The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

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The Barrel Mystery. The Qllutch Hand. See the Fine Parsley.

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Artichoke Kings. The Eighteenth Amendment. Men of Respect. The ploy, still used in underworld circles today, is known as "create and solve". Morello, who had in fact sent the letters, was given free medical service in appreciation for his intervention. Before long, most of Morello's family — in-laws, cousins, wife and children — were also being treated for free.

The good guys in the yarn include Secret Service agent William Flynn, the son of Irish immigrants, who was the point man in the counterfeiting investigations that provided so much of the background on Morello. The Italian-born crime fighter, who was promoted to detective by Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt, was "one of the two or three most famous policemen in the city, and arguably the entire United States," Dash writes.

Petrosino was named to head the Italian Squad, a precursor of today's organized crime bureaus. Dash points out that in a police department with more than 4, members, there were only eight who spoke Italian. And in the kind of aside that both brings a smile and underscores Dash's ability to use small details to make large points, he notes that one of the cops assigned to the detail was Hugh Cassidy.

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This, he writes, "baffled newspaper reporters until it was discovered that the man had been born Ugo Cassidi and had Anglicized his name. Petrosino was a relentless investigator whose status and reputation provided a counterbalance to the ethnic stereotyping that plagued the Italian American community as immigrants from southern Italy poured into New York City.

He was killed in while in Palermo, gathering information about mobsters who were migrating to New York. While there has never been a clearcut answer to who was behind that assassination, Dash implies that "The Clutch Hand" had a reach that stretched back to his native land. Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer George Anastasia covers organized crime and is the author of several books on the Mafia, including The Last Gangster , Blood and Honor , and Mobfather.

Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to and see them again for the first time. PopMatters turns 20 years old this October and we're beginning to celebrate our history by taking you back in time a decade ago.

The First Family, by Mike Dash; The History of the Mafia, by Salvatore Lupo - The Globe and Mail

Obama was in the White House and the musical times were very good indeed. Revisit through its best albums. Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo, and Lucchese. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals, and generational changes that produced violent, unreliable leaders and recruits. In this blistering street-level account, "Mafia survivor" Frank DiMatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra.

This is the real inside story of Carmine "The Snake" Persico, from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the long-term jail sentences that didn't stop him from controlling his criminal empire, with the help of his brother - the equally kill-crazy Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico. As head of the Bonanno clan, Joey Massino was the last don, and ran his world with an iron hand - until he got hit with a murder rap, and turned on his own people.

Here, for the first time, is his shocking true story - a glimpse inside the world of organized crime that we may never see again. Using newly released FBI files, eyewitness accounts, and family mementos, Top Hoodlum takes you inside the Mafia that Frank Costello helped build from the ground up, from small-time bootlegging and gambling to a nationwide racketeering empire. Sometimes shocking, sometimes amusing, and always riveting, these are the stories that have inspired American crime classics like The Godfather , Casino , Goodfellas , and The Sopranos.

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This is the man who made the Mafia such a powerful force in our nation's history. This is Top Hoodlum. Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Joseph Bonanno found his future amid the whiskey-running, riotous streets of Prohibition America in , when he illegally entered the United States to pursue his dreams. By the age of only 26, Bonanno became a don. In the mids, these two longtime friends take the reins of New York's Irish mob, using brute force to give it hitherto unthinkable power.


Jimmy, a charismatic sociopath, is the leader. Mickey, whose memories of Vietnam torture him daily, is his enforcer. Together they make brutality their trademark, butchering bodies or hurling them out the window. More than any other sport, boxing has a history of being easy to rig. There are only two athletes and one or both may be induced to accept a bribe; if not the fighters, then the judges or referee might be swayed.

Inside The Mafia - The Godfathers (FULL Documentary)

In such inviting circumstances, the mob moved into boxing in the s and profited by corrupting a sport ripe for exploitation. In Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science , Jeffrey Sussman tells the story of the coercive and criminal underside of boxing, covering nearly the entire 20th century. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness.

But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.

A college baseball scholarship was his way out of the inner city, but his dreams of going pro were crushed by an arm injury. John Alite was forced to return home to the only life he knew, where having to live on the streets of New York meant one thing - earning how to survive. From a young age, he found himself influenced by the wrong crowd.

Enticed by the wealth, power, and prestige of the mafia, he immersed himself in a world that was foreign to most. But the cold, bitter truth was he was expendable, and his sworn allegiance was rewarded with betrayal. Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the boss of New York's Lucchese crime family, was a Mafia superstar, responsible for more than 50 murders.

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Currently serving 13 life sentences at a federal prison in Colorado, Casso has given journalist and New York Times best-selling author Philip Carlo the most intimate, personal look into the world of La Cosa Nostra ever seen.