Showing posts from October, 2015

Lufthansa Crew Darkened Dog Killer's Door

Bud Zuccaro must've had a heart attack that day when he heard pounding on his front door and opened it up, only to see Jimmy the Gent standing there, along with Tommy Two-Guns and others.

They were fuming over something, but Bud probably had no idea over what or why. He was probably more concerned with impending death staring him in the eye.

James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke killed enough people to fill a cemetery under a boccie court (according to Henry Hill, who was probably exaggerating somewhat.). 

Heist's Brutal Reality for Lufthansa Staffers

A former Lufthansa Airlines worker described what happened on that night in 1978, when masked gunmen infiltrated the Lufthansa cargo area at JFK, committing what was then called the largest robbery in American history. 

The witness took the stand today in Bonanno member Vincent Asaro's trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. The charges Asaro faces include co-masterminding the infamous $6 million Lufthansa heist with James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke. Asaro also is charged with the murder of Paul Katz, a suspected mob snitch strangled with a dog leash. 
Early in the a.m. in 1978, Rolf Rebmann was among the staffers grinding out the hours at the Kennedy Airport terminal targeted by mobsters using inside information, including blueprints.

The Day Anastasia Was Murdered in Manhattan's Park Sheraton Hotel


On this date in 1957, New York mob boss Albert Anastasia was shot to death in the Park Sheraton Hotel's barbershop.

Born in Tropea, Calabria, Italy, on Feb. 26, 1902, "Don Umberto" was murdered in New York City after spending more than seven years as boss of one of the Five Families.

And it wasn't the Gallo brothers or a crew affiliated with Raymond Patriarca or anyone else who killed one of the Mafia's most ruthless members, as has been speculated. According to Michael "Mikie Scars" DiLeonardo, Jerry Capeci was partially correct when he identified the shooters years ago in an exclusive story.

Check Out Cosa Nostra News's eStore

(Comments are working now. If anyone has a problem commenting, please shoot me an email.(Also the store itself is fixed -- if you already looked at it, you probably noticed the margin problem. That's fixed as well...) I'd like to invite you all to stroll inside my new eStore. The store is open 24/7 -- that's right, it never closes -- and you can drop by anytime by clicking on the above tab or right here: Cosa Nostra News eStore.

Books, films (on DVD and on-demand) and other products of interest to anyone who reads this blog are available in Cosa Nostra News's estore.

Also feel free to recommend any items I may have left out (if you've written or read a Mafia-related book you think I should include, please feel free to leave me a comment (when you are able if you can't right now). Also, please keep in mind....

What We Didn't Know About Lufthansa Heist

Vincent Asaro sat in a car with James Burke, about a mile away from the Lufthansa cargo terminal on a December night in 1978, when eight mobbed-up gunmen were stealing a haul expected to be around $2 million, only to discover -- first to their joy, then to their horror -- that the crime had netted them three times that amount.

This story has been told before of course, initially in the iconic book Wiseguy, followed by an equally iconic cinematic adaptation, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, not to mention the library of articles and additional books about the vaunted robbery. Once the largest heist in American history, it has been eclipsed. The 1990 Boston Museum robbery, valued at $300 million, currently is considered the largest.

Still, there remains information about the Lufthansa Heist that only now is being revealed. That is if you believe Gaspare Valenti who claims he flipped in 2008 because he was broke. Prosecutors say Valenti voluntarily came forward and agreed to testify agains…

Vinny Asaro, Lufthansa Heist's Last Loose End

In a Brooklyn courtroom this week commenced the trial of an 80-year-old Bonanno family gangster, Vincent Asaro, who allegedly was involved in the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Heist. Not only was he supposedly the Bonanno family's overseer at JFK airport, the prosecution charged, noting that Asaro himself played a direct role in the heist.

Ex-underboss Salvatore Vitale testified yesterday, providing a window into events surrounding the notorious robbery at JFK airport. Asaro supposedly was heard muttering "motherfucker" constantly under his breath during testimony, trying all the while to stare Vitale in the eye.

Asaro personally handed off a case stuffed with jewelry from the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist to future Bonanno boss Joseph Massino, Vitale said Monday at the first ever mob-related trial over the historic "unsolved" crime. Massino himself also is slated to testify, among others.

Gorilla Convict: Lufthansa Heist Story Twist

Seth Ferranti's blog, Gorilla Convict, features an interview with Daniel Simone, author of The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-Million-Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World.

The interview is comprehensive and intriguing.

Ferranti himself is intriguing...

He earned a master’s degree, got married, launched a writing career and founded a publishing house, all from behind bars. He's accomplished more inside than I ever will outside! But seriously, Seth did over 20 years on a bullshit rap.

Lefty Rosenthal's Hidden Las Vegas Agenda?

"Nevada owes a debt of gratitude to Frank Schreck," a Las Vegas Sun editorial recently noted.

Schreck was named this year's International Association of Gaming Advisors honoree and in recognition gave quite a speech. It included a head-turning revelation about a major Mafia figure notorious for his stint working in the Stardust hotel and casino (among other places), which once occupied a prime slot on the fabled Las Vegas strip.

Schreck, considered a premier gaming attorney in Nevada and elsewhere, recounted his personal take on Las Vegas history, including the enduring legacy of oddball billionaire Howard Hughes.

Schreck's rise commenced in 1971 when then-governor Mike O’Callaghan’s appointed the then-27-year-old lawyer to the Nevada Gaming Commission, setting a record. Schreck remains the youngest commissioner ever appointed to that regulatory body, which was charged with policing whether someone could purchase a gaming license and join Nevada’s bedrock industr…

Mob Flick Death Collector Was Pesci's Debut

Wanna watch Family Enforcer, the film that launched Joe Pesci's career? Robert De Niro allegedly viewed the B-flick and recommended that Martin Scorsese check it out. That's apparently how Pesci (and Frank Vincent, who also starred in the film) wound up in Raging Bull, then Goodfellas.

Family Enforcer was originally named The Death Collector, and versions of the 1976 film can be found under either title. Amazon offers it as part of a double- and even triple-feature DVD for as little as $5 (with free two- day delivery for Amazon Prime members).

Grindhouse Releasing, which focuses on acquiring and distributing "classic" films (ie, shock horror (Cannibal Holocaust) and exploitation films) is preparing a new version of Family Enforcer for release as well.

Or you could watch Family Enforcer for free....

Tommy Karate's "Invisible" Prison Assault

On August 11, 1996, the seemingly impossible happened at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

An inmate was "serious[ly] assaulted," yet an incident report suggests there was little physical evidence in terms of wounds. Some witnesses said they could see no wounds. The inmate himself, who appeared "nervous," denied that he'd been assaulted. Nevertheless, he'd been beaten repeatedly in the face with a metal object that was never found.

Imprisoned Bonanno crime family member Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera was sanctioned by prison officials for committing the assault.

1st Interview, with National Crime Syndicate Site

Thanks to NCS for interviewing me and linking to my book. I'm going to include first part here but you should visit the website for the full interview (if you're interested)....

"Joining us in the hot seat today is the journalist and author Ed Scarpo who runs Cosa Nostra News and also has a book available called Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire in which former Mafia Capo Dominick Cicale makes a contribution.

"Ed also runs a Facebook page called Cosa Nostra News which is dedicated to covering the Mafia in America as well as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Calabrian Ndrangheta and Neapolitan Camorra."

John Gotti's Grandson Marries

The late John Gotti's grandson, John Gotti Agnello, was married this past weekend.

Agnello, the son of Victoria Gotti and Carmine Agnello and one of the stars of A&E's Growing Up Gotti, wed his longtime love Alina Sanchez, a physician’s assistant. According to Page Six, the 500 guests gave gifts of at least $5,000. The couple left the evening with $2.5 million.*

The event took place at the Oheka Castle in Long Island and went from 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, and ended at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

NYPD's Famed Mob-Buster Joe Coffey Dies

NYPD Detective Sgt. Joseph Coffey died this past Sunday. He was 77 and had suffered from cancer.

The high-profile mob buster was known for his frequent media appearances, as well as an organized crime taskforce he led that solved more than 80 gangland hits. Coffey also personally arrested John Gotti three times, earning the deep animosity of  the feared former Gambino boss, who in the early 1990s ordered the beating of the then-retired detective.

“He was one of the greatest detectives in the NYPD ever,” Jerry Schmetterer, a former Daily News police bureau chief who coauthored The Coffey Files: One Cop's War Against the Mob, told The Daily News. “He was a larger-than-life guy who always wanted to be involved in the biggest cases."