Friday, October 14, 2011

October 2011 Issue of Informer

October 2011 Contents

Though Gaspare Messina was one of a very small number of American Mafiosi ever to occupy the position of boss of bosses, few remember his name today. There are a number of reasons—including timing, background and overshadowing by more dynamic and tragic figures—that even true crime aficionados have found Messina forgettable.

In the lead feature in this issue, Richard Warner helps make Messina memorable by exploring his origin, his reign in New England, his brief tenure as supreme arbiter of the American Mafia and his quiet retirement in a Boston suburb (preview).

Acquaintances reportedly believed Tommy Carroll was always destined for a violent end. A gangster and bank robber, Carroll lived life on the edge, as he partnered with better known outlaws like “Baby Face” Nelson and John Dillinger. Carroll is the focus of Jeffery S. King’s feature article in this issue (preview).

Informer returns to the New England Mafia for its third feature, the initial article in Thomas Hunt’s series on Providence-based crime boss Raymond “the Man” Patriarca (preview). Also in this issue: Bill Feather provides a membership chart for the early Profaci/Colombo Crime Family (preview). Ed Valin takes another look at the FBI informants in the Chicago Outfit (preview). Patrick Downey deals with gangster combustion (preview). Richard Warner follows up on his July column by addressing additional J. Edgar Hoover rumors (preview). Thom L. Jones tells readers how an interest in sea otters sparked many years of research into the Mafia (preview). Informer reviews Al Capone and His American Boys by William Helmer (preview).

Seventy-six pages. Published October 13, 2011.

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Gaspare Messina and the Boston Mafia

October 2011 Contents
Feature Article
By Richard N. Warner

Part Two of a History of the New England Mafia

Gaspare Messina and the Rise
of the Mafia in Boston

By Richard N. Warner
"Only a very small number of American Mafiosi ever rose to the exalted position of capo dei capi – boss of bosses. The short list of those who have served as supreme leader of the Sicilian criminal society in the United States includes illustrious names: Giuseppe Morello, Salvatore 'Toto' D’Aquila, Giuseppe 'Joe the Boss' Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. Though this list of underworld czars is by no means unwieldy, one name is almost always omitted from it.
"Perhaps because he differed in a number of important ways from the other occupants of the high office, Gaspare Messina’s short but important term as Mafia capo dei capi is generally neglected..."

Fifteen and a half pages including two pages of notes and twelve images.

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Crimes of Tommy Carroll

October 2011 Contents
Feature Article
By Jeffery S. King

‘He was spotted for a bullet
the day he was born, although he
never believed that he himself would get it.’

The crimes of
Tommy Carroll

By Jeffery S. King
"A friend of Thomas Leonard Carroll once said, 'Tommy told his friends when he was driving a cab that someday he would be called ‘Terrible Tommy.’ He was spotted for a bullet the day he was born, although he never believed that he himself would get it. He had one great failing, and that was love for the spotlight and the desire to show off…'"

Fourteen pages including one page of notes and eleven images.

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Patriarca Becomes 'The Man'

October 2011 Contents
Feature Article
By Thomas Hunt

A native of Massachusetts and longtime resident
of Rhode Island, Raymond Patriarca rose to
command the Mafia in New England

The Man

By Thomas Hunt
(Part 1) "Though often in trouble with the law and constantly plagued by turncoats, surveillance and underworld factional quarrels, Raymond Patriarca was the longest tenured and arguably the most successful ruler of the New England Mafia. A native of Massachusetts and a longtime resident of Providence, Rhode Island, Patriarca’s reign as underworld boss continued through parts of four decades.
“'The Man' presided over a golden age of the Providence-based criminal organization and brought it a level of clout on the national scene that it had never before experienced. Unwittingly, he also provided authorities with much of the information that would lead to the decimation of the crime family leadership and a long period of instability and decline."

Sixteen and a half pages including three and a half pages of notes and ten images.

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Profaci Mafia Chart

October 2011 Contents
Membership Chart
By Bill Feather



The October issue includes a chart of early Profaci Crime Family membership compiled by Bill Feather. The three and a half page chart lists more than 70 documented and suspected Mafiosi along with birth, death, immigration, relationship, rank and other information.

Three and a half pages.

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Identifying Underworld Informants

October 2011 Contents
Column
By Edmond Valin

Post-Giancana Outfit was
fertile soil for FBI informants

"A careful examination of declassified documents shows the penetration of the Chicago Outfit by the FBI in the 1960s was greater than is commonly recognized. Taking advantage of the turmoil within the Outfit during boss Sam Giancana’s imprisonment and subsequent departure from Chicago, the FBI appears to have persuaded more than ten made members to share confidential information."

Five pages including a half page of notes and three photographs.

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Dead Guys in Suits: Flaming finales

October 2011 Contents
Column
By Patrick Downey

"What to do with a guy after you kill him? Over the course of the last few issues, we have discussed guys being shot and left on the spot and guys being stuffed in sacks. I could say that there were no other ways for gangsters to dispose of each other but, well, you know that it would be untrue. In fact, you know that I would be a liar, if I was to say to you, gangsters were never lit on fire."

Three pages.

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Warner Files: More Hoover myths... or maybe not

October 2011 Contents
Column
By Richard N. Warner

"In the last issue we dealt with some false claims made by Anthony Summers in his book Official and Confidential. Summers also suggested that Hoover may have had black ancestry and was a secret part-African American who “passed” to advance in the white world."

Two and a half pages.

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Mob Corner: Sea otters and Mafia research

October 2011 Contents
Column
By Thom L. Jones

"I found out about the Mafia from reading about sea-otters. I don’t expect anyone to figure out the link, but like most convoluted scenarios, the explanation is really quite simple."

Two pages.

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Book review: Al Capone and His American Boys

October 2011 Contents
Book Review

"The latest book about the Capone organization is really not new. Well, not entirely new. Much of Al Capone and his American Boys is drawn from a manuscript written in the 1930s by Georgette Winkeler, wife of Capone-affiliated gangster Gus Winkeler. Nearly released back then, the publisher decided it was “too hot” to publish and buried it. A copy of the manuscript turned up six decades later in FBI files. Gangland historian William J. Helmer prepared the manuscript for publication and added a substantial amount of clarification and supporting documentation. The result is a detailed insider's history of Capone’s special assignment American Boys gang..."

One page.

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