What do you get when a deconstructionist joins the mafia ?

An offer you can't understand.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Raso-Albanese and the 'nrdrangheta Wars

Vol 3
Appendix A: San Giorgio Morgeto and the Culture of Death
Whatever the origins of the feud between the clans of the Raso-Albanese and the Facchineri, the first act of aggression appears to have been a killing on March 23 1964, when a Facchineri ally named Domenico Geraci, was murdered. However, because of the existence of the Mafia Calabrese, the vendetta that would have erupted was quickly controlled, although it would come to boil at times in the early 1970's before the organization began to fracture and fragment in 1975, triggering a feud that would last until the mid 1990's. The feud had two municipal turfs: one was San Giorgio Morgeto, the other was the municipality due south of it, Cittanova.
It may be a coincidence that the feud began the spring after Tony Silvestro died. It is however, not unreasonable to think that in an poor land like the hills of the southern Calabrian Aspromonte, local members of a powerful Canadian 'ndrina like the Morgeti, would have had an economic advantage over less connected clans, so it is not unreasonable to think that with the deaths of both Tony Silvestro and Mike Silvestro the year before him, old clan alliances and territories would begin to shift. There can be no way of knowing for certain how those relationships altered when Frank and Sam Silvestro became the dominant Morgeti in Ontario, although they shared power with Welland and Hamilton Morgeti, and with Dominic Longo in California, while not forgetting that Cutts Carere was a power in his own right and was still in the mix doing his own thing, whatever that actually was, and then ultimately, there was Carere's old prison companion, Sam Sorbara, who built a dynastic line of his own in Woodbridge.
There was another incident that may have had an affect on the Morgeti, one that occurred sometime in 1963, when the Italian paramilitary police, the carabineri, discovered one of the few copies of the codes of the 'ndrangheta ever found: it was a document now known as the code of San Giorgio Morgeto. It had been discovered in the home of Giuseppe Mammoliti, who lived in nearby Taura Nova, down on the plains leading to the western coast of Calabria. As implied by the possession of the code, Mammoliti is an SGM clan name, and one that is associated with Ontario's Morgeti. The name itself probably derives from the village of Mammola, a community about ten miles east of San Giorgio. Toronto mobster Rocco Zito from Oppido Mamertina (which borders Cittanova on the south, is said to have come to Canada with orders from a Mammoliti boss that allowed Zito to move directly into a position of power in Canada. One of the bosses of Oppido Mamertina, Francesco Mammoliti had been murdered by a man named Domenico Barbaro in 1954, around the time that Zito came to Canada. But I'll come back to Rocco in Part Two of Volume Three.
As for the Raso-Albanese and the Facchineri, the two clans had been around for decades, as noted in Volume One, when a man named Francesco Raso had killed his Albanese nephew in the 1890's for violating the code of the Society. According to a Wikipedia article on the Facchineri, 20 members of the clan had been tried at a session of the Grand Court of Calabria in 1916. So however old the clans are, or however long their involvement with the Honoured Society, and whatever consequences were -or weren't -experienced in San Giorgio following the death of Tony Silvestro, events in Calabria began to change about eight months after his death .
Limited internet resources can be used to trace the feud back (via online Republicca Italia newspapers) to 1985 and ­through some of the back stories in those articles -to events in the 1970's. As noted, one of those accounts has the feud beginning on March 23 1964 when Domenico Geraci was killed: it was a murder that was revenged by the Facchineri's through the killing of Antonio Albanese. (Geraci is a San Giorgio name, and several members of that clan had traveled to Ontario with others of the village prior to the 1930's. Whether Dominic was from San Giorgio isn't stated.) Later that year on September 23 1964, there was another murder in Cittanova, one in which the clans were defined as the Raso-Abanese-Gullace-Mamone, supported by the Piromalli, versus the Facchineri-Marvasso supported by the Tripodi.
In the 1960's, the head of the Facchineri clan was a man named Luigi, who had several sons (although one or more of the following might have been a nephew) Dominico, Vincenzo, Michael and Giuseppe. In 1964, all four members of that generation survived some kind of hit on the family orchestrated by the head of the Raso-Albanese, Francesco Raso (who was presumably married to an Albanese.) The modern Facchineri allies in San Giorgio Morgeto are the Valente-Mercuri-Ferraro as well as the Sorbaras and Landini's. In 1970, a Raso-Albanese ally, Celestino Gullace was murdered. Some kind of retaliation ensued, and then things simmered down until something else happened in 1971. That's the sketchy part of the feud, the prehistory in the absence of complete documentation. After that the story develops more clearly.
On Easter Monday 1975 a pregnant woman named Carmela Guerrisi, the wife of Giuseppe Facchineri, (son of Luigi ?) who, along with her son Dominic, 11 and his cousin Michael Facchineri, 8 were tending some pigs on the outskirts of Cittanova, when 5 'sicarii' opened fire on the three of them. Michael and Dominic were killed. Carmela was hit, but she and her unborn child, whom she later named Dominic survived. The story was later turned into a TV series in Italy, called A Child Fleeing. Another version of the story is that the unborn child was named Luigi, who plays a role later in the feud.)
Pantaleone Sergi, now a professor at the University of Calabria, but at the time a journalist whose name appears on most of the feud stories, detailed the 1979 flight of Carmela Facchineri and her children, Rocco and Vincenzo and the -by then -four year old Dominic (Luigi ?) who, along with some children from the Raso-Albanese were removed from Cittanova by the authorities in order to save their lives, after it had become obvious that the children were living in an atmosphere of terror that was causing them almost daily nightmares, surrounded as they were by barbed wire, armed men and by 'wolf dogs' howling on the roofs of their homes and by other extreme protective measures. As Sergi notes, it was the duty of the women in a feud to teach vendetta to their sons. Carmela and her children were given new lives in Umbria, where they lived in secret for over a decade. For Pantaleone, Carmela “had the courage to break the chains of the culture of death.” By the time the TV show aired in 1991, the people of Cittanova didn't know what any of the boys looked liked.
In the 1970's-80's, the Calabrian mafia had used kidnapping as a fund-raising tool, the most famous of which snatchings was the one of John Paul Getty Jr. In another one, on May of 1984, Alfredo Sorbara, the communist mayor of Giffone had been kidnapped by 28 year old Rocco Facchineri the son of Vincenzo. On April 9 1985, Rocco was arrested. Up north in Turin, the Raso-Albanese, who had come to Calabria in the 1950's, and who police regarded as the dominant force behind kidnappings in that region for over a decade, were no longer being regarded as the main players in the field. A week and a half before Rocco Facchineri's arrest, on March 31 1985, 60 year old Francesco Raso, who had been hiding in the bush since the mid 1970's was captured near Piana di Gioia. Police believe he had ordered the hit on Carmela and the boys as well as other hits. The feud, however ,which had been for the most part defused by the removal of the children, exploded back into a full-blown crisis during the summer of 1987.
On May 24 1987, Michele Facchineri, the boss of the clan, who was in jail, had been allowed by a judge to attend the marriage of his daughter, another Carmela, to a man named Antonio Reale of Cimino. Forced to wear handcuffs, Michael was one of the last survivors of the bloodshed against his father's family by the Raso-Albanese in 1964. In less than a month and a half police would come to suspect that the marriage was more than just a dynastic alliance between two powerful 'ndrangheta clans. The police had been dealing with a feud in Cimino involving the Reales, a feud that had already seen the death of 35 people since 1966, one of whom was a priest whose only sin appears to have been his willingness to conduct a funeral for one of the murder victims. After July 4 1987, when five people -enemies of the Reale's -were murdered near Cimino, police began to suspect that a new front had been opened in the old feuds.
On July 9, four 'sicarii' opened fire on a vehicle occupied by Cittanova boss Francesco Raso, 45, and his 18 year old nephew Raffaele Albanese. The gunmen escaped into the Aspromonte forests only to reappear near a lobster stand where they opened fire on known Raso-Albanese associates John Avignone 47, Girolamo (Jerome) Bruzzi, 54, and Rocco Catalano, 36. All victims died. Avignone had just been accused of trying to poison Vincenzo Facchineri in prison. 53 year old Vincenzo Cannata, who had been wounded in the gun battle, was arrested.
A day later, Vincenzo Longo 37, a native of Cittanova and an associate of the Facchineri, was gunned down in his doorway in the village of Molochio, which sits about ten miles south of his birthplace. The village happened to be the place where, the same week Francesco Raso had been arrested in 1985, Paul Perri of Plati had been discovered hiding out before his own arrest on kidnapping charges.
O July 17 of 1987, two cousins, a butcher, 42 year old John Ienco and 39 year old Vincenzo Ienco, a headstone maker, were murdered in Cittanova. Both were associates of the Raso-Albanese. On July 19, on the road between the east and west coast, near the village of Zomaro, Antonio Lombardo, 50 and his three sons, Dominico 21, Angelo 17, and Massimo 12, kin of the Facchineri, returning home from buying cloth, were shot at while driving through Raso-Albanese territory. The father was hit but escaped the truck; after the shooters left, he returned to find his sons wounded. He managed to get into Cittanova proper for help but by the time he did, Angelo had died. The attack appears to have been the last straw for locals who insisted that all levels of government do something. Three days later the local government became the newest victim of the feud when the mayor canceled demonstrations because he feared there would be a massacre and the coalition that ruled Cittanova un-raveled over its inability to agree on what to do to solve the problems.
By the end of the month, the tragedy of the feud had shifted to Milan, where a man named Antonio Tropeano, a 57 year old Cittanova native and Facchineri associate, murdered his own family, including his wife Girolama Rao. His youngest son, who was out of the house, was the only survivor. Just why the police thought the suicide-murders were connected to the feud the July 30 1987 article didn't say. Tropeano's role in the clan also isn't made clear, although he had served 12 years in prison for the attempted murder of his cousin Mimmo who had allegedly been a police informer. The fact that Antonio's older son Joseph had become a drug addict and was constantly robbing the family, probably added to the father's mania. Presumably, Antonio's shooting of his nephew, coupled with his jail time for carrying out the sentence against Mimmo on behalf of the 'ndrangheta, combined with his son's addictions, had become a source of torment to him, and he simply lost his reason to the culture of death.
Vincenzo Facchineri reappears in the news at the end of August, but this time, as a prisoner in the jail infirmary who didn't want to leave the clinic after rioters took over the prison where he was incarcerated in Rome. The long, hot, deadly summer finally ended in Calabria and an uneasy silence reigned as autumn turned to winter. On January 19 1988, three wanted Facchineri cousins, Vincenzo 21, Vincenzo 20, and Girolamo 17, who had holed up in a San Giorgio Morgeto hovel, hidden in some woods owned by Joseph Fazari, 59, were discovered by the paramilitary police. A gun battle ensued, which was won by the carabineri. Another man, who was un-named in the article, escaped.
On January 27, Antonio Reale, married to the daughter of Michael Facchineri less than a year before, was murdered in Cimino. A few weeks after that, on Valentine's Day, during a carnival organized by the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, the dread that had haunted Cittanova during the summer returned in full force when a fifteen year old boy gunned down another boy over a insult outside a movie theatre. Francesco Megna, the son of some local community activists, shot and killed Joseph Gentile on the street in front of a group other kids goading them on. The entire town seems to have been stricken by the killing, which had no connection to the feud, except as a direct consequence of the ideology of vengeance.
Things simmered but did not erupt in Cittanova throughout the summer of '88. And then on October 28, a farmer named Joseph Berlingieri, 45, a Raso-Albanese associate, was killed by a rifle shot while he was getting into his car. On January 28 1989, the feud returned to Turin, where a 21 year old Cittanova native named Urbano Denver was found slumped over the wheel of his car, shot three times in the head. The police's only clue to what might have happened was that the murdered man's brother Francesco was married to Anna Facchineri, daughter of Dominico, killed in the feud back home years before. (Presumably her father was one of the original Facchineri's murdered in the mid-1960's.) On April 11, 38 year old Romeo Marvasa's name was added to the list of the feud's dead, the Marvasas were one of the Facchineri's early allies.
In May, a whole new issue arose in the countryside around Cittanova, namely, herds of cattle owned by the Raso-Albanese had been causing havoc for nearly a decade: hunters in the woods were afraid of harming one with stray bullets, the cattle were grazing on everyone's farms and eating everything they could. The main highway had become so dangerous because of wandering cows that higher levels of government were being asked to take care of the problem. People were so terrified of the Raso-Albanese that no one in local authority would take responsibility for forcing them do something about the cattle. By May of 1989, regional prosecutors had finally fenced in the “sacred cows” only the fences were being cut and the cattle were escaping. Nothing would be done for several more years.
On June 13 1989, the paper was reporting that police had arrested four fugitives in a hideout in the forest near Cittanova. All four were dressed like the Sylvester Stallone character Rambo, they had Rambo film posters on the wall of their hut, and were armed to the teeth, including eleven Hungarian guns, four pistols, thousands of rounds of ammo for luparo (the short shotgun beloved of mafia hit men) armour, wigs, and glasses. Arrested were Girolamo Raso, released from prison two years before, Vincenzo deRaco 21, Carmelo Pronesti, 24, and Francesco Gullace, 40. A younger man, Franco Audino, 18 had been followed by the carabineri while carrying food supplies into the mountain. The Gullace clan and the deRaco's are listed in the Wikipedia article about the Facchineri, as early allies of the Raso-Albanese, while the Gullaces often appear as an extension of the clan ie. Raso-Albanese-Gullace in mob watcher lists. Likewise with the Pronestis.
On May 23 1990, Dominic Giovinazzo 45, and Francesco Rositano 38, of Taurinova were added to the list of feud dead. On February 20 1991, Luigi Facchineri, 44 of Cittanova, the head of the clan and who had been on the run since the previous August, and Cesare Giovinazzo 34, of San Giorgio Morgeto, who had been missing for two years, were both found dead, killed in an ambush near Giffone, so presumably the Giovinazzo's were allies of the Facchineri. The carabineri had been informed via an anonymous phone call of where to find the bodies. The caller was believed to have been a man who had escaped the ambush. On November 3 1991, the first episode of the television show “The Fleeing Child” aired. It was revealed in the show, that Domenico-Luigi Facchineri's mother, Carmela Guerrisa, was serving 17 years for her part in an otherwise unexplained kidnapping that had revolved around the “needs of her family.” It was only at that point, that people learned that the (by then) sixteen year old Dominico-Luigi was living in Umbria. Not surprisingly perhaps, Umbria is listed as one of the Facchineri's northern regions of operation. So between Carmela's kidnapping scheme serving “the needs of her family.” and the rise of the Facchineri in Umbria, the efforts of the authorities to intercede on behalf of the family appear to have back­fired. Things quieted down after the TV show, perhaps because it was around that time that the Calabrian mafia, torn apart because of dozens of feuds similar to that detailed here, decided that business required less blood and more cooperation, and so established new territories.
Italian police and the carabineri however, continued to hunt those involved in the earlier feuds, and those involved in the new mob businesses, in Calabria, and in the northern extensions of the southern clans. On Feb 27 1994, the Italian paper was reporting that evidence from a penititi, Giuseppe Scriva, had led to the conviction of Rocco and Francesco Albanese for killing Marcello Marvasa. Giuseppe Avignone was convicted of killing Dominico Monteleone, while a second Francesco Albanese and a Tomasso Cosentino were convicted of killing a Varone. Filipe and Carmine Geraci, were given life sentences for crimes related to the feud and clan activities. And on the other side of the feud, a man named Antonio Fedele was convicted of assassinating Raffael Albanese and Antonio Raso. And finally, Michele and Vincenzo Facchineri, as well as Saverio Monteleone were sentenced to 30 years each on a kidnapping charge.
In the 1995 restructuring of the Honoured Society, the Raso-Albanese were given control of Cittanova to the heights of Zomaro which marks the northern rural outskirts of the municipality, while the Facchineri were given control of San Giorgio Morgeto, their southern border being set in the rural outskirts of the municipality. Prior to that negotiated peace, and since the start of vendetta, more one hundred people had been killed. According to the Gazetta del Sud, the Raso-Albanese had been the victors in the long feud. Business went on however: in 2003, based on an investigation that began in 1997, Michele Facchineri, 69, Rocco Facchineri 36, Michele Varone 31 of a village called Maropoti, and several other men including a Dominic Napoli of San Giorgio Morgeto were convicted of money-laundering, and had their assets seized by the state. On March 22 2005, according to the Gazzetta del Sud, Salvatore, Joseph and Michele Facchineri, were convicted and sentenced for crimes ranging from extortion, bodily harm, intimidation, and weapons offenses. Vincenzo Salvatore and an another Joseph Facchineri were also sentenced, along with several of their associates. In Oct of 2007 a Fazzari associated with the Raso-Albanese-Gullace was convicted for illegally disposing of massive quantities of toxic wastes in a cave. Business improved, peace between the clans held, and corruption expanded exponentially.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Speech to Third Age Learning, Arboretum Guelph Nov, 2 2011

One of the main goals in the Legends of the Morgeti books is the context in which

organized crime operates.

Humanity is reaching a critical point in our history, in which it is

becoming impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys without a program, a

program the main stream media refuses to provide.

The truth of how interwoven organized crime is with business, law and government, is

terrifying in ways that the War on Terror doesn't even being to approach. In mafia

terminology, political, business policing and church associates are known as the Third Level.

As for the title of this paper, Legends in Lansky Land, the Lansky referred to is of

course the master money launderer, Meyer Lansky, ally of Lucky Luciano (the Sicilian

American boss of the America mafia from the 1930's until his death in 1962.) Lansky

outlived Luciano by 21 years, but it was it was they, more than anyone else, who

transformed organized crime from old world secret societies into Big Business.

Lansky's longevity ensured that every traditional crime organization in the world made

the same transition, which is why Chinese, Italian, Russian and other family-based crime

groups are all now run from within corporate businesses.

My attempt here will be to provide you with an overview of how that came about, while

offering ways out, through what I believe are genuine solutions to the predicament

humanity now finds itself in across the globe.

The subject families of my own books, who I refer to as the Morgeti, have followed the

same trajectory as the rest of the world's crime families: they began as Calabrian

villagers and over the last century have turned into inhabitants of the global village.

When they first arrived in Guelph at the turn of the century, they came to a town that

could not have been more pro-British Empire in any of its thoughts, words or deeds. The

business classes dominated the economy, workers had few rights an seasonal Italian migrant workers

were being extorted by the Camorra. The Brits loved northern aristocratic Italians; the shorter,

swarthier Calabrian newcomers had to fight to make a hold in the immigrant rich boarding house

world of Guelph's Ward.

The Village of San Giorgio Morgeto is itself named after one of the earliest of the

invasion peoples, the Morgezi, whose Syro-Arklddian king, Morgezia governed 2700 years ago, after

his father and uncle conquered Southern Calabria and eastern Sicily.

The Morgeti, as a mob group, have deep and proud roots in that ancient imperialism,

their secret codes are focused on respect for order, in which a percentage of everything earned by

any member below any other another member, moves up the ladder, never down, in return for

protection. The pursuit of “gold and silver” and the power that comes with it in mafias, as in

business, wicks upwards, while protection rackets trickle down. In a protectorate economy,

democracy is replaced with obedience to those without conscience intent on wicking the wealth out

of as many people as possible.

Leaving aside Guelph for the moment, the most important moment in organized crime

history probably occurred on the streets of New York in 1920 when a Sicilian born

teenager with a gang and who would later become known around the world as Lucky

Luciano, met a Polish Russian Jewish teenager named Meyer Lansky who was with his

gang. Both were having problems with New York City's well-established Irish gangs.

The two gang leaders from two completely different crime cultures bonded, and in doing

so transformed organized crime forever. As far as I am concerned we live in Lansky's


In my first volume, I began with several quotes, one of which is from a speech given

by RCMP inspector, Ben Sauve, the former Superintendent of the Combined Special

Forces Branch, to the Italian Canadian Club in Toronto on Jan 19 2001.

Sauve was himself an Italian-born Canadian.

“I have often said and maintained, “Soave noted, “ that Organized Crime will never be

defeated so long as we have a democracy, and there is opportunity for power, profit and


I couldn't disagree more: the problem is not democracy but corporatism, and not the

spiritual corporatism of the original conservative Catholic theologians who came up

with the notion of nations in which the Church was one of four estates orchestrating a

balance of power between Rome, workers, nations and businesses.

The Corporatism I fear is more akin to the fascism of Mussolini, which he defined as

the merger of business and the state, and in which the church was reduced to the role of

keeping workers in line. Guelph's most famous political leader, George Drew, son-in-

law of Guelph's most famous singer, Edward Johnson, both thought very highly of

Mussolini and corporatism; it is a strain of conservatism that comes and goes

throughout Canadian history. We are very much in a pro-corporatist phase of

conservatism these days, here and around the world.

The recent occupy movement, which began on Wall Street and now exists in over 80

countries, takes as its core reality, the fact that 1% of the world's population controls as

much wealth as the other 99% combined.

In America, 400 people - 400 indivdiuals - control as much wealth as more than 150

million Americans combined, a fact first noted by documentary film maker Michael

Moore, when addressing 100,000 people who had gathered last March to protest the

agenda of the uber rich being carried out in Wisconsin by the republican governor, who

had campaigned on NONE of the anti-labour measures he was was then enacting.

Moore's 400 people figure was later confirmed by the CATO Institute's Truth O'Meter , a

fact finding service owned by the oil billionaires, David and Charles Koch,

brothers, who also happening to be financing the anti-global warming movement and the

American Tea Party. The truth o'meter noted that Moore was actually being

conservative in his estimate, because by the accounting of Truth O'Meter researchers,

those 400 individuals owned as much as 155 - not 150 - million Americans.

Curiously, the Truth O'Meter was the only main stream media to cover the fact that there

were 100,000 people occupying the capital buildings in Madison, Wisconsin. Given the

fact that the vast majority of main stream media is owned by a handful of corporations,

including oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch, it isn't surprising that mainstream coverage in

America, Canada and around the world was non-existent.

When the 1% don't want you to know something they don't tell you. Presumably the

truth meter thought they were going to disprove the fact, and published the truth by


In Canada, over 80% of our media is owned by three corporations. Back in the 1970's

Senator Keith Davies headed up a Royal Commission into media ownership, one of their

chief conclusions was that conglomerate control of Canadian media would be bad for

our democracy. In our last federal election, triggered by contempt of parliament

charges, the Conservatives claimed they were endorsed by scores of media outlets across

the country: they weren't: they were endorsed by three companies. The free press in

North America has been driven to its knees by corporatists.

According to Statscan, before Free Trade, 10% of Canadians owned 40% of the

wealth, now, that same percentage owns over 60%, while half of the population now

owns just 5% of the commonwealth. If that doesn't sound like a racket to you, my guess

is nothing does.

The occupy movement had the same problem in its first two weeks as the protesters in

Wisconsin had, there was almost no coverage of the fact that tens of thousands of people

were marching in New York. It was only on Oct 15 of this year, when there were over

1500 occupy rallies around the world, that corporate media began their coverage, most

of which was, and remains negative, especially companies owned by Rupert Murdoch, a

man known to live outside the law and common morality in the consienceless pursuit of

profit and power. It is perhaps not surprising that when SunTv was being created, they

had a meeting with Rupert Murdoch, the same day Murdoch met with Prime Minister

Harper. The PM said he wasn't there to discuss SunTV. Since both seem to have an

interest in illegal eavesdropping on private citizens, perhaps they discussed that.

So what does this have to do Meyer Lansky ? Well Lansky and Luciano had been

mentored by a gambler named Arnold Rothstein, who advised them in the 1920's to

emulate JP Morgan, John Rockfeller and the Rothschilds, bankers all. Rothstein, who

was known in Jewish circles as the Moses of the Underworld, was primarily a

gambler, but he had realized as soon as the world's governments started making

narcotics illegal from about 1910 on, that there was going to be huge black market

available to anyone able to provide secure supplies to the addicts of the world, a large

portion of whom were former soldiers and their girlfriends trapped in cycles of

despair and criminal survival. Similarly, when Prohibition came along, Rothstein helped

Lansky and Luciano became masters of the trade, which is how they became allied to

Hamilton's King of the Bootleggers Rocco Perri. The RCMP had been investigating

Morgeti gangsters associated with Perri for their role in narcotics as early as


Probably the best description of what Rothstein's advice about emulating bankers

means, comes from a 1934 book (available through Trellis via the University of

Waterloo and on online via Google books) called War is a Racket by Major General

(ret'd) Smedley Butler, a two-time Medal of Honor winner, and a Quaker, who wrote

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I

spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and

the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped

make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.

I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect

revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the

benefit of Wall Street.

I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown

Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American

sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies

in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way

unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he

could do was to operate his rackets in three districts. I operated on three continents."

The wars Butler fought on behalf of American business guaranteed that the people of

the nations he helped subjugate, remained subjugated until well after the second world

war. Castro's revolution in Cuba was a war fought against American sugar companies

whose one crop policies guaranteed the island remained in the hands of racketeers. It

was certainly no accident that Cuba was the place Meyer Lansky chose to build a casino

before the revolution, with the help of the dictator Batista, (originally a communist but

easily corrupted into a gangster capitalist.)

It is also no accident that after the revolution, Lansky became obsessed with killing

Castro, so much so that at one point in the 1970's he decided to hit Prime Minister

Trudeau in Canada because he thought Castro would leave Cuba and attend the funeral,

where Castro himself could be hit. Cooler heads in the mob prevailed and the hit on

Trudeau was abandoned.

When Chilean President Salvatore Allende was murdered by General Pinochet's

CIA trained forces on Sept 11 1973, it was because Allende was planning to

nationalize the American company Anaconda Copper, which supplied IT&T with copper

for American telephone lines.

The death squads that Ronald Reagan's administration helped organize throughout

Central America and the Caribbean, were used to instill terror in populations trying to

define themselves by self-determination instead of by subservience to American Big

Business and its local collaborators.

Again during Reagan's watch, in 1986, Oliver North fell on his sword to protect the

President from a conspiracy to subvert the American constitution. The flaw in the plan ?

Buying drugs to sell in order to buy weapons to use to install a corporatist friendly

dictatorship in Nicaragua. The International Court convicted the US of war crimes for

Iran Contra, though no one went to jail, least of all Reagan.

Colin Powell's second-in-command when he was Secretary of State, Colonel Lawrence

Wilkerson, as recently as last spring, took up Smedley Butler's mantel, and essentially

described his own military career (which began when Reagan was president) as being

muscle for American corporations, and that the Bush-Cheney administration

deserved impeachment for their lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The mainstream media may be deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to corporatist

racketeering, but there is absolutely no doubt in the minds of the occupy movement that

the 1% are global racketeers.

Back in 1934, both Lansky and Luciano were considerably brighter than the

syphilitic Al Capone, who, as Butler noted, controlled only three districts.

The world Lansky envisioned was very much a world in which their rackets

would employ muscle like the American Marines. In fact, that world came into existence

soon after the release of Butler's book.

Nowadays, we live in a world in which gangster capitalism has merged with global


Though crown chartered business enterprises had existed for centuries (think Hudson's

Bay company) corporate law began in earnest in the 1820s with its limited liability

allowances for investors, a developement that caused corporate businesses to spread.

An early court decision, however, ruled that corporations could not sign affidavits in

court because 'they had no conscience to bind them.”

In earlier business models, conscience and responsibility bound individuals to behave

both legally and ethically (within the ethical strictures of the age and places of the

societies in which the individuals operated their businesses.)

That lack of conscience is the fatal flaw of business corporatism, and is in fact the

weakness that allowed gangster capitalism to bond with it.

Before the G20, the largest violation of Canadian Civil Liberties occurred during the

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. The strike was ended by the acting Minister of

Justice, Arthur Meighen who had told the Minister of Labour, Gideon Roberston to end

the strike, using a law not yet on the books, a law that was subsequently invented and

enacted after the Riots caused by the illegal arrests, for the purpose of crushing workers

rights in Canada, under the mantra that Bolsheviks were involved. Since the Communist

Party of Canada was coincidentally founded here in Guelph after the strike, the lack of

Bolsheviks discovered in Winnipeg, or in the movement, was evident in the names of the

founding members, most of whom were British trade unionists, none of whom were


The conscienceless pursuit of profit is always accompanied by the conscienceless use of

political power.

Nowadays, there is so much laundered crime money in our economy that it constitutes a

significant portion of hundreds of industries, concealed rackets in every business

imaginable. The lack of conscience spreads into the entire society. We may have a

school policy of zero tolerance for bullying, but as a policy it is doomed to failure,

because we have a political economy that protects and celebrates bullies.

From the perspective of 'follow the money”, it is more than evident that the real unseen

hand that governs the international economy is that of organized crime, the hand of the


Corporate law as it is now written operates by the same set of governing principles that

govern secret crime societies, the conscienceless pursuit of profit before all other

motives. Such principles differ from civic responsibilities that individuals in

democracies share, which is why corporatism is always anti-democratic.
So how exacly did we get here ? How did Lansky and Luciano pull off the merger ?

Before America entered WW2 in 1942,  Lansky and his Jewish mobsters had gotten

involved in beating up American Nazis and disrupting their rallies, which caught the

attention of the authorities. When it became apparent that America was going to war,

Lansky had Albert Anastasia discretely blow up a ship in NY harbour to encourage the

Navy to seek mob protection against attacks on America's largest port.  The American

Navy then came to Lansky for help, not knowing that they were playing into his hand:

Lansky suggested to them that if that if they wanted to keep the harbour safe they would

need Luciano's support, since he controlled the waterfront (through Anastasia's brother


Luciano however, was in jail on trumped up Prostitution charges, and Lucky

wanted out, so the government made a deal. In return for the promise of release,

the mob secured the port from sabotage, after whch, no more attacks occurred.

When America finally entered the war, the Navy moved Luciano to a less regimented

prison, at which time Lucky urged every Sicilian in New York to provide the Navy with

maps and descriptions of towns, villages, ports, beaches etc as data in aid of a possible

invasion of Sicily.

Mussolini and the Sicilian Mafia did not get along, largely because Mussolini

was not a man to share power with a bunch of peasants in Sicily, so he waged war on

the Sicilian mob. No such war was waged on the Calabrian mob – the 'ndrangheta - as far I can tell. As for the third Italian mafia, the Camorra in Naples, they operated in

the most corrupt jurisdiction in the world, for the Camorra had been

born and forged in the Bourbon prisons at the time of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

British Prime Minister William Gladstone had noted in the late 1800's that the Bourbon

prisons were evidence of “the negation of God elevated into a system of governance.”

When the Allies finally landed in Sicily, intelligence forces were taken inland by

mafioso; by the time the Allies took Rome, the mafia and the American army were

working hand in hand from their base in Naples, where Vito Genovese the NY mobster

was working as translator for the Army as well as organizing the black market, under

a military governor named Poletti, who just happened to be an old pal of Luciano's.

Army intelligence got to Mussolini's papers with the help of the mob, and ferreted

the documents back to Washington, concealing the names of American fascist and nazi


Locally, there were three significant crimes committed in Guelph from

the pre-war period that speak to my theme of gangster capitalism and

corporatism. In the 1920's to 1930's, Mussolini's vice consuls in Canada took over every

Italian Canadian organization and made them into organs of fascism. One of those

clubs was the Sons of Italy, a meme they'd adopted from the Sons of Scotland & the

Sons of Ireland, immigrant aid societies. In 1937, a man named Sam Sorbara/Sam

Labatti was found murdered in ditch. Everyone in the Ward knew the truth, but no one

told it: his murder was never solved. His wife demanded of her children and their

descendants that they never marry Italians, never learn the language, and none of them

have, though they didn't know why until my book came out.

In 1938, Joe Nasso disappeared, his body was never found, the same people

were implicated, but no one came forward with evidence. Rumour has it that his body

was burnt in the furnaces of the forges of International Malleable Iron Co. whose lands

lie vacant and toxic to this day. The only clue to either murder I have is that the Guelph

Chapter of the Sons of Italy opened the day before Joe disappeared. I know that Joe's

son knows who killed his father, though he's never spoken about it to anyone. I also

know the older San Giorgiosi know what the Morgeti know, and that it had something to

do with a lack of respect. Joe Nasso knew his way around the boys in the olden days of

Domenic Sciarrone's time, and when you combine that fact with the reality that there

was no crackdown on the 'ndrangheta by Mussolini, my guess is that Joe Nasso's

disappearance was a political murder. He wouldn't have been the only Italian Canadian

who opposed Mussolini; many did.

In the end, the Guelph/Hamilton/Welland Calabrians who were interred in enemy alien

camps, were almost all Morgeti or Rocco Perri associates, and several of them had been

suspects in Sam Sorbara/Labatti's murder. And for the record, there were only 635

Canadese out of a total of 135,000 Italian Canadians who were interred, so aside from the Calabrian mobsters, over 600 hundred had been active fascists to one degree or

another, and some who have studied the records believe that one young man is

probably due an apology, though the senior, higher placed northern Italian fascists

embraced by the Empire Club in Toronto were not interned.

A third and earlier crime from that period that speaks to gangster capitalism and

corporatism, was a 1935 counterfeiting distribution trial. The arrested were Cutts Carere,

the Guelph boxer; Domenic Belcastro, (who would later be a chief suspect in Sam

Labatti's murder as well being one of the Morgeti internees) was well as a Hamilton

gangster tied to Perri's clan named Domenic Pugliese, a family that was close to the

Papalias and the Italianos. The last man was yet another Guelphite, also

named Sam Sorbara but not the man who would later be murdered.

Sorbara, Pugliese and Carere were convicted. Both Carere and Sorbara were Morgeti.

All of them said nothing about where the money had come from, and all them did the

time and came out with the thanks and respects of their mob bosses. Sam Sorbara moved

to Woodbridge and after the war became the wealthiest, and most powerful Calabrian in

Canada. His son was Greg Sorbara, Provincial Liberal Minister of Finance until the

RCMP investigation of his family holdings after Sam's death. Sam himself had been a

supporter of Mike Harris, and had helped Mulroney craft the apology to Italian

Canadians for their treatment during WW2, which to my mind was an attempt to

bury the role that some Canadese and Canadian politicians played in Canada's

fascist past. The Conservative Empire Club in Toronto had four speakers during the

1930's who promoted fascism as an ideology compatible with empire, the only speaker

they had who thought fascism was an extreme ideology was a man named Count Paul


Sam Sorbara died in 2000. His obituary painted a portrait of his jail time as that of a

poor persecuted immigrant jailed for stealing ten dollars, instead of someone put in the

peniteniary for passing counterfeit tens to Jewish merchants in a scam linked to the

Buffalo mafia.

Back in Italy, after Mussolini was beheaded in 1943: it took two more years to topple

Hitler, but when he fell, a lot of Nazis and fascists got to South America & the US,

where they found allies among Business racketeers.

In Italy, the Christian Democrats came to power, and became so corrupted by the

relationship of business, politics and the mafia that the entire society was corrupted.

A covert freemasonic lodge (chartered by the Grand Orient Lodge of Italy) known as the

P2, and which existed from 1945 until 1976 and beyond, was at the heart of the

corruption. The existence of P2 was proven by lists of members names discovered after

a raid on the home of their grand master, Licio Gelli, and its existence was later

confirmed by long time Italian Prime Minster Giuliani Andreotti, (known to some as Uncle Giulio; to others as the Godfather: he is the central character of the Italian film Il

Divo – the Star.)

P2 was created as a 'shadow government' to essentially wage a terrorist war against

unions: the bloodbaths in Italy caused the creation of the Red Brigade, which was

created to defend against the P2, the lodge was allied to the CIA and M1-5 and counted

Silvio Berlusconi, then a businessman and now current PM of Italy as a member.

The P2 also functioned in Brazil, Uraguay and Argentina, where the CIA was also higly

involved in trying to destroy the union movement.

It is no coincidence now that the 1% appear to be intently focused on destroying unions

in their efforts to destroy opposition to their agendas. Our current Prime Minister has

always been opposed to unions and counts Silvio Berlusconi as a friend, Berlusconi is

Italy's Rupert Murdoch, except far more sinister and powerful. Our PM also shares

most of the values of the Koch brothers,s ince the Alberta pteroligarchy is the only real

employers that two generations of Harper males have ever had, so it is perhaps no

accident that former PMO spokesman Dmitri Soudas was implicated during the last

election via an audio tape released by the Bloc Quebecois, as being the Boss of Quebec

in the eyes of the Montreal mafia, in particular Tony Accurso, one of the people now

under investigation by the Province of Quebec.

As a conservative, thePrime Minister's agenda harkens back to that of RB Bennett and

Arthur Meighen, which is to say, anti-labour and corporatist.
In the mafia code adhered to by the Morgeti and their allies, there are traditions

for the practice of False Politics, public faces concealing private agendas. That kind of

tradition is in part a consequence of being an occupied people; in the case of southern

Italy, communities victimized by successive imperial overlords. In fact, some of the

mafia's origins can be traced to brigandry, corruptions of the Robin Hood myths,

resistance movements that become oppresser movements once they seize power.

The mafia codes are all focused on the hording of money, particularly hard

currency: gold and silver. Before coming to Canada the Cuntrera's had been enforcers

for absentee barons and other land owning classes from elsewhere, protecting feudal

holdings, until laws banning absentee land ownership made it possible for them to

become the local barons. The code allows its members to do whatever is needed to

survive and thrive. Which is pretty much the same ethos used by corporatists: the

conscienceless pursuit of profit and power guarantees both their survival and their


There is a working relationship in 'ndrangheta communities like San Giorgio

Morgeto and Guelph, in which individuals are allowed to choose whether they

join the Secret Society, or remain in the larger community; the price of having a choice

however, is silence about who is a member and who isn't.

The code of silence is as enforced in the Third Level world of politics and business

as it is in the world of mob soldiers, though cracks do appear, in the mob they're known

as pentiti, the repented.

Eisenhower's famous 'beware of the growth of the military industrial complex'

speech in 1960, is an admission by a pentiti: the Cold War proved to be boon for

military industrial racketeers and their enforcers, and bad for democracy around the

world; at the end of his presidency, Eisenhower knew it and had to say so. It didn't

change anything, except perhaps people's perceptions about Eisenhower; his presidency

had been spent creating the circumstances that has since allowed the military industrial

complex to take over America and much of the worl.

The Cold War was essentially a collaboration between big business, the CIA and

the mafia. In places like Burma, War is A Racket warnings not only went unheeded,

but local drug lords were given arms and airplanes to keep peasants in line from

becoming communists, but more accurately the gangsters crushed liberal democratic

influences among desperately poor people.

Needless to say, Wall Street and Corporatist Business once again profited by the

suppression of democracy in the name of fighting communism.

In Europe, the Corsican drug dealers (whose labs had created the purest heroin in the

world before the war) had to flee from DeGaulle's Resistance fighters after the German

occupation ended, because they had run security for the Nazis in the port. The Corsicans

fled to Montreal,  where Maurice Duplessis' Unione Nationale was just coming to


While the Corsicans were hiding out in fascist friendly Montreal (the mayor had been

one of those interned for his sympathies during the war) they met Luigi Greco, a

Canadian-born mobster who fortune was favouring as the emerging boss of

the city at a time when Italian/Jewish/French Canadian/Irish Third Level protection

rackets were passing into the hands of the new generation of business gangsters, in a

province that would remain essentially fascist until the Quiet Revolution in 1960.

(It was also in the mid-late 1950's that the Rizzutos of recent Montreal murder stories,

arrived in the city, preceded by the Caruana-Cuntreras their main Sicilian allies in

Canada. The Caruana-Cuntrera's were so successful at marketing cocaine that they used

to show up at a bank of Montreal in a cube van full of hockey bags stuffed with cash,

cash the bank gladly accepted, no questions asked.)
As for the Corsican drug lords, in the early 50's, they left Montreal and went

to New York City where they were arrested, and imprisoned; but then, two years later

they were back in Marseille working for the CIA fighting communists in the French

Trade Unions. It was the same agenda as the P2. Eisenhower was president when all

this was going on, so no wonder the hero of the war against Nazism and fascism wanted

his own Smedley Butler moment.

The Soviet Union, which had staggered out of the Second World War with 6

million dead, was forced by CIA involvement with gangsters working on behalf of

Business racketeers, to close ranks around the psychotic Stalin, and before long, truth

and fanatsy were so entwined, the Cold War went on to last forty years.

All one has to do is follow the money to know who benefitted and who lost, Big

Business and gangsters won, democracy lost, because here we are now, with 1% of the

richest people in the world conducting the same rackets against the less fortunate as they

did before unions and democratic reforms made it possible for the have nots to have a

little. And even then, the union movement in America was infiltrated by the mafia.

American unions had never been communist. Up until the 1950's, Canadian unions had

largely been communist in the British tradition because of Tim Buck, but then the mob

and big business launched a full scale attack on Canadian unions, driving out most of the

communists, and leaving them branch plants (so to speak) of American internationals.

Hal C Banks, who became the boss of the Canadian seamans union in the 1950's had

been brought in from California to crush communism in the union, and he remains the

best example of how the mob was allowed to take over Canadian unions after the war.

And of course, once they were identified in the media as mob unions they were

discredited by the media.

A little closer to home, the most important mob boss in Ontario after the war, was a man

named Tony Silvestro, boss of the local Morgeti, though Tony lived in Hamilton, and

had family in Welland, Guelph, Toronto, Montreal and the Soo. He was a cousin of the

father of Guelph's mob boss in the 1970's, Frank Silvestro.

In the 1950's, plans for the St. Lawrence Seaway project were being introduced, and the

mob had plans for that. Tony Silvestro and the Morgeti controlled Welland and the Soo

where the ships would pass out of Lake Ontario and Lake Huron respectively on their

way to the Lakehead, reaching halfway across the continent, including Chicago, that

great black hole of corruption in the middle of North America. Container ships became

the best friends of smugglers, drug dealers, arms dealers et al.

There was one other major mob event in the 1950's and that was an alliance

between the American Syndicate and the Calabrian 'ndrangheta, or Honoured Society.

It was a deal brokered by Frank Costello the so-called Prime Minister of the Mob, and

Albert Anastasia. Both American mobsters were north Calabrian born, but with the vast

numbers of south-born Calabrians involved with local ndrangheta clans in Canada, the

States and Australia, Lucky Luciano wanted Calabria organized more than it was, so

they helped create the Mafia Calabrese by dividing up south Italy between three port

families, the bosses of Siderno in the East, Reggio Calabria across the Straits of Messina

from Sicily in the south, and Taura Gioia, north of Sicily on the Tyrhennian sea coast.

Guelph's Calabrian mafia comes from the village of San Giorgio Morgeto, which looks

down from the heights of a mountainous ridge known as the Aspromonte onto the plains

of Taura Gioia; so it became part of the Taura Gioia Group.

The boss of Taura Gioia however had been a cattle thief before the war,

when Tony Silvestro and his brother Frank were the most important Calabrian gangsters

in Canada after Rocco Perri, who disappeared in 1944, leaving the Silvestros and the

Morgeti the most important bosses in Ontario. (Frank killed himself in 1947 after a

heroin deal gone wrong.) Taura Gioia is now the largest container port on the

Mediterranean, and the Piromalli clan of the cattle thief remains one of the most

important clans in the Calabrian mafia.

Tony Silvestro died in 1963. Shortly after that a feud started between competing clans

over San Girogio Morgeto, home of the Morgeti but it was bottled up until 1975 when

it finally erupted – along with a series of feuds throughout southern Calabria, in what are

now known as the first and second 'ndrangheta wars. One of those feuds was fought

between the Facchineri clan, allies of the Piromalli, and a clan known as the Raso-

Albanese, who I believe were Morgeti. (the mother of Guelph's Frank Silvestro was a

Raso.) The wars of the 'ndrangheta lasted until 1995. The Morgeti were the most

important Calabrian 'ndrangehta clan groups in Ontario until Frank Silvestro's death in


The Facchineri now control San Girogio Morgeto, some of their allies there have family

in Guelph.

The Raso-Albanese now control a town south of San Giorgio.

In the mid 1950's, with the creation of The Mafia Calabrese, Quebec passed from the

hands of the Canadian-born Luigi Greco (a son of provincial Naples area parents) into

the more active hands of the Calabrian born Vic Cotrone, making Montreal part of

Siderno territory. Every mob book written about Calabrians in Ontario except mine, are

about the Siderno Group, led by the Toronto-based Commisso family.

Before the war, the centre of Italian crime in Ontario was Hamilton, where Rocco Perri

ruled until he disappeared in 1944. Perri himself had been born in the village of Plati,

which became Siderno turf after the creation of the Mafia Calabrese.

Siderno bosses began showing up in Ontario in the late 1950's early 1960's to

gather up the strands of Rocco Perri's non Morgeti allies, like the Papalias and

Musitanos. Welland, like Guelph and the Soo, remained Morgeti territory, and the

Hamilton Silvestros were subject to no one but Tony Silvestro, though the local families

with Siderno turf origins were sent Giacomo Luppino as their boss. Luppino's daughter

married Paul Violo, who was sent to Montreal to become second in command to Vic


The Sidernese Commisso's came and splattered the newspapers with blood and

thunder while the Morgeti kept moving towards business-like respectability.

It is also at that point in the mid 50's that Joe Bonnano in NYC, sent Carmine Galante to

Montreal to whip the town into shape. Gallante, who had once murdered a socialist

journalist on behalf of a right wing politician was welcomed in Duplessis' Quebec.

The local Morgeti clans in Guelph, Welland, Woodbridge, Toronto and the

Soo, seemed to have lost some of their legendary status with Tony Silvestro passing,

though Guelph's Frank Silvestro soon became the best known Morgeti in the

province before his suspicious death in 1978, ten months after Paul Violi was gunned

down by the Rizzuto's in Montreal.

By the winter of 1978, the Sicilian Caruana-Cuntrera's for the most part had left

Montreal a few steps ahead of narcotics squads and had fled to Venezuela, leaving the

Rizzutos as the dominant Sicilians in the city, ostensibly still working for the Bonnano

Family in New York, Carmine Gallante having long since been tossed out of Canada,

and gunned down himself in a cafe in New York.

By the early 1980's the last of Violi brothers, Dominic, was shot through a kitchen

window while breakfasting with his sons. It may be no coincidence that the first

Rizzuto killed two years ago was Nicolo, the man who orchestrated the hits on all four

Violi brothers when the Rizzutos seized control of Montreal. Like Dominic Violi,

Nicolo Rizzuto was shot through a kitchen window with his wife and daughter in the

house. It is the job of ndrangheta women to nurture vendetta in their sons. Which is not

to say that Violi's sons joined forces with former Haitian Ton Ton Macquot death squad

members in Montreal to hit the Rizzutos, but the Montreal Rizzutos are now history.

Woodbridge, in Vaughn, the former home of the man I call the counterfeit Sam Sorbara

is very much home to organized crime in Canada; Morgeti clans still live there, and in

the 1990's police discovered that it had become home to Alfonso Caruana, one of the

Montreal clan that had fled the police in the 1970's. One of Canada's formost mob

writers, Antonio Nicaso, wrote a book on the Caruana-Cuntrera's that was called Blood

Lines, in which he refers to Alfonso Caruana as the Rothschild of the Mob. Sometime

after fleeing Montreal, the Caruana-Cuntrera's became students of Meyer Lansky's,

sending tainted money offshore, where it was sent back clean.

Lansky died in 1983.

By the 1990's Alfonso Caruana was not only orchestrating the largest international

cocaine ring in the world, but he was also running the world's largest money laundering

scam. It was, however, purely by accident that the police discovered that the Caruana-

Cuntrera's were once again living in Canada, since Alfonso showed up in some police

photos of a Toronto mob wedding and at first no one knew who he was.

Alfonso and other members of the clan were eventually busted in the first

globally coordinated narcotics operation in history. It also turned out that the

accountant for his car wash was Alfonso Gagliano, a Chretien cabinet minister.

Between Gagliano and Sam Sorbara, it was evident that even in Canada, False Politics

had no party, and that the goal of Third Level rackets was to keep the cash flowing.

The third major crime Italian Crime group, the Camorra from Naples, is also

deeply entrenched in Vaughn/Woodbridge and uses the warehouses of Concord in that

'city' for large scale consumer product imitation rackets.

The merger between gangster capitalism and global corporatism didn't happen over

night, but was negotiated over many decades. In 2008, Wall Street performed a classic '

shakedown of the American treasury, when George Bush Jr. transferred 750 billion

dollars to Wall Street bankers who claimed that the collapse of their cartel would lead to

global economic ruin.

That shakedown concealed the mostly now forgetten fact that the

week before, Dick Cheney had taken 650 billion out of the economy for his arms dealer

friends. When Obama became president Wall Street shook him down for another 750

billion, and gave themselves bonuses for a job well done.

As well, in December of 2008, the UN announced that 352 billion dollars in narcotics

profits had been successfully laundered into the international banking system, although

they didn't say how. My guess is that large parts of it was laundered through Berlusconi's

“no questions asked” Italian wealth repatriation policies, while another portion was

carried out of Afghanistan poppy fields in briefcases stuffed by our drug lord allies there.

The timing of the 352 billion dollar money laundering announcement

couldn't have been better planned to disappear off the media stream, because it occurred

admidst the uproar of the Copenhagen Cimate Change Conference. The uproar itself

had been caused by the billionaire financed Climate Change Denial racket that

climaxed during so-called ClimateGate scandal over an allegedly damaging cache of

just released university emails. Never mind that the contents of those emails were

eventually dismissed as disproving not a line of climate change science, the uproar

guaranteed that Big Oil would face no challenges to the hegemony it had maintained

over global geo-politics for the previous century. Never mind as well, that for the 'gate'

scandal analogy to hold true, then the crime could not have been in the content of the

emails, but in the fact that – like Watergate - a break-in had occurred, in this case the

break in of private emails (something we now know was a specialty of media baron

Rupert Murdoch.) Similarly, when the news was finally announced that the theft itself

had been traced to a server in Siberia, corporatist media buried the story with one


Climategate has never been identified as a theft (nor has Murdoch ever been

investigated for potential involvement in Climategate) nor has the fact that Koch

brothers have been identified as the financiers of most of the anti-global warming

movement ever been investigated by the main stream media.

So why Siberia ? My guess is because former KGB agents now work for Russian


Which is all to say that in the midst of all that Climategate noise, it is not surprising to

me that the UN report on the 352 billion narcotics dollars disappeared, and with it, the

knowledge that such an amount had not only been laundered into the world economy,

but, in the words of the UN drug czar had, “helped stabilize the world banking system.”

Other than me, there didn't seem to be anyone else on the planet who had even noticed

the story, certainly no law and order politicians demanded to know where the money

came from or where it went.

In fact, the story would have vanished altogether, except another writer had

seen the article. His name was John LeCarre, and he placed his newest novel, Our Kind

of Traitor, within the context of the narcotics money laundering scam and the Russian

mafiya. It's all about business now. Arnold Rothstein's advice to Meyer Lanksy has

transformed organized crime into a global racket.

Hell, even Hollywood is in on it: according to Wikileaks, five of the biggest action

stars in America are shooting a film in Bulgaria; security for the stars comes courtesy of

connections the president of that nation has with the Bulgarian mafia.

Wikileaks is of course itself an endless supplier of evidence about how much the foreign

policy of most nations in the world is nothing but rackets within rackets. Some of the

most powerful banks in the world are doing their utmost to destroy Wikileaks and its

founders, but to the 99% er's it's all just more evidence of the corruption of the 1%.
American isn't broke, it was robbed by privateers.

Here's one last thought to scare you, back when the mercenary company Blackwater was

being created, it was given the legal right to kill without question, without recourse

for anyone to criminal proceedings such as those that military and the police must face.

Mercenary killers have been placed beyond the law, in a way that surpasses even

America's standoffish attitude to international courts & their actions.

The muscle that Quakers like Smedley Butler once provided, is now being done for a

profit by people without conscience and subject to no law but death.

The Lanksy/Luciano form of syndicated gangster capitalism has been

transformed into global corporatism. It all adds up to where we are now.

So what do we do about it ?

In one sense the doing is already happeneing: the gathering outrage that is the occupy

movement keeps spreading with every police action against peaceful protesters, so that

every day the will to do something is growing. And clearly, since the heart of darkness

for the last century has been American foreign policy - American corporatism - then

nothing short of an American revolution can uproot the corruption that is Wall Street and

its allies around the world.

Recognizing the problem, as they say in AA, is the first step to solving it. But

having recognized it, how do we solve it ? In a general sense, the solutions are already

well established. Canadian politicians like to point to our well regulated banking system

as the cause of our relative stability. I would argue that the fact that 11 million

Canadians are members of credit unions is far more likely the case. The Canadian

cooperative movement not only suffered no damage from the recession, it grew, it hired,

it is doing more than just fine thank you very much. The larger picture solution the

occupy movement is looking for are to be found in cooperative principles. Cooperatives

in the end will simply out compete corporations, because they are rooted in common

good, common cause, and genuine common sense. The power of cooperating consumers

to bring the reprehensible practises of global corporatists and gangster capitalists to heel

will only grow.

At the same time, I make the case in my books that since traditional organized

crime is family crime, we should use family law to solve the problems families cause.

The most successful socio-political proecesses of redress are found in Truth and

Reconciliation. An elder of a crime family would have to confess to the crimes of the

clan, would have to serve prison time; the family's wealth would have

to be placed into two trust funds, one that guarantees a dignified life for the

living generations, while the other trust fund would be used for

community problems related to crime, like drug and gambling addiction, prostitution etc.

Because of the Third Level nature of the larger picture: police, judges, politicians et al, the only solution there is, is the dismantling of corporatism. It's not impossible. In

fact, it's happening as I speak. Democracy is coming.

American military personnel have had enough of being muscle for big business

and they are joing the occupy movement as citizens, they are highly organized, and

decidely determined to make sure no one else goes to war on the strength of lies.

Global reforms would have to be made to corporation law in order to

preserve democracy, to restore ethical responsibility. I came across a book on Ethics in

the world of IT, the author discussed the ideas of John Rawls, who believed that

Greatest Equal Liberty is the essence of political ethics. The cooperative movement will

take care of creating Greatest Equal Liberty, but our democracy itself needs to be not

only restored, but deepened. My own personal belief for Canadian democracy is that the

PMO over the last few decades is becoming increasingly executive and anti-

democractic as a direct result of the re-emergence of corporatism. The lack of ethics that

led to the contempt of parilament charges last spring are a case in point: the PMO now

operates as a cabal. Cabinet governement, which began as the King's Council, has

become nothing more than a rubber stamp for corporatist agendas. Our elected

representatives have so little power now we may as well not send them to Ottawa in the

first place. From my perspective, the solution lies in a form of proportional

representation I call Fair Share cabinet, in which members from all parties become the

government, with cabinet seats based on proportional electoral results, leaving the rest of the members in the House as the Loyal opposition.

The very nature of political parties and power makes parties easily corrupted by Third

Level gangsters from the business world.

We must also change the nature of what a corporation is. To do that we must

reform corporate limited liability to mean shareholders can be fined or jailed for crimes

or 'shady practices' - rackets - committed by company directors and executives.

Non-voting shares should be eliminated, because a share should come with ethical

responsibility, and criminal liability.

The conglomerate control of any industry, but most especially the media needs to

end, and the Rupert Murdochs and Silvio Berlusconi's of the world jailed for criminal

conspiracy. Everyone was surprised when the NDP won so large in Quebec, and yet

NDP voters are among the only people in the country who knew that 100,000 people

were on the streets of Madison Wisconsin three weeks before our election. And they

knew, because they have their own media, they don't buy the corporatist message reeled

out every day in the lame stream media.

The Liberals faltered because they triggered an election based on the need for

democratic renewal and then didn't deliver in their platform, in the end, their support

started to drop only after the release of their platform, because instead of democratic

reform, we got corporate marketing terms like Family packs. Voters wanted democratic

substance and they got political junk food. Non party liberal voters walked away in droves because they get their news online, they don't waste time reading single papers or

watching single newscasts: they scour the internet, they debate issues online, they know

they lame stream media is doing exactly what Senator Keith Davies said it would do

back in his 1971 report on concentration of media ownership: subverting


So finally, I come back to Superintendent Ben Soave's 'so long as as we have

democracy, we'll have organized crime' statement: Democracy is not the problem, it is

the solution, we need more of it, not less of it, we need to understand that war really is a

racket, and that most of the 1% are racketeers.

Some say that government should be run as a business, they never say what

business: I say it should be run like a credit union, member owned and based on

cooperative ethics: the seperation of Big Business and the State is essential to the

survival of not just democracy, but of free enterprise, and freedom of association.

Organized crime becomes more difficult to nurture or conceal in cooperative

communities than in the board rooms of Wall Street, the PMO or the White House.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'ndrangheta in Ontario

more Canadian 'ndrangheta wanted in Italy. The Sidernese still get caught, the Moregti almost never do anymore, they only commit crimes now that are buried deep inside the money stream.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Soccio Correction in Rizzuto article

Vincenzo "Jimmy" Soccio not Big Joe Soccio was the co owners of the Corso Pizzeria, another small bit of sloppiness, cleaned up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Before Nicolo Rizzuto

From: Legends of the Morgeti: Volume 3

Montreal: Luigi Greco, the Sicilian Who Wasn't

While we're discussing Sicilian power in Canada, I should also mention Luigi Greco, who is always referred to as the boss of the Montreal Sicilians, but without anyone ever backing that statement up with a place of birth. Following a 2008 CBC news story on the Rizzutos, in which Greco was mentioned, the following was posted online by a Louis Greco “The Luigi Greco referred to in this article was born on September 19, 1913 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to non-Sicilian parents. His father, Angelo was accidentally killed in a Canadian Pacific Railway incident in March,1923; his obituary is posted in the Montreal Gazette.” On a genealogy.com thread dated Oct 6 2008, Louis Greco also posted this ”I am Louis Greco (1950) son of Luigi Greco (1913-1972) and Mary Rose Bertha "Pola" Bernard (1920-1953) Paternal grandson of Angelo Greco (1880 - 1923 ) and Giuseppina Fasciano (1878 - 1959) both of Montorio nei Frentani, Italy. Maternal grandson to Alphonse Bernard and Marie Rose Berthe Perrier Bernard, both of ComtĂ© L'ascension, Quebec, Canada.”

Montorio nei Frentani sits near the west coast of Italy, most of the way across the 'boot' from Naples, north east of Campobasso: the village looks to be tucked away from all main roads. see Map on left side. It's the same town where Jose Greco, the famous Spanish-dancer came from (“Jose” wasn't Spanish, he just partnered female Spanish dancers, and, according to Louis on another thread, Jose (Giseuppe/Joe) was a cousin of Luigi's.) Thus, Luigi Greco wasn't a Sicilian. He was also Canadian-born, making him one of this country's first “indigenous” multi-ethnic mob bosses: his underboss was a Ukrainian named John Petrulia, and he was heavily involved with Jewish associates, like Harry Ship and Max Shapiro, who he had first met as a driver for Harry Davis, another Jewish gangster who Greco came to know in prison during WWII. Greco was serving a twelve year term for armed robbery, while Davis ended up serving 7 years on a narcotics conviction that came about through evidence provided by Charlie Feigenbaum, who had himself been jailed on a narcotics conviction. Charlie was involved with the Lansky-Luciano Outfit through Louis (Lepke) Buchalter, and had been told that his Montreal rackets would be waiting for him when he got out, only when he did, he had discovered that Davis was taking them over, so Feigenbaum ensured that Davis couldn't, by providing police with enough evidence to send Harry to jail. For his evidence, Charlie was released, only to be gunned down in Montreal in 1934 in front of his son.

Greco also had French Canadian and Irish-Canadian allies, not to mention the Calabrians in the Cotrone gang, who relied on his Third Level connections. In fact, according to an email conversation with his son, Louis Jr in 2009, Luigi not only spoke Italian, French, and English but two other languages as well. Apparently his passion was for competitive Scrabble. When Luigi's father Angelo was killed at work in 1923, Luigi had left school as a ten year old boy and had gone to work to help support the rest of his family. In 1936, when he was 23 years old, he had been jailed for armed robbery and didn't get out until the middle of the war. In fact, there is something about Greco's emergence from jail and into power that seems almost Neapolitan, akin to the way the Camorra began in the prisons of Naples and radiated out into the corridors of power. Modern Montreal is referred to as the Palermo of Canada. It may have been truer in Greco's time to think of it as the Naples of Canada.

The Catholicism of Montreal, while deeply conservative to the point of supporting the fascist Union Nationale until the 1960's, was not as severe as that practiced in Sicily, tempered as it was by the more urbane French character of Montreal. Montreal is the city where Roman Catholicism made peace with High Anglicanism and where commerce made friends where ever they could; Montreal has served as a continental hub for a mercantile fur empire from the 17th century until now. So its inhabitants not only understood the will to power, they had centuries of examples of men who found the means of achieving power, from the lowest level crook to the highest level politicians. The Hudson's Bay Company, which had been run out of Montreal since the early mid 1600's exploited the resources and peoples of the northern portions of the continent aided by force on the ground and by secret society codes in the highest councils of the land for nearly four centuries: it's attitudes to the claims of the various indigenous peoples across its vast 'holdings' was that of a mobster to lesser clans with the help of allies among the lesser clans. The marriage of power and opportunity in that city, thus seems more Neapolitian than Sicilian.
And then there were Jewish black marketeers and toughs. The first Jewish member of a British legislature anywhere in the British Empire had been elected in Trois Riviere, Quebec in the 1830's. However, the province itself, in the pulpits of their church, promoted a stridently anti-Semitic right wing, priests proclaimed Jews as Christ-killers. Nonetheless, a curious Jewish mob occurs, because it had been the British who gave Jews the right to run for office and vote. So there is the overworld corruption and the underworld.
Jews had been relatively well accepted in Britain since they first arrived with William the Conqueror back in 1066. In Quebec however, it wasn't until well after the Second World War that the Catholic Church stopped trying to maintain the fiction that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus if the plan was God's. Thus the Jews of Quebec and long been the bridge between the Anglo overworld, and the Franco-Irish-Italian Catholic over and underworlds. (The Quebec Irish are mostly Catholic, compared to Protestant Orange province of Ontario.) Montreal is thus a confluence of outsiders in a world run by an English ruling class, and its prisons, like Naples, represented that order. That estrangement from power by Jewish/Catholic gangsters, when combined among criminals already estranged from their own communities, allowed the gangs of Montreal to develop a distinct mob culture. Ontario's organized crime history is different, root and branch.
Luigi Greco turned 12 in the Montreal of the Sardinian racketeer Tony Frank (who had been married to a New York Cipolla.) Tony Frank and his gang (including a Gambino from New York) were executed in 1925 after a bank robbery in which a guard had been killed. Tony Frank hadn't even been at the bank, but he had been found guilty of having organized the robbery, and thus, was executed for the killing. The trial took place amidst allegations of police corruption...
After the passing of the Sardinian boss, Harry Davis, a Montreal-born Jewish mobster, took over some of the city's rackets, and through his connections to Louis "Lepke" Buchalter in New York, ran Montreal's drug scene. Davis was publicly known, however, as the boss of the city's gambling circles. Davis met Greco in prison, again Camorra like. Davis got out first. Finally, after more than a decade in jail, Luigi Greco found himself free, and found a job as Davis' driver. Within two years, Greco was second-in command.
Davis was murdered in 1946 by Louis Bercowitz, a former Canadian solider, and a gambler in his own right, who had told the court that he had shot Harry because Davis had claimed to have put a hit out on Bercowitz and another gambler, and he was acting before he himself had been killed. The other version is that Davis wouldn't allow Bercowitz to open a gambling joint and so Louis B. got mad and killed Harry. Louis Bercowitz was the cousin of Leo Bercovitch, who, along with Max Shapiro, ran a restaurant and shared their gambling interests. In 1970, Leo Bercovitch would host the so-called Acapulco Conference in his palatial residence in Mexico. (The Summit was chaired by Meyer Lansky, and was focused on discussions of how the mob would respond to the pending legalization of gambling in Quebec.) More on that later. http://www.archive.org/stream/v5hansard1974ontauoft/v5hansard1974ontauoft_djvu.txt)
With Davis gone, the multilingual Greco inherited much of his Franco-Italian-Jewish mob as well as the Montreal heroin trade, although the gambling interests were scooped up by a man named Harry Ship, who had links to Lanksy and to Frank Costello. After the war, but before Davis' death, Domenique Albertini, Francois Spirito and Joseph Orsini, members of the Corse Union (the Corsican mob), the premier heroin producers in the world, had fled Marseille ahead of accusations by the French Underground of Nazi collaboration, and so they took refuge in Duplessis' Quebec, a haven for former and current fascists. It was from Montreal that Albertini and co., hiding under Greco's terzo livello/Third Level political umbrella, planted the origins of what would become known as the French Connection, the heroin ring that would transform international drug trafficking. The Corsicans didn't stay long in Montreal (they were back in Marseille by 1956 working for the CIA) but while in Montreal under Greco's protection, the die of the future was cast.
However statesman-like Greco was within the Montreal mob, it is unlikely that the non-Sicilian Greco could have led a Sicilian gang, so another question that arises is, who were the men in the Sicilian faction that Luigi was supposed to have led ? There were a number of Montreal-born, pre-war children of Italian immigrants who could have been Luigi's Sicilian gang, men like the Soccio brothers (Vincenzo, Giuseppe, Luigi and Michele), Giuseppe Cocoliccio, Nicolo Di Iorio, Diodato Mastracchio etc., except none of them were Sicilians. According to Quebec birth records, Nicolo Di Iorio, may have been the son of a Giovanni Di Iorio and Modesta DeLuca. The Montreal DeLuca's thus may have been related to the murdered Timmins, Ontario gambler and gold smuggler, Frank DeLuca (see Vol. 2.) (Frank DeLuca was murdered in 1948, but he had also been involved with one of the Michael Silvestros in Welland, and had been arrested alongside Matteo Cipolla in 1932, after which he went to Timmins in 1937 and became a runner in one of Annie Newman's gold rackets, for which activities he went to jail from 1939 to 1942; he was also a known associate of Louis Wernick, the Toronto money-launderer and gambler/drug dealer who had been murdered in 1946. Wernick had strong links to Montreal, and had been arrested in a heroin case there in 1938.
In any event, the Montreal Di Iorio's and DeLucas appear to have been from Gallucio, in Campania, just north of Naples, the Niagara-region/Timmins DeLucas, likewise appear to have been from Gallucio. Other members of Greco's Montreal gang, like the Cocolicchios, are likewise not Sicilians, being from Rapolla in the Basilicata region, Potenza province of Italy, about 200 Km due east of Naples. As for the Soccio's, the nearest I can come to figuring out where they were from involves Michele Soccio, because there is a 1944 border crossing record of him traveling from Montreal to his Uncle Mike D'Addario's (his mother Angelina's brother) who lived in Detroit, Michigan A 1907 Ellis Island's record, shows a Michaelangelo D'Addario traveling to Michigan from Limosano, Italy, which is due north of the city of Campobasso in the province of the same name, again east of Naples. The Soccio's seem to had been from Campobasso province east of Naples as well.)
Diodato Mastracchio and Vincenso “Jimmy” Soccio ran the Corso Pizzeria together. Mastracchio was likewise the son of parents from the Campobasso province, a small town called Larino on the road from Naples to the Ionian Sea, east of the Cammorra stronghold. According to a 1945 border crossing record, the Montreal-born Mastracchio was 28 years old in October of that year when he went to New York with his wife (Vittoria Minotti) for a month, which would make his birth circa 1917. On March 1 of 1950, Vittoria sued for a divorce (presumably linked to Mastracchio's narcotics arrest) a suit which was granted by parliament, as was required in those days.(http://www.archive.org/stream/hcc92195000uoft/hcc92195000uoft_djvu.txt)
In this search for the Sicilians who had allegedly been led by the supposed Sicilian Luigi Greco, I have, in fact, yet to find a single Montreal-born or raised Sicilian mobster, prior to the arrival of Pasquale and Liborio Cuntrera in 1951. Although there is no doubt New York Sicilians continued to visit Montreal after a Gambino had been executed along with Tony Frank back in the 20's. It would take the two Cuntrera brothers, with Greco's help, to establish a beachhead for the rest of their clan (Caruana-Cuntrera-Vella) and their allies the Rizzutos) but they launched themselves against the world from Montreal. Nearly sixty years later, the Canadian-based Sicilian clan leaders are more like members of the board of directors in the rarefied worlds of international gangster corporatism, but in 1951, the Caruana's were just beginning to emerge from their recent past as the muscle for the local Siculiana Baron, a noble who had lost his land to agricultural reforms in Italy in 1950 (much of which land then went to his enforcers and their associates.) Thus, when Pasquale and Liborio showed up in Montreal at the start of the 1950's, they found themselves in a much different world than the one they had left behind: at least insofar as Sicilian power and rural poverty was concerned, but they also knew the ropes of mob power and respect, and since Greco was the leader of the largest mob in the city with the best links to the ruling classes, they gravitated his way.
So contrary to statements in almost every Canadian mob book or international mob watcher website, not only was Greco not a Sicilian, but the Italian underworld of Greco's time seems more like a glimspes of the Montreal mob as rooted in a Kingdom of Naples rural Camorra.
It should also be remembered that during the second world war after Mussolini was killed, the black market in Italy came under the control of Vito Genovese, a man himself born in the outskirts of Naples, before his parents moved to New York came to control the post-war black market in Italy in collusion with allies in the American military. Genovese had spent the war in Naples as the drug dealer for Count Ciano, the dictator's son-in-law, and after the Allied occupation and under the seal of the new Military Governor Charles Poletti, a friend of Lucky Luciano's, (Luciano was sent back to Italy after the, banned from the states,but released from prison in thanks from the American Navy for his help with the invasion of Sicily)
In any event, Genovese's base in Naples during the occupation period, was as the boss of the Mafia-Canmorra, so it cannot be merely coincidental that on the routes to and from the nearest Ionian Seaports lay the villages and towns from which Montreal's non-Calabrian mobsters all hated, the most important of whom was Luigi Greco. (It is also not hard to imagine that after several centuries of organized crime in Naples, that the roads from that city to the east coast of Italy. would have been well within the Camorra's field of operations with local allies.)

Mob watchers also speculate about why Greco graciously took a back seat to the Cotrones when the New York mobster Carmine Galante came to Montreal in 1954, but it would now seem, that for one thing, Greco had no Sicilian pride to bury. The creation of the Mafia Calabrese by Frank Genovese and Alberta Anastasia in the 50's also suggests another reason why Vic Cotrone's Calabrians dealt with New York, with Lansky and Luciano, rather than with Genovese before and after he returned to the states and had Anastasia in in '57. Greco may not have been a Genovese ally, though he probably dealt with former solider's who had worked with Vito, so Greco didn't so much step aside as step back from the fray.

There is one other matter that needs to enter the equation of his thoughts when he did become more circumspect than usual, and that was a circumstance that suggests to me that the last thing the already cautious Greco wanted in 1954, was to get caught up in a bloody narcotics war that might engulf the rest of his family. (Luigi had brothers and sisters - Louis Jr.s' aunts and uncles.) Even more important than Luigi's desire to protect his brothers and sisters families, was a series of events that could be said to begin the winter before Louis Jr.'s birth in the spring of 1950. That was the winter that Luigi Greco went to see Lucky Luciano in Italy, with his closest associate, the Ukrainian Frank Petrula, then to New York to talk to Frank Costello. Greco had wanted a cut of some of the profits of Harry Ship's gambling empire, (Ship was an associate of the Outfit in his own right, so Greco had had to make the Outfit an offer in return.)
What they had offered Luciano and Costello was a cut of the profits that could soon be made by using the Port of Montreal to move Corsican heroin and other contraband into the interior of North America, via the soon-to-be-built St. Lawrence Seaway, a project that had been taken off its centuries' old drawing board, and moved into a fast track by CD. Howe, Prime Minister King's Minister of Industry.
And here is where the roots of Luigi Greco's stepping back really lie, I believe. Shortly after the trips to Luciano and Lansky, things began to go wrong in Luigi's personal life, beginning with the narcotics bust of Soccio and Mastracchio while he was away. His name did not expect the papers however. Thus, after a few months of domestic stress and tensions that followed police and public scrutiny, Luigi's wife, Berthe gave birth to their son, Louis Jr. The break was already made perhaps, but, according to Archives Canada records, Berthe started divorce proceedings against Luigi on February 19 1951, which were finalized on May 7. ) On March 1 1952, around the time that Harry Ship's gambling empire was being investigated by a Montreal crime probe, Berthe married again, this time to Raymond Cardis: he was a tool maker, a recent immigrant from France. According to Louis Jr. on a genealogy site “My mother died tragically February 12,1953 in Westmount, Quebec. I became a ward of my biological father Luigi Greco and estranged to my maternal relatives.” Presumably, Berthe Bernard's family had not been too fond of their daughter's involvement with a mobster like Greco, especially once the investigations began, but after her death, they must have blamed Greco for Berthe's tragedy, and thus the boy suffered his lifelong estrangement from them. In email conversations with Louis Greco, he told me that his mother, Marie Rose Berthe Bernard, was the daughter of a Cree father and a French Canadian mother, from just north of Mont Tremblant, which is just north of the Montreal,and that after her death he never saw any of her family again.
The tragedy surrounding his mother's death, can be found in the Montreal Star of February 12 and 20 1953. At the inquest, which had been covered by the Montreal papers, the family maid told the Coroner that Berthe's second husband, Raymond Cardis was jealous over Berthe's contact with 'her first husband' (un-named by the paper.) The maid said that the day she had died, Cardis had demanded that Berthe phone 'him' (again, the un-named Greco) and tell 'him' that she and Cardis would not be separated. When Berthe refused to phone 'him”, Cardis went into another room, came back with a rifle and shot his wife, who was sitting at her dressing table holding the hand of her son (also un-named). Cardis then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide in front of the maid and the 2/1/2 year old boy.
According to Louis Greco in 2009, because his mother was divorced, the Church at first refused to allow her burial in consecrated ground, but his father interceded with friends among the authorities, and thus she was buried in a Church service in holy ground. Luigi was given custody of his son, under court supervision. Assuming (as the coroner did) that the maid's story was true, then it would appear that Greco and Berthe were still in love, certainly his efforts to secure her a decent burial prove as much. By late December 1953, when Carmine Galante showed up in Montreal, the deal between Luciano and Greco - probably sealed during Harry Ship's troubles in 1952 – left Luigi Greco free to slip further out of the limelight, where he became a financier of drug buys rather than a broker of deals. Certainly Galante appears to have drawn all the attention onto himself when he crashed and burned and bullied his way around Montreal, gathering all the city's rackets into one common network until he was finally turfed out of the country by police. Greco eventually remarried and had two daughters. Louis says that while he was”a ward of my biological father” he was also “fostered non-traditionally by my paternal aunts.” Louis Greco's estrangement from the family of the mother who held his hand while she was murdered by his step-father, continues to this day.
The first mob book that had established Greco's identity as a Sicilian, albeit, in passing, was Peter Edwards Blood Brothers (1990), his account of the Cotrone family. I can only assume that because every other major mafioso named Greco was a Sicilian, Edwards thought that Greco was one too. It was also Edwards who established the narrative of the take-over of Montreal by Joe Bonnano through Carmine Galante. According to Jean-Paul Charbonneau in his earlier 1976 magnum opus on the Montreal drug scene The Canadian Connection, no mention is made of Greco being the boss of the Sicilians, Charbonneau also makes clear the series of events that led to the coming of the Americans, clarity which does not seem to appear anywhere else after him.
The transition to the Calabrians begins with three events in 1950, the first was the trip to Naples taken by Greco and Petrula to talk to Lucky Luciano, followed by a trip to New York to talk to Frank Costello. The second event was a February 1950 narcotics-bust of Mastracchio and Soccio at the Corso Pizzeria. (It was around that time that the Corsican, Antoine d'Agostino, disappeared from Montreal.) According to Charbonneau, during the announcement of the arrest of Soccio and Mastracchio, the RCMP had told the public that Greco was known to have just traveled to Naples to talk to Luciano to discuss narcotics. The third event was the creation of American Senate hearings led by Senator Estes Kefauver into racketeering in the States.
The first event shows that Greco was the originator of cooperation between the Canadian and American mobs via the Seaway to the Upper Great Lakes, the deal with New York, was thus between Greco and Luciano/Costello. The role of Joe Bonnano and his underboss Carmine Galante were essentially that of sub-contractors, territorial neighbours, to be handled by the newly minting Mafia Calabrese through Vic Cotrone and later via Paul Violi and the Sidernese. In my opinion it was only after Luciano's death in 1962, that the deal devolved into one between Bonnano and Cotrone.
As for Senator Kefauver's American rackets hearings, he had released his findings and a series of proposals early in 1951. One of his recommendations had been promptly adopted, namely the creation of a federal gambling tax. In his book The Enforcer, Adrian Humphreys says “The tax was seen as a particularly devious trick by bookies in states where gambling was illegal...If they (New York bookies) paid the tax they would be arrested by state police... if they ignored the tax, they risked arrest by the feds. The answer for 100 or so American bookies was to move North.” A May 14 1951 article in the Toronto Star carried the headline that reads “Doubts US Bookies Can Beat Law With Canadian offices” a story about one of committee's former chief counsels explaining how they didn't expect the mob to succeed in their efforts to beat the new nation-wide ban on horse and dog race news transmissions, by establishing receiving points in Canada to which results could be transmitted before being phoned backed into the States. That official doubt aside, the result of the various US laws had been the creation of a pan-continental booking system run by the Outfit and its Canadian, Caribbean and Mexican associates, one of whom was Harry Ship.
There is a Morgeti sidebar to this, and that is that Seaway lakers would come from cargo ports like Gioia Taura on the Tyrhennian Sea Coast.Gioia Tauro, was becoming the largest container centre in Italy, it was controlled by Momo Piromalli, the man in charge of the Mafia Calabrese region in which sat the village of San Giorgio Morgeto. Piromalli had been cattle herder with a gun before the war when Tony Silvestro was one of the most important Calabrian mobsters in Canada. Tony's power increased until his death 1963 after Rocco Perri disappeared in 1944, and Tony's brother Frank, killed himself in 1949.) Thus, in the 1950's, whatever Piromalli's power in Gioia Taura, Silvestro and his people controlled the Welland Canal.
In Appendix C, I discuss the coming to Montreal of Hal. C Banks in 1949, who had been sent by the mob and by right wing union interests from Californiato take over the Canadian Seaman's union, in order to drive the communists from the labour movement. Since Banks was a close ally of Albert Anastasia's brother Tony, who controlled the docks in New York, there can be little doubt that as plans for the building and opening of the Seaway grew and then came to fruition, the Cold War practice of empowering mobsters to combat anti-corporatist forces was in full swing
In July and August of 1950, 15 members of the Corsican Connection – Francois Spirito and Joseph Orsini among them - were busted in New York by America narcotics investigators. Gaetano Lucchese, an old friend of both Buchalter's and Greco's, was linked to the ring, as was Carlo Gambino, whose eldest son was married to Lucchese's daughter. The Corsicans, among others, were sent to prison, but when they showed up in France again in 1956, they were working for the CIA, fighting the presence of communism in French labour unions, while operating what would become known as the French Connection. The CIA had been created in 1947 by Harry Truman, after electoral gains by the French Communist Party and the rise in popularity of communist parties throughout Europe. The price for institutionalizing the mafia is still being paid today.
Back in Montreal in 1952, Harry Ship appeared before a provincial inquiry, and thus was publicly 'outed' as the King of Gamblers. In April of 1952, Soccio and Mastracchio were finally convicted on the 1950 arrest. (Jimmy Soccio had first got involved with the Cotrone clan while Greco was in jail in the 1930's, and he had been busted for gambling twice in the 1940's; after his last bust in 1946, he had decided to sell heroin from the Corso Pizzeria, which he owned with Diadato Mastracciho. The Canadian archives have an internment camp file on either Jimmy's father or his brother Giuseppe Soccio, as well as for Michele Soccio. But since most of the Quebec Italians interned were actual fascist supporters, and since Quebec didn't start to throw off the chains of fascism until the Quiet Revolution of the 1960's, Quebec remained a deeply right wing jurisdiction, which may be why Carmine Galante had been chosen by Luciano to go into Quebec late in 1953: back in the 1930's, Galante had murdered an anti-fascist American journalist on behalf of Vito Genovese (who was then in self-exile in Mussolini's Italy.) Carmine would have been well-received by Quebec's political classes.)
The Canadian-born Luigi Greco died on December 3 1972, when, like his father Angelo before him, he died of a workplace accident, when Gina's Pizzeria was destroyed in a freak fire. (The pizzeria was named after Gina Greco, Luigi's second daughter by his second wife (Doris Gibson.) According to The Canadian Connection, Louis Greco (Jr.) appears to have kept the Greco name alive in Montreal mob circles, at least until 1974, when a hash deal gone wrong left two dealers dead and 24 year old Louis' name in the mouths of police and the papers as the person who had paid for the hit. The bodies of the two men, Eddy Chiquette and Robert De'courzy, were badly burnt when they were discovered in the remains of a torched car, although both men had died of gunshot wounds. The image seems unsettling in the light of Luigi's painful death from the fires of the pizzeria two years earlier. Even still, it's hard not to remember the two and a half year old Louis Jr. holding his mother's hand when she was murdered.