Showing posts from May, 2021

Kevin McTaggart, Cleveland Mob War Veteran, Seeks Compassionate Release

A Cleveland mob associate who was a close ally of upstart Danny Greene*—and who allegedly was involved in multiple murders as an enforcer for a Cosa Nostra-affiliated narcotics trafficking operation—is seeking to get out of prison after spending almost 40 years there. Kevin McTaggart was a trusted ally of Danny Greene. Kevin McTaggart was all of 26 years old in 1983 when he was convicted of participating in seven murders in his role as an enforcer for a $15-20 million drug trafficking entity linked to the Cleveland Mafia. McTaggart was as violent as they come, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Today, McTaggart, 64, who resides in a federal prison in Michigan, says he is a changed man, and his lawyers are citing his exemplary prison record in an attempt to sway U.S. District Judge John Adams to grant the inmate's compassionate release motion. “While these years of confinement have been difficult, it has been a journey of reflection, remorse, sorrow, inspira

Two-Plus Years Later, Whitey Bulger Murder Suspects Still In Solitary With No End In Sight

REVISED James (Whitey) Bulger, one of the most notorious gangster snitches of the 20th century, was found viciously beaten to death inside a West Virginia prison on October 30, 2018. Two years and seven months later, no one has been charged with the murder—but three inmates—suspects in the case—remain in the special housing unit at US Penitentiary Hazelton, locked in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, t he Boston Globe recently reported . Whitey Bulger was given two life terms for participating in 11 murders. Relatives of the three prisoners have said that the trio is being denied "basic human rights."  The COVID-19 pandemic is part of the reason why the Bulger murder probe is still open with no charges filed. Other than that and the grievances of suspects’ family members, practically no new developments in the Bulger case have come to light. We know about as much as we did in 2018.... Bulger had a hip injury and was in a wheelchair when he was brought to Hazelton that year. Bulg

In An Historical First, Roman Catholic Church Moves To Excommunicate Mafiosi

In the centuries since the various Mafia entities emerged in Italy—Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, and the Camorra in Campania, to name three—the Vatican never used the power of excommunication against members of organized crime. Judge Rosario Livatino was killed in September 1990 near Agrigento. Until now. The Vatican News reports  that the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development—a department of the Roman Curia, the central body through which the Pope directs the Roman Catholic Church—has created a workgroup specifically tasked with excommunicating members of organized crime. The Dicastery was formed earlier this month on May 9, which also is the date when the Catholic Church marked the first ever beatification--the last step in the canonization process before sainthood-- of Rosario Livatino, a judge who was slain decades back by members of a Cosa Nostra offshoot group. The judge will become the first martyr slain by the Mafia. Behind the church’s newly

The Demise Of Colombo Underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo By Nick Christophers

The following by Nick Christophers tells the story of the relationship between William (Wild Bill) Cutolo and his son (and a wiseguy-in-progress)--as well as the the larger (and fatally consequential) story of the relationship between the two Cutolos and the Colombo crime family. William (Wild Bill) Cutolo Wild Bill was the underboss of the Colombo crime family. He was also a labor racketeer, among other things--including a father and husband who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. He was last seen near Shore Road and 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on May 26, 1999. He was 49. Cutolo's whereabouts remained unknown for nearly a decade, until 2008, when an informant tipped off Federal agents about where he was buried.   We've detailed the story of Wild Bill multiple times -- now, we'll let Nick tell it ..... Nick's story is jampacked with vivid detail that poignantly depicts, among other things, how Bill Jr. slowly came to the realization that something truly hor

That Time Luchese Wiseguy John Pennisi Was Thrown Under The Bus

If certain words are music to a street guy's ears ("Yes, I got your money"—"Do you know why you're here?"), then others are most definitely not. "I gotta throw you under the bus ." You don't even have to be in the mob to hear that one and not like it. Former Luchese wiseguy John Pennisi on one of many podcasts you can see him in. Anthony (Little Anthony) Caponigro, a Bonanno associate at the time, told John Pennisi, a former Luchese wiseguy, that he had to throw him under the bus after Caponigro talked out of school and backed himself into a corner. Or that is how John tells it in one of his SitdownNews podcasts.  That's right, star wiseguy witness John Pennisi, who testified at three major trials and about whom we've written a multi-part series , has launched a podcast that leverages his SitdownNews blog, where he offers a steady stream of peeks behind the curtain at goings-on in the Luchese family—as well as other crime families. Penn

Former Colombo Consiglieri, Associate Among Five Nabbed In South Florida in $93 Million Healthcare Fraud Case

Federal authorities busted five people in New Jersey and Florida for being part of a national conspiracy to scam Federal healthcare programs out of $93 million. ( Some would say this case could potentially make a Brooklyn Federal Judge look somewhat foolish, as is explained below .) Thomas Farese, aka Tom Mix, alleged Colombo consiglieri. The US Attorney's office also announced that two people connected to the scheme (which involved orthotic braces) in New Jersey already pleaded guilty. The charges the five men are currently facing—health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud—are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, among other things. Neither the US Attorney nor the Justice Department included reference to the Colombo crime family, even though two of the five men are known to have longtime ties to the New York crime family . Thomas Farese (aka Tom Mix), 78—the alleged former consiglieri and street boss for the Colombo