Showing posts from March, 2020

Who The Hell Are You To Take Over A Borgata?

In September 1964, illegal bugs planted in the meeting places of high-level Mafiosi across the nation by covert teams of FBI agents started to pick up bits of related news regarding the fate of a sitting member of the Mafia Commission. Bonanno consented to an interview with 60 Minutes. It was a mistake. The FBI black bag operation commenced as part of J. Edgar Hoover's post-Apalachin strategic intelligence gathering efforts, and in September 1964, it captured in real-time word of a Commission ruling as it hurtled like a brushfire from New York City to the nation's 24 crime families. Frank DeSimone, the Los Angeles Cosa Nostra boss, was heard in San Francisco telling a boss there that Joseph Bonanno was out. Thomas (Tommy Ryan) Eboli, acting boss of the Genovese Family, and underboss Gerry Catena together had traveled to the Providence, Rhode Island, headquarters of Raymond Patriarca, boss of the New England Family, to explain that Bonanno was out. Catena also was he

The Strange Bombings That Taunted Joe Bonanno's Early Years In Exile

UPDATED Did Joseph Bonanno plot a comeback in the 1970s, perhaps to resurrect himself as the secret power behind a newly installed boss of the Los Angeles family? The short answer: No, he didn't... Or if he did, his plotting never succeeded. Bonanno was finito — he was out, never to regain Mafia power or standing. But he was only partly accurate when he noted in A Man of Honor, "I'm not a Father anymore and there is no Bonanno Family anymore." There still is a Bonanno family. In 1931, Bonanno, a top gun in the American Mafia (thanks to his cousin who was the boss of a powerful crime family in Buffalo/Niagara Falls), was named boss of his own Family, which had largely been the Maranzano family prior to his reign. By his own admission, the naturalized Sicilian was a member of "the Commission," which acted as an organized crime board of directors in New York and other major U.S. cities. Bonanno described himself in his autobiography as

Boss In Exile: Ambition Brought Joe Bonanno Down

We post here the first part of a story, which we dedicate to a great man who we can't name but will refer to as a personal benefactor (because he is)....  How Joe Bonanno survived his alleged Machiavellian plotting is a mystery. In March 1983, the Feds hid an electronic eavesdropping device in Gambino boss Paul Castellano's kitchen alcove, kicking into high gear a massive probe that resulted in 600 hours of recordings that fueled eight Mafia-related trials. Castellano didn't live to see one of those trials, of course, but he was in the process of facing another jury (for the massive car-theft operation formerly overseen by Murder Machine Roy DeMeo) when he and underboss Thomas Bilotti were gunned down in December 1985 in front of Sparks Steakhouse on East 46th Street near Third Avenue shortly before 5:30 pm.  Because of the FBI's penetration of Big Paul's Todt Hill White House on Staten Island, we have transcripts of some of  his private dis

The Ravenite Transcripts PART 4: Did DiB Ever Talk Subversive To You?

John J. Gotti took control of the Gambino crime family in one of the most storied gangland coups in modern times. John Gotti and lawyer Bruce Cutler.. Gotti, who died on June 10, 2002, at age 61 -- was the closest the American Mafia had to a " boss of bosses" since Carlo Gambino . "Ever hear someone say, I don't give a fck? Well, when John Gotti said that, you knew he meant it, 100 percent. He knew the life, book, chapter and verse. And he lived it completely, " a source once said about John Gotti. "A priest even came to visit him in the prison hospital to give him penance. John politely told him, thanks, but no thanks. "John was hardcore to the end." See previous installment here ... DECEMBER 12, 1989 FILE NUMBER: 183A-3507 PLACE: Apartment above the Ravenite Social Club, located at 247 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, Manhattan TIME: 7:13 P.M. PARTICIPANTS: JOHN GOTTI, FRANK LOCASCIO GOTTI: I did! But why did I

The Murder That Buried Sonny Franzese

Ernie (The Hawk) Rupolo wasn't destined for underworld greatness; he didn't seem destined to live as long as he did, either, and when he finally did get rubbed out, in 1964, no one was supposed to know what happened to him because his body was never supposed to be found. John Sonny Franzese, left, next to the heavyweight champ. Rupolo was supposed to be just another gangland disappearance of just another hoodlum who got on the wrong side of the wrong person and then fell off the edge of the earth. That's where the story was supposed to end, only Ernie came back -- floated back, actually, and that set in motion a chain of events that knocked Sonny Franzese off his feet. (Sonny died last week on February 23 at the ripe old age of 103.) No, Sonny wasn't found guilty of Rupolo's murder, which some on both sides of the law believe he had nothing to do with (one of the "mob rats" who testified seems to have been a much more obvious and believable suspe