Browsing: Organized Crime


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Giuseppe “Clutch Hand” Morello, the ruthless boss of America’s first Mafia family

The First Family:
Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder and the Birth of the American Mafia
By Mike Dash
Random House

Subject: Giuseppe “Clutch Hand” Morello and what’s believed to be America’s first truly organized Mafia family.

The Upside: Most Mafia books tend to be first-person tell-alls by the Mafiosi themselves, usually ghost-written by writers whose pact with the subject forces them to not challenge the narrator or dig too deep. And since these tales are being cast by congenital liars, it’s hard to know what’s fact, what’s fiction, and why the career criminal sewing the story tends to be painted in such an honorable light, especially when you know he’s really a scumbag…


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Victoria Gotti screamed that the judge was rigging her son’s trial

​Victoria Gotti, the wife of late Gambino Family boss John Gotti, apparently doesn’t like the way Judge Kevin Castel is handling her son John Jr’s trial for racketeering and murder. Yesterday, Castel banished two jurors involved in a cat fight, at least one of whom was perceived as favorable to the defense.

That caused Mrs. Gotti to go ape shit. She stood in the gallery behind her son and began screaming at Castel: “This is a
fucking railroad! There’s no justice!”

Daughter Victoria and Angel tried to cover mom’s mouth, but she kept screaming. “They’re the real gangsters!” she yelled, pointing at prosecutors and the judge. “They’re fucking liars! Fuck you…!”


An Italian anti-Mafia prosecutor has released the above video in hopes of finding witnesses to this mob hit. A man standing outside a store in Naples is shot once in the head, then again execution-style in the back of the head as the hit man leaves. But as he bleeds on the sidewalk, perhaps a dozen or more people are seen walking past with no one coming to his aid. One woman even pulls up his head to look at him, then walks away.


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Ambrose provided information on Nicholas Calabrese (above), a confessed hit man in the witness protection program

​The FBI knew they had a problem when they listened to secret tapes of Chicago Mafiosi Michael and James
Marcello talking in a prison visiting room about a “baby sitter” inside federal law enforcement. The “sitter” was providing info on the whereabouts of
confessed hit man Nicholas Calabrese, who was in the witness protection program.

Calabrese was being held at a Chicago safe house where he waited to testify against fellow Mafiosi. And someone within the feds, the FBI learned, was helping the Mafia find the informer.

The trail led to former Chicago police officer William Guide, imprisoned on a corruption charge. And the trail from there led back to U.S.Marshal John T. Ambrose


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93-year-old Viva LeRoy Nash killed two people — and tried to kill another

Breakfast Reading from around the Village Voice Empire:

Meet America’s Oldest Death Row Inmate
Arizona’s Viva Leroy Nash killed someone in Utah in 1977, killed again at a stamp coin and stamp store in 1982, and once tried to murder a Connecticut cop in 1947.

The Ballad of Bar Owner Dennis Hess
It started as a love song and ended in suicide.

The Yankee Stadium Fiasco
Rudy Giuliani, a corrupt former police chief, and how Mafia-related companies got work on the sequel to the House that Ruth Built.


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“Little Japanese” did time in an American prison for extortion

​Vyacheslav Ivankov — aka “Little Japanese” — was leaving the Thai
Elephant in Moscow in July when a sniper shot him three times in the stomach. The 69-year-old Russian Mafia boss spent months in the hospital before succumbing to his wounds last week.

It was a fitting end for the Mafioso whose career spanned four decades, two continents, and even endured communist rule. Police believe he was murdered for trying to settle a beef between two warring Moscow crime factions.

During his career, Ivankov specialized in gun-running, racketeering, drug
trafficking and extortion, both in Russia and the U.S. He spent 11 years in a Russian prison on a robbery conviction in 1980. A year after he was released in 1991, he moved to America — but didn’t end his criminal ways…


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Junior Gotti is on trial for racketeering and murder

​Hit man Robert Mormando made two interesting confessions yesterday in the trial of Mafia chieftain John Gotti Jr. He admitted to renouncing his membership in the Gambino Family. And he admitted that he’s gay. In the eyes of the mob, the second admission might be the greater sin.

Mormando testified to being the shooter in the 2003 attempted hit on Queens baker Angelo Mugnolo, who was shot in his driveway. He said the attack was ordered by Vincent Gotti, Junior Gotti’s uncle, who believed Mugnolo was having an affair with his wife.

The contract came but a month after Mormando was sworn into the Gambino Family. Vincent Gotti, his nephew Richard, and Angelo Ruggiero Jr. have already pleaded to conspiracy in the case…


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Pagans’ territory sprawls from Ohio to New York

​Some 50 members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club have been arrested in a plot to intimidate, beat, and murder their way to becoming the premier biker gang on the East Coast. According to the indictment, they’ve been on a campaign to crush smaller clubs or force them into allegiance to take on their rivals the Hells Angels and the Outlaws.

The charges against the gang are a smorgasbord of major felonies, including kidnapping, robbery, extortion,
and conspiracy to commit murder. When rival bikers entered their territory — which sprawls from Ohio to New York — they were “intimidated, threatened, attacked, beat, robbed
and sometimes killed them,” says the indictment.

In one case, Vice President Jesse Moore ordered the kidnapping and assault of a Road Disciples member to pressure the gang into kicking back extortion payments. Moore’s also accused of conspiring with a prison guard to kill and inmate suspected of ratting on the gang…


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Junior Gotti, second from left, and John Alite, second from right, in the days before they were glaring at each other in a Manhattan court room

​They used to be the best of friends. Junior Gotti was the best man at John Alite’s wedding. Alite was in the wedding party when Junior’s reality TV star sister Victoria got married. Together, they murdered and robbed their way across New York as members of the Gambino Family, which was run by Junior’s father John. But these days, Alite can be found in a Manhattan court room, ratting out Junior for multiple slayings committed over two decades… 

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