Monday, June 26, 2017

August 2017 issue of Informer

August 2017 contents

This issue's "cover story" is an excerpt from Dock Boss, scheduled for release this summer by Barricade Books. Dock Boss, the story of Eddie McGrath and the mobsters who controlled New York City's West Side waterfront, is the first book-length project by crime historian Neil G. Clarke (Preview).

Also in this issue:
  •  Lennert Van`t Riet and David Critchley provide a groundbreaking history of Frank Zito's little-known but influential Springfield, Illinois, Mafia organization (Preview).
  •  Justin Cascio explores the career and family connections of the "Capitano," Angelo Di Carlo, who held key underworld positions on both sides of the Atlantic (Preview).
  •  Edmond Valin digs through government records to discover the identity of a Bonanno Family informant (Preview).
  •  Bill Feather provides details on the founding of twenty-nine United States Mafia organizations (Preview).
  •  Richard Warner reviews books on an axe-wielding killer, the origins of street gangs and revered New York law enforcement officer Joseph Petrosino (Preview).
  •  In The Warner Files, Richard Warner outlines recent changes in the Chicago Outfit (Preview).
[REMINDER: The Scribd online document-sharing service recently made the business decision to shut down the Scribd Store, one of Informer's electronic edition distribution channels since fall of 2010. At this time, the MagCloud/Blurb service is the sole distributor of Informer print and electronic editions.]

104 Pages

Preview / purchase electronic and print editions through MagCloud.

West Side waterfront warfare

August 2017 contents

West Side

Reputations are made

By Neil G. Clark

"Police were hot on the waterfront gangsters' trails following the four months of shootings that had shaken the West Side underworld. The attention of the NYPD turned to the Joe Butler associates in New York City, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation took up the hunt for the members of the Charlie Yanowsky group in New Jersey... "

Six and a half pages, seven images, source listing.

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Frank Zito and the Springfield Mafia

August 2017 contents

Frank Zito

and the little-known
Mafia of Springfield

By Lennert Van`t Riet and David Critchley

"Little attention has been paid to the smaller Mafia families of the United States. Collectively, these overlooked organizations helped to give Cosa Nostra its national range and eventually justified the use of U.S. federal law enforcement power to combat organized crime. The crime family of Springfield, Illinois, is one such entity. Its criminal enterprises were typical of Mafia families, springing from prohibitions against such 'victimless' crimes as bootlegging and gambling and including episodes of violence..."

Thirty-nine pages, nineteen images, endnotes.

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Mafia Genealogy: 'Capitano' Di Carlo

August 2017 contents

Mafia Genealogy:
'Capitano' DiCarlo: 
Architect of Leggio's Mafia

By Justin Cascio

"Regarded as an architect of the Sicilian Mafia after World War II, Angelo Di Carlo was born in Corleone, Province of Palermo, Sicily. In his youth, he served in an artillery unit during Italy's colonial war in Libya. There he earned the military rank that became his nickname, 'Capitano.'"

Thirteen pages, two images, endnotes.

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William Dara, informant for Feds

August 2017 contents

Indentifying Underworld Informants:
Bonanno member
in South Florida
aided federal agents

By Edmond Valin

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has relied on member-informants to help investigate U.S. Mafia organizations ever since Joseph Valachi began to 'talk.' Mobsters who secretly turn against 'La Cosa Nostra' are in a position to give the FBI access to the history and activities of crime groups that is hard to equal. Some like Valachi testify in court and become household names, but most remain unknown to the public and to the organization itself..."

Ten pages, four images, endnotes.

Preview / purchase electronic and print editions through MagCloud.

Origins of U.S. Mafia families

August 2017 contents

Origins of U.S. Mafia families

By Bill Feather

"In his book The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno: The Final Secrets of a Life in the Mafia, Bill Bonanno revealed that there had been a Cosa Nostra family in Birmingham. This was a shock to many researchers. Bonanno stated that in the mid-1930s the family asked the Mafia Commission for permission to disband. The reason given was that surviving members were too old..."

Fourteen pages, one map, notes.

Preview / purchase electronic and print editions through MagCloud.

Book reviews and notes

August 2017 contents

Book reviews and notes:
Axeman, street gangs, Petrosino

By Richard N. Warner

"One of my favorite nutritional experts is a physician who goes over medical studies to explain what we now know about specific foods. In his videos he often lures the viewer in by first discussing studies that failed to address the most important questions '...until now.' In the crime history genre, we have often seen new books that are just rehashes of older ones ...until now..."

Four pages, three images

Preview / purchase electronic and print editions through MagCloud.

Warner Files: Chicago Outfit

August 2017 contents

The Warner Files:
What's new in the Chicago Outfit?

By Richard N. Warner

"There have been a lot of changes in City of Big Shoulders over the past ten years. It was ten years ago that the devastatingly successful Family Secrets case took place.  A little over a decade ago, John 'No Nose' Di Fronzo was the 'boss of bosses' of the Syndicate, James 'Little Jimmy' Marcello was the day-to-day boss, and there were four or five operating street crews..."

Five pages, four images.

Preview / purchase electronic and print editions through MagCloud.

Monday, April 17, 2017

'The Writers of Wrongs' blog

If you are a reader of crime history, you are certain to find interesting items on The Writers of Wrongs blog

Launched in the fall of 2016, the blog now has four steady contributors, with more on the way. Sixty-four posts have been written to date by these true crime authors:

- Christian Cipollini, author of Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangland Legend; Murder Inc.: Mysteries of the Mob's Most Deadly Hit Squad; Diary of a Motor City Hit Man.

- Ellen Poulsen, author of  Don't Call Us Molls: Women of the John Dillinger Gang; The Case Against Lucky Luciano: New York's Most Sensational Vice Trial.

- Patrick Downey, author of On the Spot: Gangland Murders in Prohibition New York City; Hollywood on the Spot: Crimes Against the Early Movie Stars; Legs Diamond: Gangster; Bad Seeds in the Big Apple; Gangster City.

- Thomas Hunt, author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water, DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor to Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; editor of Informer.

Visit the blog at

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Closing of Scribd document store

We were advised on February 1, 2017, that the Scribd document store would soon be closing. Today is its official closing day. The business change appears linked to Scribd's repackaging as an e-book subscription service.

Informer issues and articles had been available for purchase through the Scribd store since the fall of 2010. Thousands of readers used the Scribd store to access Informer documents. We regret access will no longer be possible through Scribd, but this is entirely out of our control.

Fortunately, Informer electronic and print editions remain available for preview and purchase through the MagCloud/Blurb service. All Informer issues - from the very first issue back in September 2008 - can still be acquired through MagCloud/Blurb. MagCloud/Blurb is our "go-to" service for Informer distribution, but we will be checking into other document sale and distribution options.

Click to visit Informer on the MagCloud/Blurb service.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

August 2017 issue of Informer

We have just penciled in a summer 2017 issue of Informer. 

The articles deadline is April 28. The advertising deadline is May 26. If you would like to contribute an article or purchase an ad, contact us at