Showing posts from September, 2016

Legitimate Guy Wrote "Untold Story"

I was part of the criminal underworld for... three decades, since my early teens, in Brooklyn, New York. More specifically I was an associate of the Gambino Crime Family with blood ties to Cosa Nostra in Sicily. I’m speaking in the past tense because those days are long behind me. I made a decision to turn my back on the Mafia. I betrayed the unspoken oath I had taken as a teenage criminal on the rough and tumble streets of Brooklyn, to never rat out anyone, not even your enemy...

Not many of you, I bet, have experienced a full-cavity strip search. I certainly haven't.

Well, "Mr. Fitzgerald," author of The Untold Story of A Top Echelon Informant: What the Government is Hiding and Protecting (a 12-page story available on Amazon Kindle priced at $2.99), excerpted above, writes of strip searches, among other things.

He estimates he's gone through full strip and cavity searches "hundreds of times."

Mr. Fitzgerald is a pseudonym; the writer of this story tells u…

DeCavalcante Associate Gets 2-Plus Years for Cocaine Distribution

A DeCavalcante crime family associate was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for selling more than a half-kilo of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman noted this yesterday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Walls imposed the sentence in Newark federal court. (Press release is here.)

Last December, John "Johnny Balls" Capozzi, 36, of Union, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine (as did associate Mario Galli, of Toms River, New Jersey).

Book Spotlights Gangster's Grizzly Hollywood Slaying

This article first appeared in the Dec. 24, 2015 issue of Smashpipe; re-blogged via Tony's website of collected writings.
By Tony Sokol

Lana Turner, the daughter of a bootlegger, was discovered at a soda shop in Hollywood after she left home in the wake of her father’s gangland execution. The “Sweater Girl Judy” pinup girl became a Tinseltown legend, paired onscreen with the likes of John Garfield in the classic noir film The Postman Always Rings Twice, and off-screen with stars and mobsters. She became a notorious legend after the stabbing death of one of those mobsters.

A new book called Movie Star and the Mobster talks about the stabbing death of Lana Turner’s lover Johnny, a former marine known as “Handsome Harry” when he got a job as an enforcer for famous LA gangster Mickey Cohen.

It wasn’t Lana who whacked Stompanato in 1958, but her daughter Cheryl Crane, Turner’s child from her brief second marriage to restaurateur Stephen Crane. Crain was acquitted on the grounds that she …

We Don't Break Our Capos. We Kill Them

Mob associate Michael (Cookie) Durso flipped against the Genovese crime family and wore a wire hidden within a $3,000 Rolex wristwatch for three years -- all the while recording thousands of hours of "privileged" conversations among high-ranking members of the Genovese crime family.

In the end he rode off into the sunset of the Witness Protection Program with wife Vanessa. Financially, the couple was not hurting, either; they were able to bring millions of dollars with them, as Gangland News reported on February 21, 2002.

Durso had been meeting with prosecutors to discuss flipping -- due to his longstanding beef over the murder of his cousin, a Genovese crime family loanshark. Durso was to meet with Mark Feldman, the head of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Organized Crime unit, and Paul Weinstein, a chief prosecutor, for a third time on June 17, 1998.

He couldn't make that meeting, though, as he was arrested for participating in a 1996 gangland hit. But the very next da…

Turncoat Linked to Gambinos for Decades Freed by Florida Governor, Feds

It's not very often a governor, his cabinet, three federal prosecutors and other government officials go to bat for a former drug addicted mob associate -- but that is exactly what happened yesterday.

Kevin Bonner, for the past decade, had been serving 24 years of a state sentence at an undisclosed federal prison.

And yesterday his sentence was commuted, thanks to the Feds, as well as the state of Florida. Bonner has put away, or on trial, a multitude of Gambino wiseguys. A former Woodhaven resident, he has testified about mob mayhem and murder going back to the early 1980s.

Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet "ended the long prison sentence of a robber-turned-mob informant whose testimony prosecutors say helped break up the Gambino crime family in Florida and New York," according to the Miami Herald.

Also lending their support via letters were three federal prosecutors -- Tampa U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III, New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and formerly New York U.S. At…

"The Last Don Standing" to Reveal Longtime Mafia Secrets

Last Don Standing: The Secret Life of Mafia Boss Ralph Natale by Larry McShane and Dan Pearson will be available in the U.S. next March. 
The Amazon Kindle version is available for pre-order now at the discounted price of $12.99, a savings of 50 percent. The book, about the life of a former boss of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra will download to Kindle devices on March 21, 2017.

Natale is the first-ever mob boss to turn state’s evidence, as the book's description notes.

Why Did Federal Agents Raid Victoria Gotti's Home?

Federal agents conducted authorized searches of Victoria Gotti's estate in the Long Island town of Old Westbury, as well as an auto-parts store located in the New York City borough of Queens.

The auto-parts shop is owned by Victoria's ex-husband Carmine Agnello, who is in jail pending a racketeering case, but it is run by the former couple's three sons.

The sons "appear to be the targets of the probe rather than their mom," the New York Daily News reported, adding that a federal prosecutor from the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's tax fraud section is overseeing the inquiry, which appears to have originated with the IRS.

Victoria's ex-husband's lawyer declined to comment for the News story, which referenced the 2015 trial of Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro (who was found not guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court), noting:

A snitch secretly taped a conversation inside the auto parts store on Liberty Ave. in Jamaica. The snitch, Asaro's cousin Gaspare Valenti, co…

Wiseguy Jerry Chilli Was a One-Man Crimewave

Jerry Chilli*   died last Saturday from throat cancer; a private funeral mass will be held in Florida, which is where the Bonanno capo spent the greater part of his adult life. (Especially after New Jersey law enforcement officials, in no uncertain terms, told him to depart New Jersey.)

Chilli was a stone-cold gangster who shunned the limelight, who never "talked" and never took a step back, even when he knew there could be a steep price to pay. He was a tough guy with his fists who made his bones with a gun.

The younger of two brothers (his brother moved up faster and earned more), Jerry Chilli served lots of prison time, which some chalk up to his involvement with the notorious Costabile "Gus" Farace, the mob associate who executed an undercover federal agent on Staten Island in 1989. (A 1991 made-for-television film about Farace is available on DVD featuring several actors who today are high profile, including Samuel L. Jackson and Frank Vincent.)

Gerard "Jerry" Chilli, Reputed Bonanno Capo, Died Yesterday: Sources

Former Staten Island resident and reputed Bonanno crime family capo Gerard "Jerry" Chilli died yesterday in Florida of cancer, according to Cosa Nostra News sources.

Chilli, 81, was reportedly last living in Hollywood, Fla., based on news reports.
He died of throat cancer, according to sources. "Cigars got him," said one former Bonanno crime family associate, who added that Chilli had been in the hospital for the last couple of months.

Profile of The Grim Reaper's Daughter, Linda Scarpa

Earlier this year, Linda Scarpa, daughter of Colombo mobster Greg Scarpa, appeared on Crime Watch Daily, a true-crime show about which we have written in the past, partly to promote her recent memoir.

Cosa Nostra News contributor Nick Christophers described Linda Scarpa's book, The Mafia Hit Man's Daughter, as one of the "few books (that) have truly captured mob life" accurately. (See the story here.)

Gregory Scarpa, known as "The Grim Reaper," was one of the most violent mobsters ever to strut through New York City's boroughs -- and the fact that he was a longtime high-echelon FBI informant only made him more dangerous. As noted in January of this year, a federal judge years ago had voiced his belief that Scarpa's former FBI agent handler Lindley DeVecchio was indeed guilty of passing on key intelligence to Scarpa, who then put it to use to murder mob rivals.

Cadillac Frank Pleads NOT Guilty; DeLuca Flipped

Headline corrected; story expanded
Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme has pleaded not guilty to the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

Salemme, 83, copped to the charge on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Rhode Island ex-mobster Robert "Bobby" DeLuca cooperated with investigators, according to an affidavit, which also noted that DeLuca had implicated Salemme in the murder.

Did Philadelphia Mafia Dodge a Bullet?

George Anastasia, writing this week's Gangland News column, reports that "in a strange twist ... federal authorities in New York who hit Skinny Joey last month with racketeering charges that carry up to 20 years in prison seem to have done a much bigger favor for Merlino's Philadelphia mob crew."

Last month's"East Coast LCN Enterprise" indictment named members and associates of four of New York's five crime families (the Colombo crime family was absent) plus the Philadelphia-North Jersey crime family -- even though Merlino was the only one from Philly to be arrested. And he wasn't even in Philadelphia at the time of the bust; he was in Florida.

According to the indictment, Merlino and Genovese crime family capos Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello and Eugene "Rooster" O'Nofrio had "supervised and controlled members of the Enterprise engaged in illegal schemes."

Implications of Recent "East Coast" Syndicate Case

"We got 30, 40 guys. Don't let anyone tell you that we're dead, 'cause we're here."--Genovese capo Alan "Baldy" Longo speaking in October 2000 with Michael "Cookie" D'Urso, a mob turncoat.....

Jerry Capeci of Gangland News discussed last month's bust of dozens of mobsters for large-scale racketeering conspiracy on an episode of MetroFocus hosted by PBS show producer William Jones.

Reputed members of an East Coast crime syndicate were charged in midsummer with racketeering, extortion, loansharking, gambling, credit card fraud and healthcare fraud. The indictment depicts an interesting version of how the New York Mafia seems to be evolving.

Though largely focused in New York, crimes alleged in the case also occurred in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey.

Cadillac Frank Formally Indicted; The Saint Slated for October Release

Yesterday, Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, one-time boss of the New England Mafia, was formally indicted for the 1993 murder of a Boston nightclub owner whose body was found this past March in Providence, Rhode Island by law enforcement authorities acting on a tip.
Salemme, Paul Weadick, who also is named in the indictment, and Salemme's son, who died in 1995, have long been suspected of involvement in the notorious disappearance of the nightclub owner, Steven A. DiSarro.
The indictment, unsealed Friday, charges Salemme and Weadick with the murder of DiSarro, a federal witness.

Film About Historical Rise of Two Outfit Bosses Slated by Michael Mann

On September 7, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, who were famously paired in the Michael Mann film Heat, will be reunited, with Mann, for a panel discussion to be hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Beverly Hills' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

The discussion will follow a viewing of a new digital restoration of the 1995 film.

As was reported earlier this year, Heat is due for a prequel by Mann. The acclaimed filmmaker has also stated that he'd approved a true-crime novelization for his new publishing label, Michael Mann Books, to detail the story of Chicago Outfit bosses Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. For the book, the debut project for Mann's imprint, the director has teamed up with Don Winslow, the bestselling author of The Cartel "to co-create an original novel about the complex relationship between two Organized Crime giants," as Deadline reported, further noting that "the project will be developed into a feature film that Mann will…