If you just ran across this blog today, I will share with you a short version of my story. I was on the street many years with the LA Family in Los Angeles and the Colombos in Brooklyn. I also wore a wire for the FBI for 8 years.
I no longer miss that life at all. It is still and always will be a part of me, but it's the past. I do wonder what will happen to some of those I once knew.
I heard this week about the passing of an old timer that I liked. He was the last of a breed. He was a second generation wiseguy whose father was made famous in “Guys and Dolls.”
He was in the music business for decades. He was very close to English gangsters and their firms. He met with the Kray Brothers and when one came to America he was there. I once sat in his place when he called Joey Pyle, an English gangster, and he put me on the phone. I played Joey a tape of a guy here. Well he made it to his August 31st 90th birthday and passed away on September 11th, 2015. I know he missed going to the Thursday Spaghetti night at Pelham Club. Goodbye, RIP.
I recently spoke to an FBI Agent who handled me when I was on the street. It had been awhile and I’m sure he was glad to hear that I had moved past that life.
The FBI kept every promise they made to me. They treated me very well. Looking back, it was a good decision. They gave me a life and all I can say is thank you.
When you lived that life, it is hard to let go of old habits. Once you cooperate you are no longer part of that life. You are faking it, a strange acting job. Many guys cannot get passed it. They live in the past.
I was surprised when I read a story about Joseph Barone Jr. who was an informant inside the Bonanno family for 18 years. He won a ruling in Federal Court that he could sue the FBI.
Joseph Barone Jr. was the son of Joseph Barone Sr., a Genovese family guy who was murdered on orders by Chin Gigante in 1992. Joseph Barone Jr. started informing for the FBI not long after his murder. I know another guy who wore a wire after the Colombo family killed his father. They might as well, those people are not their friends.
After 18 years Joseph Barone Jr. says the FBI could no longer use him as an informant so they set him up on charges. He was rolled up in a plot to murder a businessman for insurance money. He was kept in solitary for 18 months while his case went to trial. He was acquitted by the jury. I cannot see him winning this case but after all, stranger things have happened.
In Chicago there was some updated Outfit news. Frank Calabrese Sr. supposedly had a stolen rare Stradivarius violin hidden in a vacation home in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I heard from some people that it was not actually a rare Stradivarius violin and that it was long gone. Frank Sr. knew it, but a priest fell into his trap of greed. Eugene Klein, a former Roman Catholic priest visited Frank Sr. and accepted notes from him. The government wanted the judge to give Klien 5 years for the whole scheme but the judge only gave him one day and 200 hours of community service. He doubted the violin story. The police in Williams Bay said a burglar broke into the home and gained entrance to a secret room which was emptied. Who knows what was there.
Greed will do you in every time.