, they are friends.)

 The painting, of a group of fair maidens being spied on by a demon or something, once apparently hung in Genovese's mansion in the Atlantic Highlands. And I'm hoping someone reading this can shed more light on that painting.

Netflix Series Spotlights Italy's "Fifth Mafia": Rome's Mafia Capitale

Considering the success of Gomorrah, the critically praised and immensely popular television show about the Neapolitan Cammora, which last year reportedly "doubled" the audience figures of other foreign-language series on the Sundance channel, it's no surprise that Netflix would seek a similar property. (Is Hulu next?)

Netflix has managed to take an admirable shot at doing just that with Suburra, Netflix's first original series from Italy. It's been in the pipeline for years, actually.

The 10-part series, which debuts worldwide on Netflix on October 6, is named for a real 2,000-year-old ancient Roman seaside town where a Mafia group erects a gambling, prostitution, and drug trafficking empire.

Brutal End for Son of Violent Gambino Mobster

Carmine Carini Junior's body had been wrapped in a blue tarp and chained to a cinder block. Then, it was dropped into an inlet off Avenue U and East 58th Street in South Brooklyn.

A 5-pound bag of drywall compound had also been tied to the body, though the effort to conceal it was unsuccessful: Carini's body was found Saturday floating near a dock.

His father, who has the same name, is a known Gambino mobster who served decades for a murder he didn't commit.

With their testimony, storied mob turncoats Frank Smith and Sal Mangiavillano freed the elder Carini from prison for the murder.

Alleged Luchese Associate Found Dead: Stabbed, Beaten, Chained Underwater

CORRECTED: Press reports incorrectly identified crime families

A Brooklyn man was found Saturday a few blocks from his Mill Basin home on Avenue U and East 58th street.

Wrapped in a blue tarp, Carmine Carini, 35, allegedly an associate of the Luchese crime family, was found chained to a cinder block held underwater.

His ankles and knees were bound with duct tape. An orange rope, affixed to the cinder block, was apparently used to weigh his body down and was tied to his feet.

Since he was found with his head bashed in and stabbed multiple times, cause of death is unknown.

The Improbable Rise of a Gambino Associate Who Married Mafia Royalty

Alleged Colombo soldier Angelo Spata (pictured) was among the 100-plus mobsters arrested in the big 2011 bust known as Mafia Takedown Day

Initially, I didn't even know who he was, even after using his photo in a story. All I can say is, I'm certainly glad I did. It led to me eventually contacting Michael DiLeonardo, which ultimately resulted in this story. (If you're really interested in the backstory, you can read it here in the original version published in early summer 2016.)

Angelo Spata was an up and coming member of the Colombo crime family because, some might say, he married well. Through marriage, he became a somebody, specifically, a Persico... Blatant nepotism may be frowned upon in the workplace, but it's alive and well in Cosa Nostra, and arguably has never been more important to the remaining Mafia presence in the USA (for better or worse).

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."