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Gangsters of New Haven: The Italian Whitey

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The following is the first in a series about the mob in New Haven, Connecticut… It started off originally as a story about William Grasso — but while researching him, we found ourselves spending more time on Grasso's mentor, and decided an even more worthwhile series would detail his exploits first...


Connecticut had a peculiar relationship with organized crime. Located at about the midpoint between New York and Boston, it never had its own formally designated crime family. However, due to its proximity to New York and Boston, it always attracted attention and several crime families had interests in the state over the decades.


The notoriously bad-tempered, yet supremely disciplined  William (The Wild Man) Grasso, who rose to become underboss of the Patriarca crime family under Raymond Junior, once reminisced with an associate about old times and noted how he’d gotten his big break. It arrived in the form of a 10-year prison sentence.

“Best thing that ever happened to me was when …

Philadelphia Mob Boss Merlino Gets Two-Year Prison Sentence

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UPDATED FRIDAY MORNING
Alleged Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino was hit with two years in prison for illegal gambling yesterday.


Of the three men identified as alleged bosses in this case, Merlino was the winner, getting the lightest prison sentence. Alleged Genovese capos Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio and Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello were the other two alleged leaders of the East Coast LCN Enterprise.

A case once presented as a nefarious, multifaceted criminal enterprise that spanned the East Coast of America involving dozens of mobsters from several crime families speedily had steadily devolved into an embarrassment for the Fed's.

Two years was the stiffest possible penalty for Merlino, who plead guilty to a single count instead of facing a retrial on a litany of other charges. 
And while U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said he did not believe that Merlino was still the boss of the Philadelphia crime family, he still sought to persuade Merlino to abandon his penchant for crimin…

New Upcoming Indy Flick Apalachin Features Actor George Andreakos

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I'm working on a story about the upcoming indy film detailing the story of Apalachin, which Nick Christophers mentions here in this story ....



In November  1957, crime families from across the country met in Apalachin, a rural hamlet in upstate New York, at the home of mobster Joseph "Joe the Barber" Barbara, to discuss urgent business. Believed to be on the summit's agenda: the assassination of Albert Anastasia, the attempted assassination of Frank Costello, and the ascendancy of both Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese. The raid, during which more than 60 underworld bosses were detained, helped confirm the existence of a nationwide criminal organization that considered itself a shadow government. ...







BY NICK CHRISTOPHERS

It is no wonder that Greek-American actor George Andreakos has been slated to play a gangster in the projected film entitled “Apalachin”. He has already taken on gangster roles and aced them every-time.

The title should ring a few bells with a few of you…

Former CIA Agent Reveals Plans To Write About Prison Pals From Philadelphia Mafia

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Note: I haven't been blogging much in the past week. Got some very bad news about an old friend. He married his high school sweetheart and has a daughter in college -- and one night about a week and a half ago he suddenly took a stroke and collapsed. Basically, he's now permanently disabled and unable to work ever again. He was seemingly in perfect physical health too -- right up until he collapsed.... 



The False Claims Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, during the Civil War.

Greedy contractors bent on filling their pockets by defrauding the government in wartime was the stimulus. Since criminals generally don't like to get caught, the thinking went, there should be encouragement for those who have knowledge of fraudulent activity to come forward. The False Claims Act -- which allows for the filing of Whistleblower or Qui Tam lawsuits -- provides a way for private citizens to share in the recovery of damages essentially.

One hundred years later, …

Sex Crime Victim's Mother Reads Impact Statement In Bonanno Extortion Case

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"Patricia Adams used my disabled father to get to me. My father can barely walk unaided due to a work injury. ... However, she shamelessly approached him, just days after one of the most traumatic events of my life."


Patricia Adams, who operates the weekly Forum Newsgroup, threatened to use her position as publisher to virtually destroy a woman who had accused mobbed-up deli owner Robert Pisani of a sex crime. Adams was sentenced on Oct. 11 to five months in prison. (Pisani, found guilty of loansharking as well, was sentenced to 30 months.)





What follows is the victim impact statement that was read by the young woman’s mother to the court before Adams was sentenced.

Good afternoon Judge Matsumoto and Members of the Court,

I stand here today to tell you the truth that you may not know about the woman before us, Patricia Adams. Instead of facing it at a trial, she has pled to save herself from it. To hide from the facts that have undoubtedly made the past year and a half of my li…

Howard Beach Publisher Gets Prison Time For Threatening Father of Sex Crime Victim On Behalf Of Bonanno Mobster

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A Howard Beach-based newspaper publisher has been sentenced to five months in prison for attempting to threaten a sex crime victim's father on behalf of a Bonanno crime family aassociate.


Patricia Adams, who operates the weekly Forum Newsgroup, threatened to use her position as publisher to have a hatchet piece written and published in a Queens newspaper about a woman who had accused a mobbed-up deli owner of a sex crime.

Adams was sentenced on Oct. 11. She also must pay a fine of $200, though the full restitution amount has not yet been determined.

Adams had pleaded guilty on June 25 to misprision of a felony, acknowledging her efforts to conceal the felonious crime of interfering in the sex assault case against Robert Pisani, an associate in acting capo Ronald Giallanzo's Bonanno crime family crew. Pisani was among a group of 10 reputed Bonanno crime family members arrested for participating in various crimes over the past two decades ranging from racketeering to loan shark…

Contract Killer Flipped: Fed's Arrest High-Ranking Bloods Member For Murder-For-Hire Plot To Whack Bonanno Associate

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UPDATE TWO
The shooter was arrested, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.



Bushawn Shelton, 34, an alleged high-ranking member of the Bloods allegedly paid another man to try to kill Sylvester and Salvatore Zottola.

He also furnished the contract killer with wheelmen and pistols to carry the murder out.



Shelton was a middleman however, according to reports. The motive and true force behind the murder remains a mystery.

Sworn testimony indicates the case was investigated by the F.B.I.’s Balkan and Middle Eastern organized crime squad, bolstering theories that the Zottolas may have somehow crossed an Albanian organized crime group.

For years, the Zottolas fostered close ties to the Luchese and Bonanno crime families, providing and maintaining electronic gambling machines for mob-controlled hubs in New Jersey. 
Shelton, participated in a plot to kill Sylvester and Salvatore Zottola, a father and son who were reputed to be associates of the Bonanno crime family…

How A Mysterious Plane Crash Set In Motion John Gotti's Path To Power

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John Gotti "blasted his way into the mob -- he came the tough guy way in," as former Gambino capo Michael (Mikie Scars) DiLeonardo once told us.



John Gotti orchestrated the December 1985 murder of Paul Castellano. When and why did he make the determination to embark on that path? The primary reason of course was the  threat posed by Gambino boss Paul Castellano after Angelo Ruggiero, Gene Gotti, and John Carneglia, among others, were indicted for drug trafficking.

But the timeline runs even farther back.

In fact, the development that set John Gotti on his path to power also led to Gene Gotti and John Carneglia going to prison for 29 years. It was a mysterious plane crash off the Georgia coast. That triggered a series of events that culminated with Gotti's reign as boss of the Gambino crime family.






May 6, 1982, was a clear and sunny day, with little turbulence. At about 10 am that morning, a Learjet departed New Jersey’s Teterboro airport for Florida’s Orlando Internation…

Sylvester Zottola, Bronx-Based Bonanno Mobster, Shot Dead In "Mafia-Style Assassination"

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UPDATED SATURDAY MORNING 
A reputed associate of the Bonanno crime family — whose son was shot multiple times in an attempted hit this past July — was shot and killed today (October 4) at around 4:45 p.m. at a McDonald’s drive thru in the Bronx.



Sylvester Zottola, 71, a Bonanno crime family associate, was shot in the head, chest, and shoulder while waiting in his SUV for a cup of coffee at the drive-through window.

In what one law enforcement official described as a "Mafia-style assassination," Zottola was shot once in the head and four times in the torso.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A “massive” police investigation has commenced. The McDonald’s parking lot has crime scene tape across it, and dozens of law enforcement investigators and other personnel were seen there.

The still-at-large suspect reportedly walked up on the victim while he was ordering food. The suspect fired multiple shots into the driver while positioned at the passenger window, then fled the scene. …

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