Roger Moore Dies; Didn't Know Sinatra Once Considered for Honorary Mob Membership

Our first version of this story was posted in 2014 to some outrage. I was asked to delete it, etc. I understand the unusual animosity but have stuck to my guns. I wish I could tell you my source for this, but I promised him I wouldn't. 

I will add here and now that the Commission boss my source references in the story was none other than John Riggi, boss of the DeCavalcante crime family. Here's a story about Riggi you should read: John Riggi, Mafia's "Last Legitimate Boss."

Roger Moore in his prime.

So the first story was about an excerpt from Roger Moore's memoir that mentioned Frank Sinatra and blasted the notion that he had mob ties. I posted it and made a new friend... So ironically, thanks to "James Bond," I got one of my hottest scoops ever. (As for my source, he can contact me anytime he wants. Hope all is well -- thank you so much for the information.)

I'm updating and reposting due to Moore's  recent death 

Sir Roger Moore, the British actor who gave James Bond a new lease on life after Sean Connery hung up his Walther PPK, has died at age 89, his family has announced. (Yes, we know George Lazenby played Bond prior to Moore. We agree with some who believe Lazenby was the best Bond of all, in fact.)

He starred in seven Bond films including Moonraker, which yours truly remembers seeing during its original U.S. theatrical release. It hasn't aged very well, unlike other Bond films...

Sir Roger's family confirmed news of the death on Twitter, saying he had died after "a short but brave battle with cancer."

Back in 2014, we told readers to take with a "mouthful of salt" certain claims made in a published excerpt of  Moore's memoir. It included an anecdote about Frank Sinatra’s supposed links Mafia links, saying that they have been very much exaggerated and misrepresented.

As per the excerpt's introduction:

The former Bond star reveals in his latest memoir that, although Sinatra secretly enjoyed the idea that he had these connections with the underworld, a lot of it was trumped up by the press as a result of strangers visiting the legendary crooner’s dressing room and asking for a photograph. 

“Frank told me that six blokes he didn’t know would appear in his dressing room, five of them would ask for a photo with Ol’ Blue Eyes, and then 10 years later these photos would be revealed as evidence of his Mafia ties. These were his Mafia ‘selfies’. And he didn’t have a clue who they were.”

Sir Roger’s book ‘Last Man Standing’ is a film fan’s delight – a walk down memory lane of half a century of movie-making, from the leafy avenues of Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, to the hills of Hollywood and parties in Palm Springs, to the swimming pools and film sets of the South of France.

Sir Roger Moore got it so ass backwards.... 

Ol' Blue Eyes indeed had well-documented mob ties and, as per a confidential source formerly associated with the Luchese crime family, Sinatra was actually proposed for induction. That means becoming a formal member of one of the Five Mafia Families of New York, for you general-reader types.

"Very few people know he was purposed to be made," the source said, adding that it was a "sort of honorary member button." However, "a few of the bosses on the Commission shot it down. I got that story right from the mouth of a boss who sat on the Commission."

Now, we certainly don't mean to imply that Sinatra "made his bones" or took over a union or hijacked trucks or anything like that. "He wasn't involved in anything criminal. He just soaked up the friendship and loved being around [wiseguys]," our source told us.

"At the end, which is no secret, [Sinatra] was around a guy named Louie Dome," our source added , noting that he had gotten his information about Sinatra's proposed button from a former big shot with the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family (Riggi, as noted in prefatory remarks) who hated Sinatra.

 "He told me they put him up for membership and it was knocked down. I heard this story from a few people."

Louis "Louie Dome" Pacella (Oct. 28, 1921- Dec. 3, 1996) was a New York restaurateur and also a capo in the Genovese crime family. He was a large scale distributor of heroin.

He found time to dabble in the infamous Westchester Premier Theatre scam in the 1970s. (It was in Sinatra's dressing room at the theater that that infamous picture was taken. Louie Dome is not in it, however.) An entertainment complex built in Westchester County atop what had been swampland, the theater was positioned to attract affluent suburbanites.

The Gambino and Genovese families put up the initial funding using front men, then sold off the stock.

The story goes that Pacella enticed Sinatra to play at the Westchester by offering him a huge payday. He allegedly skimmed enough cash from the joint to pay Sinatra $30,000 a night for a 12-night run, netting Sinatra $360,000.

According to Philly mob turncoat Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti: After Sam Giancana was whacked, Dome "took over control" of Sinatra.

The photo with Carlo Gambino in his dressing room haunted Sinatra a couple of years later when he was facing down the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which had questions about some of the gentlemen posing backstage with the crooner. Paul Castellano and Greg DePalma, among others, also are in the photograph. 

Sinatra basically responded with the same blather that Roger Moore writes in his memoir about not knowing the backgrounds of fans wanting photographs. 

A mountain of evidence said otherwise....

Turncoat mobster Jimmy the Weasel Fratianno claimed that it sure looked like Sinatra knew Carlo Gambino, given how he had hugged and kissed the man -- who had been only one of the most powerful Cosa Nostra boss in the history of the American Mafia, with 1,000 made members (including associates; I stand corrected) in his crime family at the time of Vito Genovese's death, with whom Gambino had plotted the high-profile assassination of the much feared mob boss Albert Anastasia in 1957. The FBI also had wiretap evidence of Sinatra speaking with then-Gambino associate Gregory DePalma.

Frank Sinatra with Mafia members

Here's an excerpt from the book Frank: The Making Of A Legend, written by James Kaplan.

Frank’s uncles, Dominick and Lawrence, his mother Dolly’s brothers, ... dabbled in crime. And in Dolly herself — ambitious, ­abusive, violent and vengeful — he had his own model for a Mafia chief.

Small wonder that when he met the real thing, he felt an instant pull. Small wonder too that when the real mafiosi met him, they smiled as they shook his hand.

It wasn’t just his celebrity; in their world celebrities were a dime a dozen. They also recognised the part of Dolly that he always carried with him — his own inner godfather. He wanted to be one of them and — in spirit and in part — he really was. As a result, the Mob would be a constant in his life.

We should not over-emphasise this connection — as many commentators have done — but nor should we underplay it. Some of it came with the territory of being a singer. As many entertainers of his era knew, it was impossible to play the clubs and not come into contact with organised crime.

The ‘Boys’ backed the clubs, often secretly owning them and hiring front men for a legitimate face. They operated them as glamorous profit centres for their businesses — entertainment, liquor, gambling and prostitution.

During Sinatra’s early career, organised crime was a vast and dark under-culture — an alternative economy so huge one boss boasted: ‘We’re bigger than General Motors.’

It was a complex, vicious business, big fish eating smaller fish and operated by brute power. Frank found the aura of danger alluring as he mixed with the likes of Willie Moretti, the bald, wise-cracking Mafia boss of North Jersey, one of his neighbours.

When he moved from the east coast to Hollywood to live and work, he encountered one of the most dangerous and violent of them all — west coast boss Benny Siegel, known as Bugsy because he was ‘as crazy as a bedbug’.


  1. Frank did a better job!

  2. Everyone in the neighborhood knows the wise guys watches them says hello has a few chats between other real italian Americans in the nieghborhood frank just just that except because of his fame he must have mob ties right ? When in an italian community being seen around them and saying hello like he did in the picture isn't abnormal great post Ed ! -Anthony D

  3. I meant "did just that" not just just my mistake

  4. First thing....they don't give 'honorary buttons'. The Genovese family would never ever consider making a guy like Frank Sinatra. For what, what do they stand to gain they already controlled him. This whole thing is complete bullshit and another thing the Gambino Family never had 1,000 soldiers that number is ridiculous. Ed, please re-revise this or shelve the whole fucking story.

  5. I was shocked by that 1000 count too. Any source to back that up?

  6. I think he means 1000 made men for all 5 families.

  7. I didn't say you said the Genovese Family but early on Sinatra was around Willie Moore later he was with Louie Dome...both Genovese so if this is story is true which it's not it would have to be the Genovese family which proposed him. To say it's another family would make it even more ludicrous. Carlo Gambino never had anywhere near 1,000 soldiers in his family maybe tops 350 - 400 at the very peak. Why make claims in a story and promise to back them up later? Make a claim and back it up in the same paragraph so we don't have to go through this.

  8. What about Leonetti testimony, added in revise #2....also see link about the count.....

  9. Also Sinatra "was around" and he "was with" -- doesn't that kinda sound like the usual progression of associate etc. Why the hell would he have a sponsor?

  10. Ed, I'm starting to think you don't have any sort of a real feel for how things are on the street. Every single wiseguy alive has people that are 'with' or 'around' them, this includes Jews, ni66gers and all kinds of people but that doesn't mean they are going to be made! The wiseguy makes money off or with you and your an associate. Also being "with" someone doesn't make them your sponsor, your getting the lingo mixed up.

  11. What about it? Basically says Sinatra was with Giancana and then Louie Dome took him after he died. SO?

    What gets me is that you actually had to be corrected on the 1,000 soldiers. You write a mafia blog and I assume you read plenty of books on the subject so the fact that for even a second you could think the Gambino Family had 1,000 made men is shocking. Made men plus associates makes much more sense....I'll go you one better, at it's peak the Gambinos had well over 1,000 made men and associates. A low estimate would be 5 associates for every made guy with 350 - 400 made men that gives you well you get the point. Step your game up.

  12. Been sick for a few days! So I'm a bit behind....


    There was only one Frank Sinatra, Funz....not a typical joeSchmoe street guy, this totally falls beyond the pale. .... I know all about guys who want to be only connected -- and for any number of reasons, including asinine well as guys who want only a button...

    All I can tell you is I got this from a member who got it from a boss he was in prison with; I was asked not to name him but honestly, it's pretty easy to figure out his name if you read the double ref; this boss is still alive in fact.. and he HATED Sinatra....why would guys make this up?

    Didn't Burt Young wanna be made too? I remember reading it somewhere....

  13. I was using data from a Life magazine article that either didn't know the difference between a soldier v. an associate or didn't care. He pegged the Genovese family as 600 strong. Joe Valachi, who is referenced in the Life article, testified Vito had 450-500 "soldiers." So the Life reporter writes the Genovese had 600 and Gambinos 1, does all this correlate with Valachi's testimony. He certainly knew a soldier from an associate. I base things on facts -- not what I think. I know the FBI gave a lot of these reporters their data for these kinds of stories back in the 1960s-1970s, which doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'll have to turn to the VPs and see if he ever gave a size estimate of the Gambinos, if only for my own curiosity. I was going to do something on the Life magazine article, which is pretty fascinating....but I'm thinking you all read it... did you guys?

  14. You said he'd been with The Genovese family before Louie Dome -- and he wasn't. According to Leonetti....

  15. That I will do. I am susceptible to injecting occasional pranks, which invariably explode in my face.. N


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