Among Italy's Three Mafias, Double and Triple Affiliations Common

I don't like to write stories this way, but sometimes, when someone threatens your credibility because they believe Cosa Nostra is some sort of supernatural entity composed of "Men of Honour" that is far superior to  other "Men of Honour" from Italy's mainland, and they simply refuse to accept what one of the most accomplished scholars on the Mafia has written regarding this, I am reduced to scanning a book page.

John Dickie wrote the above, which is the bottom portion of page 157 of his book Mafia Republic. He sprinkles the names of examples throughout the book and I am not going through it page by page to find a list of names.

As for the American Cosa Nostra, we have the example of Carmine Galante making Sicilian members of the Mafia into the Bonanno borgata. We have the testimony of Frank Coppa, a close friend of Joseph Massino and Frank Lino who was known for his pump-and-dump stock schemes.

Coppa flipped and in court testimony described how he and another waited in the bathroom while Carmine Galante "made" known members of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra for the borgata; Galante also made Massino and a host of Mafia heavyweights (but still earned none of their loyalty).

Galante, who thought he was creating a personal army out of the zips, hadn't the slightest inkling of why the Sicilians had arrived here, nor what their agenda was. It certainly resided in Palermo as opposed to New York. The Sicilian members were inducted in an "ancient" form of Italian, Coppa added, and noted that they were not just any Sicilians -- but "a pair of the two most aggressive zips," Cesare Bonventre and Baldassare "Baldo" Amato.

May I suggest those interested in the matter of cross-affiliation read: Last Days of the Sicilians: At War with the MafiaThe Sixth Family and Mafia Inc.

Of the first, which you will find listed as a source for most mob books published after 1979, I post the following from Books: "July 12, 1979: The fearsome Bonanno family boss, Carmine Galante, is gunned down in a gruesome ambush at a Brooklyn restaurant. The hit launches an FBI investigation that soon becomes the largest in the bureau's history, as agents uncover a trail leading to a clandestine arm of the Sicilian Mafia.

Evidence points to an all but unknown criminal franchise at work in the U.S. within the strife-torn Cosa Nostra. The mystery deepens. Surveillance photos snapped secretly from FBI vans and lookouts in Queens and Brooklyn show a cast of characters the bureau's mob experts cannot identify. What is in the cartons these Sicilians are loading into the trunks of their Mercedes? Who is trying to spirit $60 million out of the country and why? And where is the mountain of money coming from?

The FBI has stumbled across a billion-dollar drug pipeline that is funneling tons of Turkish morphoine base to Sicilian labs and heroin into the United States through pizza parlors, cafes, and boutiques. Where the French Connection ends, the Pizza Connection begins. This is the dramatic inside story of that historic case and the struggle of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, and New York Police Department to deal the Mafia a crippling blow.

The early 1980s are a crucial time for the FBI. It is emerging from the debacles of J. Edgar Hoover's administration, which long refused to acknowledge traditional organized crime, and is about to take on a new assignment policing anti-drug laws alongside the DEA. The exploding case is assigned to an unlikely pair of agents: the intense, Sicilian-born Carmine Russo and the laid-back Charlie Rooney.

Together with an expanding army of investigators in the U.S. and abroad, they follow a trail that leads from sidewalk pizzerias and pay phones in Long Island, New Jersey, and rural Illinois, to bank vaults and hideouts in Miami, the Bahamas, Zurich, Palermo, Rio, Madrid, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Thousands of hours of wiretapped conversations and surveillance photos reveal a deadly, shadowy world of coded messages, midnight dropoffs of heroin packed in paper bags and shirt boxes, and vast fortunes laundered through some of America's biggest brokerage firms.

But the crimelords Russo and Rooney stalk are not their only nemesis; they must also fend off jealous and impatient bureaucrats, and more than once crooked cops come close to blowing the case."


  1. I'm assuming you are talking about me in your opening paragraph. Your partially wrong because if you re-read my earlier comments I clearly agree with you and Dickie on matters of 'double affiliation', I even gave you examples. What I have yet to be shown an example of is a Sicilian Mafioso who joined the Camorra or Ndrangheta not the other way around. I believe the Sicilians have always had a superiority complex in regards to the other criminal organizations on mainland Italy. We know that super bosses of both the Camorra (Zaza, Nuvoletta) and Ndrangheta (Tripodo, Macri) became members of Sicilian Mafia but what I haven't been given an example of is say Riina, Bontade or older bosses like Vizzini or any of the Grecos' that joined the Camorra or Ndrangheta after their initiation into Cosa Nostra. On matters of 'triple affiliation' maybe it can happen but I can't name a single person who is a member of all 3 organizations. You will probably ask Dickie about this when you speak to him please let me know what he says, hopefully he gives you a few examples.

  2. NO! I wasn't talking to you! I usually mention you if I am.... it was the guy who posted some comments in that other story about Renee's ass....

  3. My apologies then, the part about Cosa Nostra being superior to the mainland mafias made me think so.


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