Monday, August 11, 2008

The Mob's Worst Year: 1957

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
Feature article
Part 1 of 2

Fifty years ago, lawmakers, enforcement officials
and the American public finally became aware
of the depth and breadth of the Mafia underworld.

The Mob's Worst Year


by Thomas Hunt

Introduction:
"A single year changed everything for the American Mafia.
"Aided by vice and extortion income, by the arrival of vast numbers of Sicilian and southern Italian victims already practiced in deference to an outlaw class and by periodic rejuvenating shake-ups of its organization, the Mafia in the United States rapidly grew in wealth and power from its 19th Century origins through the first half of the 20th Century. The organization's resources and influence might have continued to grow unchecked but for the events of 1957."

Eight and a half pages article body
Three and a half pages of endnotes
13 grayscale photos.

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Capone's triggerman kills Michigan cop

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
Feature article


'Killer' Burke links Valentine's Massacre with Berrien County

Capone's triggerman
kills Michigan cop

by Chriss Lyon

Introduction:

Fred Burke"Strong links between the Chicago underworld and Berrien County, Michigan, came to light in the aftermath of the February 14, 1929, St. Valentine's Day Massacre. "Before that slaughter, Berrien County had little obvious connection with Chicago mobsters other than visits by Al Capone. The Chicago gang boss was known to reserve entire floors at the Whitcomb Hotel in St. Joseph, to attend functions at the Hotel Vincent ini Benton Harbor, to partake in the fare of Benton Harbor's "Little Italy" and to stay occasionally at various area residences."


Six and a half pages article body
Half page of endnotes
11 grayscale photos.

(CORRECTION: In our sidebar story - Page 22 - on the victims of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, we reported that James Clark was the brother-in-law of gang boss George "Bugs" Moran. The relationship was reported in the press accounts of the period. However, crime historian Rick Mattix tells us Clark and Moran were unrelated.)

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Book news and reviews

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
Book news and reviews

The First Vice LordThe First Vice Lord: Big Jim Colosimo and the Ladies of the Levee
by Art Bilek.

Frank Nitti: The True Story of Chicago's Notorious 'Enforcer'
by Ronald Humble.

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob
by Frank R. Hayde.

The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia: 1891-1931
by David Critchley.

The Complete Public Enemy Almanac
by William Helmer and Rick Mattix.

The Case Against Lucky Luciano
by Ellen Poulsen.

Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia
by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon.

(CORRECTION: The Informer review of Frank Nitti By Ronald Humble - Page 29 - repeats Humble's assertion that Nitti was a Sicilian. However, Nitti was born on the Italian mainland, in the village of Angri not far from Naples.)

Newspaperman reveals lynch mob role

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
Short article


New Orleans newspaperman reveals
his role in 1891 anti-Mafia lynch-mob

Introduction:
"Sirs: I have read in the past many versions of the now famous Mafia affair, most of which were incorrect. I have never written anything about it, as I knew many of the squad were still alive and would resent it, but now that most of us are dead and I am 68, there is little chance of trouble."

Two pages article body
One grayscale photo.


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A Look Back

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
A Look Back

100 years ago:
NYPD Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino keeps a watchful eye on vacationing Sicilian Mafioso Raffaele Palizzolo.

75 years ago:
Philadelphia mob leaders Salvatore Sabella, John Avena and A. Domenico Pollina are acquitted of the Cocozza and Zanghi murders.

25 years ago:
New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello heads to prison. Chicago and Kansas City mobsters are accused of skimming from Vegas casinos. Joseph Bonanno begins serving a prison term.

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Ask the Informer: KC's DiGiovanni

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sept. 2008 Contents
Ask the Informer

Question:

"What can you tell me about the background and career of former Kansas City mobster Joseph DiGiovanni?"

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