TG Not Winning Any Popularity Contests

George from Canada wearing
his trademark pompadour.
When news broke that "Tommy Shots" Gioeli would not be convicted for murdering a cop, I could tell a lot of my readers were pleased, with some probably even tossing a fist pump or two.

I sensed this not based on my ability to read minds, a talent I reserve for when I can generate some cash; rather, my assumption is based on the number of pageviews the story continues to receive as well as the degree to which some have "shared" it via Twitter and Google+, for example.

Even Gioeli's fellow inmates were pleased, applauding when the former Colombo boss had returned to his New York City jail cell on the night the jury reached their "stunning" verdict.

It's been like that since time immemorial. A large segment of the public just plain "likes" the Mafia, seeing them as daring, dashing "men of honor," who are tremendously affluent, clad in sharp, custom-made suits, with a beautiful woman on their arm and a black Mercedes parked in the driveway running across the front of their mansion, maybe on Staten Island.

The public either doesn't know or care about the "Mafia tax" imposed on them in every business sector the mob dominates, typically by controlling a key union. The brilliance of the mob's M&A strategy is that it entails the formation of profitable partnerships with the legitimate companies the mob is extorting, awarding these company's their own slice of the pie, meaning a share of the market, as well as the promise of no competition. How this actually works varies, depending on the business. For example, when bids are involved, the company whose "turn" it is can safely submit a hugely inflated bid, taking comfort in the fact that his supposed "rivals" will make even larger bids. In other businesses, companies can cover the mob's "take" as well as boost their own revenues by raising consumer prices.

Keeping everything running smoothly is the Mafia's lack of concern about human life; mobsters will not hesitate to murder anyone that gets in its way or who threatens the revenue flow. The willingness, ability and resources to commit murder is, and has always been, the key to the Mafia's power.

"The public doesn't care," Sammy "The Bull" Gravano told Barbara Walters in their widely watched interview after the John Gotti conviction. "They seem to even like us."

Surveillance shot of two top Bonnanos debating where to have lunch.

I kinda sorta get that same feeling, running a blog such as this one. Last year, I ran a poll based on the question of whether readers of this site consider informants to be rats. As I consider most of my readers to be citizens, I was quite shocked that 70% of you believe government informants, the bad guys who in theory put away a large group of even worse bad guys, are rats.

Now I turn to the large (I mean huge) number of very negative comments under various stories that mention one particular mobster who is not so well liked -- at least by a seemingly large portion of this blog's readership. He's not a rat, either -- he's the victim of one.

I think many of the comments are from people who know or knew this particular mobster on some level. Also in the mix, this mobster has two daughters who have created and operate a hugely successful reality-TV program for VH1.

I am referring of course to TG Graziano, father of Jen and Renee, the creator/producer and star, respectively, of "Mob Wives," a new series of which commences tonight in the Windy City with a whole new cast of misfits about to spring into American pop culture.

Here is a sampling of some of the nasty things said about the Little Guy.

AnonymousJanuary 26, 2012 5:47 PM
t.g let a filty spic in the mob and he is now a rat.(pagan) t.g will soon sleep with the not sure but dont the mob work like that? he should hope he stays in jail or maybe become a rat himself.his daughter put a big bulls eye on him for the greed of money. what a shameful and dysfuntional family. put a wig on t.g and he looks like renee maybe they should make her a made women.why not t.g made all a bunch of flunkies anyway.they are all coke heads and drug users and are shameful to the italian culture.shame on vh1.i watched 3 shows and will not ever watch again.they should all rot in jail then rot hell.

AnonymousApril 13, 2012 9:04 AM
it could'nt happen to a better scumbag.t.g. got what he deserves his hole rotten life was all about cheating and deceiveing every one he ever dealt with.he let you think he was your friend and take every thing you had he is a greedy piece of s--- i hope he lives a long life in jail

AnonymousApril 14, 2012 7:45 AM
hector went back with that fat ugly piece of s--- just to get close to t.g. you could see it on his face every time she came near him or kissed him he wanted to through up i'm so happy for the family i did'nt know t.g.but the stories i hear about him he got what he deserives rot in jail scumbag

AnonymousApril 13, 2012 9:24 AM
i agree with you t.g. has 3 daughters i guess you can call them girls if you put a whig on t.g. he looks like all his fat pigs

AnonymousApril 13, 2012 11:01 AM
i went to school with them and i agree with you they are fat and ugly.when growing up they thought their s--- didn't stink the whole family are low lifes just look wear they came from T.G. the lowest scumbag ever

It's enough to make one wonder: why is TG so... hated. Reading through the above, and additional, comments I don't think it's due to the show. One of my trusty law enforcement sources told me that TG didn't hesitate to go after the smaller revenue-generating opportunities, as well as the large, thinking nothing of, say, shaking down small corner storefronts and restaurants in his own neighborhood.

The detective recalled how Graziano once inadvertently made another retired detective quite wealthy. What happened was one night TG walked into a local eatery, got in front of the owner and proceeded to shake him down for a weekly payoff or something. The detective happened to eat in that place a lot, and was dinning there that very night. Somehow he got involved in the little discussion -- telling TG to go jump in a lake and stay the hell away from the restaurant. End of story.

Coda: The owner was so happy, he graciously gave the detective shares in the business. The restaurateur was so terrified of TG that he considered what his retired patron had done to be the equivalent of slaying a dragon or exorcising a demon.

Detectives certainly have a lot more leeway in how they can handle certain situations, especially when the mob is involved. And negative comments can be posted on a blog with the poster safe and protected by their anonymity.

Talking trash about Graziano may be popular on the Internet, but on the street it can get you killed. It certainly led to the murder of at least one Bonanno mobster.

Gerlando Sciascia (pronounced shaa-shaa) (1934 – murdered on March 18, 1999), also known as "George from Canada," was a capo for the Bonanno crime family who was aligned with the "zips." George was among the shooters who took out the trio of Bonanno capos seeking to take control of the family from "Rusty" Rastelli. He'd been seen shooting Sonny Red in that small massacre.

As Wikipedia reports, "In the 1990s, relations between Bonanno boss Massino and Sciascia had started to sour. As capo of the Bonanno crew in Montreal, Scascia was becoming more independent of Massino and more aligned with Vito Rizzuto. Growing richer and stronger, Rizzuto [running the supposed "sixth family"] became less willing to defer all decisions to the Bonannos."

When TG, a Massino loyalist, once strolled into a family meeting flying high as a kite on his narcotic of choice -- cocaine, my source said -- Sciascia noticed and grew furious; he started telling other Bonanno family members that Graziano was a drug addict, essentiallly calling for TG's execution. Massino -- this was not long after his fat ass had finally reached the big seat as boss -- heard about Sciascia's complaints and took them as a challenge to his authority.

On March 18, 1999, Sciascia came down with a sudden case of several gunshots fired into the back of his head. The hit man drove "now-George formerly from Canada" to a deserted Bronx street and dumped the body. As fate would have it, a passerby witnessed the gruesome scene and immediately called the police. For a long time, law enforcement thought George was a victim of random  street crime.

About a decade later, Massino, after flipping for the Feds, plead guilty to the murder of George from Canada, ordering the slaying of the slick, savvy mobster who called them as he saw them.


Dad Graziano Is Speaking to 'Mob Wives' Daughters, Despite Rat Pagan

'Donnie Brasco' Back in News As Bunch of Bonannos Busted -- and One Gambino

Bonanno Capo/Father of 'Mob Wives' 'Star' Back in Prison 

Renee Graziano's Ex Is a Rat, Puts Her Dad Back Inside