Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Italy arrests 29 in Camorra crackdown

SpagnuoloItalian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni yesterday announced 29 arrests of Camorra-linked suspects in the Naples area, according to a story by the AFP news agency. Raids were conducted in the wake of the Sept. 18 killings of an Italian businessman and six African immigrants.

Among the suspects were Alessandro Cirillo, Oreste Spagnuolo (right) and Giovanni Letizia, reputed members of the Camorra's Casalesi clan, according to a report by CNN International. Also arrested was Giuseppina Nappa, 48-year-old wife of jailed clan leader Francesco "Sandokan" Schiavone.

Son of reputed mobster gets life for knife murder

Vincent Arena, 23, was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the September 2005 stabbing murder of 27-year-old Anthony Braccia, according to a story by Scott Shifrel of the New York Daily News. In May, he was convicted of second degree murder by a Brooklyn Supreme Court jury.

Arena's father, Steven Arena, was identified by the New York Post as an associate of the Genovese Crime Family. The Daily News reported that Arena's $2 million bail - revoked after his conviction - was arranged through the aid of a Gambino Crime Family lieutenant.

Braccia was robbed of jewelry and then stabbed 31 times within a van. Arena later set the van on fire and reported it stolen. Two other suspects in the crime, Matthew Munch and John Fontana, testified against Arena and are expected to receive light sentences. The jury found Arena not guilty of first degree murder but convicted him of second degree murder and filing a false report.

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.