Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hitting the Hitman

Hitting the Hit Men

Even alleged killers can be beaten up by a gang of thugs.
by Brendan McGarvey
Two reputed Mafia hit men got their asses kicked in a bar brawl on Delaware Avenue two weeks ago. The brawl started inside a Delaware Avenue club on a Thursday night when younger members and associates of the Philly Mafia started mouthing off to members of a gang from 10th and Oregon.
The men badly beaten in the brawl are both suspects in the murder of Raymond "Long John" Martorano. Martorano was gunned down in his car during rush hour Jan. 17 and died several weeks later. The two alleged hit men are brothers.
According to underworld sources, the brothers were in the club with several of their friends when they got into a verbal disagreement with members of an Italian-American drug gang known as the 10th and Oregon crew.
"The older brother was mouthing off and the 10th and O guys just started swinging," said one mob source. "The brothers and another friend got their asses kicked. Both brothers were knocked out, and one lost a piece of his ear in the brawl. The brothers were beaten so badly that they're still walking around with black eyes and swollen lips."
Underworld sources claim the young mobsters feel they have to retaliate to save face.
"Something bad is coming," another Cosa Nostra source told City Paper in an interview earlier this week. "Somebody is going to get killed over this."
The two brothers had been riding high since the murder of Martorano. "People have been treating them like mob royalty," said the source. "Everybody on the street knows they killed Long John."
The older brother has been openly dating the wife of a high-ranking gangster who is serving a sentence for racketeering. According to police and mob sources, the brother and the gangster's wife have been seen at several trendy restaurants in Old City over the last two months.
The 10th and Oregon crew responsible for the beatdown of the Mafia goodfellas are themselves new neighbors in South Philadelphia.
The former leaders of the 10th and O crew had numerous run-ins with the Mafia and with the Pagans motorcycle gang, but they've recently relocated to South Jersey, hanging out at a restaurant near the Deptford Mall.
The 10th and O crew is now under new leadership and appears to be as violent and as fearless as the previous generations of crew members, who sometimes worked hand in glove with the local Mafia and sometimes waged war against them.
In a related story, a former member of the Northeast Philly mob, also known as the K&A gang, claims that no one in the underworld wants to buy Martorano's Lincoln Towncar -- the car he was riding in when he was shot three times.
Last week the source told City Paper in an interview in Cosí in Old City that the Martorano-murder car is spooking potential buyers.
According to the source, the former head of the K&A gang was given an opportunity to buy Martorano's car. The former crime boss was once best friends with Godfather Angelo Bruno and had worked closely with Raymond Martorano.
"Look at that car," the retired K&A gangster told a friend. "Long John died in that thing. There's still cigarette butts in the ashtray. It's scary. I don't wanna buy it. It's too weird. It feels like Long John is still there."
Coincidentally, Martorano may have been killed in part because of his friendship with members of the old K&A gang.
Underworld rumors were rampant, according to both law enforcement and gangland sources, that Martorano was planning to take over the local Cosa Nostra with the help of North Jersey gangsters and with local muscle provided by the K&A gang.
"Martorano thought it was his turn to be boss," one mob insider told City Paper. "But the current boss disagreed. Martorano lost that argument Goodfellas he ain't. ."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A rat through and through

The ratings for last night's edition of "60 Minutes" will no doubt be boffo. They had a football playoff game lead-in. They had a segment with Roger Clemens, professional baseball player, denying he took steroids. And they had Johnny Martorano, professional murderer, waxing philosophic about the art of blowing people's brains out.
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You'll have to forgive Emily Connors for not tuning in. Johnny Martorano helped murder her husband 33 years ago, as Ed Connors stood in a phone booth in Dorchester.
"You know what?" Emily Connors said of Martorano's schtick. "It's getting old."
She got that right. It would almost be bearable to watch this stuff if we knew it would be over and done with. But it's pretty obvious Martorano's appearance was the launch of another attempt to capitalize on the very marketable concept of the sensitive sociopath. After Martorano wraps up his government-witness obligations, which allowed him to trade the 20 human lives he took for 12 years in prison, there will be another kill-and-tell book. Another movie treatment. Some clueless Hollywood type will be snookered by all this tough-but-thoughtful hit-man jive, and we'll have to endure an endless string of breathless whispers about scripts, stars, and on-location shoots in Southie and Winter Hill.
Liesguys Lit is a lucrative genre. It's revisionist history for murderers, allowing them to imbue their venality with a sense of nobility that is otherwise missing from the brutal act of shooting someone in cold blood. And the best part for the purveyors of this junk is that almost everyone who can dispute its authenticity is either dead or not talking.
It's just as well Emily Connors didn't watch last night, because Martorano's performance was far more offensive to his victims than anything he said in court some years back when he got the sweetheart deal that allowed him to walk out of prison last year.
Johnny told Steve Kroft he didn't enjoy killing, but that he did it for his family and friends.
What a guy.
"You could never pay me to kill anybody," said Johnny, who, by job description, was paid to kill people.
"I didn't enjoy risking my life," Johnny said, "but if the cause was right I would."
He never got around to identifying these causes. Perhaps it was to free Tibet, or maybe help the nuns pay off the mortgage at an orphanage. Oh, and even though Johnny is a government witness he is not a rat because he's testifying against those who ratted before he ratted.
Got that?
Like all these criminals who trade their infamy for a few bucks, Johnny Martorano comes across as a guy who is sorry only that he got caught.
Paul Rico, the disgraced, and now dead, former FBI agent who helped Johnny kill people also helped frame a guy named Joe Salvati. Asked how he felt about Salvati doing 30 years for a murder he didn't commit, Rico replied, "What do you want, tears?"
Well, yeah, actually, we do. It would be refreshing to see one of these guys look into a camera and say, "I can't make up for my past. But I don't want to talk about it, either, because all it will do is hurt the families I already hurt."
Don't hold your breath waiting for that one.
There were a lot of names thrown around on "60 Minutes" last night. Whitey Bulger. Stevie Flemmi. They mentioned Martorano's first victim, Robert Palladino, and his last two, Roger Wheeler and John Callahan.Crime, Bulger,Flemmi,Weeks,Connolly,Rico,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jimmy Hoffa hit

Americans' fascination with the Mafia has produced a slew of best-selling stories, from "The Godfather" to "The Sopranos." Behind these riveting tales of crime, murder and corruption are writers who sought out true stories.
As a trial attorney with a knack for cross-examination and interrogation techniques, part-time Ketchum resident Charles Brandt embarked on a career as a true-crime writer. Brandt's works reveal the activities of the nation's most notorious crime families, and include the long-unsolved mystery behind the murder of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa.
"They helped elect a president and kill a president," Brandt said. "I didn't intend to write about the Mafia, that's how it worked out."
In a free talk, "Writing About the Mafia," at the Community Library in Ketchum tonight, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. Brandt will discuss his work and experiences.
Brandt gained the trust and respect of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, who confessed to Brandt about his mob hits, which included Jimmy Hoffa. "I Heard You Paint Houses" is a result of Brandt's five years of recorded interviews with Sheeran and will become a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro.
"Confession is a basic human need," Brandt said. "Sheeran wanted to tell his side of the story."
Brandt is working on another book about an FBI agent framed by the Colombo crime family.
Mr. Brandt wrote a fascinating and great book in "I Heard You Paint Houses" which is extremely important to understanding the latter half of the 20th century. A must read...

"I Hear You Paint Houses" finally reveals how James Hoffa died and what became of his body. Thanks to Charlie Brandt we can all stop sneaking into the Meadowlands in the middle of the night and digging for him.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Louie Dragna : Los Angeles Crime Family

Louis Tom Dragna aka Lou Allen aka "Louie longlegs" was at one time the acting boss of the Los Angeles crime family .
He has an arrest record dating back to 1946. Louie Dragna was one of the top earners in the history of the LA mob.
He made a ton of gelt in the garment business. Dragna participated in the murder of "Russian" Louie Strauss. He was convicted with Mobster's,Joe "JS" Sica , Frankie Carbo, and Blinky Palermo , of extorting boxing champion Don Jordan's manager.
His last conviction came in 1980 when It came out in the Forex , Mafia, extortion trial, that Louie Dragna admitted to his membership in the Mafia, and that he betrayed the membership structure of the Los Angeles Mafia to FBI agent Jack Barron in 1976.