Now Ex-Mob Boss Ralph Natale Wants to Whack Terrorists

Ralph Natale, former Philadelphia mob boss turned government witness, offered to help the Fed's once again, only this time he wants to do more than testify.

Natale wants to fight terrorists. At least that is what the 82-year-old said on Fox News Insider. Natale appeared on the show to hawk his book, Last Don Standing, this past weekend. During his appearance, he informed host Eric Shawn that "we're pussycats on terrorism" and that he, Natale,"would kill them all."

"I would kill them immediately, and then I would hang them in front of their houses and then call the newspaper, the Inquirer," he said. "'Listen, come see what happened to those people.'"

"There's an old Italian saying," he said. "If you don't listen to the first note, you'll never hear the rest of the song. That's what's happening today. They call me a killer, cold-hearted. I never hurt anybody that didn't deserve [to die]. I never did."

Some of Natale's earlier claims are somewhat difficult to believe. I don't write this lightly...

I have been in touch with Larry McShane, author of Natale's memoir. Larry is an old-school journalist. I found the Last Don Standing a compelling read, despite some of Natale's more incredible allegations. Larry told me that Natale swears this happened.

As previously noted, even an outlawed, unnamed secret society must observe certain formalities. It must perpetuate itself, and its members must know one another in order to create an infrastructure to assist them as they embark on their life of crime. Mobsters don't operate in a vacuum, and the Mafia, in addition to being a criminal brotherhood, also provides a milieu where members can share one another's company.

If you can't break bread with another man who understands the world you live in, you will probably go insane. Mob guys tend to want to operate and prosper.

Over the years, the FBI and DEA have raided social clubs and other meetings as per their larger effort to destroy one of the Mafia's most solemn rituals aside from committing murder. The "making" ceremony that produces full Mafia members out of associates.

Ralph Natale, left.

What is so surprising about Ralph Natale's recently released memoir is that he seems to not have the slightest inkling that his story about being "secretly made" is utterly preposterous. What's the point of being made if no one knows about it? Think about this... And Ralph not only claims he was secretly made but that he was made by two -- not one, two -- mob bosses, Carlo Gambino, the "boss of bosses," and Angelo Bruno, the Sicilian boss who created a Mafia empire in Philadelphia.

READ How Carlo Gambino Became "Boss of Bosses"

Natale cooperated with the feds in August 1999 after he was indicted on drug-trafficking charges. With two earlier convictions under his belt, one for drug dealing and one for arson, he faced a potential life sentence. He is considered to be the first sitting American Mafia boss ever to agree to cooperate.

He testified at Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino's big RICO trial. Merlino and six co-defendants were in court for months, the case burning through the spring and summer of 2001. That was the RICO case that should've sent Merlino away for life. But it didn't. And the reason? Natale testified for 14 days...eight of those in cross-examination.

During that time period, Natale admitted involvement in eight gangland killings and four attempts.

Natale testified that he was made by Merlino at a ceremony in the former Hilton Hotel near Veterans Stadium. The ceremony took place not long after his 1994 release from prison. (He should've stayed with this story.)

"They had rented a suite of rooms in the hotel," Natale added.

READ What's Going Rate for Mafia Membership?

A gun and a knife were placed on the table before him, Natale said, and he swore to use that gun and knife for "the family."

"We come first, La Cosa Nostra," he said. "Before your mother and father, your wife and children. You keep 'omerta.' You mustn't become a witness like I am here."
"It's a funny thing," he said. "They burn a holy card in your hand and you say, 'May I burn in hell if I betray the family.' But we kill all these people and nobody thinks about burning in hell. I didn't realize it for 40 years."

Natale repeatedly said that he had embraced La Cosa Nostra's codes and lifestyle for decades before his formal initiation. He believed in it, he said, "heart and... soul."

Natale's testimony was bolstered to the extent possible with surveillance photos and videotapes of meetings and audiotape of conversations.

The photos and tapes were the fruit of a seven-year FBI investigation that included bugs planted on Natale's phone at his Pennsauken, N.J., home, and at the Garden State Race Track, where he frequently met associates.

George Anastasia wrote of the Last Don Standing memoir: "Some of the guys in South Philadelphia are calling it "fake news." Others are using a more graphic description – “bullshit.”

The book is a major topic of discussion in the Philadelphia underworld, with both mobsters and lawmen panning it, Anastasia noted.

"Players from both sides are said to be less than pleased and more than a little taken aback by the version of events presented by the one-time don turned star government witness."

In 2001 trial testimony, "Natale claimed that he made himself after aligning with Merlino in a war against then mob boss John Stanfa in 1994.

"Is that possible, he was asked?
"If you have the cojones," he replied."


  1. Folks, I deleted Disqus -- it was paying me a ridiculously small amount of money and was slowing down this blog significantly. I hope I made the right decision. I need to grow -- and mobile speed is EVERYTHING in this new frontier..... anyhoo it should be as easy as hell to comment now - I may look into using a facebook plugin for comments -- anyone have any insight on that?


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