Cosa Nostra News focuses on New York's Five Families and seeks to  illuminate lesser known spaces in American Mafia history. Ed Scarpo is a pseudonym for an independent journalist who launched this blog in 2011. 

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Alexa ranking of Cosa Nostra News (on 10/19/21)
304,968 -- global rank
39,622 -- US rank*

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We protect all sources and respect all agreements of confidentiality. We're always looking for story tips and leads to follow-up on. Have anything interesting? Please email us. 

Ed Scarpo is a pseudonym, not an identity. 

I was a journalist for decades before leaving the field. I currently work in corporate communications. Meaning, despite the Italianate nickname, I'm not a "wannabe" .... I'm trying to be serious, but that line reminds me of what Gregory Caponegro once said while attempting to shake down his own tenant. While Caponegro issued the taped threats, below, in his post-mob life, his words capture the wanton criminality and cruelty endemic of LCN.

To read more about Greg, check out Ex-Genovese Wiseguy Joey Waterbed and Bro Greg Caponegro Terrorized Residents Of The Garden State

I'm interested in corresponding with other writers and creative professionals.

Anyone can  reach me at cosanostranews@gmail.com

Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia; the ’Ndrangheta, the Calabrian Mafia; and the Camorra, the Campania Mafia—Italy’s primary organized crime groups, but not its only ones—are sworn secret societies almost certainly based on the Freemasons. The original organizations sprang up in the various geographical regions of Italy in the mid- to late-nineteenth century and truly dwelled in secrecy and the shadows.

The original organizations were disrupted repeatedly and have evolved significantly over time, especially in the post-World War II period (though the original Neapolitan Camorra died even before World War I). The name Cosa Nostra (“our thing”) wasn’t adopted in Sicily—or the United States—until the 1960s, and the Calabrian Mafia didn’t acquire its ’Ndrangheta name (it means “manliness” or “courage”) until 1955.

Italy’s three Mafias are not directly related nor are they identical to one another: They have different structures, different rituals, and different terminologies. They do share some of the same criminal jargon—such as Omertà—and tended to commit the same daily criminal activities, primarily extortion and smuggling. And, throughout their histories, the Mafias of Italy have communicated with and learned from one another.

Omertà, many believe, is the iron code of silence, the stark choice between life and death. In some cases, the Mafia’s law certainly has lived up to its ferocious reputation. But not always, and that holds true throughout the history of the term: The historical record clearly evinces that, in various cases when the right kind of pressure was applied, Omertà has been broken repeatedly.

If one believes that Omertà is dead today, then one must recognize that it was never truly alive.

“Far from respecting an ancient silence, mafiosi have been talking to police since they first went into business,” John Dickie writes in Mafia Brotherhoods. “That is one reason why so many of the underworld’s darkest secrets are still there in the archives for us to unearth. And … why mafia history is often more about misinformation and intrigue than … violence and death.”

In the United States, Omertà held up remarkably well during much of the 20th century, at least until the RICO act, which arrived in 1970, but wasn't applied effectively against the Mafia until the 1980s and 1990s. Finally, the Feds had the tool that gave them the power and the ability to take the Mafia families apart and toss high-level wiseguys, the bosses, into prison for decades.

In the US, during the induction ceremony, the top wiseguys generally enumerate the Mafia’s inviolable rules and protocols, Omertà, the code of silence, being the foremost principle, which absolutely forbids any level of cooperation with law enforcement, including informing, or ratting, on anyone in the underworld.

* Alexa is gone. We clipped and published that image for personal posterity reasons.