Showing posts from January, 2015

Philadelphia Cosa Nostra Family Has New Boss

EXCLUSIVE: Phil Narducci has been named boss of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra Family, according to several sources who requested anonymity.

What is not known is whether he is the official boss or acting boss for Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who is serving a short stint down in Florida.

Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and Joseph "Chickie" Ciancaglini, Sr. are sharing the position of consiglieri.

The underboss position is officially unfilled, though it is believed that South Philadelphia-based capos Stevie Mazzone and John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini may fill the void by serving as street bosses for the often-troubled Philly crime family.

John Alite Blasts Mob Hypocrisy, Junior Gotti

"Carnesi was the one spreading the story that Junior was cooperating... Tell Carnesi to ask the FBI to tell him why he flew to Florida to see Danny Marino."
-- John Alite in an exclusive interview

When John Alite testified against John Gotti Junior, he was mauled by the media. Newspapers ran front-page stories and headlines calling him a rat and sought to portray him as everything from a junkie to a liar.

But now that the news is out that John Junior gave the Feds a "proffer" -- the once-mighty newspapers are suddenly silent, Alite noted.

"Newsday ran nothing to this point that I am aware of," he told us this morning.

"It’s incredible; it’s a Long Island newspaper. If you check when my case was going on, Newsday wrote I was the most unbelievable of the witnesses based on what one of the jurors said. That is not even close to being true if you look at the jury pool on his charges."

"John Junior got on 60 minutes three times and lied. He got…

Former Gambino Enforcer Gives Candid Video Interview

John Alite talks to Cosa Nostra News on the record.

I am working on the story now. Some of what he told us is in the interview above. We will try not to duplicate too much of the information.

I am trying to reach a couple of people for comment; I doubt I'll get very far.

FBI 302 Proves John Gotti Junior "Talked"

EXCLUSIVE:Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia by George Anastasia, available tomorrow, will quote and include a five-page 302 that resulted from John Gotti Junior's "proffer session" with federal authorities. This is according to an emailed excerpt from the book.

The meeting occurred at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in lower Manhattan on January 18, 2005. 
The 302, never before revealed to the public, is solid evidence that, despite all Junior's denials, he and two of his defense attorneys met with federal prosecutors and FBI agents.

Couple of Stories You Won't Find in a Certain Ebook

Does John Gotti Junior, in his 500-plus-page book, tell the one about the former NYPD detective who gave the Gambino crime family confidential information about a 1983 murder that condemned a witness to death?

Does he tell the one about the Gambino capo who allowed Gaspipe Casso to murder his own nephew, James Hydell, who'd been part of a team that had tried and failed to take out Gaspipe in a hail of bullets? You shoot a guy like Gaspipe and miss, you kill yourself because you're already a dead man.

Alite: Bookmaking "the Least of Doing Anything Wrong"

In early March 2014, "60 Minutes Sports" on Showtime aired an interview with John Alite, marking the former gangster's first interview since finishing an eight-year prison sentence for racketeering two years ago.

Alite was an associate of the Gambino crime family before deciding to flip and become the Fed's "star witness" against John Gotti Junior in a 2009 trial that ended with a hung jury.

Alite had been keeping a low profile since getting out of prison.

"60 Minutes" focused Alite's interview on sports betting, a hot political issue in New Jersey, but also included some of the highlights of his career on the street, limiting its scope to the turncoat's doings in the New York area, where he worked under the Gottis. But he also was quite active in the criminal underworld in Tampa, Fla., working under fellow New Yorker Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio.

The program features some interesting details.

Alite said becoming a bookie was …

Book Murder Machine Missed "Hell of a Lot," Montiglio Says

We spoke with Dominick Montiglio recently -- and we provide here the Q&A that resulted.

Dominick, as you'll read, notes that "Murder Machinedid not tell the whole story, which certainly got our attention. 

"A hell of a lot was left out... Great stuff!!" he told us.

Montiglio, for those not familiar, is the nephew of Anthony "Nino" Gaggi, a capo who was a rising star within what Jerry Capeci has called the "white-collar wing" of the Gambino family during the reign of Paul "Big Paul" Castellano.
Gaggi died in 1988, never attaining the position of underboss he'd long sought when he was close to the Gambino boss before the spectacular 1985 coup by John Gotti.

It's through Montiglio's eyes that much of Murder Machine is told.

Murder Machine relates the story of how, after Carlo Gambino died of natural causes in 1976, the ruling members of the Gambino Family met at Nino and Dominick's Brooklyn home ("the b…

One of Those Annoying Notes...

It's just not as fun now that I revealed I was bluffing about the JDL...

There's More to Junior's Sinatra Story, Of Course....

We're not reading the book, but based on our devotion to our beat, we offer here one anecdote to emerge from John Gotti Junior's self-published ebook. The story involves John Gotti threatening Frank Sinatra's life using Joseph "Joe the German" Watts, one of three guys Junior once discussed privately.

The issue we ponder is which Gotti really posed the greater threat and to whom: Senior in the form of Joe Watts or Junior in the form of his threats against mob scribe Jerry Capeci. The old-school newspaperman apparently read Junior's book, which includes the Sinatra incident,  and then gave Junior a pass.

When he read about Sinatra, Jerry Capeci must've recalled the moment when the Feds advised him to be "a little more cautious than usual." The younger Gotti had hired a corrupt ex-NYPD detective to follow the journalist around to "dig up some dirt."

Reading Ghost Blogger Reviews "Last Great Mafia Empire"

We'd like to give a shout out to the Reading Ghost blogger for crafting a review of Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire that highlights a key aspect of our approach to writing The Cicale Files series.
Mob books such as Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires tend to provide detailed overviews of organized crime, focusing on a particular crime family, city, or period of time. Often an abundance of names, biographies, storylines, dates and other details swamp the reader. 
And we have wondered how much most readers really take away from these books once they finish the last page...
As bloggers writing about the subject, we of course love these books and we eagerly consume even the footnotes and details regarding source material. But in this case we refer to the mainstream reader, not only the Mafia junkie.

Why I Refuse to Purchase John Junior's Ebook

This is my opinion.... published on January 19, 2015...

 I nearly hit the purchase button, but I realized long ago that I simply buy too many ebooks and I have spent more money on Amazon than I'd ever care to admit.

So I downloaded the sample first for In the Shadow of My Father, the new ebook available tonight on

As I skimmed Peter Lance's seemingly endless Forward, most of which is an ongoing advertisement for his terrorism books, I read something that nearly blew my mind. I read it again to make sure I had read what I actually thought I had read.

Powerful Genovese Mobster in the Feds' Crosshairs


Alleged Genovese crime family acting capo Victor Colletti was indicted in 2005 for running a massive Queens-based gambling operation. He was poised to serve his first stretch behind prison bars at the age of 74. He won on appeal, however, and never served a day.

The state had gone after Colletti, filing a 24-count enterprise corruption indictment in the Supreme Court in Queens County. They missed.
Now the Feds are sizing him up for a prison cell.

Coming Soon: A Cosa Nostra News Exclusive

UPDATE: Well, we didn't make our self-imposed deadline; we need to formally contact someone. We doubt they'll comment, but we need to provide them with an opportunity. 

We've been working on this one for two days and hope to post today.

 We promise this breaking news exclusive includes a lot of new historical information about the organization of one of the five crime families in New York.

Bookmaker Granted Bail in Odd Arson Case

In January 2010 a flurry of news reports wrote about a fire in the Middletown restaurant Enzo's.

One of them read: Faulty Fry-O-Later sparks restaurant fire:
"A single-alarm fire started by a faulty Fry-O-Lator inflicted an estimated $250,000 worth of damages at Enzo's Restaurant & Lounge early Sunday morning. One person was injured in the blaze, fire officials said."
The "one person" we now know was the co-owner of the restaurant; he was drunk and somehow got locked inside the place after the other owner started the fire at midnight, according to prosecutors. Earlier in the day, he'd sprayed cooking oil around the kitchen's deep fryer. A professional arsonist had advised the two men earlier that that was the best way to set Enzo's ablaze without getting caught. The arsonist was wrong, as it turns out.

FBI Agent Stole Seized Drugs; Case Dismissed for 28

Please don't click the headline; the Washington Post uses some kind of phantom zone technology that will bring you to their RSS feed; please click the continued link below, instead. Thank you, the management...

While we focus on organized crime (and are working on multiple stories right now), this story caught our attention today... One has to wonder how often this kind of thing happens, for personal use or not, without the agent getting caught....

The Washington Post reports that FBI agent Matthew Lowry checked out Item 1B4 from the evidence room at the bureau’s Washington field office on an August morning in 2013."

On the log sheet, he scribbled “to lab” in order "to explain why he was taking drugs that had been seized in an undercover operation dubbed Midnight Hustle."

Upcoming Book Will Detail Mysteries of 1978 Lufthansa Heist

Image On Dec. 11, 1978, a crew led by mob associate Jimmy Burke pulled off a daring stunning heist at JFK Airport that netted $5 million in cash and $1 million in precious stones.

The case, which was immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s movie “Goodfellas,” has puzzled authorities for 36 years. Only one robber was ever convicted for the crime and the whereabouts of the loot has remained a secret…until now.

Jenn Graziano, VH1 Served Cease-and-Desist Letter

EXCLUSIVE: Both VH1 and Jennifer Graziano today received cease-and-desist letters from an attorney regarding Renee Graziano's continued use of the Mob Candy name on items for which she does not have the rights, according to a source close to the case who sent us a copy of the two letters.
Noting that Renee had ignored previous letters sent to her, the copyright holders' law firm is putting both the "Mob Wives" network and Jennifer Graziano herself on notice that the firm has been "instructed to begin legal action against you if you allow these infringements to continue."

AMC Docudrama Traces Roots of Five Families

AMC announced Saturday that it will unwrap an eight-episode miniseries, “Making of the Mob: New York,” in which it traces the of roots of each of the five crime families that make up the American Mafia.

The series, each episode of which is an hour long, blends dramatic scenes with interviews, archival footage and VFX and spans back to 1905. It traces the rise of Charles “Lucky”Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, along with other notorious gangsters, who went from street hoods and neighborhood gang members to multi millionaire entrepreneurs and bootleggers following Prohibition.
The project hails from Stephen David's production company, which previously produced History's The Men Who Built America.

Gotti Memoir Beats Anastasia's Gotti Book to Market

So this is what happened to the movie. John Gotti Jr.'s new memoir may beat George Anastasia's Gotti's Rules to market, but we know the respected Philadelphia-based newspaperman will provide a more objective inside account about the legendary Gambino boss than could any son writing about his father....So we take with a grain of salt Lance's charge below that Anastasia's book is "based almost entirely on the word of disgraced federal witness John Alite."

See what Amazon says of the book Gotti's Rules:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Honor and The Last Gangster—“one of the most respected crime reporters in the country” (60 Minutes)—comes the sure to be headline-making inside story of the Gotti and Gambino families, told from the unique viewpoint of notorious mob hit-man John Alite, a close associate of Junior Gotti who later testified against him.  In Gotti’s Rules, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty …

Fappiano, Released by DNA Evidence, Loses Big Time

Todt Hill mobster Scott Fappiano, 53, who spent 21 years behind bars until DNA evidence cleared him, lost his "malicious prosecution" case this past week.

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, a Brooklyn judge issued a summary ruling against him.

See Scott Fappiano decision -- click here for PDF.

Bonanno Boss's Prison Letters Kick Off Second Dominick Cicale Forum

(Commenced 11am, Saturday, Jan. 10)...

We can thank Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso for our starting point....

I don't think any other blog or news organization on the planet has ever gotten such direct insight from the man widely considered to be the official boss of the Bonanno family.

The Nose is from the Bronx, where Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, either former acting boss or current official boss, hailed from.

Junior Testified Against Mob Wives Star Big Ang's Cousin

"Renee thinks we're gangsters, we're girls... " Big Ang

REVISED SLIGHTLY: Most blogs probably picked up on the idiotic "Ratalie" headline and missed the larger point, in our opinion.

Big Ang is back!
We were concerned last year. As we noted in our end-of-season wrap up, it seemed like all Angela "Big Ang" Raiola did was react...

Vinny Gorgeous, Dom Cicale Back in News About "Nose" Murder Plot

NOTE: See first comment below, with Mancuso's response in his own handwriting....

We'd be remiss not to mention that our friend and coauthor Dominick Cicale called us today and told us to check out Gangland News (immediately!) wherein we read the following:

The judge also granted Basciano's motion to add a charge of prosecutorial misconduct to his petition for a new trial. Vinny Gorgeous claims prosecutors elicited false testimony from turncoat capo Dominick Cicale about a Bonanno family plot to murder Michael (Mikey Nose) Mancuso, who succeeded Basciano as acting boss and who is currently viewed as the eventual boss when he is released from prison in 2019.

The Most Famous Mobster You Never Heard Of

Nicola "Nick" Gentile was a Sicilian-born Mafioso who spent decades of his life traveling across the United States witnessing key events that occurred during the formative years of the American Mafia.

He personally knew many of the players who established America's Cosa Nostra.
Gentle, born in 1884 in southern Sicily, arrived in the U.S. in 1903 at the age 19. He was associated with the Black Hand during the early 20th century, the infamous Italian crime ring known for extorting mostly fellow Italian immigrants.

Half Wits Write Pro-Renee Mob Wives Blog

While doing research, I caught a few "news" headlines that invited scrutiny. 
I honestly still wonder what the world's coming to.... 
Every single one of the stories was from the blog I have previously mentioned, which I am now certain is written and not edited by half wits so obviously biased about the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives" that it's ridiculous. 

"Skinny Joey" Starts New Year Back in the Can

Philadelphia Mob Boss Joey Merlino is back in prison.

Yesterday, he was supposed to report to a federal detention center in Miami by 2:00 p.m. But not before opening his new restaurant, Merlino's, as the Boca Raton Tribune reported.

He was seen "on a drizzly [late-December] Friday night" darting around the dining area, "greeting diners."

"Merlino hugged. He kissed. He shook hands, laying his hand on a shoulder, leaning in close to talk.

Highly Inflammatory Op-Ed Compares the Mafia to Islam

Recently, I came across an article about the Mafia that is so inflammatory, I initially decided not to even write about it. But there is free speech in this country...

I write this blog to examine all mob-related topics and news that pique my interest, so I realized that I have no reason not to shine my spotlight here.

Now, I find myself for the first time in the position of defending Cosa Nostra.

Mob Wives Hottie Natalie Sees the Frame; Gravano's "Breakdown"

We have written that Karen Gravano departed her Arizona home, hopped on a plane (leaving behind her husband and children, as she herself admitted during what we can only call a "dramatic breakdown" during the last episode of "Mob Wives") and flew cross country to New York so she could defend and/or support and/or whatever her good friend Renee in the face of a vicious tweet Natalie posted.

As I have learned this past week, Karen Gravano did not come to New York to defend Renee because Natalie posted a nasty Tweet. Natalie never even posted the nasty tweet in the first place. In fact, Karen had been bashing Natalie and others on Twitter long before anyone else, and Natalie was simply defending herself and friend Alicia DiMichele.


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