Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires

Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires

Selwyn Raab

Language: English

Pages: 785

ISBN: 0312361815

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For half a century, the American Mafia outwitted, outmaneuvered, and outgunned the FBI and other police agencies, wreaking unparalleled damages to America's social fabric and business enterprises while emerging as the nation's most formidable crime empire. The vanguard of this criminal juggernaut is still led by the Mafia's most potent and largest borgatas: New York's Five Families.
Five Families is the vivid story of the rise and fall of New York's premier dons from Lucky Luciano to Paul Castellano to John Gotti and more. This definitive history brings the reader right up to the possible resurgence of the Mafia as the FBI and local law-enforcement agencies turn their attention to homeland security and away from organized crime. The paperback has been revised and updated, with a new epilogue focusing on the trial of the notorious "Mafia Cops."

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$1 million. Seeking to strike it rich, he had borrowed the cash from loan sharks for investments that failed. To meet his weekly installments to the Mob, Geller dug himself into a deeper hole by embezzling money from legitimate clients. With subpoenas flying, Geller thought the Colombos would bump him off as a possible informer as soon as it became evident that indictments were imminent. His only option was moving quickly to help the government by wearing a wire to obtain evidence against the

Manhattan’s Southern District, was investigating the Castellano-Bilotti murders at Sparks Steak House. A reluctant witness before the grand jury was Jimmy Brown Failla, a Gambino capo who had been waiting for Castellano inside the restaurant on the murder night. After the grand jury session, Failla reported to Gotti that he had been questioned if he had ever met with Gotti, and where. That question about meeting places, though not specifically about an apartment, was an alarm signal that helped

Chicago hotels and in his fourteen-room mansion on exclusive Palm Island in Florida. His conspicuousness and violence finally backfired. On St. Valentine’s Day in 1929, six members of the gang of his archenemy, George “Bugs” Moran, and an innocent optometrist who had stopped by to visit, were lined up against a garage wall and machine-gunned to death. Chicago’s law-enforcement authorities were in Capone’s pocket and made no serious effort to investigate the slaughter or any of Capone’s

prosecutors were sources for the threats made to Savino’s wife. The circumstances of Gigante’s arrest were obtained from testimony by FBI agents at Gigante’s pretrial hearings. Gigante’s demeanor at his trial was based on personal observations and reporting by Joseph Fried, a New York Times reporter. CHAPTER 52: CHIN’S LAST HURRAH Gigante’s attempts to supervise the Genovese family from prison are based on allegations in his second indictment in 2002, and court motions and applications

trial. Details of the investigations, arrests, and turning of Barry Weinberg and Augustino Scozzari into undercover witnesses were obtained in interviews with McCaffrey and Sallet. Cantarella testified in 2004 about his suspicions of Weinberg and his discussion about Weinberg with Massino. Cantarella’s comments about Massino were recorded by Scozzari and cited in a pretrial application by federal prosecutors to detain Massino without bail. Descriptions of the search of Cantarella’s house and his

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