Sunday, May 22, 2016

September issue of Informer

The next issue of Informer: The History of American Crime and Law Enforcement is tentatively scheduled for September 23, 2016. 

PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 23

Editorial material - Articles, letters, reviews, columns, announcements, etc. can be submitted to informerjournal@gmail.com through July 22, 2016. (Earlier is better.)

ARTICLES DEADLINE: JULY 22

Advertising material - The advertising deadline for that issue is August 26, 2016. Communication relating to advertising also should be sent through informerjournal@gmail.com. General ad rates remain $100 for a full page, $64 for a half page and $40 for a quarter page. Informer continues to offer a half-price discount for authors of true crime books and publishers of true crime websites. See: "Half-price ads" for details.

AD DEADLINE: AUGUST 26

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 2015 Issue of Informer

October 2015 Issue Contents
Editorial


Smothered by law enforcement surveillance and infiltration in their home territory and wary of reprisals by deposed boss Stefano Magaddino, a rebel group of Buffalo, New York, Mafiosi in 1969 explored racket opportunities in what they thought were greener pastures in Florida. 
The move quickly caught the attention of the FBI. Rather than provide security for the breakaway organized crime faction, the lost time and resources in Florida led to the collapse of the Pieri-DiCarlo regime in the Buffalo underworld. In this issue, Thomas Hunt and Michael A. Tona tell the story of Buffalo’s attempts to establish a rackets colony in Florida (Preview).

Plenty has been written over the years about Lucky Luciano. Some accounts have been factual, some fictional, at least one fictional pretending to be factual. In C. Joseph Greaves’ latest novel, we find a fictional account built on a foundation of historical research. Greaves tells readers about his book, his approach and the cache of previously overlooked documents that provided him a fresh window into the subject (Preview).

What is the oldest U.S. federal law enforcement agency? The little known postal inspection service, formed under Benjamin Franklin in the Colonial Era, has a claim to that designation. Author and retired postal inspector H.K. Petschel provides a brief history of “the Silent Service” (Preview).

Also in this issue:
  • The U.S. Postal Service delivery of the Hope Diamond.
  • Patrick Downey runs through the underworld’s greatest “hits” of the month of October (Preview).
  • Richard N. Warner reviews two recently released books, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and The Two Mafias (Preview).

Fifty-four pages, including covers and eight pages of advertisements.

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Buffalo mob moves into Florida

October 2015 issue contents
Feature article 

Following the disintegration of the Magaddino Crime Family, 
Western New York’s Pieri-DiCarlo faction needed cash 

Rebel Buffalo mobsters eyed 
rackets colony in Florida 

By Thomas Hunt and Michael A. Tona 

"After breaking away from the Magaddino Crime Family in 1969, mobsters from Buffalo, New York, explored racketeering options in Volusia County, Florida, and entered into negotiations with the Tampa-based Santo Trafficante organization and other Mafia groups before law enforcement pressure triggered their retreat. The failed effort to establish an organized crime colony in Florida left the once powerful Buffalo Mafia struggling for revenue and relevance in the post-Valachi Era. A decade and a half of decline followed. By 1984, the organization effectively ceased to exist..."

Twelve pages with twenty-two photographs and one map.

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Fresh look at Luciano vice trial

October 2015 issue contents
Feature article

A glimpse behind the curtain
of ‘People v. Luciano’ 

By C. Joseph Greaves 

"Talk about an offer I couldn't refuse. The year was 1999, and the setting was a sun-drenched patio in Southern California. Elise 'CeCe' Levy, the daughter of a prominent New York criminal defense attorney named George Morton Levy, casually mentioned that, following her father’s death in 1977, all of his office files had been moved into storage in upstate New York. Knowing as I did that CeCe’s father had defended Charles 'Lucky' Luciano in the colorful and controversial vice trial that had effectively ended Lucky’s criminal reign and catapulted special prosecutor Thomas Dewey into the New York governor’s mansion, I asked if I might have a peek at those files..."

Sixteen pages with fourteen photographs.

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'Silent Service' law enforcement agency

October 2015 issue contents
Feature article

Little-known enforcement agency
works within the Postal Service

By H. K. Petschel 

"Since the earliest days of the American republic, the argument has raged over whether the Postal Inspection Service or the United States Marshals Service deserves to be regarded as the oldest federal law enforcement agency. (The U.S. Customs Service, securing borders and enforcing import duties beginning in July 1789, also has a claim to this designation. In March 2003, that service was merged into U.S. Customs and Border Protection.)..."

Five pages with seven photographs.

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Warner: Reviews of "Bugsy Siegel,' 'Two Mafias'

October 2015 Issue Contents
Columns

The Warner Files
New books: ‘Bugsy Siegel’ and ‘The Two Mafias’
By Richard N. Warner 

 "...Gragg starts out by dismantling the Hollywoodization of Siegel through movies such as the 1991 film Bugsy, starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. (Bening, Beatty’s soon-to-be real-life wife, played Siegel’s volatile paramour, Virginia Hill.) While most viewers found the film entertaining, organized crime buffs, historians and researchers found it frustrating and vexing with its erroneous depictions of Siegel as a 'kill-crazy' psychopath and the founder of the Las Vegas casino industry, among many other historical falsifications..."

Seven pages.

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Downey: October's Greatest 'Hits'

October 2015 Issue Contents
Columns

Dead Guys in Suits:
October’s biggest ‘hits’
By Patrick Downey

"October is my favorite month for many reasons. The weather is generally very comfortable, the autumn colors are a feast for the eyes, there’s cider and donuts and my favorite holiday, Halloween. October also happens to be a very interesting month in terms of 'Dead Guys in Suits.' A number of big gangland hits took place in the tenth month of our calendar..."

Two pages.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Ad: Stamp Counterfeiting book by Petschel


Stamp Counterfeiting
New from H.K. Petschel
True crime stories covering the period from 1894 to 1940. Stamp Counterfeiting appeals to any philatelist who shares the author's obsession with these 'fascinating little bits of paper.' Author H.K. Petschel researched newspaper archives, police records and the National Archives to uncover the progression of this unrecognized crime.

Ad: Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo


Tom & Lucky and George & Cokey Flo
(a novel)
by C. Joseph Greaves
Charles 'Lucky' Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America, Mob overlord and bootlegger millionaire. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor determined to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown – grifter, heroin addict and sometime prostitute – is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, and between Dewey and the New York Governor's mansion.

Friday, September 11, 2015

October 2015 issue preview

Here's a look at the cover of the next issue of Informer (release date is Oct. 23).



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 2015 Issue of Informer

June 2015 Issue Contents
Editorial

Often neglected in discussions of United States Mafia history, Calabrian-American organized criminals take center stage in this issue of Informer. Our feature article is a biography of Albert Anastasia, researched and written by Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley and Steve Turner. The bloody early years of Calabria-born Anastasia’s underworld career and his supervision of the activities of the Murder Incorporated enforcement arm are the focuses of the piece. (Preview)

In a much lengthier-than-usual column at the back of the issue, Thomas Hunt considers the possibility that the Calabresi themselves formed an extensive criminal network in the U.S. and Canada before they were absorbed into the American Mafia’s Sicilian dominated crime families in the early years of the Prohibition Era. (Preview)

Also in this issue:
  • Edmond Valin clears up the questions of how, when and why the American Mafia became known as “La Cosa Nostra,” and he shows that Mafiosi themselves were strongly influenced by the official nomenclature of J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Preview)
  • Richard N. Warner examines the ironic role played by America’s white racism (and Hoover’s FBI) in the founding and growth of African American street gangs. (Preview)
  • Warner also reviews Gary Krist’s most recent work, Empire of Sin. (Preview)

We expect that our regular readers already have noticed our change in format — a return to the full magazine size we formerly used from September 2008 through June 2012. While there were benefits to the more compact “digest” size we used from October 2012 through November 2014, the move back to a full magazine format was made due to the same irresistible force that lies behind all changes in the publishing world: the publisher likes it better.
Seventy-six pages, including covers and six pages of advertisements.

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Anastasia - 'Lord High Executioner'

June 2015 Issue Contents
Feature article

The bloody underworld career of Albert Anastasia

‘Lord High Executioner’ 
of the American Mafia
by Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley and Steve Turner

"Albert Anastasia must be counted among the most violent and ruthless American Mafia bosses. As director of a Brooklyn band of gunmen known popularly as 'Murder Incorporated,' Anastasia was implicated in a staggering number of 1930s-era homicides. His activities earned him the news media nicknames 'Lord High Executioner' and 'Mad Hatter'..."

Thirty-six and a half pages, including five and a half pages of endnotes and thirty-three images.

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How 'Mafia' became 'La Cosa Nostra'

June 2015 Issue Contents
Feature article

How ‘Mafia’ became ‘La Cosa Nostra’
by Edmond Valin

"In the early 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) developed information that indicated the criminal organization commonly known as the Mafia was in fact called La Cosa Nostra by its members. Mafia turncoat Joseph Valachi would go on to make La Cosa Nostra (LCN) a household name through testimony at the McClellan Hearings in 1963. Some critics at the time said the new term was 'fabricated,' since no one else in law enforcement had ever heard of it. Now, declassified FBI documents can show how this obscure Italian phrase entered the lexicon of American crime..."

Thirteen and a half pages, including six and a half pages of endnotes, an appendix and a sidebar article.

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Books

June 2015 Issue Contents
Books

Krist explores Louisiana’s ‘Empire of Sin’

Richard N. Warner reviews Gary Krist's latest nonfiction work, Empire of Sin, set in early 20th Century New Orleans.

Book announcement: Kill-Crazy Gang by Jeffery King is now available as e-book.

One page.

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The Warner Files: Racism and Organized Crime

June 2015 Issue Contents
Column

The Warner Files:

Racism’s connection to organized crime
by Richard N. Warner

"With fresh allegations of police racism surfacing in cities around the United States over the past year, it’s worth asking if racism has had a
ny connection to the creation or development of organized criminal groups in American history. The answer would be in the affirmative..."

Two pages.

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Just One More Thing: Calabrian Organization

June 2015 Issue Contents
Column

Just One More Thing:

Just how ‘organized’ was 
Calabrian organized crime?
by Thomas Hunt

"There are a number of unanswered questions related to the American Mafia's incorporation of Calabrian gangsters - those who trace their origins to the southernmost portion of the Italian mainland. We may ask: How did this combination occur? Precisely when did it occur? Was it the result of a decision of the American Mafia as a whole or did it result from decisions of individual crime families? Were Calabrian gangsters welcomed on an individual basis or was a Calabrian crime network consumed by the Mafia en masse? This last question touches on a subject that I have found particularly interesting: Was there a distinct, organized Calabrian criminal network in the United States and Canada before Calabrian gangsters were absorbed into the known Sicilian-based Mafia crime families?"

Fifteen pages, including eight images.

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