Showing posts from April, 2011

Poll: Just Under Half Respondents Say Sheeran Killed Hoffa

More people believe Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa than not, according to a poll we conducted on this website. The results, seen below, are based on responses from 56 readers. As anyone could respond to the poll, as long as they did so before deadline, we have no data regarding demographics or other specific info. SOME 46%, OR 26 PEOPLE, BELIEVE SHEERAN TOOK HOFFA OUT; 35%, OR 20 RESPONDENTS, DON'T THINK THE IRISHMAN DID THE DEED, AND 17%, OR 10 PEOPLE, SAID THEY DIDN'T KNOW. The survey would be more meaningful if we knew which of the respondents were familiar with Sheeran's admission to killing Hoffa in the book, "I heard You Paint Houses," written by Sheeran and his lawyer/crime writer Charles Brandt. It would also be more meaningful if we had had 500 or 5,000 respondents instead of only less than 60, but hopefully going forward, more people will partake in the polls we will be publishing. DO YOU BELIEVE FRANK SHEERAN KILLED JIMMY HOFFA? Yes   26 (46%)  

Confidante: Marilyn Monroe Spent Her Last Day With Mobster Giancana

Marilyn Monroe, RIP Did Marilyn Monroe take a mystery trip aboard Frank Sinatra's private jet the very weekend she died -- in the company of mobster Sam Giancana? That is the gist of an article on written by Chris Epting, who has authored a book about Monroe. That's one theory based on recently disclosed tape recordings featuring a close confidante of Monroe's, who was also one of the most famous hair stylists in history. His name was George Masters and his nephew had audiocassette recordings of phone conversations with his famous uncle shortly before his death in 1998.  "I haven't listened to the tapes since they were recorded so I don't remember exactly what's on them, but I thought you might be interested in checking them out," he wrote in a note to Epting, to whom he gave the tapes. In one of the stories, the nephew told  Eptingin the note, George picked Marilyn up at her house and they flew together on Frank Sinatra's priva

Was Mobster Slain for Finding God?

I answered the phone this morning to:  "You didn't fucking tell me you were gonna write about Bobby!" No clue what he was talking about. "Bobby at the Post never lived in Knickerbocker Village. Sally killed him because he found out he was a cop." Ahhh.... okay, I knew.... I said, "I heard Vitale was a cop too." Sal Vitale ordered Perrino's murder. The skeletal remains weren't found until Vitale himself flipped. "Exactly. One cop killed the other. In the Mob. Take that shit down. I'm gonna tell you what really happened because you obviously don't know what the fuck happened." He started with:  "Baldo was scared shitless that night. You know how fucking hard it is to dig a hole in February?" Read this while you can. (This was solidly sourced, too, five years ago .... but I wouldn't have it any other way. And remember the truth is always stranger....) A Mafia associate/New York Post sup

Safe Crackers Get Arrested for Robbing Mobster Nabbed by Feds Hiding in Idaho

Three Treasure Valley, Idaho men have been arrested for stealing money -- allegedly following the arrest of a mobster living under an assumed name in the area, according to a report from  KTRV Fox 12 . Authorities say Kelly Verceles stole thousands in cash and jewelry from 42-year-old Enrico Ponzo -- a suspected gangster who had been living near the town of Marsing under the assumed name of Jay Shaw for the past 12 years. Verceles, along with Robert Corson and Nicholas Corson, was arrested last week on charges that they stole more than $100,000 in cash, gold and jewelry from a secret safe they found in Ponzo's home sometime after Ponzo was arrested by the FBI in February. Read the article .

The Chin's Social Club Now an Upscale Tea Shop

The old Manhattanstorefront that was once a Genovese  family social club and is now an upscale tea shop. New York City's Mafia social clubs are quickly disappearing along with all the men who used to hang out in them, sipping espresso, playing cards, talking about the pasta and whatever else they'd be willing to discuss in a likely-bugged venue. Among the latest to disappear into oblivion is the Triangle Social Club, once located in Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan, according to the AP. The unmarked storefront was run by legendary Genovese family boss Vincent 'Chin' Gigante. It now is an upscale shop that sells organic tea. The social club closed after Gigante died in prison in 2005. The space is now occupied by the Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Co. According to Wikipedia , the Triangle was not the Chin's only hangout, though it was arguably his most famous: " Gigante's crew was based out of the Triangle Social Club, located at 208 Sulliva

The Brian Lehrer Show: Capeci on the New York Mob

Jerry Capeci, who writes a weekly column on organized crime at , discusses why Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino is cooperating with the FBI, and the ripple effects of it in the mafia. He also talks about the recent stabbing of the owner of Lucali pizzeria in Brooklyn.To listen, click here .

Lohan Returns: Will Star in Gotti Film Playing Different Character

From the : Lindsay Lohan's last minute intervention has seen her get back on board with a film from which she was dumped hours before. The 24-year-old actress is now set to star in the highly anticipated movie about the late New York mafia boss, John Gotti. It comes after she personally called Marc Fiore, the producer of Gotti: Three Generations, to thrash out a deal. However, she will not play the role of the Mobster's daughter Victoria Gotti - which she was initially set to play. Instead she will portray Kim Gotti, the wife of John Gotti Jr., in the flick which also stars John Travolta. Fiore described it as a very 'important role', adding that Lohan was very excited about it. Read full story here: .

Q&A With Man Who Created RICO Act

COSA NOSTRA NEWS EXCLUSIVE "If left alone for any length of time, the mob will make a comeback. It is a sickness of capitalism. Free markets and black markets breed it." --G. Robert Blakey We recently conducted an interview via email with G. "George" Robert Blakey, who drafted the RICO act (PDF), which President Richard Nixon signed into law on October 15, 1970. Blakey believes the JFK assassination was the result of a conspiracy that included the American Mafia. Tne  John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations were of great interest to Blakey, who served as chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979. In this role he investigated the assassinations, leveraging new developments in forensic science to reexamine evidence. Blakey is also the co-author of The Plot to Kill the President (with Richard Billings) in which the two state their belief that JFK was murdered as part of a conspiracy th

Massino Flipped Scripts for Sonny Black,Tony Mirra Mob Murders

On the witness stand during the Basciano murder trial, Joe Massino casually imparted information that changes Mafia history, putting to rest two storied killings believed for decades to have resulted from the Joe Pistone/Donnie Brasco investigation. This is according to his court testimony. Massino flipped the script regarding the motives for some of gangland's most notorious murders.  It has been believed and written about for decades that Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano, who wanted to "make" the undercover Fed, was slain because of his role in bringing "Donnie Brasco" into Bonanno family business. "Massino's word will be the gospel, true or not," said Sonny Girard , former mobster. Knowing he would be killed, Napolitano reportedly gave his jewelry to his favorite bartender who worked below his apartment at the Motion Lounge, along with the keys to his apartment, so his pet pigeons could be cared for. Bonanno capo Frank Lino

Mafia Commission Is No More, Massino Testifies

And the surprises keep a-coming from Joe Massino, former boss of the Bonanno crime family. Ed Lino: assassinated Now Massino has testified that the infamous Mafia "commission" hasn't had a meeting in 25 years, according to AP. "There ain't no commission," he added. Since the formation of the modern mob back in the 1930s following the end of the Castellammarese War, the leaders of New York City's five crime families -- plus a couple of other families -- held occasional summits to lay down rules and settle disputes. This is something Luciano supposedly put in place back at the very beginning. But these Commission meetings stopped happening after Gambino boss Paul Castellano was assassinated outside a Manhattan restaurant in 1985, and the heads of the other families went to prison for racketeering, Massino said. Gambino hit man This does not jibe with published reports about accounts of Commission meetings in which John Gotti sat in for

Cast Named for VH1's 'Mob Wives' Reality Show

VH1 has picked up "Mob Wives," a new reality series created by Jennifer Graziano, a daughter of Bonanno capo Anthony (T.G.) Graziano (according to Reality Wives ). This is Ms. Graziano's first producer/writer credit, according to . The cast list, as indicated on Bourgy (a website that follows reality shows), is Renee Graziano (another daughter of Anthony Graziano?), Drita D’Avanzo (wife of Lee D’Avanzo), Carla Facciolo (wife of Joey Ferragamo) and Karen Gravano (daughter of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano). So "Mob Wives & Daughters" would be a better title, no? (A little nugget we dug up about one of the "mobsters," which, if true, should make for a bit more interesting show: The New York Daily News reported that Lee D’Avanzo was romantically linked to the daughter of Sammy "Bull" Gravano, who, along with her brother, pleaded guilty to their role in the operation set up by their father that peddled drugs to kids.) &quo

Sneak Peek of Tonight's 'Mob Wives' Episode

Drita D'avanzo, the "hot tempered Albanian" married  to Lee, a member of the New Springville Boys gang, currently incarcerated. Watch a previews of tonight's series premiere of Mob Wives, including one about mafia progeny Karen Gravano getting ready to return to Staten Island.  Click here . From VHI, this summary: Mob Wives is a docu-soap series that follows the lives of four women at a crossroads, having to pick up the pieces and carry on while their husbands or fathers do time for Mob-related activities. They are struggling with their identities, their own families and their futures. Mob Wives is a docu-soap that follows the lives of four struggling, "allegedly" associated women who have to pick up the pieces and carry on after their husbands or fathers do time for Mob-related activities. The women are long time friends who live in New York City's "forgotten borough", Staten Island. Along the way they battle their friends, families

How Vinny Still Looks Gorgeous

Vinny Basciano will spend the rest of his life behind bars no matter what the outcome of his current trial. What a conviction could mean is that his time in prison could be cut short by lethal injection, which is on the table if he is found guilty. Stories about the trial, starring the testimony of Joe Massino, former Bonanno boss, have been filling enough newspapers to sink a cruise liner, indicating that interest in the mob remains at an all-time high even though David Chase screwed all the fans of his Sopranos with that cheap-shot ending he used to terminate the popular HBO series. One reporter has queried about how Vinny has managed to retain his sharp appearance even after spending years behind bars. He mentions his neatly gelled hair for one thing, noting that, since hair gel is not allowed in prison, how does Vinny do it? Well, it is quite easy, as anyone who watches such reality prison shows as Lockup or Lockdown. I remembered one woman demonstrating how she made her own

Massino Claims a Fed Tipped Him Off

Joe Massino, the former Bonanno boss who turned informant and is testifying against Vinny Basciano, claims a crooked FBI agent gave him a tip that he was going to be arrested in 1982, according to an AP report. Massino told jurors at the Brooklyn murder trial on Thursday that the tip allowed him to "go on the lamb" in the Poconos and avoid prosecution for two years.

Lesson in Mob Jargon at Basciano Murder Trial

Newspapers are doing anything to find a new angle on the already-tired story about Joe Massino, former Bonanno chief, ratting his former friend Vinny Gorgeous all the way to the lethal needle. I already did a post about "brokesters," and I am pretty sure everyone knows what "clipped" means, but here it is, courtesy of the New York Times: Lesson in Mob Jargon at a Mafia Murder Trial .

ID: 'So Successful … It’s Criminal'

Investigation Discovery launches eight new true-crime series and renews 23 for the 2011-12 season, including "Nothing Personal," about murders caused by hitmen. Detail available here, on TV by the Numbers.

How to Launder Money

It is estimated that some $1.5 trillion dollars is laundered every year. If we write that down as $1,500,000,000,000 then we begin to realize how much that is. The U.S. national debt now stands at $14 trillion, ($14,000,000,000,000). The famous U.S. stimulus package was only $787 billion ($787,000,000,000), and the sales turnover of Apple Inc. is $65.23 billion ($65,230,000,000). In other words, the amount of dirty money that is being laundered every year through Organised Crime Worldwide Ltd. is much bigger than one of the most successful companies in the world. Exaggerated you may say, but probably not. Remember that criminals do not file tax returns, and they do not produce audited accounts, so at a guess the figures quoted are lower than reality, and the problem is much bigger and probably rising. Dense reading, but here it is -- the inside out of money laundering, from the distant past to the present, as reported in a blog entry for Turks and Caicos-- or

Sliwa Wants ‘Gotti’ Movie Filmed Outside NYC

It has not been reported who is going to play Sammy Bull in Fiore Films Gotti production. John Travolta is on board; so is Joe Pesci -- and Lindsay Lohan may be next -- but an effort is under way to stop filming of the new Gotti movie in New York City -- and behind it, none other than Curtis Sliwa. The founder of the Guardian Angels has been claiming for years that Junior Gotti tried to have him clipped. “…To think that he will now be able to profit from his lifetime worth of crimes is beyond the pale. To add insult to injury (literally in my case), to allow him to use the streets and locations of our fair city to line his blood laden pockets is absolutely unconscionable,” Sliwa wrote in a letter delivered to the mayor’s office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Thursday morning. Sliwa claims the movie may be a whitewash of Gotti's alleged criminal history. Sliwa also said the movie is a glorification of the “murderous reign” of John Gotti Sr. Read the rest -- Curtis

Biggie Allegedly Had Genovese Crime Family Ties

The 1997 murder of Christopher Wallace -- the rapper known as The Notorious B.I.G. -- remains unsolved, but last week, new information was released about the storied murder, as well as Wallace's alleged links to the Mafia, when the FBI opened up its files as part of an investigation into who shot the rapper, including who orchestrated it, according to the Village Voice .  Biggie Smalls had ties to the Genovese crime family?  Biggie's death is widely believed to have resulted from the earlier murder of Tupac Shakur; other alleged masterminds include Suge Knight's Death Row records camp, LA's Crips gang, and corrupt L.A.P.D. officers. "The FBI's files, which span from 1997 to 2005, do little to prove or dispel these allegations--although they do make for sadly sinister reading," the Voice reports. While the first wave of reports has concentrated on the contents of Biggie's pockets on the night he died--marijuana, a pen, an asthma inhaler, three &

And Massino Testifies Against Vinny Gorgeous

Former Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino testified in a Brooklyn courtroom on Tuesday how he secretly taped his successor discussing murder, the first time a boss has taken the witness stand against an underling, prosecutors said, as reported by Reuters . The accused is Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, charged in U.S. District Court with murdering Mafia associate Randolph Pizzolo in Brooklyn in 2004. Massino testified he secretly recorded Basciano discussing the murder when both men were behind bars. "He told me that he killed him (Pizzolo)" Massino said. "He said he was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker." READ MORE

Travolta Describes How He'll Approach Gotti Role

John Travolta said his upcoming performance as the infamous Gambino boss will offer audiences "a movie they can’t refuse," at a press conference today in New York. The star joined director Nick Cassavetes and Gotti’s son John “Junior” Gotti to reveal details about the film “Gotti: Three Generations.” The film, due for release in 2012, will co-star Joe Pesci as Gotti’s deputy Angelo Ruggiero, and possibly also Lindsay Lohan, who attended the press conference alongside a row of Gotti family members. “I’m in talks to have Lindsay in the movie. Nothing has been finalized, but we are in talks,” said producer Marc Fiore. Read story: Travolta relishes ‘untold’ mob story .

Historical First: A Mafia Boss to Testify for the Government

Former Bonanno boss-turned informant Joe Massino during happier times. A Mafia boss defecting? Never in a million years. After all, the key to the success of the Italian Mafia has always been its structure, which insulated the boss and upper management from ever being put in such situations. But it goes without saying that times have changed and what was once unthinkable is set to become routine. After two decades of infiltration and non-stop aggression on the part of law enforcement, New York’s mob families have sprung more leaks than a quickly sinking ship -- only the captains have no interest in going down with said ships. The biggest example yet: Joe Massino, set to testify against "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano. The New York Times puts Joe Massino's transformation from boss to informer into historical context: In a First, Mafia Boss Will Testify for Government .

'Family' Friends Ask Mob Rapper Testa to Delete Music Video

Mob-related rapper, Tony Testa, recently has been asked that his latest music video be pulled from websites -- and considering where the request came from, incarcerated mafia members, as well as those still on the street -- he should probably consider it a Papal Bull. And he seems to have: at press time, the video had been removed,  according to an article on the website BallerStatus Daily Urban Lifestyle The Italian rapper, who hails from Brooklyn, had filmed a music video for his track, "Paper Chaser," which he has been advised includes too much "family" information, the article added. "Paper Chaser" is based on a fictitious mobster (played by Testa) being inducted into a crime family. Some "unknown rituals" that crime families still perform during induction ceremonies are supposedly revealed in the video. "The only reason I'm pulling the video off of the site is out of respect for my Uncle Joey," said Testa in the article.

Operation 'Acabar' Breaks OC Drug Ring

A major police operation named Acabar has broken up a drug ring that supplied organized criminal drug brokers for more than a decade in Montreal and the United States, according to an article in The Montreal Gazette . Some 450 police officers conducted 39 raids on and around Montreal Island on Thursday, seizing 150,000 pills of ecstasy, $1 million in cash and $300,000 U.S. in cash, Montreal police police Commander Denis Mainville said Friday. They also seized one firearm, two kilograms of cocaine and 1.3 kilos of marijuana. Two pot grow ops were also raided, one in St. Colombian in the Laurentians another in the Mirabel area. Fifteen people were arrested, including 12 men and three women. On Friday 10 people, ages 21 to 55, were arraigned at the Montreal courthouse on charges including drug trafficking, conspiracy, possession for the purposes of trafficking, producing cannabis and possession of a prohibited weapon. Two men charged were already being detained on unrelated charges.

Justices Urge Change in Wiretap Laws

"In connection with organized crime." Two Supreme Judicial Court justices urged legislators to change state wiretap laws by primarily deleting the sentence fragment quoted above so police can use the evidence-gathering technique beyond the realm of the Mafia to include murderous street crimes, according to . The full bench said that state law, enacted in 1968, allows law enforcement to use wiretaps only when the investigative targets are engaged in organized crime. The SJC said the language of the law spells out the type of lawbreakers police can target: those in “a continuing conspiracy among highly organized and disciplined groups to engage in supplying illegal goods and services.’’ Justices Ralph D. Gants and Judith Cowin suggested that lawmakers must delete those five words from state law. “The legislative inclusion of five words, ‘in connection with organized crime,’ means that electronic surveillance is unavailable to investigate and prosecute the hun

Frank Vincent -- Movie Mafioso

Frank Vincent has been beaten to death by his friend Joe Pesci (in “Goodfellas”) and beaten his friend Joe Pesci to death (“Casino”) and they’re still friends, two Italian-American guys who started out doing standup comedy together in East Coast nightclubs, writes  Bill Iddings of the The Muskegon Chronicle . Now the veteran character actor -- he of the thick silver hair and black eyebrows -- is getting top billing. Vincent stars in “Chicago Overcoat,” a movie shot in 2009 in The Windy City and being released April 20 on DVD. At 71 years old, Vincent plays Lou Marazano, an aging hitman for the Chicago mob. Worn down by The Life, Lou seeks redemption with one last Big Job, trying to secure the future for his daughter and grandson. Lou’s weapon of choice is a Thompson submachine gun (which he calls a “Chicago typewriter”), though he’s not above blowing people away with a pump shotgun or pistol. Whatever he has Lou’s trigger finger on, Frank Vincent must carry “Chicago Overcoat.”

Book Review: 'Young Al Capone' in New York

Chicagoans are still taunted in far-flung locales with a mock trigger pulling and the words, “Al Capone — bang, bang, shoot-’em-up,” wrote Jeff Johnson in his review of a new biography about the famous gangster in the Chicago Sun-Times . But we’re the Second City when it comes to the notorious underworld boss known as “Scarface.” He’s a product of the hardscrabble streets of Brooklyn. In Young Al Capone: The Untold Story of Scarface in New York, 1899-1925 , Staten Island’s William and John Balsamo explore those formative years, which ended in a beef with the Irish White Hand gang that sent the hotheaded young Italian mob enforcer scurrying to safety in the Windy City. The Balsamo brothers, whose great-uncle has been described as “the first godfather of Brooklyn,” claim to have researched their subject for a quarter century. Either they got off on a tangent, though, or were disregarding the advice of higher-ups to make the book about Capone for marketability, rather than a more gen

Recently Uncovered FBI Files Reveal Notorious B.I.G. Had Mafia Ties

FBI files on the unsolved murder of rapper The Notorious B.I.G. reveal that a rare type of armor-piercing bullet was used in the hit, throwing further suspicion on a corrupt former police officer, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail . Notorious BIG, foxy Foxy Brown... Another fresh piece of information in the FBI file claims Wallace had connections with New York's Genovese mafia family and that the rapper was being surveilled by LAPD for that reason before his death. The 1997 murder of Christopher Wallace - aka Biggie Smalls - is a high-profile case not just in Los Angeles, but across the world, given the victim's fame. At the time of his death Wallace, 24, was one of the biggest rappers in the U.S. and his murder has often been put down to a 'war' between top East and West Coast rappers. However, conspiracy theories abound, as do accusations of a police cover-up, and the FBI files will do little to halt that with revelations contained in t

Lohan in 'Final Talks' to Play Victoria in $75M Gotti Flick

Lindsay is on the verge of signing on to play John Gotti's daughter. Lindsay Lohan's on the verge of signing her first big contract out of rehab -- in fact, we're told the actress is in "final talks" to play John Gotti's daughter Victoria in the upcoming biopic about the mafioso's life, according to Lindsay -- Closing In On Deal for New Gotti Flick, . "Sources close to the production say producers were considering both Blake Lively and Sienna Miller for the role - but John Gotti's famously blonde daughter wasn't having it, insisting Lindsay get the role instead... and producers loved the idea,” TMZ also reported , according to Music Rooms. Victoria is reported to be a close friend of Lindsay’s family and is convinced she will do a great job of portraying her in the film, which will see John Travolta play the lead role. As we previously reported, John Travolta is working out a deal to play Gotti Senior. According to various pub

Queens D.A. Busts Bonanno-Linked Gambling Ring

The District Attorney of Organized Crime & Rackets Bureau in Queens New York Richard A. Brown reported the busting of an alleged illegal gambling ring with links to the Bonanno crime family. (See -- they do more than just dabble in drugs.)* The ring, run by four, had a website and an offshore bank account to process over $8 million in the two and a half years it has been running. “It is alleged that this small operation was able to effectively compete for the illegal gambling dollars of bettors by availing themselves of modern technology. By utilizing an offshore-based gambling website that possessed automated bookkeeping software that acted as ‘bookkeeper’ and ‘clerk,’ the defendants allegedly were able to reap huge profits through their unlawful gambling operation,” Brown said. D.A. Richard  A. Brown “Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime. Those who participate in these criminal operations often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts and o

Jury Selection a Drag for 'Vinny Gorgeous' Basciano Trial

Jury selection continues at a snail's pace in the capital-murder mob trial of reputed Bonanno boss Vincent Basciano -- and the well-dressed wiseguy known as "Vinny Gorgeous" seems to relish every moment, according to the A month into the painstaking and often tortuous process at Brooklyn federal court, only 59 prospects have been chosen. That's out of a pool of 1,000, nearly twice as many as most high-profile Mafia trials, court experts said. But, animated and smiling, Basciano confers with his legal eagles -- George Goltzer, Richard Jasper and Ying Stafford -- occasionally and discretely whispering in their ears. And why not? Every day the selection process drags on is another day away from his solitary confinement in prison. READ REST

The FBI on Global Organized Crime

Whether you refer to them as organized crime families, the Mob, the Mafia, or Cartels, they are responsible for nearly a trillion dollars worth of criminal activity each year, according to an article on U.S. College Search advocating obtaining a criminal justice degree . The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has distinguished 3 main crime syndicates in the world: the Italian Mafia, the Russian Mob and the Mexican Cartel. The Italian Mafia has five distinct branches: • Sicilian Branch which mainly deals with arms trading and heroin smuggling • Camorra Branch, the largest group, that specializes in blackmail and money laundering • Calabrian Branch, known for bombings and kidnappings • Saca Coronoa Unita which deals in human trafficking and extortion • La Cosa Nostra, or the American Mafia, is the smallest group of the Italian Mafia. 80% of American Mafia members reside in New York City.

A Loyal Doc Sometimes Tops a Good Lawyer

"Italian mobsters feeling the heat know that it's not a good lawyer they need to call when facing justice, but a pliant doctor," according to an article on the U.K.'s The Independent site. A new book by Corrado de Rosa shows how some of Italy's most notorious gangsters have faked everything from mental illness to blindness with the help of bent medics. Mob doctors have trained their clients to mimic illnesses and even given them drugs to create the right symptoms. The book tells how physicians supply jailed mobsters with appetite suppressants to help convince judges they are suffering from depression or even anorexia. One Naples mobster, Ettore Russo, was allowed out of prison for special treatment after it was claimed he had depression. He exploited the reduced security by popping out between treatment sessions to assassinate someone. Perhaps the most shocking case concerns the brutal Camorra boss Giuseppe Setola, who, while on trial accused of being the

Joe Pistone Sits Down With Omaha Agents

Former storied FBI agebt Joe "Donnie Brasco" Pistone, visited Omaha on Sunday to offer tips and share his experience with local agents, according to KETV Omaha . Pistone said he wants to give local FBI agents an inside look at some of most sensitive work the bureau does and how his work positioned it to be what it is today. "It (his infiltration of the Bonnanos) was the main case that enhanced the undercover program and also that helped take down the American mafia to what it is today," Pistone said. Pistone's undercover work produced 235 criminal convictions. "The FBI and the agents do a lot to protect the citizens that the citizens do not know about, especially in the terrorist field," Pistone said. But Pistone said undercover work is not rocket science, but it's all about sacrifice. Until now, Pistone still uses aliases and he said not even his next-door neighbors truly know who he is because the mafia still has a $500,000 contract out

'The Last Godfather' Movie Not About Joe Massino

Filmed in America and in English, the film "The Last Godfather" features Korean star-director-writer Shim Hyung-rae as the love-child orphan of a 1950s Mafia don called to the States to take over the family business, according to a review in the L.A. Times . After one quick joke that the 50-something Shim looks a bit old, the film moves into letting him just do what one might expect from a man-child character based around his high-water, high-waisted pants, bumbling antics and odd predilection for gags involving his shoes. Rather than make a fuss over the storytelling, Shim prefers to keep it simple — two crime families are at war — and just let the performers carry the movie with mugging and banter. For that task Shim has assembled a real wrecking crew of characters actors, including Michael Rispoli , John Pinette , Blake Clark, Jon Polito and erstwhile Kevin Smith sidekick Jason Mewes . For an ingénue love interest he has cast Jocelin Donahue from "The House o

A Blast From the Past

1992 -  On this day, April 2, in New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison. From The New York Times  -- original report on the "final" verdict: Published: April 03, 1992 John Gotti, Guilty at Last After years of dodging conviction and making the Government seem impotent, John Gotti stands convicted of racketeering that includes the 1985 murder that promoted him to boss of the Gambino crime family. To win that verdict, the Justice Department stretched its plea-bargaining, eavesdropping and courtroom advocacy powers to new and necessary lengths. Yesterday's judgment in a Federal court in New York City was a major achievement, a community and national service. Three times in recent years Mr. Gotti defeated Federal and state prosecutors, leaving them with only complaints of jury-tampering and witness intimidation. This time the United States Attorney's office in Brooklyn produced devastating ev

Nigro, Geas Brothers Found Guilty, Face Life

It's all over for Arthur Nigro, former acting boss of the Genovese, who with two henchmen was found guilty today of murder and other crimes following a three-week trial in New York. Nigro, of the Bronx, N.Y., stood trial with enforcers Fotios "Freddy" Geas, of West Springfield, Mass., and his brother Ty Geas, of Westfield, Mass. The litany of crimes of which they were charged and found guilty include the 2003 murder plot against former Genovese boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, the attempted murder of a union boss the same year, and a series of extortion attempts occurring from Springfield to Hartford, Conn., and Manhattan. They all face mandatory life sentences. "The jury's swift verdict in this case takes some very dangerous men off the streets -- men who clearly did not think twice about killing anyone who got in their way," said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement.