Showing posts from May, 2012

'Gotti' Film Gets Whacked, Forbes Reports

Forbes is reporting that Fiore production's much-hyped 'Gotti' film is as dead as the heyday of Cosa Nostra.

It is probably one of the most over-written films never to have made it to the screen, with producer Marc Fiore fighting an uphill battle, seemingly part of it of his own making, such as the endless bad press following negated negotiations with Joe Pesci, an actor many cinema fans enjoy watching, especially in Mafia films.

But the "final nail" in the coffin, the article says, no doubt speaking what many think, likely is the bad tabloid press engendered by John Travolta -- who was to play the role of the infamous Gambino crime boss.

"True or not, [this type of scandal is] corrosive to this sort of project," the Forbes article says, adding, "Said one ex-participant, 'I doubt John Gotti Jr. would want him playing his father now,'" a sentiment that would seem to fly in the face of what Mrs. John Gotti Sr.has been saying in defense o…

‘Sopranos’ Fans Still Haunted by Abrupt Ending

Yes, I count myself among these fans. From

Every weekend, On Location Tours takes a busload of pilgrims to Holsten's in Bloomfield so they can check out a table in the back. It bears a little sign saying, "This booth is reserved for the Soprano family."

Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler in the infamous booth in Holsten's in Bloomfield.
"They usually go to the booth, sit down, take pictures … get some food, some souvenirs, maybe ice cream, some candy," says Ron Stark, one of Holsten's owners, who notes that fans of the late HBO show continue to stop by on their own, too.

It's been nearly five years since Tony, Carmela and A.J. Soprano came together in that booth – as Meadow struggled to parallel park outside – for what turned out to be the most controversial last supper in television history. It was there that Tony put a coin in the jukebox and played Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " – a song that suddenly…

'Mob Wives Chicago' Debuts New Cast in Trailer

From Digital Spy:

The trailer for the series --  a spin-off of the Staten Island, New York-set Mob Wives -- introduces viewers to the new cast, Reene Fecarotta Russo, Nora Schweihs, Pia Rizza, Christina Scoleri and Leah Desimone.

The Mob Wives series follows women whose husbands or fathers are doing time for crimes connected to the Mafia.

"The mob is Chicago. It's in the pavement, it's everywhere. This is where it f**king started," says one of the women at the beginning of the trailer.[Ed. Note: She's wrong; it didn't start in Chicago.]

"Anybody that says it's a glamorous lifestyle is not really in this lifestyle," says another woman on the VH1 show.

Mob Wives Chicago debuts on VH1 on June 10 at 8pm ET.

B&W Pix of 'Lucky' Luciano, the Prostitutes Who Helped Dewey Put Him Away

From Mail Online, a treasure trove of old photographs of Lucky and the prostitutes who helped Dewey steal the trial, and put one of the founders of Cosa Nostra away for years before deporting him...

He evaded police capture for decades, terrorising the city of New York with his gambling, drug trafficking and extortion - and rising to the Mafia's helm.

But these photographs capture the moment Charles 'Lucky' Luciano - the Italian-born gangster considered the father of modern organised crime - was finally caught by police.

The images, now archived at the New York City Department of Records, include his mug shot and incriminating pictures of the high class prostitutes he was accused of employing.

In 1936, Luciano was dragged before a judge after prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey - who would later run for president - accused him of running a $12-million-a-year prostitution ring in New York.

Charles Luciano in a February 1931 mugshot 
Read more:…

Mafia Daughter Linda 'Scarpa' Schiro in NY Post

Linda Schiro, aka Scarpa, provides more anecdotes and details than have appeared in her previous interviews on "I Married a Mobster" and "The Joy Behar Show." As is noted in the article, she is also working on a book of her own, which I will read before I read Karen Gravano's tripe, no matter how many weeks on the NY Times best seller list it lasts.


It was 1983, and Linda Schiro, a 14-year-old Catholic-school sophomore from Midwood, smoked pot for the first time with her best friend, a boy from the Brooklyn neighborhood.

When her dad somehow found out, he, like any father, was upset.

But he wasn’t any father. He was Greg Scarpa, a top Colombo captain and one of the most feared wiseguys in history.

Scarpa flew into a rage, tracked down the boy and delivered a savage beating, pummeling his face into mush.

The father of the battered teen was no less angry. He took his son, whose eyes were grotesquely puffed up and nose was broken, to the Scarpa ho…

'A Cosa Nostra till I Die...'

A former Gotti underling speaks out about the infamous Gambino boss who brought down the family built by and named for one of the greatest mob bosses of the 20th century, Carlo Gambino, who at the pinnacle of his career was widely considered to be the unofficial "boss of bosses," --  a title done away with following the slaying of the last man to officially hold it, Salvatore Maranzano, back in the 1930s.

Although the title is often bandied about in describing some mob bosses throughout Cosa Nostra's history, Gambino, however, truly fit the bill, at one point secretly controlling at least three of the five bosses on the Commission, always based in New York, Mafia ground zero.

Carlo's single greatest mistake was a whopper, though. And that was the decision to make "Big Paul" Castellano, who was both his cousin and brother in law, his successor. This led to Castellano's murder in the mid-1980s and the rise of John Gotti, who with little more than his big mo…

Why the Decavalcantes Hit "Johnny Boy"

New Jersey mobster John "Johnny Boy" D'Amato was murdered in 1992 while holding the title of acting boss of the Decavalcantes, a position he supposedly won thanks to some secret maneuvering by Gambino boss John Gotti.

D'Amato's gumare, or mistress, told the wrong people that Johnny Boy was a homosexual and they killed him in a hit that supposedly inspired Sopranos creator David Chase to create the Vito Spatafore story line realized towards the end of the series.

Described as a member of the fictional DiMeo crime family -- the crime family Tony Soprano was boss of --  Spatafore (played by   Joseph R. Gannascoli) was married with two children and was a closeted homosexual close to the fiction New York mob boss, Phil Leotardo, played by Frank Vincent.

Wall Street and the Financial 'Heist' of 2008-09

You think the Mafia is an evil organized crime empire? The mob is peanuts... Find out who the real Godfathers are -- the men who run such "families" as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Think I am kidding? Read on...

From The Guardian:

Bernard L Madoff ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, operating it for 30 years and causing cash losses of $19.5bn. Shortly after the scheme collapsed and Madoff confessed in 2008, evidence began to surface that for years, major banks had suspected he was a fraud. None of them reported their suspicions to the authorities, and several banks decided to make money from him without, of course, risking any of their own funds. Theories about his fraud varied. Some thought he might have access to insider information. But quite a few thought he was running a Ponzi scheme. Goldman Sachs executives paid a visit to Madoff to see ifthey should recommend him to clients. A partner later recalled: "Madoff refused to let them do any due diligence on the…

Crazy Mafiosi You May Never Have Heard Of

From the website/blog Guyism. I only included the Italians on the list, which actually has seven criminals on it, because I consider the Mafia to be the word for America's Italian organized crime ring, aka, La Cosa Nostra. The Mexicans and Russians -- among other ethnicities -- may have their own versions, but I cringe when I hear them called mafias.

Also I don't know if I agree with this list. I mean dudes like "Crazy Joe" Gallo -- whose very nickname was Crazy -- are not in the ranking. But I supposed that's because of the "you may never have heard of." Still, you could use that angle and go backwards decades, into the 1920s and 1930s, and come up with some really sick bastards who NO ONE has ever heard of, to such a degree we could've deleted the qualifier "may never have" from the title...

Whether it’s watching mobsters shoot up the big screen or make newspaper headlines, American culture has had a long running affair with gangsters. Mo…

Momma Gotti Defends Travolta in Sex Case

"So what if he's gay?" mob widow Victoria Gotti is quoted saying in the U.K.'s Mail Online.

Mrs. Gotti, widow of legendary New York gangster John Gotti, launched an impassioned defence of the actor amid claims that he sexually harassed two three male massage therapists and a cruise ship worker.

She is doing so because it would seem she is a staunch defender of gay rights; well, it's either that or the fact that Travolta, 58, is set to play her husband in an upcoming film. Maybe both reasons?

The latest developments in Travolta's gay sex scandal  are not looking too good for the actor who gave us such memorable films as "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease."

Just as one of the original accusers had begun pulling out -- no pun intended -- a third stepped forward, and unlike the others, even named himself.

Reports the Mirror Online: "Former massage therapist Luis Gonzalez said he spent an afternoon with the ‘Pulp Fiction’ star at the Ritz…

AllAboutTRH Exclusive: Interview With Drita D'Avanzo

From All About The Real Housewives:

"AllAboutTRH had an exclusive interview with one of our favorite Mob Wives, Drita Davanzo. Drita’s always been my favorite because she is simply a bad ass with a good heart. I asked her all the questions we’ve all been dying to know including where her friendship with Renee stands, what she thinks about Ramona and if she felt set up at Renee’s party! Drita doesn’t hold back and give’s us honest answers on how she really feels in this must read interview!"

Click here for the full interview.

Joe Bruno: Jen Graziano Says She Smelled a Rat

Damage control has begun for the producers of "Mob Wives." Read this piece from Joe Bruno on the Mob:

Jennifer Graziano, the creator of the VH1 TV Show Mob Wives had her “Duh” moment in her recent interview with the New York Post. Jennifer G. told the Post she should have known her ex-brother-in-law Hector “Junior” Pagan was a rat, when he seemed overly interested in appearing on her show.

When Jennifer G. asked Pagan, before the second season of Mob Wives, if he really wanted to be on the show, he eagerly said yes.

“It’ll ruin you on the street,” Jenifer G. told Pagan.

“No,” Pagan replied. “I don’t care about that anymore. I want to be in it.” (the FBI wanted Pagan to be in it too; wired for sound, of course)

“I should have known then that something was wrong,” Jennifer told the Post.

No spit, Sherlock.

Click for the full story.

'Baby Shacks' Gets 5 Years for Strip Club Plot

The former New England Mafia boss was sentenced Friday to 5½ years in prison for his role in the shakedown of Providence strip clubs, becoming the first ex-Mob leader to be locked up in a case that has ensnared nine people described by prosecutors as having ties to organized crime.

The sentence for the 84-year-old Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio means he may live out his final days in prison. He turns 85 next month.

Manocchio's role in the extortion plot went back to about 1992 and netted $800,000 to $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains through protection payments paid by strip clubs, including the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge, according to prosecutors. Manocchio maintained at his sentencing that he never personally threatened anybody.

Gioeli Escapes Cop Slay But Guilty of Racketeering

From National Post (via the Associated Press):

A reputed Mafia boss and a co-defendant were convicted Wednesday on racketeering charges. But in a blow to the government, they were acquitted of the most shocking crime in their federal case: the unsolved gangland slaying of an off-duty New York Police Department officer in 1997.

A jury delivered the mixed verdict for the defendants — Thomas “Tommy Guns” Gioeli, the reputed former boss of the Colombo crime family, and reputed mob soldier Dino “Little Dino” Saracino — on its fifth day of deliberations in federal court in Brooklyn.

Gioeli, 59, had been charged in a total of six murders, including that of Officer Ralph Dols, dating to the 1990s. Jurors found that he and Saracino were involved in murder plots but also concluded that prosecutors failed to prove they actually killed Dols or the others.

The two defendants smiled broadly and slapped their lawyers’ backs after the jury left the courtroom. They face up to 20 years in prison at sent…

Capone's Legacy to Cosa Nostra: Pay Taxes!

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) ran a Prohibition-era crime syndicate in Chicago, dubbed "The Outfit," but which became better known as the Capone gang. His era ran from the early 1920s to 1931, after which he was convicted on federal charges of tax evasion, and sentenced to federal prison. His incarceration included a term at Alcatraz federal prison. Toward his end, he suffered mental and physical deterioration due to late-stage neurosyphilis, and on January 25, 1947, he died from cardiac arrest.

Despite his crimes, Capone's reputation soared due to his carefully orchestrated Depression-era acts -- donating to charity, opening soup kitchens, even positioning himself as a sort of Robin Hood, and was even "sympathetic" enough to weep during the more poignant moments of certain operas, which he loved (Stalin cried during opera, too, make of that what you will) -- but then fell into the sewer in the wake of his involve…

Book World Review: Ed Falco's ‘The Godfather’ Prequel

The Book World section of The Washington Post reviewed "The Godfather" prequel, written by Ed Falco, and yes, he is related to Edie Falco, who played Carmella on "The Sopranos." It sure is a small world; I doubt I will be reading this book, unless any readers out there will give me a big thumb's up...

"Mario Puzo (1920-99) was one of 12 children born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen to two illiterate Neapolitan immigrants. Puzo graduated from City College, loved the novels of Dostoyevsky and in his 20s began writing stories for pulp magazines. He published two little-noticed novels, and then, in his late 30s, deeply in debt (he gambled) and with a wife and five children, he set out for entirely mercenary reasons to write a novel about the Mafia, an organization about which he knew almost nothing.

"I remember reading “The Godfather” when it was published in 1969. Like millions of others, I couldn’t put it down. Puzo had drawn brilliantly on the pulps and D…

Tommy Karate Pitera, Bonanno Mobster, Was More Serial Killer Than Goodfella

Thomas (Tommy Karate) Pitera, made member of the Bonanno crime family, in his most recent effort to get out of prison, sought to use DNA evidence to shift blame for several murders on a former partner in crime.

Pitera's appeal was crushed (just like his nose when the DEA arrested him) by a dead judge, who while alive penned the legal documents that validated the denial.

As Forbes reported: "A federal court of appeals yesterday denied a criminal defendant’s Motion To Compel Post-Conviction Relief in the form of DNA testing of six items related to the crimes at issue.

"The defendant/appellant, Thomas Pitera, alleges that genetic testing of those items would exonerate him by showing that the guilty party was in fact Frank Gangi, whom the court determined to be his accomplice. In United States v. Pitera (2d Cir. Apr. 3, 2012), the Second Circuit determined after very careful analysis that under the standards established by the Innocence Protection Act (“Act”), any such test…