Bufalino: Rise & Fall

In his time, Russell A. Bufalino -- though not as widely known as John Gotti and the "usual suspects" of New York Mafiosi -- was "feted by politicians, feared by his fellow mobsters and dogged by federal prosecutors," writes Citizens Voice in an extensive profile on the long-dead mobster widely believed to be the man behind the men who made one James R. Hoffa disappear.

Why write a profile now on Bufalino? The only "angles" we see are: any excuse to write about the mob will do, as it sells newspapers; and secondly, as the article itself notes, there is a film planned by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese called The Irishman, which is based on the biography of a Teamsters official who claims to have killed Hoffa on Bufalino’s orders. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino are all supposed to star, according to the article.

Citizens Voice continues:

Even 17 years after his death, the soft-spoken, eight-fingered Sicilian with a lazy eye, known to his closest associates as “McGee,” is still a presence in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where he helped nurture the culture of corruption now unraveling under the pressure of a federal corruption probe.

The 2006 arrest of Bufalino’s longtime driver and reputed successor, William “Big Billy” D’Elia, put the FBI on the trail of two Luzerne County judges now facing prison for racketeering, federal prosecutors say.

Casino developer Louis A. DeNaples’ alleged evasions about a relationship with Bufalino in interviews with state gaming regulators forced him to relinquish control of his casino in return for dismissal of perjury charges in 2009.

Bufalino, or a character based on him, will likely play a prominent role in a film planned by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese. “The Irishman,” based on the biography of a Teamsters official who claims to have killed labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa on Bufalino’s orders, would star mob-movie legends Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.

But the definitive, if less cinematic, chronicle of Bufalino’s career can be found in his 1,164-page FBI file acquired by The Citizens’ Voice under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Although heavily edited to delete the names of informants and associates and to protect investigatory information, the FBI file makes a compelling case that Bufalino’s quiet and modest life in Kingston obscured a criminal career of nationwide significance. Reports from FBI offices across the United States over a 30-year period link Bufalino and his crime family to union racketeering, bookmaking, the fencing of stolen goods, loan-sharking, narcotics and related violence.

“He was one of the most powerful mob bosses of his day, if not of all time,” said Charles Brandt, a former Delaware state prosecutor whose biography of former Teamsters official Frank Sheeran, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” is the basis for the Scorsese film project.

View the FBI file on Bufalino

Read entire article: The rise and fall of a mob power


  1. Marty has lost it. Using a 5'6" N.Y.Italian to play a 6'6" Philadelphia Irishman, all to keep his repetoire company working. This story is bigger then he can tell

  2. The whole Story is untrue. Russell A. Bufalino was a major player, but nothing to the case he had Hoffa killed, Tony Pro, was the force behind the hit, and people out of North Bergen NJ, was the players involved, all the way down to burying the body, in a farm upstate NY. New York State is not that far from Michigan, a wise guy from New Jersey owning or knowing about a farm located upsate New York is truly plausible. What do you think it would be worth to find the grave of Jimmy Hoffa. If he is still there, see the CIA killed one of Hoffa's shooters in little Italy the day after Hoffa went missing. So did the CIA also move the body, to dispose of the remains for good.


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