Showing posts from 2019

Bringing Joe Valachi's memoirs to the Web

The 1000-plus page memoirs of Mafia turncoat Joseph Valachi are valuable source material for organized crime historians. The manuscript, entitled "The Real Thing - Second Government: The Expose and Inside Doings of Cosa Nostra," is one of just three authoritative inside sources on the Mafia during the period of the 1930-31 Castellammarese War (the others are published autobiographies, Vita di Capomafia by Nick Gentile and A Man of Honor by Joseph Bonanno). The Valachi memoirs were consulted and quoted by author Peter Maas for his 1968 book, The Valachi Papers , which grew into a 1972 Charles Bronson motion picture . Until now, these Joseph Valachi papers could only be accessed through the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. I have been working to change that. I first published a couple hundred pages of the manuscript on the website some years ago. The pages were acquired through the assistance of another Mafia historian, who requested anonym

Why Maranzano? Why now?

(UPDATE: Following publication, it was learned that the discovered photograph, labeled as Maranzano by an Italian periodical, was actually NOT the Mafia boss but a German serial killer.) Print and electronic journal editions can be previewed and purchased through MagCloud Kindle e-book edition can be ordered through Amazon.

Informer special issue on Maranzano

A long lost photograph of Salvatore Maranzano is discovered. Informer: The History of American Crime and Law Enforcement marks the occasion by dedicating an entire issue to the one-time American Mafia boss of bosses. (UPDATE: Following publication, it was learned that the photograph, labeled as Maranzano by an Italian periodical, was actually NOT the Mafia boss but a German serial killer.) The August 2019 special issue, with articles by Thomas Hunt, Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley and Richard N. Warner, is available now in print and electronic editions (magazine format) and in an e-book edition (Amazon Kindle format). Visit Informer's website for more information .

Mafia boss Maranzano will be exposed!

The August 2019 issue of Informer will deal exclusively with Prohibition Era Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano - life, career, assassination and post-assassination aftermath. We plan to reveal EVERYTHING about the Mafia boss! (Well..., everything we currently know.) Through articles (by organized crime historians Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley, Richard N. Warner and Thomas Hunt), photos and maps, Informer will tackle many questions about Maranzano, including: Who was Salvatore Maranzano? What did he look like? (And what did he certainly NOT look like?) What does a recent discovery tell us about him? What was said about him by those who knew him in life? Where were the locations significant to his life and career? When did Maranzano-related events occur? Why was he important in U.S. Mafia history? How has he been portrayed by Hollywood? What do we know of Maranzano's life in Sicily? Was there really a post-Maranzano Mafia purge? The official releas

Finally get the last word

My latest business venture is the sale of "You're Welcome" cards - perfect items for those times when you just can't let the matter drop. Think about it: So often you receive an invitation card you didn't ask for/didn't want to some silly event you couldn't possibly be persuaded to attend. What do you do? Largely out of an irrational sense of guilt, you send a gift and a card with your negative RSVP. Of course, then the inviters respond to your card and gift by sending you another card that says, "Thank you." That's where the scenario generally ends. But why should THEY always get the last word? After all, THEY'RE the ones that started the whole thing in the first place! A "You're Welcome" card allows you to put an end to the interaction on your own terms.

NOLA mayor to offer apology for 1891 lynchings

American Italian Center to host proclamation on April 12 Cantrell New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell will offer an "Official Proclamation of Apology" for the 1891 lynching of eleven Italian-American men, according to published reports. The apology is scheduled to be presented in a morning ceremony April 12, 2019, at the city's American Italian Cultural Center. The proclamation reportedly was set in motion by the Commission for Social Justice, Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA). The commission approached the mayor's office with the idea and found Cantrell receptive. The mayor appointed Vincenzo Pasquantonio, head of the city's Human Relations Committee, to coordinate with OSDIA. Cantrell, the first woman to serve as mayor of the Crescent City, was inaugurated in May 2018, replacing term-limited Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Commission Special Counsel Michael A. Santo told reporters the lynchings were "a longstanding wound" for the Ita

Some decals needed

I need a bunch of decals of the numeral, "8."  And a few with a ♠ symbol.  I have a sudden urge to do something special for  all the folks with bumper stickers that read, "I ♥ My Dog"

Looking for Mr. Wright (or Ms.)

I recently received this as a gift. It was probably acquired through an auction in the Shoreham, Vermont, area. History of the Wright Family , edited by William Henry Wright and Gertrude Wright Ketcham, Copyright 1913 by Gertrude Wright Ketcham. It is an extensive genealogy and history of the Wright Family "who are descendants of Samuel Wright (1722-1789) of Lenox, Mass., with lineage back to Thomas Wright (1610-1670) of Wethersfield, Conn., and showing a direct line to John Wright, Lord of Kelvedon Hall, Essex, England." According to the book's introduction, the genealogical research began with a great-grandfather, Andrew Wright of Shoreham, Vermont. It was learned that Andrew Wright was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and left his home in Lenox, Mass. to settle in Shoreham in 1785. The physical book seems a product of considerable labor and expense. The cover appears to be suede or some similar soft material with gold lettering. (I do not know