Mobster Monday: Nick Spero- The Hippy Mobster


In 1970, FBI agents installed a wiretap on the telephone inside the Columbus Park Social Club located at 5th and Troost. This club was deep in the heart of what most K.C. residents called “Little Italy.” After the western District of Missouri U.S. Attorney obtained an indictment on the boss Nick Civella, the mob learned a couple of big bettors were going to be called as witnesses. One of these bettors was a Chevrolet dealer named Lester Moore. A mob associate named Carl Spero had introduced Moore into the Civella gambling ring, and Nick held him responsible for Moore.

Nick Civella sent word that Lester Moore was to be “taken care of.” By this time, Kansas authorities had convicted Carl Spero of a large warehouse theft, and he was incarcerated. The duty to handle this witness fell to the eldest Spero brother, Nick Spero. After consulting with Carl Spero and his other brothers, Mike and Joe Spero, Nick sent word back that this was not their job and refused to murder Moore.

Nick Spero grew up in what was known as “The North End” or “Little Italy” during World War II. He came from a large family with three brothers and two sisters. The Spero bothers, and their cousins ran the streets like the Gopher boys of New York City. Nick, being the oldest, was always the leader. The North End looked like the Mulberry street neighborhood in Manhattan, complete with two mafia social clubs, several small Italian restaurants, and a corner store ran by a part-time gambler called Cheebay. Nobody knew his real name. The homes were townhomes built out of red brick in the 19th or early 20th Century Federal style. They were very narrow with two or three floors above ground, and many had two floors below the street level. A few had tunnels under the street to a relative’s house. They used these tunnels to transport alcohol during prohibition. Some homes looked more like storefront businesses than residences. The Spero brothers and their cousins knew the back alleys and streets between Little Italy, the City Market, and downtown. They often got work helping produce vendors unload vegetables. They were all enthralled with the older gangsters at the Northview Social Club, where men like brothers Nick and Carl Civella held court out front on the sidewalk on warm days. They saw these men had respect and power, and they wanted to be part of that mysterious thing that scared most other men.

Nick got his first jobs with trucking companies in the East Bottoms just a few blocks away. He was a natural leader, and soon, he had a crew of other Teamsters stealing small appliances, cigarettes, watches, film, booze, and other desired items from the parked trailers. He graduated to holding up drivers on the road. He knew the schedule and could tell his gang exactly how to intercept a truck loaded with easy to sell merchandise. The drivers knew better than to resist, so they just took a small payoff and reported it as a robbery to their superiors.

Nick was not just an ordinary thief. He wanted more power inside the Teamsters Union and hatched a plot to increase his value to the freight line, Yellow Freight. First, he had his crew steal a load of liquor, and then he went to his bosses and told them he could recover the load. When he returned the load, minus a few cases of bourbon, they promoted Nick to a supervisor’s job. Of course, thefts increased after this promotion. In the end, they offered Nick Spero a cash settlement to just quit.

During these years, as Nick Spero matured into his 30s, FBI agents started making observations that he was a frequent visitor to the Columbus Park Social club. They witnessed him having conversations with the local crime bosses, Nick and Carl Civella. Nick Civella was the leader, while Carl was more likely to deal with people like Nick Spero. Nick Spero was running a crew who burglarized jewelry and fur stores, clothing warehouses and robbing Yellow Freight and other truck lines during this time. Nick Spero was a rising young mobster, but the generation gap caught him in a bind.

Nick Spero was of an age that he wanted to dress like his hippy peers with bell bottoms and flower printed shirts. Spero grew his hair long and had facial hair. But the boss, Nick Civella, had a few ironclad rules for his made guys and all associates. The dress code included conservative shirts and slacks, clean cut hairstyles, and no facial hair. Nick Spero rebelled on all accounts. Nick Spero grew his hair out to almost shoulder length and sported a long Fu Manchu beard.

An FBI informant told his controller, “What the…? This guy dresses like a f^&*@ hippy.”

Despite his rebellious nature, Nick Spero was a good thief and had a successful crew, so he continued to operate as an associate. When Nick Civella ordered a man named Sam Palma killed, someone in the hit team got Nick Spero to help set up a scene where the murder would appear as a suicide. The next day Palma’s body and the murder weapon were found lying across the grave of his father. While this did not fool the authorities, the murdered mobster’s family bought the story.

Nick Spero grew in power among his fellow Teamsters. He bought an R.C. Cola and Nehi Soda soft drink dealership and hired several salespeople and drivers. When a storeowner did not want to install a soda machine or buy his brands, Nick Spero made a personal visit, and usually, they became customers.

In the early 1970s, Civella ordered the Spero brothers to take care of Lester Moore. Because of his position as a trusted Civella Family associate, Nick Spero was expected to carry out this order. But, Spero was building his power base within the Kansas City Local of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union and the criminal community, so he refused. He sent word that Lester Moore was a Civella problem and not a Spero problem.

Later the FBI asked Spero why he hadn’t officially joined the Civella organization. His reply was, “I ain’t no jock strap and don’t want to be one. They use you until your stretch is all gone, then forget about you. I’ve always been my own man. The only man I listen to is my father, and he is dead”.

On April 11, 1973, a patrol car will find Nick Spero’s jockstrap yellow Cadillac convertible parked on a back road in a suburban neighborhood. The officers open the trunk to find the body of Nick Spero. He was dressed in combat boots, a silky patterned shirt, and bright green with yellow flower-patterned trousers. The autopsy stated someone shot Nick Spero twice in the body and once in the head.

The police or FBI will never solve this murder. They cannot get an informant to finger any specific person. Nick Civella forgot one thing, “When you set out to kill one brother, you had better kill them all.” This hit would be the start of the bloody Civella-Spero mob war in Kansas City.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Gangland Wire Podcast


Recommended Works:

Brothers against Brothers: The Civella-Spero War
Nick Civella: The Kansas City Mafia and the Teamsters Union

About our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Gary Jenkins retired from the Kansas City Police Department in 1996. He served 25 years with 12 years in the Intelligence Unit investigating the mob. Jenkins attended the University of Missouri School of Law and was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 2000. He produced and released four documentary films. The most recent documentaries were Gangland Wire and Brothers against Brothers: The Civella Spero War. He wrote Leaving Vegas: The True Story of How FBI Wiretaps Ended Mob Domination of Las Vegas Casinos. This book recounts the inside story of the 1970s investigation into skimming from Las Vegas casinos. He created a Mob Tour app titled the Kansas City Mob Tour. He produces and hosts a mob-oriented podcast called Gangland Wire Crime Stories. The podcast can be found on all the usual podcast apps and at his website https://ganglandwire.com/

He can be reached at 

ganglandwire@gmail.com

Facebook @Ganglandwire


The Death of Roy DeMeo

This is part 2 of a blog series. If you want to read part one then follow this link:

https://mytruecrimestories.com/2020/09/14/roy-demeo/


On May 11, 1979, Roy DeMeo killed his close friend to appease the Cuban drug lords. Although he had killed and dismembered many people, this murder had a profound effect on his psyche. Afterward, the hunter became a victim of his consciousness. Paranoia eventually took over, and the end came quickly. In Roy’s final days, he was seen wearing a leather jacket with a concealed shotgun underneath.

On the night of January 10, 1983, he went to crew member Patty Testa’s house to meet with his men. He later failed to attend his daughter’s birthday party. It was highly unusual for him to miss any important occasion. His family members immediately suspected something happened to him. Ten days later, DeMeo’s Cadillac was discovered in the parking lot of the Veruna Boat Club. His partially frozen body was found in the trunk. He had been shot multiple times in the leg and had a bullet wound to his hand, assumed by law enforcement to be a defensive wound when his killers opened fire on him.

When Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso became an FBI informant in 1993, he said that Paul Castellano ordered DeMeo’s death. Due to the DeMeo Crew’s reputation, the Gotti and DeCicco crew had been unable or unwilling to carry out the hit.

DeCicco supposedly passed the contract to Casso, but many stories would surface. Ralph Scopo, a soldier for the Columbo crime family, was overheard saying DeMeo was killed by his own crime family.

Richard Kuklinski also claimed to have killed DeMeo, telling Philip Carlo he killed him in revenge. In the postscript of a later edition of his Iceman book, Carlo acknowledged, “there is a good likelihood that Kuklinski did not kill DeMeo.”

The remainder of the DeMeo crew was rounded up. Borelli, Joseph Testa, and Anthony Senter were imprisoned for life after two trials saw them convicted of 25 murders, car theft, and drug trafficking. The convictions were secured by the testimony of former members Frederick DiNome and Dominick Montiglio.

Paul Castellano was indicted for ordering the murder of DeMeo and a host of other crimes. He was killed in December 1985 while out on bail during the middle of the first trial.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Wikipedia

National Crime Syndicate


Recommended Reading:

Murder Machine (Onyx True Crime)


For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Cricket Andrews is a new crime writer working on her own book to empower victim’s families. She has worked as a victim’s advocate for years and is passionate about helping those affected by violent crime.


Support Synova’s Cause:


EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Thomas Lucchese

Photo courtesy of National Crime Syndicate

Thomas Lucchese was born on December 1, 1899, in Palermo, Italy. The family came to America in 1911 and settled into the East Harlem neighborhood of New York. His father entered the cement business, while Tommy worked in a shop as a teenager. At the age of 16, while on the job, he lost his finger and thumb.

Perhaps feeling jaded, Lucchese began to spend more time on the streets following the unfortunate mishap. Fortuitously, he grew up knowing Charlie Luciano, “Lucky,” and started the 107 Street Gang. Under the watchful eye of Mob Boss Gaetano Reina, Lucchese rose in the ranks quickly. Strong-arming for business was his forte, and he punished anyone who refused to accept their wares.

Convicted one time in 1920 for car theft, Lucchese was careful not to get caught again. After a thirteen-month stint in Sing Sing, he was released during the Prohibition years.

In ’31, a war broke out between two crime bosses, Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. Siding with Maranzano, Lucchese promised the hit of his boss, Masseria. This act of betrayal would enable Lucchese to move in on to Massaria’s cash outlets and a slide into Massaria’s spot as the boss’ number one man. He accomplished the grizzly task on April 15 and instantly became the Masseria Family Boss.

In 1951, Lucchese renamed the Massaria Family the “Lucchese” Family. He quietly governed his men, reinforcing his mob values of making cash, keeping low, and avoiding arrest. He became friendly with Mayor O’Dwyer and ruled Manhattan’s unions with an iron fist.

In 1962, his daughter Frances married Carlo Gambino’s son, Thomas. This union enabled both men to rise to the top of Manhattan’s criminal underworld. Over the next few years, they ruled the city’s airport and their respective unions. No one got in their way.

These years were golden for Lucchese. He hadn’t stepped foot in jail in decades, and he never would again. He developed a brain tumor and died on July 13, 1967, in Long Island, New York.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading: 

National Crime Syndicate

The Mob Museum

Wikipedia


Recommended Reading:

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

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Greg Scarpa

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The mobster known as the Grim Reaper was born on May 8, 1929, in New York, New York. His parents immigrated from Italy some years before and raised their family in Brooklyn. As a young man, he found work with his father in the coal mining industry. Fatefully, at some point, his older brother Salvatore is rumored to have introduced him to a life of crime. 

Scarpa married a young Connie Forest in the 1950s. They went on to have four children, three sons, and a daughter. One son, Greg JR., would eventually follow in his old man’s formidable footsteps. Like many gangsters, Scarpa was not faithful in his marriage to Connie. He fathered two children with his girlfriend, Linda, with whom he maintained a thirty-year romance.

Stylish and flashy, Scarpa loved money and violence. Scarpa’s crimes ranged from loansharking to hijacking. He was also involved with counterfeiting and robbery. In the 1960s, he was arrested for armed robbery. To save his skin and avoid spending time in the Big House, he chose to rat on other criminals. This incident began Scarpa’s third long-term relationship. His mistress? The FBI.

His reputation for confrontation and brutality perked ears at the agency. They allegedly approached him with an offer he couldn’t refuse. In 1964, agents in Mississippi hit Scarpa up. They wanted him to shake down a certain Klansman who had been rumored to know the whereabouts of three missing civil rights workers: Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. Allegedly, the FBI hooked him up with a gun and the cash to do the job. The target, a man named Lawrence Byrd, was kidnapped and beaten at Camp Shelby. Here, Scarpa himself is said to have extracted the information from Byrd by thrusting the pistol into his mouth. Byrd sang like a canary.

Although the FBI never confirmed this story, and after allegedly helping with another case involving the KKK, Scarpa and the agency had a falling out over reward money. They did not work with him again until the 1980s when Scarpa became involved with Lindley DeVecchio, an agent with the FBI. He and his wife, Connie, had separated in 1973. He allegedly gave the FBI minimal information on the Colombo Crime Family before ultimately being arrested by them for credit card fraud. To help him escape a lengthy sentence, DeVecchio reminded the agency how much information Scarpa had given over the years. It paid off, and Scarpa skated by with probation and tiny fine. 

Having lived such a stressful and dangerous life, Scarpa developed stomach ulcers. In 1986, during one of his many blood transfusions for this ailment, he contracted HIV. He tried to hide his illness by claiming he had cancer. 

Scarpa’s illness progressed. In 1991, he faced another deadly problem. Because he had ratted on the Colombo Crime Family during his time as an informant for the FBI, the Colombo boss, Victor Orena, decided to seek vengeance. While Scarpa was driving his car, he was ambushed by hitmen sent by Orena. He managed to escape and quickly sought revenge. Although he was quite ill by this time, he still hunted down his attackers. Deranged by anger and illness, he carelessly murdered several innocent people who he thought were involved.

In 1992, Scarpa was arrested on firearms charges. Not long after, he was also indicted for three murders. Right after Christmas that same year, he lost an eye while battling it out with a couple of Lucchese Family mob boys. They were out for Scarpa’s son, over drugs. 

After this incident, which landed him back in prison for defying his house arrest order, Scarpa quickly began losing the battle with his health. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to three murders and conspiracy. The feds sentenced him to life in prison. He didn’t suffer there for long. He died from AIDS-related complications on June 4, 1994.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading: 

Wikipedia

National Crime Syndicate

Cosa Nostra News


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Joe Profaci

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Giuseppe Profaci “Joe” was born on October 2, 1897 in Sicily. His early life included a brief stint in a Sicilian prison for theft. In 1921, Joe immigrated to the United States. Making his way to Chicago, he tried to make a living on its tough streets. Finding no success, he ventured into New York, where he found himself prosperous as an “Olive Oil King”. Having the fortuitous friendship of Gambino family boss Vincent Mangano, he began to delve into the counterfeit currency enterprise. By 1928, Profaci was head of one of the largest crime rings in New York. Even after an arrest in 1928 for bootlegging, Profaci pushed forward with his business dealings.
Although Profaci was a hard crime boss, he did provide much needed employment in desperate communities with his success in the olive oil industry. However, he was known to evade taxes whenever possible in order to keep more than his share. In 1950, he was sued by the IRS but was never punished for his crimes. Profaci was also implicated in drug smuggling, but was never indicted due to lack of evidence. It seems as though Joe had a knack for slipping through the cracks.

In 1959, Joe was mixed up in a nasty murder hit that ended up in his own men revolting against him. A friend of Profaci, Frank Abbatemarco, was murdered under Profaci’s direction. He then ordered the man’s son murdered in order to not face the music, but Profaci was faced with a mutiny of sorts. His men, including Joe Gallo and brothers, ended up trying to take over the organization by refusing to do the job. After many murders and much mayhem, Gallo was sentenced to prison for ten years. Although Joe Profaci escaped being murdered and doing hard time, he soon had to face his maker. He died on June 7, 1962, following a very short stint with cancer. He is buried in Queens, New York.


Further Reading:

https://americanmafiahistory.com/giuseppe-joe-profaci/

National Crime Syndicate


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Tony Capo – Guest Post By Karen

Photo courtesy of Mafia Wiki

Born in 1959, Anthony “Tony” Capo grew up on Staten Island. In the early 1980s, Capo was a soldier in the DeCavalcante crime family. No one had heard of Tony Capo at the time, but that would all change.  While everyone has heard of the TV show The Sopranos, few people realize that this show was largely based on the DeCavalcante crime family out of New Jersey.

In 1989, John Gotti, Sr. needed a favor, and the DeCavalcantes agreed to help. Fred Weiss, a local reporter, and developer, was rumored to be an informant. Gotti wanted to execute the “stool pigeon.” Tony Capo was the driver for the hit. This job earned him recognition on the street, but also from local law enforcement. 

Later in 1990,  Capo found himself embarking on a new criminal career: illegal gambling and loansharking. While he worked for John D’Amato, members of the family learned that the mob boss was bisexual. Tony Capo and others believed this didn’t look good for the family, so a hit was put out on D’Amato. On the day of the murder in 1992, Capo and the hit team invited D’Amato out to lunch. He never made it to lunch. D’Amato was shot in the back of the head by Capo in the back seat. His body has never been found. 

There was one major problem with the murder of D’Amato. D’Amato was a family boss, and the big boys up north had not sanctioned his death. Capo avoided punishment, however, and he continued his deadly escapades. In 1997, he was involved in the plot to murder Charles Majuri, D’Amato’s replacement, which was, lucky for Majuri, eventually canceled. 

The end finally came for Capo in 1999, when he was indicted on conspiracy charges, as well as racketeering, murder, and loansharking. To save his neck, he rolled over on the family and became a state witness. After being promised a spot in witness protection, he snitched not only on the DeCavalcante’s; but also on the Colombo and Genovese families. On January 23, 2012, Anthony Capo met his maker, dying of a heart attack while in the witness protection program. He was only 52. 


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Wikipedia

YouTube

The Daily Beast


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday – Tom Pendergast

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Kansas City is in the spotlight this week with a look at Tom J. Pendergast. When Pendergast was born on July 22, 1872, he was the youngest in a family of nine children. His parents were Irish immigrants and worked hard to provide for their large family.

   Controversy surrounds his educational background, and despite claims of a college career, it is believed he only held a sixth-grade education. Despite this detriment, he learned much about politics and other civic duties from his older brother, James, who owned a tavern by the Missouri River. James held the position of alderman on the city council in Kansas City, and when he retired, Tom was named his successor. 

     Tom was married and had three children. He was active in his faith, which included being a Knight of Columbus in the Catholic Church. With this new position, he gained control of the city and began his reign of corruption. The tavern he owned with his brother enabled him to mingle with the underworld. Guns, prostitutes, gambling, and liquor all became commodities in his rise to power. Within these influential groups, politics also became fair game. Voter fraud and intimidation were used to ensure certain politicians were elected. Under these conditions, Tom and his brother were able to manipulate the system by providing care in the form of food and money to needy families in the area. These charitable contributions made them very powerful with voters and in political circles. 

     James died in 1911, and Tom married the same year. He and his wife Caroline had three children. His family life did not preclude him from corruption, however. He appointed Henry McElroy to City Manager, and this bolstered his political power. Throughout the next few years, Pendergast rose to the top of a very organized criminal organization. Among these shady individuals was Johnny Lazia, an Italian American with connections, whose reputation for kidnapping was known. Pendergast’s association with Lazia gave him infinite power in the mob world. In return, he gave Lazia the task of hiring police, which resulted in unchecked gambling and bootlegged liquor sales. By 1927, the city was called “Tom’s Town.”

     During this same time, Pendergast began to clean up his image. Portraying himself as a religious family man, he became friendly with Harry S. Truman. The Pendergast party heavily influenced the election of Franklin Roosevelt, who conveniently did not rally to investigate such corrupt enterprises. Things began to change, however, in 1934. It was found that several voter ballots were fraudulent, and many people were threatened and murdered at voting polls. 

   By 1936, things were coming to an end for Pendergast and his powerful posse. He suffered a heart attack and seemed to take stock of his losses. He realized he was close to being prosecuted and began to defend himself by using his health as an excuse. In truth, this health crisis did nothing to squelch Pendergast’s love of gambling. He had a special wire installed in his office, which allowed him to gamble freely from afar. He lost hundreds of thousands in the process, bringing his financial and political world to a standstill.

   In January of 1939, a grand jury was held, which resulted in an investigation of the “Pendergast Machine.” During this time, his bookkeeper Edward Schneider was found dead in what was deemed a “suicide.” Schneider had already rolled on him, however, and Pendergast was indicted on tax evasion. He was sentenced to fifteen months but served only twelve. After his release, Pendergast was a social outcast. After his wife, Carolyn, left him, his health deteriorated. After several heart attacks, he passed away from heart failure on January 26, 1945. He was seventy-two years old.  

    Pendergast’s corrupt politics began to fade after his death. However, much of what he built still stands. Many of his concrete business endeavors created the infrastructure seen in Kansas City today. 


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Pendergast

https://historicmissourians.shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/p/pendergast/

https://pendergastkc.org/article/biography/pendergast-thomas-joseph

National Crime Syndicate

Check out my friend Gary Jenkins’ podcast episode about Tom Pendergast HERE: Gangland Wire: The Mob & the Politician


Recommended Reading:


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday – Alvin “Creepy” Karpis – Guest Post

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Born August 10, 1907, in Montreal,  Alvin Francis Karpis was raised by Lithuanian parents in Kansas. By the age of ten, he was already blazing his path. While observing the shady works of pimps and conmen, Karpis learned from the best.  After a ten year stint in the State Industrial Reformatory in Hutchinson, Kansas, Karpis escaped and embarked on a crime spree that ended in Kansas City, Missouri, returning him to prison to complete his term.  While doing his time at the Kansas State Penitentiary, he fell in with Fred Barker of the notorious Barker Gang. This union formed one of the most intimidating gangs in history, the Karpis-Barker Gang.

On December 19, 1931, Karpis and Barker murdered Sheriff C. Roy Kelley in West Plains, Missouri. Soon after, the gang fled to Minnesota. In 1933, they kidnapped William Hamm, a wealthy brewer from Minnesota. This netted the gang $100,000, which provoked them to kidnap again, this time Mr. Edward Bremer, a St. Paul banker, which resulted in a $200,000 payout. This proved to be the gangs undoing, however, as Bremer had friends in high places. Bremer was friends with none other than  President Roosevelt, who ordered a rigorous investigation. The FBI formed a task force of highly trained individuals with experience in gang activity. This task force called the “flying squads” resulted in the capture of several elusive gangsters, including Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and Baby Face Nelson.

After the FBI shootout with Fred Barker and his mother on January 16, 1935, Alvin Karpis narrowly escaped the clutches of death. Having been located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Karpis was nearly killed in a shootout with the FBI. His girlfriend, Dolores Delaney, was shot in the thigh while heavily pregnant. Their son was born healthy and raised by Karpis’ parents.

During this harrowing time in history, the FBI began to take shape with leadership from its new head, J. Edgar Hoover. Far from perfect, the agency had growing pains but during that time was diligent in reducing gangland crime. Hoover took the capture of Karpis personally and vowed to arrest him.

On May 2, 1936, Karpis was discovered hiding out in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hoover was present at the arrest, while there is controversy regarding if Hoover himself actually made the arrest himself.

After pleading guilty to the Bremer abduction, Karpis was sentenced to life in prison at the newly constructed Alcatraz. There he spent his time from August 1946 to April 1962. He worked as a baker while maintaining his prior gangster attributes. He was frequently punished for fighting. During his later years at the prison, he became friends with Charles Manson.

In 1969, Karpis was paroled. He had served  “the longest sentence of any prisoner at Alcatraz: 26 years.” He was deported to Canada, where he had issues claiming residency due to the fact that he had commissioned Dr. Joseph Moran to remove his fingerprints in 1934. He ultimately ended up back in Montreal.

After publishing his memoir in 1971, Karpis toured Canada promoting his book for years. He moved to Spain in 1973 where he lived quietly until his mysterious death on August 26, 1979. It was at first ruled a suicide when pills were found next to him, but the death was later ruled natural after a short investigation.

Alvin “Creepy” Karpis began his criminal career early and he lived a long life of crime. Following his death there was no autopsy, and he was buried in Spain.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Karpis

https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/barker-karpis-gang

https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/alvin-karpis/17825


Recommended Reading:


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Albert Anastasia

Albert Anastasia Pic Courtesy of Wikipedia

He changed his name so he wouldn’t bring shame to his mother as a criminal, but he didn’t think twice about brutally slaying Joe Turino in front of a dozen people. Witnesses say the fury in his face while he stabbed and strangled Turino was terrifying. With the Mafia’s help and the disappearances of four main witnesses, Albert Anastasia was set free.


Umberto Anastasio was born on September 26, 1902, in Parghelia, Italy. His parents were Raffaelo Anastasio and Louisa Nomina De Filippi. Tragedy struck young Anastasio’s life early on. At the age of ten, Raffaelo died, leaving his wife and a dozen kids behind. Life was tough on the family, and soon, the older boys left home to find work elsewhere.


Umberto and his brother Antonio took jobs working on a ship. When the ship docked in New York, the two brothers jumped to shore and never looked back. The docks may have offered the brothers a place of employment, but it was back-breaking work run by the mob. It wasn’t long before Umberto’s temper overtook him in an argument with a fellow dock worker.


The young Italian brute slew Torino with fury. Witnesses say it was terrifying to watch the slaying. Torino was stabbed repeatedly and strangled in front of a dozen people. Umberto didn’t seem to care. It was almost as if he enjoyed the entire process. He was arrested and sentenced to death.


Unwilling to bring shame to his mother, Umberto changed his name to Albert Anastasia. It’s incredible how someone so vicious and brutal could care about such a thing. While Albert changed his name, his brother Tony did not. Tony would continue to rule the docks for the majority of three decades, although he never gained the notoriety of his psychopathic brother.


This murderous escapade landed the young illegal alien in Sing Sing prison. While there, he grabbed the attention of a fellow inmate with mob connections. Those connections would end up winning Albert a new trial. Unfortunately, by the time the new trial came around, four of the main witnesses had disappeared.

Anastasia now had connections with the likes of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lanski, and Frank Costello. When Luciano wanted to take out his boss, he called in Anastasia as part of the hit squad. After Luciano re-structures the mob, Anastasia is set up as the head of the Mafia’s hit squad; Murder, Inc.


Anastasia ruled the elite team of assassins alongside Jewish mobster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter. Their headquarters was in the most unlikely of places. Down on the corner of Saratoga and Livonia Ave in Brooklyn sat a 24-hour candy store called Midnight Rose. This place was owned by a pleasant little elderly lady named Rosie Gold. Along the back wall of the shop was a row of payphones.


The team of mafioso killers would hang around the candy store, waiting for the next hit to be called in. Anastasia would take the call, make a plan, and send out a hit team. By the end of this decade of bloodshed, the FBI estimates the body count of this team was well over 1000.
Unlock most mob bosses, Anastasia wouldn’t pass off the dirty work to an underling. Anastasia enjoyed taking part in the actual murder. It wasn’t enough to plan it; he wanted to be involved. If he weren’t a part of the squad, he would witness the event from across the street. His bloodlust was disturbing and seemed to be growing.


1935: Dewey Wages War:
Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey declared an all-out war on organized crime in New York. He took down the powerful Lucky Luciano, and then no one was safe. The next on his list was Louis “Lepke” Buchalter. Anastasia tried to hide his friend from the feds, but his attempts were futile. Dozens of witnesses were killed during this process, and now the mafia commission was wondering if Buchalter was worth the trouble
Finally, Anastasia received word from the commission. It was Buchalter or the Mob. Anastasia chose the mob and played a pivotal role in the double-crossing of Lepke Buchalter. During this time, one of Murder, Inc’s hitmen were arrested.


Abe “Kid Twist” Reles decided to turn state’s evidence in an attempt to save himself from the chair. Reles began telling everything he knew about Murder Incorporated. His testimony would send seven mobsters, including Lepke, to the electric chair. This landed the FBI’s target square on the back of the “Mad Hatter.”


Mad Hatter? Let me explain this nickname. When Lucky Luciano took over the Mafia, he structured it like a giant corporation and put down some basic ground rules. Breaking these rules came with the penalty of death.


The commission was supposed to sanction the hits before anyone was killed, but Anastasia had his own ideas about that. Public figures and civilians were off-limits. If they were killed, they would bring too much publicity. There was one more rule that Albert would break. You weren’t supposed to kill your boss. Anastasia would break all of these rules. His blood lust would give him the name The Mad Hatter, and his complete disregard for mob rule would sign Albert Anastasia’s death warrant.


On October 25, 1957, Anastasia walked in to see his barber at the Park Sheraton Hotel. His driver parked the car and went for a stroll. While the Mad Hatter had his face covered in a warm towel, three gunmen barged into the room. Albert Anastasia was hit with ten bullets and died on the floor next to his barber chair.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Reading:

The Candy Shop

Here are a few books about Albert Anastasia on Amazon.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Synova’sAmazonAuthorPage


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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Mobster Monday: Tony “The Ant” Spilotro


The Ant is buried in a cornfield. The sentence may sound odd, but to fans of the Italian Mafia, it’s standard jargon. Tony “The Ant” Spilotro’s body was found buried in a cornfield along with his brother’s.



Anthony John “Tony, the Ant” Spilotro, was born on May 19, 1986, to immigrant parents. Pasquale “Patsy” Spilotro, Sr. had six sons. Five of them would join the criminal underworld, but one went to school and became a respected oral surgeon in Chicago.


No one knows why some people choose the life of crime, and others choose a better path. Perhaps Patsy’s restaurant turned mobster hangout introduced his sons to crime at an early age. Who knows? Whatever the reasons, Tony chose the Mafia. He dropped out of high school and started his life of crime with petty larceny and purse snatching.


Spilotro officially became a made member of La Cosa Nostra in 1963 at the age of 25. In 1971, “Joe Batters” put Spilotro in charge of Las Vegas matters, but Spilotro would spell the beginning of the end of the Mafia’s reign of Las Vegas. He was a brutal enforcer and brought a lot of media and law enforcement attention to the operations.


In 1974 an article in the L.A. Times stated there were more gangland-style killings in Vegas than in the past 25 years combined! Obviously, that type of spike in murder will draw attention from the FBI and local law enforcement.


Two years after that article hit the headlines, Spilotro decided to branch out beyond the Mafia’s control. He created the “Hole in the Wall Gang.” Like most other monikers, the name was given to him by the media. The group was known to drill through walls and ceilings to gain access to their target. The stolen goods were fenced through the Gold Rush, LTD pawnshop that sat right off Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas.


During this time, The Ant’s relationship with his childhood friend became strained. Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal was a casino executive and ran four different major casinos for the Mafia. Lefty and The Ant’s relationship reached a boiling point when The Ant began having an affair with a Vegas showgirl named Geri McGee. McGee was married to Lefty at the time.


July 4, 1981:The Bertha’s Robbery Disaster

The Hole In The Wall Gang had spent weeks laying out an elaborate plan to rob the Bertha’s Gifts & Jewelry store. Spilotro and his gang were set to cash in big time, but there was one problem. Sal Romano was a specialist in disabling alarm systems. He was also an informant. By the time the robbery went down, the FBI and the local police had the building under surveillance.


Six members of the gang were arrested, but four avoided the arrest. After sitting in jail for six months, the authorities successfully turn one of Spilotro’s men. Somehow the police had gotten Spilotro on tape hiring a hit on Frank Cullotta. This was all that Frank could take. He had done everything for The Ant. Cullotta agreed to turn state’s evidence and testify against Spilotro.


Spilotro was tried and acquitted due to lack of evidence, but he had bigger problems lurking in the shadows of his organization. A secret meeting had taken place, and the Mafia wasn’t happy with Spilotro’s behavior. He was supposed to be protecting the mob’s interest in the casinos, not running around with a mobster’s wife, and bringing attention from the FBI for his robberies. A hit was sanctioned, and two of the six Spilotro brothers would pay.

June 14, 1986: The Disappearance:

Tony Spilotro and his brother Michael left Mike’s home in Oak Park and was never heard from again. Mike’s car was found abandoned in a motel parking lot near the O’Hare International Airport.


Eight days later, their bodies were found by an Indiana farmer 96 miles south of Chicago. The farmer noticed the fresh grave and thought a poacher had buried an illegally killed deer, but he was in for a shock. Tony Spilotro and Mike Spilotro had been killed by blunt force trauma, stripped of their clothes, leaving nothing but their underwear and buried on top of each other. The burial plot was in a cornfield near the Willow Slough Preserve just outside of Enos, Indiana.


Sadly, the one brother who took the high road ended up having to supply his own brothers’ dental records for identification. This case would go unsolved for nineteen years. On April 25, 2005, the FBI announced it had indicted 14 members of the Chicago Outfit for 18 murders, including the two Spilotro boys.


By the time of his death, the FBI suspected Tony “The Ant” Spilotro in 22 murders. This information and more was obtained through the FBI’s inquiry called “Operation Family Secrets.” Not only were several mobsters indicted, but two former Chicago police officers were also included.

Anthony Doyle was a former officer included in the indictment. Doyle worked as a counterintelligence officer for the Mafia and kept the mob bosses informed of various investigations. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.


The other officer indicted was Michael Ricci. Ricci was convicted of passing information for the imprisoned mob boss, Frank Calabrese, SR.
During this investigation, officials learned the true story of what happened to the Spilotro brothers. The two men were lured to a house in Bensenville, IL, under the pretense of making Michael a made man. Once the brothers entered the basement, they were beaten to death and taken to the cornfield.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Chicago Tribune


Recommended Reading:

There have been several books written on Tony Spilotro. Here are a couple of them.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.