Why Cosa Nostra Still Most Powerful Crime Group in US

Recruitment the best racket.
Obviously, I am not going to name the man I interviewed for this story, or anyone connected to him, because to do so "would be committin' suicide," as he told me.

"I'm a journalist. I speak all the time--"

"I know, I know. Protected sources, Freedom of the Press. You fuckin' name anyone, you're dead. And it won't be me who does it. You can send the cops after me, I don't give two shits, they'll arrest me eventually for something, what's another murder to me?"

"Uhhh.... "

"Look you know who I am. Write the story like I tell you. It's about a guy I worked for who is dead for years so none of my people will know what the fuck you're talking about and everything will be fine. Just don't get cute and put any names in or you'll be fucking dead by the next day. If you fuck me tomorrow [meaning today], call your mother right after and wish her a Happy Mother's Day cause you won't live to see her tomorrow."

The ground rule was that I could ask one question and he'd answer it; boy, did he answer it. And I got a couple more questions in. He said he'd call me back. Eventually.

How is it that the Italian Mafia in America has been able to survive so long in this country?

"Good street guys know how to work people. They know how to turn on the charm. Once they got you, though, they own you. They're sinkin' their teeth into you while they're charmin' you.

"Some guys are better than others at this. The best racket we got goin' is how we recruit people. Put them on record. You come to us with somethin' and we put you on record."

That's the first step toward getting made?

"Did I say anything about gettin' made? I'm talking about bein' on record. That's what people don't understand. Most guys, "associates," you call them, don't wanna be made. They just wanna be on record. Some guys do it because they wanna be mobbed up. They think it's cool, maybe they'll get laid. They don't even care about the money, but for us the money is all there is. Some of these guys care about the money, of course, but you'd be surprised how much they just love the aura."

How do people start the process?

"You like interruptin, don't you? You should look into that. Different ways. There's some places these half-ass connected guys know we go; there's some guys we recruit at some places.

"He [his former boss, now deceased] was one of the best. He'd walk into any place and have people eatin' out of his hand. Like a restaurant. We sit down to eat and he'd ask for the owner. And when he asked, if the owner was in the place, he'd come to our table, every time. It was like people knew who he was. He had that charisma, to walk into a place and own it."

This now-deceased mob capo would ask the owner where he got his fish or his meat, or he'd inquire about the firm that laundered the place's linens. 

"Hey, your linens are filthy! I got a guy!"

He'd ask the restaurateur how much he was paying for a particular service.

"'That's ridiculous! I can get you a better guy!' And he'd pull out a piece of paper and a pen and write a name and phone number on it. 'Call this guy.' He'd always get a better price, wherever he thought the owner was payin' too much, he'd get him a better price.

"Most owners are gonna call that number and ask for that name. And that's how we get started."

So he was giving the owner a better price to buy meat. Was it legit? I mean was the meat spoiled and--

"No, no. That's stupid. We're talkin' legit business, to an extent. He'd get a meat guy who'd give you great meat at a good price, but he's one of our guys. And once the owner of that joint starts using one of our guys, it's only a matter of time before we're handling his linens, too. Picking up his garbage, getting him booze. We get into that place and we'd own it. To an extent."

"So slowly, we get in our people and everyone is makin' money. The owner is gettin' nice, clean white linen for a lower price. He's on record with us before he even realizes it. And he's saving money and gettin' his garbage picked up on time."



"I don't understand. How do you guys make money?"

"Let me finish. That's where the envelopes come in. Say we do a special favor for him; everyone needs one all of a sudden, everyone. Could be  a last-minute catering job and he needs extra whatever. He gets it. He's expected to give a little envelope to [the guy who first walked into the place making inquiries of the owner]. During Christmas, too, he would want to give an envelope. So, let's call him John Thomas, cause there's no guy I know named John Thomas. John Thomas is getting envelopes from this restaurant and probably 10 or 15 other restaurants. And that's just restaurants. Believe me he has a lot of other businesses that are into him."

You mean the average small business owner isn't afraid of the mob?

"Why should he be afraid? The machine is working. It's only a problem when the guy gets an increase in, say, his linens. Or something else. Maybe he decides to subtract that amount from the envelopes, and then my guy notices. Or the business owner will call my guy and tell him about the price raise.

"There could be issues over time, yes, there could... Say the guy doin' the cartin' triples his prices. JT will then have a sit down with this guy, who may be with another crew or even borgata.

"It only falls apart if someone is not happy. We don't like to force our way in. The 'shakedown' brings on the spotlights. We all want a quiet, smooth-workin' machine."

Can an associate walk into a restaurant and do that?

"Yeah, but he's gotta consult with people first. And he can only go so far with the owner. An associate is gonna make the introductions and he's only gonna do that for his envelope. And remember, nothin' goes down, it only goes up.

"This is the normal way of doing business. If you're not makin' money for us, you're not with us. It's not the Wild West out there anymore. The restaurant owner, he knows what he's gettin' into in the back of his head from the get-go. Otherwise, he tells JT 'no,' I don't need your guys. And JT don't push it.

"Everyone is very careful and knows the repercussions."

Remembering he had told me I could only ask one question, I was hesitant to raise another topic. But I did.

Do you notice the FBI has cut its resources in New York?

"Yep. Ya know how? There's no car outside this joint I'm in right now waitin' to follow me around. Back in the days, they were all over us. What's that expression? "Like white on rice." There's no car followin me tonight. Or last night. Or the night before. We do read the newspapers, too. We read books, too. We're not as dumb as you think. Not all of us are illiterates."

Why would you tell me that?

"Why not? You think someone's gonna read this and give a shit? Most people interested in the mob want to do business with us or they want to tell their girlfriend that they met John Gotti.

"People are always gonna wanna bet. They're always gonna want women. We aren't goin' anywhere. The money keeps flowin'. Wherever there's money that can go in someone's pocket, the mob will be there."

You make it sound so warm and cozy! The mob only kills journalists?

"I'm talkin' about mob earners here. Guys who wanna make money. Guys who can make money -- who know how to make money. We got our work crews, too. But we also have the sit down, like I said. Anything can be taken care of with a sit down. May take three or four of them, but it usually works. Our system works. Lucky [Luciano] invented that. Everything gets resolved today. We're a lot more... flexible than we might have been in the 1980s... And Hollywood keeps on glamorizin' us. They make us into mythical characters.

"We just common crooks working for brands. That's the attraction, really: the brand. Colombo. Gambino. Luchese. Bonanno. Genovese. We're in every level of society. Remember the restaurant owner I described. How many different people and companies are attached to those deals and makin' more money just because JT went there for a meal.. You gotta lay a lot of groundwork to do that, though. It doesn't just happen. No one else got in like us, we got lawyers, doctors, associates who just wanna be associates cause they want to be branded..."

"It's all about the brands."


  1. Ed have you heard of the term "bait em and hook em". Someone told me that while they work with these owner , they ultimately get them dirty and involved in serious stuff. In the end they pay up or lay down to the law.

    1. Honestly right now I am thinking about whether I should have included all those backlinks in the story.... I am fortunate that he mentioned all five families, too, because I've linked to so many different groups he won't think I'm being cute...At least that is my hope. Or should I remove the backlinks.... Gotta mull this one...

    2. No doubt there is more involved; angles, as they say. Like the needing a favor part.... and the carter tripling the price, and the capo having sit downs to "take care of it"... the capo in charge probably told the carter to triple the price in the first place! But I think they are afraid that some guys who are clean may run right to the Feds. I don't think they're so quick to kill people anymore. I think a businessman who gets involved with them better keep both eyes open and now where all the rabbit holes are...

  2. I believe they are still shaking down people but doing it in a way which the owner less expects it. " a year ago you're doing favors , now your running the joint" They sure have modernized the shake down scheme.

    1. These guys are like cancer it starts out as stage 1 3 yrs diwn the road stage 4 no return i know ed i was one them hook em there all urs sfyer that u got the waitreesses ur both fucking he gets out of line she makes a call to the wife the rest as they say is gravy. I know still playing this game only im independent cant trust any of them.

  3. Ed what happened at big trial. Net havent seen George A nobody covering scarfo jr trial in CamdenNJ . No info on galati or nicodemo trial this month either.

  4. Ed, I wish you could have asked him what he and his friends think about the war going up in canada right now.

  5. He was emailing me for some time; I actually thought he was a fake and kind of ignored him, until he told me his name and send me a pic of himself taken that very day. Bottom line, once I verified he was who he said, he become a lot more important. He would only speak generally, he didn't want anyone to know he was talking to me. He's an older man, and as I note, he said I could ask him one question only. He called me out of the blue, leaving me hanging for weeks -- frankly when he called, I wasn't prepared, had nothing in front of me, etc. I asked the first thing that popped into my head. He did say he'd call me again; as Canada is a major area of interest for me, I will ask him though he is a New York guy through and through and probably couldn't care less about Canada... thanks for the input, though, I will keep it in mind. I am waiting on one more book before I write my Canadian history. The research is there, in all these Canadian mob books that are unbelievably over priced. I just don't get how the Ndrangheta never established itself alongside the American Cosa Nostra, which according to the new Informer issue, has probably existed in this country since the 1860s... thanks again.

    1. You can ask that same question about the Camorra but you know the answer. They assimilated. Mafiosi, Cammoristi and Ndranghetisti became American Cosa Nostra.

  6. Great job Ed!!! I like the way this guy points out that getting involved or "on record" with a crew as an "associate" more than likely means they will use you as long as they can make money with/off you. Today the families are run by "families". Like they were 40 and 50 years ago. To get made today you would need to have a name like Corozzo, or Persico and would have been raised in the "life" from a young age. Look forward to the follow up.
    I would love to know how much contact they have with other families in the US and Canada(Philly, Montreal, etc.)

    1. Is that true? They do it like in Sicily, where they gotta know your father's father's father etc?

    2. I believe since the infiltrations by donnie brasco and big Jack along with the flood of defectors they started tightening up requirements. You see a lot of the same names in recent indictments (Trucchio, Asaro, etc.)

    3. Mikey Suits.....that the nick name Rep. Michael Grimm used while undercover for the FBI. Is that you Rep. Grimm? Hahahahaaa!

    4. The Mafia controls a lot of unions, especially in the construction industry, which enables them to create revenue streams that flow right into the crime families' pockets.

      That's a basic statement regarding a key way that the mob generates cash for its members. This is generic, historical background info -- but it seems to be enough to label any politician who is in some way connected with a union as a puppet of the Mafia.

      To wit: Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm. Or "Mikey Suits" as he is called in an article headlined Carpenters Union, Under Fire For Mob Connections, Endorsed And Funded Gambino Crime Family Congressman, Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm, running on BeforeItsNews.com.

    5. hahaha.....no but very funny coincidence.....


Post a Comment