Showing posts from July, 2016

Hear the One About the Godfather's Deaf Bookkeeper?

This is a joke in the manner of "did you hear the one about..."
A Mafia Godfather is missing around $10 million in cash and eventually discovers (through the process of elimination) that Guido, his bookkeeper, is responsible for the theft.

Now Guido is deaf, and that has a lot to do with why the mob boss hired him in the first place. The boss had made the simple assumption that Guido would never hear anything incriminating, so he'd never flip and testify against him (yes, Guido still had incriminating knowledge from doing the books, but hey, this is a joke...)

The Godfather brings along his consiglieri, Luigi, who knows sign language, to confront Guido about the missing $10 million. Why does the consiglieri know sign language? Because the Godfather doesn't. To explain as swiftly as possible: the boss knew he'd need to communicate with Guido occasionally, so he had ordered Luigi to learn to sign. The boss could have told Luigi, "I'm too busy" or &quo…

Pittsburgh Mob's "Nick the Blade" Drops Dead; Was Once "Fearsome Drug Kingpin"

A Pittsburgh mobster who wasn't even two years out of prison, where he'd served a near-three-decade stretch, dropped dead of a heart attack while enjoying his usual glass of Pinot Grigio.

Eugene "Nick the Blade" Gesuale, 73, was at Past Times Restaurant and Bar, "when he suddenly fell over" this past Thursday night, bar manager David Ruiz told The Daytona Beach Journal Online.

Ruiz was quoted saying yesterday afternoon: "He was on his cellphone and it looked as if he was having a seizure. I called 9-1-1." (Hear the 9-1-1 call, which runs five minutes.)

Burglary Crew Nabbed, Murdered Gambino Mobster's Son Included

A Brooklyn-based bank burglary crew that included a murdered Gambino crime family mobster's son was arrested yesterday morning and charged in Manhattan's Southern District.

Reputedly, Michael Mazzara, 44, Charles Kerrigan, 40, and Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, (the Gambino member's son, who previously was identified as a Gambino associate himself) evaded federal agents for months after committing their first heist this past April. Their MO was to cut holes in the roofs of Brooklyn and Queens-based banks.

The trio has been indicted for robbing a total of around $5 million in cash and valuables, authorities said Tuesday. (Though they are being looked at for as many as 10 additional robberies, as noted below.)

They were able to fund lavish lifestyles for months, officials said, until it all came crashing down yesterday when FBI agents raided Mazzara’s Gravesend, Brooklyn, home, where the FBI seized four trucks and several toolboxes allegedly involved in the robberies.

In 1932, the Mafia Tried to Fix the Democratic National Convention

After a dramatic Republican National Convention in Cleveland which saw Donald Trump finally become the party’s official nominee, Hillary Clinton will this week accept the formal nomination of the Democratic Party.
U.S. national conventions have always been big business opportunities. As one long-time ally of the Bush family reportedly said, “For people who operate in and around government, you can’t not be here.” Although some of the usual donors to the Republican National Convention, like Ford and UPS, stayed home this year, the host committee was able to raise nearly US$60 million from American businesses. Yet historically the “people who operate in and around government” are not only legitimate businesses but also, sometimes, less-than-legitimate ones.
Take the 1932 Democratic National Convention. As I explain in my book about the hidden power of organized crime, from which this article is adapted, the nomination that year had come down to a contest between two New York politician…

Mongols MC Reports Ex-President "Doc" Cavazos FLIPPED  for Feds

The Mongols MC reports that its former national president, Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, is a government informant: He has been blamed for turning the club into one of the largest criminal organizations on the West Coast of the United States during his time as President. In order to bolster the gang's ranks, he also recruited members of street gangs into the club, much to the disgust of the old school bikers. He was voted out of the club on August 30, 2008 during a meeting in Vernon, California, due to the majority of the membership believing that he was stealing from the club and provoking a war with the Mexican Mafia.  On October 21, 2008, Cavazos and 79 other Mongols were arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after an investigation into the club, known as Operation Black Rain. Police raided his 2,760 square foot home in South Hills, West Covina, California, where he lived with his son, Ruben "Lil Rubes" Cavazos Jr, and brother, Al "the Suit&…

Indicted: Gambino Capo, Associates of 4 Mafia Families

Gambino capo Michael "Mickey Boy" Paradiso, whose mob roots predate the tumultuous John Gotti reign (though his current rank as capo does not), and some two dozen associates from four of New York's five crime families were indicted for a grab-bag of mob mainstay crimes.

Marijuana sales were a key racket detailed in the indictment.

Two women were also indicted with the mobsters, of whom only Paradiso is a made Mafia member. All those named in the indictment face drug, illegal online gambling and tax-fraud charges resulting from a two-year probe that was part of a Waterfront Commission investigation regarding drug trafficking on New York's piers.

Paradiso has been a made member since before the first Gotti administration.

And, as Jerry Capeci noted in his latest Gangland News column: Paradiso played a role in something that's puzzled us -- specifically that bizarre hit attempt on psycho Luchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, which led to him whacking …

Set DVR for AMC's Making of the Mob: Chicago

The Making of the Mob: Chicago premiered earlier this month on AMC and airs weekly on Monday evenings at 10/9 p.m. (EDT), including tonight.

The show, which this year focuses on Chicago boss Al Capone, among other Outfit bosses and heavyweights, was produced by Stephen David Entertainment, which produced the first installment, last year's The Making of the Mob: New York.
Last year's Making of the Mob was criticized for featuring actors who played mobsters -- instead of only emphasizing people with expert knowledge, such as former mobsters, authors, reporters and historians. Still, it received high ratings based on Neilson data.

What You Didn't Know About Mobster Frankie Yale

Yes, the John Gotti movie is the big news of the day, which is why I bring you the following.... (but seriously I hope to have some interesting news later today / tonight about the film. What I'd previously heard included some scenes will be shot in New York (Queens and Manhattan) and that the film is focused on Gotti Senior -- it's called The Life and Death of John Gotti, note. Some newspapers have incorrectly reported that filming has begun. It hasn't. While John Travolta and real-life wife Kelly Preston were slated to play Gotti Senior and his real-life wife, Victoria, there's no word regarding rest of cast.)
The following arrives here courtesy of Tony Sokol, who wrote this story originally as part of a package of Boardwalk Empire-related stories for Den of Geek... Tony also writes for The Chiseler,, and His stories also can be seen on Altvariety,, Daily Offbeat, Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. Tony also is …

In A Wiser Guy, Louis DiVita Details Mafia Family Life

Wiser Guy, by Louis DiVita, is the work of a man with a fascinating background. His grandfather was a high-ranking mobster who was associated with Stefano Magaddino, the Mafia overlord of Buffalo, New York, whose dominion extended into Canada.

His brother, Benedetto Angelo, stayed in Niagara Falls,where he was partnered with Joseph DiCarlo.

Paolo "Paul" Palmeri moved to New Jersey and started enterprising with Willie Moretti, who is perhaps best known today for what he didn't do -- namely, he was not around to hunt down Vito Genovese after he sent a young shooter to kill Frank Costello. However, the boss of what became the Genovese crime family survived. Smart enough to retire, he lived out his life puttering around in his garden. Or did he? According to Louis DiVita it was none other than the Prime Minister himself who showed up at his grandmother's doorstep one day with an envelope. Invited inside, they shared a cup of coffee and Costello eventually with regret …

Not Bonanno-linked Burglary Crew's Finest Moment

Some of the bank burglary crew members mentioned here were apparently members of the same crew as Gerard Bellafiore as well as the trio recently busted...

Lee D’avanzo had a past, but it was, like, no big deal.

Besides, he was a changed man, a business owner, as he told his wife, Drita, who believed him, "but boy was she in for a shock!" as Hollywood Life wrote back in June 2011.
Drita then told exclusively "that she didn’t know that Lee was a bank robber when she started dating and then later married him!" Lots of reality show blogs seem to have an addiction to exclamation points.

Bank Robber Shot in Florida Once Tied to Colombos

A Martin County Sheriff's Deputy with 13 years of experience shot a bank burglar early last Monday morning in Florida.

The robber, Gerard Bellafiore, 47, has more experience at his job -- robbing banks using an improvised fish hook -- than the deputy does enforcing the law. He's been robbing banks since around the early 1980s, working back then with former mobsters such as Chris Paciello and James "Jimmy" Calandra.

A Mafia member told Cosa Nostra News that Bellafiore at one time had ties to a Colombo mobster. "He was associated through default to (Vincent) Chikie DeMartino," said the source, noting that DeMartino spells his nickname that way, not as others spell it.

DeMartino, he added, "was one of the leading shooters on the (Vittorio "Little Vic") Orena side," as well as "one of the most dangerous guys on the street during the Colombo war, a lifelong criminal."

But Bellafiore flipped, testified against a lot of people -- on…

Spumoni Gardens: Botched Robbery or Mob Hit?

On Wednesday, more than 100 people attended the funeral of Louis Barbati, 61, co-owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens Pizzeria, a popular New York City eatery, who was shot to death at 7 p.m. on June 30 right outside his home in Brooklyn's Dyker Heights section, on 12th Ave. near 76th St.
Mourners paid their respects at St. Ephrem’s Church in Dyker Heights. "Disgraced" former Rep. Michael Grimm (aka "Mikey Suits"), described in news reports as a family friend, was among the attendees.

Among those Barbati leaves behind are his wife of 25 years, Joanne, and two sons, Louis, 24, and Joseph, 18.

Q&A With Guy Who Played Boardwalk Empire's Meyer Lansky

Tony Sokol, the admitted "Gangster Geek" at Den of Geek, wrote an excellent story about The Godfather that he allowed Cosa Nostra News to republish. Now, he's lent us another gem. From January 2015, an interview with Anatol Yusef, who played Meyer Lanksy.

Tony also writes for a host of interesting sites, among them, The Chiseler,, and Previously, he wrote for Altvariety,, Daily Offbeat, Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. Tony also is a musician and is a playwright who has had more than 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera “AssassiNation: We Killed JFK.” He also appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain’s “The Girlie Show.”

In the beginning, Boardwalk Empire had vast potential to fill the great void created when The Sopranos ended. The show was filled with great character actors, slickly written dialogue, lush wardrobes and well-crafted scenery. Some major h…

2016 Not Coming Up Aces for Mob Boss Skinny Joey

Things are going from bad to worse for Philadelphia's alleged mob boss.

First, his fine-dining establishment in Boca was put on the block a mere months following its grand opening.

Then Skinny Joey was linked to a group of convicted criminals and individuals with organized crime ties  who "dumped tons of contaminated soil and construction debris near residential areas and waterways in New Jersey in recent years."

Now the Pennsylvania State Gaming Control Board no longer wants Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino strutting into any of the state's casinos -- as George Anastasia reported last week for Philly Voice -- so they filed a petition to prohibit Merlino from doing just that.