Palermo fights back

In the 1990s, the Sicilian capital was torn apart by mafia turf wars. Now there’s history, culture and fantastic food on every street

For the life of me, I cannot understand why visitors to Sicily so often choose to steer clear of Palermo, or at best relegate it to a scurried day trip.

Of course, this beautiful island has an abundance of competing attractions, but why would anyone turn their back on one of the most vibrant, enticing and rewarding of Italian cities? Continue reading

Italian police arrest first known transsexual mafia mobster

The macho image of the Italian mafia has been shaken by the arrest of a transsexual mobster who dresses as a woman, wears lipstick and insists on being called Kitty.

The cross-dressing criminal, whose real name is Ugo Gabriele, was arrested by armed police during a raid in the southern port city of Naples, home to the Camorra, one of Italy’s four mafia groups. Continue reading

Two Members of Gambino Crime Family Charged in 1989 Murder

Two big time members of the Gambino crime family were indicted Wednesday for the murder of a real estate developer who crime boss John Gotti believed was a snitch.

On Sept. 11, 1989, Staten Island real estate developer Fred Weiss was gunned down as he entered his vehicle in front of his New Springville home on Wellington Court.

Investigators say John “Jackie the Nose” D’Amico and Joseph “Joe the German” Watts were part of a death squad that carried out the hit. Continue reading

Judge’s fair-trial acid test

charles-carneglia

It was scary watching Charles Carneglia pour water into his glass yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court. After all, he was the mob’s go-to guy whenever John Gotti or his capos wanted a body dissolved in acid. One informant says he even tossed finger bones in a Gambino soldier’s soup once to prove he’d done the job. Continue reading

Italy’s Mafia finding fans on Facebook

ROME — Your college roommate is on Facebook. So are your cousins and colleagues and friends. But guess who else may find Facebook a great way to stay in touch?

Some people in Sicily who know a few things about networking.

In recent weeks, the Italian authorities have begun investigating Facebook discussion groups devoted to convicted Mafiosi, concerned that some members might be more than fans. Continue reading