Chapter 2: Frank Costello – I Never Sold No Bibles

“Tough times make monkeys eat red pepper.” Read Chapter 1: Frank Costello – Gambling Man That’s how Frank Costello used to explain his dubious past. At the age of fourteen, he robbed the landlady at his Harlem apartment building. He knew she always awoke early to sweep the halls. He also knew she didn’t trust banks and kept the rent money she collected tucked between her bosoms. Frank had fallen out of a tree while…


Nino Gaggi – NCS Mobster of the Month for April 2015

“We surprised him in the Bronx. We shot him in the head, stuffed him in the trunk, then dumped him for good.” Those were the chilling words of a Gambino capo, who was the immediate superior to mobster Roy DeMeo, who ran the infamous DeMeo Crew. His name, Antonino Gaggi (pronounced: “Gadgie”). Nino Gaggi’s father’s cousin was mobster Frank Scalise, a founding member of the Gambino family and the man who helped introduce Gaggi into…


The St. Valentines Day Massacre – Key Facts Infographic

It was a cold and chilly morning in Chicago, the time was 10:30 a.m.  and the date was February 14, 1929.  This day would mark the end of the North and South side battle for power,  which went on for years and saw over 200 mob killings including Dean O’Banion and Hymie Weiss. Read more about the St Valentines Day Massacre, and check out our St. Valentines Day Massacre Video. Download this infographic.Embed Our Infographic On…


Alcatraz Prison: Where The World’s Most Notorious Criminals Call Home

Built into a mountainside in Florence, Colorado, stands what may well be the country’s toughest prison. Aptly nicknamed the Alcatraz of the Rockies this prison is home to some of the world’s most notorious criminals. Terrorists, mafia members, murderers, and drug dealers call this prison home, including Zacarias Moussaoui, who was sentenced to time here for his role in the terrorist attacks of September 11. What’s life like at the toughest prison in the U.S?…


Food to Die For: Eat Like a King of Crime in New York City

Who remembers the ending scene of television’s hit, “The Sopranos?” As the family sits peacefully at table, menacing characters move in and the scene goes black. Was it curtains for Tony and Familia? Perhaps, but that’s just the way he would have wanted it to end. It is said that truckers know the best restaurants, but to locate a meal to die for, you must consult the mob.


Chapter 1: Frank Costello – Gambling Man

On Sunday, Febuary 18th, 1973, Francesco Castiglia committed his final crime. The man who had stolen from society all of his life would rob us one last time. Peter Maas, the author of the Valachi Papers, Underboss and Serpico, had just received what was at the time, the largest advance in history for a non-fiction book, with the promise of delivering the authorized biography of the man behind “the hand ballet.” Frank Costello, the one Lucky Luciano chose to run…


Al Capone, a Notorious Prohibition Era Gangster

Al Capone is one of the most notorious gangsters in the history of the United States. Capone reigned over the speakeasies, bootlegging business and other illegal ventures during the Prohibition era during the Roaring Twenties in Chicago. Capone’s nemesis was crime fighter Elliott Ness and the Untouchables, but it was tax evasion that finally sent him prison in 1931. Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1899, As a young man, Capone was…


Ol’ Man Winter: A Trip to Al’s Den

The city I live in, Portland Oregon, is a weird and wonderful place. Some call it the Amsterdam of North America, and I think that is accurate. This is a city full of politically correct, environmentally-friendly beardo-hipsters pedalling large, clownish bikes to their friends’ basement for rehearsal with their indie bands. I have been fortunate, in a town overflowing with musicians, to have secured a respectable amount of work as a sideman session player, and as a result have played…


Gangster Machine Gun Kelly and The G-Men

G-Man is a slang tern that is taken to mean government agent. According to the FBI website, G-Man is attributed to “Machine Gun Kelly,” a notorious 1930’s gangster who sent on a crime spree that landed him in Alcatraz in San Francisco. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the term G-Man was underworld slang for any and all government agents before 1934. The detectives of J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau of Investigation were so little…


Who Was Joe Petrosino?

At the upper tip of Little Italy in Manhattan, one block from the old police headquarters, lies Petrosino Square. It’s more of a triangle really, with a handful of park benches, rubbish bins, and tactfully placed flower pots. An iron fence surrounds this modest “square,”and on that fence hangs an old placard with a well placed touch of vandalism asking, “Who was Petrosino?” If you are unfamiliar with the name, it is truly an honor to introduce Lieutenant Joe Petrosino; a mob-busting, super-cop who…



Gangsters of the 1940s: The Legacy of Prohibition

In the early 1920s, the 18th Amendment prohibited the sale, transportation and production of alcohol in the United States. Black market liquor made the early gangsters rich and powerful. This created a black market that allowed organized crime to develop and flourish. Al Capone, Public Enemy Number One himself, got his start during this period. The following gangsters, who reached their peak years during the 1940s, got their start as underlings of Al Capone during…


Confessions of a Mob Junkie

Early one morning this past November, I saw something I knew had to exist, but didn’t expect to see. While fighting my way through traffic, a car suddenly cut me off. At first I was too mad to notice it. Then, there in front of me the letters M, O, and B popped out as clear as day, stenciled across a vanity license plate. Like I said, I knew this had to be out there,…


Al Capone – December Mobster of The Month

In our last Mobster of The Month instalments this year we end with one of the most famed and formidable mobsters of the 20th Century, Al Capone. Let’s take you back in time to some of the high and low points of the man they called Scarface.