Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gangster museum opens in New York

The Museum of the American Gangster, 80 St. Marks Place in New York City, opens its doors this spring. A special pre-opening event is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 7. Admission during the preview period is priced at $10.

The museum, constructed within an East Village structure that once housed a Prohibition Era speakeasy, includes 800 square feet of gallery space. It features artifacts and documents related to organized crime. Lorcan Otway and Eric Ferrara founded the museum with assistance from crime historians and descendants of crime figures.

Hours of operation will be noon to 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

More information:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

RI mobster warned to avoid underworld pals

On Feb. 22, Rhode Island Magistrate Lincoln Almond warned Anthony St. Laurent Jr. to stay away from seven men identified by prosecutors as Mafia members and associates, according to a story by Tim White of WPRI. St. Laurent, son of Rhode Island racketeer Anthony "the Saint" St. Laurent, is on a monitored release as he awaits trial for helping to extort money from a Taunton, MA, bookmaker from 1988 to 2009. The younger St. Laurent was observed one week earlier as he had lunch with a reputed Providence mobster.

According to the magistrate's order, St. Laurent must avoid former New England crime boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, reputed underboss Robert P. "Bobby" DeLuca, former boss Raymond J. "Junior" Patriarca, reputed capodecina Edward C. Lato, reputed mobster Alfred "Chippy" Scivola Jr., paroled mobster Frank L. "Bobo" Manapese and accused racketeer Edward F. "Buckles" Melise.

St. Laurent was arrested in early February along with his father, a longtime New England Mafioso, and his mother Dorothy. Federal prosecutors charged the three with extortion conspiracy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two charged with 2003 Springfield murder

Two men were charged in mid-February with the 2003 murder of Springfield, MA, Mafia bigshot Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno (right), according to a story by Stephanie Barry of the Springfield Republican. A 13-count federal indictment accused Anthony J. "Bingy" Arillotta and Arthur "Short Guy" Nigro of participation in the murder plot. The indictment also contained other charges and defendants.

Arillotta, 41, is a resident of Springfield. Nigro, 65, of the Bronx, NY, is currently in prison, serving a five-year sentence for extortion.

According to authorities, Bruno controlled the region for the Genovese Crime Family until he was gunned down on Nov. 23, 2003, as he left a card game in Springfield. Frankie A Roche admitted to performing the murder in exchange for $10,000 offered by Arillotta enforcer Fotios "Freddy" Geas. Geas has been charged with murder and is scheduled to go on trial in March. Arillotta reportedly moved against Bruno with the approval of Mafia higher-ups after he argued that Bruno was working as an informant.

Canada adds conditions to Renda release

As 70-year-old Montreal Mafioso Paolo Renda was paroled in mid-February, authorities added conditions to his release, according to a story by Paul Cherry of the Montreal Gazette. Renda, who was jailed in October 2008 for possession of the proceeds of crime, will be closely watched due to the recent murder of his nephew and godson Nicolo "Nick" Rizzuto.

An official report states, "Unfortunate events took place on Dec. 28, 2009, during which your godson was killed, and Correctional Service of Canada fears reprisals on the part of Italian organized crime. A tighter framework is recommended to assure public safety."

Renda is married to the sister of reputed Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, 63. The murdered Nick Rizzuto was Vito Rizzuto's son. Nick was shot to death in Notre Dame de Grace on Dec. 28. The killing is unsolved.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

House arrest follows mob Christmas party

Philadelphia racketeer Steven Mazzone, 46, was sentenced Feb. 18 to six months of electronically monitored house arrest after being found in violation of his probation, according to a story by George Anastasia of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mazzone, released from prison last year after serving most of a nine-year racketeering sentence, violated the terms of his probation by attending a South Philadelphia "Cosa Nostra" Christmas party on Dec. 17.

According to authorities, the annual party draws area Mafiosi, who each bring cash gifts for the regional crime boss. Philadelphia organized crime investigators followed reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi and a reputed top lieutenant Anthony Staino to the event at a South Seventh Street restaurant. They noted the presence of Mazzone, Martin Angelina, Michael Lancelotti, Anthony Nicodemo, Gaetan Lucibello, Joseph Massimino and Joseph Licata.

Federal prosecutors asked that Mazzone be returned to prison for four months. Mazzone admitted to making a mistake and requested some form of house arrest.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Montreal Mafioso fined $209K

The 85-year-old reputed head of the Montreal Mafia was fined $209,200 in early February for not paying Canadian taxes on more than $5 million hidden in three Swiss bank accounts, according to a story by Stephane Tremblay in the Toronto Sun. Nicolo Rizzuto pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges. Rizzuto was arrested in a massive raid against alleged organized criminals in 2006. He was sentenced to four years in prison for possessing the proceeds of crime. He was released on parole in 2008. Rizzuto's 42-year-old grandson was murdered in Montreal in December 2009.

Read more about the Rizzuto Mafia:
The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto

Gioeli suffers stroke in prison

Reputed Colombo Family bigshot Tommy "Shots" Gioeli, in custody awaiting trial on racketeering and murder charges, suffered a stroke in early February, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News. He was rushed from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to an unidentified hospital. Authorities noted that Gioeli, reportedly a diabetic, had made a number of junk food purchases from the detention center commissary.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Informants to testify on Dols murder

Federal prosecutors intend to use two new informants to bolster their racketeering murder cases against reputed Colombo Family leader Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli and reputed consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, according to an article by Jerry Capeci in the Huffington Post. The informants are "Big Dino" Calabro and Frankie "Blue Eyes" Sparaco.

Gioeli and Cacace are charged with six murders including the 1997 killing of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols. Calabro reportedly served as triggerman in the Dols murder. Sparaco, old friend of imprisoned acting boss Alphonse Persico, was arrested in 1993 and charged with killings linked to a civil war within the Colombo Family.

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.