What do you get when a deconstructionist joins the mafia ?

An offer you can't understand.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Volume Two

Work on Volume Two is progressing very well and I'm still hoping it will ready for late January early February, it will all depend on the accessibility of the 1940's internment Camp files for many of the Morgeti. Otherwise the first draft is about 8/10ths done. I'm also thinking that since I have now so much genealogical information regarding the Sangiorgiosi in general (ie quite aside from the mobsters)that I would like to post some of it, but I don't really want it to be on the Morgeti site, because it doesn't seem fair to the non-mobsters, so I'll probably make a link some time in the New Year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Apologies to everyone showing up here looking for an active website. I promise I'll start posting again soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Volume Two Launch

I'm moving towards a launch date for Volume Two 1923-1950, but I've been working a lot lately and may have to publish in January.
One story that I will be dealing with is the death of Hamilton's Frank Silvestro (Sylvestro/Sylvester/Ross.) Most writers on the subject appear to believe that he was killed by his brother, Tony, the newspaper evidence of the day however is that Frank killed himself. More on that in November.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Domenic Sciarrone's family

Domenico Sciarrone,alias Joe Veroni son of Francesco and Giuseppe Calarco
(another branch of Calarco's, ) was born in Calanna January 05, 1881.

Francesco Sciarrone and Giuseppa Calarco had:
Rosa b.1877
Domenico Francesco b.1881 (alias Joe Veroni m. Maria Calarco)
Maria Cristina b. 1883
Leopoldo b.1886
Leopoldo Rosario b.1887
Giuseppe b.1888 -alias (Domenic Veroni - the family hitman)
Teresa b. 1891 - visited her brother in Guelph in 1914, 22 years old
Salvatore b.1895 -(Shot at in Brantford, Ont. fled to California
the summer of 1922 when his brothers were murdered
died in Calanna in 1953.)

Morgeti and his People

Morgeti and his People
Nearly four thousand years ago the foot of the boot of Italy (modern Calabria) was inhabited by the Aschenazi, descendants of Gomer of the House of Japeth, an elder son of Noah's. The Aschenazi are said to have come to the southern coasts of Italy in the Age of Abraham (who left Ur in Chaldee for the Promised Land) around 1900 BC.
The House of Aschenazi was known in classical times as the House of the Cimmerians - a people that Herodotus believed were the earliest inhabitants of south Russia. The Aschenazi were driven south across the Caucusus mountains by an unknown northern tribe, but when they swept out of the north near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea they arrived once more in the lands of Mount Ararat, only to find a new enemy in the Assyrian Empire.
Near the place where Noah's Ark grounded, the Cimmerian-Aschenazi-Japeth peoples collided with the Empire. They were turned aside and diverted west towards the eastern shores of the Aegaen Sea. They then came to effect the subsequent history of Asia Minor, as well as life on the Armenian coast of the Mediterranean Sea, some 600 years before the city of King Tros (Troy) was built a few miles to the north, and some 700 years before it was destroyed
by the Dorion Greeks.
Upon arriving in the lands south of what would later become Troy, the Aschenazi chose to settle in Cappadocia, and so warred with the Lydians of King Gyges, whom they killed, and whose name re-entered the biblical narrative as Gog, of Gog and Magog fame.
The victorious Aschenazi were left to govern the lands of modern Armenia, (due east across the Aegaen Sea from Greece). In the centuries that preceded their arrival in Calabria, the Aschenazi extended their reach into other lands. The survivors of the Lydian diaspora they created were fleeing away from them into Europe, where pockets of distinctive Lydian-like peoples survived into the historical period. The 8th century BC Etruscans, who would later settle the ankle and lower shin regions of the Italian 'boot' spoke a Lydian-based language.
Long before the Etruscans, but only shortly before the Morgeti, the Aschenazi reached the lands that would become known as Italy.
The pre-historic (ie. pre-written) appearance of the Morgeti in those same lands, occurred some 1500 years before the birth of Christ. About 316 years before Troy was destroyed the rule of the Aschenazi House of Gomer-Japeth in the toe of the 'boot' was overthrown by the Arkaddian princes Enotrio and his brother Paucezio, who were not only sons of the Pelasgian King Licaone of Syria, but their family was also said to have descended from a different line - than the Aschenazi - of Japhet, son of Noah.
It was an age when the religion of the northern Mediterranean was proto-Olympian. It was a time when the cults of Zeus and Hera were just beginning to wage war on the cults of Cronus and Gaea and the Titans, a time when the Aschenazi worshippers of the ancient primordial powers fought for their lives against wild Pan-loving Syro-Arkaddian invaders.
As told in Greek myths, the Titans were being consigned to eternal incarceration in the molten cores of the smouldering volcanoes of southern Italy. That was around the same time as the Aschenazi were being consigned to death by Enotrio and Paucezio in southern Italy. (By the time of the prophet Jeremiah (585 BC) the Aschenazi* once more lived only near Mount Ararat, in the lands of Cappadocia that they had long ago seized from Gog, and where their failing Olympianism began it's last stand against rising Judaism.)
*Nearly two and a half millennia later, the Aschenazi would endure the fires of European history when Adolf Hitler created his anti-Jewish holocaust.

Not much is known about the Morgezi. The website of the modern town of SGM places Enotrio's entry into Calabria 850 years before the fall of Troy (1185 BC) but that seems to precede the date of the encyclopedia's date for the Aschenazi's arrival so I have cobbled together the following.
In San Giorgio Morgeto, there is evidence in the Jerapotamo grotto of an ancient, prehistorical battle like the one that would have been fought by Enotrio and Paucezio against the Aschenazi.
And it is in San Giorgio Morgeto that the ruins of a Magna Greco city known as Morgetum are still awaiting a major archaeological exploration. That ancient Greek city was built near the Morgezian stronghold - the Jerapotamo Grotto, which connects - by bridge - the road from the Ionian Sea ports in the east and the road to the Gulf of Gioia and the Straits of Messina and Sicily in the west,
as well as connections for the roads to the northeast, where Paucezio's people lived.
Both the non-mob San Giorgiosi clans and the organized Morgeti families are, in their hearts and minds, descended from King Morgezi, son of King Enotrio, son of King Licaone a descendant of Noah's through Japhet (who not only preceded the Trojan Aeneas into Italy by several centuries, but whose line arrived in the Promised Land before it had been promised to Abraham.)
After defeating the Aschenazi Enotrio's brother Paucezio took a portion of his people north into the plains of Pugliesi. Enotrio settled his people and their herds in the plains of San Eufemia. When his expansions were done, Enotrio had absorbed the lands of the indigenous clans of the Campani, Lucani and the Chonj. In time his people assimilated the traditions of the original populations.
Enotrio may have died sometime in the 17th century BC after a 7O year reign. Morgezi inherited the lands of southern modern Calabria that his father's people had first named 'Ausone', after a similar fertile valley in Syria, but by the time that Morgezi became king, the land had became known - not as Ausone - but as Vitale, (Vitali) or Italy, a word derived from the name for the yearling bull that was the totem of the Syro-Pelasgian-Arkaddian royal house.
Morgeti would have begun his own fifty year reign around 1630 BC or so. The land however - in King Morgezi's lifetime - became known, not as Vitale-Italy - but as Morgezia, a tribute from his people to his wisdom and his policies, and a tribute from his enemies because Morgezi had the power to keep his lands.
Morgezi was known more for his oratory than his violence, and he re-united the nomadic clans and the indigenous peoples and turned them into agriculturalists, he gave them a common law and constructed cities and villages.
By the end of his reign his territory included a region of eastern Sicily on which stood a citadel that eventually grew into the city known to the Greeks as Morgantina, a second Hellenic city built on a site important to the Morgezi.
According to the San Giorgio Morgeto town website, when Morgezi died it was said that he had been seen in visions by the commoners, but not by the 'forestieri'. Once he was dead what became of his people, the Morgeti-Vitali ?
According to the town website, the historian Strabo, about a thousand years before Christ, the Iapyges (Jaspygio) landed in Italy from Metaponto, or Messapia on the Illyrian coast of the Adriatic. The Iapyges and the Calabri occupied Apulia and Calabria. The Iapygia were said to have descended from Dedalo and Blessa, uncles of Dauno and Paucezio.
The Jaspygio are known to the Greeks as the people of Iapetus, a son of Uranus, the 'grandfather' of Zeus. Iapetus was the father of the Titans Atlas and Prometheus who, by the decree of Zeus, were sentenced to volcanic confinement for their efforts in their war against Olympus. Iapetus himself was consigned to Tarturus, the volcanic core of Mount Etna in Sicily northwest of Morgantina.
The Jaspygio appear to have displaced an earlier Sicilian speaking people in the area around Crotone. With the coming of Magna Greco, the Messapian speaking peoples were absorbed by their Hellenic cousins.
Morgantina was a Sicilian Greek City that arose to its heights in 300 BC, a city that would - six hundred years later - form the basis for one of the legends of the Guelph Morgezi, namely a tale that begins in 300 AD when a Roman Senator named Valerius led the remnant of the Morgeti who lived in the ruins of the fallen Greek fortress of Morgantina back to Calabria and the Jerapotamo grotto and the torrent that crashes through it on the north western edge of the Aspromonte.
In that thousand years before Christ the Jaspygio had been joined on the relatively empty mainland of the northern peninsula shortly thereafter by Sabines and Latins who had also begun moving inland and south towards the northern wastes of the Aspromonte that protected northern Morgezia. The Jaspygio were heirs of the horse and sea cult of Poseidon and so would have had coastal contact with the Morgezi and Paucezio's people in Pugliesi.
And then the North African city of Carthage was founded in 814 BC as a Phoenician trade centre in the western Mediterranean, 100 miles south across the Sea from Sicily and southern Calabria. The Carthaginians soon began crossing to Sicily, where they impacted on the lives of not only the Siculi-Sicani of the islands, but on the coasts of Jaspygion-Morgezia.
At the same time as the Carthaginians arrived in Sicily in the 800's BC, the Jaspygions began losing their northern territories to the Etruscans, (a people, as noted, whose language was akin to that of the Lydians of Gog who had been displaced by the Aschenazi 1100 years earlier.)
The Etruscans, like the Jaspygions before them, began to press inland. By the 6th century BC the Etruscans controlled Rome and Tuscany, but in 509 BC the Romans aided the Latins in throwing off Etruscan overrule. Thus, at the same time as Magna Greco began to arise in the south, the Latin-Roman alliance arose in the north.
The process was a gradual one, and there is no clear picture of what life was like for Morgezi-Vitalian peasants whose new Greek overseers had no more qualms about slavery than had Morgezi or his father.
The ruins of Morgantina in Sicily are associated with the Morgezi, who appear to have inhabited a citadel on the site of the future city, around the 13th century BC. There is nothing left of Morgezi religion on the site, since the religion of the city appears to have centred around the cult of Persephone, goddess of the harvest, a cult which governed the rest of Magna Greco, alongside the cult of Demeter, goddess of planting. Greco-Morgantinans seem not to have worshipped Demeter.
Persephone, married to Hades, god of the underworld, was also the goddess of the shades of men, and as such was the overseer of their curses. The role of the curse in vendetta would one day cause grief to the San Giorgio Morgeto clans who settled in Guelph: a number of murders and disappearances still haunt the oldest memories here. Persephone was not one of Morgezi's pantheon (although she may have been known to the Vitali as Kore, an early manifestation of the goddess that was probably in vogue when Enotrio first turned his nomads into agriculturalists
Morgantina in Sicily had a temple to Persephone but the city had no temple to Demeter. The city was also home to a shrine to Venus, who, before she too became associated with gardening was an ancient spirit of beauty. Venus only became Demeter-like in her attributes during Roman times.
The House of Ganymede* can also be found in Morgantina. Ganymede was a boy who was stolen from his father, Tros - the king who gave his name to Troy - sometime in the 1200's. (Ganymede's brother Ilus was the father of Priam, and Priam was lord of Troy at the time of its destruction in 1184 BC.) Ganymede as a boy lived a hundred years or so after the death of King Morgezi.
*Some legends say Ganymede was carried off to Crete, where Minos, the high king of the greatest civilization of the age, is said to have ravaged him. Others say Ganymede was beloved of Zeus and was carried off by an eagle to Olympus. In the house of Ganymede in Morgantina, mosaics discovered in the 1950's depict events in the Zeus-eagle version of the story.
In Morgantina an ancient cult of beauty, a harvest cult without a planting cult, and a house built in remembrance of the fact that the sons of Troy were loved by Zeus, take precedence over the Morgezi cults of Pan, Hermes and Artemis. Which suggests that whatever Morgezi there were in Morgantina they survived outside their own milieu.
Certainly the Siculi and Sicani fared poorly under Greek tyrants who governed the various city-states of the island, so there is no reason to assume that the Morgezi fared any better, in Sicily, or in back in Morgetum. By the 3rd and 2nd centuries before Christ, Morgantina was at the apex of its development and is mentioned in the writings of Strabo and Livy.
The Morgezi nonetheless survived nearly 600 years of Greek rule; they kept their own society, and only by marriage and blood were their secrets transmitted, their wild magic and ancient ways clothed in new civilities, while the Greeks gave way to the Romans.
For most of pre-Christian Roman history Morgezia remained in Greek hands because most Roman conflicts were centred on their own neighbours, the Latins, on Etruscan expansionists, and only in the hundred years before Christ did they set about overthrowing the hegemony of Greece in the northern Mediterranean.
At yet, even as Rome consolidated its own imperial power over all of Italy, there were major rebellions against Rome between 90-87 BC, in which the symbol of the Vitali yearling bull was used by the rebels in their fight. To the Vitali rallied the Marsi, the Sannititi and the Lucani against Rome. To the Romans the province of the Morgezia was known as Brutium, because the Brutti had come down from the north through Lucania and founded a federation of peoples that extended from Laos of the Lucania to the Aspromonte. The populist social rebellions of the century before Christ caused the whole of the Peninsula, the whole of the 'boot', to become known as Italy, after Enotrio's totem. The Vitalians had become Italians. Soon after Rome consolidated its position as the capitol of a new empire, its new emperors began instituting the worship of emperors.
Into this mix of pre-Olympian and post-Olympian worship, a legend began to circulate about a Jew who had been born of a miraculous birth and who had died on a cross before rising from the dead. It was a legend from a few hundred miles southwest across the Sea, mere miles from the Syrian home of Morgezi's father.
And, needless to say, during the course of such things, the new religion of Christ overthrew the cult of emperor worship. There is a legend that says that when Jesus was born the great Pan sailed into the harbour of Athens, played a farewell on his pipes and sailed away never to be seen again.
In event, around 300 AD, not only did Valerius the senator lead the Morgezi out of Sicily and back to the ruins of Morgetum, but Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
The home of the Morgeti looks westward out over the lowlands to the south western coast of Calabria and the straits where Mount Etna on Sicily can be seen on a clear day. Aspromonte itself is the last mountain in the Apennines and stretches to the Ionian Sea which lies south of Calabria. The Aspromonte is not unlike the Niagara Escarpment that runs just east of Guelph and south around the western end of Lake Ontario through Hamilton where it continues down the shore to Niagara and the falls. But where the escarpment has only an eastern face, the Aspromonte slopes east and west and south.
Valerius established a village beside the ruins of the ancient Hellenic city of Morgetum. The story resonates in Guelph today because it was 'Mike' Valerioti who is said to have led the Morgeti to Guelph Ontario in the early 190O's.
In the first decade of the 300's AD a Roman soldier named Giorgio the son of a Cappadocian father but raised by his widowed mother (in her native home of Lydda, Palestine) rose to the rank of a count and served in the personal guard of the Emperor Diocletian. The emperor ordered a persecution of all Christians in his empire, but Giorgio, being a Christian, refused, and thus, ended up martyred. Diocletian died and the emperor Constantine built a shrine to Giorgio in Lydda, where the veneration for him spread throughout Palestine. Some time between 492 and 496 AD Pope Gelasius I canonized him as San Giorgio.
The village of the Morgeti on the edge of the vanishing ruins of Morgetum became known as San Giorgio in 1075 AD. It was renamed after the Morgezi were spared from the devastation caused to the rest of the region by invaders (Pope Leo III refers to the invaders as Moors, Agareni and Saracens) who had occupied parts of Sicily since 842 AD. The Morgeti villagers believed that San Giorgio had interceded with the Moors on their behalf because San Giorgio had been revered by Muslims. San Giorgio was believed by the Muslims to be the Palestinian companion of Mohammed, known as al-Khadr, and so they named their village San Giorgio and lost the Morgeto name until 1864.
Soon after Giorgio was martyred by Diocletian, the rise of the first Christian Roman Empire began. The region then passed into the hands of the Lombards, until it was taken into the Byzantine Empire in the 600's.
A hundred years or so later the Italian peoples became subject to the Frankish Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who annexed not only Lombardy but much of Europe. Over the next 500 years Italy and thus ancient Morgezia continued to be divided and subdivided between various competing interests.
Morgezia became part of a barony in 1324, and then in 1343, it passed to the Cararciolo's who were given control of the barony by the Anjou Queen Giovanna, when southern Italy was controlled by the French. In 1458 it came under the rule of the di Sorrentino's, then in 1501 it was ruled by the Marquises of the Milan family.
After that, the Spanish took over. The barony went to Consalvo de Cordova who had defeated the French near Seminara. but then the barony was reconquered by the Milan, whose family held onto it until 1806 when Giuseppe Bonaparte seized control of southern Italy and abolished feudalism. While it was still in the Milans' hands back in 1783 the village was rocked by an earthquake so devastating that San Giorgio became a "Sacred Case" and the people were allowed access to Church incomes, properties and even access to the convents.
Until the rule of the Spanish Hapsburgs, the region had been run by Greeks, Slavs, Goths, Swiss, Vandals, Franks, Arabs, North Africans, Normans, Norwegians, and Danes. For our purposes, led it be said however that when Calabria became subject to the Hapsburg Spaniards in the early 1500's something changed forever. That change would take another 400 years and a completely different world to come into being before it brought the Morgeti anything resembling power, but in the early 1500's the seed that would one day turn into Calabrian organized crime was planted by the creation of a secret society.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Enemies Within

The best book I've read so far on the subject of internment of Italians in Canada during WW2 is a collection of essays edited by Franca Iacovetta, Roberto Perin and Angelo Principe (U of T Press). They effectively demolish the case put forward by Antonino Mazza in his introduction to Duliani's "The City Without Women", in which Mazza claims that the Canadian State essentially created a crime against humanity by interning Italians during the war (Duliani in the "Women" justifies the action and goes out of his way to show how decently the internees were treated.)
Of the approximately 135,000 Italians in Canada during the War only 600 or so were interned, a few of whom were communists, 21 of whom were gangsters. Apparently the Vice-Consuls of Italy, acting on the behest of Mussolini had been actively promoting Fascism in Canada since about 1934 and found a number of true believers, among them a great many reactionaries in the Catholic Church and not all of whom were locked up in 1940.
Duliani himself worked in an editorial office with the head of the Canadian Fascist Party, Adriene Arcand. Of course, Quebec itself was opposed to the war against Fascism, since it was run by reactionary elements in the Church and the state (Maurice Duplessis's reactionary Unione Nationale Party would run that province through his coaltiion of businessmen and churchmen unitl the Quiet Revolution in the 1960's. Just as Spanish fascist dictator General Franco would run Spain for decades after WW2.)
There is no doubt whatsoever that Italian Fascism was alive and well and being nurtured by not only the Catholic Church and the Italian Vice-Consuls, but by the Toronto-based British-Canadian "Empire Club" and people like Lady Eaton and Guelph's internation opera star Edward Johnson and his son-in-law and future right wing premier of Ontario George Drew.
The internment of less than six hundred Italian fascists was far from the extreme measure described by Mazzo, and the redress campaign that led to an apology from Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to the Italian community at large a few decades ago was entirely a Tory propaganda move and buried the role conservatives and Italians played in the nurturing of fascism.
Farley Mowat, the Canadian author, who fought in the Canadian Infantry during the two years it took to liberate Italy, wrote in his searing indictment of the glorification of war And No Birds Sang, pg 4 "French British and US politicians and industrialist...connived at the growth and spread of fascism, concealing their real admiration for it beneath the public explanation that it was the only trust worthy "bulwark against communism."
In Canada the support for fascism was not only the policy of Quebec and much of the conservative party and right wing "Liberals" linked to the Empire Club, but is the one area of hypocrisy Mulroney should have apologized to Italian-Canadians for, since, besides a few moderate liberals, the only people who publicly opposed fascism in Canada were the communists and CCF.
It was only when Mussolini linked his future to Hitler's in June of 1940 that he fell out of favour with conservatives (except in Quebec, where fascism and anti-Semitism were still the order of the day.)
And as Mowat makes abundantly clear in his book My Father's Son, Canadians as a whole thought the war was a great thing because it put an end to the poverty of the Depression: their interest in fighting fascism was extremely limited, which accounts for some of the bizarre positions taken by then Prime Minister MacKenzie King, whose profoundly astute, pre-polling ability to straddle the centre of Canadian politics and then ride his national coalition of moderate and reactionary elements through thick and thin.
And let's face it, Nazism lost the war, fascism is alive and well to his day, and being used as a bulwark against terrorism. The lies go on.

Calarco Family

I was passed this geneaology info regarding Domenic Sciaronne's (Joe Veroni's) wife - Maria Calarco's - family.

Her father:
DOMENICO CALARCO was born in Laganadi, and died in Seneca Falls NY.
He married DOMENICA CATALANO; she was born in Calanna,(4 miles from Laganadi) and died in Seneca Falls.
Domenico moved from Laganadi to S.Alessio (2 miles) abt 1888.

Domenico arrived in USA with ship “Burgundia” in 1898 to work on Lattimer mines (PA) with his son Francesco and others people from Laganadi.
In 1902-1908 he arrived in USA with his sons Antonino , Fortunato, Guglielmo and daughter Mary - who was to married Francesco Lazzaro at the time.

After Great Calabrian Earthquake of 1908 arrived his wife Domenica with latest sons


1. MARIA "MARY" CALARCO, born 1879, Laganadi; died Aft. 1940, ? Guelph CDN.
She married 1897 in S.Alessio Francesco Lazzaro from Calanna . (They had a son named Domenic- Dommy - Tommy - Tom Veroni of Guelph.) After (unknow date and place) she was married with "your" Domenico Sciarrone from Calanna. They had Rosina Sciarrone, married on Guelph with Salvatore Sorbara from S.Giorgio (Their daughter Mary married Frank Silvestro, nephew of Tony Silvestro, one of "the old dons of Ontario".) and Eugenia “Jennie” Sciarrone, born in Guelph 1914 and died in Orilla 2002; she married Martin Zamin on 1947. THEY ALSO HAD TWO SONS NAMED FRANK, one of whom was born in Ottawa in 1910 and died there a few months later. The other Frank (Veroni) became a doctor and moved to Ohio. They also had a son named Joseph Domenic (Veroni)who became well known in Guelph sports circles. Several other children died in childhood.

2. GIUSEPPE "JOSEPH" CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died in Seneca Falls. He married in Seneca Falls Francesca Corigliano from Laganadi
3. FRANCESCO CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died 1918 in Seneca Falls for Spanish influenza. He married Giulia Caputo
4. FORTUNATO "CHARLES" CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died ? Toronto. Married Anna Colella in Toronto. (Charles was one of the men who sued Rocco Perri after the death of Bessie Starkman.)
5. ANTONINO "ANTHONY" CALARCO, born 1889, S.Alessio; died Aft. 1940, ? Canada. He married on Rochester FLORA CORIGLIANO. She was born in, Laganadi and died 1918 in Seneca Falls for Spanish Influenza. After FLORA, ANTONINO moved to Canada and he married in Toronto ROSA GATTUSO, born in Varapodio (CALABRIA)
6. GUGLIELMO "WILLIAM" CALARCO, born in S.Alessio; died ? Canada
7. ELISABETTA "ELIZABETH" CALARCO, she was born in S.Alessio and she died in Seneca Falls; She married in America RAFFAELE "RALPH" SINICROPI, from S.Alessio.
8. DOMENICO CALARCO, born in, S.Alessio; died Aft. 1940, ? Seneca Falls.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Some reading

Sorry for not posting in a while, I work as a landscaper, and the season is in full swing, and it's not been easy to want to post, especially given how brutally hot it has been getting. Anyway. Vol. Two is in progress... I have sold over 500 copies of Vol One since February, mostly through the Bookshelf in Guelph, and my own sales.

I have just read Mario Duliani's The City Without Women, his account of being interred during the Second World War in Petawawa Ont. He makes a few references to the gangsters in the camp, of whom Rocco Perri was the most powerful,but by and large he concerns himself with other issues.
There is some controversy over Duliani's book, and over his real or imagined fascist sympathies (not present in the book), but by and large, it is the work of a gifted writer, with a genuine eye for the human condition. I highly recommend it. And it has just been re-released by Mosaic Press. (It was written during the forty months of his internment from 1940 on, and published after the War.)
Volume Two of Legends, will delve into the reasons and the lives of the Morgeti who were interred. Most notable of those was Tony Silvestro, who, after the death/disappearance of Rocco Perri in 1944 emerged as one of the three dons of Ontario.
A number of other Morgeti were also interred, as well as some other non-mob Guelphites.
Duliani's book is a very human look at life in a camp of nothing but men.
The other book I just read was The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano, a book that the father of modern organized crime in North America created through a series of interviews. Quite revealing in the breadth and depth of the details, Luciano's rise, along with his partnership with Meyer Lansky, the master money-launderer, coincides with the events of Vol Two of Legends, and help explain the reasons for the rise of Jewish-Sicilian organized crime, and the conflict with heroin dealer Vito Genovese, an early member of the 'outfit" whom Luciano clearly despised.
Since Silvestro became one of the largest heroin dealers in Canada through his alliance with Buffalo's 'outfit' boss Stefano Maggadino, The Last Testament is particularly valuable in providing some of that background.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Code of the 'ndrangheta, analysed

The following appears in the book as an appendix.
This is not the Code of San Giorgio Morgeto however, but a Sidernese code found in Toronto. If anyone has a copy of the code of San Giorgio that Italian caribinieri discovered in the home of Giuseppe Mammomliti in Taura Nova in 1963 I'd be happy to receive it. The following is an attempt to understand the references in the code, and to make sense of the allusions. There are certainly strong elements of legend and fable inter-mixed in this. The version I am using here was published in Deadly Silence by Antonio Nicasso and Peter Edwards.

Three Spanish Knights

The story of the three Spanish knights is told in the Code of the Honoured
Society, a handful of which codes have been discovered over the years in
Calabria. This version is one that was discovered in Toronto 1972 in the home
of one of the Siderno Racco family's associates, Francesco Caccomo. As
mentioned earlier, one of the documents found in Calabria is known as the
Code of San Giorgio Morgeti, but a copy is not available.
According to the legend of the brothers as outlined in the Toronto Code, the
three were brothers who feld Spain after killing a nobleman who had
dishonoured their sister. The three self-exiled knights made their way to Italy.
Osso settled in Sicily and is regarded as the founder of the Sicilian Mafia (Cosa
Nostra,) Mastrosso settled in Naples and founded the Neapolitan Camorra, and
Carcagnosso settled in Calabria, where he founded the Picciotteria, precursor to
the Honoured Society, the 'ndrangheta.
The legend says that the three agreed to spend the rest of their lives
defending the weak against the arrogant and the overbearing. According to the
code Carcagnosso organized his Calabrian society in greater detail than did his
brothers and thus he elaborated both an extensive set of rules to govern the
society, and developed a mythopoeic language to describe it, ie. the society is a
flowering garden under a guiding star, governed by a capo bastone, the trunk of
the tree, while its treasurer or contibile represents its bark, its senior members
or camorristi are its branches, the piccioti/soldiers its twigs, and the young men
of honour, the giovanottini d'onore, the flowers.
For several centuries the society of the piccioti functioned in the
desperately poor lands of southern Calabria, operating as the arbiters of civil
society in a province governed by the agents of landlords from elsewhere,
especially after the Spanish Hapsburgs lost the region.
Allegorically Catholic, they declared themselves under the protection of the
archangel Gabriel. The morality of the Honoured Society appears to have more
in common with paganism than with Christianity, for it is culture of vendetta
and curse more rooted in the cult of Persephone as practiced in Morgantina,
than in the cult of Jesus as practised by St. Paul. A picture of the Virgin Mary
is in fact burnt during initiation ceremonies.
The Society's code gives its members 'Humility, Loyalty, Politics, False
Political Power, Paper, the Knife and the Razor'. Their sense of humility is not
spiritual humility but humbleness towards the Society. Likewise 'Loyalty' is to
the Society and not to the community. ' Politics' is the power politics of
Machiavelli, not the ideals of social equality. "False Politics" is the freedom to
lie to everyone but members of the Society.
The 'paper' is for counting money, 'the knife' is for punishment, and the
'razor' for the disfigurement of the Society's enemies. It is interesting to note
65 that the Ellis Island immigration records show that scores of Morgeti had scars
on their faces.
It is clear from the code that for members of the Society, Catholicism's
virtues are ceremonial rather than spiritual, while devotion to the society
governs every action. And so, as the centuries passed the Society kept a low
profile but seems to have taken root to greater and lesser degrees in the
villages, towns and cities of south Calabria. With their particular sense of
ancient rights, the clans of the Morgeti found power in the society.
The society's code ranges from the poetic to the historically explicit, at
least insofar as numerous real people and places are mentioned. For instance
the three Spanish brothers are said to have created their societies on the island
of Faviganna, off the coast of Sicily, where the knights are allegedly buried, "
in an honoured tomb covered with a door of finest white marble". It sounds like
an episode from the Discovery channel or an A&E Ancient Mystery episode.
Mention is also made in the code of the "ancient Duke of Faenza" who
possesses the keys " found at the ends of Spain." Faenza is an Italian city in the
province of Ravenna in the episcopal see of Emilia-Romagna. The Duke is
probably the young man whose people rallied around him when Cesar Borgia,
acting on behalf of his father, Pope Alexander I, was besieging ducal cities as
he moved inland from the Adriatic Coast with his corrupt papal armies. Borgia
forced the cities one by one under Borgia/papal command, breaking the hold of
the Hapsburgs of Spain who still commanded the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
(Naples and Sicily) The Duke of Faenza stood firm, and so the keys "were not
The text goes on to say that the keys aren't lost between comrades "because
with a word of humility one forms and with a word of humility one dissolves."
But one key is gold, and the other silver, one to open one to close.
In the early years of Spanish rule in Italy, Amerigo Vespuci sailed from
Seville, and soon after he did, Spain became immersed in pillaged gold and
silver from the New World. There is 'a tower of Gold in Seville', but silver
from the New World also turned Seville into one of the most important cities in
Europe. Not surprisingly North and South America are the source of most of
the Society's gold and silver even today, only now it flows from cocaine sales.
Ravenna, Italy, home of the ancient Duke of Faenza, is where the Medici
fortunes were revived in the 1500's after the Spanish removed the French from
Italy, and destroyed the republic of Florence. Cardinal Giovanni Medici
became Pope Leo X, whom Machiavelli counselled in his book, The Prince.
The Spanish themselves came to be governed by Austrian Hapsburgs after
1516. Three years later the Hapsburg King Charles of Spain was elected
emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1522 on Naples was ruled by a
Spanish viceroy. Which is around the time that the three brothers are said to
have come to Italy.
Whatever the code is talking about, one thing is clear, and that is that Italy,
divided among popes and dukes and kings and emperors and three Spanish
knights, was the spoil of many wars. The people themselves were no more than
cannon fodder for successive conquerors, unless they defended themselves.
By 1707 the Spanish, now themselves governed by the French, lost Naples
to the Austrians. Then they lost Sicily, although they got it back in 1713, after
which it flipped hands for a while until a son of the Spanish king claimed both
66 Sicily and Naples for the French Bourbons in 1738, which was not a happy
time for Italian patriots.
In 1783 southern Calabria was rocked by an earthquake so devastating that
San Giorgio was among the only places still standing. The village became a
"Sacred Case" and the people were allowed access to Church incomes,
properties and even access to the convents.
By Jan. of 1799, southern Italy was being run by the French Republic under
Napoleon Bonaparte. The Spanish court at Palermo Sicily sent a Cardinal to
Calabria to organize resistance and the whole population arose, including
brigands, convicts, soldiers and peasants, who entered Naples after a bloody
battle at the Ponte de Maddalena, after which they drove out the French
republicans and their Italian allies. Carcagnosso's society undoubtedly played a
role in reviving the fortunes of its Neapolitan and Sicilian brethren.
The Bourbon court returned to Naples from Palermo, Sicily in 1802,
although by 1805 they had to flee back to Sicily, after which Joseph Bonaparte
took over Naples, although his rule was contested outside the city by brigands.
The now 'Emperor' Napoleon Bonaparte made Joseph king of Spain after
Joseph was defeated by the British in Calabria.
Joachim Murat who was married to Caroline Bonaparte, was installed as
King of Naples, and filled his administration with Neapolitans, By 1814 he
declared himself separated from Napoleon and when Bonaparte was
incarcerated on Elbe, Murat allied himself to the British. When Napoleon
escaped from Elbe, Murat went back to his old allegiance, but after the
emperor's defeat at Waterloo the Austrians marched into Naples and once more
restored the Bourbons, who again crossed over from Sicily.
And through it all the secret societies fought their own causes for their own
reasons, and carried their various peoples with them.
In the meantime the Bourbon King Ferdinand and his wife had so alienated
the population of Sicily with their extravagance and police spy networks that
the British were able to force Ferdinand to abdicate in favour of his son. The
British also secured the creation of a new constitution for Sicily, although
Ferdinand came back into power in Naples, with the support of the Austrians
who commanded him not to give the Neapolitans a constitutional government.
Murat, making the mistake of thinking he had support in Calabria went
there only to find himself trapped by peasants, court martialed by police and
Ferdinand Bourbon proclaimed himself King of the Two Sicilys and by
1816 abolished the British-created constitution.
Meanwhile various members of the king's army were secretly being
organized into Carbineri lodges. The carbineri were a freemasonic
revolutionary society committed to forcing the king into granting a
constitutional government. Nobles, army officers, small landlords, government
officials, peasants and priests made up the ranks of the Carbineri.
King Ferdinand created his own secret society to destroy the Carbineri, the
Calderai del Contrappesso, which recruited its members from the brigands and
the lower classes of Naples. He was committed to the destruction of liberalism.
The Carbineri however flourished and spread throughout Italy. Lord Byron
joined their ranks. The Carbineri triggered the Neapolitan revolution of 1820,
which brought constitutional government to Naples and Sicily, although a year
67 later the Austrians marched in and put an end to parliament, leaving Ferdinand
free to hunt down the surviving Carbineri. Which in turn led to a reactionary
pan-European accord that allowed any European power to step in and quell
revolution in any other European nation. Only France and Britain were
uncomfortable with the Austrian-orchestrated accord.
Mastrosso's Camorra in Naples first became publicly known in 1820, when
it rose out of the Neapolitan prisons and struck at Bourbon misrule. The society
was originally a means for released prisoners to protect one another from
patrols, but they quickly turned into street gangs, and then they turned to
smuggling and blackmail, eventually infiltrating the entire social structure of
Naples. The Camorra made their profits from brothels, and from running
protection rackets on Neapolitan merchants.
By 1831 Carbineri revolutions were breaking out all over Italy, but the
Austrian army again suppressed them. The movement, having taking the brunt
of Austrian force, soon dwindled, only to be replaced by the Young Italy
movement of Giuseppe Mazzini. By 1836 independent members of the Young
Italy movement landed in Calabria thinking the population would rise to
support a revolution in support of constitutional reform, but they were captured
and shot instead.
And then came the revolutions of 1848, first in Sicily, then in Naples. The
Camorra became political. After the granting of a constitution in 1860, the
Camorra became all-powerful at elections, but Naples was soon in chaos and
by 1862 repressive measures were being taken to restore order.
At the same time the Carbineri, as constitutional revolutionaries, turned to
assist the Lombards against the Austrians. The Italian unification movement
began to gain momentum, but then parliamentary problems turned into a
reactionary response from the king leading to an end to constitutional
monarchy and the call for the army to return from assisting the Lombards
against Austria.
In Sicily however, the revolutionaries disavowed the court of Naples, and
declared themselves committed to a united Italy. Ferdinand sent an army,
which ravaged the island. With Sicilian freemasonry broken, the society of
Osso was the only game in town. The Bourbon king turned his attention to
Naples, and soon filled the prisons. Future British Prime Minister W.E.
Gladstone, who saw the conditions of the Neapolitan prisons, described them
as "the negation of God erected into a system of government."
The Toronto 'ndrangheta document also has this to say, "...let me know
where the Camorra was discovered.... In 1848 it was discovered. In 1852 they
wished to destroy it. Who was it that wanted to destroy it? Carlo Misiano and
Salvatore Imbalsamo."
Just who those two were I don't know, but the secret societies were, and
remained, defenders of an anti-constitutional movement.
The document also states that "Beautiful humility taught me, with roses and
flowers you covered me; in 1848 a war broke out in Calabria, Sicily, Spain and
the Neapolitan State. The blood lost by the Society was collected in a chalice
of finest silver and brought to Montalbano." The War in Spain in those years
was a civil war fought over succession to the crown.
In 1857, Calabrian peasants, along with local police put down yet another
constitutionalist landing in southern Italy, and only a intervention by Britain
68 saw the release of some of the many political prisoners, who then went into
exile. The Duke of Calabria in those days was the second son of the Bourbon
King, Ferdinand.
In 1859 King Ferdinand died, and his son Francesco II took over, but by
then Garibaldi had begun to wage a long and bitter battle for unification
throughout southern Italy. Garibaldi's small force fought the King's supporters
for nearly two years. By May of 1860, the forces for Italian unity landed in
Sicily. Garibaldi proclaimed the Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel king of all
Italy and a few battles later the Sicilians rallied to his cause. By August he had
landed in Reggio Calabria where he forced Italian unity on the reluctant heirs
of Carcagnossa. Garibaldi was wounded during that conflict.
By September of 1860 Francesco II and his queen sailed out of Naples. The
Sardinian King, Victor Emmanuel, now afraid of Garibaldi's purposes, met him
with a large army two weeks later, but Garibaldi's veteran troops defeated the
king's army. Garibaldi once more proclaimed Victor Emmanuel king of all
Italy, which was later confirmed by plebiscite after Garibaldi went home,
seemingly sick of Italian politics.
Following the establishment of the Sardinian supremacy in 1860, more than
two hundred and sixty arrests were made over the next months among the
Calabrian Picciotteria.
The secret societies rooted as they were in their loyalty to the ideologies of
three Spanish Hapsburg knights, remained outside the middle class and their
unification movement, and remained opposed to Sardinian control of southern
Italy. Historians regard the decades that followed the unification of Italy as a
period in which southern Italy paid for its opposition by paying off Sardinian
war debts.
King Victor Emmanuel renamed the village of San Giorgio, San Giorgio
Morgeto in 1864, to reconnect the village with its ancestry. Perhaps it was an
effort to make peace with its citizens. When the exiled Francesco died, his
brother Alphonso, still calling himself the Duke of Calabria, became King in
exile. There is a Bourbon Duke of Calabria alive in 2006. Those first thirty
years of Sardinian occupation of southern Italy were bitter ones.
On March 30 1911 while another Camorra trial was being held in Italy, the
Globe contained an editorial that began:
"For a variety of reasons, mainly political and historical,
Italy has been honeycombed with secret societies. Among
these the most notable have been the Carbonari, the Mafia
and the Camorra. They have to an extent a common origin:
the lawless condition of Italy during the middle ages,
which was perpetuated into modern times by the
subdivision of the country into Petty States - some under
independent rulers, some under the temporal jurisdiction of
the Papacy, some comprised in the Bourbon Kingdom of
the Two Sicilies, and some under Austrian rule through
military subjugation."
The editor goes on to say that unity would not have been accomplished
without the 'adroit and effective use of the societies" by political leaders. The
column continues by suggesting that the Carbineri, which had
69 "degenerated into an association of assassins, was by
Mazzini, who became a member of it, elevated into a
society with 'liberty, equality and humanity' for its motto
and the term 'assassination' was erased from its statutes.
The Carbonari had Northern Italy for its field of operations:
the mafia and Camorra were mostly confined to Naples and
Later the editorial notes that
"The municipal administration of Naples became so
scandalous under their sinister influence and operations
that the constitution of the city was suspended a dozen
years ago by the Italian Government, and a Royal
Commission was appointed to investigate the operation of
the Camorra."
On July 21 The Globe was reporting that the Camorra trial had degenerated
into "a violent scene" in which "in the tumult the lawyers fled the room" and
that "President Bianchi, helpless to maintain order, declared the session
While the Globe focused on the Camorra and Mafia in that editorial, they
were clearly aware of the Picciotteria in others.
The Honoured Society's ceremonial document concludes with the statement
that "A great swearing (occurred) which included the Knight of Russia and
Duke of Abruzzi who legally made of it (the society) their sister." Fiorentino of
Spain was also present, in fact he was in charge of the ceremony for the two
new arrivals into the Society.
The Duke of Abruzzi (1873-1933) was an Italian vice-admiral and explorer,
born Luigi Amadeo di Savoie at Madrid. He was the son of the Spanish King
Amadeus who abdicated his throne soon after Luigi was born and who became
the Duke of Aosta in Italy. Luigi was also a cousin of the Sardinian king of
Italy, Victor Emmanuel III.
Luigi Amadeo had a distinguished naval career, was a world traveller, and
mountaineer, with several climbed firsts to his name. He published a book
called The Climbing of Mount Elias, a peak in Alaska, which he was the first
to climb.
In WWI he commanded the Italian naval forces in the Adriatic. Later, in
the 1920's he carried out an Italian colonization scheme of Somaliland. It
seems significant however that the deed for which he is most remembered was
evacuating 100,000 Yugoslav refugees from Albania in 1916.
Who the Russian Knight might have been who took part in the ceremony
with the Duke of Abruzzi isn't clear, but the relationship between modern
Italian organized crime, Serbian crime groups and Russian mobsters is very
clear to modern mob watchers. Toronto mobster Paul Volpe had a brother
named Albert who ran casinos in Yugoslavia in the mid-1960's and again in the
1970's, and, according to James Dubro in Mob Rule, Albert was attempting to
get one going again in the mid-1980's.
In 2002, a conference held in London, England noted that pressure on Italian
mobsters had led them to form strong financial ties with the Russians, to the
point that Moscow was being called the "New Palermo." Both groups were
using the relationship to strengthen one another.
70 The connection between Italian crime groups, Spanish-speaking drug cartels
from South America and Russian and Serbian gangsters has a ritualistic unity
to it that is best accounted for through the evolving ceremonies of the
While the ritual that brought the Russian Knight and the Duke of Abruzzi to
the society's protection refers to the high mountains of Spain where the family
of Montalbano and Fiorentino lives, the name Montalbano doesn't appear in
lists of Spanish mountains. Montalbano however does happen to be the name
of the ridge near Florence Italy, home of the Florentines. Which would suggest
that the meeting at which the Duke of Abruzzi and the Russian Knight made
the Society its sister may have occurred on the ridge of Montalbano and was
attended by someone representing Florence, the 'Fiorentino'. Curiously,
Veroni/Varone was originally a Florentine clan name.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Rocco Perri Excerpt: 1912 Murder trial

1912: The Veronis and Rocco Perri

"Death follows Shooting in Guelph's Little Italy."
Shot in Joe Carere's Alice St. home on Oct. 26, Michael Fazzari, 28 lay dying in hospital for four days. Joe Veroni (known then as Varoni) had been shot by the dying man, as was treated for cheek and arm wounds. Robbery was the alleged motive.
In King of the Mob, James Dubro and Robin Rowland note that after a 1926 arrest
"The Hamilton Police records show no further arrests of
Rocco Perri in that city, but a covering letter from Chief
of Police, William R. Whatley, attached to Perri's record, notes 'information was received that he had been in some serious trouble at Guelph under some other name, and that he had a criminal record prior to that."
The 'other name' was Giuseppe Rocco Portatelli; the serious trouble was the murder of Michael Fazzari. A photo published in the Guelph Mercury April 13 1913 proves it was Perri when compared with a 1926 photo of him.
After Fazzari died the chief crown witness was Fazzari's 49 year-old uncle. Uncle Michele boarded at George Carere's on Alice St. In the census of 1911 he is listed as a "father-in-law" living at Joe and Marie Carere's next door. The evening of the shooting Uncle Michele, Michael, Peppino Rasso, Joe Morabito and Rocco Portatelli walked uptown.
Uncle and nephew came back to the Ward at 7. They went to 'Jockimo" Carere's, where Uncle Michele stayed indoors drinking until 10. Returning home to George Carere's he went out at 11:30 to find his nephew. He found Michael quarreling with Joe Varone at Joseph Carere's, Rocco was with them.
Uncle Michele put his nephew in the next room and tried to intercede but 'Varoni' called the nephew a coward and told him to come out of the room. Michael did, firing as he came. Uncle Michele said six or seven shots were fired; his nephew escaped to the street.
When Uncle Michele got outside Michael was running down Alice and
Rocco was firing at him. Or least that was Uncle Michele’s story at the inquest and trial. Originally, he told the police that he’d been too drunk to remember what had happened. He later denied being drunk, and claimed the reason he’d lied was he was afraid. He was still afraid at the trial, six months later.
Joseph Carere was the first witness. He told the court that he'd known Michael Fazzari since he'd come to Guelph. He’d heard hollering on the street near morning and went out to see what was going on. He met 'Mr. Varoni" between his house and 'Jockimo's'. Varoni had been shot, he helped him over to Mike Valerioti's store to phone an ambulance. He said he’d heard no shooting the night before, although the police found a bullet hole in his door. He claimed the first he'd heard that Fazzari had been shot was when an 'Englishman' told him.
Matthew Adams found Michael groaning on a porch on Morris St., but couldn't understand what Fazzari was saying other than 'his stomach hurt'. Adams took Fazzari’s revolver from him, then went to Joseph Carere's and then to Frank Longo's; neither man seemed to understand what he was saying. No one went to Fazzari's aid.
Adams then met three young Italians and he gave them Fazzari's revolver. The man he gave the gun to was Joseph Morabito, who lived at Longo's. Morabito had heard shots the night before. It was Morabito who went with Adams to look at Fazzari, and together they took him to George Carere's. When they got there, Michael asked for his revolver and Morabito gave it to him. Morabito went for Uncle Michele.
Constable Greenaway, got to the Ward at 5 am, found a trail of blood leading away from Joseph Carere's and a bullet hole in the door from a .32 calibre revolver. Later, he returned to the house, the blood on the street had been cleaned up and the bullet hole filled with plaster.
Greenaway received a pistol from Mrs. Veroni in her house; it was the only gun he found. He couldn’t find Fazzari's. Apparently, Morabito had accompanied Fazzari in the ambulance, and had been given the gun again by the dying man. Morabito took it to Welland, then eventually gave it to Frank Longo who gave it to Charles Dunbar, a lawyer. Dunbar brought it to the trial.
Joe Varoni appeared in court as an innocent shop keeper/baker. He said he had returned to the bakery at about ten in the evening to put coal in the oven, after then started for home. When he reached the street, there were two men he didn't know, one shot him in the mouth. While he fell he saw the men take off down Morris Street; they fired two more shots as they went. He’d last seen Fazzari at his house at about six in the evening. He last seen Portatelli about nine that night, when Rocco was 'feeling pretty happy'.
Varoni says he sent Rocco to bed and swore that Rocco didn't go out again that night. Varoni also swore that he not only had not fired a pistol that night, but had never carried one. He also said that Peppino Rasso had gone to Toronto with him when Joe was trying to decide if he should sell a mine he owned. (The object of the defense was to present the missing Rasso as the shooter, despite the evidence of Uncle Michele.) Rasso, whom Joe had known ‘three or four years’ stayed at Varoni’s when they returned. He says he told Rasso that Michael Fazzari from 'his home town" was in Guelph, but Rasso said the Fazzaris they drank too much, bolstering the argument that Uncle Michele was too drunk to know what had happened.
Tommy Varoni and a baker named Domenic Cuccinatti were Rocco Perri's alibis, since they both claimed that Rocco had slept in their room that night. Cuccinatti originally told the police that Frank Cordi, another Italian boarder of Varoni’s, shared the room with him that night. (Cordi, along with Frank Longo was one of Rocco Perri's most important allies in later years. Cordi was also one of Veroni's 1922 pallbearers.) Cuccinatti claims he first lied about Cordi because the police chief pulled his hair and threatened to hit him. Chief Randall later claimed not to have even been at the house.
Cordi appeared and supported Cuccinatti's story, although he too originally told Greenaway that the only people home were Mrs. Varone, Cuccinatti, and the children.
Mrs. Varoni (Maria Calarco) then took the stand, she insisted Rocco had been drunk and she had got her husband to get him to bed, which is where he stayed. She also claimed that a few days after the death of his nephew Uncle Michelle told her he wanted to apologize to Rocco for the oath he had taken in court.
A 'missionary to the foreigners' named Alexander Salson says he spoke to Fazzari in the hospital but Michael didn't know who’d shot him.
And then a smiling Rocco Portatelli took the stand. Rocco, who’d known Varoni for a 'couple of years' came to Guelph a few days before the shooting. He testified he’d been drunk and woke up in Cordi's bed, and only then learned of the shooting.
Rocco first spoke to the police about the shooting when he and Mike Sorbara were at the post office. He claimed not to have owned a gun in two years.
A 'crack shot' named John Ogg testified that the bullet hole in Joe Carere's door was fired from inside the house, not outside.
In the closing statements, the gist of the Defense was that Uncle Michele was trying to protect Peppino Rasso.
Crown Prosecutor H.C. Gwynn, KC claimed that 'a veritable reign of terror existed in St. Patrick's Ward and that Varoni was the king." He also noted that Fazzari had been shot in the back. He said that while Varoni had claimed he was found on the sidewalk in front of the lane, Joe Carere said he’d found him outside his house. The blood patterns on the ground also contradicted Varoni's claim, since they showed a man had walked westward spitting blood.
The jury returned a not guilty verdict. Rocco was met outside the courtroom by "50 of his fellow countrymen… there was a great jubilation..." Presumably, the Fazzaris were not among the celebrants.

The winter before coming to Guelph Perri had boarded in Toronto
with Bessie Starkman and her husband Harry Tobin. Perri was jailed from early November 1912 until the trial in April 1913. Rocco then returned to Toronto to get Bessie, since he reappeared with her in St. Catherines later in 1913. In 1916 they moved to Hamilton, where they began their rise into legendry.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Desert Inn Stories: the tunnels

There is an urban legend in Guelph regarding tunnels and the old Desert Inn (originally the Paradise Gardens.) The Inn was built in 1946, right after WWW2 and the takeover of Ontario organized crime by the American Sicilian La Cosa Nostra. Guelph came under the sway of Buffalo's LCN boss Stefano "The Undertaker" Magaddino through the help of Guelph's Calabrian 'ndrangheta boss Tony Sylvestro and the Sicilian-Canadian Cipollas.
The Desert Inn/Paradise Gardens hosted some of the most important American jazz acts, many of whose careers were controlled by New York mobsters. The legendary tunnels were said to have run between the Inn and Imperial Tobacco, and between the Inn and the Woodlawn Cemetery mausoleum.
Magaddino was known as The Undertaker because he owned a funeral parlour in Lewistown, New York, and is credited with having invented the double decker casket as a way of getting rid of unwanted bodies that would never resurface.
The alleged Imperial Tobacco tunnel would have obviously been used for smuggling cigarettes, a completely feasible scenario given how much we now know about the role of Big Tobacco in recent cigarette smuggling activities, while the tunnel into the mausoleum would have allegedly been used to transfer bodies into one of Magaddino's caskets, desecrating the cemetery in the process.
Guelph Hydro crews are rumoured to have come across the tunnels in the mid 1960's; at which time the City Council allegedly ordered them closed. Since Tony Sylvestro died in 1963, the same year that Charles Cipolla went to jail on a heroin trafficking charge (he died in the Kingston Pen in 1969) the shift in the local balance of mob power would have occurred around the same time. Certainly the tunnel-rumours are known around Guelph, I've heard them mentioned in several quarters.
Presumably the recent road work would have turned up evidence of their existence.
The question is, did the tunnels actually exist ? Anyone who has stories or proofs is welcome to contact me privately via my gmail account above, or by commenting on this post.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tony Silvestro/Sylvestro

Because Volume Two will have Tony Sylvestro as one of its main characters I am particularly interested in hearing from people who have stories about the man known to other mob writers as the Don Of Guelph. Anyone who would like to contact me via the email address at the top of the blog may do so, in complete confidence and privacy.
Thanks. Jerry

Monday, April 30, 2007

Google Mania - Raso-Albanese and Calabrian Land swindles

Calabrian Morgeti
The doctor Liliana FrascĂ , in charge of the CGIL for the comprensorio of Reggio Calabria, has said: “by now from years to Reggio Calabria we make a war with the companies of pulizie or the companies that manage the caterings in the jails or other centers for the respect of the laws and contracts. It has become a wearying war and we do not succeed to make to respect the laws neanche from the contracting out agencies, than a lot often they are Ministries, for which we find ourselves in the event of forehead to greatest difficulties of some companies”.
Also the world of agriculture perceives the symptoms of one aggression from part of the gangs. The presence of mafia elements has been marked in many agricultural and food- markets. Also the land property are object of particular attention from part of the gangs that in existence put one oculata strategy of “mafia expropriation” of some lands. Meant there are the case of the baroness Teresa Cordopatri who has had to fight in order to prevent that to the lands of property of its family from many centuries finissero in the hands of the Mammoliti and the case of mrs. Maria Giuseppina Cordopatri whose lands have been object of the appetites of the Raso-Albanese.
The provincial Federation of Reggio Calabria of the National Confederation of Small Farmers has sended a famous one to the Commission signaling that in the flat one of Tauro Joy and the Locride 'ndrangheta the “protection” has tax to the agriculturists on the cultivations, the harvest and the business patrimony generally. They are often taken place, to the aim to impose the “protection” to riottosi, fires, cuts of the plants, thefts, damagings, ruberie of varied type in the coloniche houses and the campaigns. The regional director of the Confagricoltura, dottor Lacquaniti, has remembered that the insurance agencies do not assure more the reserviors of the oil, the silos and often neanche he blots some to them agricultural. The cultivators come tax to you also in the period of collection of the commodities.
The presence of the mafia families comes perceived talora in the production and the confection of the olive oil. The mafia families have found the way to make to perceive their presence also in the field of the swindles in damage of the AIMA and the European Community.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

La Cosa Nostra in Guelph

During the 1963 US Senate hearings into the American mafia, Joe Valachi named Guelph residents Charles and Frank Cipolla as two made-men of Buffalo's La Cosa Nostra. Charles and Frank were sons of Matteo Cipolla and Rosa Monreale. Wed in Hamilton on January 22 1910, their marriage record lists Matteo’s parents as Calagero Cipolla and Antonia Curta. April 23 1910 Ellis Island records show a Calagero Cipolla, husband of Antonia Curto, traveling from Racalmuto, Sicily to his son Matteo’s home at 280 Terrace St., Buffalo. By the 1911 census, Matteo and Rose lived in Hamilton. Their three sons, Antonio, Charles and Frank all played significant roles in Sicilian mob activities in Ontario. Antonio killed himself blowing a house up in an insurance fraud scheme in 1934 in Port Colborne, although he is buried in Guelph.
In 1969, Charles would die in the Kingston Pen of a brain hemorrhage while serving time for a 1963 sentence for large scale heroin trafficking. Three of Matteo’s children, Charles, Mary and Connie would marry Guelph Ferraros descended from San Giorgiosi.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Click on Photo to Enlarge
copyright Archives of Ontario

The Marriage record of Giovanni (John Durso) and Maria Teresa Grazia Silvestro, sister of Rocco Perri allies, Tony and Frank Silvestro, who in turn were cousins of Guelph's Michaelangelo Silvestro - the father of 1970's Guelph mob boss Frank Silvestro.

Maria Silvestro was born in San Giorgio Morgeto, Tony and Frank were born there, Michaelangelo was born there, although his own son Frank was born in Guelph.

An Ellis Island ship manifests notes that Maria and her 17 year old brother and another sister came to Canada with their mother Pasqualina Capra in 1914. Their father, also named Frank was dead, because Pasqualina is listed as being a widow.
They four were on their way to Maria's brother Angelo's home in Sault Saint Marie, which is where Durso marrried Maria the following year.

John Durso's car was pulled from the Welland canal in 1944, the day before his daughter was to be married. His body was never found.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Open Letter to Frank Valeriote (REVISED)

As the new Liberal Party federal candidate for Guelph, and as a descendent of Michaelangelo Valeriote, the first resident of San Giorgio Morgeto to establish himself in Guelph, I am calling on you to continue your family's legendary relationship with the Morgeti. As you know better than I, it was your ancient ancestor, the Roman Senator Valerius, who led the Morgeti out of the ruins of their Grecian captivity in Sicily and returned them to their homeland in Calabria.
The only Valeriote I've met is Puss and I liked him.

(REVISION) In talking to one of your liberal opponents, John Williams who appears to think highly of you, and upon learning that you left your lucrative criminal law practice fifteen years ago because you couldn't take having to tell anymore lies, I'm beginning to develop the feeling that if you have a sense of calling, you might well be the one to lead the Morgeti in Guelph and Ontario and throughout Canada out of the 'ndrangheta, and to help redeem alot of Italian-Canadians trapped in organized crime. Needless to say I have a proposal on how you might do that.

I also think you can redeem the Liberal party in the process. I'm not one of those who think the Liberals are the only party with links to organized crime, the Conservatives have all kinds of right wing gangsters as friends, just like Giuliano Andreotti did, whose Christian Democrats ruled Italy for decades with policies that were only a few degrees closer to the centre than Mussolini's positions, and whose links to crime groups were extensive.

Right wing Eastern European mafiyas are conservative. And of course labour racketeering gangsters have poisoned the NDP well more than once.

You can ignore me of course, I'm just one vote, but here's my suggestion on how to become the third pillar of the Valeriote legend, it's a proposal which you may have seen since it is the last appendix in my book.


Under contemporary rights and freedoms the police must adhere to strict 'rules of evidence', and rightly so, which means that the police are incapable of stopping gangster capitalists. Equally, Royal Commissions which are created to investigate narrowly defined aspects of criminal activity like the construction industry et al, may shed light into a field of crime but they do little else than cause the darkness to retreat elsewhere, while creating problems for ongoing police investigations. I tend to agree with St. Paul that, "There is no salvation in law." The law cannot save society from the sins of its members, least of all from gangsters. All the law can do is to define right and wrong and create penalties for doing wrong.

A third way is required, one that makes use of generations of police work to support evidential trails that will allow communities to redeem families from criminal societies. My book traces the history of organized crime in Guelph via specific clans because I want to make the case that we need to create a legal definition of a Criminal Family. The designation would enable us to use the more pro-active tools of Family and Civil law, and combine them with the power of the Criminal Court. Public accessibility to court-administered Crime Family databases could be secured in Public and University Libraries, Archives and Museums and be available in hard copy and online. That way consumers would have the ability to know where there money is going to, and citizens could understand the way their communities have been run.

A Criminal Family designation would combine generations of investigations and convictions with the sweeping power of Royal Commissions to shed light on crime activities in not just Guelph or Canada, but in a system that could extend to Italy itself.

Italy has been begging for action from Canada lawmakers, because gangsters so easily hijack our rights and freedoms, and have turned us into a conduit for the global drug trade. We need a way out of the 'revolutionary/gangster' revenge cycle in which drugs are sold to buy guns to fight battles so that political issues can be addressed in places where democracy has little traction, like Afghanistan. Those vendetta cycles not only lead to the corruption of the global democracy movement but they ensure the vitality of gangster capitalism.

A Crime Family designation would allow communities to seize the assets of such families and put the seized properties and monies into two trusts. One trust would be designed to ensure the survival of future generations of the families as they attempt to redeem themselves from their pasts. The other trust would be used to restore the integrity of local economies while preventing opportunities for other criminal groups to step into vacuums left by dismantled crime families. Some of that second Trust's money must also go into drug rehab programs, both for users, and for the farmers in various parts of the world who make their hard-scrabble livings growing coca for cocaine, opium for heroin/morphine, marijuana etc. If you go to www.Libera.it, you can see some of the extraordinary things they are doing in Italy in this regard. (For any non-Italian speakers who want to go there click on the English flag and you will get the site in translation.)

Appeals processes would be available to ensure that innocent households of any given family can defend their innocence. A moratorium on prosecution, based on the confessions of any elder of any given Crime Family would also be made available. It is not condemnation but redemption we're after here, grace not law. Of course there are always the unrepentant who will not only choose to always live by the sword but to die by it, and for them we cannot pretend that grace or law will have much effect.

In recent years Italy has been redeeming itself from its criminal societies by the use of peniti - penitents who, for one reason or another, confess to the various crimes of their clans. Those confessions tend to be made on the basis of personal survival, but just as often, there is an undercurrent of genuine confession involved, rooted as it so often is in the horrific consequences of vendetta, the shedding of the blood of the innocent and guilty alike, often family members.

A Criminal Family designation is not designed to crush crime families; it is designed to free them, not without consequences, but responsibly, whenever possible.

So that's my challenge, but I only have one vote. So you don't have much to lose.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hands Over the City

In 1963 Francesco Rosi, an Italian film maker, released Hands Over the City, starring Rod Steiger speaking Italian. It's the story of municipal corruption in the the land development industry in Naples. In 1992, Rosi released Neapolitan Diary, a documentary about going back to Naples and confronting the issues of Camorra control of that city.
These movies make explicit the role between politics and corruption.
The 1992 film was shot just weeks after two Italian judges, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borselino were murdered by mafioso in Palermo Sicily. The tone of the Diary is angry and defiant: a kind of we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. It is also part travelogue from the heights of Mount Vesuvius through old Naples, and among the hideous modern Camorra-built suburbs.
It is a superb primer for anyone who wants to understand just how money-laundering, construction, land development and mobs work (for themselves) and don't work (for everyone else.)
Both films and some other features were released on the Criterion Collection as DVD's, get them from your library, get them from your favourite movie rental spot, but get them.

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Fun with Google Translation search "Morgeto 'ndrangheta"

Raid anti `ndrangheta
Reggio Calabria, 12 estorsori in throttles

of Mario Bonino
Twelve arrests, tens of searchs, seizure of thought material “interesting”. Practically it has been sgominato the mafia clan that, second the enquirers, reigned indisturbato from decades. The main result of an immense operation is this the antiMafia completed yesterday from the police, and that it has had like objective the gang Facchineri di Cittanova (Reggio Calabria). The accusations for the persons ended in jail, deductions affiliated to the clan, go from the crimes of mafia association to the racketeering, to the drug traffic. The raid, to which they have taken part beyond centocinquanta policemen of the police headquarters of Reggio Calabria, has made followed the emission of guard provisions to secure in jail emitted from the Jeep Alberto Cisterna, upon request of the district power of attorney the antiMafia. Between it arrests it to you figure also various young people members of the Facchineri family, Giuseppe, of 29 years, Salvatore Facchineri (to he the provision has been notified in jail) of 25 years. They have been locked up in prison also Franco Carere of 22 years, Small Andrea of 24,(PICCOLO TRANSLATES AS SMALL) Luigi Fazari of 23, Girolamo Fazari of 25, Gaetano ZangrĂ  of 23, Donated Avati of 31, Giuseppe 30 Muscatello of and Domenico Naples of 40 years. It is escaped once again to the capture instead Luigi Facchineri, 32 years, chased from sends you of capture from 11 years, “record” that has made it to insert in the directory of the 30 more dangerous fugitives in Italy. Still searched also Andrea Sorbara, 22 years, of Saint George Morgeto (Rc). According to how much emerged from surveyings, one of the “specialties” of the gang was the racketeering to traders put into effect with a system that succeeded terrorizzare the victims. True and macabro a just rituale one. Before the demand for the money, in fact, it came placed the head stumped of a dog dinanzi to the room of the trader. Such violence to succeed to induce to Hush the all the victims. No denunciation, no story to the enquirers. “Nobody of the victims - the quaestor of Reggio Calabria Franco Malvano has said in the course of a press conference - has never introduced denunciation for the endured intimidazioni, to testimony of the climate of established terror”. Beyond to the racketeerings, the enquirers have contested to inquire also the commerce to you of crews, the cultivation of Indiana hemp, thefts and holdups. The Facchineri gang moreover would have been protagonist, in last the twenty years, to Cittanova, of one of cruenti faide of the mafia history. A war of being able, for the predominion on the comprensorio of the common one of Saint George Morgeto, against the adverse faction of the Shave-Albanian-Gullace, RASO-TRANSLATES AS SHAVE AS IN RAZOR) marked from tens of dead men kills to you, ambushes and woundings in true and just a climate from Make. Appreciation for the operation of the police has been expressed to the quaestor Franco Malvano from the president of the Commission the Antimafia Ottaviano Of the Turk.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Slightly off Topic ? Wayne Greavette

I went to the Wellington Water Watchers event last night, to help organize a fight against the extraction of billions of litres of irreplaceable water from the local acquifer in rural Puslinch. Every time I think about spring water in Puslinch I think about the 1996 murder of Wayne Greavette.

I'm not saying the stories are related, or that the Morgeti are involved, or that Nestle was involved (It was five years before they bought the Arberfoyle Springs) but both stories are circumstantially linked to the control of a multi-billion dollar water resource.

I urge you to go to the unsolved murder site linked above and think for yourself.
It may have nothing to do with water, but here's a bit of the site contents.

...Wayne and his wife started a small business of their own, in the same field, (the packaging machinery equipment industry ed.) which they ran out of their home in the rural Acton area until June 1996. In June 1996 they moved to a farm, located in Moffat (Puslinch Township), Ontario, just a half hour away from their previous home. From there, they continued to run their business, as well as developing a spring site located next to their property, until the time of Wayne's death in December 1996.

What is known about the murder:

A package addressed to Wayne was delivered to his home via Canada Post. When he opened the package, he was killed by the flashlight bomb contained inside. The package came with a letter, the details of which follow:

The letter was typed with a Smith-Corona typewriter using a daisy wheel font model 10/12 #59543. The daisy wheel used in this typewriter left a distinct anomaly in the letter, a slash after each period.

This anomaly is uncommon, and if you can remember seeing it in any of your correspondence at work or at home, you should contact the police. Please, check out the anomaly carefully.

It was clearly a hit of some kind, for some reason, and he did have enemies, but people have known for a long time how precious water was becoming to the world.

It just makes me think.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Speaking of Legends and Language

This site goes into some detail about linguistic origins and the interconnectedness of various Italian languages.
These are some of the selections that mention the ancient Morgeti to which my title alludes.

I would indeed distinguish between a Western Italic branch, which gave the Latins the Siculi and the Ausones/Opici, and this "Liguro-Sicanian" which I think included in the South the branch of the Oenotri (Morgeti, Sicani, Choni).

The Sicani are reported by ancient authors to have been the first inhabitants of Sicily, at least among the historical ethnic groups. Thucydides and Diodorus say that the Sicani came from Iberia. Dionysus, quoting Hellanicus, says the Elymi (but likely he meant Sicani, since Elymi and Sicani merged later) were the first wave of Italian people to settle in Sicily. The second wave was that of the Siculi, which were Ausones escaping from the Iapygi. The same Dionysus says that among the Oenotri there were Siculi (possibly Sicani) and Morgeti.

Since King Morgezio's father was Enotrio, the Oenotri would refer to him, and the land that Morgezio's father conquered from the Ashkenazi, became known as Ausone during the father's reign, and then known as Morgezia in the son's reign. When the Iapygi invaded, the Siculi/Morgeti would have taken refuge near the site of the later Greek city of Morgantia, near Mount Etna in Sicily.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Joys of Google Translation

This is what reading Italian is like for a non Italian speaker/reader
it's from a 2005 article on the arrest of Rocco Facchineri

Rocco Facchineri

REGGIO CALABRIA - Rocco Facchineri, 47 years, searched from 1989 and inserted in the list of the 500 more dangerous fugitives of Italy, have been arrested from the Police officers yesterday evening to Saint George Morgeto, in the reggino: it was participating to a banquet for the communion of the son of a its faithful, Francisco Corradino.

Facchineri carried with himself a stick of chestnut tree with one head of Aquila inlaid on the top, symbol of the commando. To the soldiers it has said: “You have been good. Just E' that pays my debit with the justice”.

Facchineri, thought “capobastone” of an operating clan to Cittanova, was fugitive in 1989 during a permission prize while she was in jail for the seizure of the manufacturer perugino Vittorio Garinei, happened in May 1983 to City of Castle. Against of he there is an execution order pain of 12 years and 4 months of confinement emitted from the Attorney General's Office of Perugia.

“The arrest - the provincial commander of the police officers of Reggio Calabria has explained, Antonio Fiano - has been the fruit of certosino a job of control of the territory”. According to the investigators, the fugitive had a prominent role in the within of the gang and maintained contacts with relatives and affiliates to you operating in Umbria and Goes them of Aosta.

In the period of the furtiveness, Facchineri has been married in church and has had four regularly recognized sons. The wedding was celebrated in the 1992 in one church of Saint George Morgeto. The priest asserted not to know that the spouse was searched.

In the February 2003 Facchineri was successful to escape to a raid of the police officers in Aspromonte. Put in guard barking of a dog, the man had thrown itself in a dirupo making to lose the own traces during one snow storm. In I brood, a hut of wood with the sheet roof hidden between the rovi, came found again of all: a pump gun Maverick 12 magnum, one scanner radio syntonized on the frequency of the police enforcements, giubboto a antibullet, but also spaghetti, schedine of the Superenalotto, specialized witnesses of criminal proceedings and legal reviews.

“To have captured Facchineri while he participated to a baptism - the vice president of the Commission has commented parliamentarian the antiMafia, Angela Naples - he demonstrates as the men of 'ndrangheta not only live the furtiveness in it accustom them territory of belongings, but also with the certainty of impunity”. “The fact that the furtiveness of Facchineri is begun during a permission prize - has added - the necessity evidences see again the norm in matter”.

(22 August 2005)

Friday, April 6, 2007

CSIS on Transnational Crime

"UN estimates place the cost of this transnational criminal activity in developed states at two per cent of annual gross national product (GNP). The potential transnational crime-related losses for Canada in 1995 would have been about $14.8 billion, based on a GNP of $742 billion. Figures like this led the 1998 G8 summit in the UK to label transnational criminal activity one of the three major challenges facing the world today."
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has this to say about transnational crime.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

RCMP Money laundering Prevention Guide

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a book too.

Money Laundering - A Preventive Guide

A Preventive Guide for Small Business & Currency Exchanges in Canada

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

One of the RCMP's roles within Canada's Initiative to Combat Money Laundering is to inform the public. To most businesses, money laundering is something that happens somewhere else, involving only criminals. The truth is, it can happen anywhere, anytime, and you may not even be aware that you have been involved.

Money laundering is the process whereby criminals conceal illicit funds by converting them into seemingly legitimate income. While the term refers to the monetary proceeds of all criminal activity it is most often associated with the financial activities of drug traffickers who seek to launder large amounts of cash generated from the sale of narcotics.

The RCMP Proceeds of Crime (POC) program's mandate is to identify, assess, restrain and forfeit illicit and/or unreported wealth accumulated through criminal activities. Most of the POC sections work under an integrated model. These Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) Units bring together the skills, knowledge, and abilities of a diverse group of experts, including RCMP, provincial and municipal police investigators, lawyers from the Department of Justice, forensic accountants, representatives from Canada Revenue Agency, and customs officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

It is important for businesses of every kind to be informed about how they can be used to launder money, and how they can help to make it more difficult for criminals to prosper. We recommend you review this booklet to ensure that you are aware of the problem.


* Foreword
* Why criminals want to "launder" money?
* Money Laundering Methods
* What is "wilful blindness"
* Preventive strategies for small and medium businesses
* Record keeping requirements for small and medium businesses
* Impact of money laundering on society
* If you suspect money laundering
* What we need from you
* Partners in identifying the proceeds of crime
* RCMP Proceeds of Crime Units

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mexico, Narco States and drug law

On the CBC's The Current today (March 30 2007) they interviewed Charles Bowden, author of Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family. (Bowden lives in Tucson, Arizona.)
After discussing the fact that Mexico is essential a narco state governed by drug cartels supported by the military, he suggests that the only solution to the problem is the legalization of the sale of drugs. Making them illegal has turned a health issue into a legal issue, created an enormous burden on the state, and made the cartels rich.
I tend to agree with him. As I have said before, "there is no salvation in law". The Ontario Temperance Act of the 'nineteen teens' helped turn secret Italian socio-political extortion societies into modern organized crime in this Province. Money sent back to the old country helped the development of Crime in Calabria and Sicily.
Drug laws aid and abet organized crime at home and abroad the ensure the creation of narco states run by people with drug money they use to buy off badly paid police, soldiers etc.
Since America is the largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world, American anti-drug laws are especially useful to international organized crime.
If the drugs were made legal, and the regulated and taxed, the prices would remain considerably lower, the tax money could go directly to the health care system to deal with drug abuse, the budgets of police and national security now being focused on fighting organized drug dealers could be refocused, the connection between arms dealers and drug dealers could be dissolved.
Sure problems would still exist, and murky ethical issues would have to be addressed, but not only is what we're doing not working, the only people it benefits are organized criminals. Without their drug profits, their toxic influence on local economies is considerably lessened, which limits the damage they can do elsewhere. Illegal drugs are expensive because they are illegal, make them legal and the margins shrink, leaving more money for the legiti8mate economy: qualities of life for the non-users in the family will improve, especially if drug abuse becomes a health/mental health issue, in which an open an honest policy of concern is made central to our drug policies.
The only people who benefit by attempts to legislate morality are those without any morality.

Another Reason I Wrote this Book

Guelph is a small city, not much more than a town surrounded by sprawl.
Rumours abound here about the city's Italians and which of them are mobsters and which aren't. The longer you live here the more rumours you hear, the more facts you hear, the more hypocrisy you sense, the more uneasy the whole mess makes you.
The police know who the gangsters are, and I don't just mean the local police. In fact the local police for the most part consist of recruits who come and go. It's a university town, Guelph's police force is a kind of Police Academy graduate school-practicuum campus. The Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Combined Special Forces Units, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Services all know who the gangsters are, they've been following their activities for decades. However, Canadian rules of evidence are necessarily strict about bringing cases to court.
And so next to nothing happens. Especially now that money-laundering is the favoured activity of Canadian mobsters. The veneer of business respectability and the depth of local rumour and unease over the town's mobsters combine (in this case) to cast a shadow over business in Guelph. Consumers aid and abet criminal organizations in laundering the proceeds of crime every day, making us accessories during the fact.
I already find it hard to buy products from companies that treat third world sweat shop workers like slaves, and so avoid shopping in places like WalMart. Helping businesses that are laundering the proceeds of drug misery money makes me equally uneasy.
The only way I can help is by trying to distinguish rumour from fact, cause from effect, context from events, individuals from communities, secret society members from non-members.
If enough people become aware of the need to do the same, something can be done.
The world is headed for an environmental cataclysm, I don't want to get there and discover that the water and the food and every aspect of our surviving economy is controlled by gangsters, by extortionists and bullies who have friends in high places and friends among the arms dealers and the prostitute makers and the Third world resource sector slave trader, people who will be fully prepared to put me and my loved ones into their 'business plan.'
It's not that gangsters are immoral, it's that they are amoral, they may have a code of behaviour, but whatever it has in common with community standards of what is right and what is wrong arises only from the fact that they have amoral allies in all walks of life.
And what about the ethical Italians whose honesty and integrity is tainted by the existence of gangsters in their midst, in their families. They need community support, we need to give them our business, and stop giving it to their corrupt 'cousins'.
In order to do that we need to separate rumour from fact. And one of those facts is that it is not just Italians who are involved in organized crime.
In a way the truth is the smallest part of the process, the point of the fulcrum on which this whole edifice can be levered off its foundation once there is a community will to do so, a national will to do so.
But this is more like a Truth and Reconciliation process. This is not a witch hunt, this is about redeeming society, not condemning families or individuals.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Jimmy Giovinazzo

I suspect one of the areas where I'm being accused of authoring false information relates to the execution of Jimmy Giovinazzo. Back in December of 2006, the Mercury carried an article that essentially suggested that Jimmy was executed for a crime he didn't commit, a crime that his relatives have always maintained that Jimmy did not commit. Their case is based on a letter that Jimmy sent to his mother in San Giorgio in which he told his mother that he didn't kill anyone.
The following letter is one that I retrieved from the archives of Ontario, and is in fact the witness statement of John Zezare taken by the police and used at Jimmy's trial. The pencil notes on the letter appear to be those of the crown attorney written during the actual trial. In the statement Zezare explicitly states that he saw Jimmy shoot Alex Dutki.
Click on Photo to Enlarge

The last hand written words refer to Constable Greenaway pointing out where Dutki stood in relation to Giovinazzo.

Archives of Ontario Series RG 22 392
Box 172 Giovinnazo, James

Jimmy (Vincenzo) Giovinazzo was hung on John Zezare's sworn testimony, not on my falsification of history 81 years later.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The book is dedicated to the following

These volumes are therefor written in honour of:
Antonio Silvestro, who was knifed in Sudbury in 1905;
and to Michael Fazzari, murdered on Alice Street in 1912;
to Big John Barr hit over the head with a rock on Essex Street in 1914,
Giorgio Verni, killed by a shotgun in 1915 behind his Alice St. home,
Tony Legato, who took his own life in 1916 on the morning he was to
have been executed,
Domenico Luberto, a former resident of Guelph who was gunned down in Welland in 1916 a day before he was to have married the daughter of Guelph's Joseph Tedesco,
Domenic Paprone, who was shot on the streets of Hamilton in 1919 after having killed a mobster who was an ally of Guelph mob boss Domencio Sciarroni,
Fortunato (Fred) Tedesco, son of Joseph Tedesco who was murdered outside his parents' house on Morris Street in 1919,
Alex Dutki shot on Alice Street in 1919,
Jimmy Giovinazzo executed for Dutki's murder in 1919,
Nunzio Corruzzo, Domenico Sciarroni's driver who was murdered near Welland in 1921, Tony Leili, a Sicilian who was blood kin to Sciarroni, and who was found in ditch near Oakville in 1922;
Mike Lobosco, who was murdered in the front door of his Welland barbershop in
Domenic and Joe Sciarroni, both murdered in 1922,
Welland police constable John Trueman, murdered while investigating Joe Sciarroni's murder that same year,
David Ray, who died of bootlegged alcohol poisoning in the Ward in 1928,
Anthony Cipolla who blew himself up in 1934;
Sam Sorbara, who was found in a culvert outside of Guelph in 1938;
Joe Nasso, who disappeared in 1939 and whose body has never been recovered;
Giovanni Durso, who disappeared in 1944,
Angelo Fonti, who was found in a ditch in Etobicoke in 1947;
Frank Silvestro, who killed himself in Hamilton in 1949;
Charles Cipolla, who died of a brain hemorraghe in the Kingston Pen in 1969
and many others, known and unknown.