Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Crime Inc.

Mafia Incorporated was a six part documentary series a bout the Mob first broadcast in 1984, and narrated by the investigative journalist Martin Short.  It included interviews with mobsters like Jimmy Fratianno, Gerry Denono and Joey Cantalupo.  It showed essentially how the street soldiers operated, such as running loan sharking.  One guy in a secretly taped phonecall was telling one of his customers that unless he came up with the money now he was going to "Break every fucking bone in your body.  Do you understand? Every fucking bone!"  The client quickly assured him he would pay up.

    One man running his own dock was standing up to the Mob, but was being bombarded with threats and intimidation.  They wanted behind the scenes control, but this man was resolute.  No way was he handing control of his dock to gangsters.  Eventually he co-operated with the Police and set up a sting that caught them out on tape, and it sent them down.  After the trial, the dock owner had to have permanent protection.  He always had an armed guard and always carried a gun.

    Jimmy Fratianno talked about that infamous picture taken at the Westchester Theatre around 1976.  In the picture was Frank Sinatra with a group of men.  Members of this group included head of the Gambino Family, Carlo Gambino, his successor to be, Paul Castellano, Jimmy Fratianno & Gregory DePalma.  Depalma years later was to be taken down by an FBI agent posing as a guy known as Jack Falcone.  His real name was Jack Garcia, a CUBAN!!  Fratianno talked of his involvement in crime, some of the murders he helped perpetrate, and the picture.  I remember him saying that Sinatras` claim that suddenly a group of men gathered around him to pose for a photo, was "baloney!"  He said "Sinatra knows me, Carlo, Paul.  He likes being around made guys.  He thrives on it."

    I remember my younger brother doing his Joey Cantalupo impressions.  "You tell that motherfucker Louie to pay that rent or I`ll cut his balls off!"  "This was an absolute monster of a man and when he was told that, he actually shit himself!"  It was a very interesting series but that was thirty years ago and the crime scene has changed drastically. Now it is the street gangs calling the shots.