Must Read: Sonny Girard on "Mob Boss," the Al D'Arco Story

Gaspipe reportedly wanted
Little Al whacked, so Al turned.
Sonny Girard is a former street guy -- retired now, he's written several fictional novels and is involved in other creative endeavors... If I could wish for one person to read "Mob Boss" and give me their take on the book about Al D'Arco's life and crimes, it would be Sonny Girard.

He lived the life, and actually knew Al back in the days...he offers a unique perspective invaluable to all interested in the Honored Society.

Sonny did years in prison without a mumble and whenever I do a story that has something to do with informants, I always say silently to myself: Sonny, forgive me... Sonny didn't rat; he did years of his life in prison, like so many mobsters have done, are doing, and will continue to do. Then, later he was asked to write a tell-all about the mob, naming names... He was offered a fortune to do it.

He said no.

How many in his shoes would've done the same? How many guys working for the other side would've done the same?

They don't make em like Sonny anymore, and more's the pity for the Mafia....

I just finished reading “Mob Boss,” the life of Little Al D’Arco, by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins. In short, Little Al was a member of the Lucchesi crew who found himself as acting boss when boss of record Vic Amuso and underboss Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso went on the lam to avoid being arrested and tried in the Feds’ multi-mob-family “Windows Case” of the time. “Mob Boss” follows D’Arco’s life from his growing up in the Navy Yard area of Brooklyn to his sudden rise and equally quick fall to become a government witness. As I read, I found this book to be very personal. I had traveled and hung out in many of the locations mentioned and knew quite a number of major and minor characters discussed, some quite well. One person I’d come across on occasion but didn’t know at all was Al himself.

To me and to someone I knew well in Little Italy, Al D’Arco was singularly unimpressive. He seemed like an okay guy, but was not someone either of us believed believed would ever become boss, permanent or acting. My friend, respected in the area, didn’t even know D’Arco was “a friend.” Not that being a non-imposing figure is necessarily a bad thing, especially for a mob guy. It just made it surprising when we were brought up to date by our respective crews and told Little Al had been named Acting Boss of the Lucchesi Family.

Early on we see how Al grew up in an area not too far from the one I grew up in by the Navy Yard’s main entrance; in fact, I took a bus to Junior High (they call it Middle School today) closer to his house than mine. Both places had wiseguys that seemed to have more luxury goods, including beautiful women, than any of the hardworking men who broke their backs at blue collar jobs. My family was poorer than Al’s and we were constantly reminded by our parents that we didn’t have this or that because we had no money. Of course, many of us focused on getting money more than anything else, even education. That’s not an excuse, as my own brother, growing up in the same household, became a lawyer. Still can’t figure out where he went wrong?


  1. I said it before and I'll say it again. Little Al should never have been made, but like Gotti was overheard saying on wiretaps "Who's Left?" Little Al started out making coffee for wiseguys, and that's as far as he should have went. Being chosen as acting boss shows the incompetence of Amuso and Casso, but maybe they chose him because they knew he wasn't a threat. That aside, the book did have some interesting chapters as far as Mott St. and Mulberry St.
    Anonymous-Old School.

  2. I see that anthony casso is at minneapolis rrm. I thought he had a life sentence but must be getting out if he is at a re-entry facility.


Post a Comment