Showing posts from January, 2012

Mob Wives Recap, S2; Ep3: Battle Lines Drawn

From Reality Tea, we know you're all dying to read  Mob Wives Recap: Picking Sides:

Last night’s Mob Wives had everyone talking… about each other… behind their backs.

Drita D’Avanzo invites her friend over for a drink… so she can sign her divorce papers. She hasn’t spoken to husband Lee because she’s waiting for an apology. She knows the divorce is pretty much going to blindside him, but Drita believes it’s a move she should have made when he was first incarcerated.

Karen Gravano meets her pseudo-cousin Ramona Rizzo for dinner to discuss her calm, cool and collected meeting with Carla Facciolo. Sheesh, after taking shots and making peace at the end of the last episode, Karen has certainly changed her tune. Karen isn’t sure if Carla is Drita’s lackey or if she’s manipulating the situation. Ramona thinks that Drita is their main problem, but she still isn’t digging Carla. Ramona has heard that Carla has said the two are arch enemies… she threatens that Carla has kids at home, so she…

Mafia 'Haunts' Across Country, from The Daily Meal

From The Daily Meal:

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, “Fat Tony” Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion — especially if you owe him money — but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he’s been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope. 
To catch some present-day gangster action, ult…

Former Bonanno Gets Less Prison After Helping Nail Gorgeous

From Reuters:

A former New York mobster who turned against the mafia and helped convict Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, then acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday despite being involved in multiple murders.

Prosecutors said Dominick Cicale, 44, was convicted of racketeering and involvement in two murders and assaults in aid of racketeering. He avoided a maximum life sentence by agreeing to turn against his former crime-world associates, according to a motion filed in court on Monday by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.

He was sentenced to 10 years prison and was given credit for about seven years already served.

Prosecutors said that Cicale, who grew up in the Bronx in New York City, ascended the ranks of the Bonanno family from 1999 until his arrest in January 2005, during which time he took part in two "brutal" murders and other violence on the crime family's behalf.

He bega…

Big Ang Was a Big Drug Dealer in 2001

The Smoking Gun website really got the goods on Big Ang of "Mob Wives," who readers of Cosa Nostra News can't seem to get enough of, judging by the numbers.

So, without further ado, here is the story from The Smoking Gun (click the links to see copies of pages in the indictment, among other things): 

This season’s breakout star on “Mob Wives,” VH1’s hit reality series about big-mouthed molls, is a convicted felon who was caught repeatedly selling cocaine during the course of an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration probe targeting a mob-tied drug ring operating in New York City, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Renee Graziano of 'Mob Wives' Rushed to Staten Island University Hospital

"Mob Wives" reality-TV star Renee Graziano was admitted yesterday to Staten Island University Hospital, Prince's Bay, where she was listed in stable condition.

The crisis apparently was sparked by news of further federal charges being brought against her father, reputed mobster Anthony (TG) Graziano of Huguenot.

According to celeb tracker, sources close to the Graziano family reported that she had a panic attack, collapsed and had trouble breathing. She was taken in an ambulance to SIUH, where she was being treated in the emergency room. The report was confirmed by a "Mob Wives" representative, said.

Anthony Graziano is currently behind bars on extortion charges; the new charges are in connection with today's raids by federal authorities that targeted the Bonanno crime family, which Graziano reportedly serves as consigliere. [There is some debate regarding whether TG was/is a capo or consiglieri -- Editor's note.]

'Donnie Brasco' Back in News with Bonanno Bust

New Yorkers, anyway, have probably already read the Post and Daily News, maybe even the WSJ.

Here are the "facts," straight from the FBI:

A 14-count superseding indictment was unsealed yesterday morning in Brooklyn federal court charging five members of the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Bonanno family”) variously with racketeering, extortion, illegal gambling, and conspiring to distribute marijuana.

The Godfather Effect

Book Review: The Godfather Effect -
It has been 40 years since the "The Godfather" drew fans into the iconic saga of the Corleone family, reinventing the mob-movie genre and embedding the phrase "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" in the American idiom.

But the blockbuster film and its two sequels, with more than $1 billion in revenues, are about far more than crime and punishment to Tom Santopietro, the author of "The Godfather Effect." Mr. Santopietro, a theater manager who has written books on Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Barbra Streisand, saw "The Godfather: Part II" (1974) as a college sophomore, and it rocked his world: The image of a young Vito Corleone quarantined at Ellis Island stirred a sense of identity that had eluded him for years—the scene instantly connecting him to the Italian roots on his father's side of the family.

Part memoir, part devotional film essay and part reflection on the meaning of ethnicit…

DeCavalcante Soldier Dies at 52 While in Witness Protection

From the

A mob turncoat whose testimony helped doom the New Jersey crime family that inspired “The Sopranos” has died while hiding in witness protection, The Post has learned.

Anthony Capo, 52, dropped dead Monday after suffering a heart attack.

“There were more people celebrating this on Staten Island than the Giants’ win,” said one source.

The death of Capo, who once stabbed a mob rival in the eye with a fork at a Staten Island club, was confirmed by his onetime lawyer, Joel Stein.

Capo, a former soldier in the DeCavalcante clan, spilled the beans on the organization at a 2003 murder trial in Manhattan federal court, where he described how he whacked a mobster for being gay.

“There were more people celebrating this on Staten Island than the Giants’ win,” said one source.

“Nobody’s going to respect us if we have a gay homosexual boss sitting down discussing La Cosa Nostra business,” Capo said, explaining why John “Johnny Boy” D’Amato, the former acting boss of the Essex Co…

Former Mafia Member Michael Franzese Talks About Gang Violence

From KSBW The Central Coast:

Michael Franzese was once part of the mafia in New York in the 70s. He spoke to hundreds of community members at the First Presbyterian Church in Salinas on Sunday and compared his experience with the mob to the gang violence that plagues the city.

Read more and watch Franzese video:

'Mob Wives' Poll Continued One More Day

Stop. Being. So. Nice!!!!
Only Ramona Rizzo would say that about Karen "the Bull" Gravano... and many Cosa Nostra News readers seem to agree. So far, to no one's surprise, Karen is far and away the most hated wife, as per our ongoing poll, with Ramona Rizzo not too far behind; her ties to Karen can't be helping.
We know the producers need a story line, even if it is  "reality TV" but if they think pairing Karen and Ramona against Drita is an equal match they are mistaken. Our poll, which 300 readers have partaken in, so far, clearly indicates this story line is a case of good versus bad, with Drita personifying the good.

We have to admit surprise that she is more disliked than Renee, the self-pitying manipulator who clearly is the "sweetheart" of the show -- and Renee's numbers will probably only go up once the tragedy of Junior is revealed -- just as he and Renee are making efforts to reunite -- after 12 years of divorce -- Junior Pagan "t…

Cosa Nostra Italy's Largest Business

From the trader:

While Monti is trying to sort out the struggling Italian Economy, other parts of the Economy is doing just fine. Italy, the home of modern finance, where the Medici’s outlined the “money” concept of today, is struggling with the debt it has accumulated. Yields spiking higher have put a lot of pressure on the bond markets. Maybe it is time ask the Cosa Nostra for a quick loan? Courtesy Eloi Eloi, from ABC.

A report released today by an Italian employers association states that organized crime is the biggest business in Italy generating an annual turnover of 140 billion Euros (over $204 billion.)

The report by Confesercenti described the various different mafia clans with roots in different regions of the country as the “biggest bank” in the country with 65 billion euros ($83 billion) in liquidity. The association said the situation was a “national emergency” affecting businesses throughout Italy and is no longer to be considered as having a more powerful hold on the sou…

New York to Rival Las Vegas? Maybe, but No 'Wiseguys' Allowed: Cuomo

According to an article in the International Business Times, New York's Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo are seeking the passage of legislation that would allow the building of  a "major gambling center" in a place "like" Aqueduct Racetrack, which is in Queens, as well as other casinos all over the state.

New York, which has received worldwide accolades for its reduction in crime since the "Death Wish" days of the 1970s, is already taking into account the possibility that the sticky fingers of organized crime will become attached to these casinos, providing most likely the Italian Mafia over other crime organizations with a potentially massive revenue-generator.

Here is the article, in full:

Backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration are continuing plans to build a Las Vegas style casino in New York. The preliminary plan, if it ever takes off, is to bring a major gambling center to a place like Aqueduct Racetrac…

'T.G.' Graziano Indicted

We knew this one was coming; what we didn't know is that the DEA, specifically, flipped Pagan, which means he must have been a big-time narco trafficante, or at least knew enough and had done enough to cave. Drugs keep following the Bonannos; they got into the forbidden business big time after the Donnie Brasco incident, supposedly, which got them kicked off the commission (which Joe Massino says hasn't existed for a long time), and also kicked out of the major high-end rackets in which the New York families shared.

Update, from

"The father of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano was indicted today on extortion conspiracy charges.

"Brooklyn federal prosecutors say former Bonanno crime family consigliere Anthony “T.G” Graziano conspired to collect a $100,000 debt with the aid of several other mobsters.

"Graziano, 71, now a Bonanno captain, was released recently from prison but was quickly ensnared in a probe by Drug Enforcement Administration agents.


Rhode Island 'Strip Club' Extortion Case Enters Round Two

Image is reporting that "a defense attorney for an alleged mob associate accused in an extortion case involving Providence-area strip clubs is asking the judge for a meeting with all the defendants, [including] some who prosecutors say are mobsters."

Lawyer John Cicilline said in a letter filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence that he hopes the meeting "can produce a final answer as to whether or not the case will be a trial." Translation: Should defendants accept a plea agreement or roll the dice in the courtroom...

Several reputed mafia figures and their associates have been charged. A trial is set for April.

A spokesman for Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha declined to comment. A message was left for Cicilline, who writes he is requesting the meeting on behalf of all counsel, reports.

Cicilline represents Theodore Cardillo, who has pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy.

Montreal Ex-Cop Alleged to be Mafia Informant Kills Self

Seems all the Mafia news is flowing down from our neighbor to the North.

From CBC News:

"A retired Montreal police officer who allegedly tried to sell the names of informants to the Mafia appears to have taken his own life

"The officer was a 33-year veteran of the Montreal police force prior to his retirement last year.

"Radio-Canada has identified him as retired Det. Sgt. Ian Davidson.

"The body was found in a Laval, Quebec, hotel room Wednesday morning. Investigators with the organized crime squad were also seen at Davidson’s Laval home."

'Mob Wives': Renee Breaks Down In Tears as Junior Admits Mistakes


Last week, Renee and Junior decided they wanted to give their relationship another try on "Mob Wives" (Sun., 8 p.m. EST on VH1). But after working through her recent issues with Carla, Renee realized that she and Junior had some issues they needed to work with. So she decided to start voicing them during a dinner date.
The results far exceeded her expectation, though they didn't start off great. When Renee first brought up how their marriage wasn't successful, Junior said, "Well, that's because you like to control people."

Renee had a different reason, though. "We didn't have a successful marriage because you were having affairs," she said bluntly.

After turning it back on her for a moment, Junior did an about face and said something Renee had been waiting to hear for 22 years. "I made mistakes. Tons of them," he admitted. "I did the most damage."

In tears, she told him how much it meant to her t…

New Leads in 2005 Cruise Ship Disappearance of Newlywed as FBI's Russian Mafia Team Enters Investigation

It seems like it is open season on Americans on vacation, whether on cruises or staying in beautiful beach side hotels in the Caribbean. Americans seem to be disappearing inexplicably at a large enough rate to make me think I am right about spending my summer vacations in Las Vegas.

One case, from 2005, seems to involve the Russian mafia; at least that is the conclusion drawn by the fact that, as reported by the Mail Online, the FBI's Russian mafia team has joined the investigation and is looking into "whether four young men - among them three Russian-Americans from Brooklyn, New York - were responsible for the 2005 disappearance of newlywed George Smith IV while he was honeymooning aboard a luxury cruise liner in the Aegean Sean."
"Royal Caribbean officials believe Mr Smith, 26, went overboard between Greece and Turkey just 11 days after he and his 25-year-old bride Jennifer Hagel were married in a beautiful New England ceremony.

"Now, Mr Smith's family in…

Actor Seagal Faces Suit Over Debt to 'Mafia'-backed Former Partner

From the UK's Mail Online we learn more about the still-ongoing lawsuit between Steven Seagal, the martial arts actor accused of failing to repay the $500,000 he allegedly owes a film producer, Julius Nasso.
"In 2002 Nasso sued his Seagal for $60 million, claiming he backed out on four planned action films," the article reports."The flamboyant star claimed he walked because the violent movies were at odds with his Buddhist religious belief.
"However he would later testify that after breaking ties with Nasso he was shaken down by soliders from the Gambino mafia family in the back room of a Brooklyn steakhouse.
"He said a reputed mob captain told him he would be sorry if he did not start working with Nasso again, and that he would also have to pay an extra $150,000 per movie.

"The mobsters were caught laughing about the incident on an FBI wiretap.

"Nasso was indicted in a massive racketeering case that pulled in big gangland names and in 2003 pled gu…

Uncle Frank's Guest Appearance on 'Mob Wives'

Footnote: We have to give a shout out to Mob Candy owner/publisher Frank DiMatteo, who actually appeared in the second episode of 'Mob Wives.'

He was the creepy looking guy hovering over Ramona while she and Karen were in the mob museum somewhere in Little Italy -- the entire block and a half that's left of it. We are kidding about the "creepy" part -- Frank is a great guy, even if he only pays his writers in contributor's copies... Which you have to beg him for.

Renee is actually on the cover of the new issue, as we reported earlier. And another Mob Wife is on another upcoming issue cover; we know who, but we ain't sayin'.

Jen Graziano or whoever edited the episode left Frank in, but for some reason, cut out every scene in which the guy spoke. So viewers get to see him, for like five minutes, just standing there like a mute.The audience doesn't even know who he was... Ya sure left him dangling!

Jen, next time, if someone is on your show for more …

Ex-Hitman Competiello Apologizes to Cutolo Family

When acting boss Vic Orena decided he wanted to take over the Colombo family from jailed-for-life boss Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who had visions of setting up a Mafia dynasty by making his son, Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, the boss, the first shots of the third Colombo war were soon fired.

William "Wild Bill" Cutolo (June 6, 1949 – May 26, 1999), a Brooklyn-born mafioso in the Colombo crime family, chose the Orena faction, and quickly emerged as chief warlord for the rebellious faction; facing off against Cutolo like gladiators of Roman times was Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, who threw his support behind Persico. Each would gather his crew and drive through the streets of New York each night, armed to the teeth, ready for murder -- it was kill or be killed.
It really was, like they say, out of a movie.

Turns out Cutolo chose the wrong side, as did more than half the family. The war, which shot up the streets of New York City from 19…

Police Used BlackBerry to Solve Montagna Rubout

From the Windsor Star, we learn that Quebec police used the BlackBerry messages of those suspected as being involved in the assassination of a former New York mafia boss to crack the case; the newspaper report cited "several sources."

And just think, the Wall Street Journal had only this week written an article about how the BlackBerry, in the age of the iPad, was on its way out. Not before solving a homicide, it would seem.

"Five suspects in the killing of mobster Salvatore Montagna, who was gunned down in November and had criminal links in Canada and the United States, were arrested last month. Incriminating messages sent by one of the suspects, Vittorio Mirarchi, a businessman with alleged ties to the mafia, led to the arrests," the La Presse newspaper reports.

"As a result, communications using BlackBerry Messenger are believed to be favoured by organized-crime figures." 

The article adds: "BlackBerry's purportedly unbeatable encryption capabil…

Colombo Member Charged with Money Laundering


In another blow to New York's embattled Colombo crime family, FBI agents yesterday arrested its reputed consigliere and charged him with money laundering offenses.

Thomas Farese - who sources said was recently annointed by jailed street boss Andrew (Mush) Russo to be the mob family's consigliere and is its third highest-ranking made-member -- 69, was arrested around 6 a.m. by FBI agents in south Florida where he lives, officials said.

Farese, who is also known as "Tom Mix" and "Mr. T," was ensnared by agents from the FBI's New York office in a probe that relied heavily on information secretly collected by one of the mobster's former Colombo crime family colleagues, sources said.

Reynold Maragni, who served as a Colombo captain until he switched sides to become a federal informant late last year, delivered substantial evidence that suggests Farese was involved in illicit money laundering activities, the sources said.

Boardwalk Empire: The Truth Behind the Key Characters

From IndieLondon:

ACCLAIMED HBO prohibition dramaBoardwalk Empire borrows more from history than just the swinging 1920s setting and dangerous glamour of the speakeasies.

While the narrative itself is fiction, the era, specific events depicted, and even some of the characters are lifted straight from the history books.

Steve Buscemi’s Enoch Thompson and Dabney Coleman’s ‘Commodore’ Kaestner (among others) take inspiration from real people, while characters including Stephen Graham’s Al Capone and Vincent Piazza’s Charles Luciano see the actors portraying the infamous men more directly.

Tonight's 'Mob Wives' Ep2 Sneak Peak: Drita 'Tunes Up' Karen, Ramona


Get More: Mob Wives (Season 2) Drita, Karen and Ramona battle it out on the balcony at Renee Graziano’s birthday party.

Forget about Mob Wives star Drita D’avanzo and Karen Gravano having a simple “talk” to hash out their problems. When these two get together during the Jan. 8 episode, fireworks explode at Renee Graziano‘s birthday party when Drita throws a right hook punch at Karen and Karen’s “cousin”Ramona Rizzo.

Karen thinks she’s walking outside to have a calm talk with Drita to try and figure out if they can put last season’s drama behind them, but the talk quickly turns into a heated argument. The women get so fired up that Ramona, who has been watching from the side, decides to step in.

Drita takes Ramona’s action as a threat and in return attacks. “Drita swings, now [I] automatically go off,” Ramona tells the cameras. “Bitch, be prepared to be taken down.”

Drita loses control. “I’m just swinging,” Drita admits. “I’m throwing over on the rights, lefts, li…

To All Women Who Love Mobsters... Please Read

Are you a woman who loves a little danger in life? Would you consider a fling or a date or a relationship with a "wiseguy" a dream come true?

Have you already gone through such a situation and come out the other side, maybe having scratched that itch and, hopefully, without getting wounded, mentally or physically... Or maybe you're back on the market to be a moll to another John Gotti or Vinny Basciano? (Well, who else we gonna mention here? Andy Mush? One of the Little Guys -- there are a few.... No offense Andy, etc...)

Email us your pic and tell us your story -- we want to start an ongoing feature. Inspired to some extent by Mob Wives, we are looking for stories about women who have had relationships with mobsters -- don't worry about the writing, we have good editors on staff. (Am I delusional when I refer to myself as "we"?)

We are still mulling a name for the feature, but it would probably be something like "Cosa Nostra Cumares," unless I ca…

Casey Anthony Vlog: YouTube

Courtesy of YouTube:

I know, I am going outside LCN again, but I think this is something with universal appeal.

This is "the video" of Casey Anthony, talking shit. If she can formulate a complete thought in that empty head of hers, she certainly doesn't know how to verbally express it, that's for certain.

I prefer the jailhouse videos when she's crying to mommy and daddy like a little bitch.

And drop dead, Jose -- and the "back up defense attorney with the big middle finger," pal, I hope she's recording this thing -- as well as living -- in your fucking house.

Five Family Leadership Charts

2015 American Mafia Crime Family Hierarchy Charts 

These charts depict ruling hierarchies and in some instances are outdated.

Still, they are a handy guideline for those interested in the American Mafia for whatever reason.

Thanks to sehzade_mukremin of Gangster BB.
His contact info:

Mob Wives' Ramona Rizzo 'Pretty In Purple': Famecrawler

From Famecrawler:

Ramona Rizzo Ramona Rizzo of "Mob Wives" smiles for photographers after making an appearance on "The Wendy Williams Show" in New York.