Fargo TV Friendship Between Fictional Gangsters Was A Lot Like K.C. Black Mob’s Doc & Seal

October 1, 2020 – The relationship between fictional Kanas City gangland figures Loy Cannon and Doctor Senator in the new season of the hit television show Fargo is inspired by the real-life friendship and business relationship shared by K.C. Black mob bosses James (Doc) Dearborn and Eugene (Seal) Richardson.

The FX drama explores a power struggle in the 1950s Kansas City underworld pitting the Italian mafia against an African-American crime syndicate run by Chris Rock’s Loy Cannon character. Cannon’s most-trusted advisor and No. 2 in charge is dapper and deliberate Doctor Senator played by Glynn Turman.

The main difference from reality to the television-scripted narrative unspooled in Fargo is that Doc Dearborn’s “Purple Capsule Gang” (PCG) worked in concert with Kansas City’s Civella crime family. The groups were not rivals, although Dearborn was slain in a 1985 murder that might have been connected to a power shift in the Civella crime family.

Like you see in the TV show, Dearborn relied heavily on counsel from the educated, more refined Doctor Senator, said to have a Master’s Degree in Economics from Howard University.

“Doc was the gangster, Eugene Richardson was the scholar,” one retired FBI agent recalled. “Richardson dressed like a banker and was very well spoken, very intelligent. On the other hand, Doc was a straight hoodlum.”

Richardson was indicted with Dearborn for narcotics trafficking in 1970 and did federal prison time. He died of natural causes in 2005 after moving to Arkansas to live out his final years.

Glynn Turman, 73, is a familiar face to television and film fans, having appeared in classic fare like Peyton Place, Cooley High, Gremlins, A Different World, The Wire and House of Lies. Turman was married to the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin from 1978-1984.

This article was originally posted here

Roger Reid Was Putting For His Life: The K.C. Mob’s Golf Bet Hit

September 29, 2020 — With the television show Fargo kicking off it’s fourth season this fall diving into the Kansas City mafia and a fictional Fadda crime family, Gangster Report looks back on one of the real-life Civella crime family’s most compelling unsolved mob murders: The 1988 Roger Reid homicide.

The 36-year old Reid was a businessman and childhood friend of Kansas City mob prince William (Little Willie) Cammisano, Jr. He was found strangled to death in a hotel room on August 18, 1988. Reid and Cammisano, Jr. fell out over gambling debt accrued on the golf course, according to FBI records and grand jury testimony.

Cammisano Jr.’s dad was Kansas City mafia don Willie (The Rat) Cammisano. Reid was an investor in Little Willie’s vending machine business, C&C Associates, per federal documents.

In late June 1987, Reid and Cammisano, Jr. went on a golfing vacation to Las Vegas to play in a charity tournament. They stayed at Caesars Palace and teamed up with a mutual friend of theirs named Billy Walters for the three-round event (June 22, 23 & 24). Cammisano, Jr. had Reid stake him in a skins match against Walter for $1,000 per hole and at the end of the weekend, Little Willie owed Walters $120,000, per future grand jury testimony.

Reid paid Walters $6,000 on the spot and Cammisano, Jr. told him they would pay him the rest later when they all got back to Missouri. But no money was forthcoming and Walters pressed the issue, causing tension between Reid and Cammisano, Jr. according to grand jury testimony. Little Willie thought Reid should pay the money. Reid wanted Little Willie to cover his own losses.

Several mafia-style sit downs were held in the first half of 1988 and lorded over by Little Willie’s dad, Willie the Rat, to discuss the debt and who should be responsible for what proportion of the losses, per FBI records. The Cammisanos worried about Reid cooperating with the government due the increasing ill will and a looming IRS probe of Little Willie’s vending machine company Reid had a piece of, informants told the FBI.

Reid was killed in a hotel room on August 18 of that year. A federal grand jury was convened in March 1989 to hear testimony on the murder. Little Willie would be convicted of obstruction of justice and witness tampering for coaching his teenage girlfriend on what to say in her testimony, but neither him, nor his dad, Willie the Rat, were ever charged in the case.

Willie the Rat died of organ failure in 1995. Cammisano, Jr., 71, did three years of prison time on a federal bookmaking conviction from 2009 and is alleged to be a capo in the modern day Kansas City mafia, which is a much smaller, quieter organization than it was in its glory years of Willie the Rat and the Civella brothers.

This article was originally posted here

Civella Crime Family Chronicle: The Kansas City Mafia Murder Timeline (1970 – Present)

Kansas City’s Civella crime family wasn’t to be trifled with in its heyday. The boys from the Missouri mafia were unafraid of littering the streets with bodies and did so throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s. The newly-premiered season of the FX television show Fargo explores a fictional storyline involving the K.C. Italian mob and its counterparts in the city’s Black mob during the 1950s.


July 15, 1970 — Civil Rights leader Leon Jordan is gunned down outside his Green Duck Tavern on a murder contract issued by the Civella crime family and carried out by the Kansas City Black mob. Jordan punched a Civella-controlled politician and got into a spat with Black mob boss James (Doc) Dearborn over a woman.

July 22, 1976 – Kansas City mobster David Bonadonna is found in the trunk of his Mustang automobile, shot in the back of the head, a short distance away from Willie the Rat Cammisano’s garage headquarters where he was last seen in the hours before being killed.

November 17, 1976 – Kansas City wiseguy and Bonadonna loyalist John (Johnny B) Brocato is found stuffed in the trunk of his car at the airport, shot in the back of the head.

February 19, 1977 – Civella crime family lieutenant John (Johnny Green) Amaro is shot to death in his garage.

February 22, 1977 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and hit man Harold (Sonny) Bowen is shot-gunned to death inside a crowded bar (Pat O’Brien’s) in the heart of the River Quay on the evening of Amaro’s wake. Bowen is believed to have killed Amaro.

August 5, 1977 – Bonadonna faction enforcer Gary Parker is blown up in a car bomb in his driveway.

May 2, 1978 – Local hood, thief and Bonadonna-loyalist Myron (Alley Cat Andy) Mancuso is shot to death behind the wheel of his car, last seen leaving a 24-hour diner with Willie the Rat’s son and protégé William (Little Willie) Cammisano, Jr. a half hour before being found dead.

May 4, 1978 – Local hood, thief and Bonadonna-loyalist Michael (Minuteman Mike) Massey, Mancuso’s partner-in-crime and an informant that got Kansas City mobster Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella busted for racketeering, is shot to death behind the wheel of his car.

May 17, 1978 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and independent gangster Mike Spero is slain in the infamous Virginian Tavern Massacre, where several Civella crime family hit men came blasting into the Spero brothers’ headquarters with shotguns blazing. Mike’s brother Joe is wounded fleeing out of a side door and his brother Carl is paralyzed in the attack.

June 18, 1980 – Bonadonna faction enforcer and independent gangster Joe Spero is killed in a bombing in Clay County while fiddling with booby-trapped explosives in his work shed on his farm.

January 6, 1984 – “Spero Gang” leader and one-time Bonadonna backer, the wheelchair-bound Carl Spero is blown up at his Five-Star Investment Used Cars office headquarters in the time surrounding Willie the Rat’s release from federal prison and ascension to don. Cammisano assumed the reins on an official basis upon the passing of crime family namesake Nick Civella and the incarceration of his brother and underboss Carl (Corky) Civella.

February 9, 1984 – Longtime Kansas City mafia figure Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella, once on the frontlines of the River Quay War for the Civella syndicate, disappears and isn’t found until three weeks later strangled to death in the trunk of his car in parking lot of freight company warehouse on February 27.

September 19, 1984 – Longtime Kansas City mafia figure Felix (Little Phil) Ferina, Cardarella’s trusted gangland running buddy and another former front-liner in the battle for the River Quay in the 1970s, is shot to death in front of his house. Ferina and Cardarella allegedly spoke openly of trying to overthrow Willie the Rat.

January 14, 1985 — Kansas City Black mob boss James (Doc) Dearborn is gunned down outside a hotel drug den.

August 18, 1988 — Kansas City mob associate Roger Reid is found strangled to death inside a motel.

1990 — Kansas City mob associate Larry Strada, who turned FBI informant, was shot to death outside his hoyse.

1997 — Harold Ash is gunned down outside a casino.

This article was originally posted here

Mob Murder Helter Skelter Across The Border: The Great Canadian Mafia War Hit List

Tremors of a pending mob clash were felt in the mid-2000s, by the end of the decade, however, the underworld in Canada was in an all-out gangland shooting war that would reach biblical proportions in subsequent years. The conflict started in Montreal, Quebec surrounding unrest in the Rizzuto mob empire and eventually moved to Ontario, first hitting Toronto and then Hamilton. Bodies piled up, a series of murders that has since touched Europe and Mexico and shows no signs of slowing down.

The Great Canadian Mafia War Murder Timeline (2005-present)

August 11, 2005 – Montreal mobster Johnny Bertolo, a racketeer, builder and construction union rep aligned with Rizzuto crime family power, Raynald Desjardins, is killed as he left his gym after a falling out with Vito Rizzuto. The Bertolo murder is believed to have started the bad blood between Desjardins and Rizzuto.

August 30, 2006 – Rizzuto crime family enforcer Domenico Macri is killed in a drive-by shooting as he sat at a traffic light in downtown Montreal.

September 7, 2007 – Montreal mob figure Frank Velenosi, a main lieutenant of Rizzuto crime family underboss, Francesco (Compare Frank) Arcadi, is found stabbed to death in the trunk of his car.

January 15, 2008 – Rizzuto crime family enforcer Constantin (Big Gus) Alevizos is killed.

December 4, 2008 – Rizzuto crime family soldier Mario (Skinny) Marabella is killed as gunmen open fire on him as he exits his vehicle and goes to fill up his tank at a Montreal gas station.

January 16, 2009 – Montreal mobster Sam Fasulo, a top henchman for Compare Frank Arcadi, is murdered.

August 21, 2009 – Montreal mobster Freddy Del Peschio, a Rizzuto confidant, is slain.

December 28, 2009 – Montreal mobster Nicolo (Ritzy Nick) Rizzuto, Jr., Vito’s son and protégé, is shot dead in broad daylight.

March 19, 2010 – Greek mobster Pete Christopulous, a bodyguard for Haitian gangster Ducarme Joseph, is killed in an attempt to assassinate Ducarme inside Ducarme’s women’s clothing boutique located in a Montreal shopping plaza (Joseph, the leader of the 67s Gang, was the suspected shooter in the Ritzy Nick Rizzuto hit).

May 19, 2010 – Rizzuto crime family consigliere Paolo Renda, Vito Rizzuto’s brother-in-law, vanishes and is presumed dead.

June 29, 2010 – Rizzuto crime family acting boss Agostino Cuntrera and his bodyguard Liborio Sciascia are killed in a hail of bullets outside Cuntrera’s office.

September 29, 2010 – Rizzuto clan enforcer Ennio Bruni is killed, gunned down in a crowded Montreal strip mall.

November 10, 2010 – Montreal mafia patriarch, Nicolo (Uncle Nick) Rizzuto, a mafia dignitary on multiple continents, is shot dead in his kitchen by a sniper’s rifle.

January 31, 2011 – Montreal mobster Antonio Salvo, one of Compare Frank Arcadi lieutenants, is killed outside his home.

October 24, 2011 – Rizzuto ally-turned-rival Larry Lopresti, the son of a slain Rizzuto lieutenant, is killed on his home balcony in suburban Montreal while smoking a cigarette.

November 24, 2011 – New York mob don Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna is assassinated near a woodsy riverbed as he runs from an ambush in suburban Montreal after his and Desjardins’ palace coup goes awry (Desjardins eventually pleads guilty in the murder plot).

March 1, 2012 – Montreal mobster Giuseppe (Joe Closure) Colapelle, a Rizzuto lieutenant-turned-Desjardins loyalist is slain.

May 4, 2012 – Montreal mobster Joe Renda, a stealthy Rizzuto ally-turned-Montagna-backer, disappears and is presumed dead.

July 16, 2012 – Money-laundering expert Walter Gutierrez, tasked with washing illegal windfall for the Rizzuto crime family, is killed in a barrage of bullets as he walks towards his house in a West End Montreal neighborhood.

August 14, 2012 – Haitian street gang leaders Chenier Dupuy & Lamartine Paul are gunned down within hours of each other, Dupuy is killed as he sat in his truck outside a restaurant, Paul was murdered as he left his apartment. They were suspected of providing muscle for the anti-Rizzuto wing of the Montreal mafia.

November 5, 2012 – Montreal mob capo, Giuseppe (Smiling Joe) Di Maulo, a one-time top Rizzuto crime family power who joined forces with Montagna and Desjardins (Smiling Joe’s brother in-law), is killed outside his home by Rizzuto gunmen.

November 17, 2012 – Montreal mob associate, Mohamed Awad, a top Desjardins associate, is slain.

December 8, 2012 – Rizzuto crime family lieutenant Emilio Cordeleone is killed.

January 22, 2013 – Montreal mob associate Gaetano Gosselin, a Desjardins ally and local builder, is murdered outside his home.

January 31, 2013 – Montreal mobster Vinnie Scuderi, a Desjardins loyalist, is murdered outside his home.

May 8, 2013 – Deported Toronto mob crew boss Juan (Joe Bravo) Fernandez, the Rizzuto crime family’s captain in Ontario, is found dead in Sicily, after being marked for death by Vito Rizzuto himself for staying neutral in the war.

July 8, 2013 – Montreal mob figure and Rizzuto rival, Giuseppe (Ponytail) De Vito, is poisoned to death in his cell in a Quebec prison.

July 12, 2013 – Toronto mob enforcer Sam (The Young Gun) Calautti and his driver Jimmy Tusek, are murdered outside a bachelor party in the Woodbridge neighborhood while a suspect in the slayings of a number of Rizzuto crime family members.

November 10, 2013 – Montreal mobster Moreno (The Turkey) Gallo, a Rizzuto ally-turned-rival is killed in Acapulco on the three-year anniversary of the murder of Uncle Nick Rizzuto inside his estate.

December 18, 2013 – Montreal mob associate Roger Valiquette, closely aligned with Moreno Gallo and Smiling Joe Di Maulo loyalist, is murdered.

April 24, 2014 – Highly-feared Toronto mobster Carmine (The Animal) Verducci is shot dead on the sidewalk outside of his restaurant.

August 1, 2014 – Montreal crime lord Ducarme Joseph, the powerful Haitian street gang leader, is killed.

December 1, 2014 –– Montreal mobster Tony Callocchio is gunned down as he ate lunch at a posh suburban bistro. Callucchio was connected to the Di Maulo brothers and Moreno Gallo.

March 1, 2016 – Montreal mob figure Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano, the acting underboss of the Rizzuto crime family, is shot to death outside his health club.

May 27, 2016 – Montreal mob figure, Rocco (Sauce) Sollecito, the acting boss of the Rizzuto crime family, is shot to death as he sat at a stop sign in his luxury SUV within less than 100 yards from a suburban Montreal police station.

June 2, 2016 — Semi-retired Montreal mobster Angelo D’Onofrio is shot to death while sitting outside a suburban Montreal coffee shop (Café Sinatra) drinking an espresso.

June 30, 2016 – Low-level Montreal mob figures Joe & Vinnie Falduto disappear and are presumed murdered.

October 15, 2016 — Montreal mobster Vince Spagnolo, one of Vito Rizzuto’s most trusted lieutenants, advisors and messengers, is shot to death outside his home.

March 14, 2017 – Mila Barberi, the beautiful 28-year old girlfriend of Toronto mobster Saverio Serrano, is killed sitting in Serrano’s car in an attack Serrano survived.

March 18, 2017 – Montreal mobster Nicola (Big Nicky) Di Marco, a top lieutenant of Ponytail De Vito’s, is killed.

May 2, 2017 — Hamilton, Ontario mobster Angelo (Big Ange) Musitano is shot to death in his driveway bringing the war to Western Ontario.

August 17, 2017 — Montreal mobster Antonio De Blasio, one of Sauce Sollecito’s closest friends, is gunned down outside his son’s football practice.

November 2, 2017 — Montreal mobster Jacques Desjardins, the brother of Raynald Desjardins, disappears and is presumed dead.

February 3, 2018 – Toronto mob figure, Daniel (Dark Danny) Ranieri, the Rizzuto rime family’s Ontario crew boss, is found dead in Mexico, two years after fleeing an indictment out of Canada.

June 28, 2018 — Montreal mob associate Steve (Stevie the Jew) Ovadia is shot to death in the parking lot of a strip mall parking lot.

June 29, 2018 — Toronto mobster Cosimo (Little C) Commisso, the nephew of Ontario mob boss Cosimo (The Quail) Commisso, and his girlfriend, are killed.

September 13, 2018 – Hamilton mob associate Al Ivarone is gunned down outside his residence in the city’s Scenic Woods neighborhood in payback for his connections to those responsible for the Angelo Musitano hit and his involvement in a feud over gambling territory in Niagara Falls.

January 24, 2019 — Montreal mob associate and construction magnate Tony (The Builder) Magi is gunned down on a construction site. The 50-year old Magi did business with the Rizzutos and was suspected of possibly being the setup man in the Ritzy Nick Rizzuto hit. He had averted a number of attempts on his life before finally being felled.

January 30, 2019 — Hamilton mob prince CeCe Luppino is shot to death in his parents driveway. The 43-year old’s dad Rocco is a heavyweight in the Hamilton mafia scene as was his grandfather Giacomo.

February 14, 2019 — Mob connected drug dealer Ray Khano is shot dead on a suburban Montreal street corner. Khano, 43, was linked to Rizzuto crime family leader Compare Frank Arcadi.

March 25. 2019— Montreal mob enforcer Mike Di Battista is shot to death behind the wheel of his car in the Dominican Republic. Di Battista was tied to mafia chief Liborio (Poncho) Cuntrera.

March 29, 2019 — Montreal mob associate Mario Simeone is slain. Simeone was linked to Tony Magi.

May 4, 2019 – Montreal mobster Salvatore Scoppa, a Rizzuto ally turned enemy, is gunned down inside the crowded lobby of a suburban hotel.

August 16, 2019 — Toronto mob figure Paulo Caputo is killed in a hail of bullets in front of his restaurant on Roncesvalles Avenue.

October 21, 2019 – Montreal mobster Andrew Scoppa, a Rizzuto ally turned enemy and Salvatore Scoppa’s brother, is gunned down in a strip mall parking lot in the city’s West End,

November 7, 2019 — Toronto mob enforcer Antonio (Scratchy) Fiorda is killed in a hail of bullets in the parking lot of a shopping mall. He was connected to the Commisso crime family.

March 5, 2020 — Hamilton bookie and real estate agent George Barresi is killed.

July 10, 2020 –– Hamilton mob boss Pasquale (Fat Pat) Musitano is killed in Burlington, Ontario in a parking lot drive-by shooting in broad daylight

This article was originally posted here

“Made Guy ” or “Associate” – Benefits and Deficits

By The Other Guy | September 28, 2020

There has been much written through the years about so-called “made men”, or those mob associates who eventually gain formal induction to the inner sanctum of the Italian underworld. For upwards of one hundred years in this country the organized criminal underworld has looked in awe at these so-called “button guys”, “good fellows” or “made men”, that are the formal rank and file of the Mafia Families throughout the United States. In Italy and Sicily that awe goes back even farther, several hundred years at least.

We have all heard and read about the (formerly) secret process of entering that dark and mysterious world. The recitation in Sicilian of the ancient “Oath of Omertà”, the blood-letting by pin or stiletto blade of the new recruit’s “trigger finger” symbolizing death and the weight of their decision to join the brotherhood. The promise by the new recruit to kill anyone who dares threaten the Family. The fingers cast out by those present to see who will be the “compare” or counsel to the new member, and the big celebration of food and wine afterwards welcoming in the new member to recognize his elevation into what is widely considered to be the “creme de la creme’ of organized crime in the world.

But what is it all really about?… Why all the hoopla?… Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? …What is the honest truth about the life and the positions of made men, apart from the often false narrative that has been put out there for decades by the media and law enforcement, and by Cosa Nostra itself in order to intoxicate and lure legions of young hoodlums who strived to be welcomed into it’s ranks?

The knockaround guys who have been hustling in the streets for years and have dealt with the Mafia directly, as either “associates” of the core organization, or as its victims and in conflict with it, know the value of “belonging.” Without that “button” so to speak, any guy, whether he is a rough and tumble guy or not, falls short and is at a tremendous disadvantage when dealing with, or going up against a “made guy”… It’s just the way it is, and has always been.

The “word” of a made man is better than that of anyone else. Even if he is talking out of his ass or lying through his teeth, and those at the negotiation table know it. Fellow “wise guys” are obligated to accept his word over that of a guy who’s not made. Even if they damn well know that the “unmade” guy is right and being honest, and the “made” guy is wrong and being deceitful. THAT reality is a well known fact of life within “The Life”. 

People (street people and legit people alike) have always heard that once a guy is “made”, that he had is made! That once an “associate” of a Family is among the few that are chosen for induction, or is “proposed” as the saying goes, he’s on his way to mob stardom. That once he is in fact “inducted” and becomes a “button guy” or “wiseguy”, from that point forward he is an untouchable by others in the underworld. He gains a sort of buffer against many of law enforcements efforts to arrest and prosecute him. Because now that he is in a loftier position and further up in the hierarchy it was thought that he now has others who will go to the front and conduct criminal activities on his behalf and kick up large percentages of their profits to him, so he can remain in the shadows, well protected from danger.

In addition to this protection that being made affords him, if in fact he is ever arrested his Mafia Family will provide him with a top lawyer, pay for his defense, do their best to reach the judge or subvert the jury trial, and if at the end of all that he should be convicted and sent away to “college”, that his “blood brothers” will make sure that his wife and children are supported during the duration of his time in prison. They will pay his mortgage, and put food on his table for him. His family might not live the same as they did, or in the style that they were previously accustomed to, but they will survive because the borgata watches out for their own, right?

Another alleged benefit is that because he is now a “made guy”, he is an “equal” to ALL other mafiosi. That he can now give orders to others, and is now in a position that he is no longer subjected to verbal abuse, being cheated, or being pushed around. Let’s face it, He’s now “equal” to everybody else in the borgata right? He is an official mafioso and nobody will fuck with him, either from within the mafia, or from outsiders.

Most guys see a magnificent path to glory when they imagine becoming a mafioso. Wealth, power, beautiful women, secrecy and intrigue, brotherhood and solidarity, loyalty, mansions, fancy automobiles, and control over vast swaths of territory and lucrative rackets. 

Most hoodlums, both young and old alike, believe that although they may have had it rough in the streets early on, and had to scrape by and fight their way up the underworld ladder on their own, and maybe didn’t really “earn” big money beforehand, now that they were “one of the boys” they would be “In Like Flint” as the old saying goes. With their new “status” as a mafia member they will now be “given” or assigned a lucrative racket, or multiple rackets by which they can earn big, big money. They know they’ll have to kick back a hefty percentage, but all in all it’ll be new found money and it will be pouring in like water…and lots of it. They’ll now be on easy street.

And let’s face it, most street guys whether they are made or not, are not born killers. They may have the balls to do what they have to do if push comes to shove, but on their own the majority of them don’t relish the idea of taking a life. In fact many have never even held a gun in their hands, let along shot somebody, and have no stomach for murder. There has always been of course enough guys around to do the “heavy work” required. But they make up the minority, not the majority of any given Family. And THAT is the truth.

So what are the actual benefits of being “made” into a Family? And what are the deficits if any? I thought it would be interesting to examine both sides of the coin.

On the flip side of another mob coin, what are the benefits (if any) to staying a mob “associate” as opposed to pushing for actual induction into the same Family that you may already be affiliated with?  

The Good, The Bad, And the In-Between! … Lets take a good look shall we?


  1. A made guy automatically makes a lot of money once he’s made….. FALSE! Just because a guy might get his button doesn’t mean he automatically will earn money though the borgata. 99.9% of times out of 100% he will not be given shit. No business, No racket, No scheme. A made guy by and large only earns what he himself can produce on his own. If he is a good earner, a sharp guy who can generate income, then he can become wealthy. But if he was a stiff and a brokester before he got his button, he’ll usually stay a brokester. That’s almost guaranteed! 
  2. Once a guy gets “made” he is given a “crew” of hoodlum associates who are assigned to him that he can now earn off of, and have them do his dirty work. They are “with” him and then he can grow that crew as he likes. FALSE! ……Again, when you become a made guy nobody gives you shit, in money or in assets (and associates are considered to be “assets”). If you had guys around you earlier that you hustled with, or ran numbers with, etc., then oftentimes they will choose to formally affiliate with you if you two were close as personal friends, etc. But often times, the guys you bounced around with were already affiliated with other made guys, maybe in other Families, and they maybe don’t wanna affiliate with you even if given the chance. They may like it where they are already…. Even if they are prone to wannabe “with” you, the wiseguy they are currently “with” isn’t gonna let them go. They produce for him, and he’s keeping them in the fold…. So in that case, as a new made guy you gotta now go out and drum up some guys of your own to start a little crew with.
  3.  As a Button-Guy, you’ll get to keep a higher percentage of the racket money you do make, as opposed to staying as an “Associate”…… THE CORRECT ANSWER IS TRUE, AND FALSE ON THIS ONE …This is a tricky question. And it can be an even trickier answer. It all depends upon who the associate is. Who the made guy he was reporting to was (as well as the capo and the Family involved). How smart and savvy the associate is, and how greedy or generous his hierarchy is. It is a multi-faceted answer. If you have a generous boss who isn’t a greedy guy, a boss who may be a very wealthy guy in his own right, the associate may have a loose agreement to give whatever he likes, whenever he likes. And his superior in the mob is satisfied with whatever he gets unless the associate makes a huge score in which case he should do the right thing and bring a nice envelope to his guy. 

    But it can run the gamut. Examples are an associate who is told “before” he is made while he is still only “proposed”, that once he’s a made guy he must kick-in 10%, 25%, 40%, even 50% of everything he earns. And that’s the way it is. A different capo in the same Family may only ask for an occasional envelope from his men. Some only expect money and income off illicit rackets but not a legitimate business that the guys runs himself. Other capos and bosses expect the man to kick-in money from both his rackets and any legitimate businesses he has going (especially if that business gained any benefit from the borgata). Christmas time is generally a time to bring in a solid envelope to your superior as a show of respect. It can range from $500 to $50,000, depending as I said earlier on who the fella bringing the envelope is, his earning power, and the situation at hand. 

    I’ve seen soldiers abused by their capo for nearly every dollar they generate. And although they can “technically” make a complaint to the boss or consigliere, many fear for their life to do so because the capo is a vicious prick who they fear will either set him up and kill them in the future, or in some other way hurt them. Or the capo is so influential within the hierarchy that the man feels he will not come out on top in any conflict, and doesn’t wanna risk the outcome. The capo may start a campaign to badmouth the soldier to try and put him in a bad light and bad standing within the Family. He could even get “shelved” down the road. So it’s a tricky thing. 

    But generally speaking according to proper decorum and the Family rules, a  “made” man should generally kick-in between 10% and 25% of whatever he makes for the week. And that applies only to his illicit racket operations, not any legit business he has. Although many soldiers and even capos will give a taste or kick-up a percentage of all their action, whether legal or illegal, to the hierarchy to stay in good graces and hopefully help them move up the mob ladder in the future (That is the way it was in the old days back in the 1940s and 1950s era).

  4. “Good Fellows” will ALWAYS win at the “sit-down” table…. GENERALLY YES, BUT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS … If the made guy is right he will most likely walk away a winner. Even if his position is shaky he is usually taken at his word, or given the benefit of the doubt. But he also needs to be a good “talker” and know his way around the sit-down table. If its “good fellow” against ‘good fellow’, then it usually irons itself out by proper decorum and the “rules” that have been set in place for decades. Whoever is right will usually take the table, unless one made guy is heads and shoulders above the other guy in talking ability and intelligence, and verbally dissects him. 

    But it also often depends on who is backing them, who their “capo” is. If one made guy is backed by a capo who is generally not well-liked or he’s a half a stiff, it can easily swing to the favor of the other made guy (whether or not he’s right or wrong in the conversation). If one soldier is backed by a well-liked capo, or a powerful capo, then that strength will usually carry the day. So it’s often a matter of who’s the best talker, and who has the most power at that table. Because there are soldiers, and then there are “Soldiers”…. There are capos, and then there are “Capos”. Power counts! Not all made men are created equal (maybe in theory but not in reality).

    For that matter I have seen non-made “associates” who have won many a sit-down because; A) they were great talkers, very savvy and intelligent hoodlums who knew the life and their way around the sit-down table like pro’s. Even though they hadn’t been given their “button”, they were more knowledgeable than the made man they were going up against. In order words they talked circles around the made man. B) You must remember that to be at the sit-down table in the first place they need to be represented by their “made” guy, and at the end of the debate or conversation the “representatives” on either side make the final decision which is binding on both parties. If the “associate” is a well respected and well liked guy, and maybe he’s a big earner for the family, he is often treated with nearly the same courtesy as an actual made man. And the “proper” decision will be forthcoming if he is in the right. 

  5.  TAKING ORDERS – One of the biggest disadvantages to being an inducted guy is that once “made” you must follow ALL orders unfailingly. Without question or hesitation, regardless of whether you personally feel that the decision is right or wrong, smart or stupid, suicidal or a Kamikaze mission ordered. If you are told to go out and kill someone, you must follow orders. You cannot ask why, or what did he do wrong. You cannot try and talk your way out of it (because if you do, you’ll be the next guy up on the hit parade). You just go and get it done. It can sometimes be a heartbreaking assignment…. All mafia members are “soldiers” in that regard and march to murder orders.

    It could be a close associate who you really like. It could be your best friend, or even a blood relative for that matter (rare, but it’s happened). You only pray that if that order comes down, it’s given on a guy you hate anyway or don’t give a fuck about… But that’s usually not the case. Often times the main reason why you are picked for the assignment in the first place is that the future murder victim trusts you, and you are able to get close enough to kill him where others cannot.

    But as an associate, if asked to kill someone or commit another act that goes against your grain, or you choose not to do it for whatever personal reason, there is no recourse against you. Because you have not committed yourself, you have never sworn to commit such acts or to follow ALL orders blindly. An associate can either go along with those plans if he so chooses, or he can just say no. But he CANNOT be ordered around or automatically expected to follow every and any order from his superior. In other words, he has the option. But as a “made man” he has no such option.

  6. ON RECORD – Another disadvantage is that once “made” you are supposed to put everything you do, or are involved in “On Record” with your capo di decina. You are told that this is for your own protection so that if any “beefs” come up between you and another goodfellow or crew, your hierarchy knows about it and can quickly and properly defend you. This is partly true, but in reality, the larger and more important reason is so that your capo and the hierarchy can “clock” your earnings so that they can grab a bigger piece of your racket “pie”. Nowadays with so many guys turning rat at the drop of a hat, the other disadvantage is that by putting everything on record with your superior if he ever gets jammed up legally he now has great inside information about the crimes you’ve committed to use as a bargaining chip with the FBI or other law enforcement agency to help buy his freedom. You can no longer count on the guy above you to automatically be a “stand-up guy”. So whether he’s a boss or not you cannot trust him… Today it is a dog-eat-dog world in gangland more than ever. And you can trust no one!

    As an “associate” of the Family, you can generally contribute to your soldier or capo whatever amount of money you so choose. But it is always appreciated when you put more money into his pocket. The more savvy and better respected associates are usually left to their own devices and allowed to turn in whatever they think is appropriate. This unwritten rule usually holds true unless your man has significantly helped you make that score in some way. If he partnered with you financially, then he is usually a full partner. Likewise, if he was pivotal to you gaining a business or maneuvering into a bookmaking operation, or lent you money to start up a shylock business, he is more than entitled to his fair share, whatever that may be. 

    But if the “associate” found the scheme or business, put up all the money required to start up and finance the operation himself, runs it operationally, and he is basically a one-man show, then he has every right to turn in profits or not as he pleases. This same set of rules will sometimes apply to made men as well, but because they are formal members, they are required to turn in either a previously set monthly amount or a sliding percentage depending on how much money they generate at any given time, on any given score. 

    And because as an associate it’s easier to keep many of your racket operations to yourself, it has the dual effect of essentially providing an added layer of protection from law enforcement because people know less about you and your affairs. You are left on your own more, and in this instance, it helps protect you. 

  7.  ON CALL – One more major requirement, which often can become a royal pain in the ass is the fact that once made, you are always on call. They even tell you that at the table at the time of your “making ceremony”. As they say, Cosa Nostra is a duty, not a pastime. 24-hours each day, 7-days a week, every month of every year, for the rest of your days. Now, this may sound overly dramatic, and it usually is. But there will be times, usually when you’re least available, that you may get the call from your caporegime, or higher. And when that call comes in, you are required to drop whatever it is that you’re doing and hurry to the beck and call of the borgata. For the borgata needs you.

    Now if a soldier has a real good caporegime, and he’s on good terms with him, then those calls will be rare. But if and when that call comes in you’d better move your ass and get to him because it IS your solemn duty to be a good soldier. It is the vow you took, and it is the right thing to do. You ARE a “soldato” of Cosa Nostra after all is said and done. 

    But as an associate, you have no such commitment. Now if you are very close to your superior in the mob (whether its a soldier or capo), and he calls you up in the dead of the night, you may choose to pick up a gun and run out of the house to go help him. He is your buddy, your “compare”, and you wanna be there for him. Hopefully he will be there for you in return should you ever need to make that call. But the big difference is again that you get up and go on your own volition. He cannot order you to do so.

    But the problem arises when you either have an asshole for a caporegime, or a half a scumbag who may not like you for whatever reason, and he wants nothing more than to break your balls and put you through the ringer. He may make you report down to his social club every few days (or every day), or require you to run around for him under the guise of doing important Cosa Nostra business, but in reality, are nothing more than “mob chores” and bullshit meetings that you make no money with at the end of the day and actually take you away from your own potentially lucrative businesses and racket operations because you are too busy attending to his affairs and directives. Another big downside to this is that by running all over New York (or whichever city you come from) for him, you are constantly exposing yourself to more and more law enforcement scrutiny. Little by little you are burning yourself out by being on “front street” with law enforcement so to speak. All the while you may not be making a quarter out of it, or making chump change at best with all these meetings and directives you’re ordered to go on. 

    You may also be potentially exposing yourself to informers and future rats by meeting with people and other mob guys that you personally would never involve yourself with. But because of his orders now find yourself rubbing elbows and interacting with virtual strangers or racket guys that you know little about…. A conspiracy guillotine swinging over your head that could drop at any time. Congratulations, you are now on “Front Street”.

  8. EATING SHIT, FLEXIBILITY AND LACK THEREOF – I have actually seen capos badly embarrass a soldier in front of other soldiers and even associates for that matter (sometimes guys who are not even in the same Family). I have seen capos curse out a guy (which is technically a big no-no), and chase him off the table. Now as a “made man”, you would imagine something like that could never, ever happen. But it has. And it does. 

    As an associate, if your “guy” ever abused you like that you could run for the hills, unless you’re a ballless piece of shit, in which case there is no hope for you wherever you’d go because you’re gonna get treated like the sucker you are, regardless of where you go and who you’re around. 

    Although an associate may be around a particular wiseguy or crew, if he wanted to part company with that guy, that crew, or even move to a completely different Family he can technically do so. Now if he owes money to his guy, a deal will either have to be worked out or he won’t be able to leave. Likewise, if he is in a partnership with a wiseguy then he”ll either lose his end of the business or racket they share, or one of them will be “bought out” by the other. Again this is typically settled through a “table”. 

    But if he runs his own operations and rackets. He started them up of his own accord and they are technically “his” and don’t belong to his capo or that of the family per se, then he is usually free to depart as he wishes. He can re-affiliate with whomever he likes. Especially if he is a solid, top “associate” who is both respected within the underworld community and he’s a standup guy…He goes where he likes. And there are usually a ton of good fellows just dying to grab a good earner and a ballsy guy to add to their crew. Especially nowadays more than ever, because the quality of recruit out there stinks. And the “good kids” are few and far between.

    As a made guy you can certainly put in a formal complaint to your consigliere, who in turn will usually speak with the boss about it. But you always run the risk of your boss siding with your capo, and then refusing to allow you to move to another regime. In that case you are fucked, because from that point forward you’re gonna really be on your capo’s shit list. Your capo is gonna do his very best to fuck you in the ass every chance he gets. Your best hope is that your boss agrees with you that the capo was out of order, and then places you in the regime of another capo that you get along with better… But you are NOT switching Families. That’s for damn sure. Only in very extreme and rare cases has that ever happened. It is a very uncommon occurrence unless you permanently move to another state where there is an active borgata. Then it is not only a common occurrence, but a rule. 

  1. WEALTHY RACKETEERS – The perception for years was that most wiseguys make tons of money. That they have a bevy of legitimate businesses they either own outright or have hidden partnerships in. That made guys run multimillion-dollar rackets that bring in untold wealth annually. Most legitimate people feel that after years in the rackets most of these guys are millionaires many times over, especially the more well-known notorious mafiosi and bosses…. VERY FALSE! ….. In general, most wiseguys and knockaround guys I’ve met (and I’ve met more than my fair share), are not wealthy. In fact, many of them are brokesters or near brokesters regardless of whatever type rackets they had going over the years or how they earned. This is because many don’t earn the type of money you suspect they do to begin with (newspapers and lawmen often grossly inflate the numbers of these alleged racket operations to begin with to sensationalize news headlines), and even when they have made major scores they often blow their money.

    You have to remember that many of these hoodlums are not involved at all with a steady legitimate job or business ownership. They spend all their time in the streets running around with their rackets. So in-between “scores” so to speak there are often dead periods (sometimes lasting months on end or better), where they need to eat but have no revenue coming in. So they use up whatever money they’ve stashed away. 

    Another consideration is that many wiseguys have heavy gambling habits, or love broads, or both. Many also love to nightclub and spend money every day like its water. Cadillacs, diamonds and jewelry, fancy custom-tailored clothes, eating out at the finest restaurants nightly, excursions to Europe, Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean, etc, etc. Many “keep” a “comare” or two on the side, in addition to running their own household with their wife and kids….the end result is that the money just goes!

    Unless they ran a solid and successful bookmaking business or a steady shylock business that generated enough money weekly to comfortably support their lifestyle, they had to go out and hustle even more. If there were gaps in their earning power; a streak of bad luck with the gambling business, or shylock loans that went “bad”, or they didn’t have enough money out there working for them on the street, then we’re back to them using up their bankroll again.

    The more well-rounded mafiosi who “diversified” their investments with both “legit” businesses and street rackets as well, generally did better than guys who had “all their eggs in one basket” as the old saying goes. But this was only possible if the ‘made man” involved had earned enough money through his lifetime to be able to invest in those things in the first place….many did not.

Side note: Remember that the Frank Costello’s and Carlo Gambino’s of the mob world are few and far between. 

I think its important to say that in my opinion to have accepted membership to a Family in the last 20-30 years was not a Godsend, but was more often than not a curse. During the late 1930s-1980s era a “button” provided many more benefits than deficits. But nowadays with the higher level of education and changing demographics of the Italian people, the “americanization” of its ethnicity, law enforcements sophisticated technology, the draconian Rico laws and tightening of other penal laws on the books, and a general breakdown in the code of Omertà and the brotherhoods rules, in the last three or four decades the tide has turned against formal membership.

It has also turned against the healthy survival of Cosa Nostra in general. So subsequently to currently go knee-deep into a Family has become almost a death kneel. It seems to me that staying on the perimeter of a Family, so long as you are “a well thought of” associate as the phrase goes, offers more advantages. You can dip your feet in the water (or not) as you see fit. You govern your own future instead of another guy telling you what to do, and when to do it. You control more of your own monies and earning power. And you turn in only that percentage of money that you so choose, instead of your superior instructing you on what you have to give him, and how much of your own money he’ll allow you to keep for yourself.

Considering that the current organization generally does not help you in any way, shape, or form. Does not pay for your defense attorney in case you are arrested. Generally speaking does not provide money and support to your blood family (wife and kids) should you be jailed. Demands money out of your pockets for doing little (essentially its become nothing more than a glorified pyramid shakedown scheme with “window dressing”). Doesn’t put you into any rackets or even into a solid position so that you can help yourself. And that in todays underworld most rackets that were once the major revenue producers for the mafiosi are all either legal or decriminalized, what’s the point? 

Those points I make, in addition to the fact that nowadays some guy you only “half know” or a near complete stranger is assigned to you as your new “capo” and can now order you around the way he sees fit, seems a like a lop-sided agreement to me. If you also take a look at the large percentage of made guys and upper-tier hierarchy members who have “flipped” to become government informers in recent decades you start to wonder if you can even trust this guy you’re taking orders from…And that answer is no! Because there is a great chance that if and when arrested for his own crimes, your “boss” will become a rat and testify against you in an attempt to escape his own penalties from the law.

Side Note: Considering that as a made man you are required to put everything you do “on record” with your capo, you constantly have a Guillotine blade hanging over your head. He typically knows every little detail about your rackets and activities which he can provide to the FBI against you… You are now in a potential “death trap”.

The previous big money rackets are not even available on the streets anymore to make big bucks as they were years ago. Unless you wanna risk selling narcotics in which case you risk a “life in prison” sentence, or at least 10-20 years in the jug.

And for what? Especially when you put this into proper context against all the legitimate opportunities that Italians (and other ethnicities for that matter) have open to themselves today to make big, big money in various businesses and industries. Evan as an independent racket guy and schemer you have more opportunities. Your hands are not tied with all the various rules and regulations they want you to follow when you become a made guy. 

I have personally gotten to know many old-timers intimately. Both through members of my family, and our various friends and foes alike that were deeply enmeshed in “The Life”, and I gotta tell you that most of them were not wealthy fellas. A few ended up as millionaires. One or two of them became multimillionaires. But most ended up only moderately financially successful. Probably no more than if they had chosen to get a good job, or to have run their own little private business through the years. And there were plenty of others who ended up on the balls of their asses. Why you ask?

For all the reasons I enumerated above. As well as another very important fact that is often overlooked when having such discussions. Prison! … When a fella goes away, especially when he’s gone away several times in his life for extended periods of time like a Yo-Yo (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, or longer), his access to money and the previous opportunities open to him when he is finally paroled just evaporate. 

Most goodfellows I knew, and even the more solid knock-around “associates” who were knee-deep in the life ended up doing significant time behind bars. I’m talking double digits here, and most of them served several jail terms during their careers in the mob. Also remember that regardless of how lofty a perch they may have once sat on in the underworld, the vast majority of them ended up either broke or just getting by financially. They certainly didn’t accumulate the extensive wealth that people generally imagine them to have. 

You gotta remember that while a guy is in prison he still has to support his family, so his bankroll becomes vastly depleted (and thats taking for granted that he even had a big bankroll saved up to begin with). After years in “stir’, many of his old connections are no longer around, or they are in jail themselves. Old associates also move away, die, retire, or also lose their “hooks” and any connections they once had. Often they are no longer in a position to even help themselves, let alone a friend even if they wanted to.

Often other mob guys and factions (made guys) will move into power, thereby maybe sidelining him in order to elevate and help out personal friends of their own. In the mob there is a tremendous amount of factionalism and jealousy. Not everybody likes everybody. In fact most made guys are jealous of one another, and look to covet other made guys assets and associates, rackets, Etc. There are a hundred reasons or more why he may now find himself behind the eight ball. But after serving many years in stir that is usually where he finds himself.

As the old Billy Holiday song lyrics go, “God bless the child that has his own”, because nobody is giving the next guy shit! Wealthy mafiosi will typically stay as wealthy mafiosi, and brokesters will usually stay as brokesters.

Now that we have intricately dissected most of the differences between made guys and associates and I’ve given you this food for thought, the reader can decide for himself which is the better of the two positions. 

Side Note: One last thing to consider. Another important takeaway has been the actual so-called induction ceremony process that so many mob associates have strived to achieve during their underworld careers. Some informants report having gone through the traditional elaborate fire and blood ceremony that we hear about. Some (not all) also report about a festive dinner and drinks that was given in their honor where they were introduced to the other made men in their Family. 

But other informants report no such process. No fire and bloodletting, and no elaborate dinner party in their honor. These former mafia members report only being sat down and told that they were now official members, and then were told some basic rules to follow by the boss. The Bonanno Family was alleged to be one such Family who operated this way. The DeCavalcante’s were a second Family who also inducted members in this fashion. It must have been somewhat of a letdown for the new inductee to have waited all those years to get “made”, only to have such an anti-climatic no-frills induction for his big day. 

Until the next time… “The Other Guy”

This article was originally posted “here

Giacomo (Jack) Scarpulla

By The Other Guy | September 26, 2020

Giacomo Scarpulla
Giacomo Scarpulla

Giacomo (Jack) Scarpulla- aka “Giacomino” “Michele Giacomo Scarpulla” (TN) – was an original Palermo based mafioso born in 1899. He had a son Angelo born in 1916 who later also became a member under his father’s sponsorship.

Scarpulla home at 77 Winter Street
Scarpulla home at 77 Winter Street

After arriving to America from Sicily he settled in the Bronx, where he and his son would reside and operate their legitimate businesses and rackets from all their lives.

Jack was married to Frank Scalise’s wife’s sister Rose. Scarpulla’s sister Grace married soldier Giosue Meli, who’s two sons Angelo and Philip also later became soldiers in this borgata. They were a well-connected blood family.

The Scarpulla family was among a larger interlocking series of important mafia families that included the Gambino, Castellano, Masotto, and Guglielmini’s.

These surnames have become synonymous with “men of honor” stretching from Palermo, Sicily to Pelham Bay in the Bronx.

Appropriate adjectives used to describe the mentality of the men sporting these surnames would be quiet, careful, reserved, low key, shadowy, and powerful.

Many of these mafiosi would come to control pivotal segments of the underworld and upper-world economy in New York City’s metropolitan area. And with the exception of Carlo Gambino and Paul Castellano, most would remain in the shadows their entire lives.

FBI # 983998

Scarpulla and his son operated the New Prosperity Meat Market in the Bronx for years. They also operated several other meat and butcher shops in Brooklyn where they partnered with the Castellano’s and Guglielmini’s among other members of their borgata.

There is also speculation that at one point in time Scarpulla may have been elevated to serve as the capo over a Bronx based decina after the murder of his brother-in-law Guiseppe (Joe) Scalici in 1957.

Scarpulla on 1963 government chart
Scarpulla on 1963 government chart

I have not seen hard evidence of that, but he was certainly a well placed “soldato” and respected member of the borgata, who had the ear of the top hierarchy nonetheless.

Although he had several arrests dating to at least 1933 for grand larceny, and bootlegging in 1939 after police discovered he was operating an alcohol still in Upstate New York, and once again in 1943 for OPA violations during WWII for dealing in contraband, and counterfeit meat ration stamps, he maintained a very low profile and was not widely known to the public as a major racketeer.

It was not until 1963 that Scarpulla’s name first came to prominence when he was named by informer Joe Valachi as an inducted member of the Anastasia/Gambino Family.

Scarpulla was then listed on the charts made famous during the U.S. Senate Hearings open to the public on narcotics traffic and organized crime in this country. He was listed as being active in extortion, strong-arm work and murder, alcohol bootlegging, and as a suspected narcotics trafficker.

He was a very well placed mafioso. He numbered among his closest associates some of the biggest names in the Mafia of that era

Capo Paolo Gambino
Capo Paolo Gambino
  • Salvatore D’Aquilla
  • Vincent and Philip Mangano
  • Frank Scalise and his four brothers
  • Carlo and Paolo Gambino
  • Frank Castellano and his son Paul
  • Salvatore and son Gaetano Masotto
  • Benedetto (Benny) Macri
  • Pasquale (Patsy) Matranga
  • Alfonso Attardi
  • Antonino (Nino) Conte
  • Giuseppe (The Peasant) Traina
  • Diego (Papa Dave) Amodeo
  • Frank (Butch) and Sal Guglielmini
  • Giuseppe (Joe) LoPiccolo

Many of the aforementioned names were related to Scarpulla by blood or marriage. And although he knew many other mafia contemporaries, it was this Palermo based immigrant faction in his borgata that Scarpulla drew his base strength and influence from.

It was thought that he was allied with the Scalise brothers in operating illicit-alcohol stills that operated even after the repeal of Prohibition, doing a tidy business in tax-evaded liquor.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s the Scarpulla’s figured into several semi-related bankruptcy fraud cases by the FBI that investigated a series of suspicious business collapses of both wholesale distributors and retail meat stores in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

L-R: Paul Castellano, Patsy Conte, Joe Scalise, Joe Biondo
L-R: Paul Castellano, Patsy Conte, Joe Scalise, Joe Biondo

These probes later lead to a series of interlocking indictments for defrauding creditors of several million-dollars collectively.

The largest and most publicized of these being the $1.2-million “bust out” of the Murray Packing Company in the Bronx. Murray was a large wholesale cutting house and distributor of meats and poultry throughout the New York City metro area.

A young Genovese soldier named Joseph (Little Joey) Pagano infiltrated this company by lending a $10,000 shylock loan he provided to one of the owners. As a precursor to getting the loan, it was insisted and agreed upon that company executives would install Pagano as the company’s president in order to protect the mob’s money. Pagano also had access and control of the company’s checkbook.

Incorporating a series of fraudulent purchases, sales, and suspicious meat transfers between mobbed-up meat companies, over the next four to six weeks Pagano drained Murray Packing of over $1,000,000 in cold cash and product.

Jack Scarpulla in his prime
Jack Scarpulla in his prime

After a lengthy investigation, the FBI charged Pagano, Gambino soldiers Peter Castellana and Frank (Butchie) Guglielmini, Pete’s cousin Capo (Big Paulie) Castellano, and several Jewish associates as defendants.

In related indictments, Scarpulla was among those also named in the fraud, grand larceny and conspiracy as well. Although not brought to trial or subsequently jailed, Scarpulla was named as a principal of several companies that had pulled this series of frauds and bankruptcies.

The resulting Murray Packing trial became almost a model case study of the Mafia in action. The public got to witness how the mob infiltrates and then bankrupts legitimate businesses. For that time and era it became the most significant case of its type.

The defendants were all convicted. The lead target Joey Pagano received 5 years for bankruptcy fraud. Pete Castellana and the others received shorter sentences of a few years or less.

As he aged, Jack Scarpulla maintained the lowest of profiles as was always his style to begin with. It was reported that Michele Giacomo Scarpulla died quietly at the age of 72, in the year 1971.

His son Angelo would continue as a low keyed “Man of Honor” in the tradition his father and uncles had taught him for some years to come.

This article was originally posted “here

Looking For Justice In The Big Easy: Charges Filed In New Orleans’ C-Boogie McCann Murder

September 26, 2020 – Justice for C-Boogie may be coming soon.

Jermal Williams was indicted this week in state court out of New Orleans for second-degree murder in the New Year’s Day slaying of 3NG Gang lieutenant Chris (C-Boogie) McCann. The homicide occurred during a car chase that ended on South Claiborne with a bullet-ridden McCann slamming his red-colored Chevy Avalanche into a utility pole. The 45-year old C-Boogie was declared dead on the scene.

Williams, 27, was arrested in May. Police found the murder weapon in his apartment. He’s being held on a $500,000 bond.

McCann had been out of prison for less than a year when he was gunned down in January. He served state time for manslaughter and a 2013 drug and racketeering bust he took alongside 3NG boss Kentrell (Slick Black) Hickerson.

The 3NG Gang is one of the most powerful street gangs in the Big Easy. McCann was released in July 2019.

This article was originally posted here

Power Struggle In Kansas City Mafia Could Have Resulted In Doc Dearborn Hit

September 25, 2020 – The 1985 murder of Kansas City’s Black mob boss James (Doc) Dearborn may have been tied to instability in the Italian mafia in the wake of the city’s longtime Godfather’s death, sources say. Comedian Chris Rock plays a character loosely based on Dearborn in the new season of the FX television show Fargo.

Doc Dearborn was slain on January 14, 1985 in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn near the Kansas City Airport he operated a narcotics-ring out of. The case has never been solved. Some claim it was a drug rip off. At least one person alleged to have been involved in the Dearborn hit had a family connection to the Italian mob, per sources. Dearborn’s “Purple Capsule Gang” (PCG) worked closely with the Kansas City mafia, known locally as the Civella crime family.

Mob don Nick Civella died of lung cancer in the spring of 1983 after leading the city’s mafia group since the early 1950s. Dearborn might have gotten caught in the ensuing stickiness that went on to mark the transition of power in the Civella organization from the dying Godfather to dangerous street boss Willie (The Rat) Cammisano , according to sources.

Willie the Rat was a suspect in dozens of gangland hits and had his detractors.

One source says Dearborn met with mafia capos Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella and Felix (Little Phil) Ferina in early 1984 to discuss the famous mob tandem’s desire to remove Cammisano as Civella’s successor. Cammisano had both Cardarell and Ferina killed, per FBI records. Tiger Cardarella was found hogtied in the trunk of his Cadillac on February 27, 1984. Little Phil Ferina was gunned down in front of his house on September 19, 1984.

Dearborn and Cammisano worked together in the 1970s in a series of joint rackets in the African-American section of Kansas City, according to KCPD files. Cammisano ruled unfettered until he died of natural causes in January 1995.

The new season of Fargo takes place in the 1950s amidst a gangland war in Kansas City pitting Chris Rock’s Black crime lord Loy Cannon against the fictional Fadda Italian crime family. Cannon’s top advisor is a character named “Doctor Senator,” and played by Glynn Turman and a nod to Dearborn’s role in the K.C. underworld mythology.

This article was originally posted here

Chicago Law & Order: “Bro Man” Argues Double Jeopardy In Trying To Get Famous Gangland Hit Tossed

September 24, 2020 –  Attorneys for Chicago street gang boss LaBar (Bro Man) Spann are asking U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin to throw out one of six pending first-degree homicide counts against him in his upcoming federal drug and murder trial because a jury already found him not guilty of the crime. The 42-year old Spann, the reputed boss of the Four Corner Hustlers, was acquitted of the 2003 slaying of Windy City Latin Kings boss Rudy (King Kato) Rangel in state court 15 years ago.

The Rangel assassination was included in the 2017 case filed against Spann. He’s pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to face trial next year.

King Kato, 30, ran the Chicago Latin Kings and hobnobbed with best-selling rappers like Fat Joe and DMX on the club scene and did business with El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel in the drug game. At the time of his death, Rangel was one of the most powerful gangland figures in Chicago.

The feds claim the wheelchair-bound Spann ordered Rangel’s murder because Rangel had stolen $150,000 worth of cocaine from Spann’s Four Corner Hustlers gang. King Kato was gunned down as he got his hair cut inside a Westside Chicago barber shop on the evening of June 4, 2003. DMX’s song “A Yo Kato” was penned in his honor.

This article was originally posted here

Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro

By The Other Guy | September 23, 2020

Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro
Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro

Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro was born as Vincenzo Francesco Angelo Mauro (TN) in Manhattan on February 26, 1916. He later lived up in the Bronx at 3824 Bronx Boulevard along with his common-law wife. He also kept an apartment at 22 King Street in Manhattan.

He stood 5-foot 11-inches tall and weighed 200 pounds with dark brown hair and eyes, and bushy eyebrows. His eyes were deep set with dark circles around them. 

A vicious and feared hoodlum and merciless killer. Mauro had the well-earned reputation as one of the Genovese Family’s most dangerous men in the 1950s-1960s era, serving in the regime of capo Antonio (Tony Bender) Strollo.

In fact, it was said that Mauro, along with Innocenzio (Johnny the Bug) Stopelli were Strollo’s two “go to” men regarding any strong-arm work needed to be performed for himself or Vito Genovese directly. 

“Vinny Bruno” as he was most commonly known on the gritty streets of New York, was the acknowledged right-hand man to Tony Bender and the young fella that did most of the dirty work. As Bender rose to become underboss, Mauro was said to have became that much more influential on the streets.

He was active in the operation of illegal after-hours nightclubs, gay bars and “fag joints” as they were known, lesbian dens, and other sordid nether world locations throughout the Big Apple. Whether it was actually investing the mobs money into these type of establishments, or just extorting and shaking down the operators of these bars and clubs for a weekly envelope. 

Underboss – Antonio Strollo

Another racket that Mauro was known to engage in were various types of prostitution activities.

It was well documented by federal agents who tracked him that he would actually introduce and hand off sexily dressed women in various nightclubs Mauro hung around to men he knew, or patrons he became friendly with in these establishments that sort out that kind of thing.

Dave’s Blue Room in Manhattan was said to have been one such establishment. Another location was allegedly The Band Box, also in Manhattan, in partnership with Vito Genovese himself.

He was suspected of also overseeing several houses of prostitution either controlled or extorted by the mob in Manhattan.

Vinny Bruno was also in charge of conducting the shakedowns of homosexual bars, illegal unlicensed after-hours clubs and underground Manhattan sex clubs that catered to a gay and lesbian clientele.

These type of sex-related rackets were mostly dominated by the Genovese Family in general, and the Strollo mob more specifically. And Mauro was among several key Strollo soldiers who oversaw these rackets for their borgata. 

In the late 1950s, it was reported through informants that in fact, Vinny Bruno was partners behind the scenes with Lucchese capo Paul (Paulie Ham) Correale in the ownership of another watering hole called The Golden Door Nightclub inside the Barkley Hotel at 49th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. 

FBI # 760950, NYCPD # B-115392

Mauro’s arrest record started in 1933 and included such charges as:

  • 1933 – possession of burglar tools (suspended sentence)
Tony Bender and Frankie the Bug
Tony Bender and Frankie the Bug
  • 1934 – robbery (5 to 10 years at Sing Sing)
  • 1940 – parole violation
  • 1942 – selling narcotics
  • 1945 – homicide by gunshot
  • 1948 – narcotics investigation in Baltimore, MD
  • 1955 – income tax evasion (4 months)
  • 1961 – Federal narcotics conspiracy
  • 1962 – jumping a federal bond 
  • 1962 – fugitive warrant / later arrested by Interpol in Barcelona, Spain

He was known to be very active in the loan-shark racket, and the subsequent strong-arm methods that went along with it to extract the monies and vigorish that accumulated.

Mauro was also active in various gambling businesses (policy numbers) over the years, but his real “baby” and most lucrative racket was narcotics. Not just any drugs but heroin, and lots of it.

In fact, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBN) reported that Mauro had been on their watch list since the early 1940s. He was tracked and recorded meeting with many of the largest international heroin smugglers and wholesale distributors know to exist.

He dealt on a regular basis with top mafiosi and Corsican racketeers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Vito Genovese
Vito Genovese

His underworld friendships and connections ran to the very summit of the Mafia, to Lucky Luciano and Vito Genovese themselves. In fact, when he was finally indicted for narcotics, it was in several interrelated cases along with such iconic drug merchants as Genovese, Joseph (Joe Beck) Di Palermo, Carmine (Lilo) Galante and Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola. 

On a local distribution level, Mauro was said to use several close trusted associates to disperse wholesale amounts of heroin to various other hoodlums and dealers throughout the five boros.

Chief among these was a notorious, Brooklyn based drug peddler named Giacinto (Archie) Mannarino. Born 1912 in Calabria, Italy, Mannarino was well known to deal in amounts ranging from an ounce to a kilo of “junk.”

From a social club along Myrtle Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, Archie would negotiate his drug transactions. Described by federal drug agents as a protege of Mauro and Strollo, he was considered one of several key distributors Mauro used as outlets for his junk loads.

In 1955, the walls closed in on Mannarino. He was convicted in federal court and sent away for 5 years on a narcotics charge. 

Vinny Mauro ended up jumping a $110,000 bail package on this case along with fellow soldiers and Strollo regime member’s Ottilio (Frankie the Bug) Caruso and Salvatore (Sal) Maneri. An international warrant for their arrests was immediately issued.

They were eventually captured by Interpol in Majorca, Spain, and extradited back to the States to face the music. But it was all part of a master plan by the Cosa Nostra hierarchy to disrupt as best they could the U.S. government’s plans to bring the mafia to justice.

Underworld legend has it that Mauro was one of several hoods including future Family boss Vincent (The Chin) Gigante who were involved in the botched “hit” on Family boss Frank Costello in the vestibule of his residence at 115 Central Park West in 1957. 

Innocenzio (Johnny the Bug) Stopelli
Innocenzio (Johnny the Bug) Stopelli

Besides Genovese, Strollo and Stopelli, he most often associated with fellow soldiers Pasquale (Paddy Mush) Moccio, Alfred (Butch) Faicco, Joseph (Joe Cago) Valachi, brothers Joseph and Pasquale Pagano, the Bonanno’s Anthony (Tony) Mirra, and the Lucchese mobs John (Big John) Ormento, and Salvatore (Tom Mix) Santora. 

After he release from prison, coupled with the subsequent deaths of Strollo in 1962, and Genovese in 1969, Vinny Bruno mostly kept a lower keyed profile. His salad days in the mob long over, Mauro trudged along as any self-respecting mafioso would do and still showed his face around occasionally, doing his best to maintain his mob persona.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, Vinny Bruno could still be seen weekly at a ringside table in some of the more popular show spots and nightclubs in Midtown Manhattan such as The Drake Hotel off Park Avenue, and the famed Frankie and Johnnies Steak House off Broadway in the Theatre district. 

But his time in the mafia sun had passed. Most of his contemporaries were either dead, in jail, or long retired in South Florida. He was still respected because of that “button” he earned decades ago, but it was a new up and coming generation of hoodlums, and their was little room at the table for the likes of Vinny Bruno.

Vincent (Vinny Bruno) Mauro died in 1994 at the age of 78.

Despite their chosen “professions”, some mafiosi are well-liked and respected, not only be their mob brethren but also by regular folk who have gotten to know them over the years. In other words, many have good qualities and are decent folk despite how they make their living. But by all accounts, Vinny Bruno held no such favor and garnered no such respect from anyone on either side of the street so to speak.

Did he have allies in the mob? I’m sure he had a few. Even the most hated individual is liked by somebody, somewhere. But by and large he was a heartless and cruel man, who had not a shred of warmth or compassion for anybody….and as far as can be ascertained, no one mourned his death or shed a tear in his memory…

This is just one more mob story of the New York underworld.

Until next time “The Other Guy”

This article was originally posted “here