Monday, October 22, 2007

Palminteri, 'A Bronx Tale' open on Broadway

Chazz Palminteri is bringing his one-man show, A Bronx Tale, to Broadway, 17 years after its initial LA and off-Broadway run, and 14 years after the story was brought to the big screen by Chazz and first-time director Robert Deniro.

Palminteri reportedly based A Bronx Tale on an actual event from his childhood. The writer/actor says he witnessed a murder from his front stoop (a concrete stairway leading into his building). "At that time, I thought they were fighting over the parking space in front of my building," Palminteri recalls. "I never did find out what they were fighting over."

Palminteri's story emphasizes the nobility of the working man over the gangster and warns that "the saddest thing in life is wasted talent."

A Bronx Tale is currently running previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City, with its official debut this Thursday, October, 25th. Information on the show is available online at and . Additional information in video form can be found at .

Palminteri will be answering questions about the show sent to . From now through Nov. 1, those e-mailing questions will be entered in a weekly drawing for a free pair of tickets to the show.

Mobster weeps during DeVecchio testimony

Testifying Oct. 18 about his experiences within the Colombo Crime Family, ex-mobster Lawrence Mazza, 46, broke down and cried on the witness stand, according to a story by Scott Shifrel of the New York Daily News. Mazza was testifying for the prosecution in the murder trial of former FBI supervisor Roy Lindley DeVecchio.

Mazza recounted his work, which included shooting and killing underworld rivals, on behalf of Colombo capo Gregory "the Grim Reaper" Scarpa (left). "I was his right hand man - very, very close," Mazza said. During the 1990s Colombo Family civil war, Mazza and his underworld colleagues would cruise around Brooklyn streets looking for their human targets.
When Mazza told of his personal background and his early desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, a New York Fire Department lieutenant, he began to cry. He noted that he spent a year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, studying police and fire science, while he worked as a supermarket delivery boy. A chance meeting with Scarpa's girlfriend, Linda Schiro, changed all of his plans. Mazza wept uncontrollably, and a break had to be called in the trial.

Prosecutors charge that DeVecchio (right) provided information to Scarpa that aided him in his attacks on his rivals. DeVecchio insists he is innocent of wrongdoing. A number of current and former FBI agents have publicly supported him.

Mazza was arrested in 1993 and began cooperating with authorities the following year. He served time in prison for racketeering and murder.

Scarpa died in prison in 1994 at the age of 66. His son, Gregory Scarpa Jr., followed him into the mob and into prison. He is now serving time on a racketeering conviction.

Pope denounces "disgraceful" Camorra

On his first papal visit to the city of Naples, Pope Benedict (right) denounced yesterday the criminal activity and culture of violence of the Camorra criminal society, according to a report by Phil Steward of the Reuters news service.

"...That violence tends to become a widespread mentality... with the risk of especially attracting the young," the pope warned.

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples delivered a similar message, stating, "Violence is always an offense against God."

Naples, somewhat ironically, is hosting an inter-faith conference on the role of religion in combatting worldwide violence. The city, which is the traditional home of the Camorra, has been plagued by violence. Last November, the Italian government considered sending in military forces to halt the clashes between Camorra gangs.

At that time, Campania regional Governor Antonio Bassolino called the Camorra, "a deadly cancer."

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.