Friday, August 10, 2007

Secrets: Lombardo will testify in his defense


"Joey the Clown" Lombardo, one of the defendants in Chicago's Family Secrets trial, intends to testify in his own defense, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Lombardo's attorney Rick Halprin made that announcement in court on Wednesday. Lombardo (right), 78, is expected to testify about his alibi on the day that Daniel Seifert was killed. He insists he was reporting a stolen wallet to the police at the time Seifert was murdered by a shotgun blast in 1974.
Other defense attorneys are expected to reveal Monday whether their clients will also step up to the witness stand.

NY link found in Sicily Mafia arrests

The arrest of 14 suspected organized criminals in Sicily has revealed a link between Mafia groups on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, according to a story published in the Australian Daily Telegraph.

The 14 suspects face extortion and money laundering charges as well as charges related to assisting fugitive crime boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo.

Wiretaps revealed that the suspects were in contact with organized crime bosses in New York. The news report specifically mentions New York's Gambino Crime Family. Sicilian mobsters are reportedly funneling proceeds from illegal operations into real estate speculation in Brooklyn.

Biography traces mob's birth to New Orleans

A recently released biography points to 19th Century New Orleans as the birthplace of the American Mafia, according to a book review by Scott Deitche published by Blogcritics magazine.

Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia "is a worthy addition to the organized crime canon and the greater body of books on Civil War-era America," Deitche wrote. Deitche praised the book's attention to detail: "You can practically smell the fetid air of the New Orleans waterfront."

Deep Water states that Macheca, a Confederate Army veteran and a pioneer of Gulf commerce, organized and financed a series of New Orleans gangs, including one that became the first lasting Mafia foothold in the United States. The authors suggest that Macheca did so in service of a corrupt Democratic machine. They argue that the 1890 assassination of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy and the 1891 Crescent City Lynchings of 11 Italian Americans unconvicted of any crime were also products of the same political corruption.

The largest lynching in American history was "more a calculated hit than a random act of mob violence," Deitche wrote.
See also:

US Mafia was born in New Orleans

book cover


Deep Water:
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia

Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.