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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dominic Longo

I'm working on Volume 3, and it has come to my attention that the Dominic Longo who moved to Calfornia to open what became the largest Toyota dealership there was 65 when he died in 1985, which means that he was born in 1920. Adrian Humphreys in The Enforcer, his book on Johnny Papalia, identified that Domenic Longo as one of the three old dons of Ontario, and an associate of Tony Silvestro's who was interned as an enemy alien along with Tony and Rocco Perri in the 1940's. They are two different men. The Longo who was interned married a Guelph woman named Vittoria Valeriote in 1923 when Dominic was 30, which means he was born in San Giorgio Morgeto in 1893, which makes him a peer of Silvestros. I have yet to figure out when that Dominic Longo died or where.
According to Humphreys, who is quoting from police wiretaps, California's D. Longo had phone conversations with Papalia regarding a Niagara racketeer named Iannuzzelli a purported friend of Longo's, but who disappeared three days after Toronto police learned of Longo's death. Humphreys says that that Longo was an older man, who had Papalia's respect, since had been a friend of his father's. The fact is that Papalia was born on March 18 1924, and was therefor little more than four years younger than the Californian Longo, which doesn't exclude respect, just not for the reasons given by Humphreys. Whoever the police were wire tapping, the D. Longo who was interned was the older man, Frank Longo's brother, both of whom were in Guelph in 1911-12 when Perri was arrested and tried as Rocco Portatelli for the murder of Micahel Fazzari.
Not sure I can clear this all up before Vol. 3 is done, but sorry for the earlier misinformation. What it does of course, is prove to me that the my continuing genealogical searches and efforts to clarify everything I can, whether it was in someone else's book or not, is the right path. My apologies again.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Great Grandpa Tony owned the property of the original location for Longo Toyota in El Monte prior to Penske Corp. I have to say I never met Mr. Longo but I received great deals on cars from the relationship between Mr. Longo and my Grandpa. By the way my grandfather is from S. Margherita, Sicily, b) 1895, d) 1985 in El Monte.

Jerry Prager said...

And was your grandfather Tony Anonymous ? Must be a Latin last name. That's interesting info though, thanks for the comment.

kurtdriver said...

Have you read Jimmy Fratiano's book? He knew the Dominic Longo in California quite well and has him as having been some sort of "don" in southern Ontario, prior to arriving in California.

Jerry Prager said...

I went to my library but they don't have that particular Fratianno book.
What does it say ?Do you have a copy you can scan and email me at jerryprag@gmail.com.

kurtdriver said...

No, I 'm sorry, I don't. I checked it out from the Public Library, here in Vancouver, several years ago. The book I'm thinking of is "The Last Mafioso" subtitled "The Treacherous World of Jimmy Fratianno" by Ovid Demaris



Cheers, Kurt

Jerry Prager said...

Thanks, I'll have to try and find it since I'm writing Volume 3 now.

Anonymous said...

Jerry, no need to find that book. Jimmy was a known liar, cheat, murderer, and felon that was proven so by 60 minutes when they interviewed him in about 1981.

Anonymous said...

Dominic Longo was my Papa. He was a wonderful, caring father of 8 and grandfather to plenty! My grandmother Vittoria was a beautiful person with a huge heart (and the best pasta sauce in Guelph). Papa was interned for 3 years between 1940 and 1943 for the crime of his Italian heritage. Otherwise, he was employed at Biltmore Hats for 30+ years. He knew Rocco Perri as did most Italains in Guelph in the 1930's.

Paul Longo

Jerry Prager said...

With all due respect Paul, no Italians were interred for having an Italiai heritage, or because he simply knew Rocco Perri. The Italian heritage argument for internment is a lie designed to hide the actual role Mussolini's Vice Consuls played - along with the role played by the Conservative Party of Canada in the spreading of fascism in Canada - by taking over every Canadese social club, and turning it into a mouthpiece of the ideology. The book to read is a series of essays written by Italian- Canadian and Italian scholars about the very real threat of Italian fascism in Canada. It is called The Enemy Within, and is edited by Roberto Perrin, among others.
As for those who associated with Rocco Perri, the RCMP had a very good idea of who everyone was and what they were up. Your father had earlier been an associate of Joe Veroni/Domenic Sciarrone. He was not one of 'the old Dons of Ontario' however, referred to by Adrian Humphrey's in the Enforcer.
For the sake of you and your family I'm glad he was a wonderful father.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jerry. I am familiar with the book The Enemy Within and I have also viewed the documentary Barbed Wire and Mandolins. I am aware of the presence of the Fascist Party of Canada in the late 20's/30's, particularily in Montreal under the leadership of Adrien Arcand. I believe that there were some Italians across Canada who were Fascist sympathizers. To suggest, however, that the Sons of Italy or Italian-Canadian clubs (like in Guelph where my grandfather frequented) were "mouthpieces of the Fascist ideology" is a little much. I am sure a few toasts to Mussolini and the homeland probably occurred in the early to mid-1930s. I also know that some of these same people or their children actually attempted to join the Canadian war effort overseas in WWII only to be denied because of their Italian descent. I still believe that the Canadian government/RCMP used the apparently pervasive Fascist threat as a guise for the main motivation for internment-ethnicity (as in the story of Japanese-Canadians). Paul Longo

Jerry Prager said...

The Sons of Italy were taken over by the vice consuls, supported by the Catholic Church, from the pulpits; the right wing of which Church had first conceived of corporatism, the ideology the fascists used; they had the help of the Conservative Party of Canada: look up Empire Club of Canada and fascism: the ideology of fascism and the ideology of Empire were equal, Adrian Arcand may have been first in command, but his second was the Italian playwright and Paris Fascist Mario Duliani who fled France for the friendlier right wingers of Quebec, where fascism was also preached from the pulpit. Fascism was a very real threat to Canada, especially because of the Conservative Party of Canada. Liberalism and Labour defeated fascism in the war, but Canadian conservatives keep reviving it, that's why it's important not to fudge the history. The main RCMP officer focused on the Morgeti and Perri, was an Italian named Zanetti, anglicized to Zaneth
Your father, not only attended a Sons of Italy, but it was a club that was created two days before Sam Labatti Sorbara disappeared: it was not only a time of world troubles but suddenly the San Giorgiosi of the Ward reverted to silence, to an old world code that men like your father had adhered to during the first decades the San Giorgiosi were in Canada: back when all those people were killed in the Ward: it wasn't just that your father knew Rocco Perri, he also knew Tony Silvestro, in fact, he was from the same village as Tony: and from the 1920's until the 1930's it was a village run by a fascist podesta. There is no record of Mussolini taking on the 'ndragheta they way he took on the Sicilian mafia in the pe-war years: the code of the picciotteria has clause about false politics. Guelph Italians chose silence when Sam Sorbara was murdered, and again the next year when Joe Nasso disappeared, probably into the ore ovens of Mallable Iron. They chose Omerta. A few went to war, some never came back. Internment was not some, O let's go throw some poor Italian with a lot of kids in a camp because he's just a wop: Zaneth helped chose your father: as a cop he was right wing to begin with, but he was a good cop: he did his job. It was war, and a secret society that hides killers was a bad idea to leave loose behind your back. I'm not saying your father was a killer: I'm not even saying he was a fascist: what he wasn't, was trustworthy by the standards given to the RCMP, and applied by the highest ranking Italian officer on the force. There is no equivalency to the way Italians were treated compared to the way the Japanese were treated: none. There were 135,000 Italian Canadians and only 635 were interned. More should have been interned: especially the Italians linked to the Conservative Party of Canada. Mulroney's apology in the 1980's was bogus, and designed to bury the role played by Italian Canadians, the Catholic Church and the Conservative Party in the rise of fascism before the war. And now we have the neo-corporatist Conservative Party of Canada in the person of Del Mastro, whining about discrimination against Italians and how every should get money for their troubles. Over the dead bodies of the millions of people who died fighting fascism I say.

Anonymous said...

In my view, all 635+ Italian Canadians interned and their families deserve a formal apology and compensation in some form (not necessarily a cheque in the mail). I can't recall any of these internees receiving due process for their apparent crimes against Canada.

Jerry Prager said...

Apparently you're a big supporter of fascism, and the conservative party.

Anonymous said...

My political views are of no relevance and I am certainly not a fascist nor do I support the Conservative party. I guess we can agree to diasgree on this issue.

Jerry Prager said...

This is about politics. It's certainly not about "O the poor oppressed Italians." It's about truth in history. We have a neo-corporatist government in Ottawa after a particularly virulent one in Washington precisely because we don't want to remember what happened. You want a formal apology and compensation for fascists (even mobsters are gangster capitalists, which is an extreme right wing imperial ideology akin to neo-corporatism, people who willingly blew things up for money, killed people etc. With a secret society code that includes the practising of false politics outside the "society". There is no comparison between what happened to Japanese Canadians, or before them Ukrainian Canadians WWI, and what happened to the Italians, the numbers alone tell the story. While it is true that the very British society of Canada in those days was more racist and reactionary than Canadians today - although Harper is trying very hard to make us a right wing nation) the fact is British have always had deep respect for Italy, and while it us true that much of that respect was for northern Italians, xenophobia is a two way street, the extremely conservative societies of southern Italy were almost impenetrable to even North Italians until after WW2. All I can see is that you want compensation and apologies for no other reason than that they were Italians. Maybe we should clear all the Italians out of prisons and apologize and compensate them too. It's a my country right or wrong mentality. It's like Afghani detainee transfers by Canadians into the hands of a corrupt police force and a narco-state government, propped up by NATA: why get to the bottom of it: instead, let's wrap ourselves in the Canadian flag, and demand apologies and compensation for the insult to our troops, rather than let the World Court try our PM and Peter MacKay for war crimes: our country right or wrong. Well, I don't buy it. Tens of thousands of Canadians died, and you want to spit in their blood. It's Orwellian what you want to, re-write history to make it impossible to know what happened.

Anonymous said...

I went to high school next to the original Longo Toyota on Garvey Ave in El Monte. They certainly grew fast. I was also told that when an El Monte police officer was ambushed the EMPD refused a Toyota from Longo Toyota because of his alleged mafia ties.

Anonymous said...

Are there any Longos presently living in Toronto with ties to the Ndraghetta or some other mob? I ask because there is a guy at work. Nice fellow with an anglo saxon name. But when we were both in our cups he confessed his real family name had been Longo but he had it legally changed to avoid discrimination in the job market. Is there discrimination against Italians in Toronto? Or is there some deeper reason?

Anonymous said...

I posted Feb 17, 2009 comment. My G-Grandpa Tony's last name was LaMarca, Antonio LaMarca. He started and owned the Frisco Baking Company in Los Angeles. I found out that the homes he use to own back in the day are still owned by Italian's today. He definitely made bank and I'm sure his buddies helped him out. He was also a life member of the Son's of Italy.
John G.

Anonymous said...

@ Jerry and Kurt,

The name of Jimmy (the Weasel) Fratiano's book is entitled "Vengeance Is Mine" it's a good read.

http://www.amazon.com/Vengeance-Is-Mine-Zuckerman/dp/0026336405

John G.

Jerry Prager said...

Thank you.

Jerry Prager said...

The Sons of Italy is of course modelled on the Sons of Scotland and other immigrant support societies: to the degree that all immigrant peoples come with their own criminals, the Societies are thus susceptible to the criminals among them based on realities back home, and conditions in the new nation.
Before the Second World War in Canada, the onservative government that existed until 1935, allowed Mussolini's Vice Consuls to turn all Canadese social clubs - including the Sons of Italy - into fascist clubs.
When Liberals and Labour defeated that government, the slide to war was by that point ratcheting up towards the invasion of Ethiopia, at which point the Liberal Government ordered the RCMP to start investigating fascism in Canada, so that by the time Mussolini declared war on Britain, and thus on Canada, the RCMP finally knew enough about who to arrest that they jailed a lot of Montreal French fascists (Quebec remained fascist under Duplessis until the Quiet Revolution in 1960) as well as Rocco Perri's crew and his Morgeti associates, some of whom were from Guelph, the rest of whom were from Hamilton-Welland.

Jerry Prager said...

Paul,
I suspect Dominic's brother Frank, and his son Dominic were much more heavily involved myself, the whole axis after Sciarrone's murder had shifted to Hamilton-Welland, Guelph was a gambling and booklegging town more than anything else. Although the Cipollas and Hamilton Silvestros were involved in narcotics very early on, as was Frank Longo in 1920 .

Jerry Prager said...

It should be evident to anyone who reads my blog that I am always harder on the governing class gangsters than I am on immigrant societies, my problem with fascism is the Conservative Party of Canada and their alliance with Mussolini. At the same time only Italian communists and socialists stood up against Mussolini's Vice Consuls.
I understand why a people acquiesce to a security regime, famil, the lies of law and order and security for those domestic rabbits the farmer culls, as in Watership Down, I'm just not much for domestic rabbits myself, especially not human ones: this is about the Hanseatic League- thousand year old commercial interests that think they have the right to govern the world, like the Cromwellian mercantile Republic in England from 1640 to 1675, their use of servant class Levellers to betray the itinerants and underclass Diggers.
The mafia is muscle for global corporatists and has been since the second world war. Mussolini learned the hard way after the Sicilian invasion that it's better to join the mafia than it is to oppose them.