Showing posts from June, 2019

Genovese Family Initiations Over The Years

Even though Joseph (Joe Cago) Valachi was made during the 1930-31 fighting of the Castellammarese War, his initiation ceremony seemingly was a warm and fuzzy affair that commenced only after the men in attendance had chowed down on home-cooked macaroni and drank red wine.

Valachi chronicled getting his button--in what is generally considered a “classic” initiation ritual--among a great many other  things in his bloated autobiography The Real Deal, which can be viewed on Thomas Hunt's American Mafia website.

Genovese turncoats and the Mafia's most solemn ceremony, the induction of new members, is the focus. As noted in a previous story on Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta, former boss of the Genovese crime family's Springfield crew, this month's GQ in the U.K. includes a cover story on the American Mafia in which Arillotta details his induction ceremony, during which he'd been asked to strip naked.

Anthony Arillotta was the fourth Genovese wiseguy to flip and testify since …

Philadelphia Cosa Nostra Soldier Cops To Drug Charges

Joseph (Joey Electric) Servidio, 59, a reputed made member of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra family, last week copped to drug charges.

Servidio pleaded guilty on June 17 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin laced with fentanyl, along with other drugs. He faces about 12-plus years in prison and his sentencing is slated for Sept. 24.

He was arrested in March 2018 with two other South-Jersey wiseguys -- Carl Chianese and Michael Gallichio, both associates -- for “conspiring to possess” drugs with intent to sell.

The FBI described the case as a dismantling of a drug pipeline running nearly the length of the Garden State Parkway. Initially the FBI indicated that elements of the Boston Mafia also were involved in this case.

The arrests followed a two-year FBI probe.

The indictment relied heavily on audio recordings of Servidio discussing drugs and mob life in detail.

In addition to the three arrested last March, several uni…

Bingy, Back In Springfield, Recalls How Genovese Crime Family Gave Him His Button

The former boss of the Genovese crime family's Springfield crew has been making recent moves that again show how much the Mafia of today has evolved from its roots: Indeed, "Bingy" is doing shit that would've been unthinkable not too many years back.

Bingy of course is Anthony Arillotta, 51, the stone-cold killer and onetime boss of the Genovese crime family's outpost in Springfield, Mass., who flipped in 2010.

He departed the Witness Protection Program in 2017 when he finished his eight-year prison sentence -- and he reportedly moved back to Springfield...

He was quoted -- in USA TODAY no less -- speculating on the March shooting slaying of Gambino underboss Frank Cali. Speaking of suspected Cali killer Anthony Comello, Bingy said: "They'll kill that guy. Either way, there's going to be more violence."

And much more recently, he made a splash--albeit mostly overseas--in an explosive story in this month's British GQ magazine in which he dis…

Reputed Grand Avenue Crew “Uniform” Cops Plea In Extortion Conspiracy Case

Do members of the Chicago Outfit pay associates to help them collect money? Apparently, in the following case involving a long-time Outfit soldier, he did....

Reputed Outfit soldier Robert Panozzo Sr. pleaded guilty last Wednesday in the federal courthouse in Rockford to threatening and beating a businessman over an alleged $100,000 debt, and then hiring someone to torch the businessman's car and house when he wouldn’t pay.

A reputed longtime soldier under Albert (Little Guy) Vena, the reputed Grand Avenue boss, as well as a member of the Grand Avenue Crew, Panozzo allegedly carried out a four-year campaign of violence and threats to collect the debt after telling the man in 2005, “This is serious. I want my money.”

He entered a guilty plea to one count of extortion conspiracy. The plea agreement, which was 17-pages long, calls for up to 14 years in prison, and whatever his ultimate sentence, it will be served concurrently with the 18-year prison term handed down earlier this year …

State Police With Cadaver Dogs Searched In Michigan This Week For Jimmy Hoffa

Almost 45 years later, and the tips apparently still keep a-coming.

Michigan law enforcement yesterday morning used cadaver dogs to search for the remains of James Riddle Hoffa, the (very) appropriately named one-time Teamsters boss who abruptly disappeared off the face of the earth in 1975.

Detectives with the Michigan State Police, forensic anthropologists, and a K-9 handler with dogs trained in alerting to the presence of cadavers searched a parcel of land in Hillsdale Township.

They didn't find him.

The source of the tip was an unidentified woman who inherited the land when her father passed away. She claims to have family ties to the American Mafia.

Hoffa, who had been president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, disappeared from a Bloomfield Township restaurant on July 30, 1975. He was declared legally dead in 1982. The case went cold, with sporadic tips sending investigators on multiple search efforts over the years.

Hoffa and friends are poised to get another b…

First Cosa Nostra Pentito: The "Valachi Of The Palermo Suburbs"

Around 11 p.m. on March 29, 1973, in Palermo, Sicily, a lifelong member of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, for no earthly reason, walked into a police station and spilled everything.

Leonardo Vitale, then age 32 and a capodecina in the Altarello di Baida family of the Sicilian Mafia, explained to the  officers of the Palermo Flying Squad that he was undergoing a religious conversion and wanted to begin a new life.

The officers were dumbfounded as their visitor copped to committing: two murders*, attempted murders, kidnapping, and a range of lesser crimes, a bizarre number of which involved Sicily's citrus fruits industry.
In addition, he named men who he said had committed homicides (many of them the police already had on the books as murder suspects). He also discussed how a Mafia family was organized and identified by name members of his Altarello di Baida family.

Nothing was off limits. He revealed the existence of the Mafia's highest governing body, the Commission, or Cupola as…

Son of Sally Daz, Slain at McDonalds Drive-Through, Indicted In Murder-For-Hire Conspiracy

Anthony Zottola, Sr., plotted with Bloods gang members to kill his own mob-linked father, allegedly as part of a long-simmering effort to assume control of the family business.

Fed's now say that Sally Daz's son -- who reportedly has no mob ties -- paid more than $200,000 to have his own dad whacked -- and ordered a botched hit on his own brother.

Anthony Zottola Sr. , 41, potentially faces a death sentence for the alleged patricide of the reputed Bonanno crime family associate gunned down while waiting at a McDonald's drive-through in the Bronx last year.

The Fed's didn't reveal a motive, but Anthony reportedly wanted to take over the family business, meaning his dad’s illegal gambling operation, which included Joker Poker machines. (Sally Daz's Joker Poker business alone could generate around $7,000 weekly, according to federal prosecutors.)

As per a second superseding indictment (PDF below) unsealed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, Anthony Zottola, Sr…



 "Mob scion Anthony Zottola Sr. directed a true-life Mafia tale with a twist of “Godfather"-style betrayal: He arranged to murder his mobbed-up dad and schemed to gun down his older brother, federal officials charged Tuesday.

"Zottola, 41, of Larchmont, was busted with three other suspects accused of targeting his father Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola and his sibling Salvatore in separate attacks just three months apart last year...."
See story by Larry McShane....

Developing our take on the story now.....


Bloods Member Indicted For Conspiracy In Bonanno Associate's Murder Last Month

Was Bronx Shooting Retaliation for Sally Daz's Dad, a Luchese Associate?

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

Second Suspect, Gangsta Named "Taliban," Nabbed In McDonald's Murder Of Sally Daz, Associate Of Bonanno and Luchese Crime Families

Bonanno Mobster Sho…

See Trailer For Our Godfather -- Upcoming Documentary On Tomasso Buscetta, First Major Sicilian Mafioso To Flip

Been a busy, crazy few weeks, but I have a slew of things in the works...

Following is a trailer for the upcoming OUR GODFATHER, a feature-length documentary about Tommaso Buscetta, the first high-ranking Italian mafioso to turn against Cosa Nostra and testify. It's due for a September release on Netflix... More information tk....

"...the money had gone to their heads. They couldn’t think of anything but buying, consuming, spending that mountain of money that each of them wanted to make even higher – all the way from the sea to the sanctuary of Santa Rosalia at the top of Montepellegrino.

(Buscetta said:) "It isn’t Cosa Nostra any more, Nino, it’s not ours. It belongs to petty thieves like Pippo Calò and Michele Greco – people U Curtu (nickname for Toto Riina) has connected to strings so that they’ll raise their heads or lower them at his command. Stefano Bontate told me that Michele never opens his mouth at Commission meetings. He just bobs his head up and down. He’s a co…

Mafia Uses Same Initiation Ceremony, As Per Luchese Defector Testimony

The Mafia still makes 'em like it always did...

We're referring to the initiation ceremony -- the one that uses the gun, the knife, the picture of the saint, the pin...

John Pennisi, 49, a Luchese member who flipped last year, detailed on the witness stand his life in the New York Mafia, touching on his initiation ceremony and how members of the Brooklyn crew began moving to Staten Island, raising the existential question of whether Luchese wiseguys who live on Staten Island can still credibly call themselves the Brooklyn crew....

Pennisi was made in a 2013 secret initiation ceremony in the dark basement of a house on Staten Island. (In a refreshing twist, he was made on his wife’s birthday rather than his own birthday.)

Then-acting boss Matty Madonna, who was from the Bronx, presided.

“There was a gun, a knife, there was a picture of a saint, an ashtray, a lighter, and like a diabetic pin, needle to check your blood,” said Pennisi.

Madonna asked Pennisi which finger he used t…