Showing posts from October, 2012

Gambino Underboss Cali has Strong Ties to Sicily

Frank Cali, a mobster with strong Sicilian roots, has been named as the Gambino family's new underboss, according to Jerry Capeci's PPV column Frank Cali circa 2008. Cali, along with Gambino family boss Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, who officially named Cali his number two, and Gambino capo Bartolomeo "Baboots" Vernace are believed to all have strong ties to Sicily. In fact, although all five New York crime families have ties to the old country, the Gambinos are believed by law enforcement to have the strongest. Cali had been on the Feds' radar. He has been considered to be the Gambino "ambassador to Sicilian mobsters" and he is linked to the Inzerillo Mafia family , from Palermo. "Cali is seen as a man of influence and power by organized crime members in Italy," according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Lipton. Salvatore Inzerillo (Palermo, 1944 – Palermo, May 11, 1981) was an Italian drug dealing

Basciano Son Nabbed for Part in $50M Betting Ring

Bonanno boss Vinny "Gorgeous" Basciano is imprisoned, serving a life sentence. From NBC New York : The son of an infamous mobster was arrested for allegedly helping to run a $50 million sports betting ring that stretched from New York to California Vincent Basciano Jr, son of Bonnano mafia leader Vinny "Gorgeous" Basciano, was among those charged. Gadoon "Spanky" Kyrollos, 34, of Freehold, N.J., was also arrested. Fifteen of those charged are accused of being bookmakers who took bets on football, baseball and basketball games as well as horse-racing. The owners of Pinnacle Sports, based in California and Las Vegas, were also charged in connection with what police said is a mob-linked enterprise. "Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even  physical force to collect debts.&qu

When Frank Sinatra Made It Onto the Wrong Hit List....

Caponigro didn't like it when Sinatra told him to shut up.... A Philly mobster wanted to kill Frank Sinatra, or he seemed to want to... This was one of the hundreds (or thousands?) of conversations caught on tape by Gambino mobster Nicholas "Nicky Skins" Stefanelli , who committed suicide earlier this year. He had a lot weighing on him since he flipped for the Feds two years ago and began wearing a wire on his former friends in the New York and Philadelphia Mafia families. The tapes are making their debut at the trial of Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, reputed head of the Philadelphia mob, which began last Thursday. One Philly big shot wanted to whack Frank Sinatra. One conversation took place between 69-year-old Stefanelli and [Joseph "Scoops"] Licata at the American Bistro in New Jersey last April. Louis Fazzini, 45, and Nicholas Mitarotunda, 74, were also allegedly at the meal. READ: Sinatra Once Proposed for "Honora

Skinny Joe's Dad Died in Prison

Convicted mobster Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino (the father of the man believed to be boss of the Philadelphia mob, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino) died at a low-security federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino, father of Joseph,underboss to Nicodemo Scarfo. The elder Merlino, 73, had spent the last quarter-century behind bars. The federal Bureau of Prisons listed his potential release date as August 2016. Merlino's death comes amid the region's biggest mob trial in years: Current Philadelphia boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six other defendants are facing federal racketeering charges. The trial was on break Tuesday. The court papers described Ligambi as "acting boss" and suggested that Merlino had been running the crime family while serving a 12-year prison sentence. Salvatore Merlino rose through the crime family to become Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo's underboss in the

Rizzuto's Return

Will Rizzuto retire or fight a war? From  About The Mafia : Seems like reputed Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto has finally returned home to Montreal after being released from a U.S. prison nearly two weeks ago and flying to Toronto. A credible law enforcement source has given information that Rizzuto returned to Montreal during the past week and attended an appointment in St Leonard. It is still unknown as to what the appoint may have pertained to. Rizzuto was said to have met with organized crime figures from NY during his time in Toronto and many wonder if he could be planning to take back control of the Montreal underworld which he ruled before going away. Rizzuto still owns a luxury home in Montreal on Antoine Berthelet Ave also known as “Mafia Row” in northern Montreal. Montreal has been the base of operations of the Rizzuto Family for decades while Vito and other family members headed the mafia in Montreal. Rizzuto went to prison for his role in the 1991 murders of three

Renee Graziano Enters Rehab for 30-day Stint

"Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano is in rehab, joining a long line of reality TV celebrities. Graziano was admitted to a Miami, Fla., rehab center this past Monday, reports  Page Six in the New York Post. She checked in to "Transitions,"  reports. Renee's father, Anthony Graziano, 71,  Bonanno family consigliere, was sentenced to a one-and-a-half-year stretch in August due to her ex-husband, Hector Pagan, who, having become an informant for the Feds, recorded evidence against TG and other members of the Bonanno family.

As Philly Trial Begins, Merlino Slams 'J. Shore' at LAX

Bet New England, Skinny Joe replied when asked. today posted video of Joe Merlino, who the camera caught strolling through LAX, where he had just landed and was heading toward the car with friend and driver Johnny Fratto. The celeb-stalker site described "Skinny Joey," who got out of prison last year following a 14-year stint, as the "ex-Philadelphia Mafia boss," but as we noted in a recent post , Merlino is believed by the Feds to still retain the crown, though he no longer resides in Philly, based on an informant's wiretap recordings of a dinner meeting between some Philly mobsters, including acting boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, and Gambino family members. The 50-year-old wiseguy at first is as cold as ice toward the cameraman, but when the crew started lobbing softball questions about sports and reality TV, Joey visibly melted under the spotlight and answered questions, though turning his face away. "Jersey Shore" ca

Gyp Rosetti Sharpens Boardwalk Empire's Edge

"Nobody here can take a joke." "What's that? A gun? I got a gun. He got a gun. He got a gun... Everybody got guns!" "Nothing's personal? What the fck is life, if it's not personal?!" "You smug kike midget, creeping around like a fcking dentist with the ether." -- Gyp Rosetti, Boardwalk Empire's villainous savior. You talkin to me? Boardwalk Empire was getting pretty boring. Fortunately, the show creators seemingly realized this -- and adjusted course accordingly, killing off a major character at the end of season two and introducing a new one in the current season. This effectively administered a jolt of much-needed vitality into the HBO series, based (loosely, very loosely) on a true crime story about fortune, power, and greed centered on 1920s Atlantic City, but also in Chicago, New York, and tertiary locals. Somewhere in the second season, it seemed increasingly apparent that despite all the great character actors, s

Mockumentary 'Joe Baccala Story' Makes Indy Circuit

Michael Kakely is the star of "The Joe Baccala Story."   A lecturer on Italian Culture at Western New England University has written and directed a "mockumentary"  titled “The Joe Baccala Story,” which focuses on the doings of a 40-something "self-proclaimed wiseguy" who is unmarried and lives at home with his mother, according to a story on . The film is the creation of Rocco A. Mesiti, who holds "a passion for Italian cinema" and is a "fan of directors Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese." Joey B is no " Marty " (the 1950s film that made a star out of Ernest Borgnine), though, as he has a nice Italian girl he's been dating forever and who very much wants the ring on her finger. The thrust of the movie is that everyone, including Baccala himself, thinks he is a made member of the Mafia, but he is not. “He has internalized that idea so much, he believes it, and that’s what m

First Juror Picked for Philly Mafia Trial; Dead Informant's Recordings to Debut

"Uncle Joe" is acting boss of the Philly mob, a rat's wiretaps reveal; Merlino is still the boss. REVISED, UPDATED: The first anonymous juror --  a former Teamsters member who was a crime victim in her teens -- was selected for the big upcoming Philadelphia mob trial  resulting from an extensive FBI investigation involving alleged mob activity that occurred after boss Joey Merlino went to prison in 1999. Prosecutors say acting boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, an old-school Mafioso known for being a peaceful, reasonable man less prone to violence, has led Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra since then. Bolstering the prosecution's case will be tape recordings made of Ligambi by an informant who has since died by his own hand. These recordings also convinced the Feds that Merlino was still top dog, and that Ligambi was serving as boss on an "acting" basis. [Editor's Note: The Philly mob is set for the trial of its very  life just a

'Robot' to Film Gowanus Canal/Mob Dumping Ground

From  Curbed NY : A team of researchers and students from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have built a robot intrepid enough to brave the depths of the Gowanus Canal, and then report its findings back to us humans. The robot, named Brooklyn Atlantis I, is equipped with sensors that measure the canal's levels of pH, oxygen, temperature, air quality and salinity, as well as cameras, all of which should provide some interesting data. The Gowanus is so filled with crap (both literal and figurative) that it's tough to know precisely what resides in its murky sludge. After the jump, we've compiled a list of just a few of the things this brave little robot might capture on video. The rumor that the Gowanus once functioned as a Mafia dumping ground is a longstanding one, and it probably contains more than a kernel of truth . In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a few bodies were found floating in the canal including the president of the local Grai

Boss Rizzuto Meets With NY Mobsters in Toronto

From  About The Mafia : Rizzuto's family has been under attack for years. After serving six years in a Colorado prison for a 1981 mob hit Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto returned to Canada. But he did not return to his longtime home and headquarters of his Mafia family in Montreal instead flying to Toronto last Friday. The mighty Mafia family that Rizzuto heads in Montreal has been under attack over the last three years including hits on Nick Rizzuto Jr his son and his father Nicolo Rizzuto along with several other associates. The organized crime scene in Montreal has changed a lot over the last few years and the Rizzuto Crime Family and its long time boss Rizzuto may not find the support and networking it once held. It is still unknown as to who is responsible for the attacks on the Rizzuto Family at least to the public. Read the rest RELATED POST Cosa Nostra News: Mob War Ready to Rumble Montreal?

What Michael Franzese Is Up to These Days

Franzese to speak at Liquid Church of New Jersey. From  Standard Newswire : This month, nearly 2,500 attendees of Liquid Church of NJ won't hear from their regular pastor on Sunday morning, but rather, a real-life gangster. Michael Franzese, who has generated more money for organized crime than anyone since Al Capone, will share about his decision to quit the Mob and follow Jesus when he speaks at the Morristown-based church on October 21. Franzese was previously highlighted as number 18 on Fortune magazine's list of "The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses," just five behind John Gotti. As the former "Prince of the Mafia," Franzese faced dozens of grand jury appearances, three major racketeering indictments, five criminal trials, seven years in prison and a Mafia death sentence. After converting to Christianity, the former Mob Captain of the Colombo crime faction of La Cosa Nostra is living a free and productive life which includes activities with a yo

‘Mob Wives’ Makeover for Karen Gravano

CBS New York : Staten Island will never be the same again, thanks to hit series Mob Wives. Season three is currently filming, but who can forget the dramatic fights from season two? Karen Gravano, daughter of Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, is celebrating the success of her book, Mob Daughter, and is also showing off a new look. She says she’s a “shiny” kind of person – but you don’t see that on the show. She joined The Couch to let us know what other changes we can expect in the show’s upcoming season.

RFK Papers Reveal Mafia Plot to Whack Castro, Che

RFK was involved in a plot to use the mob to whack enemies of the United States. From : (AP): Lined pages with a doodle of the Liberty Bell and a CIA document outlining a Mafia-connected plan to assassinate Fidel Castro for $150,000 are among thousands of Robert F. Kennedy documents made public Thursday. The National Archives and Records Administration and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston released some 2,700 pages of documents Kennedy compiled as attorney general from 1961 to 1964, offering a glimpse into Cold War decision-making. Though the documents, released just shy of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, don’t rewrite Cold War history, they do provide insight into the personal thoughts of the era’s key figures, historians say. Kennedy advised John F. Kennedy during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis, key moments during his brother’s presidency. His title as attorney general “disguised his real position, w

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Jen Graziano Confirms New Cast Members, New Cities

From  VH1 Blog : Big changes are afoot in the world of Mob Wives . The show’s creator, Jennifer Graziano , recently spoke to The New York Post and confirmed that the New York cast will gain two new women for season three, though Jennifer is not naming names just yet. She says that one of the newbies is an old friend she’s known since she was a teenager, and the other “brings something to the show that I think is needed — someone who is really into her career.” Jennifer also reveals that she’s working on two more Mob Wives franchises, one in Philadelphia, one in Miami. “Both are cast. It’s now up to VH1 to decide which one to do,” she says. Season three of Mob Wives has already begun filming, but will not premiere until 2013. All of the original cast are set to return. [Photo: VH1]

'Mob Wives Miami' Coming Soon? Yes, Indeed...And Philly Too

What's Jenn Graziano cooking up these days for her hit reality show Mob Wives? REVISED: In the past year there has been a lot of media speculation about a third expansion of Mob Wives into another region of the U.S., in addition to New York and Chicago (although the show's fate in the Windy City remains difficult to gauge). One typical report in The Wrap seemed to sum up the general theories, noting there were several potential locales at which former mob wives could enact their drama for Jen Graziano's hit reality show Mob Wives. The Wrap reported: "There are conversations right now going on about a 'Mob Wives' extension, absolutely," [a source from the show's production staff said]. "The mob is everywhere and so are their wives." As for where it would be set, he added: "I think the iconic locations you would expect are right -- the places that are characterized from all the great films, whether it be Chicago or Las Vegas

Mob War Ready to Rumble Montreal?

Rizzuto was released from US prison and is believed to be en route to Montreal. Vito Rizzuto returns home seeking answers to a long list of questions compiled during the last several years he spent behind bars, police sources say. The 66-year-old Montrealer, reputed to be the head of the Montreal Mafia when he was extradited to the U.S. in 2006, stepped out of the Florence Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colo., a little after 9 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Friday and was immediately turned over to officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who whisked him away to prepare him for a flight to Canada, where he is a citizen. Officials in the U.S. provided no more information about how Rizzuto was to be removed from the country. But late Friday night reports out of Toronto said he landed at Pearson International Airport just before 11 p.m., and according to passengers on board he had a heavily armed police escort. While there has been some speculati

Another Philly Mobster Pleads Guilty

Louis Fazzini, a member of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra  family , pleaded guilty to participating in a racketeering conspiracy that involved illegal gambling and theft from an employee benefit plan, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced Friday. The 45-year-old Caldwell, New Jersey resident admitted that as a "made" member of the North Jersey portion of the crime family, he operated a sports bookmaking business, prosecutors said. Investigators say he also admitted to being a part of the fraudulent scheme to obtain  health  benefits through a "no-show" job operated by the LCN. As a "no-show" employee, Fazzini performed no work but did receive health benefits. He is among 14 other members and associates of the Philly operation who are charged with similar crimes, according to Memeger. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17. From  WTXF FOX 29 RELATED POST Cosa Nostra News: Philadelphia Capo Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Cosa