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Showing posts from 2021

Who Killed Phil Coffee Cups? Or Why Organized Crime Is So Damned Difficult

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A body is found floating in a body bag on the Hackensack river, five bullets in the cabeza. It’s Luchese acting capo Phil Coffee Cups from Bayside Queens. From the probe that follows, the FBI believes the hit was orchestrated by someone in another family in north Jersey. Gang Land News gets the scoop and writes up an exclusive, and the FBI view slips into the newspapers, some of which highlight it in stories. But two years later, a detective with the NYPD says the hit came from within the same family because the boss had a grudge over something (the detective knows not what the grudge was over). Around the same time, an ex-acting capo in California publishes a memoir that says it was the Gambino family, based on what he heard when, while still an active wiseguy, he visited New York City around the time of the hit. For the next five years, the different theories have been floating around in the press. Some reports focus on the FBI theory, some on the NYPD theory, some on what the guy in

The Real Reason We Publish Transcripts (Historically Speaking)

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We published this last night, then had second thoughts and yanked it. Do our readers care about The Truth enough to read a lengthy excerpt on something that is not Cosa Nostra related? After we thought about it a little more, we figured, what the hell, so we republish it.  For years we belonged to the "never explain" school of blogging. Show them, don't tell them, we thought. Only recently did we realize the shortcomings of that philosophy. Nature abhors a vacuum. Sometimes unanswered questions can create an air of mystery where it doesn't necessarily exist. Something we have always wondered about: What is he thinking. We also can't forget the other side of the coin: explaining yourself has the potential of making you look like a moron lacking in self awareness who insults the intelligence of his readers and that is the last thing we want to do. We walk a very fine line with this story. We published the Ravenite transcripts and then Sammy the Bull Gravano's co

Mass Media: WSJ Repackages Colombo Bust

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Mismanagement, dingbat recruits, and poorly conceived succession plans are among the challenges facing the American mob in late 2021. Reputed Colombo boss Andrew (Mush) Russo.   That's according to a recent WSJ report  (the site requires a subscription, however, which is why we give a shoutout [and owe a beer to] this guy ).  The following is our take on the gist of that story.... The report uses last month’s widely reported Colombo busts to offer a largely superficial glimpse into the New York mob. Informing the article is input from sources including former FBI agents, an anonymous former Colombo wiseguy, former government researchers (lots of formers, which is part of the problem with this story) as well as—this being the WSJ—a crisis management consultant (who also was a former FBI agent) and a professor emeritus. The WSJ references the (supremely disappointing) Many Saints of Newark, though the connection to the Sopranos prequal was enough of a stretch that we comfortably igno

What I've Learned After Blogging About The Mob For 10 Years

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Do something long enough, you would have to be moronic to not learn a few things from your experience.  The more immediate prompt for writing this: we watched certain YouTubers last night that got us thinking about all sorts of things late into the night. (The " My Blue Heaven" backlash that certain people have steadily [and apparently unknowingly] been begging for arrived a few months back.)   The following is a list of guidelines and beliefs that we've accumulated from everything we experienced blogging. It is geared to what we're trying to do here. Also, like most posts we publish here, this is mainly for us, but we're happy to share it. Just understand that this list isn’t carved in stone — it can and will be updated.  Don't think you're hot shit because a former wiseguy or associate will talk to you. And remember, he probably testified against lots of guys—and those guys are brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, uncles, nephews—they have family members,

Former Gotti Consiglieri Frankie Loc Dies In Prison

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Frank (Frankie Loc ) Locascio, the former Gambino consigliere serving life in prison for a 1992 murder racketeering conviction, died on October 1, 2021, at age 89, as per the BOP inmate locator website. Frank (Frankie Loc ) Locascio, left, and John Gotti.   Locascio, for more than three decades, had been serving a life sentence following his 1992 conviction for the slaying of Gambino wiseguy Louis DiBono, who was shot three times in the head in October 1990 in an underground parking garage at the World Trade Center.  DiBono earned Gotti’s wrath by ignoring his orders to come in. Some wiseguys were appalled that Gotti put a hit on DiBono for missing meetings, saying that the former guy, Paul Castellano, never would've whacked someone for simply missed some meetings. The DiBono murder was one of five pinned on the Dapper Don by the jury. Locascio, who was on trial alongside Gotti, was found guilty of the DiBono murder and conspiracy to murder Gaetano Vastola, a DeCavalcante wiseguy.

Salvatore (Sammy The Bull) Gravano Testimony, Part 14: On Gambino Garbage Kingpin Jimmy Brown

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We're breaking one of our Cardinal Rules by posting this installment without an introduction (we might add one retroactively). We've been focusing exclusively on finishing our profile of onetime Bonanno family powerhouse Carmine (Lilo) Galante ... Jimmy Brown despised the media, especially photographers. See previous installment:  Hitting Jelly Belly, aka Louie DiBono: Testimony Of Underboss Salvatore (Sammy The Bull) Gravano, Part 13 Murdering Louie DiBono: Part 12 As noted when we kicked off this series , the following is a continuation of the direct examination of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano by John Gleeson, then then-Assistant US Attorney, during the 1992 racketeering and murder trial of Gambino boss John Gotti and reputed acting consiglieri Frank (Frankie Loc) Locascio.... GLEESON: You mentioned a number of times Jimmy Brown (James "Jimmy Brown" Failla)? GRAVANO: Yes. GLEESON: What was his responsibility? GRAVANO: Controlled the garbage industry for us. GL

Patriarca Family Boss Cadillac Frank Salemme Loses Life Sentence Appeal For Murder Of Nightclub Owner

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A Federal appeals court in Boston yesterday (Friday, September 24) upheld the life sentences of New England Cosa Nostra boss Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme and mob associate Paul Weadick for the 1993 murder of Steven DiSarro, a Federal witness whose remains were found in an unmarked grave in Rhode Island in 2016. 1993 surveillance photo, from left: Salemme, Flemmi with back to camera, Frank Jr.  According to Federal prosecutors, Salemme, 88, held a secret interest in a South Boston nightclub  called The Channel, which DiSarro purchased. Salemme had DiSarro killed after he began to believe that the nightclub owner was talking to the FBI and was about to implicate him in criminal activity. The Fed's star witness at Salemme and Weadick's 2018 trial was Stephen (The Rifleman) Flemmi, the longtime partner of Winter Hill boss Whitey Bulger . Flemmi, 84, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders, testified that he had walked in on the Salemmes, father and son, and Weadick, 66,

Nick Christophers Launches Mob Tales Podcast

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Unpretentious, minimalist, and straightforward, is how we'd describe the new podcast series Mob Tales by Nick Christophers, who writes about the mob, including for this blog, and has written several mob-related books. Nick Christophers debuted a new podcast, Mob Tales. We recently caught up with Nick to ask him about the podcast....the (very brief) interview is below. Here's the first episode of Mob Tales:  Rebel Mobster in Detroit And the second: Florida Wiseguys Tell us about your new podcast, Mob Tales... This was an idea from the producer Peter Papageorgiou, and we collaborated with director Sean King, who recently shot the trailer for my film Destinies, which is in pre-production. Mob Tales is different because it is coming from someone like me, who was educated on the street and in school, not just some reporter who never was around these type of guys. And also I will be telling stories that most people don't know about. Especially about the Greek mafia. I will offer

After Lamming It, Colombo Consiglieri Ralph DiMatteo Surrenders To Feds In Manhattan

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While teams of FBI agents, NYPD detectives, and other law enforcement personnel were moving to arrest the 10 members and associates of New York's youngest and most violent Mafia family (as well as a single Bonanno wiseguy) on September 14 on racketeering, extortion, and other charges related to the infiltration of a Queens-based labor union, the alleged consiglieri of the Colombo family was already in Florida, having departed his Merrick, Long Island, home the day before for a scheduled trip. Gamboling in the Sunshine State? Ralph DiMatteo When the Feds realized that the Colombo family's number three, Ralph DiMatteo, was the only person to successfully evade their dragnet, they declared him a fugitive, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. Then the fun began, according to Daily News reporting by Larry McShane and Noah Goldberg .  DiMatteo attorney Mathew Mari was negotiating the consiglieri's surrender with the Feds on Tuesday,

Feds Busted “Entire” Colombo Family Administration, Including Heir Apparent Skinny Teddy

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UPDATED With the arrests on Tuesday (September 14) of 10 members and associates of the Colombo family for various offenses related to an alleged 20-year effort to loot a Queens-based labor union, the Feds completely beheaded the Colombo crime family, imprisoning the family's official boss, underboss, consiglieri, and a bevy of top capos, one of which is Carmine Persico's nephew/handpicked successor. Andy (Mush) Russo  The 19-count indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Federal court charges a total of 14 defendants, including the 10 members and associates of the Colombo family, and one member of the Bonanno family with various offenses, including labor racketeering, extortion, and money laundering conspiracy. ( A few guys had a good thing going for many years — until 2019, when the bosses moved in and fcked it all up -- eventually bringing in the Feds somehow …) The charges relate to multiple schemes in a long-running effort by the family to infiltrate and control a Queens-based labo