Rick Porrello's - AmericanMafia.com
| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |

   Allan May's book MOB STORIES
· This Week in Mob History

· Trials and Tribulations

LAST ISSUE 7-22-02


This Week in Mob History

July 29, 1919 – Joseph "Johnny Spanish" Weyler was a Spanish Jew who became a member of the infamous Five Points Gang in New York City. Weyler and Nathan "Kid Dropper" Kaplan were co-leaders of the gang after the departure of Paul Kelly. After a stretch in prison Weyler got out and 1917 and tried to reclaim his "ancient glories." His efforts came to an end when three gunmen emptied their revolvers into him in front of a Second Avenue restaurant.

July 29, 1932 – Arthur, James and John Volpe, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi, were notorious underworld figures and bootleggers from Pittsburgh. They were ordered shot to death by Pittsburgh Family boss John Bazzano.

July 30, 1975 – James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa was the deposed president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and one of the most recognized labor leaders in the country. His disappearance is one of the most heralded mysteries in American criminal history. Theories behind the disappearance continue to this day.

July 31, 1982 – Michael E. Kornhardt worked for the Leisure gang during the Laborer’s Local 42 War, which took place in St. Louis during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kornhardt, charged with the murder of George Faheen, was killed by members of his own gang. Police theorized he was silenced to prevent him from striking a deal with the FBI. The murder of Kornhardt proved to be the undoing of the Leisure gang. Paul, Anthony, and David Leisure, Robert Carbaugh and Steven Wougamon were charged with Kornhardt’s murder. On April 14, 1983 eight members of the Leisure faction were indicted on state capital murder charges and federal racketeering charges. See my story http://www.americanmafia.com/Cities/St_Louis.html

August 1, 1930 – Christina L. Coletti was the 18-year-old bride of Tony Colletti, whose uncle Charles Coletti was one of the top guns of the Mayfield Road Mob. The two had married shortly after the Joseph Porrello / Sam Tilocca murders and a couple of weeks later Christina’s body was found on Barrett Road on the west side of Cleveland. When police questioned Tony he admitted to killing her after he found out that she had been unfaithful to him. Before his trial began, Tony hung himself in his jail cell with his belt. Later his lawyer told the newspapers that Tony had confided to him that Christina had witnessed the Porrello / Tilocca murders and that the Mayfield Road Mob had passed a death sentence on her. Whether she was killed by Tony or other members of the gang has never been made clear. See my story http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_10-18-99.html

August 1, 1930 – Jack Zuta was a major figure in Chicago’s vice trade and gambling under the protection of the North Side gang. Zuta was a suspect in the sensational killing of Chicago Tribune crime reporter Jake Lingle. One of the police theories was that Zuta had arranged for Frank Foster, a North Side hood, to do the killing. Zuta was questioned and released on June 30 and while in the care of a police detective Capone mobsters tried to kill him in the Loop. Wounded, Zuta quickly left the city and headed to a resort region in Waukesha County, Wisconsin near Milwaukee to hide and recuperate. Zuta was in the dance pavilion of the Lake View hotel on Upper Nemahbin Lake near Delafield, Wisconsin where he was dropping nickels into a player piano. As couples danced nearby a current show tune, "It May Be Good for You but It’s So Bad for Me," was playing. With his back turned, Zuta didn’t notice five men who walked into the pavilion in a single file line. One man carried a machinegun, another a pistol, the others a combination of rifles and shotguns. Just as Zuta turned to face his assailants, a bullet ripped through his face just below his nose. The shot spun him around and, as he tried to run, 15 more shots hit him in the head and body, several being fired after he fell. See my story http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_4-12-99.html

August 3, 1968 – Frank Leonard "Buster" Workman was a longtime member of the St. Louis underworld whose principal area of concern was the city of East St. Louis. Wortman came up in the Shelton Gang during the Prohibition years. Wortman died from a lesion on his larynx at Alexian Brothers Hospital after an operation. He was 63 years old.

August 4, 1939 – Dorothy Evans and Sam Salupo were killed when a bomb, wired to the horn of Salupo’s automobile exploded. Salupo was convicted and sent to prison on an extortion charge, but was paroled by Ohio Governor Martin Davey after serving just 33 months of a 1 to 15 year sentence. When disgruntled Cleveland detectives realized that not only was Salupo free, but he was in the company of known labor racketeers, they set up surveillance on him. Salupo quickly got tired of being watched and went to see Eliot Ness. "I’m a legitimate businessman," Salupo yelled at Ness. "So have your guys lay off." The "known labor racketeers" Salupo was with were William Presser and Maxie Diamond in a concern called the Cuyahoga County Window Cleaning Company. Rival racketeers shot at Presser and drove Diamond of before going after Salupo.

August 4, 1967 – Frank DeSimone, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi, became the boss of the Los Angeles Family following the death of Jack Dragna in February 1956. An attorney early on in his career, DeSimone was noted for an incident in 1956. According to a police informant DeSimone raped the wife of Girolamo "Momo" Adamo in his presence. On June 18 Adamo reacted by shooting his wife in the head before committing suicide. The wife survived and later married Frank Bompensiero. DeSimone attended the Apalachin Summit in November 1957. He died of natural causes.

August 4, 1990 – Pasquale A. "Patty Specs" Martirano was a capo in the Philadelphia Family and involved heavily in loansharking operations. In May 1988 he was indicted with four other men including George Fresolone on RICO charges for loansharking, gambling and conspiracy. Martirano became a fugitive and was never arrested. He died of natural causes.

August 4, 2000 – Anthony Federici, Jr., the college attending son of Genovese capo Anthony "Tough Tony" Federici, was critically wounded in a knife attack outside the Metropolis Night Club in Queens by 19 year-old Nicholas Gambino. Federici, also 19, suffered a vicious stab to the abdomen. Four other people also suffered wounds. Earlier this year Gambino convinced a jury that he acted in self-defense. Gambino reached a plea bargain on other charges and would not serve any time.

August 5, 1978 – Anthony Milano was one of the longest serving members of the Cleveland Mafia Family. His brother, Frank, was the first recognized leader of the Mayfield Road Mob. Anthony’s two sons, Carmen and Peter, are ranking members of the Los Angeles Crime family with ties to Las Vegas. Milano’s nephew, by marriage, was John Nardi, who perished in a bomb blast during the Greene/Licavoli War, which was carried on in Cleveland during the late 1970s. Milano for years served in the position of underboss or consigliere before his death of natural causes at the age of 91.

August 5, 1993 – Michael Ciancaglini was killed and Joseph "Skinny Joseph" Merlino was wounded during a daylight ambush as the two men walked down the street. Earlier in the year Michael Ciancaglini organized a hit attempt on his brother Joseph, the underboss for the John Stanfa faction of the Philadelphia mob, who had once tried to kill him outside his home. Joseph was critically wounded, but survived. These events were part of the ongoing struggle in Philadelphia’s Stanfa/Merlino War.

Trials and Tribulations     ^TOP

AmericanMafia.com attempts to keep its audience advised of ongoing legal matters in the world of organized crime. New entries and addition to existing information will appear in RED.


September 9, 2002 – Boston – The racketeering trial of Robert Luisi, Jr. is scheduled to get underway before US District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay. Luisi at one time had a plea agreement which called for him to testify against Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino last year. On December 27, 2001 Luisi withdrew the plea.

September 9, 2002 – Camden – The trial of Daniel M. Daidone and James R. Mathis, Jr. is scheduled to begin. Both are charged with corruption involving disgraced mayor Milton Milan. Daidone answered to former Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale, who is expected to testify. The federal trial will be in the courtroom of US District Judge Joseph H. Rodriquez. (A May 20 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Mathis trial is scheduled for December 3.)

September 17, 2002 – Boston – Retired state trooper Richard J. Schneiderman goes on trial on charges that he hampered the FBI’s search for James "Whitey" Bulger by letting Bulger family members know that the FBI had requested pen registers on their telephones. The trial was originally scheduled for January 28, then rescheduled for June 24. AM.com thanks J. M. Lawrence for this update.

September 2002 – Hackensack, NJ – The racketeering trial of Danny Provenzano is "tentatively" scheduled to get underway. The great-nephew of Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano is charged with extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars through fear, intimidation and violence.

November 2002 – Cleveland – Richard E. Detore goes to trial on one count of conspiring to violate a federal bribery statute involving United States Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr. This was rescheduled from July 29, 2002.

POSTPONED INDEFINITELY – Rochester, NY – Albert M Ranieri goes on trial for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Since his arrest on December 29, 2000, another defendant, prominent defense attorney Anthony Leonardo, Jr., has pled guilty and implicated Ranieri in the May 2000 murder of his former business partner Anthony Vaccaro. Authorities also suspect Ranieri of a 1990 armor car heist of $11 million. On July 8 the deputy court clerk for Judge Jonathan Feldman has informed AM.com that no date has been established for this trial.

STILL WAITING FOR RESULTS ON THIS ONE – May 28, 2002 – Boston – US District Judge Robert E. Keeton will hear arguments on the April 16 conviction of Michael L. Carucci. The judge will decide whether to uphold the conviction or overturn the six convictions the jury arrived at. Carucci was found guilty of transferring money earned from the criminal activity of Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, who earlier pled guilty to the same charges. AM.com thanks our friend J. M. Lawrence of the Boston Herald for informing us "Keeton did the Carucci arguments but did not rule yet. His comments from the bench were critical of the prosecution. This is one to watch." In checking with Judge Keeton’s office AM.com has been told no decision has been made yet.


July 23, 2002 – Las Vegas – Anthony Cuccia faces a possible life sentence for the senseless murder of Philip Greenspan in the Stardust casino. Cuccia was convicted of first degree murder on June 18.

July 30, 2002 – Cleveland – Mahoning Valley Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr., will be sentenced after being found guilty on all ten counts in a Federal trial which ended April 11. The sentencing was originally scheduled for June 27.

August 1, 2002 – Buffalo – Darnyl Parker, one of three convicted former Buffalo narcotics detectives, will be sentenced for his role in stealing money from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Jamaican drug dealer. The men were found guilty in March. The sentencing date for the remaining officers has not been set. AM.com would like to thank Buffalo News reported Mike Beebe for the update.

September 9, 2002 – Boston – Michael Flemmi, the brother of notorious Winter Hill Gang member Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, will be sentenced for his May 3 conviction of obstruction of justice and perjury. Michael Flemmi helped hide the arsenal of the Winter Hill Gang and lied to a grand jury about it. This sentencing was originally scheduled for July 15. AM.com would like to thank J. M. Lawrence for the update.

September 9, 2002 – Camden – Robert E. Gibson, the former Camden sewer superintendent and a 40-year employee of the city, will be sentenced for accepting illegal payments. Gibson claimed he was swept up in the corruption of disgraced mayor Milton Milan’s administration. He is looking at 18 to 24 months.

September 12, 2002 – Boston – Disgraced former FBI agent "Dishonest John" Connolly will be sentenced for his May 28 conviction on one count of racketeering and two counts of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. He is looking at from 8 to 20 years. This was originally scheduled for August 7.

September 26, 2002 – Cleveland – Henry DiBlasio, a former aide to US Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr., will be sentenced for lying to a Federal grand jury about paying kickbacks to the congressman. DiBlasio, 72 years old, could be sentenced to as much as 16 months in prison.

September 27, 2002 – New York – Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico will be sentenced after pleading guilty to extortion, loansharking and money laundering. The son of jailed-for-life mobster Carmine "the Snake" Persico was the alleged "acting boss of the Colombo family. The sentencing date was originally scheduled for June 13, 2002. At that time Persico filed a motion to reverse his plea claiming prosecutor misconduct. The prosecutors were given two weeks to respond to the motion. A new date was then set for the sentencing.

October 11, 2002 – New York – Bonanno Family underboss Salvatore "the Chief" Vitale is scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty on June 14 to racketeering charges involving gambling, loansharking and money-laundering operations which he ran out of the European American Bank in Melville, Long Island. Vitale faces an incarceration period of 33 to 41 months.

October 28, 2002 – Newark – Eugene Wilson, indicted last year with eight others including Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, will be sentenced after pleading guilty this past June 27 to gambling and running an illegal gambling operation.

October 29, 2002 – Boston – John J. "Mick" Murray will be sentenced by US District Judge Reginald Lindsay for his June guilty plea to charges of embezzlement, extortion, racketeering conspiracy and theft of interstate shipments.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 2, 2002 – Rochester Thomas Marotta plead guilty of federal narcotics charges and is waiting sentencing. US District Judge David Larimer’s deputy court clerk tells AM.com no date has been set for the sentencing.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 17, 2002 – New York – Colombo Family underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss will be sentenced for his February 6 conviction on extortion charges. The sentencing was rescheduled for June 21, but an adjournment was requested and no new date has been scheduled as of July 22.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 2002 – New York – Donna Curra, wife of Dominick "Little Dom" Curra, is scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI after her husband fled on Christmas Eve 2001 to Costa Rica. She is looking at a 6 to 12 month stretch. Meanwhile, "Little Dom" remains in a Costa Rica jail fighting extradition.

NO WORD ON THIS – New York – Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano is STILL waiting to be sentenced. US District Judge Allyne Ross’ office informs AM.com that the judge is still reviewing the pre-sentencing material.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


Copyright © 1998 - 2002 PLR International