Thursday, October 12, 2017

FOR MERLINO, EVIDENCE REACHING CRITICAL STAGES

The large question surrounding "Skinny" Joey Merlino, is two fold.  Will he or won't he?  If you are confused about that, what I mean is, will Joey settle out and take a plea, or will he continue to push forward against the federal government?

The latest in this soap opera is the government confirming in a round about way, that mob stoolie John Rubeo has evidence on Joey Merlino not just audibly, but in the form of visually as well.  One of the things the government has done in the past and I have to mention here that it's usually not a good sign when the government tosses out information publicly, but usually it's a scare tactic.  According to sources, John Rubeo was using sunglasses that had a hidden video camera in the lens.  Apparently the FBI has gone super-spy!!!

Of the 48 or so defendants all have taken plea deals accept Merlino and Eugene D'Nofrio.  D'Nofrio has asked not to be tried with Merlino in an effort to sort of move himself away from the charismatic mob boss from south Philly.  All that aside however.....

 The biggest question is the chain of evidentiary command here.  Simply stated, how the evidence was captured, when, how, why, and more specifically why were parts added and deleted?  Anytime you have evidence there is very strict guidelines for turning it in.  The problem here is that Rubeo has handed in evidence way after the fact, with parts missing and deleted which causes a lot of concern on the behalf of Merlino.  When Ron Previte was taping Merlino and Natale, or even when Joe Pistone was handing in taped conversations there was a strict guideline for that.  According to multiple sources the FBI has mishandled Rubeo and the entire case.  There is also no sense in information sharing.  The Tampa branch of the FBI was furious that the Eastern State of New York didn't share information, especially when some of these activities were taking place in Tampa, Florida.  It's common for two jurisdictions to fight over stuff like this because each side wants that indictment.

Add to this that Rubeo also taped many other Philadelphia mob members yet the only member indicted from Philadelphia was Joey Merlino.  It's not to say that sweeping indictments won't flow down the river at some point, but it's highly suspicious.  It reminds me very much of how the FBI was relentless in going after John Gotti Sr and John A. Gotti Jr.  It's the same tactic, but with an informant who at best is a notorious liar.

One of the side facets to this is that Rubeo really liked Joey Merlino by all accounts and one of the more interesting theories here is that Rubeo essentially deleted some information intentionally as not to put Joey in more trouble.  In either case, the government is going to have a difficult time with this case.  Believe me the government doesn't offer a plea when they have all their ducks in a row.  The only question now is, will Joey push it to trial as it appears, or will the federal government bring in a better deal?

The best option here in my opinion is for Joey to fight the charges.  Granted he is looking at some hefty time here, but if all that is coming out publicly about this case is 100% accurate, Joey would be a fool not to fight.  With Rubeo being a less an apt informant, the odds are heavily stacked in Joey's favor here. 

The evidence alone is subject to a lot of questions and the longer this plays out, the better the chances that Merlino will walk, but you also better believe that more is coming down the pipeline for Philadelphia. 



Friday, September 29, 2017

ROY DEMEO WAS NOT A RAT DESPITE BLOGGERS "FACTS"

I come across a lot of trash on the internet obviously.  Sometimes it's laughable, sometimes it's completely reckless.  It's one thing if you have a theory, which sometimes can be backed up by facts, but the plain truth is I came across a complete pile of trash, so much so, it just made me sick.

It's easy to take a conspiracy theory and twist it in a million ways to make your st
ory have plausibility, but this one was so filled with holes and lies I just couldn't believe it was even written.  To begin with, I'm not going to discuss who this blogger is because I don't want to give him any press whatsoever.  Secondly, this blogger repeatedly lies, and just doesn't state factual information.  That being said...

His theory was Roy DeMeo was an informant.  He basis this information on something another writer said, which came from word of mouth.  Rumor had it when Roy DeMeo was found in the trunk of his car there was a tape recorder attached to the top of his trunk with a wire running between the seats and whatever tape might have been in the recorder was gone.  Their are a ton of problems with this statement.

 Roy DeMeo wasn't killed because it was feared that he was a rat. There are a million reasons why Roy was killed, but perhaps the biggest reason was because he was out of control and killing whomever he wanted without the permission of Paul Castellano. Then there was the high profile murder of an innocent vacuum cleaner salesman, who Roy believed was a cartel member. Why? Well Chris Rosenberg whacked a cartel member and stole the drugs and money in that hotel. The cartel wanted revenge and Roy was told to kill Rosenberg.  He bucked.  He took his time.  It infuriated and scared Castellano.  Roy was also responsible for overseeing Jimmy Coonan and the Westies and failed to keep a close choke hold on them.  As well Roy got sloppy with murder and had allowed the car theft ring to get out of control.   Roy might as well have been a new version of Murder Inc.  Roy brought too much heat and directly got Paul Castellano indicted.

The argument could be made, however loosely that perhaps DeMeo thought there was a back door option he could use.  I can certainly entertain that notion, but everything Roy did after the heat started points in another direction.  For starters, Roy was old school.  He wouldn't inform on his friends.  He repeatedly dodged the FBI and the police.  In his final months he grew a beard, and was in an out of New York City.  He was playing cat and mouse with the FBI.

Anthony Senter
Roy had to be killed for a million reasons, but specifically Castellano had been indicted and he wanted all loose ends taken care of. Then it was found out that Dominick Montiglio had become a rat.  Everything was caving in. 

So what happened to Roy DeMeo?  He was told to go to a meeting in Brooklyn.  It was at a Gambino owned garage.  He pulled in, and saw Anthony Senter, Joey Testa, and Anthony Gaggi.  As he got out of the car he was shot repeatedly by all three men.  There has been so much bullshit going around about this, but the truth is Gaggi was told to kill DeMeo himself because he fucked up by allowing DeMeo in so close. 

The defensive wounds on DeMeo also shows(bullet holes in h
Joey Testa
is hands) that he put his hands up in front of his face to try and deflect the gunshots but it didn't work as DeMeo was killed.  They tied his hands behind his back, then tied him to a chandelier in the back of his trunk, and drove the car and parked it so he could rot in the back.

Shortly after Albert DeMeo, Roy's son, was forced off the road by Anthony Senter and Joey Testa.  Albert's car careened off the highway and down an embankment.  Anthony and Joey wanted Roy's black book, which contained Roy's loanshark business names and financials.  Senter and Testa wanted it badly, as did Anthony Casso, who Anthony and Joey were now trying to align themselves with.  They were willing to kill Roy's son for his money.  It's that simple.

Nobody knows, until now what the deal was with that recording device.  You're hearing it here first.  A device was in the trunk, but it wasn't even hooked up right.  It was not put in the car by Roy DeMeo.  It was installed by Anthony Senter and Joey Testa.  Why?  They wanted to throw the police and the FBI off the scent of the murder.  They knew that they would likely be accused because they were so close to Roy and they also needed to send a message to anyone who might think twice about avenging the death of Roy DeMeo.  The best way to do that, was to make it look like he was an informant.  Years ago, and I have been saying this for a long time I did a FOIA request about Roy DeMeo.  There was nothing about him being an informant, or ever even talking to an agent in any capacity other than when they informed him he could be murdered.  In fact, Roy was vitriolic to agents every time they attempted to make contact with him.

The truth is, Roy DeMeo never would have gone to that meeting if he was an informant.  The FBI knew he had problems, tried to make contact regarding things they were hearing and he told the FBI to "fuck off."  He realized he was in trouble, but he still went to the sit down.  He left his wallet, money and id's on his dresser.  He knew he was going to be killed.  A man whose informing doesn't go to a meeting like that.  Not only that, but if Roy was an informant how come the information he provided didn't help convict anyone?  It's because he never did.  It was a scam by Senter and Testa too fool a lot of people.  They felt there needed to be over-justification, and frankly it worked. 

There was no tape.  There was no device attached.  It's simply a rumor that began based on whispers with zero evidence.  Anthony Senter's background was in stealing cars and radios from cars.  He had an expertise in that field, and he was the one who came up with the recording device in the trunk idea.  It was a giant ruse, that prolific writers have bought hook, line and sinker.  None of it is accurate in the sense other than appearances aside.

This blogger, didn't do his homework nor does he know Anthony Senter like I did.  He simply ran on a story he heard somewhere else, and didn't stop to think about what the story was.  I'm not saying Roy DeMeo was a saint folks, I'm simply saying that DeMeo even as he was, well, he just wasn't an informant in any sense.  This same blogger said Neil Dellacroce was an informant too.  I won't even dignify that crap whatsoever.....

When you get all your information from rats, what do you expect?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

GOTTI: THE MOVIE, TRAILER OUT AND EVERYONE'S TALKING


Just a few days ago, the trailer of the year came out.  In case you've been laying low, the GOTTI film trailer debuted online. Much like everyone else, I was impatiently awaiting the unveiling.  In a two minute clip, we are given a lot to digest and and in a hurry.

For mob genre fans we've been waiting for this for a long time now.  It wasn't so long ago that the GOTTI film might not have happened at all.  I'm not going to go back in time to go through all of that, because that's all water over
the dam at this point.  The point is, the GOTTI film is coming your way December 15th.

The film, which is is based on John A. Gotti's book "Shadow Of My Father," is going to be a very inside look at the life of John J. Gotti through his son's eyes.  What's different about this notion in comparison to other biographical films is that you're not only getting an inside peek, but you're going to be fed the very truth.  Many times in biographical films, some of the more tawdry parts are left out.  This is why for example Scorcese's Sinatra biopic never got made.  The Sinatra's didn't want any of the more negative aspects of Sinatra's life on screen.  This is not the case with GOTTI.  It appears that mob genre film goers are going to really like this film.  Your getting served with the cold hard truth about who John Gotti was, and how his legend effectively will never ever die.  It's also a look into the way John Gotti suffered in the end for what he believed was right.  He could have simply gone away, but he fought all the way to the end, even when doctors wanted to dope him up to make things easier, he wiggled his finger and said "no, no truth serum for me."

I watched the trailer probably close to 100 times.  I wanted to make sure, at least from my perspective that I didn't miss a single line, a single frame.  It was important to me to see it from as many different angles as I could.  My opinion seemed to change throughout the numerous viewings.  I never once thought it was bad, but sometimes you have to see it a bunch of times to totally digest everything.  What I saw in the end, startled me.  There is nothing more goosebump-ish then the final scene with a cancer stricken John Gotti, speaking bluntly about what he believed in.  The wardens, the system, could take whatever they wanted from John Gotti but they couldn't take his resolve and his dignity, and that's a point to be taken literally.

I was worried that John Travolta while an incredibly gifted actor, night not be able to pull this off.  It didn't take long until he spoke, and cracked that sideways Gotti grin, and had that bounce that I literally said "WOW," out loud.  While some will say Armand Assante did a good representation of John Gotti the truth is John Travolta IS John Gotti.

It's going to be one hell of a ride, but what to me is ever promising is that this is coming from John A. Gotti.  No holds barred, nothing off limits, just the truth.  I cannot imagine this was an easy thing for the Gotti family, and believe me, if this film is every single bit as good as it looks, pencil John Travolta in for an OSCAR now.  I'm a huge critic of mob films, and especially biographical ones, and even as I sit here now, I find myself marveling at the very idea.  This film, is going to be epic for all the right reasons.  John Gotti Jr didn't have to share his father with us, with anyone.  God knows he shared his father with the Federal Government long enough.  Junior has given us the key, invited us in and doesn't make any apologies for what is.  It takes balls and a giving heart to open doors like this and I hope movie goers reciprocate in form.  After
all there is only one JOHN GOTTI.


GOTTI MOVIE TRAILER


Thursday, September 21, 2017

MOB RAT "BALDY" GRAVANO RELEASED FROM PRISON


In news, that may shock some, we have been talking about this for a few months now, as we knew that Salvatore "Sammy The Bull" Gravano would soon be released from prison.  I wasn't sure what the overall reaction would be, but I believe it's safe to say there is a definite mix.  Most of the detractors are saying the same stuff.  Words like "rat, bum, loser, drug dealer, snitch," seem to be the common words tossed out late last night.  On the other hand some are saying "he served his time, leave him alone."  In perhaps a moment of lunacy one idiot actually said "he is a hero. He took down a mob boss, hardly a rat."

Of all the things I saw late last night on different Facebook group pages, I'm choosing to focus on the "Sammy is a hero," statement.  Salvatore Gravano, is not a hero.  He's a psychopath.  Listen, 19 murders(admitted) is lower than what some serial killers have done. 

Sammy Gravano is a joke. If we chose to revel in the past, it's very clear.  Gravano murdered for many different reasons, but the reality is, he did it for his own financial gain.  If you had something he wanted, he'd kill you for it.  It's not to say that Gravano wasn't a street tough guy.  He was.  There is no doubting that, however, sometimes legend becomes very distorted over time.  Here's what I mean..

For starters he blamed John Gotti for everything.  The one argument Gotti detractors make is that John Gotti's voice was on those FBI tapes.  The infamous "I told Sammy to put it in a fucking notch," is a tape overplayed and overused.  Some make the argument that it was John Gotti who opened up the door to allow the FBI in.  While I can agree that things were said that shouldn't have been, we always have to look at the reality of things.

John Gotti's beef with Gravano was that Gravano was too wide open.  It wasn't a jealousy or rage type of thing. It simply was you are wide open, dial it back a bit.  The other interesting point I want to make is that Gravano lied to John Gotti about their own family members.  Gotti took Gravano's word about some people, and even lament
ed about it on a tape.  "I took this guys word that this guy was talking subversive."  In other words, if Gravano had a beef, or wanted something from you, he stole it, or he cajoled Gotti enough to nod his head in agreement.  That's reality. Gravano's own words on the Jane Pauly interview are enough to back that up. "John's a double crosser, I'm a master double crosser."

I don't want to focus on John Gotti though.  Yes, Gravano ratted him out.  We know this.  I'd rather focus on the 19 families here shattered and a 16 year old he murdered(hardly a mob hit.) In that life murder occurs.  It's a feature of the mob. However, once you reach a certain level, you go from hit man to serial killer and that's exactly what Sammy is.  No only does he not give a shit about the lives he ruined, but he also couldn't stay out of trouble.

Say what you want, but selling drugs to children is as disgusting as it gets.  I'm not making a moral argument about drugs.  All ages, all types do them.  What I am arguing is that he got involved with kids, sold drugs, got caught, and it's another glowing example of a former FBI snitch breaking the law under FBI handlers and at least in this case, he got caught, or at least it was so overwhelming that the FBI had to actually do something about it.  While others may argue he did his time, let me ask you this. How do you explain to the families of his victims how in any remote way that "he's done his time, leave him be?" 

 This guy sold drugs to teenagers. Not only is that as pathetic as it gets, but it  should have showed the federal and state government what a sordid pile of shit he is.  How can you take the word of snitch when he gets on the stand, lies a million times, swears how he has changed his life around and goes back to the same shit he did before?  At what point does he lose his credibility?  The lives he ruined, the people's relatives he stole from them, where is the justice in that?

Now that Gravano has gotten out, the word is, he would like to do reality television.  Laughable at best, he simply probably needs the money at this point.  What sickens me perhaps even more than Granvano's own handy work is the mouth of his daughter Karen, who doesn't seem to give a shit about the people her own father killed instead giving stereotyped excuses like "that's the life, it's how things work."  She also isn't afraid to use her father as a weapon.  "You know who my father is."  It's all very disgusting.  Perhaps she should take stock of her own drug dealing past and thank the system for letting her walk.  Amazing how she forgets that. 

We have got to stop rewarding people for telling on others.  It has to stop.  We also have to stop supporting people like Karen Gravano.  She sold drugs, or at least was involved enough to be charged in selling drugs to kids.  She is no better than her father.  We have to stop putting these people on a platform, or giving them any sort of adulation.  They are rats. Bottom dwellers, couldn't do a day in jail so they told on everyone that helped them attain the cars, the money and the homes.  Morally it's disparaging and disgusting.   She's "ecstatic her dad is out early."  Try telling that to his victims Karen. Your no better than he is.  Sponging off his past for your own gain.

What will likely happen at this point, is the rat squad will form a circle around Gravano. By rat squad I mean Mikey Tits, Russo, Alite, Calandra, all of them.  They will try and sponge off Gravano for all he's worth, because none of them were in that life perhaps the way Gravano was(except Mikey Tits).They want Gravano to back up their lies.  They need him more than they needed anyone.  What you can do to help is just not watch, ignore them.  Perhaps the biggest one who hopes to gain from this is Alite.  Remember Alite said "I'm the one who put Sammy together with my attorney. I made the introduction."   He also said "Sammy is mad, you wait and see when he says and how he backs up what I've been sayin."  If you don't believe he said that, I have text messages proving otherwise.  The rat wagon is beginning to circle and it will be entertaining to see how far they will go with this.

In final, listen, I don't like Gravano. I never did. I always felt he was a pint size nutt-job who enjoyed killing others for their businesses more than he was intelligent.  I am also not saying these things because I support any side or another because there will be those who say this is a pro-Gotti article.  Not the case either.  I simply just don't agree with what he's done, the slap on the wrist, the lies, only to go back out and break laws again, and yet people want to treat him like a king.  He's garbage. He has to bank on his past, and that's likely the route he will go, and the teet suckers will be standing right there next to him.   He may have "done his time," but he's a coward and a snitch.  He ruined 19 lives and countless others, and maybe instead of thinking "he's a hero," you ought to look at the damage he did.  Explain to the families your "he's a fucking hero bit," it doesn't take bravery to stand in front of your friends and tell on them to get special treatment.  It doesn't take balls to write a name of a students name on the blackboard while the teacher is out of the room.  It's a cowardly, pathetic and selfish act, because you lack courage, honor, and a soul.  A man, does his time, takes his medicine, and holds himself accountable for his solitary actions. He's no gangster, but a gutless coward.


Friday, September 15, 2017

FRANK TIERI, VINNIE THE CHIN, AND THE MURDER OF ANGELO BRUNO AND ANTONIO CAPONIGRO

If you know anything about the Philadelphia mob, you know history has always been sorta sketchy there.  If we go back to Angelo Bruno, everyone knows why he was called the "Docile Don." In the end, he just didn't like murder as a means.  He was a diplomat, and he believed discussion far outweighed using a gun to solve a problem.  Not to say that Bruno wasn't capable of murder he was, but he preferred the latter.  It enabled him to say insulated and enabled him to just stay off the radar of law enforcement.

The story that is not often told and believe me it includes some serious guys, is how Scarfo came to be, how Frank Tieri got revenge, and how Vincent "The Chin" Gigante was behind it all.  I have gone on record before chastising those who make statements about the Gotti and Castellano issue, when in fact, others before him did the exact same thing.  Carlo Gambino had three bosses killed. Vincent Gigante tried to kill Frank Costello, and had a hand in Castellano and Bruno's death.  So from that perspective anyone who tries to argue John Gotti and the Paul Castellano hit, and how it was "out of line,"  just doesn't make any sense and holds no weight with me.

So how did this all happen? First of all, you need to understand a few things.  Angelo Bruno was against drugs.  Not that he was against taking profits from drugs, he just forbid any of his men to get involved in that business.  The problem was, he was allowing Gambino's and Genovese's to move drugs in North Jersey, which was Philadelphia territory.  It agitated most of the guys on the streets and they felt it was unfair that he allowed other crews from other families to move weight, yet they couldn't.  Nobody was more incensed than Antonio Caponigro.

Antonio Caponigro
Antonio Caponigro was Angelo Bruno's consigliere. He saw the market shrinking and new that serious money could be made selling methamphetamines.  He also knew that Bruno was under indictments and was in failing health.  Rather then wait out the death of Bruno, he decided to act. However before we get there, we have to talk Nicodemo Scarfo for a second.

Nicodemo Scarfo was a maniac.  One of the reasons Bruno banished Scarfo to Atlantic City was because "Little Nicky," was uber violent and couldn't seem to keep himself together.  He literally stabbed a guy to death with a butter knife in a diner over a seat.  All that being said Bruno sends Nicky to Atlantic City to essentially wither away.  Bruno knew Atlantic City at the time was a dead end.  It was a way of shelving Nick without ultimately doing so.  Nicky was angry about it, but did his best to make ends meet.  For Nicky it was just a waiting game.


With Caponigro frustrated and unwilling to sit by struggling financially as well as the guys on the streets he decides to make a move on Bruno.  He knew Frank "Funzi" Tieri from the Genovese crime family.  They had known each other a long time, and had a beef a few years prior.  The beef was over rackets in Newark and North Jersey.  While Caponigro had rackets there, Tieri moved in and refused to leave even though the territory belonged to Bruno.  There was a sit down over the matter and Bruno sided with Caponigro, and believe me Tieri never forgot it. They eventually moved passed the beef, at least that's what Caponigro believed.

Frank Tieri
Caponigro knew he couldn't just whack Bruno.  He needed backing from someone other than his own men.  He made a call to Frank Tieri, his old friend, and left for New York.  He explained his situation and Tieri agreed in principle to the murder of Bruno.  He told Caponigro not to worry and that if it went to a commission hearing he would fully back Caponigro.  It was a lie, a very shrewd lie.

Caponigro returned to Philadelphia believing the hit had been sanctioned.  It wasn't.  Caponigro enlisted Frank Sindone, Alfre
d Salerno and John Simone.  He gave the order, and the hit was done.  Angelo Bruno was sitting outside his house in a car with John Stanfa.  The gunmen walked up and shot Bruno multiple times, killing him.  Stanfa was injured in the hit, but with just flesh wounds.

I have always thought John Stanfa was in on the hit.  There is no reason as to why the gunmen wouldn't have killed him.  A witness is no good, so the mere fact that Stanfa really wasn't hurt speaks volumes.  In any event, when the commission finds out about the hit, they summon Caponigro to New York immediately.  Vincent Gigante is the one who ordered Caponigro to New York.  He told the rest of the commission he would handle it, and for them not to "concern themselves," with the issue.
Vincent Gigante

When Caponigro arrived he was questioned.  He had believed it had been sanctioned.  After a while, probably out of fear he tells Gigante that it was Tieri who sanctioned it, and knew about it.  Tieri denied knowing about it, having involvement in it, and acted shocked at the revelation.  Immediately Vincent Gigante ordered him killed.  Caponigro's body would be found in the trunk of his car with fourteen bullet wounds, stab wounds and money stuffed into his mouth as a sign that he got greedy.

What perhaps is most astonishing about the end result, is that Frank Tieri was handed all of Caponigro's rackets, which included those they had a beef over, and m
ore.  Then Nicodemo Scarfo was made the boss of Philadelphia, and Nicky cut Vincent Gigante in on the SCARF, INC concrete business and was given generous kickbacks from the skim in Atlantic City.  Vincent Gigante made huge amounts of money from the deal, and Nicky even allowed more drugs to be moved in and out of his territory.  It was a win win for Gigante, Scarfo and Tieri.  I'm a firm believer in the saying "if it looks like it, smells like it, it probably is."

Nicodemo Scarfo
I'm not saying Gigante ordered it.  I'm saying he knew.  He knew something.  He knew the end result.  He could never sign off on something like that.  It's the same thing he did in the Castellano murder.  He was off the record about it, and would make sure he made a statement, but the ends always justified the means when it came to Gigante. Money.  I don't think he was any more loyal to anyone in that life than himself.  In many ways he was incredibly Machiavellian.  What enabled him to continue to do those things was his power.  Why would Caponigro go to New York knowing he was in deep shit, and just try and make up a lie about Tieri.  Tieri was a huge powerhouse and very well trusted and he had to know any assertion of a lie would get him killed.  The proof is in the actions.   Tieri wanted Caponigro dead over an old beef(money) Gigante wanted more income from rackets, and Scarfo wanted to be boss.  It all sorta worked out for them didn't it?


Thursday, September 14, 2017

FRANK VINCENT, GANGSTER ACTOR, DEAD AT 78


Former gangster actor, known for two very specific roles has gone to the big casino in the sky. Frank "Vincent" Gattuso passed away in a New Jersey hospital while undergoing a heart procedure.  Frank Vincent had recently suffered a heart attack and was undergoing valve repair surgery when he passed away.

Those familiar with Vincent's body of work will be remember him as "Billy Batts," from Goodfellas and spirited, angry gangster Phil Leotardo from The Sopranos.  While Vincent has a long career as an actor beginning in 1976 alongside Joe Pesci in the  "The Death Collector."  He followed that up with roles in "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," "Casino,"  "Shark Tale," The Pope Of Greenwich Village," and countless others.

While Vincent wasn't a leading actor, he played the supporting role incredibly well, and everyone whose a fan of mob genre films, knows exactly who Frank Vincent was.  While I disagree that he was "prolific" as some articles have mentioned in the last 24 hours, what I can say is that he was a part of a group that include Tony Sirico, and Vincent Pastore who were at the bare minimum believable.

I never truly was a fan of Frank Vincent, only because I felt that he played into a stereotype too hammy for my own tastes, what I can say is that while Frank Vincent has an impressive body of work, his truly best work was on The Sopranos.  I thought Vincent played the role of cranky, vengeful Phil Leotardo exactly the way "Phil" was on paper, and that's what I will remember him for most.

What fans of this genre will miss most, is his raspy voice, with a "don't fuck with me" attitude.  He made you believe he was who he was protraying, and for an actor that's the greatest compliment one can bestow.  RIP FRANK!!!

Here is Phil's best work!!!

PHIL LEOTARDO





READ MY LIPS, FOUR FACTIONS IN PHILLY.


I continue to get inboxed and messaged regarding the state of affairs in Philadelphia, Pa.  A lot of people are either misinformed or because there is so much misinformation out there, that people are getting confused.  So in an effort to stifle that, let's get down to it.

Currently, as we speak, the Philadelphia mafia, is splintered into four factions.  It doesn't mean four families within one, it simply means, that their are four small subgroups.  If anything it's by design to insulate the Philly mob.  We know the players, and the boss is still the boss, but because some are getting confused, let's break it down.

For starters Joey Merlino is the boss.  He makes the decisions, and at the end of the day he has final word on everything going on, however he is not actually overseeing day to day operations of the entire family.  That mainly has to do with his criminal trial that's coming shortly.  It's better for Joey to insulate himself a bit, and if that means they use a front boss system, or a four tiered system then so be it.  So who are the players?  Remember, four factions, four capos, and rank and file comes in underneath.

THE FOUR HORSEMEN
"SKINNY" JOEY MERLINO- BOSS

"UNCLE JOE" JOE LIGAMBI- CONSIGLIERE/CAPO








PHILIP NARDUCCI- CAPO









                                                    



"JOEY PUNG" JOSEPH PUNGITORE- CAPO












Each one underneath has a crew.  Some of the crews operated as far as Delaware, up through New Jersey and some in New York as well, all though it's limited to certain areas.  One of the more interesting facets of this is Philip Narducci and Joe Pungitore.  Both of them are Scarfo-era gangsters.  One might wonder why Borgesi, Mazzone, and others are not on the top four here.  For starters you have to understand how Pungitore and Narducci hold top spots considering the bad blood over the last twenty years between Merlino and Scarfo guys.

To begin with when both Pungitore and Narducci got out of prison and hit the streets, Joey was in a rebuild.  He could have easily shelved both, but didn't.  He saw the release of Narducci and Pungitore as advantageous, and as an extension of an olive branch allowed both to come into the Merlino Family.  The move upset the apple cart a bit, drawing the anger of Georgie Borgesi.

Borgesi's beef really began with Marty Angelina.  While Borgesi was away, Angelina took over Borgesi's rackets.  When Borgesi got out, he expected to be handed over whatever rackets he had.  Angelina refused.  He essentially told Borgesi to fuck off.   Borgesi in turn ran to Merlino for help, and Joey wasn't hearing it.  He told Borgesi to just deal with it.   Borgesi couldn't let it go and asked for Angelina to be killed.  Once again Joey wouldn't hear it, instead bumped Borgesi down to solider and forced him to operate out of Delaware.

To make matters worse, Borgesi then began a silent whisper campaign, and ended up trying to unite some associates to his side of the fence.  It was a ploy to try and shake the tree a bit, in order to force Joey Merlino to see his point of view.  Borgesi then opens up a social club on Packer Avenue.  It just created a mess for Merlino.

Borgesi felt that Scarfo-era guys had no right being inducted into the family, and was bitter about being bumped down, but he wouldn't have to wait long as Joey bumped him back up to Capo to appease the situation.   What shouldn't surprise anyone at this point is that Borgesi is simply a capo, but underneath his Uncle Joe Ligambi. 

It doesn't take rocket science to see what Merlino has done.  He has himself, and Joe Ligambi as one set, and two Scarfo era guys as the other set.  Merlino has the final say on everything, but the day to day operations from what I am hearing is controlled by Philip Narducci, which is bad news for Borgesi.  Why?

We have to sort of play psychic here, but from the street perspective let's see it how it really is. We know Joey Merlino is facing some monster time in his trial.  If he somehow is found guilty he's going to be looking at 15-25 years, effectively rendering him helpless.  He still will have some power, but I don't think it would be enough to run the family from prison.  If that scenario goes down, I would expect there to be some real ramifications and in a hurry.  I don't think Joey would necessarily bow out, but I also believe you will see a major splintering effect, and I don't think Ligambi at his age is going to stand in the way and cause a problem.  Not only does Ligambi not want to do another stint in prison, but Pungitore and Narducci have a lot of power.  

The flip side of this is Georgie Borgesi, who wants it all, but doesn't have the ability to conjure up the backing of New York or Philadelphia at this point.  What will likely happen, is Steve Mazzone will be offered a high end position and either Narducci(odds on favorite) or Pungitore will take over Philadelphia, and we then will see a reshuffle of the structure.  Borgesi however, if he isn't careful could find himself in a corner he can't get out of.  It makes the situation in Philadelphia a virtual powder keg, if things go a certain direction. You could also see Pungitore and Narducci split duties. I just don't see how Joey will be able to hold onto the reigns if he goes away for a twenty year stretch.

The one resolve Merlino has had, unlike Scarfo, is that he is a patient guy.  He doesn't pull the trigger out of delusion or haste. He's not that kind of leader.  However, if push comes to shove in this situation you could see blood spill over in the streets of Philadelphia depending on the situation. Philadelphia has always had one or the other when it comes to leadership.  They either have a leader whose fairly soft, or a leader who kills everyone.  The in-between seems to be Merlino, and so far so good for Philadelphia.  Merlino's strong asset is his ability to think, and his ability to put the bottom line ahead of jealousy and nervousness. Money.  As long as the money keeps piling up, he's happy, and that's the bottom line at the end of the day for the mob.  However, if that dries out, and guys start pulling a Borgesi, then all hell could break loose.

In final, I don't know exactly what will happen in Philadelphia.  If I had to give you a real street level idea, I would simply tell you that if Joey goes away, Narducci and Pungitore will try and take over, and Merlino loyalists will drop in line only because it will benefit them in the long run financially.  If guys don't fall in line, then we could  see SCARO VS. MERLINO part two.