Friday, July 16, 2010

Vol. 3, No. 3: July 2010

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010
Issue Contents

Since the American Civil War, Louisiana underworld organizations have exhibited the ability to project their influence far beyond the state’s borders. Mafiosi from the Pelican State have left their marks on the criminal histories of Florida’s Gulf coast, central and eastern Texas and southern California. In this issue of Informer, we illustrate this point through three very different feature articles.

We lead off with Richard N. Warner’s in-depth look at Vito DiGiorgio, the earliest known boss of a united southern California Mafia (preview). Warner pays special attention to DiGiorgio’s rise through the Mafia of southern Louisiana and his continued reliance on a New Orleans powerbase until his May 1922 assassination.

Thomas Hunt follows with a look at the Piranio-Civello Mafia of interior Texas (preview). That organization, too, had roots in Louisiana. The Piranio family migrated to Dallas from the Shreveport area, and the Civellos moved into Texas from East Baton Rouge.

The final article, by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, deals with the earliest known Mafia War in the United States (preview). That conflict was fought by Palermo– and Messina-oriented factions in New Orleans during the Reconstruction Period. Surprisingly, even at that early date, the fledgling underworld organizations of Louisiana had established colonies in the area of Galveston and Houston, Texas.

We also include membership charts for the Texas and New Orleans Mafia families by Bill Feather (preview), A Look Back (preview), book reviews and notes (preview), and current events and obituaries (preview).

Sixty pages
including cover and advertisements
Published July 13, 2010.

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DiGiorgio: First crime boss of Los Angeles?

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
Feature article

Before Dragna called the shots, the southern California Mafia
took its orders from a relocated New Orleans grocer.
Might the mysterious Vito DiGiorgio have been...

The first crime boss
of Los Angeles?

By Richard N. Warner

"In many people's minds, Los Angeles organized crime began with Jack Dragna, Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel and Mickey Cohen. Some secondary sources go so far as to list Dragna as the first Mafia boss in southern California. Through the help of informants, organized crime specialists with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were able to turn the clock back a bit before Dragna's reign, discovering bosses Joe Ardizzone and Rosario DeSimone. One underworld chronicler provides a glimpse into the more distant past and describes the man who was possibly the first Mafia chieftain of Los Angeles. In 1960s-era memoirs and interviews, Mafioso Nicola 'Zio Cola' Gentile described a previously unknown southern California boss by the name of Vito DiGiorgio."

Twelve pages
including two pages of notes.
Five images.

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The Mafia of Dallas, 1910-1970

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
Feature article

Too long dismissed as merely a "satellite'
of the older New Orleans organization

The Mafia of Dallas
1910-1970

By Thomas Hunt

"Like other Mafia organizations across the American south, the Dallas Mafia grew from Louisiana roots. In fact some believe the Sicilian-Italian underworld in Dallas was never more than a "satellite" of the older and more influential Mafia of New Orleans. It may be a mistake to consider the Dallas organization to be merely a crew of the New Orleans crime family. However, beginning before the First World War and continuing more than half a century, the Sicilian underworld bosses of Dallas all were transplanted from and maintained connections with the Pelican State."

Fifteen pages
including two pages of notes
Thirteen images including a regional map.

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America's first Mafia war, 1868-1872

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
Feature Article

New Orleans, Louisiana, was home to the earliest
Sicilian criminal society in the United States.
In 1868-1872, the city also hosted...

America's first
Mafia war

By Thomas Hunt
and Martha Macheca Sheldon

"Late in the 1868 Presidential election season, a large, heavily armed Democratic organization known as the Innocenti took to the streets of New Orleans' French Quarter in an effort to break up Republican meetings and to discourage newly enfranchised African-Americans from casting ballots for Republican nominee... No one could have imagined that a single event that night would lead to a protracted gang war and would plant the seed of a united, regional Sicilian criminal organization."

Thirteen pages
including two pages of notes.
Nine images including a map of New Orleans.

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Book News and Reviews

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
Book News and Reviews

  • Experience the Big Easy through "Mr. New Orleans" by Brouillette and Randazzo.
  • Chepesiuk's latest volume explores the "Gangsters of Miami."
  • Harmon's "Mafia Son" available in paperback.
Click here to preview or purchase this issue.

A Look Back

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
A Look Back

  • 25 years ago: Trial begins in Boston for six accused Mafia leaders; Italian police arrest more than 100 Mafia suspects.
  • 75 years ago: Dutch Schultz escapes tax evasion charge; Lupo is arrested for conspiracy.
  • 100 years ago: Pittsburgh man charged with counterfeiting.
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Texas, New Orleans Membership Charts

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents
Membership Charts
by Bill Feather



In the July issue, we present two Mafia membership charts by Bill Feather: New Orleans, 1920s-1970s, and Texas, 1900-1970s. Each chart includes more than 50 members and provides birth/death/immigration data, nicknames, underworld ranks and other information.

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In the News

Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2010 Contents

In the News:

  • Rivals move against Rizzutos of Montreal.
  • Man framed for murder gets $9.9 million.
  • Sammartino pleads guilty to loansharking.
  • Brooklyn Massullo brothers sentenced to prison.
  • Palumbo indicted for 1992 mob murder.
  • Buffalo's Cohen charged with gambling.
  • Rossetti faces drug-related charges.
  • Las Vegas Mob Experience to open in December.
  • Gatto of New Jersey dies at 65.
  • Seattle's Colacurcio dies at 93.
  • Aleman of Chicago, 71, dies in prison hospital.
  • Montreal's Cuntrera and bodyguard murdered.
  • Riccobene grandson is murdered near home.
  • Anastasio, 81, an apparent suicide.
Click here to preview or purchase this issue.