Even Mafiosi Find Use for Social Media

Wiseguys don't blog or use social media, is a no-brainer. There are exceptions such as foolhardy young Sicilians. And American mobsters who will likely die in prison.

G. Robert Blakey, author of the RICO act.
Gambino mobster John Burke writes an ongoing blog; it certainly could be John, or a proxy writing for him. Former Bonanno boss/convicted racketeer "Tommy Shots" Gioeli also has a blog which I believe his daughter writes for him based on his words.

These blogs are interesting in that they give us a direct pipeline into the minds of these men. Everyone has an agenda, and these accidental content creators are no exception.

So yes, they blog for self-serving purposes as do most bloggers (I don't believe bloggers who "want to help people" unless they earn tremendously helping people). They are writing  in a forum where they cannot be questioned, to proclaim their innocence, trying to bolster their claims with boring boilerplate from the Gospel or, even worse, from the U.S. Constitution. No one is more patriotic than a mobster, when it suits him. "It's a free country," they are fond of saying, "so steal as much as you can, with both hands."

Gambino hotshot Joe Watts has
been serving a life sentence -- but
on the  installment plan.
Interestingly, both Tommy Shots and John Burke attempt to raise valid issues instead of making basic ad hominem pleas to the common man, only their diatribes don't stand up to close scrutiny. We at CNNews, for example, have already vetted many of their excuses in previous stories that disprove what they are saying -- except for an instance on Tommy Shots' blog, where we believe he is stating the truth.

Gioeli first takes issue with how he is reported on and then says something we believe is partially correct.

First, he denies his nickname, title and membership: "The press gave me the nickname (Tommy Shots) when in fact I've always been called just Tommy. The press also gave me the title of acting boss, all at the direction of the FBI and our government... The more that I denied I was a boss, or even a gangster, the more people believed that I was." Well, yes, Tommy, we do believe it because Valachi spilled the beans about omerta a long time ago. You'd never admit to any of that under penalty of death by your own organization.

Tommy Shots Gioeli has said on his
very own blog that his nickname
has always been just "Tommy." 
We do lend some credence to another assertion he makes, though: "On the eve of my trial they published that I killed a nun; a horrible lie, and they know it's a horrible lie." Tommy was not an actual shooter at what we call the Deep Throat Murders (the killings were over a profit dispute having to do with the famous porno film). A former nun living inside the house that was the predetermined scene of the hit was accidentally killed during the murders' commission, of which there were three. The evidence suggests Gioeli did not actually fire a shotgun blast through the Peraino brothers, through the house and into the former nun. But we do believe he was at the scene, strategically parked up one of the blocks in a "crash car," with the job of smashing into any wandering police cruisers to help the shooters escape. Plus, Tommy was either heard on tape or via an informant, more than once, saying that he feared for his soul because of the woman's death.

According to an FBI press release Burke -- no relation to Jimmy "The Gent," as far as we know -- is a Gambino associate who has spent a long time in  prison -- and will remain there "from now on."

From the FBI release, dated June 8 of this year: "Following a four-week trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn today found John Burke, a long-time associate of the Gambino organized crime family... guilty of a racketeering conspiracy spanning 1980 through 2008. As part of the racketeering conspiracy, the jury found that Burke had participated in four out of five racketeering acts alleged in the indictment, including the 1991 murder of Bruce Gotterup and the 1996 murder of John Gebert, drug trafficking involving cocaine and marijuana, and an attempted robbery. The jury also found Burke guilty of the murder of John Gebert in aid of racketeering, murdering John Gebert as part of a continuing criminal enterprise, and a firearms charge.

Gioeli pulled victory out of the jaws of
defeat, being found not guilty of the
worst of the crimes he was charged with.
"The evidence at trial established that Burke shot Gotterup in the back of the head on the boardwalk in the Rockaways in retaliation for, among other things, stealing money from Gambino family associates and for showing disrespect to a relative of a powerful Gambino family member. Gebert’s murder was part of an effort by Burke and others to take control of the drug trafficking trade on Jamaica Avenue in Queens and to protect the members of a crew of Gambino family associates from possible reprisals by Gebert relating to past disputes with members and associates of the Gambino family. At trial, the defense presented evidence and argued unsuccessfully that Burke had withdrawn from the Gambino family and that he had an alibi for the night of the Gebert murder."

Said United States Attorney Lynch. “The defendant spent over half his life pursuing a career of murder and violence. He will now be held to account for the destruction and pain he inflicted on his victims and their families and will have the rest of his life to contemplate the choices he made.

Burke faces a mandatory life sentence.

Burke, on his blog, writes his reaction to this disturbing, for him, development.

"... I am sitting in my cell and I can't get over the fact that the Government just got three mandatory life without parole sentences out of a trial for crimes that I was already adjudicated on. Two charged crimes, narcotic sales and the murder of Bruce gotterup, I was already punished for. I served eight and a half years for the sales in 1982 and I am currently serving 25 to life for the murder since 2001. How many times should a man be punished for his crimes? Two other crimes I was tried for and found not guilty by a jury in Queens county. Our Federal Government took all four crimes and came up with their own indictment to retry me cause they weren't happy with the State's results. They weren't happy that I had a chance for parole one day and they weren't happy that I wouldn't bend to their will and help them put John Gotti Jr. away for life. They tried me by jury and lost and yet they get another chance and another jury to prove me guilty. Now that I lost do I get another chance to prove my innocence? No! ..."
Ex-high-ranking Colombo Joe Waverley
is considered a legitimate tough guy who
had a cop whacked for marrying his wife.

In the About Me section of his blog, Burke almost smugly levels his key charge against Uncle Sam: Burke, it seems, is a victim of  "double jeopardy." He wrote this prior to his recent trial, which ended in his life sentence.

"I am currently incarcerated in MDC Brooklyn, New York. I am here on charges in which I have already been tried for by the Queens County District Attorney's Office. Even though the United States Constitution's Fifth Amendment (1791), also known as [the] Bill of Rights, states, ...Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be 'twice put in jeopardy' of Life or Limb; nor shall be compelled in Any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, with out due process of law... the U.S. Federal Government is determined to try me all over again for crimes that I've already stood trial for."

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: [N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

But the little twist that often enables the Feds or local prosecutors to seemingly get around the law is a provision written directly into the law. As Wikipedia relates: There have been exceptions to double jeopardy in the past, such as the retrial of officers involved in the 1991 Rodney King beating.

Gioeli sidekick Dino Scaracino.
This exception stems from the ability of different sovereignties to charge individuals for the same crime. Here, the officers were first acquitted by state court and subsequently charged and tried by federal court, which are different sovereignties. The exception to this exception exists between city and state sovereignties located within the same state. Although cities are different sovereignties than the state they are located within, the two are not permitted to attach jeopardy more than once cumulatively.

As noted in the post below, Gioeli and Saracino scored a stunning courtroom victory -- beating federal charges related to the murder of Ralph Dols, an NYPD police officer who was slain at the behest of Joel Cacace for nothing other than the fact that Dols had married the Colombo big shot's ex-wife.

Murder was the worst crime in the bundle of Mafia-related charges they had been hit with. The two were however found guilty of "lesser" charges, including planning the murder.

But it looks like Gioeli and Saracino may have to face those murder charges all over again, on a state level. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is mulling levying a state murder case against Gioeli and Saracino, sources have said.

Charging individuals for the same crimes twice happens often when Cosa Nostra members are the ones sitting at the defendants table. The law knows these men have sworn a blood oath to committ to a life of crime, so they try to hold them to it. But many can't hold their end of the bargain -- and become informants. It's a vicious circle for the mob these days. With the allowances of RICO and the endless line of informants and rats waiting to testify, plus audio transcipts taken from wiretaps and even surveillance footage from hidden surveillance cameras, the playing field is definitely tilted in the law's favor.

But is is constitutional (meaning as the constitution is written now) and if you don't kill anyone, you won't have to worry about facing two juries for the same murder(s) in the first place.

Mob history is rife with cases of mobsters never getting life sentences, but rather getting life on the installment plan.

High-powered, aged Gambino associate Joe Watts, who began his criminal "career" as a hit man for legendary boss Carlo Gambino, likely will die in prison for the murder of Fred Weiss, despite the fact that, as part of a plea deal in 1996, Watts was assured by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn that he would not be prosecuted for the Weiss slaying, which was actually pulled off by a crew from New Jersey's Decavalcante family, when Watts plead guilty to killing yet another supposed informer under the orders of the late John Gotti.

NYPD officer Ralph Dols killed for the
love of a woman; defamed by the very
men who should have known better.
According to court records in the Brooklyn case, while Watts, around 64, had received “coverage” from federal prosecutors for the Weiss murder, as well as several other mob hits, Manhattan prosecutors wasted little time retrying Watts, who was found guilty last year and hit with 13 years. Manhattan's position was that it had made no such agreement with Watts.

So although Gioeli and Saracino were cleared of multiple gangland murders in Brooklyn court -- which the Daily News dubbed "a stunning verdict" -- the notion that a new trial for those same charges may be in their near future likely prevents either of the two Bonanno gangsters from getting a good night's sleep -- especially Gioeli, since the former mob boss already thinks he will be burning in hell for having been involved in the accidental slaying of a former nun.

"A decision on new charges won’t be made until after the upcoming federal trial of former Colombo acting boss Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, who is charged with ordering Ralph Dols’ murder because the cop had married his ex-wife, sources said," the News reports.

Cacace is facing the death penalty for Dols' murder. He was asked after his arrest about being connected with the murder of a cop, and replied, "I don't give a fuck." Not an admission of innocence exactly.