This Week in Cosa Nostra News....

The following items are independent news briefs dished up in no particular order.

But first this brief note: Quite a few stories are in the "hopper" and will come out in due time. This week we expect to publish a dynamite excerpt direct from Michael Blutrich, former owner of Scores who copartnered with the Gambino crime family before flipping. 

 Michael Blutrich, who once owned Scores.

Former Colombo capo -- or boss?
If given a long enough timeline, we honestly believe Michael Franzese, former Colombo capo, could do pretty much anything he wanted to do.

And that includes not only running for President of the United States but winning, too.

Michael Franzese has a net worth of around $1 million (source). He's authored several books, beginning with 1992's Quitting the Mob: How the "Yuppie Don" Left the Mafia and Lived to Tell His Story and 2011's I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss (note the specific wording of that title).

READ War-Ridden History of Violent Colombo Crime Family

He was involved with at least one film project, 2014's God the Father, available as a book, too. Franzese also is a motivational speaker who occasionally appears in the media.
Michael Franzese (Source: website).

And now, he claims to have been the boss of the Colombo crime family. He wasn't, of course, though if given that timeline we mentioned, he could probably convince a hell of a lot of people otherwise. (Who is going to debate him?)

From Michael Franzese's website.....
Franzese has been described as one of the biggest earners for the mob "since Al Capone." (Capone and John Gotti are reportedly the two "most popular mob bosses of all time," although we've never seen any kind of evidence to back this up. That said, our own empirical evidence suggests that Al Capone is much more popular than John Gotti, on the computer, anyway. Capone has more than 21 million Google mentions versus Gotti's 3.1 million.)

New Jersey Mafia
Thanks to Bob Buccino's high school girlfriend, he made a wise decision...

A former New Jersey state trooper, Buccino, 79, recently wrote a book, New Jersey Mob: Memories of a Top Cop, about the 51 years he worked in law enforcement (around half that time he investigated organized crime.)  His more significant cases involved the Gambino, Luchese, Bruno, DeCavalcante and Genovese crime families.

Today, he lives with Priscilla, his high school sweetheart, in Flanders, one of Belguim's northern Dutch-speaking regions. He recently told his story to the Daily Record.
Bob Buccino investigated the Mafia .
"I was never in the mob but I grew up in Orange (New Jersey) and I wanted to be in the mob. I was a teenager, I was doing bookmaking, making money and I got married. We were high school sweethearts and she wanted me to break away from that life. In 1957, drugs hit Orange big-time.

"Good friends of mine were on drugs. I just broke away from the whole crowd, from some of my old friends. So I walked into my boss's office and quit."

After quitting his job, he joined the state troopers. He did stuff -- he did stuff against the mob.

He got to know one Luchese mobster particularly well.

"Michael Taccetta... a boss over in Florham Park, said to me, the mob respected you. It was like a game. You were the good guy, we were the bad guys. For example, if I had an arrest warrant for one of the mob guys for like bookmaking, one of those type of crimes, I would call the house and say, meet me outside because I don’t want to arrest you in front of your kids," Buccino told the paper.

"So that went a long way. They respected that because I didn’t embarrass them in front of their kids. But I also told them, if it’s drugs or murder or anything like that, I’m coming in. So be ready but I basically got along with them in a way."

Former Philadelphia Mob Boss
The New York Daily New is running an excerpt from Last Don Standing, the new book about Ralph Natale, former Cosa Nostra boss of Philadelphia (yes, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino claimed Ralph was only a front boss for him.)

The News's introduction to the excerpt reads:
Philadelphia mob hit man/union fixer Ralph Natale reported directly to the family boss, Angelo Bruno — until Natale landed behind bars on arson and drug charges. 
On the night of March 21, 1980, in an act of treachery that sent the Mafia family into a death spiral, consigliere Anthony (Tony Bananas) Caponigro targeted longtime Philly mob head Bruno in a shotgun street hit. 
In this excerpt from “Last Don Standing: The Secret Life of Mob Boss Ralph Natale,” Bruno’s right-hand man Natale recounts learning about the execution while locked inside a Florida jail. 
The excerpt itself begins with:
Angelo Bruno woke up that morning, kissed his wife of nearly a half-century goodbye, and walked out the front door. It was the last time the couple would ever speak....
Natale, left, with Joseph (Pepe) Marino, a Staten Island holdup man
who was convicted in a 1978 armored-car heist. (It netted $2.25 million.)

Corleone Wants No More Mafia Godfathers!
An Italian bishop chose to ramp up the Catholic Church’s repudiation of the Mafia, as has been widely reported in the past week.

Sicilian cops must truly hate Mario Puzo, right?!

Michele Pennisi, Bishop of Monreale, near Palermo, Sicily, issued a decree banning known Mafiosi from acting either as godparents for baptism or sponsors for confirmation.

The ruling "appears to follow on from the polemics generated last year when Giuseppe Riina, (son of Toto’ Riina, former boss of bosses of the Sicilian Mafia,) was allowed to act as a godfather at the baptism of his nephew, son of his sister Lucia," the Irish Times reports.