Showing posts from 2016

Neil Dellacroce Plotted to Overthrow Carlo Gambino?

You sometimes come across a scrap of information in a decades-old news story that seemingly upends much of what you thought you knew about the Mafia.

Aniello Dellacroce, who rose in the Gambino crime family to become Carlo Gambino's underboss, is considered historically to have been an old-school gangster,  one whose mantra seemingly was: "The boss is the boss is the boss."

However, Dellacroce was accused of plotting to murder Carlo Gambino.

Scars on Gambino Boss Paul Castellano's Reign

Did former Gambino boss Paul Castellano get a bum rap? This story, one of the most popular on this blog, kinda says, Yeah....

For Bucky
Cosa Nostra News Exclusive

Friday, December 16 (2016, when this was written), marked the 31st anniversary of the most famous gangland hit of the 20th century, the execution of Gambino boss Paul Castellano and his underboss and driver, Thomas Bilotti, outside Sparks Steak House in midtown Manhattan.

Castellano was shot six times and Bilotti four times.

The story of why Paul Castellano was killed has been the topic of books, films, magazine articles, newspaper stories and television documentaries. The details have been recounted again and again.

Castellano is historically viewed as the precursor to John Gotti.

Owing to heavy mainstream interest in his high-profile successor, Castellano has been given short shrift; he's been mocked, derided and trivialized, cast as a deliberate foil to John Gotti, the polished, well-groomed "gangster from central …

Daughter of Allen Smiley, Only Witness to Bugsy Siegel's Murder, Wrote Memoir

Allen Smiley worked for around 10 years of his life with Cecil B. DeMille, "a founding father of the Hollywood film industry, and the most commercially successful producer-director in cinema history," as noted in The Art of the Hollywood Epic biography.

But Smiley decided it was more worthwhile to join with Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, who'd installed himself in Los Angeles to get pieces of various action for his New York friends (and himself).

Despite what one high-profile biography says about Smiley growing up in Manhattan with Siegel and Meyer Lanksy, his daughter told us otherwise.

Allen Smiley was born Aaron Smehoff in Kiev. His family immigrated to Canada and settled in Winnipeg when Allen was five years old, his daughter writes in her memoir, Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute.

"Dad met Ben in 1937," Ms. Smiley told us. "Dad spent one year in New York after running away from home in Winnipeg. He moved to Los Angeles in 1927."

Unsolved 1970 Hit Heralded Years of Murders in New York Mafia

Sunday, Feb. 1, 1970, was a frigid day in upstate New York.

Snow carpeted the rural town of Saugerties, based around 40 miles south of Albany.

It was the kind of day that beckons one to go outside and live. Warmly ensconced in winter outfits -- as well as caps, scarves, mittens, rubber boots -- three brothers and some friends heeded the call.

Inhaling the crisp air and tumbling onto the snow-swept grounds of their parents' weekend estate, the brothers and friends pushed one another on a sled.

Mob Boss's Grandson Nabbed (Plus Why Persico Opposed Lilo Hit)

Colombo crime family boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico's grandson recently underwent eye surgery, though he still seems to have vision problems.

As recently reported, Persico's grandson (and namesake) mistook a total stranger for someone he thought he knew.

The 25-year-old grandson of Mafia royalty apparently has a beef with whoever he thought he saw.

Persico, backed by three guys, punched the stranger in his face outside the Brooklyn bar the Kettle Black, in Bay Ridge. "You look familiar," Persico allegedly snapped at the puzzled victim.

The Mafia's Not-So Enigmatic 1946 Havana Conference

Meyer Lansky had a dream that rivaled the one widely (and inaccurately) attributed to Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel regarding transforming a sizeable stretch of the Nevada desert into a gambling mecca.

Lansky wanted to create an empire of Mafia-owned casinos that stretched across the Caribbean. He'd use Havana, Cuba, as his base of operations, where he and childhood friend/chief criminal cohort Charlie (Lucky) Luciano could work together.

Fate in the form of Fidel Castro didn't allow things to develop the way Lansky and Luciano hoped.

Lansky lost out on a major opportunity to build another fortune. Luciano, however, had it worse. He was returned to Italy, a country he despised. The Sicilian Mafia was robbing him blind.

DeCavalcante Capo Cops to Planning Rival's Murder

DeCavalcante crime family capo Charles Stango yesterday admitted to planning the murder of an organized crime rival, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a press release.

Stango, 72, of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to one count of knowingly using an interstate facility – the telephone – with the intent to murder a rival.

ALSO READ: John Riggi, Mafia's "Last Legitimate Boss"
He also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his supervised release, which he was serving following his imprisonment on racketeering charges in New York.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Stango was arrested on April 14, 2015, along with a crew of DeCavalcante members and associates who operated in New Jersey and elsewhere.

Newsletter Focuses on Bugsy Siegel

Exclusive material about Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel's life and crimes and murder will be the focus of my pending monthly newsletter, debuting next week.

(You will note a style change: from now on I am going to use parentheses instead of quotations around nicknames, on first reference only. This is for reasons too complicated and boring to explain.)
Sign up now; it's going out by the end of next week.

If you'd like to advertise in the newsletter, I'm offering very competitive rates, so here's your chance to get your book or product or service in front of thousands of people interested in the Mafia.
 Specific readership data is available to those interested in purchasing advertising.
Rates are not expensive, believe me. 
Authors who need to promote a book should definitely contact me (publishers aren't as active and effective in this area, I know).
  Contact me to discuss at Cosanostranews @ gmail dot-com...

MUST SEE: Rare Bugsy Siegel Footage

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was killed on June 20, 1947, at 10:45 pm West Coast time.

[Watch film footage below, the man wearing the maroon jacket is said to be Bugsy. I don't know...but first see the rare footage that isBugsy Siegel....)

The gangster often identified as the visionary of Las Vegas was 41 years old. As recounted (here), he was killed around three months after The Flamingo reopened in March 1947, once construction was completed.

This IS rare footage of Bugsy Siegel.....

At least one gunman crept up to a French window with a 30-30 carbine, resting the rifle on the lattice work of a trellis outside the Moorish‐style mansion Siegel shared with Virginia Hill at 810 North Linden Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
Siegel sat on a couch, his back facing the gunman, who was only about 15 feet away, separated by glass. Siegel flipped through a copy of the Los Angeles Times he had picked up after dining at Jack’s on the Beach, when the gunmen squeezed off nine shots, two hitting …

Cuba, Once the Mafia's New Frontier

In 2003, New York-based Bonanno crime family members called Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto and told him the worst possible news.

The Bonanno crime family's boss, Joseph Massino, had flipped, they told Rizzuto.

Rizzuto faced serious trouble. Massino could implicate him in a triple homicide in New York City, in 1981. Massino had actually orchestrated the hit on three dissident Bonanno capos.

Alerted to a pending arrest for three homicides, Rizzuto and his wife promptly flew to Cuba, taking a flight the very next day to the Melia Las Americas, a resort in Varadero, Cuba.

There, the Rizzutos bided time in the five-star resort's tropical-style rooms, each of which offers a beach-side view via a balcony; they could dine in any one of its seven restaurants (ranging from casual, poolside snacks to fine dining), as well as pay a visit to the hotel's three bars and one nightclub.

"Vito went there to assess his options," said a retired Montreal Mafia investigator.

Fidel Castro, Pain in Mob's Collective Ass, Finally Dead

Meyer Lansky supposedly was the first to realize the possibilities Cuba afforded the mob. Santo Trafficante Junior was close behind him.

The offshore tropical island was the perfect platform for smuggling, among other things.

Cuba also made an excellent vacation destination, where a gambling industry to match Las Vegas could thrive -- minus the attention U.S. operators tended to attract from certain federal agencies, like the FBI.

Unlike in Vegas, the mob could invest its gambling proceeds into entities like corporations and financial institutions, thus laundering it and profiteering from what wouldn't be classified as illicit earnings.

Charlie (Lucky) Luciano: American Mafia's Founding Godfather

Charles (Lucky) Luciano was born Salvatore Lucania, today, Nov. 24, in 1897 in Lercara Friddi, Sicily.

He's considered the father of organized crime in the United States. Historians in recent years have worked to put the iconic mob boss into proper perspective, as his personal impact on America's Cosa Nostra had been appreciably exaggerated for the greater part of the 20th century. The bogus Last Testament of Lucky Luciano, by Martin Gosch and Richard Hammer, certainly didn't help matters. (As unbelievable as it sounds, some of today's foremost organized crime writers still reference it.)

Consequently, we compiled this "updated" Luciano sketch. It's certainly not comprehensive, but it's substantial enough.

Christian Cipollini, an award-winning author and comic book creator, has written two books about Luciano, Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangland Legend and LUCKY (with Evgeny Frantsev as illustrator), along with two other works, Murder Inc. a…

Has the Mafia Resurged Post-9/11?

It's been 10 years since Selwyn Raab, now 82, published his seminal work on American organized crime:  Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires.

And, according to Rolling Stone magazine, he's updating it.

But you wouldn't know it based on the title Rolling Stone hid this news nugget under, Is the American Mafia on the Rise?

The Mafia's obituary seem to be written every few years....

The fact is, the American Cosa Nostra was organized specifically to perpetuate itself. No matter how many single individuals are knocked out of the box by death or prison, the structured institution itself, currently pegged at about 8,000-strong (including inducted members and associates), continues. And learns.
The key factor now is anti-terrorism, which is benefiting the Mafia in New York the same way it was able to hide in Communism's shadow for the greater part of the 20th century.

Genovese Family's Springfield Crew Prospered Under Skyball

In 1961, from a telephone booth at Providence Hospital, a Roman Catholic nun dropped the proverbial dime on Francesco "Skyball" Scibelli, then a young hoodlum whom she apparently earmarked for redemption, at least so it seems, based on the good sister's actions.

The more immediate prompt for the call was that the nun knew that Scibelli was running an illegal gambling ring.

Apparently, divine intervention and the related jail time weren’t enough to dissuade him from running the rackets for the Genovese crime family in Springfield, Mass., which included parts of two bordering states as well.

Scibelli was a low-profile gangster who ran the Genovese crime family's outpost quietly during a time of relative peace and prosperity, neither of which lasted very long after the old-school Cosa Nostra boss died.

Feds Hold Genovese's Springfield Chief Indefinitely in Brooklyn

Five reputed members of the Genovese crime family's "Springfield Crew" were arrested in August as part of the "East Coast LCN Enterprise" case that alleges wide-ranging Mafia-related activity in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida (and New Jersey, supposedly).

Four of the five Springfield Crew members have been released on bail; the one Genovese associate still being held is Ralph Santaniello, 49. Believed to be running the Springfield Crew for the Genovese crime family, he was transported in October to New York City for a hearing that is not slated to occur anytime soon. He is the only mobster arrested in August who wasn't granted bail. Others being held were already imprisoned when the indictment came down.

Santaniello is running Springfield reportedly with the backing of his father, Amedeo Santaniello, a longtime Springfield mobster and a former confidante of Genovese boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, now deceased.  Also backing the you…

8th Gangland Hit in 18 Months -- What's Going On In Aussie Underworld?

Pasquale "Tim" Barbaro was running for his life when a bullet dropped him flat. And dead.

Barbaro -- an Aussie who belonged to a fierce Ndrangheta clan known in Italy for drug trafficking, weapons dealing, and murder -- was gunned down this past Monday in Sydney at around 9:40 pm local time.

At the time of his death, Barbaro reportedly wasn't active in the Ndrangheta. He allegedly was more of a freelance gangster focused on drug dealing and extortion. (He also may have been a high-echelon informant, which possibly could be the motive for his shooting death, though motives are not in short supply in this case.)

He'd escaped a similar fate nearly a year ago to the very date when he miraculously survived a hail of gunfire in Leichhardt, a Sydney suburb.

Barbaro was shot dead as he departed associate George Alex's Earlwood home. He's lost family members prematurely, including his grandfather and a cousin. Both were murdered.

"One of his notorious mates, con…

Philadelphia Mob Boss's Memoir Slated for Big Screen

A film based on the pending memoir of onetime Philadelphia Cosa Nostra boss Ralph Natale is due to hit your local multiplex, an exclusive Deadline report noted. (The story also noted that Leonardo DiCaprio is going to star in an untitled mob film for Showtime; we are working on getting further details.)

Natale is working with New York Daily News reporter Larry McShane (a 35-year newspaperman who also wrote Chin, a Vincent Gigante biography) and Dan Pearson, who produced I Married a Mobster.

The Last Don Standing (the book is slated to debut on March 31; no date for the film's release has been provided) recounts the story of Natale's life, focusing on his rise and fall in the Philadelphia Costra Nostra. He's earned the sobering sobriquet of being the first Mafia boss to flip and testify as a federal witness.


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