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Our Mafia history articles

Very often new historical data becomes available and causes our old assumptions to be revised or abandoned. Over time, many underworld legends appearing on these pages have given way to more defensible statements. Additional revisions are sure to be made in the months and years ahead. Articles presented here are the product of knowledge that was available to their authors at the time of their writing (article completion dates are noted below). Some of the articles - particularly older ones - may not reflect even the original author's current views on the subject matter.

Giuseppe Masseria

Not yet 'the Boss,' Masseria convicted of 1913 burglary

By Thomas Hunt, 2020

A number of source documents - prosecutor files and copyright-expired newspaper clippings - along with some document transcriptions accompany this short article, in order that readers may discover for themselves details of this early event in the underworld career of Giuseppe Masseria. Years later, Masseria - by then known as "Joe the Boss" - became capo dei capi (boss of the bosses) of the U.S. Mafia.

Salvatore Lucania aka Charlie Luciano

Prizefight, press linked Lucky and Joe the Boss

By Thomas Hunt, 2019

Salvatore "Charlie Luciano" Lucania's position as a top man in Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria's organization appears to be supported by news of a police raid of a Miami Beach hotel in February 1930. The two crime figures and a number of others were caught in the gambling raid. The gamblers apparently had been lured to south Florida by a widely publicized but ultimately disappointing boxing match.

Nicholas Santora

Sidelined by Brasco, later returned to leadership

By Thomas Hunt, 2019

The FBI's "Donnie Brasco" undercover operation revealed that "Nicky Cigars" Santora (also known as "Nicky Mouth") was a leader in New York's Bonanno Crime Family. That revelation cost Santora his underworld position and his freedom, as he was sentenced to a long term in federal prison. Despite law enforcement scrutiny, Santora regained his status in the Bonanno organization following his release.

Pasquarella Spinelli

Owner's killing launches 'Murder Stable' legend

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

Mrs. Pasquarella Mussone Spinelli was fatally shot March 20, 1912, while checking on the horses boarded in her East Harlem stable, 334 East 108th Street. Spinelli was a relatively wealthy resident of the Italian colony and was suspected of criminal activity. Her murder was just one in a string of related killings that prompted the New York press to name her former business address, "the Murder Stable."

Lucania and prison bars

When 'Charlie Lucky Luciano' was locked up

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

Salvatore "Charlie Lucky Luciano" Lucania reigned atop the American Mafia less than five years before being taken into custody. The underworld boss spent most of the next decade - from his prime into middle age - behind New York prison bars. A lengthy term in remotely located institutions could have cost Lucky his fame, but, as the U.S. entered World War II, he found a way to make himself important.

Rosemarie and Thomas Uva

Christmas Eve killings end Mafia club robberies

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

Thomas and Rosemarie Uva, married about five years, went out early Thursday, December 24, 1992, to complete their Christmas shopping. The Uvas, in a Mercury Topaz, were less than a mile from home when they stopped for a traffic light at 103rd Avenue and 91st Street. Bullets cracked in rapid succession through the Topaz's windshield. Three slugs struck Thomas in the head. Three others hit Rosemarie.


No-Nose DiFronzo fought the law, and the law lost

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

Life and underworld career of John "No Nose" DiFronzo, Chicago Outfit boss, who died in 2018 at his River Grove home. DiFronzo owed his nickname to wound suffered in a 1949 tangle with police. Trial testimony named him as one of the mobsters who beat to death the Spilotro brothers, but he was never charged. A criminal defense attorney said that DiFronzo's greatest achievement was, "Beating the G."

FBI report

Two Gambino informants had very different fates

By Edmond Valin, 2018

One, Alfredo Santantonio, was murdered in a Brooklyn flower store in 1963. His Gambino bosses were concerned the 40-year-old mobster was cooperating with law enforcement, and they wanted to send a message to all considering a similar path. The other, Carmine Lombardozzi, passed away at age 79, and crime family leaders turned out to pay their respects. Documents show that both men were FBI informants.

William Dara

Willie the Tile Maker gave Bonanno secrets to Feds

By Edmond Valin, 2018

A Florida-based Bonanno mobster began to share information with the FBI in the late 1960s, discussing gangland murders, secrets about cosa nostra members and details about turmoil within the Bonanno Crime Family. His cooperation was never suspected by his associates, and he died a member in good standing. Clues found in recently declassified federal documents help us to finally reveal his identity.

Jack Ruby

As others fled, Jack Ruby visited Havana in 1959

By Thomas Hunt, 2009

Jack Ruby, a well-connected nightclub owner in Dallas, appears to have played a role in the flight of American racketeers and the removal of some mob money from Cuba in 1959. The level of his participation remains uncertain. Some believe he negotiated with the new government of Fidel Castro to win the release of Mafia boss Santo Trafficante and later participated in a Castro-Mafia plot against JFK.

Castro targeted

CIA enlisted mobsters in effort to kill Castro

By Thomas Hunt, 2017

Government releases of long-hidden John F. Kennedy assassination files in July and October of 2017 exposed CIA cooperation with U.S. mobsters - particularly Tampa boss Santo Trafficante, Chicago boss Sam Giancana and Johnny Rosselli - in an effort to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Giancana and Rosselli later attempted to use their connection with CIA to achieve their personal ambitions.

Harry Riccobene

Two Philly Mob members fed info to Feds

By Edmond Valin, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was able in the early 1960s to turn two inducted members of the Philadelphia Crime Family. The informants both were sons of prominent cosa nostra leaders and possessed knowledge of underworld activities dating back to early Prohibition days. Federal agents used their information to assemble an inside look at the crime family's history, structure and membership.

Louis Fratto

FBI found fertile soil in post-Giancana Outfit

By Edmond Valin, 2017

The FBI was unable to acquire informants within the Chicago Outfit by 1965. The situation changed abruptly after Sam Giancana, targeted by law enforcement, was deposed as boss and fled the U.S. for Mexico. Declassified documents show that more than ten Outfit members began cooperating by 1967. The difference seems to have been due to more aggressive law enforcement and a breakdown in underworld morale.

Venero Mangano

Benny Eggs' death breaks historic link

By Thomas Hunt, 2017

The August 2017, death of Venero Frank "Benny Eggs" Mangano severed the Genovese Crime Family's strongest remaining link to its historic Lower West Side foundation. Mangano passed away in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The neighborhood had been a stronghold of the crime family since the Prohibition Era, when young Neapolitan gangster Vito Genovese joined forces with Sicilian chief "Joe the Boss" Masseria.

William Roemer

Roemer inform­ants: Sporting Goods, Romano

By Edmond Valin, 2017

FBI Agent William Roemer graded three Chicago Outfit informants as his "best." In his writings, he revealed that one of these was Richard Cain, shot to death in 1973. He referred to the other two only by codenames "Sporting Goods" and "Romano." Examining declassified FBI documents alongside some of Roemer’s books provides compelling clues to the long-hidden identities of these underworld informants.

Rocco Racco

Just how organized was Calabrian crime?

By Thomas Hunt, 2015

During the Prohibition Era, the Sicilian Mafia absorbed Calabrian organized criminals in a number of U.S. regions. But it is uncertain how organized the Calabrians had been on their own and what prompted the merger. However, there are hints that Calabrian gangsters already had a well developed interstate and international smuggling network in place by the time the Mafia entered bootlegging rackets.

Frank Bompensiero

Bompen­siero: under­world boss, FBI informant

By Thomas Hunt, 2017

A look at the life and underworld career of the cigar-chewing Frank "Bomp" Bompensiero. Born in Milwaukee in 1905, Bompensiero relocated to southern California by the Prohibition Era and became a powerhouse for the Los Angeles Mafia, controlling underworld rackets in the San Diego area. His gangland bosses ordered his execution in 1977 after learning that he was aiding federal law enforcement agents.

Giuseppe Morello

Sinistro: Giuseppe Morello's life and crimes

By Thomas Hunt, 2015

The first known capo dei capi (boss of bosses) of the U.S. Mafia, Morello served as both a unifying and a dividing force in the underworld. After working early on to establish interstate gang relationships, rackets and policies, he was later immersed in two gang conflicts and became a Castellammarese War casualty. His Terranova half-brothers and brother-in-law Ignazio Lupo all became leading Mafiosi.

William Flynn

The Barrel Mystery: Secret Service takes on Mafia

By W.J.Flynn, 1919

We present the entirety of The Barrel Mystery book by William J. Flynn, a useful window into the operations of the early Mafia organization of Giuseppe Morello as well as the tactics used by the U.S. Secret Service and other enforcement agencies to bring Morello and his band of counterfeiters to justice. Flynn, who led the Secret Service in New York in the period, vividly recalls the 1903 Barrel Murder.

Abner Zwillman

Capone of New Jersey: Abner 'Longie' Zwillman

By Thomas Hunt, 2014

One of the more powerful and influential New Jersey underworld figures of the Prohibition Era and beyond, Abner "Longie" Zwillman was known as the "Al Capone" of his state. A Newark-area political powerhouse, Zwillman amassed a fortune through rum-running, gambling and coin-operated devices. He was known to be generous with friends and gangland associates. But his downfall was his stinginess with Uncle Sam.

Frank Bonomo

Little-known Bonanno soldier: Frank Bonomo

By J.Dugard, 2013

A longtime member of the Bonanno Crime Family, Frank Bonomo proved himself equally adept at avoiding the attention of law enforcement and the wrath of his underworld rivals. He was born in the crime family's ancestral home of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, in 1901. A survivor of New York's "Banana War," he gained stature and briefly may have commanded a Bonanno capodecina. He lived to the age of 86.

Frank Yale

What do we know about Frankie Yale?

By Thomas Hunt, 2013

Frankie Yale was a Brooklyn gangster and businessman with ties to Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria and Al Capone. His 1928 assassination coincided with dramatic changes in the Brooklyn underworld and the Mafia of the United States. Yale apparently was born Jan. 22, 1893, in Longobucco, a town in the southern mainland Italian region of Calabria. The original spelling of his surname was probably "Ioele".

Joe Valachi

Joe Valachi's memoirs: 'The Real Thing'

By Joe Valachi, 1964

The famous Mob informant's life story in his own words. Valachi recalls his early career as a burglar, his participation in the Castellammarese War, his induction into the American Mafia and more. Valachi's recollections, originally written at the urging of the United States government, formed the basis of the Peter Maas book, The Valachi Papers, but differed significantly from the Maas account.

Joseph Cerrito

Bay-Area informants proved crucial for FBI

By Edmond Valin, 2018

As the FBI entered the fight against organized crime on a national level, it benefited from membership data and history obtained through confidential informants from a small Mafia family in northern California. Briefly in the 1960s, there may have been more member-informants active in San Jose than any other crime family ,and the FBI may have been better informed about the Bay Area underworld than its boss.

Bill Bonanno

Boss's son was Banana War informant

By Edmond Valin, 2017

During the 1960s "Banana War" in New York City, law enforcement benefited from a stream of data provided by a knowledgeable informer within the Bonanno Crime Family. Researcher Edmond Valin argues that, based upon the timing, the circumstances and the information conveyed to the authorities, the informer could only have been crime family boss Joseph Bonanno's son, Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno.

Stefan Cicale

Cicale testimony - U.S. v Joseph Young

Edited By J.Dugard, 2010

A gruesome murder in a reportedly haunted, old, Staten Island hilltop mansion provided a window into the operation of the Bonanno Crime Family. Turncoat witness Stefan Cicale testified about the April 2005 Kreischer Mansion murder of Robert McKelvey in an October 2008 trial. According to Cicale, two mobsters stabbed and drowned McKelvey at the site and then had Cicale and another man help dispose of the body.

stacks of cash

Super Bowl shake­down: mob goes online

By Clarence Walker, 2010

Billions of dollars will be gambled worldwide on a single Super Bowl, much of it will be wagered online. Last year, the Internet gambling industry generated an estimated $10-$12 billion, according to a gaming analyst. About half of those revenues came from Americans. The quantity of cash involved makes the industry irresistible for organized criminals, and gambling sites are targeted for cyberattacks.

Buster Domingo

'Buster' and the gang­sters of SW Michigan

By David Critchley, 2008

Historians have generally neglected the role played by Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, cities in Berrien County, Michigan, in the history of Chicago and New York organized crime. Berrien communities were quite familiar with Outfit boss Al Capone, a regular visitor. And a prolific Castellammarese War gunman referred to as "Buster," can now be identified as one-time Berrien County resident Sebastiano Domingo.

Roy DeMeo

Vengeance in Miami: the killing of George Byrum

By J. Dugard, 2007

A chambermaid at Miami's Ocean Shore Motel made the grisly July 14, 1976, discovery of a shooting and stabbing victim left in a bathroom. Police used motor vehicle registration data to identify the victim as George "Dickie" Byrum. They learned of Byrum financial problems and his dealings with a loan shark, but it took until 1983 to link the murder to the Roy DeMeo crew of the Gambino Crime Family.

Frank Yale and Saverio Pollaccia

Man in the shadows: Sam Pollaccia

By T. Hunt and L. Cafiero, 2008

A little known crime figure of Brooklyn and the Bronx, Saverio Pollaccia was a close aide to two gang leaders who successively occupied the position of Mafia boss of bosses, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila and "Joe the Boss" Masseria. In addition, Pollaccia was a close ally to Brooklyn's Frankie Yale. Once an influential organized crime leader, Pollaccia was killed due to an old grudge held by Vito Genovese.

Jackson Square heart of the French Quarter

Early Mafia feud in New Orleans, 1868-72

By T. Hunt and M. Sheldon, 2008

The stunning murder of Little Messina community leader Litero Barba in October of 1868 - initially blamed on an African-American state legislator - quickly led to the eruption of a gangland war in New Orleans. An alliance of underworld figures originally from Messina and Trapani, Sicily, battled a Palermo Mafia organization led by Raffaele Agnello. Bloodshed in the war continued until April of 1872.

Joseph Petrosino

Badges in Little Italy: Petro­sino's Italian Squad

By Thomas Hunt, 2007

After completing an evening meal at the Cafe Oreto on March 12, 1909, Joseph Petrosino walked into the wooded public square at the Piazza Marina, just south of the docks of Palermo, Sicily. Petrosino, a police lieutenant and founder of NYPD's Italian Squad, was shot to death in the dark piazza. His overseas assassination was the most moving moment in the distinguished history of the Italian Squad.

Wounded Magaddino

The Good Killers: 1921's glimpse of the Mafia

By T. Hunt and M.A. Tona, 2007

"Diu miu!" The shout drew Michael Fiaschetti's attention to the figure silhouetted in the dim gray light passing through the hotel window. Fiaschetti was on self-imposed guard duty, ostensibly protecting barber Bartolo Fontano from gangsters who wished him dead.


'Mikey Scars' reveals Gambino Family history

Feb. 2006 testimony of Michael DiLeonardo

Paul Castellano had sent some emissaries to talk to me about it. My brother Robert was with the Colombo family, and being he was with that family, we have no say and no influence on their politics or anything that they do. So this is a way to tell me this is Cosa Nostra. This is the way the rules are. Your brother was there. They killed him and that's it. There's no questions to be asked.

Journalist Walter Winchell

Wrongly Executed? The case of Charles Sberna

By Thomas Hunt, 2006-07

Patrolman John H. A. Wilson, an 11-year member of the New York Police Department, was on strike-duty in front of the E. J. Barry drug warehouse at 54 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan. Employees of the warehouse had walked off the job, and Wilson was sent to ensure picketers behaved themselves.

Tommy Lucchese

White-collar Mafioso: Tommy Lucchese

By Thomas Hunt, 2006

Despite running one of New York's smaller underworld units, Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese was one of the more successful American Mafia bosses of the post-Prohibition era. Abundant evidence of his business acumen suggests he was among the few mob chiefs who could have succeeded in life without underworld ties.

Albert Anastasia

King of the Brooklyn docks: Albert Anastasia

By Thomas Hunt, 2005

Few gangsters have cast a greater shadow on American society than Albert Anastasia of Brooklyn. For much of three decades, the man who was called "The Mad Hatter" and "The Lord High Executioner" helped to shape the organized underworld in the United States

Anthony Spilotro

Chicago's man in Vegas: Anthony Spilotro

By Thomas Hunt, 2006

Anthony Spilotro wasn't much to look at. His build certainly wasn't threatening. He stood just five feet, six inches tall and weighed in the neighborhood of 160. His small stature led underworld colleagues to call him "Tony the Ant" and "The Little Guy."

Jimmy Hoffa

Disappear­ance of Teamster boss Hoffa

By Thomas Hunt, 2005-06

The disappearance of former Teamster President James Riddle Hoffa in 1975 sparked a public debate that continues to this day. Despite claims to the contrary, no one knows for sure what became of Hoffa or who was responsible.

Max Hoff

Remem­ber­ing "Boo Boo": Philly's Max Hoff

By Parry Desmond, 2003

Max "Boo Boo" Hoff was born in 1893 in South Philadelphia, a son of poor Russian-Jewish, immigrants. After quitting school, Boo Boo worked for several years as a cigar store clerk. His salary allegedly was raised from $12 a week to $15 after the proprietor noticed how Boo Boo's amiable personality appealed to customers.

Al Capone

Counterfeit Capone? FBI thought it possible

By Thomas Hunt, 2010

"Al Capone's ten-month imprisonment in Philadelphia gave rise to a number of conspiracy theories. The most complex theory was advanced by Real Detective magazine in 1931. That periodical charged that the real Al Capone was dead and the man who had served time for carrying a deadly weapon in Philadelphia was an imposter. Real Detective charged that, at the time of his imprisonment, Capone's eye color changed from brown..."

Sam Mannarino

Retired big shot gave info on Pittsburgh mob

By Edmond Valin, 2018

Samuel Mannarino was a prominent La Cosa Nostra figure in Western Pennsylvania for decades until his death in 1967. He met with FBI agents throughout the mid-1960s after being forced into retirement from the rackets. He engaged in conversation with the agents mostly out of boredom and a slight sense of disappointment over the abrupt end to his criminal life. His revelations to the agents never went very far, but he did shed light...

Anthony Lima

Former San Fran boss talked to the feds

By Edmond Valin, 2018

In 1965, Anthony Lima, former boss of the San Francisco Crime Family, began to share confidential information with federal law enforcement. The veteran LCN member provided an insider's view of organized crime from the highest levels. Lima told federal agents about his induction ceremony, provided details about the history of the Pittsburgh Crime Family, and identified LCN members, many for the first time.

Arthur Carey

NYPD's Carey recalls the Barrel Murder

By Arthur Carey, 1930

"Italians who came to this country at the beginning of this century had a penchant for grouping into small colonies. They came in great numbers to New York City and settled in districts which became known as Little Italys. The colonization laid them open to attacks by various criminal organizations from the Old World who brought with them much experience in murder and blackmail. In 1902 and 1903 members of these colonies were terrorized..."

Vincent Teresa

Vinnie Teresa cooperated earlier than he let on

By Edmond Valin, 2018

Vincent "Fat Vinnie" Teresa achieved notoriety in the 1970s after he became a cooperating witness against the mob. The former New England Crime Family mobster testified at more than a dozen mob trials and made a televised appearance before a United States Senate committee investigating organized crime. Teresa's tales of mob life and his distinctive appearance - a large head, massive frame and gravely voice...


LA's Piscopo betrayed Johnny Roselli

By Edmond Valin, 2018

Salvatore Piscopo was a longtime member of the Los Angeles Crime Family and a close associate of mob legends Johnny Roselli and Jimmy Fratianno. Piscopo ran a large-scale gambling operation for the mob. Although he never rose higher than soldier, Piscopo had a front row seat to organized crime's infiltration of the movie industry and the gang wars that boiled over in Southern California in the 1940s and 1950s.

Vito Campanella Jr.

Sicilian vendetta strikes Missouri and Texas

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

The force of Sicilian vendetta was observed in the United States between 1918 and 1921, during a long and bloody family feud in Texas and Missouri. It is uncertain whether the immigrant families involved, the Restivos and the Campanellas, were at all connected with the Mafia criminal society. However, their determination to destroy each other rivaled anything seen in Mafia history. It was reported that the families were bitter enemies in Sicily...


Bonanno associate Zottola murdered at McD's

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

Sylvester "Sally Daz" Zottola, 71, was shot and killed Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, while waiting at a McDonald's drive-thru lane in the Bronx. Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno Crime Family and once a trusted friend of former Bonanno boss Vincent J. "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, apparently had been targeted by rivals for the past year. Zottola, alone in his maroon Acura SUV, visited the McDonald's restaurant drive-thru, 1625 Webster Avenue...

Francesco Cali

Gambino chief's alleged killer followed QAnon

By Thomas Hunt, 2019

The reputed boss of New York's Gambino Crime Family was shot to death Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in the street outside his Staten Island home, according to newspaper and broadcast reports. Shortly after nine o'clock that night, emergency dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call from No. 25 Hilltop Terrace off Four Corners Road in the Todt Hill section. Fire department medics and police responded. They found Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 53, had suffered multiple gunshot wounds...

Joseph Gurera

'Joey G' drops a dime and a body or two

By Edmond Valin, 2019

In 1967, Kansas City Outfit member Joseph Gurera began to share confidential information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Gurera cooperated for only a few months before he passed away, but in that short time, he helped federal agents to identify La Cosa Nostra members in three states, provided Intel about organized crime history in Kansas City and Milwaukee going back decades and cleared up numerous mob murders...

New Orleans tomb

Wherefore art thou (Frank) Romeo?

By Thomas Hunt, 2018

"His deeds forgotten and his remains misplaced, 'Nine-Fingered Frank' Romeo is a mysterious figure in New Orleans underworld history. Recalled by history merely as one of eleven men murdered in an 1891 lynch mob assault on Orleans Parish Prison, Romeo, also known as Romero, actually served a key, longtime role in the evolution of organized crime in southern Louisiana, bringing together businessmen, labor, politicians and racketeers in the earliest days of the American Mafia....


The Italian mobster who really wasn't

By Edmond Valin, 2020

In the late 1920s, a young hoodlum from New York City moved to Chicago and became associated with the local Mafia organization called the 'Outfit.' He made a living as a 'confidence man,' a jewel thief, and a heroin dealer. He acted as 'muscle' for mobsters Fifi Buccieri and Ralph Pierce and rubbed elbows with bosses Frank Nitti and Paul Ricca. In 1963, he got jammed up and turned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help....


Car-bomb corrects Cerone's mistake

By Edmond Valin, 2021

A minor Chicago racketeer often in trouble with the law, Louis Bombacino was called John Cerone's "biggest mistake." Bombacino secretly provided extensive data on late-1960s Outfit bosses to agents of the FBI. After testifying in court against a number of crime figures, he was given a new identity and a new home. The changes were not enough to protect him from the wrath of the Mob. He was killed in a car-bomb explosion in October 1975.

Ralph Emmino

The mob murder that led to the 'miracle'

By Thomas Hunt, 2021

Ralph "Bucky" Emmino's killing in 1952 was an example of brutal Profaci Crime Family discipline. Reportedly responsible for taking two precious jeweled crowns from a church display, crime family associate Emmino was ordered to turn over the loot. When he did so, he was shot to death. The bloody event was quickly forgotten by most. But the Gallo gang considered it an atrocity. It was a factor in their uprising against Profaci rule.

Giovanni Zarcone

Mob-linked murder in Danbury, Connecticut

By Thomas Hunt, 2021

New York's Morello Mafia was suspected of involvement in the July 1909 murder of Danbury, Connecticut, fruit farmer Giovanni Zarcone. Before moving to western Connecticut, Zarcone was a Brooklyn butcher with connections to the Morello mob. Like others with links to Morello, Zarcone was a suspect in the 1903 Manhattan Barrel Murder. And, like a number of the other suspects, he was murdered after moving away from the city.

Lucky Luciano

Mafia convention in Havana? Probably not

By Thomas Hunt, 2021

Underworld legend says Salvatore "Lucky Luciano" Lucania reached Havana, Cuba, late in 1946 and summoned U.S. crime bosses to a convention where he was proclaimed Mafia boss of bosses. But that meeting probably did not happen. And there is no reason to believe Lucania was ever named boss of bosses. Evidence suggests that during Lucky's Cuba stay he was visited occasionally by very small groups of friends and associates.


Writers of Wrongs articles sorted by state and date

Posting date shown in parentheses.


Evidence of some lingering hostility

(04 Nov 2017)

1955 car bombing murder of former Chicago racketeer Willie Bioff


Gunman in green car decimates Matrangas

(18 Dec 2019)

1917 killing of Mafia faction leader Pietro Matranga

SoCal boss DiGiorgio is gunned down

(13 May 2017)

1922 Chicago killing of Los Angeles-based Mafia boss Vito DiGiorgio

Wealthy Los Angeles-area Mafia leader vanishes

(15 Oct 2019)

1931 disappearance of southern California Mafia boss Joseph Ardizzone.

San Francisco boss succumbs to blood disorder

(14 Jun 2017)

1937 death of Francesca Lanza elevates Tony Lima to boss

The end of 'Bugsy' Siegel

(20 Jun 2017)

1947 murder of gambling racketeer Benjamin Siegel in Beverly Hills

Calamia caught, called killing conspirator

(23 Dec 2019)

Leonard Calamia in 1948 is linked with murder of Nick DeJohn

SoCal Mafia tries (again) to take out Cohen

(20 Jul 2018)

1949 Mafia shooting of gambling racketeer Mickey Cohen

Cali cops called for Caddy corpse

(12 Jan 2019)

1969 Los Angeles murder of Julius Petro

Mafia executes SoCal informant Bompensiero

(10 Feb 2017)

1977 San Diego killing of Frank Bompensiero silences a longtime mob informant

SoCal rackets bosses tried in federal court

(14 Oct 2019)

1980 racketeering trial of Los Angeles Mafia leaders


Connecticut murder linked to NYC Mafia

(27 Jul 2017)

1909 killing of Giovanni Zarcone links to NYC Barrel Murder

Top New England mobsters targeted

(16 Jun 2018)

1989 murder of Connecticut Mafia leader William Grasso


Stroke complications take Capone

(25 Jan 2018)

1947 Al Capone death at his south Florida home.

Buckshot finishes Tampa big shot

(05 Jun 2018)

1950 killing of Tampa Mafioso James Luma


Chicago gangland hit (long before Capone)

(21 Feb 2017)

1901 killing of political and underworld leader Salvatore DiGiovanni

Chicago fatal shooting no surprise to U.S. agents(07 May 2019)

1909 murder of Chicago Mafia leader Mariano Zagone

White Sox players indicted for throwing Series

(28 Sep 2017)

1920 indictment of nine "Black Sox" players

Eight 'Black Sox' players banned from baseball

(03 Aug 2018)

1921 disciplinary measures against 1919 White Sox players

SoCal boss DiGiorgio is gunned down

(13 May 2017)

1922 Chicago killing of Los Angeles-based Mafia boss Vito DiGiorgio

Torrio surrenders Chicago rackets after ambush

(24 Jan 2019)

Seriously wounded in front of his home in 1925, Torrio turns racket control over to Capone.

Chicago's Genna is laid to rest

(29 May 2017)

1925 funeral of murdered Mafia boss Angelo Genna

Shotgun takes out Chicago's 'Scourge

(15 Feb 2020)

1926 murder of Chicago Mafioso Orazio Tropea

Rude guests pump bullets into their host

(08 Jan 2018)

1929 murder of Chicago underworld leader Pasqualino Lolordo

Moran's men massacred

(14 Feb 2019)

The North Side gangsters who were victims of the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Capone meets City of Brotherly Love

(16 May 2017)

1929 arrest in Philadelphia of Chicago Outfit boss Capone

Eleven years and a fine for tax dodger Capone

(24 Oct 2018)

1931 Al Capone tax evasion sentencing

Luciano, Lansky nabbed in Chicago

(19 Apr 2017)

1932 arrest of Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky with Paul Ricca and others in Chicago

Out of prison, into hospital

(16 Nov 2016)

1939 release of Al Capone from prison begins his stay in a Baltimore hospital

Chicago Outfit big shot shoots self

(19 Mar 2017)

1943 suicide of Outfit leader Frank Nitti

Jury convicts six Outfit leaders, associate

(22 Dec 2019)

1943 extortion conviction of Ricca, Campagna, Rosselli, D'Andrea, Gioe, Maritote and Kaufman

Stroke complications take Capone

(25 Jan 2018)

1947 Al Capone death at his south Florida home.

Death of former Chicago gang chief goes unnoticed

(16 Apr 2019)

1957 death of Chicago underworld organizer Johnny Torrio

Spilotro bros killed by underworld colleagues

(14 Jun 2021)

The 1986 Chicago Outfit disciplinary murders of Anthony and Michael Spilotro.

Heart, lung ailments take 'Joe Batters'

(27 May 2020)

1992 death of longtime Chicago Outfit boss Anthony Accardo.

Outfit killer Calabrese dies on Xmas 2012

(25 Dec 2018)

2012 death of Chicago Outfit leader Frank Calabrese Sr.

He fought the law, and the law lost

(31 May 2018)

2018 death of Chicago Outfit boss John DiFronzo


Macheca and the Civil War black market

(28 Aug 2017)

1863 trial and conviction of Joseph Macheca for black market selling of stolen U.S. Army food

New Orleans underworld boss murdered

(01 Apr 2017)

1869 killing of early New Orleans Mafia boss Raffaele Agnello.

Vendetta killings at New Orleans' French Market

(22 Jul 2018)

1869 casualties in early American Mafia war.

The murder of New Orleans boss Joseph Agnello

(20 Apr 2017)

1872 fatal shooting of Mafia faction leader Joseph Agnello

White League revolt in New Orleans

(14 Sep 2017)

1874 effort to overthrow Reconstruction government

Hennessys capture Sicilian brigand in New Orleans

(05 Jul 2017)

1881 arrest of Giuseppe Esposito by David and Michael Hennessy

New Orleans killing linked to Mafia feud

(05 Jan 2020)

1888 murder of Antonio Bonora.

Ambush reignites New Orleans feud

(06 May 2017)

1890 attack marks resumption of Matranga-Provenzano Mafia war

New Orleans police chief ambushed, murdered

(15 Oct 2017)

1890 Mafia murder of Police Chief David Hennessy

Jury complete, 1891 Mafia trial begins

(27 Feb 2021)

1891 trial begins for nine suspected Mafiosi accused of killing Police Chief Hennessy.

Disturbance at trial of Hennessy assassins

(02 Mar 2017)

1891 trial of nine accused of killing Police Chief Hennessy is interrupted by wild behavior of one defendant

Grand jury indicts bribers, defends killers

(05 May 2018)

1891 investigation results in defense of lynchers

$5000 awarded to family of lynch victim

(13 Jan 2017)

1894 federal verdict provides money for Rocco Geraci widow and children

Deported to Guatemala due to fake birth record

(04 Apr 2019)

U.S. deports New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello.

'Dandy Phil' exits in his pajamas

(16 Aug 2018)

1962 apparent suicide of gambling racketeer Philip Kastel

NOLA mayor to offer apology for 1891 lynchings

(02 Apr 2019)

Mayor expected to issue Official Proclamation of Apology for 1891 lynchings of 11 Italian-American men.


Top New England mobsters targeted

(16 Jun 2018)

1989 attempt on the life of Francis Salemme

Ex-boss Salemme, 84, convicted of murder

(23 Jun 2018)

2018 conviction of former boss Francis Salemme for killing federal witness

Boston's Bulger is killed in federal prison

(30 Oct 2018)

2018 murder of James Bulger in prison

Update: 'Whitey' Bulger killing

(04 Nov 2018)

2018 murder of James Bulger in prison - update


Detroit gang feud claims Adamo brothers

(24 Nov 2018)

1913 killings of Vito and Salvatore Adamo

Detroit fish market murders spark Mafia war
(31 May 2019)
1930 killings of Gaspare Milazzo and Rosario Parrino trigger Castellammarese War

Michigan mobster Joe Tocco succumbs

(03 May 2017)

1938 assassination of Detroit's West Side gang leader


KC's Lazia is gunned down at his home

(10 Jul 2018)

1934 murder of politically connected racketer John Lazia

Bullets take KC political leader, aide

(06 Apr 2017)

1950 murders of Charles Binaggio and Charles Gargotta


Flamingo opens with three-day gala

(26 Dec 2019)

Las Vegas casino financed through Benjamin Siegel opens in December 1946

New Jersey

Trial of king's killer takes just one day

(29 Aug 2018)

1900 trial of New Jersey's Gaetano Bresci for King Umberto assassination

Murders his pal on 'Good Killers' orders

(30 Jul 2018)

1921 killing in New Jersey reveals operation of Good Killers gang

Dutch Schultz, aides, fatally shot in New Jersey

(23 Oct 2017)

1935 murder of gang leader Dutch Schultz

Pals' pistols quiet garrulous gangster

(04 Oct 2018)

1951 Cliffside Park murder of Willie Moretti

Joe Adonis deports himself

(03 Jan 2017)

1956 self-deportation of New York-New Jersey racketeer Giuseppe Doto

'Longie' Zwillman takes his life

(26 Feb 2019)

The February 1959 suicide of long-time New Jersey rackets chief.

Death of former Boardwalk boss

(09 Dec 2016)

1968 death by natural causes of longtime Atlantic City underworld boss Enoch Johnson

Mafia infiltrates Federal Bureau of Investigation

(18 Jul 2018)

1975 admission by FBI clerk that she worked for NJ Mafia figure

Exit of Hoffa foe, 'Tony Pro' Provenzano

(12 Dec 2019)

1988 passing of New Jersey Teamsters leader believed responsible for Jimmy Hoffa's demise

New York

Brooklyn's 1902 'Sack Murder'

(23 Jul 2017)

1902 Brooklyn killing of "Joe the Grocer" Catania

The Barrel Murder of 1903

(14 Apr 2017)

1903 discovery of a corpse within a barrel left on a city street

Garvan battled radicals and Mafiosi

(09 Jul 2017)

1903 Barrel Murder investigation featured prosecutor Francis Garvan, later involved in U.S. action against radicals

Future Buffalo mob boss arrives in NYC

(07 Feb 2017)

1909 arrival of teenage Stefano Magaddino, later Mafia leader in western New York

NYPD head exposes Petrosino secret mission

(19 Feb 2018)

1909 statements of Commissioner Bingham about Petrosino trip to Italy

Martyr to duty: Petrosino is slain

(12 Mar 2017)

1909 assassination of NYPD's Joseph Petrosino during investigation in Sicily

Bad-bills bust
(15 Nov 2016)
1909 Secret Service arrest of Mafia boss of bosses Giuseppe Morello and his counterfeiting gang

Extortion victim turns table on 'The Gimp'"

(15 Dec 2019)

1912 slaying of Black Hand extortion gang leader Aniello Prisco

Caught without his chain mail shirt"
(09 Apr 2019)
1913 shooting death of gangster Amadeo Buonomo

Lost his love and then lost his life

(28 Nov 2019)

1914 set up of William "Patsy Doyle" Moore by the Gophers Gang.

Lucky's 1916 narcotics conviction

(27 Jun 2019)

1916 narcotics conviction of Salvatore "Charlie Luciano" Lucania.

Two killed at Castellammarese colony in Brooklyn
(11 Nov 2019)
1917 double-murder of Antonino Mazzara and Antonino DiBenedetto.

Bogus Blackhand bombing in Buffalo

(16 Mar 2020)

Fraudulent 1918 bombing attempt at family home on Trenton Avenue.

U.S. President commutes sentence of Mafia's Lupo
(29 Oct 2016)
1921 commutation of Ignazio Lupo sentence by President Harding

Live by the sword...

(11 Aug 2017)

1922 murder of Mafia hit man Umberto Valente

What happened to girl wounded by stray bullet?

(13 Aug 2018)

1922 killing of Umberto Valente wounded an eleven-year-old girl

Gangland assassination in Brooklyn

(01 Jul 2017)

1928 murder of Brooklyn boss Frankie Yale

'Schatz' follows Yale to wealth, influence, grave

(06 Oct 2018)

1928 murder of Frank Yale lieutenant Michael Abbatemarco

Charlie Lucky's painful visit to Staten Island

(17 Oct 2018)

1929 beating suffered by Salvatore "Charlie Lucky Luciano" Lucania

Vitale dinner holdup sparks investigations

(08 Dec 2019)

1929 Bronx robbery leads to magistrate's removal, mayor's resignation, Tammany Hall's defeat

Turning point

(05 Nov 2016)

1930 Bronx ambush claims top Masseria allies Al Mineo and Steve Ferrigno

Gangster 'Legs' Diamond shows up in Europe

(31 Aug 2018)

1930 Legs Diamond visit to Europe, possibly with Charlie Luciano.

'Joe Baker' gunned down on Belmont Ave.,

(03 Feb 2020)

1931 Bronx murder of "Joe the Baker" Catania

'Joe the Boss' murder befuddles press"

(15 Apr 2019)

1931 assassination of Mafia boss of bosses Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria

Iamascia funeral is 'glittering pageant'

(22 Jun 2018)

1931 Bronx funeral of Mafioso Daniel Iamascia

Valachi recalls assassination of boss of bosses

(10 Sep 2018)

1931 assassination of Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano

'Death Valley' end for ambitious gangster

(12 Sep 2019)

1931 murder of Brooklyn gang leader Joseph Manino

Luciano, Lansky nabbed in Chicago

(19 Apr 2017)

1932 arrest of Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky with Paul Ricca and others in Chicago

Death of the Mafia's 'Buffalo Bill'

(21 Dec 2016)

1932 death of longtime western New York Mafia leader Benedetto Angelo Palmeri

Stroke takes the 'Artichoke King'

(20 Feb 2019)

Ciro Terranova succumbs to a 1938 stroke, only one of four brothers to die of natural causes.

Murder Inc. turncoat Abe Reles falls to his death

(12 Nov 2016)

1941 death of informant Reles is officially labeled accidental

'Lucky' transferred at request of spy agencies

(12 May 2018)

1942 Luciano transfer to Comstock prison was requested by U.S. spy agencies

He did it, but they couldn't prove it

(11 Jan 2019)

1943 Carmine Galante murder of Carlo Tresca

Death chair takes Lepke, two aides

(04 Mar 2019)

1944 electrocution of "Murder Inc." chief Louis Buchalter and aides Mendy Weiss and Louis Capone.

'Lucky' out of prison, held at Ellis Island,

(02 Feb 2020)

Salvatore "Lucky Luciano" Lucania is released from prison in 1946 so he can be deported.

Peers salute Genovese after murder acquittal

(24 Jun 2019)

1946 gathering of Mafiosi in New York to welcome home Vito Genovese

Mafia leader's corpse found at Brooklyn marsh

(19 Apr 2017)

1951 discovery of the body of murdered Mafioso Philip Mangano

Frank Costello: 'Somebody tried to get me'"

(02 May 2019)

1957 attempt to assassinate Mafia leader Frank Costello

Fruits, vegetables may be hazardous to your health

(17 Jun 2017)

1957 assassination of Bronx boss Frank Scalise

Anastasia delayed, did not escape death in 'chair'

(25 Oct 2019)

1957 murder of New York crime boss Albert Anastasia.

Bosses meet on eve of Apalachin convention

(13 Nov 2018)

1957 meeting between Joseph Bonanno and Stefano Magaddino

Apalachin party-crashers expose Mafia network

(14 Nov 2017)

1957 state police roundup of Mafiosi fleeing Apalachin convention

Profaci infuriates McClellan Committee

(02 Jul 2018)

1958 Joseph Profaci appearance before U.S. Senate Committee

Magaddino's wrath

(23 Nov 2016)

1961 discovery of Albert Agueci's charred remains

Awaiting airport arrival, Lucky departs

(26 Jan 2019)

The 1962 death of Salvatore "Charlie Luciano" Lucania at a Naples airport.

Mob mayhem on a Monday morning

(29 Jan 2019)

Two Brooklyn men, associates of the Gallo gang, are shot and wounded as they change a car tire in 1962.

Brooklyn's Gallo mobsters become heroes

(31 Jan 2017)

1962 apartment fire turns gangsters into neighborhood heroes

Going out for 'a few minutes'

(08 Apr 2020)

1962 disappearance of Genovese Crime Family big shot "Tony Bender" Strollo.

Cancer claims mob boss Profaci

(06 Jun 2021)

1962 death of Brooklyn-based Mafia leader Joseph Profaci

Owney Madden dies at Hot Springs, Arkansas

(24 Apr 2020)

1965 death of former New York gang boss Owen Madden.

Mafia boss leads protests at FBI headquarters

(30 Apr 2017)

1970 anti-FBI protest is organized by Mafia boss Joseph Colombo

'Sally Bugs' is killed to ensure his silence

(21 Mar 2019)

Teamsters official suspected of involvement in Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance is murdered in Manhattan's Little Italy in March 1978.

Murder of Rochester's Sammy G

(11 May 2018)

1978 car bombing of Sammy Gingello

Bonanno boss shot down in Bushwick eatery

(12 Jul 2017)

1979 Brooklyn assassination of Bonanno leader Carmine Galante

FBI gives post-Brasco warning to 'Sonny Black'

(28 Jul 2021)

After FBI ended its Donnie Brasco undercover operation, agents visited "Sonny Black" Napolitano to give him a warning

Dellacroce's death

(02 Dec 2016)

1985 death of Aniello Dellacroce had serious consequences for Gambino Crime Family

Jury selected as Mafia bosses head to trial

(08 Sep 2018)

1986 start of Mafia Commission trial in Manhattan

Eight guilty of serving on Mafia ruling council

(19 Nov 2019)

1986 federal jury verdict in Mafia Commission case.

Crime bosses receive hundred year sentences

(13 Jan 2020)

1987 sentencing of Commission case defendants.

Buffalo mobster Sam DiCarlo dies in Florida

(27 Mar 2019)

The 1987 death in Florida of longtime Buffalo, NY, Mafioso Sam DiCarlo.

Murdered on Christmas Eve

(23 Dec 2018)

Summary of 1992 murders of Thomas and Rosemarie Uva

'Chin' Gigante dies in prison hospital

(19 Dec 2018)

2005 death of Genovese boss Vincent Gigante

Mafia leader's corpse discovered in Long Island

(07 Oct 2017)

2008 discovery of the remains of Colombo underboss William Cutolo

Murdered at McD's

(06 Oct 2018)

2018 Bronx murder of Bonanno associate Sylvester Zottola

Gambino chief shot, killed at his home

(14 Mar 2019)

The 2019 murder of "Franky Boy" Cali outside his Staten Island home

'Mafia Cop' Eppolito dies in federal custody

(05 Nov 2019)

2019 prison death of former NYPD Detective Louis Eppolito.

Centenarian mobster 'Sonny' Franzese passes

(24 Feb 2020)

2020 death of Colombo big shot John Franzese.


Caught in Cleveland

(05 Dec 2016)

1928 assembly of Mafia leaders at the Hotel Statler in Cleveland

Vendetta ends life of 'Black Sam' Todaro

(11 Jun 2017)

1929 killing of Mafia boss Salvatore Todaro by young Angelo Lonardo

Youngstown racketeer Farah killed at his home

(10 Jun 2017)

1961 shotgun death of gambling racketeer Mike Farah


Chased from Boston to Chicago to Pittsburgh

(04 Dec 2017)

1904 Camorra attack against Peter Scalise

NYC Barrel Murder suspect killed in Pennsylvania

(21 Oct 2019)

1905 murder of Luciano Parrino, a.k.a. Tommaso Petto, in Browntown neighborhood of Pittston.

Tried to 'take the money and run'

(21 Jan 2017)

1919 assassination of double-dealing Pittsburgh boss Gregorio Conti

Explosion in Pittsburgh produce district

(18 Feb 2017)

1925 massive explosion in city produce district is linked with Mafia

The Pittsburgh machine gun murder that wasn't
(19 May 2019)
1927 murder of Luigi Lamendola at his Pittsburgh restaurant

Zanghi 'squeals' after brother's murder

(30 May 2017)

1927 killings in South Philadelphia lead Anthony Zanghi to cooperate with police

Capone meets City of Brotherly Love

(16 May 2017)

1929 arrest in Philadelphia of Chicago Outfit boss Capone

Unlucky date for Steel City underworld bosses

(06 Aug 2018)

1929 and 1932 killings of Pittsburgh bosses on August 6.

Mafia boss shot down at Philly's 'Bloody Angle'

(17 Aug 2018)

1936 drive-by killing of Mafia boss John Avena

Death of powerful NE Pennsylvania boss

(25 Feb 2020)

1994 death of Rosario "Russell" Bufalino.


Dallas gambling chief ends his own life

(10 Aug 2018)

1932 apparent suicide of Dallas gambling racketeer Warren Diamond

Washington D.C.

Embryo of the FBI

(26 Jul 2017)

1908 creation of a Bureau of Investigation in the Justice Department