"Last Great Mafia Empire" Update

Today I had hoped to have the button up, the one you click to purchase the ebook I wrote with former Bonanno capo Dominick CicaleThe Cicale Files, Vol. 1: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire. As indicated this is only the first of a series we have planned.

But it looks like getting that button up is going to take a couple of more days. We're looking to launch by Monday, hopefully earlier.

I hope you all buy a copy, especially since Dom padded his goddamn expenses... You won't believe how many copies we have to sell before yours truly sees a single nickel!  Just kidding... 

But I am not kidding about hoping you all buy a copy.

It's going to cost less than $5, and we packed the book with as much value as possible. Researching extensively to set the background and context for Dominick's information, I tried to focus on little-known facts that were part of some of the major events described in the book.

For example, did you know that "Sonny Red" Indelicato was under investigation for the murder of Crazy Joe Gallo when he was killed? Or that on the night of the three-capo meeting, he scattered his crews throughout New York City in case the loyalist faction tried to take them all out in one strike? In addition, several Bonanno members supposedly stayed with Tommy “Karate” Pitera while the three capos were slaughtered.

It appears that someone is already trying to "piss in our pool," stating on social media that there can't be anything interesting in our book because Joe Massino and Sal Vitale already revealed it all. Let me address this absurd allegation. Firstly, neither of them were on the scene when a high-level member of the Bonanno family -- actually, the capo of the Sicilian faction -- Gerlando "George from Canada" Sciascia was murdered, and there is more to the hit than what the two know and said on the stand. A hit team, depending on the target, can include capos, soldiers and associates (even the boss and underboss on occasion). When one of them screws up, if the "boss" of the hit team likes that person they will include a fabrication in their update for the boss.

As you'll read in our book, Dominick exonerates someone now sitting in prison for a crime they didn't commit. In addition, Massino failed two polygraph tests. As Newsday noted in the story Surprising testimony in Basciano case

"Former crime boss Joseph Massino unexpectedly testified Wednesday that he failed two FBI lie detector tests while trying to become a government witness -- an admission defense attorneys are likely to use to attack his credibility as they try to save crime captain Vincent Basciano from the death penalty. 
"Massino described his test failings while Basciano's attorneys cross-examined him in a special proceeding, in which prosecutors are trying to convince a federal jury in Brooklyn that Basciano -- convicted this month of the murder of a mob associate -- deserves to die."

Anthony DeStefano mentions a murder plot Vinny "Gorgeous" Basciano tried to orchestrate from prison. The target was Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso. The plot didn't originate with Vinny, and DeStefano doesn't really know what set it in motion. Nothing against DeStefano, his book is excellent. 

Now I realize some (or many) of you probably don't even know who some of these guys are. Sal Vitale, for example, was Massino's brother-in-law and underboss for a time. He fell out of favor and, following an indictment, he eventually flipped. This book was written for the beginner as well as the expert.

One main goal was to dole out juicy details that many of you likely will find intriguing. For example, consider the "Tony Green" excerpt. Anthony "Tony Green" Urso was a capo who briefly served as Joe Massino's acting boss. He advocated the killing of children of informants as punishment -- but also as a cautionary measure to stop others from flipping -- in an infamous comment made to "Big Lou" Tartaglione. (I'm pleased to announce that we have copies of those very tapes made by Big Lou! More on that to come in a future post...) Urso also dressed in skintight spandex and didn't always wear his toupee properly. He also could be talking about, say, a murder or a new family venture that could earn millions -- any topic at all was never large enough to interest Urso if a nice ass happened into his view. His entire focus would concentrate on a female's swaying buttocks.

From the excerpt:

...Urso commanded the Bonanno family and had major resources to back him up.

Urso was also interested in attractive young ladies—to a fault. On street corner meetings, he was known to suddenly lose interest in the topic of discussion whenever a fetching young woman happened into his field of vision. “Tony thought he was God's gift to every woman who passed him by,” Cicale said. “He’d make it so obvious too, looking a woman up and down.”
... Cicale recalled a time when he and Basciano were waiting for Urso to meet them. “Urso steps out of his tricked-out, pimped-out black Hummer H2 wearing bright, shiny, royal-blue skintight spandex. Urso actually looked as if he was about to get on stage at a male strip club.

“Vinny and I were standing in a supermarket parking lot waiting for Urso. We watched him park his car farther down the lot from us. When Urso got out of the Hummer in that outfit, Vinny starts whispering shit to me without moving his lips so Urso doesn’t notice. ‘Oh my fucking God,’ Basciano told me. ‘Is this man crazy or what? Dom, look at his sagging balls. They’re huge. This guy is fucking kidding, right?’” 
Smiling at the recollection, Cicale said, “Tony was only several feet away and I’m trying to hold in a major burst of laughter. I’m trying to keep my lips together and stop myself from losing it. Then Vinny whispered again, like a ventriloquist: ‘Bo, shut the fuck up. You’re gonna make me bust out laughing right in this guy’s face. You’re gonna get us killed.’ I’m busting a gut inside, thinking if any of the other families see this guy, then we’re all gonna get killed, the whole fucking crime family.”...
Dominick Cicale, then...
Salvatore "The Iron Worker" Montagna also plays a role. Vito Rizzuto, who set loose a bloody vendetta against all traitors, especially those responsible for the murder of his father and son, is a major figure in the book. We posit that whatever else Vito was doing in Canada, he still reported to the Bonannos and paid annual tribute to the boss in New York. Cicale believes any "break" Vito made prior to his prison sentence for the three-capo slaying was directed personally at Massino and not the Bonanno family. In fact, Vito was very friendly with another figure in our book and was still paying tribute as late as the year 2004; he didn't stop paying in 1999, the year George From Canada was murdered, as has been widely reported.

The Cicale Files, Vol. 1: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire -- table of contents:

By Ed Scarpo
The Badge
Massino’s Final Murder
Zips in the Bonanno Family
Man of Steel v. Men of Copper
The Classic Mafia Hit
Brief Word About Joe
Massino Reinvents the Mafia
Two Zips React Differently
The Vinny and Bruno Show
Bad Times for Bonannos
None Walk Away Peacefully


  1. I've never read an ebook and have no interest in doing so... but, seeing as how this is my only option and I'm a fan of this blog... and the writer... and the story this book is based on.......I will!!!

  2. Thanks ed, this book is going to be very interesting. THe thing that struck me the most was vito sill paying tribute? I thought he was his own boss. Making more money than all the 5 families in nyc combined.

  3. I appreciate that Deacon .... we will have a print version available but I'm not sure when.... I should know more by Monday and I will certainly post when the print version is available. Thanks again....

  4. We're not saying Vito wasn't head of the Sixth Family. Rizzuto, however, was incentivized to stay on good terms with someone in New York, the doorway to the world's premier market for EVERYTHING. Paying an annual tribute doesn't mean you're not a boss. Ultimately, the bottom line, as always, is money.

  5. Someone somewhere asked about the UK. It will be available on Amazon UK. Cheers!

  6. Can't wait to buy this Ed, wish you much success

  7. I love the E-book version which I can read anywhere on my phone or I-pad

  8. Looking foreword to it,great job ED.

  9. I'm buying this book soon as it comes out

  10. I actually like both... mob books I like to have the print version because I mark them all up.... I know you can do the same with ebooks but I prefer print....


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