Monday, February 27, 2017

Ex-Bonanno Capo Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella's Reality Show Slated

There's a busload of former Bonanno wiseguys somewhere out there in America these days. Ya all know what one of them (Dom Cicale) has been up to -- and now we can catch up with one of Dom's ex-cohorts....

We love the way Oxygen wrote up the news release, though all things considered, we're not sure how Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella's old pals will feel about this reality television series. One old-school Bonanno wiseguy told us: "That scumbag!" when we told him about the show. (He refrained from further comment). Anyhoo, we decided, hey, we'll post the frigging thing as is:


Going from a life of crime to life in the suburbs proves to be the ultimate challenge in Oxygen Media's quirky new half-hour docu-comedy series UNPROTECTED, premiering Tuesday, April 11 at 9pm ET/PT. (See trailer below.)

Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella then....


The series follows the Cantarellas, a boisterous, old-school family that participated in the Federal Witness Protection Program after their testimony led to the conviction of one of the most powerful crime families in the country. (Not exactly, it is the Bonannos we're talking about here...)


Sunday, February 26, 2017

WHACKED REDUX: Inside the 2013 Luchese Associate Murder Probe

Michael Meldish, 62, was a Luchese associate who once ran the Purple Gang, a violent crew based in Harlem and the Bronx.

He was shot in the head in 2013 while he sat behind the wheel of his car. One bullet had been fired into the right side of his head at close range as if the shooter were seated in the front passenger seat. And he likely was sitting beside Meldish as a getaway car tailed them. (Ironically, the front passenger seat is usually referred to as the "death seat" in mob parlance.)
Terence Caldwell allegedly murdered Michael Meldish in 2013.
Surveillance video allegedly caught gunmen
Terence Caldwell.

Police found Luchese associate Meldish within a very short timeframe following the shooting. He was bleeding from both ears, and his body was still warm when police arrived on the scene, summoned by a 911 call from a neighbor.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sicilian Mobsters Went to Great Lengths to Foil Cops -- Unsuccessfully

An unassuming fruit and vegetable shop in western Sicily near Trapani included a massive refrigerator attached to it.

Located in the middle of mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro's home turf, the refrigerator did more than it was intended to. In fact, the cooling unit served double duty as a meeting place for six alleged members of Denaro's Mafia clan.

Meeting in the fridge -- six alleged members of Messina Denaro's
Mafia clan were caught holding important meetings inside a refrigerator.

The alleged mobsters believed that the refrigerator's thick insulation served as an effective buffer against Sicilian law enforcement, otherwise referred to as the anti-mafia police.

Shooting Gotti: Scene with John Travolta Filmed in Brooklyn This Week

John Gotti and Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano were spotted in Brooklyn, New York, this past Tuesday chatting like it was 1989...

Well, not really...

John Travolta and William DeMeo -- who play the former Gambino crime family boss and underboss -- were seen in Brooklyn filming scenes for The Life And Death of John Gotti.

John Travolta was seen in Brooklyn filming for The Life and Death of John Gotti
William DeMeo, left, as Sammy, and John Travolta Gotti.
Scenes for biopic were filmed Tuesday. Courtesy of The Daily Mail.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Two Charged with Meldish Hit, Plus Shooting Bonanno Mobster

UPDATED: Two men arrested in May 2015 have been formally charged with carrying out one of New York's last confirmed gangland hits in nearly four years -- plus the shooting of another Mafia member in New York.

Christopher Londonio, 43, and Terrance Caldwell, 58, were indicted last week on charges related to the 2013 murder of Luchese associate Michael Meldish.

Meldish was shot in the head in a gangland hit in 2013.
Scene of 2013 gangland hit: Michael Meldish was the victim.

In addition, Caldwell has been charged with the attempted murder of a Bonanno crime family member also in 2013. The shooting that wounded the mobster occurred near the intersection of First Avenue and 111th Street in Manhattan.

The Bonanno mobster's name was withheld. However, based on news reports (shoutout to D-C4 in the comments) it seems Enzo "The Baker" Stagno is the Bonanno mobster in question.

We wrote about the shooting when it occurred. 

Happy St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Folks

Chicago during Prohibition was as lawless and violent as the Wild West.

The underworld was fighting its own civil war between north and south. Only the North Siders were the Irish-Americans represented by Bugs Moran. Fighting them were the South Siders, the Italian syndicate led by Al Capone. So to speak.

Johnny Torrio, the sly fox....

The war reached its climax on February 14, 1929, St. Valentine’s Day, when a devious trap was set for Moran.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Police Seize Olive Companies Allegedly Owned by Sicilian Boss of Bosses

Police in Sicily seized four olive companies, including farmland and villas allegedly owned by Matteo Messina Denaro, the powerful Cosa Nostra boss on the run since 1993.

Prosecutors allege that a Denaro confidant was listed as the owner of the businesses -- as well as 108 properties, plus vehicles and bank accounts.

Sicily's most powerful boss Matteo Messina Denaro on the run 25 years
2001 magazine that gave Denaro national renown.

The property, based in western Sicily, was confiscated yesterday and is believed to be Denaro’s power base. It has an estimated worth of around $14 million.

Matteo Messina Denaro is Italy’s most-wanted fugitive. He's been on the lam for nearly 25 years and is considered one of the most powerful bosses in the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gotti Grandson Cops to Eight-Year Plea Deal

Former Gambino crime family boss John Gotti's grandson copped to a plea deal in a drug-dealing case.

He will serve eight years in prison. He faced a pretty strong case. He was recorded on a wiretap stating that he sold more than 4,200 pills a month for a $100,000 return.

Gotti grandson arrested by the NYPD last August
John Gotti's grandson arrested last August.

Undercover cops allegedly made 11 buys from Gotti, purchasing $46,000 worth of Oxycodone. He faced up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

At Queens Supreme Court today, Gotti, 23, pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from the Operation Beach Party investigation that focused on him and a Queens-based drug operation he reportedly headed up.

Once he serves the sentence, he has five years of supervised release; he also will forfeit $259,996, under terms of the agreement.

The sentencing was slated for March 2.

Bonnano Informant's Lawsuit Alleging FBI Misdeeds Tossed

A Mafia informant who "flipped" against the FBI and tried to sue them got the judge's thumb's down this week.

Ex-Bonanno crime family soldier Joseph Barone Jr., who previously exposed a Mafia plot to murder a Brooklyn federal court judge, has been alleging that the FBI deliberately leaked his informant status and arrested him as "punishment."

Former Bonanno crime family informant Joseph Barone Jr.
Joseph Barone.

This past Monday, Judge Andrew J. Peck ruled that allegations in a lawsuit filed by Barone Jr., who informed on his criminal cohorts for 18 years, were unfounded.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How Fictional Depictions of the Mob Reveal the True Story of Substance Abuse

If you ever watched a single episode of the series The Sopranos, you would know that it centered on the life and times of a fictional Italian American family out of New Jersey who had close ties to the mob. While it is easy to be drawn into the sordid tales detailing how underground operations can control the drug trade, politicians and even the waste management industry, one might easily overlook how substance abuse was also an underlying theme. Various characters in the show checked themselves into substance abuse programs and fought to keep their plights with drug use a secret from their friends and family. Although completely based on fictional characters, The Sopranos did manage to address many of the preconceived notions that people have about what substance abusers truly look like and how some are able to hide their addictions from those closest to them.



Friday, February 3, 2017

Documentary About Women of the Mafia Slated

In 2015, one of the best documentaries about the American Mafia in years ran on television.

It aired in the U.K. and was never seen on television in this country, though it's available online. (It is truly baffling that the best modern American Mafia documentaries are no longer being made in America.)

ToniMarie Ricci on Sir Trevor Howard
ToniMarie Ricci, formerly married to Mikie Scars, descends from mob royalty.


Now the same group out of Britain is airing a follow-up to the 2015 show. The new program, two hourlong episodes, is called Mafia Women with Trevor McDonald, which is slated to debut on February 16 of this year.

This time, Trevor McDonald interviews the wives, girlfriends, sisters and daughters of members of the Mafia.

Among the women appearing on the show are ToniMarie Ricci, ex-wife of Michael DiLeonardo, aka Mikie Scars, former Gambino capo, and Linda Scarpa, Gregory Scarpa Senior's daughter.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Appeal Questions Validity of Mafia Commission Case

COSA NOSTRA NEWS EXCLUSIVE

First we need to give a shoutout to Jim "Jay" Cooley, who emailed us a copy of a new talk show he'd done with longtime gangland attorney Mathew Mari. (Jim Cooley hosts The Last Roundup sports show and recently debuted The Life, an organized crime-focused show. Attorney Mat Mari has a website and his own talk show, which can be viewed here.)

Carmine Persico is now 83.

Carmine Persico is 83 years old and has served more than 32 years of a 136-year prison sentence following his conviction in the "Mafia Commission Case."

His attorneys are seeking to get him resentenced under the grounds that the FBI may have played some covert hanky-panky during the investigation prior to the high-profile trial of the so-called leadership of New York's Five Families.

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