Showing posts from March, 2012

NY Filming Locations 40 Years After 'Godfather' Film

The Godfather house MYFOXNY.COM - Good Day New York's Greg Kelly is a huge fan of The Godfather movie. The often-quoted and iconic movie was filmed on Staten Island. Greg visited the home and spoke with the owners- the same family who lived at the house while the movie was taped.

'Mob Wife' Karen Gravano in Hot Water for Firing Gun

TVWeek - Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos : A VH1 reality series has come under fire from victims of the mafia underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, whose daughter Karen stars on the show, reports the New York Post's Page Six . The family members of Gravano's victims are urging for an investigation into whether Karen broke the law by firing a gun on “Mob Wives,” the story notes. In the episode, Karen and her friends go to a shooting range in the Poconos, with Karen reminiscing about how she once found a gun hidden under her dad's mattress, the piece says. Some relatives of Gravano's victims allege Karen broke the law since she pleaded guilty about 10 years ago to charges related to a drug ring in Arizona, the story notes. ... The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives hasn't yet opened a criminal probe into the incident, according to a spokesman in its Philadelphia Field Division. Karen Gravano

Trying to Please Some of You, Some of the Time

I love comments from my readers -- I really wish you would all leave more. And if you join this site (go down a bit, check right hand side of the page to do this), I will even email you my free ebook , which is about 35 pages of original stories from this site. But some comments I can do without, and this post is about one that falls into that category. The comment, now deleted, written by someone who didn't like the person I had written about, and alleged that I had gotten my facts wrong. No, I am not giving details, but I would like to point out a few things that seem to be worth repeating . Although I have said this so many times, I am getting tired of it... I am a professional journalist, who has worked as a reporter and an editor for a couple of decades, since graduating college. I am not in the mafia nor do I hang out with anyone even remotely connected. I am not a "wannabe"'; a wannabe, to me, is a guy who pretends he is in the mafia but isn't,

'Godfather' Month Continues with MoviePhone's 'Fact and Fiction' Post About Acclaimed American Film

'The Godfather' Month continues with  a post separating the film's fact from its fiction  (or trying to) as posted on  (amendments are included as correctives): "My Mafia is a very romanticized myth," said "Godfather" novelist Mario Puzo, who claimed that he had never met any actual mobsters when he wrote his bestseller, and that his accounts of lurid crimes were based on archival research and imagination. Nor did Francis Ford Coppola have any direct knowledge of mob life when he and Puzo adapted the novel into a screenplay. Yet 40 years later, "The Godfather" is widely considered one of the most accurate movies about the Mafia, even though all its characters are fictional. Part of that is canny mythmaking on the part of Puzo and Coppola, but much of it comes from the real-life Mafia lore that is only thinly disguised in the movie. Which of the movie's notorious deeds are based on fact, and which are invented out of who

Cosa Nostra News Free Ebook to All Who Join This Site

At nearly 35 pages, this free ebook -- which took me a long friggin time to put together! -- will be emailed FOR FREE to all my readers who join this site. It's simple enough to do: go down the right hand side of the web page until you see this: Join this site with Google Friend Connect Click Join this Site, and follow the instructions -- and this book will be emailed to you. It can be printed out, emailed to an iPad or read on your computer, whatever you want. As for my existing members, please email me to let me know if you would like a copy, at If anyone has trouble joining, please email me and let me know. If anyone really wants a copy but can't join, let me know, too. Below is a copy of the cover. The ebook, which is in PDF format, includes many of the mobsters included on this site and includes some of the more popular stories as well as those made up primarily of original content (meaning I wrote them, versus linking to stories

Mob Turncoats by Crime Family

There are A LOT of rats out there -- and they range from associates to made men who held rank. Made men are made until death; guys who flipped are considered to be shelved, according to a mobster's testimony, backed up by sources we've spoken with about this, including former Gambino crime family capo Michael DiLeonardo. Nothing new here -- Gambino rat Sammy Bull, before a later reckoning. Turncoats , my preferred nomenclature, is more accurate , I believe as a tax-paying citizen not affiliated with the Mafia. I also happen to believe in law and order; I write a blog about the Mafia because of personal interest and a journalism background.

Old Ravenite Club Now Deals High-End Shoes

From : Click link in story for the video from Street Smart. The old bosses may have passed on, but the Mafia footprint remains. The Ravenite Social Club, formerly one of the most notorious Mafia hangouts in Little Italy, the headquarters for John Gotti and his crew in the 1970s and 1980s, is now a high-end footwear boutique called Shoe . [ Ed. Note: Once upon a time, it was named, and populated, by one Salvatore Lucania, aka "Lucky Luciano," and he made the American mob, using ideas from the native Sicilian organization and from one Salvatore Maranzano, a boss whose murder Lucania engineered.] Leila Mae Makdissi, the business's current owner, remembers the ethnic Italian character of an older downtown that she grew up in. She said she witnessed the storefront's history firsthand. In an interview with Street Smart Video , Makdissi recalls Godfather John 'Dapper Don' Gotti and his friends parking their big cars on the stree

The Starbucks Secret Menu, for Members Only

Hey, coffee and the Mafia go together like a burger and fries , so I am banking on this post attracting some interest in the great beyond of the World Wide Web... The Starbucks Secret Menu Is on a Need To Know Basis | Sum of the Web : Starbucks has said for years that it offers over 87,000 drink menu combinations , but just recently a new secret menu has been revealed by loyal Starbucks customers. There are some famous other secret menus, the best being In-n-Out’s Super Secret Menu .I definitely need to check out some of these awesome new drinks at Starbucks. Biscotti Frapuccino: Buy a biscotti and ask the barista to blend it up with any flavor of frapuccino. It blends into tiny cookie chunks that add a delicious little crunch to your frozen coffee. Short Drink: The sizes the “mainstream menu” gives you are “Tall,” “Grande” and “Venti,” but if you say you want the “short” size to any Starbucks drink you can receive a less expensive and smaller sized drink. Although this size

U.S. Cosa Nostra on Life Support Vs. Global Outfits

The Primer on Organized Crime via StumbleUpon: With 1,100 members, 80% of which are tripping over one another in New York and its outer boroughs, the American "La Cosa Nostra," which is the official FBI term for the U.S.-based Mafia, is a mere hill of beans compared with other criminal outfits around the world. Just look at this chart, which you can see on its homesite via the above link. The Italian Comorra has 7,000 members -- but even that is a drop in the bucket when compared with the Russian mob, which has over 300,000 members around the world; the Triads, at  250,000 ; and the Yakuza, at  86,000 . Maybe AG Holder was on to something when he consolidated the Fed's focus on O.C. in this country.

Alleged Mob Boss Gioeli's Voice

If you read yesterday's top post , you know Gioeli's predicament. From a blog run by the "alleged" former Colombo boss's daughter: "Here is a link to the second interview between my Dad and Frank Morano of AM 970 The Answer. Trial started off well today. Looking forward to the weeks to come." CLICK HERE TO LISTEN In an earlier post, dated Thursday, March 15,   Jury Selection Ransacked , she writes, On Tuesday I unexpectedly attended the jury selection for my Dad. We weren't planning on going but we needed to deliver his clothes to the courthouse. It felt good to be there because for the first time in four years (about 58 months) I got to see my Dad in clothes, real clothes, like a member of society, a human being. Still, I was a nervous wreck. I haven't been at a court hearing for my Dad in I can't even remember how long and today the reality of trial hit me. But the process of the jury selection eased my mind. "Tuesday wa

Two (More) Colombos on Trial for Cop Kill

'Tommy Shots' Gioeli when he was arrested. Two Colombo family mobsters, Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli and Dino (Little Dino) Saracino, will appear in Brooklyn Federal Court to face a jury for a crime that defies even the twisted logic of the Mafia — killing a cop. Among other things. Former Colombo crime family acting boss Joel ( Joe Waverly ) Cacace, to be tried separately, may get the lethal needle for ordering the hit. I have already covered this story in the article listed below, "Could be Lights Out for Joe Waverly." The police officer, Ralph Dols, was allegedly involved with steroids, illegal gambling and supposedly had ties to both Russian and Italian organized crime. His wife has had two husbands out of five die on her via murder. This story basically adds details about the so-called "Black Widow," Kimberly on... 'Joe Waverly,' who has been shot so many times he has a slug in his chest, may get the

Following 'Godfather,' Top 10 Mob Bosses of Film, TV

From : The film ended with a bodyguard closing Michael Corleone’s office door (to shut out the boss’s prying wife) – but "The Godfather" opened a window to a whole new kind of gangster on the big and small screen. Clockwise from top left: James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano; Al Pacino as Tony Montana in 'Scarface'; Paul Sorvino as Paul Cicero in 'Goodfellas'; and Jack Nicholson as Francis Costello in 'The Departed.' Like a genealogy search on, you can link Michael to his successors over the next 40 years – a line that leads directly to Tony Soprano, another mobster who followed in his father’s bloody footsteps. Since 2007, when Tony suddenly went to black while sitting in a booth at Holsten’s in Bloomfield , there have surely been other memorable bad guys on TV and in movies. There have also been mob-related reality shows, like "Growing Up Gotti" and now "Mob Wives." And in the works is a big-

Rizzuto 'Suspected' of Ordering Montagna Hit: Law Enforcement

Sal 'The Iron Worker' Montagna. While he didn't pull the trigger,Vito Rizzuto, the once-powerful Montreal mob boss now sitting in an American prison, is suspected of being behind the murder of Sal "The Iron Worker" Montagna late last year, reports The . According to the article, Jailed mob don: I’ll take over the world! : "Rizzuto, who for years ran the Bonannos’ Canadian branch, is said to be the biggest mobster north of the border, and US investigators suspect he was behind the hit of rival Sal “The Iron Worker” Montagna, a former New York Bonanno boss, in Montreal in November. Raynald Desjardins, Rizzuto confederate, was jailed for Montagna's murder. "They think the murder was part of Rizzuto’s power grab." [ Ed. Note: Is the Montreal Mafia family really the Canadian branch of the U.S. Bonanno family? We thought so, but some have disagreed with this, saying the Mafia groups in Canada are separate from those in

Tony Sirico: 'Then Let Me Shoot Her'

'David, don't make me kill a woman... I come from a tough neighborhood.' The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos | Hollywood | Vanity Fair : "TONY SIRICO: I got the script that I had to kill a woman, and I ran to David. I said, “David, don’t make me kill a woman.” He said, “No, you’ve got to kill her.” I said, “Then let me shoot her.” He said, “No, it’s got to be personal.” I said, “David, I come from a tough neighborhood. If I go home and they see that I killed a woman, it’s going to make me look bad.” He smiled and said, “No, you’ve got to do it.” Here’s the thing. We did the scene; I had to smother her. First he wanted me to strangle her; I said, “No, I’m not putting my hands on her.” He said, “Use the pillow.” After it was all said and done, I went back to the neighborhood, and nobody said a word. They loved the show; they didn’t care what we did."

Tony Gets Whacked at Sopranos' End: Imperioli

The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos | Hollywood | Vanity Fair : Did Tony die at the end of the series? Some cast members think it is quite possible. MICHAEL IMPERIOLI (Christopher Moltisanti): I thought it was a great ending. A lot of people hated it and thought it was a cop-out, but I thought it was the proper way. Knowing David Chase, he never liked to wrap things up neatly. I never expected it to be either a cliffhanger so people would wait for the movie or wait for another season or just some like really final thing. But I think he’s dead, is what I think. David was trying to put us in the place of the last things you see before you die. You remember some little details and something catches your eye and that’s it. You don’t know the aftermath because you’re gone."

West Coast 'Mobster Madness'

"Tony the Ant" Spilotro From : With a roster of names like Jimmy the Weasel, Tony the Ant, and Flipper Milano, you might think of characters from a kids cartoon. Well, fuhgeddaboudit. They're all West Coast mobsters. And, while cement shoes and "made men" are typically associated with New Jersey, New York and Chicago, plenty of Cosa Nostra action went down in the West. Here are five hideouts where you can get a piece of the "family" business. 1. The Mob Museum, Las Vegas Located in the former federal courthouse where mobsters such as Tony Spilotro and Lefty Rosenthal were prosecuted, this museum tells the story of organized crime and the authorities who tried to shut it down. Listen to wire-taps of mobsters, join a police lineup and wince at graphic photos of mob hits. 300 Stewart Ave., (702) 229-2734, . 2. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood When Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was suspected of skimming money fr

NY Times Toasts 'The Godfather,' New York

From : Some of you may consider this an offer you can refuse, but others will want to note an event of enduring cultural import that took place 40 years ago Thursday. “ The Godfather ,” a film as firmly rooted in New York as Manhattan schist, opened that day in five theaters around the city. Ever since, a significant portion of the American population, certainly the male component, has gone around talking about how it’s time to go to the mattresses; how this or that is strictly business, not personal; and how it’s advisable to leave the gun and take the cannoli. Catch phrases aside, the anniversary of the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece is a moment to appreciate New York’s centrality in American cinema. No other place compares, not by a long shot. Relying on the collective judgment of movie historians and critics, the American Film Institute compiled what it calls the 100 greatest movies ever . Lists of this sort always provide fuel for barroom and dining-table arg

Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck Broken by Mob?

Sir Tom Jones -- his knighthood didn't protect his assets from a debt-ridden manager who owed the Mafia. From  3 News : Sir Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck lost millions of dollars in profit from their 1960s Las Vegas residencies because their manager siphoned off the cash to pay his gambling debts, according to a new report. The British crooners performed to packed houses in Sin City night after night during their heyday but were on a relatively small retainer of US$8,000 a week. And it's now alleged the missing millions from their shows had been used by music mogul Gordon Mills to settle his enormous US$320 million gambling debt to the casinos' Mafia owners. Mills' former business partner Tony Cartwright, who is penning his memoirs, revealed the scandal to The Sun newspaper, telling the publication, "It was the biggest heist in showbiz history. Tom is still looking for his millions he thinks Gordon hid in offshore accounts." Cartwright claims Mi

Cast Pix, Bios of 'Mob Wives: Chicago'

From  Meet The Cast of Mob Wives Chicago - Reality Tea : Following the major success of Mob Wives , it only makes sense that the VH1 network would expand the series with a spinoff! Herein comes Mob Wives Chicago, which is set to d├ębut this Spring on the network! Even better, VH1 has also released the names and biographies of the five cast members. The cast is pictured above, via the Chicago Suntimes , from left to right: Leah DeSimone, Renee Fecarotta Russo, Pia Rizza, Christina Scoleri and Nora Schweihs. The press release states, Mob Wives Chicago will follow “the lives of five women allegedly connected to “The Outfit,” Chicago’s version of the Mob, as they bear the cross for the sins of their Mob-associated fathers. With lives that are right off the pages of a story book, each woman has chosen her own way to live her life in the city that was once home to Al Capone, sometimes in spite of and many times because of who her father is.” So, what can we expect on this new series

Bulger's Lady Pleads Guilty to Helping Irish Mobster

Catherine Greig was indeed a looker in her day; no wonder Whitey went after this one... From  The Boston Globe : Catherine Greig, girlfriend of alleged murderous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, has agreed to plead guilty to charges that she helped him to escape capture while he was on the lam for 16 years. In a plea agreement filed in federal court today, Greig said she would plead to three charges -- conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, conspiracy to commit identity fraud, and identity fraud -- without an agreed-upon recommendation for sentencing by the government and her attorney. Greig is slated to go before a federal judge Wednesday. In a statement of facts signed by Greig, also filed in court, she said, “I engaged in conduct that was intended to help Bulger avoid detection from law enforcement and to provide him with support and assistance during his flight from law enforcement.” She admitted that she and Bulger had obtained false identification documents including dr

'Mob Wives' Drita Appearing at Mohegan Sun

Drita D’Avanzo, of VH1’s Mob Wives, Joins Mohegan Sun At Pocono Downs For Free Signing Event : WHAT: Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Signings & Sightings is pleased to announce that on March 9th, Drita D’Avanzo of VH1’s Mob Wives fame will be taking part in a Signings & Sightings event on the Sky Bridge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs at 8:00pm, followed by a special appearance at Breakers. WHEN: Friday, March 9th Signing: 8:00pm – 9:00pm at the Sky Bridge Appearance at Breakers to follow IN DETAIL: Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs’ Signature Events provide an exciting lineup offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet some of your favorite celebrities and more! All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit . ABOUT DITRA: Drita D’Avanzo is the wife of Lee D’Avanzo, who federal prosecutors allege is the leader of a Bonanno and Colombo crime family farm team. While Drita’s husband is serving time in prison for bank

Mob Club 'Cafe Liberty' Closes Chapter of Mafia History, Leaves Cat Homeless

From The Huffington Post : The city's furriest mob associate is up for adoption, The New York Daily News reports. The old men who inherited a black cat when they took over former social club Cafe Liberty in Ozone Park say they can't pay the rent anymore, and need someone to take the feline off their hands. Five years ago, Alfred (Freddy Hot) DiCongilio--the same wise guy who allegedly killed Frank Boccia inside Cafe Liberty in 1988--adopted the cat from a rescue. The four-legged creature killed rats and was a beloved pet to the crime family, most of whom have died or are now in prison. Its name? Obama. According to the NY Daily News : The club was founded in the mid-1960s by Gambino soldiers Anthony (Fat Andy) Ruggiano Sr. and Anthony ( Tony Lee ) Guerrieri. They’re both dead now, but Guerrieri’s photo joins Frank Sinatra , John Wayne , Jimmy Durante and Rocky Marciano on the wood-paneled walls. Most of the members were regular guys who came by to play cards,

Were Ramona, Karen Friends Before 'Mob Wives'?

More interesting stuff on Ramona from one of our favorite reality-TV websites:  All About The Real Housewives : As most of you know Mob Wives star Ramona Rizzo previously lived in the Middle East, somewhere in Jordan. Ramona married a man and had 4 children with him and when things didn’t work out, moved to Staten Island and moved in with her boyfriend who she only knew for a few weeks. A former friend of Ramona who would like to remain anonymous tells AllAboutTRH exclusively that in the many years she’s known Ramona, Karen’s name was never brought up! Ramon Rizzo, newest "Mob Wife" who is not a mobster's wife. “I’ve known Ramona for many years. Ramona moved out to Staten Island with her kids in 2009. When I knew Ramona never once did she ever mention Karen’s name or ever communicate with her.”

Wed., April 18: Linda Scarpa Featured on 'The Streets Don't Love You Back' Webcast

Linda Scarpa Time: April 18, 2012 at 11:30pm to April 19, 2012 at 1:30am Location: Website or Map: http://www.thestreetsdontlove… Event Type: radio , show Organized By: The Streets Don't Love You Back Linda is the daughter of notorious mobster Greg Scarpa, known as "The Grim Reaper." He was a capo for the Colombo crime family. RELATED POSTS Cosa Nostra News: Former Fed Confirms Scarpa's Role in '60s Civil Rights Case 

Would-be Mafia Turncoat Found Dead in Hotel Room

"Nicky Skins" may have committed suicide over switching sides -- cops allege he may have took a witness with him. From NY Daily News : A guilt-ridden mob rat set to testify for the feds turned tail and killed himself — two days after he reportedly settled a grudge with a gun. The suicide of Gambino wiseguy Nicholas ( Nicky Skins ) Stefanelli has the FBI and the mob in a tizzy, sources said. “All five families are scurrying for the hills” after revelations he had been wearing a wire for at least two years, one source told the Daily News. Stefanelli, 69, was found dead in a New Jersey hotel room on Feb. 26. The cause has not been announced, and authorities refused to comment, but several sources said he took his own life. "My brother found him,” said his daughter, Francine Stefanelli . They were supposed to go to breakfast together. “As far as I know, my father had a heart attack,” she said. “He had a very bad heart.”; Insiders say a change of heart was to blam

'Mob Candy' Editor Nick Christophers

Nick Christophers Mob Candy Editor Nick Christophers, the editor of the national magazine Mob Candy, which regular readers of this site are very familiar with, has been devoted to drawing as much as writing and you have to check out some of his work -- his sketches of mob figures like Fat Tony Salerno are quite compelling -- and for sale on his website. As you can imagine, some excellent perks come with being Mob Candy editor -- Nick has interviewed some A-list celebrities, among them Armand Assante, Mike Starr, Frank Vincent, Gia Bella, JD (from Mindfreak) and, most recently, Karen Gravano from “Mob Wives,” whom regular readers also are quite familiar with. If all that is not enough, he has also completed his first novel, “Destinies” (a mob story) and is shopping it to editors. He also writes for various online and print magazines; his concentration is in the entertainment area. Check out his website at here .   RELATED POSTS Cosa Nostra News: 'Mob Candy'

Watchdog: Mob Ties at Chinese Casinos Owned by US Firms? - ABC News

From  ABC News : video platform video management video solutions video player A new web site that loosely fashions itself after the now famous WikiLeaks sites is working to shed light on the increasingly profitable operations of American-owned casinos on the Chinese island of Macau, and is prodding gaming investigators to also take a closer look. The website, , says it has relied on reams of publicly available financial documents to trace what it alleges are possible ties between the violent Chinese criminal underworld and well known American firms, including the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is run by the billionaire backer of Republican Newt Gingrich , Sheldon Adelson . "We believe that the issues we raise are urgent public policy concerns that cannot be ignored given the huge sums of money involved and the danger that criminal involvement in gaming poses for the people of the United States," wrote Jeffrey Fiedler, who helped launch the w