Posts

FEATURED POST

The Mob's Underground Railroad: How Allie Boy Persico Survived On The Lam For Seven Years

Image
In 1987, reputed Colombo boss Carmine Persico knew that, short of his lawyers one day cooking up a miracle, he would in all likelihood be spending the rest of his life in prison. He had been convicted in  two separate trials: the Mafia Commission trial and a separate racketeering trial involving the Colombo family's operations. (Persico died in 2019 at age 85 after serving 32 years of that 136-year prison sentence following his two convictions.) Allie Boy Persico was on the run for seven years. The cases were separate, but overlapped, the common denominator being FBI surveillance recordings of Colombo soldier Ralph Scopo’s conversations, which alerted the Feds to the initial evidence that would help them build the Commission Case. Scopo was the bagman in a large-scale ongoing racket involving shaking down concrete contractors at major construction projects. As the president of the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council of the Laborers' International Union of North America

Ex-Husband Of Real Housewives Of NJ Star Convicted For Hiring Lucchese Soldier To 'Viciously Assault' Her Then-Boyfriend (For On-The-Arm Wedding Reception)

Image
The ex-husband of one of the stars of the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” was convicted Tuesday on charges of planning an assault of his ex-wife’s current husband in exchange for a lavish wedding reception, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced. Thomas Manzo faces up to 20 years in prison. Thomas Manzo, 59, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, was convicted after a two and a half week trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court on one count of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, one count of conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of falsifying and concealing documents related to a federal investigation. Feds indicted Manzo in 2020 after he hired Luchese soldier John Perna to beat up David Cantin, Dina Manzo’s then-boyfriend, in return for a discounted wedding rate at the Manzo family’s catering hall, The  Brownstone in Paterson, NJ . “T

What The Hells Angels Learned From The Godfather—And The Mafia

Image
“What is 'rolling your bones'?” “I don’t know.”—Metod (Matt) Zanoskar, former Hells Angels President, Cleveland Chapter. By the mid-1970s, the Hells Angels had become a full-fledged, bona-fide criminal organization thanks in large part to the Cleveland Chapter, which was a true outlier from the other HA chapters. The Polish Women’s Hall incident, which involved the brutal stabbing murders of five Breed members described in our prior story —at least two of the killings were committed by Chapter Vice President Butch Crouch—put Cleveland on the map. After that, they had a reputation: Fck  with the Hells Angels and they will fcking stomp you … A new member had six months to kill or was himself killed, said Butch Crouch, above. As former Minnesota Chapter president Pat Matter says in Secrets of the Hells Angels, “The guys in Cleveland were serious individuals. They were well known for taking care of business.”  This story and our previous one are primarily based on the  Motorcycle M

Secrets Of The Hells Angels: The Turncoat Who Slaughtered His Family

Image
In the 1960s, it was all fun and games. In the 1970s, the HA became gangsters. People started getting murdered or disappearing; bombs started going off everywhere, especially in Cleveland... First, by way of explaining my nearly nine-month absence: I'd been biding my time, keeping my powder dry, enjoying my unannounced semiretirement from this blog, when one evening, I suddenly found myself scribbling on the backs of cocktail napkins. Next thing I knew, goddammit, I seemed to be getting back into the swing without even realizing it.  Butch Crouch smiles for the camera. Operating this blog the right way is like having a poorly paying full-time job on top of the full-time job that pays the bills—and buys the vino. An admittedly lazy man, I find having two full-time jobs rough because you basically work all the time. And that ain't no kind of fun after a while. Looking back, the most remarkable thing is probably that my stint here lasted as long as it did.   But then,  while recen

Last Of The Greek Crime Dons Of The US Passes Away

Image
By Nick Christophers On May 4, 2024, Spyredon “Spiro, Sagafias” Velentzas passed away in the FCI Allenwood prison. He was the alleged boss of the Greek mob in New York. He may have been the most powerful within the Greek ethnic crime element ever. There were others that were close to his level like Harry Peetros / Steve Bouras from Philly, and Mike Katranis / Pete Katranis in Detroit. The only one that was considered even higher than Spiro, was head of the “connection guys” in Chicago, Gus “Slim” Alex. Spiro was originally from Boston where he settled with his parents after arriving from Greece. His father opened a café, but Spiro was not too keen on the food business and yearned for more financially. Gambling was something he was always interested in and wanted to capitalize on it. In time, his family decided to move to New York and settled in Queens. There he became connected to the then, boss of the Greeks, Peter Kourakos. Kourakos operated gambling dens in the predominantly Greek

San Giuseppe Cigars Does It Again With Another Successful Event

Image
By Nick Christophers It was an odd warm evening in October as a crowd gathered in the outdoor yard of Bacaro Restaurant in Massapequa, Long Island. Why did such a crowd begin to fill the outdoor yard? It was for another smoking event hosted by San Giuseppe Cigars. On the heels of their last party at Patrizia’s this was on a smaller scale but was a rocking evening, nonetheless. Owner Joe Bonnano, left, Nick Christophers, far right, and John Michael The cigar company has been in business for over two years and has made a mark in the cigar industry.  The owner, Joe Bonanno, has made it his business to create and offer a unique cigar for any palette. Being a cigar smoker himself he knows what his clientele is looking for. He has established a factory in the Dominican Republic where the blends are made a distribution company in Deerfield, Florida and their corporate office is in Melville, New York. “All the cigars are made in the DR at my factory. We blend them there and import different bl

Mafia Excellence: Inside the ‘Ndrangheta’s Criminal World

Image
With apologies to Andrew Machin for taking way too long to post this first-rate story (probably the longest story in this blog's history). By Andrew Machin The 'Ndrangheta is a secret society. Its organizational and operational rules and rites are based on this inherent characteristic. Therefore, it is no coincidence that there are various similarities with Freemasonry, which has a particularly large membership in the Italian region of Calabria, where the 'Ndrangheta is rooted. A valuable source in this regard proved to be Giuliano De Bernardo, former Grand Master of the Grande Oriente d’Italia (GOI). The GOI was and is the principal Masonic obedience in Italy. In his testimony at a trial in Reggio Calabria in 2019, De Bernardo explained the fundamental trait that unites the two organizations as follows:   “I tried to figure out what the specific [nature] of the 'Ndrangheta-Freemasonry relationship was... I believe the joint point is in the ritual. Even though they us