Illuminating The Mafia's "Brutal, Unforgiving Hierarchy"

Sir Trevor McDonald's two-part series The Mafia With Trevor McDonald debuts this month.

We previously ran a trailer for the show.

The show seeks to provide insight into the Mafia's "brutal, unforgiving hierarchy," as the Daily Mail noted.
Former Philly mob boss Ralph Natale

The program debuts Monday, March 23 at 9 pm -- however, of you're in the U.S. you'll probably have to watch it via your computer.

Here is a story about the filming of the show:

"After spending three months travelling across New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Southern California, Trevor hears detailed accounts of life in the Mafia as he meets major figures at home, at work and in bars, as well as on the streets where they operated which, for some of them, were the scene of shocking acts of violence. But, as Trevor learns from those closest to them, huge wealth and notoriety have come at a cost to their families.

Trevor begins his journey in Queens, New York, where he meets John Alite, widely known as “The Sheriff”. John grew up in the neighbourhood and became a killer in an area nicknamed Death Haven.

He says: “There were constant murders here, constant rivalries between different guys in the streets, different mob families. So we would kill almost at will, as someone given a beating.”

The mafia was built on fear and intimidation. For a man like John rising up through the ranks would depend on a willingness to carry out orders, however brutal. In the 1980s and 1990s Alite worked for John Gotti Senior, who was the Godfather of the Gambino crime family, the most powerful and feared mobsters in America.

John’s first hit was to kill a local drug dealer and he explains to Trevor how he lured him into a car and shot him in the back of the head twice.

The godfathers maintain their control by relying on men like John to kill on command. But their loyalty often turns into betrayal with gangsters doing deals with the FBI and testifying against their bosses to avoid long prison sentences. John’s boss John Gotti Senior appeared invincible in the 80s, until his most trusted lieutenant broke the code of silence.

Trevor then meets Michael Di Leonardo, also known as Mikey Scars, a former high-ranking member of the Gambino crime family. Mikey has single-handedly inflicted more damage on the mafia than anyone else in recent times, testifying against the men he worked with, to save himself from a life behind bars. His evidence consigned 80 of them to prison and he knows only too well the mob, known to its members as Cosa Nostra, will never forgive him.

Mikey lives in permanent fear of attack and until recently was in the US Government’s witness protection programme. However, after months of persuasion, he meets Trevor at a hotel in Miami to speak publicly for the first time.

He says of his fears: “Death for myself, but death for my family, that would be paramount. I have a son and a wife here now and some of these people, they may not take in to consideration who is sitting in the car with me, or who is walking in the street, or in my house, if they kick my door in and kill everyone in the house. That’s my biggest fear. My biggest concern and what keeps me up at night.”

Trevor also meets one of the most successful mobsters in history, Michael Franzese, who posed as a major Hollywood film producer so he could launder large amounts of stolen money. His brilliance for inventing sophisticated scams made the mafia over a billion dollars, until he was indicted on 65 counts of tax evasion, racketeering and grand theft. He struck a deal with the FBI and served seven years in prison.

Today Michael is trying to build a new life with his family in California. He has denounced the mafia but his father is still a major figure in the Columbo crime family in New York. Today, he is the oldest federal prisoner in the entire US, at the age of 93.

Trevor learns more about how the mafia survives today, by travelling to Miami to meet a low level street enforcer for the Bonnano crime family in Miami, whose identity is concealed. He has been in and out of prison all his life and explains his view that the Mafia has changed, with members now more likely than in the past to break their code of silence and testify against each other.

He says: “You can trust a dead man, it’s the only person you can trust, that’s my motto. I don’t trust nobody except my mother. You can’t even trust the boss no more, because they turn around and rat on you.”

Trevor’s final encounter with Mikey Scars is at a cemetery where his elder brother is buried. He was killed by the mafia in 1981.

Mikey says: “This is the life we choose, this is the life he chose, the path, and this is part of the end result. When you do something wrong in that life or are alleged to do something wrong in that life, your life is not your own. You’re property of this entity, this Cosa Nostra that goes back hundreds of years. Now when you get involved, you know what can happen. He killed people, he was involved in murders and ultimately he paid the price that he doled out to others.”

The Mafia with Trevor McDonald is on March 23rd at 9pm and March 30th at 9pm."

UPDATE: Sir Trevor is back in February 2017.
ToniMarie Ricci comes from Mafia royalty.

This time it's the women of the Mafia he's taking to. ToniMarie Ricci and Linda Scarpa are appearing, among others.


  1. Old Ralph looks Pretty good for 80 yrs old.
    Ed i don.t much about NY Mobsters other than what i read here. Mikie Franzese made a deal with the feds it says as in a plea or he gave up guys and became a informant. I did read here he had some pretty good scams. And do him and his father still speak after the plea or informant deal. Philly

  2. I dont think Franzese gave up any people at all,just scams and information. I don't know if he speaks to his father but i believe i heard that at one time his dad went along with a planned hit they had on him and that was before he became an informant.

  3. i beleive ur right franzese didnt give anybody up but they still view him as a rat. also i beleive it was a sitdown between franzese and the bosses they thought he was holding out money and his father didnt help him out one bit and he took that very personal

  4. John Alite was speaking on Irelands biggest radio station, RTE, today around 4pm about the 'Gotti Rules' book, couldnt believe my eyes when I heard this guy piping up. Cringeworthy interview to say the least

  5. Just finished watching it. Does anyone know what happened to mikey scars brother?

  6. Mikey scars nearly bumps into james froggy galione and another lucchese soldier and has to duck in the car along mulberry street. He doesn't say his name but from what he said I knew it was him. He said that the kid was a lucchese, just got out from a long bid, good kid, an his dad was killed by gotti over a hit years ago. Knew immediately. I wonder if froggy knows ppl from london follow his life lol.

  7. And alite came across like a dick. Started saying he worked for gotti sr etc. with his tattoo on his neck lol. Why don't he be real he was mates with jr when they were kids full stop.

  8. Scar's bro was whacked, shot dead.
    Sonny forgave mikey especially as he didn't give up any made men. He did give up an old pal of sonny though who wasn't lcn though.

  9. Gave up an old mate of sonnys. He ratted but not on lcn

  10. His brother was whacked by I believe the colombo crime family whom he was associated with. Paul Castallano told mikey scars to let it go because it wasn't gambino business.

  11. "DiLeonardo’s older brother, Bucky, a drug addict, was found murdered in a field in Staten Island. Some insiders thought he was a liability for Mikey Scars.

    “He was working his way up the mob, and his brother was a junkie,” said a source who’s known DiLeonardo for years."

  12. What was Natale's rank? Was he the boss, or was he a front for Merlino? I'd gotten the impression that Merlino had more clout and a bigger say in how things were ran. Could someone more knowledgeable about Philly history please clue me in? Thanks.


Post a Comment