Thursday, December 31, 2009

Events of 2009

January

Jan 15 - Former FBI Agent John J. Connolly, 68, is sentenced in a Miami Florida courtroom to serve 40 years in prison. He was convicted of second-degree murder, a charge resulting from his information-sharing with Massachusetts underworld informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "Rifleman" Flemmi.

Jan 26 - Paul "the Indian" Schiro, 71, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering offenses. He was convicted in the 2007 Family Secrets case in Chicago.

Jan 28 - Chicago Outfit leader Frank Calabrese Sr., 72, is sentenced to life in prison for racketeering and participation in seven racketeering murders. He was convicted in the 2007 Family Secrets case.

February

Feb 02 - Chicago Outfit leader Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, 79, is sentenced to life in prison for racketeering and a racketeering murder. He was convicted in the 2007 Family Secrets case.

Feb 04 - A 38-count federal indictment is unsealed against a dozen alleged members of the Genovese Crime Family. One of those charged with racketeering and related crimes is former Genovese acting boss Daniel Leo, who is already held in federal custody on other charges.

Feb 05 - Chicago Outfit boss James Marcello, 65, is sentenced to life in prison for racketeering and racketeering-related murders. He was convicted in the 2007 Family Secrets case.

Feb 11 - Federal prosecutors unseal racketeering and murder indictments against Gambino Crime Family acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico and crime family associate Joseph Watts.

Feb 12 - Six alleged members of the Garrison NY-based "Delmonico crew" of the Genovese Crime Family are charged with racketeering.

Feb 19 - The Scranton Times newspaper chain files court documents charging that two judges involved in a $3.5 million defamation verdict against the company had links to Northeast Pennsylvania crime boss William D'Elia.

Feb 23 - Recent underworld turncoat John Alite, an old friend of John A. "Junior" Gotti, takes the witness stand in Brooklyn Federal Court to testify against accused Gambino Crime Family racketeer Charles Carneglia.

Feb 27 - Colombo Crime Family acting boss Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, 55, is sentenced to life in prison for ordering the 1999 murder of underworld rival William "Wild Bill" Cutolo. With both Persico and his father in prison, authorities believe there will be a leadership change in the Colombo organization.

March

Mar 06 - "Mafia Cops" Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa are sentenced to life in prison for their cooperation with the leadership of the Lucchese Crime Family in New York. After a 2006 federal conviction, the trial judge ruled that the statute of limitations had run out. An appeals court reinstated the conviction.

Mar 12 - Former police officer Anthony "Twan" Doyle, 64, is sentenced to 12 years in prison for racketeering-related offenses. He was convicted in the 2007 Family Secrets case in Chicago.

Mar 17 - Gambino Crime Family soldier Charles Carneglia is convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court of racketeering and murders. Prosecutors say he disposed of some of his murder victims by dissolving their bodies in barrels of acid.

Mar 26 - Nicholas Calabrese, 66, is sentenced to 12 years in prison for racketeering and racketeering-related murders. Calabrese admitted to committing 14 gangland murders. He won the lenient sentence by cooperating in the Family Secrets investigation in Chicago and by testifying against his brother Frank Calabrese Sr. and other Chicago Outfit leaders.

April

Apr 06 - Salvatore "the Ironworker" Montagna, 39-year-old reputed acting boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, is arrested by FBI and immigration agents as he leaves his steel business in Brooklyn. U.S. authorities plan to deport him to his native Canada. (He is also a citizen of Italy, as his family moved him there during childhood.) Authorities say he led the Bonanno organization since 2006 when former bosses Joey Massino and Vincent Basciano were successfully prosecuted.

Apr 06 - A federal judge orders four convicted Chicago racketeers - Frank Calabrese Sr., Joseph Lombardo, James Marcello and Paul Schiro - to pay about $20 million in fines and $4.3 million in restitution to the families of 14 men killed by the Chicago Outfit.

Apr 08 - Anthony "the Saint" St. Laurent, a leading figure in the New England Crime Family, is indicted in Providence for planning to murder New England capodecina Robert DeLuca Sr.

Apr 17 - Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, 69, is sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison for the 1996 racketeering-related murder of Lucchese Crime Family associate Robert Arena. Authorities believe Corozzo may have been poised to take over leadership of the crime family.

Apr 27 - Angelo Prisco, New Jersey-based capodecina in the Genovese Crime Family, is convicted in Manhattan Federal Court of murder, racketeering, robbery, extortion and other offenses.

Apr 28 - Former Deputy U.S. Marshal John T. Ambrose is convicted of stealing and leaking witness information related to Family Secrets Case witness Nicholas Calabrese.

May

May 03 - Donato "Danny" Angiulo, 86-year-old brother of former New England Mafia underboss Jerry Angiulo, dies in the Boston area of natural causes. Authorities say Danny Angiulo once served as capodecina in the crime family.

May 17 - Alfonso "Pizza Man" Tornabene, 86, dies of natural causes. Federal authorities say Tornabene served as a senior member of the Chicago Outfit and helped run the organization during the imprisonment of James Marcello between 1992 and 2003.

May 21 - A federal indictment names 11 Floridians as members of a crew affiliated with the Bonanno Crime Family.

May 23 - U.S. officials deport Rosario Gambino, 67, to Italy. Gambino, a cousin of former crime family boss Carlo Gambino, was linked to Pizza Connection heroin and cocaine smuggling rackets in the 1970s and 1980s.

July

Jul 01 - Carmen "Cheese Man" DiNunzio, reputed leader of the New England Mafia's Boston branch, pleads guilty to bribery charges related to the Boston area's "Big Dig" highway construction project.

Jul ?? - Burton Kaplan, former New York racketeer and key witness in the Mafia Cops trial, dies of natural causes at age 75.

August

Aug 18 - The Genovese Crime Family's New Jersey crew leader Angelo Prisco, 69, is sentenced to life in prison for cooperating in the murder of Angelo Sangiuolo and for conducting a series of home invasion robberies.

Aug 29 - Gennaro "Jerry" Angiulo, 90-year-old former underboss of the New England Crime Family, dies of kidney failure at Massachusetts General Hospital.

September

Sep 17 - Gambino Crime Family soldier Charles Carneglia is sentenced to life in prison for a racketeering and murder conviction.

Sep 21 - John A. "Junior" Gotti's fourth racketeering trial in the past five years opens in New York.

Sep 24 - The New England Crime Family's Boston-based underboss, Carmen "Cheese Man" DiNunzio, is sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty of bribery charges.

October

Oct 01 - Two sets of raids on the Lucchese Crime Family of New York resulted in 29 arrests. Among those arrested on state enterprise corruption, bribery and other charges were two reputed members of the organization's leadership panel, Joseph DiNapoli, 74, of the Bronx, and Matthew Madonna, 73, of Selden.

Oct 07 - Fifteen alleged leaders, members and associates of the Bonanno Crime Family are rounded up by the FBI. Federal prosecutors say one of those arrested, Joseph "Sammy" Sammartino, 55, of North Arlington NJ, has been a member of the Bonanno ruling panel.

Oct 27 - Anthony "Todo" Anastasio, 80, is convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court of racketeering and extortion charges. Anastasio is the nephew of legendary Gambino Crime Family boss Albert Anastasia.

November

Nov 05 - New England media report a shift in leadership of the regional Mafia. The Boston area faction increases in importance as Bostonian Peter Limone reportedly replaces Providence-based Luigi Manocchio.

Nov 20 - Gambino Crime Family capodecina Gregory DePalma of Scarsdale NY dies at age 78 at the Butner Federal Medical Prison in North Carolina.

December

Dec 01 - For the fourth time in five years, a federal racketeering case against John A. "Junior" Gotti ends with a hung jury in New York.

Dec 17 - A 66-year-old Somerville Massachusetts man, Ralph F. DeLeo, is indicted as the "street boss" of the New York-based Colombo Crime Family. He is charged with commanding an interstate crew engaged in narcotics trafficking, extortion and loan sharking.

Dec 21 - Two Gambino Crime Family associates, Letterio DeCarlo, 47, and Thomas Dono, 34, plead guilty to conspiring in the April 28, 1998, murder of suspected Gambino turncoat Frank Hydell. The men also admitted participating in an illegal gambling business in the late 1990s.

Dec 28 - Nick Rizzuto Jr., son of reputed Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto (currently serving time in a U.S. prison), is shot to death outside a Montreal-area construction company.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Informer readership figures

Readership of Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History grew dramatically during the month of November. Average readership of a non-index journal issue grew by more than 66 percent from 972.4 on Nov. 6 to 1620.8 on Dec. 12.

Circulation figures for Informer are shown below. These figures represent readers of the journal's electronic edition and purchasers of its print edition as of Dec. 12, 2009. (Note: Web search engines provide greater exposure for issues as time passes, accounting for the generally greater reader stats of older electronic issues.) No effort is made to approximate the sharing of Informer's downloadable electronic edition.

Sep 2008 issue - v1n1
2490 readers (2060 Scribd, 416 other online, 14 print)
Increase of 11.8% over November's 2226 readers

Jan 2009 issue - v2n1
1765 readers (1469 Scribd, 282 other online, 14 print)
Increase of 82.9% over November's 965 readers

Apr 2009 issue - v2n2
1722 readers (1536 Scribd, 173 other online, 13 print)
Increase of 117.1% over November's 793 readers

Index v1n1 thru v2n2
3757 readers (3757 Scribd, print edition not offered)
Increase of 14.4% over November's 3282 readers

Jul 2009 issue - v2n3
1479 readers (1294 Scribd, 160 other online, 25 print)
Increase of 130.3% over November's 642 readers

Oct 2009 issue - v2n4
648 readers (635 Scribd, 4 other online, 9 print)
Increase of 174.5% over November's 236 readers

Index v1n1 thru v2n4
998 readers (996 Scribd, 2 print)
Increase of 698.4% over November's 125 readers

Average readership for a (non-index) journal issue:
1620.8 readers (1398 Scribd, 207 other online, 15 print)
Increase of 66.6% over November's 972.4 average

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday SALE on print edition issues

MagCloud, publisher of Informer's print edition, has made holiday gift-giving easier with significant discounts on magazine purchases from now through Jan. 1, 2010. If you're looking for a unique present for a mob history aficionado, consider giving the affordably priced Informer issues shown below. Click on an issue description to preview or purchase.

(If you've already purchased some Informer print issues for yourself, this is an excellent time to fill in the gaps in your collection at a bargain price!)

1. September 2008
Contents: The Mob's Worst Year: 1957, Part 1, by Thomas Hunt / Capone's Triggerman Kills Michigan Cop by Chriss Lyon / New Orleans Newspaperman Reveals His Role in 1891 Anti-Mafia Lynch-Mob / A Look Back: 100 Years Ago, 75 Years Ago, 25 Years Ago / Book Reviews: Frank Nitti; The Mafia and the Machine; The First Vice Lord; The Complete Public Enemy Almanac / Author Interview: David Critchley / Ask the Informer: Joe DiGiovanni of Kansas City / Current Events: John A. Gotti, James "Whitey" Bulger / Deaths: John Bazzano Jr., Frank "the German" Schweihs, Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna.
Regularly $11.60.
NOW ON SALE for $9.20.

2. January 2009
Contents: Martyr: Joseph Petrosino by Thomas Hunt / Kansas City Mafia Membership Chart 1910s-1940s by Bill Feather / The Mob's Worst Year: 1957 Part Two by Thomas Hunt / A Look Back: 100 Years Ago, 50 Years Ago, 25 Years Ago, 1 Year Ago / David Critchley Book Review of Open City by William Ouseley / Book Review: The Last Undercover by Bob Hamer / Book News: Cumberland House True Crime Titles / Author Interview: Scott Deitche / Ask Informer: Saverio Pollaccia, Society of the Banana / Current Events.
Regularly $13.20.
NOW ON SALE for $10.40.

3. April 2009
Contents: The Dreaded D'Andrea by Richard N. Warner / 80 Years Since the Valentine's Day Massacre / Chicago's Early Mafia Bosses by Thomas Hunt / Chicago Outfit Membership Chart 1920s-40s by Bill Feather / Author Interview: Arthur Bilek / Ask Informer: The Chicago Heights Mafia / Book Review: The Origin of Organized Crime in America by David Critchley / Book Notes / A Look Back / Current Events.
Regularly $13.20.
NOW ON SALE for $10.40.

4. July 2009
Contents: 1909 Mafia Murder in Danbury, Connecticut, by Thomas Hunt / Maranzano Muddle by David Critchley / Pittsburgh Mafia Membership Chart by Bill Feather / My First Dinner with Mickey by Steve Stevens and Craig Lockwood / Book Reviews: The First Family by Mike Dash; Mafia Son by Sandra Harmon / Interview: Patrick Downey / Ask the Informer: John Gotti / Book Notes / A Look Back / Current Events.
Regularly $12.42.
NOW ON SALE for $10.02.

5. October 2009
Contents: Castro and the Casinos by Thomas Hunt / Jack Ruby Visits Havana / Buccellato's Bushwick Crew by Justin Dugard / Early Bonanno Membership Chart / Book Reviews: The Mad Ones by Tom Folsom; The Canary Sang But Couldn't Fly by Edmund Elmaleh / Interview: Martha Macheca Sheldon / Ask the Informer: William Flynn's NYPD Career / Book Notes / A Look Back / Current Events.
Regularly $12.50.
NOW ON SALE for $9.70.

6. Informer Index - Vol. 1 and 2
Contents: A complete index to the five issues of Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History published in 2008 and 2009.
Regularly $4.80.
NOW ON SALE for $3.60.

(Prices in U.S. dollars. Shipping and handling is added to all orders. Issues can be shipped to mailing addresses in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.)










Friday, November 6, 2009

Informer readership figures

Circulation figures for Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History are shown below. These figures represent readers of the journal's electronic edition and purchasers of its print edition as of Nov. 6, 2009. (Note: Web search engines provide greater exposure for issues as time passes, accounting for the generally greater reader stats of older electronic issues.) No effort is made to approximate the sharing of Informer's downloadable electronic edition.

Sep 2008 issue - v1n1
2226 readers (1797 Scribd, 416 other online, 13 print)

Jan 2009 issue - v2n1
965 readers (670 Scribd, 282 other online, 13 print)

Apr 2009 issue - v2n2
793 readers (608 Scribd, 173 other online, 12 print)

Index v1n1 thru v2n2
3282 readers (3282 Scribd, print edition not offered)

Jul 2009 issue - v2n3
642 readers (462 Scribd, 160 other online, 24 print)

Oct 2009 issue - v2n4
236 readers (224 Scribd, 4 other online, 8 print)

Index v1n1 thru v2n4
125 readers (124 Scribd, 1 print)

Average readership for an Informer journal issue: 972.4

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Informer index for 2008-09 available

An index to the five Informer issues published in 2008 and 2009 (Volumes 1 and 2) is now available for download through Scribd (see link below). Professionally printed and bound copies can be ordered through http://informer.magcloud.com .

Informer: Mafia History Journal - Index for 2008 and 2009 issues

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 4: October 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents

As Fidel Castro took control of Cuba a half century ago, it is commonly believed that he abruptly shut down Havana’s luxurious casinos and nightclubs and banished American racketeers from his island nation. While it is true that the end of Havana’s glitzy nightlife coincided with the final victory of Castro’s revolution, that end was not designed—or even sought—by the Cuban dictator. In addition, Castro’s relationships with American racketeers were far more complex than generally thought. His Cuban Revolution actually benefited from arms shipped to the island by American Mafiosi frustrated with the corrupt regime of Fulgencio Batista and hopeful of establishing a positive relationship with rising star Castro.

In the end, the casinos closed due to American reluctance to travel to postrevolution Cuba, despite Castro’s efforts to keep the tourist dollars flowing in. In this issue, we look back fifty years to the often misunderstood relationship between Castro and the Havana casinos (preview).

In his autobiography, Joseph Bonanno stated that the Buccellato clan of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, played no significant role in the American Mafia. It seems Bonanno ignored the
presence of Giuseppe Buccellato, a key figure in Bonanno’s own crime family and leader of Mafia rackets in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Historian Justin Dugard sets the record straight (preview).

Within this issue, we also look at Jack Ruby’s visit to Havana (preview) and at the membership of the early Bonanno Crime Family (preview). Books coverage includes an interview with Martha Sheldon, reviews and previews. Plus: A Look Back (preview), Ask the Informer (preview), and In the News (preview).

Fifty-six pages including cover and advertisements
Published October 19, 2009.

Castro and the Casinos

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
Feature article

Until the success of Fidel Castro's revolution 50 years ago,
Havana Cuba was a playground for the wealthy
and a sanctuary for American Mafiosi

Castro and the Casinos
By Thomas Hunt

"A growing law enforcement threat at home in the early 1950s caused the American Mafia to transplant a number of its rackets to the island nation of Cuba - just outside United States jurisdiction. Protected by a friendly and thoroughly corrupt Cuban administration, the underworld pumped millions of dollars into gambling and narcotics enterprises on the island. The Cuban capital became a playground for wealthy tourists and a paradise for organized criminals."

Nineteen and a half pages article body
Four and a half pages endnotes
Eighteen images


Jack Ruby visits Havana in 1959

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
Feature article

Jack Ruby visits
Havana in 1959

"Jack Ruby of Dallas, a prominent character in an American drama in 1963, appears to have played a role in the departure of American racketeers from Cuba four years earlier. How big a role he played remains uncertain."

Three pages
Two images


Giuseppe Buccellato & the Bushwick crew

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
Feature article


Giuseppe Buccellato
and the Bushwick crew
By Justin Dugard


"Though overshadowed by a number of his peers, Giuseppe Buccellato was a high-ranking member of the Bonanno Family during the Natale Evola and Philip Rastelli regimes."


Five pages
Eight images

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.

Ask the Informer: William Flynn and the NYPD

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
Ask the Informer

Question: New Yorker William Flynn reached the top spot in both the U.S. Secret Service and the federal Bureau of Investigation. What do we know of Flynn's experiences as an official of the New York Police Department?



A Look Back

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
A Look Back

100 years ago:

  • Black Hand ring leader in Connecticut is sentenced.
  • Black Hander claims to be victim of extortion.
  • Mafia counterfeiters are arrested.
75 years ago:
  • Future mob boss commits a murder
  • Criminal lawyer dies.
50 years ago:
  • Dallas nightclub owner visits Cuba
  • Future NY Mafia boss convicted of obstructing investigation.
Click here to preview or purchase this issue.

In the News

Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents

In the News:

  • NY Lucchese clan clobbered.
  • Gotti goes on trial for fourth time.
  • Plea deals likely for South Florida Bonanno crew.
  • Anastasia nephew on trial for racketeering.
  • Gambino soldier Carneglia gets life prison sentence.
  • 'Saint' wants plot charges dropped.
  • New England's Gennario Angiulo dies at 90.
  • Mafia Cops witness Kaplan dies at 75.

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.

Bonanno Mafia Membership, 1900-1940s


Vol. 2, Issue 4, October 2009 Contents
Membership Chart

Researcher Bill Feather provides a chart of dozens of known and suspected Bonanno Crime Family members from the 1900-1940s era. Names, aliases, birth-death-immigration data, birthplaces and ranks are provided.

Three and a half pages

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

1909 Newspaper: Petrosino to be forgotten

Interesting quote about a $450 candle constructed in memory of NYPD Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino and scheduled to be burned in a New York cathedral:

"Poor fools! One century hence the world will know not that Joe Petrosino ever lived, and the candle will be forgot long before that."
The comment came from the Lexington (KY) Blue Grass Blade, May 2, 1909. Strangely, the original Blue Grass Blade - an outspoken atheist newspaper - ceased publication one year after that prediction and is, itself, largely forgotten, while the memory of Petrosino certainly lingers. (The Blade's name recently has been used by a Lexington atheist organization.)

Informer remembered Joseph Petrosino and his NYPD Italian Squad in its January 2009 issue.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hunt discusses Danbury CT murder

The 1909 Mafia murder in Danbury, Connecticut, was the discussion topic at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society on Oct. 8, 2009. Informer Editor Thomas Hunt spoke to a small audience of 15 people about the slaying of farmer Giovanni Zarcone and that event's connections to the Morello Mafia organization of New York. He traced Zarcone back to his Sicilian roots in Bagheria and tracked his eventful life from his arrival in Manhattan in 1901, through the infamous Mafia Barrel Murder of 1903 to his ambush on a quiet country road on July 27, 1909.

On the 100th anniversary of the Danbury murder, a Hunt article on the 1909 murder was published in Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History. The Oct. 8 discussion was arranged by Brigid Guertin and Diane Hassan of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society.

The text of the Oct. 8 remarks can be downloaded through the Scribd.com service:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/20841805/1909-Mafia-Murder-in-Danbury-text
(A free Scribd account is required for download.)

The July issue of Informer, featuring the history of the Zarcone murder, also can be downloaded from the Scribd.com service:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/20054920/Informer-v02n3-2009-July

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hunt's remarks on Zarcone mystery

The text of Informer editor Thomas Hunt's Oct. 8, 2009, remarks at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society is available for download through the Scribd.com service:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/20841805/1909-Mafia-Murder-in-Danbury-text

A companion booklet of images relating to the 1909 Mafia Murder in Danbury, Connecticut, can also be downloads:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/20569384/1909-Mafia-Murder-in-Danbury

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hunt to discuss 1909 Mafia murder

Informer editor Thomas Hunt will discuss "The 1909 Mafia Murder in Danbury, Connecticut," on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, 7 p.m., at Huntington Hall, Danbury Museum and Historical Society, 43 Main Street.

A collection of images, news clippings and maps related to this topic is available through the Scribd.com service (a free membership may be required to view this document):


1909 Mafia Murder in Danbury



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making better use of Scribd

To this point, Informer has used Scribd.com to store and distribute the journal's electronic edition. However, Scribd offers a number of other services that could be of use to journal readers, and we intend to make better use of those in the future. One of the more exciting services is the ability to include document previews within non-Scribd websites. We illustrate that service below (using the July 2009 issue as an example).

Informer v02n3 2009 July

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Electronic edition is now FREE

Informer is temporarily offering access to its electronic edition at no charge. Visit our Scribd site using the link below. (To download electronic (PDF) Informer issues, you will need a free Scribd.com account or an OpenID. To read the issues, you will need a free Acrobat-format Reader.)



Print edition issues remain available for purchase through the MagCloud.com print-on-demand service. Use the link below to visit our MagCloud site.

Follow Informer on Facebook, Twitter

You now can visit Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History on Facebook and Twitter.

Informer


Monday, August 10, 2009

Coming up in October 2009

Informer's next issue (Oct. 2009) will look back 50 years to the end of Mafia-run casino gambling in Havana, Cuba.

Scheduled release date of print and electronic editions is Oct. 26, 2009.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Discount on Informer's print edition

To mark the first anniversary of MagCloud.com, all magazines printed by the service - including the print edition of Informer - are available at a 20% discount through August 31, 2009.


All four issues of Informer's print edition (Sep. '08, Jan. '09, Apr. '09, Jul '09) are now available at discounted prices. Visit http://informer.magcloud.com/ to preview or order the issues.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Electronic subscription price reduced

The price of an electronic subscription to Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History has been reduced to $18 per year (four issues).

As a subscriber to Informer's electronic edition, you receive email notification when a new issue is published. The email provides you with a password-protected web link for the download of that issue in PDF format from the Scribd document sharing service. The electronic edition is easily readable and printable. And it has precisely the same content as the print edition at a far lower price.

It's a good time to renew (or to start) your Informer subscription. For easy and secure online ordering through PayPal, use the Subscriptions links in the rightmost column of our website. (http://mafiainformer.blogspot.com/)


Visit Informer on Facebook:
http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Informer/63288650969
Or Twitter:
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 3: July 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents

July 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of a still unsolved murder in the City of Danbury, Connecticut. While the killers of Giovanni Zarcone remain unknown, history has linked them to the New York Mafia organization of Giuseppe Morello. In this issue, we examine the known details of the Zarcone murder and follow the links between the victim and other organized criminals of the era.

What did Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano look like? If you believe you know, author David Critchley says you’re mistaken. According to Critchley, a photograph often presented as a likeness of Maranzano is actually someone else’s mug shot. Read more about it and take a look at some actual images of Maranzano—plus Informer’s own approximation of a Maranzano mug shot.

Also in this issue: Researcher Bill Feather provides us with background data on scores of Pittsburgh-area Mafiosi and Informer tackles a question about the “Teflon Don,” John J. Gotti, late boss of the Gambino Crime Family.

Books coverage includes an excerpt from King of the Sunset Strip: Hangin’ with Mickey Cohen and the Hollywood Mob by Steve Stevens and Craig Lockwood; an interview with Patrick Downey, author of Gangster City and Bad Seeds in the Big Apple; in addition to reviews of Mike Dash’s The First Family and Sandra Harmon’s Mafia Son.

1909 Mafia murder in Danbury, Connecticut, by Thomas Hunt. After a fruit farmer is shotgunned to death at his home, authorities connect him to the infamous Barrel Murder six years earlier. Eighteen pages. (Preview)

Maranzano Muddle by David Critchley, Ph.D. You may think you know what Salvatore Maranzano looked like, but a widely disseminated photo isn't Maranzano at all. Two pages. (Preview)

My First Dinner with Mickey by Steve Stevens and Craig Lockwood. A young Hollywood actor finds himself palling around with California racketeer Mickey Cohen. Four and a half pages.(Preview)

Pittsburgh Mafia Membership Chart, 1900-2000, by Bill Feather. Four pages. (Preview)

Interview: Patrick Downey. Two and a half pages.

Book Review of The First Family by Mike Dash. One and a half pages.

Book Review of Mafia Son by Sandra Harmon. One and a half pages.

Books: New Releases: One half page.

Ask the Informer: The Teflon Don's conviction. One page. (Preview)

A Look Back: 100 years, 75 years, 50 years. One half page. (Preview)

Current Events: DiNunzio reaches plea deal, 11 indicted as Bonanno crew in Florida, deputy U.S. marshal leaked witness info, Nicholas Corozzo sentenced for murder. (Preview)

Deaths: Alfonso Tornabene, Donato Angiulo.

48 pages including cover and advertisements
Published July 15, 2009.

1909 Mafia murder in Danbury, CT

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
Feature Article

1909 Mafia murder in
Danbury, Connecticut
By Thomas Hunt

(July 27, 2009, marks the 100th anniversary of this unsolved murder.)

"A halo of artificial light surrounded Danbury Hospital, a complex Victorian-style structure located at the intersection of Locust and Hospital Avenues near the official city limits. Light also emanated from the city's almshouse at Broadview farm, a third of a mile further east on Hospital Avenue. In between, the avenue was illuminated only by the quarter moon overhead. Moonlight was sufficient to provide visibility on the roadway itself, but it could not penetrate the tree branches and shrubs growing along the north side of the street."

Fourteen and a half pages article body
including sidebar story.
Three and a half pages of endnotes.
Twelve images.

Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

Maranzano muddle

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
Feature article

Though many believe they've seen a picture of him,
very few know what he really looked like

Maranzano muddle
By David Critchley, Ph.D.

"An apparent photograph of 'Salvatore Maranzano' (at right) has appeared in varied venues, ranging from books to the Internet. What those who print it fail to mention is that it's not of Maranzano at all. The mistake made is a classic case of the much broader problem of inaccuracies plaguing accounts of the American Mafia, which spread myths and misunderstandings."

Two pages
Five images

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.
Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

In the News

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents

In the News:

  • Carmen DiNunzio reaches plea deal in Boston.
  • 11 indicted as Bonanno crew in Florida.
  • Deputy U.S. marshal leaked prisoner info.
  • Nicholas Corozzo sentenced for murder.
  • Chicago's Alfonso Tornabene dies at 86.
  • New England's Donato Angiulo dies at 86.
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Ask the Informer: The Teflon Don

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
Ask the Informer

Question: When and on what charge was John "Teflon Don" Gotti finally locked away for good?


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A Look Back

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
A Look Back

100 years ago:
A New York Barrel Murder suspect is shot to death in Connecticut.

75 years ago:
A future New York crime boss is arrested for robbing a store.

50 years ago:
A Brooklyn racketeer and his female companion are killed.

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'My first dinner with Mickey'

Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
Feature Article


My first dinner with Mickey
by Steve Stevens
and Craig Lockwood


(Show business veteran Steve Stevens reflects on his early encounters with California underworld figure Mickey Cohen in this excerpt from King of the Sunset Strip by Steve Stevens and Craig Lockwood.)

"I pushed the doorbell. And the door opened. As if someone had been waiting, just inside. Before I could stop myself, I lurched back.
"'Yeah?' The voice and the guy were both scary. His heavy black eyebrows looked like they'd been applied by the Lon Chaney School of makeup design."


Four and a half pages
Five photos


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Pittsburgh Mafia Membership, 1900-2000


Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2009 Contents
Membership Chart

Researcher Bill Feather provides a chart of dozens of known and suspected Pittsburgh Mafia members from 1900 through 2000. Names, aliases, birth-death-immigration data, birthplaces and ranks are provided.

4 pages

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July's print edition available now

The print edition of Informer's July issue (Vol. 2, No. 3) is available for purchase through the MagCloud service. See: informer.magcloud.com

The lead feature looks back one hundred years to the murder of an Italian fruit farmer in Danbury, Connecticut, who was linked to powerful Mafiosi in New York City. Also in the issue, we speculate on what boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano looked like, we sit down to dinner with Mickey Cohen, we look over the known and suspected membership of the Pittsburgh Mafia, we interview author Patrick Downey, and we review Mike Dash's The First Family and Sandra Harmon's Mafia Son.


The electronic edition of the journal will be available soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bad news / good news

Informer is sad to report that another crime history periodical, On the Spot, has suspended publication. On the Spot, published since fall 2006, has focused on crime and law enforcement history of the gangster era - 1920s and 1930s. On the Spot CEO Rick Mattix tells Informer that he hopes to resume publication of the journal in the future and he notes that back issues of On the Spot remain available for purchase. (Click to visit the On the Spot website.)

A far more positive development: Rick has agreed to become a regular columnist for Informer. An accomplished crime historian, he will write on subjects of personal interest to him. We look forward to featuring his column in upcoming issues.

Friday, July 3, 2009

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 3: July 2009

In the July issue (Vol. 2, No. 3) of Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History, we look back 100 years to an unsolved Mafia-related murder in western Connecticut. The murder victim had been among the suspects in the New York Barrel Murder of 1903 and had blood ties to underworld characters across the United States.

What did Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano look like? If you believe you know, author David Critchley says you’re mistaken. According to Critchley's article in Informer's July issue, a photograph often presented as a likeness of Maranzano is actually someone else’s mug shot. Read more about it and take a look at actual images of Maranzano —plus an Informer approximation of a Maranzano mug shot

Also in the July issue: Researcher Bill Feather provides us with background data on scores of Pittsburgh-area Mafiosi and Informer tackles a question about the “Teflon Don,” John J. Gotti,
late boss of the Gambino Crime Family.
Books coverage includes an excerpt from King of the Sunset Strip: Hangin’ with Mickey Cohen and the Hollywood Mob by Steve Stevens and Craig Lockwood; an interview with Patrick
Downey, author of Gangster City and Bad Seeds in the Big Apple; in addition to reviews of Mike Dash’s The First Family and Sandra Harmon’s Mafia Son.
Plus... A Look Back, Book Notes, and Current Events.

The July issue of Informer will be available for sale by July 27.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 2: April 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents

The Sicilian Mafia in Chicago has been so overshadowed by the post-1930 Capone Outfit and so universally ignored by crime historians that some have reached the erroneous conclusion it did not exist at all. However, abundant evidence exists for the presence of a large and powerful Mafia in the Windy City from about 1900 through Capone’s Neapolitan-dominated consolidation of the Chicago underworld in 1930-31. In fact, there are indications that Chicago’s Mafia once dominated the Italian criminal societies of the American Midwest.

We are happy to devote much of this issue to the historical evidence left by the once-powerful Chicago Mafia. Our featured article is Richard N. Warner’s detailed biography of Anthony D’Andrea, once the supreme underworld authority in Chicago.

Researcher Bill Feather provides us with a membership chart for a later stage of the Chicago Outfit. We commemorate the 80th anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by looking at how the Massacre has been preserved in historical works. Our Chicago history coverage finishes up with a discussion of the early Sicilian Mafia leadership in that city.

Books coverage in this issue includes an interview with Art Bilek, author of The First Vice Lord: Big Jim Colosimo and the Ladies of the Levee, and a review of David Critchley’s The Origin of Organized Crime in America.

The Dreaded D'Andrea by Richard Warner. A former priest, once jailed for counterfeiting, became Chicago's most feared Mafia boss. Twenty-eight pages including notes. (Preview)

80 Years Since the Massacre. We look at what has been learned of the North Clark Street killings over the past eight decades. Four pages. (Preview)

Chicago's Early Mafia Bosses by Thomas Hunt. Long forgotten, several Sicilian families once reigned over the underworld of northwest Chicago. Two and a half pages including notes. (Preview)

Chicago Outfit Membership Chart, 1920s-1940s, by Bill Feather. Five and a half pages. (Preview)

Interview: Art Bilek. Three pages.

Book Review of The Origin of Organized Crime in America by David Critchley. One and a half pages.

Books: New Releases. One half page.

Ask the Informer: Chicago Heights; Capodecina. One page. (Preview)

A Look Back: 1 year ago; 50 years ago. One half page. (Preview)

Current Events: Family Secrets defendants sentenced, Carneglia convicted, Morgentha to retire. Two pages. (Preview)

56 pages including cover and advertisements.
Published April 20, 2009.

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The dreaded D'Andrea

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
Feature article


A former priest, once jailed for counterfeiting
became Chicago's most feared Mafia boss


The Dreaded D'Andrea

By Richard N. Warner

"Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 1921, Chicago Mafia boss Anthony D’Andrea went to dinner with two male companions at a Neapolitan restaurant, the Amato Cafe at Taylor and Halsted Streets. They ate, socialized and played cards for hours.

"At about 1:15 Wednesday morning, D’Andrea’s friend Joseph Laspisa drove him home. For two weeks Laspisa had been acting as the underworld leader’s bodyguard and chauffeur.

"D’Andrea needed the protection..."


Twenty-five pages article body
including sidebar story.
Three pages of endnotes.
Eight images


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80 years since the Massacre

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
Feature article

80 years since the Massacre

"On the morning of Feb. 14, 1929, seven men were killed at the S.M.C. Cartage Company garage at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago. The killings were the result of an effort by the Capone Outfit to eliminate rival gang boss George “Bugs” Moran. Capone’s gunmen, disguised as raiding police officers, succeeded in decimating the Moran gang, but they missed their primary target. Moran was late in getting to the garage and survived the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. On the 80th anniversary of the Massacre, we look at various accounts of that bloody event..."

Four pages
One image
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Chicago's early Mafia bosses

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
Feature Article

Chicago's early Mafia bosses

by Thomas Hunt

"Early in 1901, Joseph Morici was labeled boss of the Mafia in Chicago’s Little Sicily, a neighborhood just to the northwest of downtown, centered on the six-pointed intersection of West Grand Avenue, North Milwaukee Avenue and North Halsted Street. That Sicilian community overflowed across the old Erie Street bridge into the Near North Side. The neighborhood sat apart from Chicago’s traditional Little Italy, which was further to the south..."

Two and a half pages
Map of near Northwest Chicago

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Chicago Outfit membership, 1920s-1940s

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Apr. 2009 Contents
Membership Chart

Researcher Bill Feather provides a chart of Chicago Outfit members from the 1920s-1940s era. Names, aliases, birth-death-immigration data, birthplaces and ranks are provided for dozens of members and suspected members of the Outfit.

Five pages

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Book news and reviews

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
Book news and reviews

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

An interview with Arthur Bilek (right)

New releases

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In the News

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Apr. 2009 Contents

In the News:

  • 'Secrets' defendants get long prison terms
  • Sentenced: N.Calabrese, Persico, Eppolito, Caracappa, Young, Connolly
  • Carneglia convicted of racketeering
  • Morgenthau to retire
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A Look Back

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
A Look Back

1 year ago:
Colombo Crime Family members and associates indicted; New England Crime Family underboss arrested in corruption probe; Massachusetts hitman pleads guilty.

50 years ago:
New York mobsters jailed for trafficking narcotics.

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Ask the Informer: Chicago Heights; Capodecina

Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr. 2009 Contents
Ask the Informer
Question: What do historians know about a Mafia organization in Chicago Heights?

Question: What is the difference between a capodecina and a capo?


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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 2: April 2009

The City of the Big Shoulders has been on our minds, and the April issue of Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History is packed with interesting tales and little known information about Chicago's underworld:


  • Richard Warner examines the life and times of Windy City Mafia boss Anthony D'Andrea.
  • Thomas Hunt tells of some of Chicago's earliest Mafia leaders in the city's NW section.
  • Bill Feather provides a detailed chart of Chicago Outfit members in the 1920s-40s era.
  • Crime Historian Arthur Bilek describes his law enforcement and writing careers.
  • The Informer responds to a question on the Chicago Heights Mafia.
  • On the occasion of its 80th anniversary, we reflect on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
... Plus a review of David Critchley's groundbreaking history of the early New York Mafia, A Look Back, book notes and current events.

This issue will be available by April 27.

It's not too late to subscribe to Informer for 2009. Electronic edition (PDF download) - Just $20 for the year. Print edition (delivery to U.S., U.K. and Canada) - Now $58 .

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Purchasing becomes quicker and easier

Some online magazine purchasers objected to having to open an account with MagCloud in order to purchase magazines. The publishing service has responded by allowing "anonymous" purchases. Here's MagCloud's announcement:

"We like it when shoppers become members - it allows us to give them order tracking pages, address books, and other fun features - but if you just want to pick up a magazine, we don't want to stand in your way. So now anyone can buy a magazine with a credit card or PayPal without having to become a member."

MagCloud also introduced a quicker checkout process and speedier shipping options. We're confident that these changes will make ordering a copy of Informer: The Journal of American Mafia History significantly easier. Click here to visit the journal on MagCloud.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Informer now available in US, UK, Canada

Preprinted copies of Informer can now be shipped to addresses in the United Kingdom and Canada, in addition to the United States. When the Informer print edition was first announced on Sept. 24, 2008, copies could be shipped only to U.S. addresses, due to restrictions imposed by the MagCloud print-on-demand service. MagCloud recently expanded its service area. We are not yet able to offer UK or Canada subscriptions to the print edition.

CLICK TO VISIT MAGCLOUD

Friday, January 30, 2009

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Vol. 2, No. 1: January 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents

A 1909 secret mission for the New York Police Department sent Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino, leader of the Italian Squad and nemesis of the Sicilian-Italian underworld, into a lion's den. Unknown assassins took his life in Palermo, the Mafia's legendary birthplace. Petrosino is remembered for his toughness, his bulldog tenacity and his selfless devotion to duty. This issue of Informer is dedicated to Petrosino's memory and the sterling example he has provided to generations of Italian-Americans.

We are delighted to call our readers' attention to a new Informer feature - crime family membership charts. This issue holds a detailed chart of the early Kansas City crime family, 1910s-1940s, compiled by researcher Bill Feather. We hope to bring you a new membership chart each quarter.

In this issue we conclude our two-part series, The Mob's Worst Year: 1957. Part 2 includes a discussion of Albert Anastasia's murder, the Apalachin underworld convention and the sudden awakening of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to the existence of the Mafia.

Books coverage in this issue includes an interview with Scott Deitche, author of The Silent Don and Cigar City Mafia; David Critchley's review of Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950 by William Ouseley; a review of The Last Undercover by Bob Hamer; and additional news.

Martyr: Joseph Petrosino. A century ago, Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino of the New York Police Department was shot to death while on assignment in a foreign land. Eighteen pages including sidebar and endnotes. (Preview)

The Mob's Worst Year: 1957, Part 2 of 2. Fifty years ago, lawmakers, enforcement officials and the American public finally became aware of the depth and breadth of the Mafia underworld. Nine and a half pages including endnotes. (Preview)

Kansas City Mafia Membership Chart, 1910s-1940s, by Bill Feather. Three and a half pages including notes. (Preview)

Interview with Scott Deitche, author of The Silent Don and Cigar City Mafia. Two and a half pages.

Book review by David Critchley of William Ouseley's Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950. Two pages.

Book review of The Last Undercover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dance with Evil by Bob Hamer. One page.

Cumberland House True Crime Titles Search for Homes. One and a half pages.

Books: New Releases. Half page.

Ask the Informer: Sam Pollaccia / The Society of the Banana. One page. (Preview)

Current Events: Top 10 U.S. Mob News Stories of 2008. Two and a half pages.

Deaths: Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, Salvatore Scala, Frank J. Valenti, Anthony Spero. Two pages.

A Look Back: 1 year ago; 25 years ago; 50 years ago; 100 years ago. One page. (Preview)

Bulletins: Gangster History Convention, On the Spot Journal, Mob Tours, National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Half page.

Letters. Half page.

56 pages including cover and advertisements.
Published Jan. 26, 2009.

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.
Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Martyr: Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
Feature Article



A century ago, Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino of the
New York Police Department was shot to death
while on assignment in a foreign land.

Martyr

by Thomas Hunt

First paragraph:
"'Petrosino was a great man, a good man,' former President Theodore Roosevelt told the press. 'I knew him for years, and he did not know the name of fear. He was a man worth while. I regret most sincerely the death of such a man as Joe Petrosino.'"

Sixteen pages article body
including sidebar story
Two pages of endnotes
Eleven images.

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Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

Kansas City Mafia Members, 1910s-1940s

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
Membership Chart

Researcher Bill Feather provides a chart of early Kansas City Mafia membership.

Names, aliases, birth-death-immigration data, birthplaces and ranks for dozens of members and suspected members of the KC Outfit.

Three pages.

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The Mob's Worst Year: 1957 - Part Two

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
Feature Article
Part 2 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



First paragraph:
"Albert Anastasia’s death in 'the chair' might have been preordained. The legendary Mafia boss and accomplished murderer managed to escape death in Sing Sing Prison’s electric chair in 1921, only to meet his end in a barber chair 35 years later."


Seven and a half pages article body
Two pages of endnotes
Seven images.

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.
Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

Book news and reviews

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
Book news and reviews

Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family
by William Ouseley
Reviewed by David Critchley.

The Last Undercover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dance with Evil
by Bob Hamer

Cumberland House true crime titles search for homes

An interview with Scott Deitche

New releases: The Origin of Organized Crime in America by David Critchley; Mob Boss by Mike Hudson; Gomorrah (paperback reprint) by Roberto Saviano and Virginia Jewiss.

On the way: Mafia Son by Sandra Harmon; The First Family by Mike Dash.

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Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In the News

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents

In the News:

  • Informer's list of the top 10 mob news stories of 2008

Deaths:

  • Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal
  • Salvatore "Fat Sal" Scala
  • Frank J. Valenti
  • Anthony Spero

Click here to preview or purchase this issue.

Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.

A Look Back

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
A Look Back

100 years ago:
NYPD Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino assassinated in Sicily.

50 years ago:
Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista forced into exile.

25 years ago:
Pizza Connection broken up.

1 year ago:
Salvatore Bonanno died after heart attack.

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Ask the Informer: Pollaccia; Society of Banana

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 2009 Contents
Ask the Informer


Question:
Was Sam Pollaccia really a key figure in the early New York Mafia?


Question:
What was the Society of the Banana?


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Or subscribe to Informer using the links at right.