Showing posts from 2020

Rampant criminality in Bedford Falls

Possibly I've been writing about crime history for too long. While rewatching It's a Wonderful Life recently, I couldn't help but compile a list of legal offenses presented within the 1946 holiday classic - charges ranging from child abuse to possible homicide.   I know that I am not alone in viewing Wonderful Life with a critical eye. The movie has long been criticized for a theme some feel instigates class warfare. (I always find it odd that so many Americans are more concerned over the possibility of friction between economic classes than by the actual existence of economic classes.) This accusation is particularly popular among America's Henry F. Potter-types. The movie actually was investigated by the FBI as possible communist propaganda. I don't find that charge credible.  Wonderful Life does encourage have-nots to constructively work together to improve their lives, using the example of the shareholder-sponsored and generous-spirited Bailey Brothers

Nick Gentile is focus of Oct. 2020 Informer

This Informer special issue (No. 30) focuses on Nicola "Nick" Gentile, underworld leader in U.S. and Sicily, who published an Italian-language tell-all autobiography in 1963. The issue is available as a 214-page printed and bound magazine , a 382-page paperback book and in PDF and Kindle e-book formats. (Searchable PDF and EPUB e-book formats should be available soon.) Informer strives to bring Gentile's entire life story to the English-language reader. Building on extensive original research by a team of Mafia history experts and on U.S. government documents designed to extract meaning from the memoirs, this issue attempts to balance Gentile's obviously self-serving and self-aggrandizing autobiographical work with verifiable history, to correct his misinformation and to fill in the wide gaps left in his personal account. Informer closely examines a number of aspects of Gentile's life, such as the launch of his underworld career in the Kansas City area; r

Concetta Mangione Prisco (1921-2020)

A few months shy of her ninety-ninth birthday, Concetta (Mangione) Prisco died Monday, May 4, 2020, of COVID-19 complications at Mamaroneck, New York. She had been a resident of the New Jewish Home long term care facility in that Westchester County municipality. George and Concetta Prisco Concetta "Connie" was born Maria Concetta Mangione to Liborio and Emma (Arnetta) Mangione, Sicilian immigrants, in Manhattan, New York, on August 5, 1921. (Baptismal records from St. Lucy's Church on East 104th Street place her birth on August 2, 1921.*) Brother Vincent "Sonny" was born in June 1925, and brother Joseph was born four years later. The family's early homes were in Italian East Harlem: first with Liborio's parents Vincenzo and Maria (Capizzi) Mangione at 344 East 105th Street and later at 225 East 108th Street. 1973 passport photo Her later childhood appears to have been spent with relatives in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx, New Yo