September 23, 2021
This Month In Gang Land, 25 Years Ago*
CROWDS of smiling people were enjoying sausage and peppers, deep fried calamari and a host of other Italian goodies as they strolled up and down Mulberry Street over the weekend. But the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy just ain't what it used to be.
Gone are the Big Six Wheel, the under-and-over table and other gambling booths that Tony Waterguns allegedly controlled for the mob. Also missing from The Feast - which runs this year through Sept. 22 - is Tony Waterguns.
With 17 others, he awaits trial on racketeering charges stemming from the mob's alleged ripoffs of hundreds of thousands of dollars supposedly earmarked for charity.
THE boss of the Genovese Crime family may be loony tunes but the acting boss can pass a lie detector test with flying colors.
While Vincent (Chin) Gigante was supposedly watching cartoons at the home of his 94-year old mom, his acting boss Liborio (Barney) Bellomo was taking - and passing - lie detector tests at a federal lockup in upstate New York.
THE feds wasted little time picking off the latest mobster to reach the top of the Colombo crime family - nailing Andrew Russo on racketeering charges.
Russo, a cousin of longtime boss Carmine (Junior) Persico, was arrested and charged essentially with being the mob muscle for a private carter who allegedly collected garbage from a Long Island town under "false and fraudulent pretenses."
*As we stated last week, Gang Land took a slide this week. But in The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same Department, Gang Land wrote about some very familar wiseguys in its first month as a weekly online column about organized crime 25 years ago this month.
Unless you get really lucky, and find a copy squirreled away in the wrong section of your local bookstore, you won't be able to get a first printing of Mob Boss: The Life Of Little Al D'Arco, The Man Who Brought Down The Mafia. But there are still some second print versions of the hardcover available as gifts or for your own reading pleasure.
Because of the heavy demand, Thomas Dunne Books went to the well again for a second printing of Mob Boss, the book that The New York Times called a "gripping, novelistic biography — a bulls-eye."
The mass market, paperback version was published in 2015. It is available online and at your favorite bookstores for about eight bucks. You still should be able to pick up a copy of the hard cover at your favorite bookstore, or, as Claude Raines might say to Humphrey Bogart, from any number of the usual online suspects: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and BooksAMillion, as well as an independent book seller near you.
See why Mob Boss has been praised by Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Nicholas Pileggi, Mister District Attorney Robert Morgenthau — as well as readers everywhere.
Mob Boss is also available in a special BIG PRINT edition. And for those who would rather hear every word of the 406 page book read to them, Mob Boss is also available on an MP3 CD from Tantor Audio.