Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reality vs. Fiction: Mob City's Mickey Cohen vs. Today's Colombo Family

Hollywood never tires of making movies about the Mafia.  The problem is they don’t know the way it works.  So they claim they are telling true stories, yet they make up the facts.  Every person from the writer to the studios has to put their spin on it, throw in their ideas of how it may have happened, yet not one of them knows a thing about the life or bothers to talk to anyone who actually does.  They do research by reading books written by people who also don’t know anything.  They “learn” by watching other poorly done movies.  Or, they might even speak to a copper, who knows very little about the whole story.  Once in awhile, they might find some old guy who was somehow “part of the life” in a farfetched stretch of reality, for example their “insider” was maybe a bartender at a watering hole a few mobsters frequented.

Reality Vs Fiction: MOBCITY
This is what they say about the show. “Mob City is a television series created by Frank Darabont for TNT. It is based on real-life accounts of the L.A.P.D. and gangsters in 1940s Los Angeles as chronicled in the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City by John Buntin.”  

I see billboards all over the city calling Mickey Cohen the “Godfather of LA”.  That is an incredible feat for a one-time “Never Contender” Boxer who was not part of any organization but his own.  They will continue to credit him with murders that real Gangsters from the Dragna Family, The Outfit and other families back East committed.  The Cosa Nostra Family, that at Mickey Cohen’s time was headed by Jack Dragna, was already 50 years old by the time of Cohen’s run as LA's “Newspaper Gangster.”

Mickey Cohen (the little guy) and his "bodyguard" who was also conveniently a California Highway Patrol Officer
Yes, Mickey was a tough guy and he did shoot a guy in his wire room off La Brea.  But, he never killed one guy in the Dragna Family.  During the time of his so-called reign as the Godfather of LA, the Dragna Family had over 60 inducted members.  Mickey Cohen was a Bookmaker.  The Dragna Family had huge shylock loans all over the city, they also had their own wire rooms.  Dragna himself had his office downtown in the produce area, where he imported bananas and other fruit.  He had at least two freighters that came up from South America.  Now who here thinks all they brought from South America was fruit?  
Mickey Cohen in a hospital bed after being shot by Dragna's men.  LA's first Reality TV mobster seen here talking to reporters and police.

Many others in La Cosa Nostra were also in the importing business.  They ran the garment district because Tommy Lucchese, a relative of Dragna, was huge in the Garment Unions.  The Chicago Outfit was big in LA because they ran the Unions that extorted the Studios.  

The control of Unions in Hollywood still was going on in the 1980's.  I knew a guy who was the head of the Projectionist Union and they were important because no movie could be shown at a theatre unless a Union guy was in the booth.  This all changed with Digital because there is no need to change film reels.

I love how they get cops to tell us how Mobsters act.  They only know what they hear by rumor.  They were never in a crew, never inside.  It is like those talking heads on those TV show “documentaries” on gangsters that say things like Carmine Persico was a ruthless guy who only wanted power.  Yet they never met Carmine, or any made guy for that matter.  They read about it in books written by others who did not know, from their safe office.

Los Angeles was never an "Open" city for the Cosa Nostra.  It always had a family, since before 1900.  The rules of Cosa Nostra as set forth by the formation of the Commission in 1931 are that every family is equal.  That means no family can come into another family’s area and just set up shop.  When New York came to Los Angeles, they made arrangements with Jack Dragna.  When the Chicago Outfit came and did their extortion of the Movie Studios, they gave the LA Family a piece.  They let them in on their Wire service when they brought it to Los Angeles. People have to understand how the Cosa Nostra works. Lets say guys from The Patriarca Family came to Los Angeles to open up a porn studio.  They would clear it with LA and give them a small piece.  LA would not expect a large share unless they used their people as enforcers or workers.

In 1957 Mickey Cohen was on TV being interview by Mike Wallace.  Now what kind of Gangster would do that?  All Mickey was doing is living off his past exploits. In 1957 The Commission met in up State New York at the home of mobster Joseph Barbara in Apalachin, New York on November 14, 1957.  Over 58 Made Guys were arrested but not one from the so-called Jewish Mafia. Los Angeles was represented by the REAL BOSS Frank DeSimone and his Underboss Sam Scozzari.  Why were there no other guys from other ethnic groups?  Only Italians were inducted into families and many are related.  

Mickey Cohen died broke in a little one bedroom apartment.  The families of the LA Family owned huge garment center businesses, trucking firms, wineries, vast tracts of land in what is now Ontario California, Apartment buildings etc.

Reality TV meets real life.  Mob Wives has a new cast member Alicia DiMichele Garofalo and her claim to fame?  She is the wife of Edward Garafalo Jr aka Eddie, whose father was murdered by Sammy Gravano (because Sammy was greedy).  Eddie Garofalo Jr ran his Big R Trucking and Equipment (T&E), and another trucking business, from a truck yard in Staten Island that used to be owned by his cousin Eddie Garafola, a Made Gambino guy and a relative of Sammy Gravano.  He ran it before out of a yard in Downtown Brooklyn.  I started wearing a wire and taping Eddie when he was still at the fuel oil lot in Brooklyn.  I even drew the FBI a layout where they would talk about important things.  Eddie is a big guy.  Mostly, a fat guy.  And yes, just like all big guys he likes to push around guys who are smaller.  He would fight guys who were smaller with no skill. 
Fat Eddie and Alicia.  Eddie introduced me to people as his cousin, and you can see here why people may have believed him.

 Yesterday, Eddie was sentenced by a Federal Judge for his crimes, which included ripping off the Union for employee benefits, things like health insurance and retirement.  Alicia used to help him, so she was also charged and has plead guilty. Big R trucking was named after their child.  
Eddie also plead out to a murder conspiracy.  I was there with the wire running. Eddie egged the whole thing on and he is the one who brought it up in front of Teddy Persico Jr.  Yet when we got to Teddy’s mothers house to pick up "the gear" aka guns, Eddie had to run inside to use the bathroom. After they handed out their really crappy "gear," and all I had was a knife, Eddie told me to duck if they started shooting.  Once we were at the spot, the Cops and paramedics were also there. Then Eddie Uncle Manny drove by and stopped. Strange.  Today the headlines in the New York Daily News read:

“Mafioso husband of 'Mob Wives' star sent to prison for 7 years in extortion case.”  They called him “Reputed Colombo enforcer Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo, Jr.”  Now that is a strech, according to a number of my friends who knew them when they were all young.  And I quote " If the Colombos needed an enforcer, Eddie Garofolo is the last guy they would call."  End Quote.  

People around him felt sorry for him because his father was killed by Sammy the Bull for no reason, and he didn’t do anything in retaliation.  Not that he could do anything.  

Now Eddie is going to be calling in on the reality show from prison.  I wonder what Teddy Persico, his Capo, thinks about that?  Just like the real mafia guys in LA would never have been on TV like Mickey Cohen, every mob guy knows mob guys don’t go on TV.  It’s a secret society.

To top it all off, according to the New York Post, Eddie’s Wife Alicia has been carrying on a 3 year affair with a married restaurateur. That is how she thanks her husband, after he plead out so that she would get no time.
Do we see a rule 35 hearing coming up in the future?

For more details on the affair, click here.

That is the real Mafia, full of honor.  

Eddie's Uncle Manny, today a free man.  He received zero jail time from the judge, even though he plead guilty and had plenty of clear evidence stacked against him.  Makes you wonder why they let him off...???


  1. how can made guys from other families when they come to cali trying to set up something clear it with the l.a guys? what if they dont know each other? can you explain? also has teddy been sentence yet?

  2. Ken:

    How accurate is the bio documentary on mickey cohen on the biography channel?