Happy Monday, RG2E Peeps!
Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!
We’re gonna kick-off the week with a fabulous “Meet the Mob” experience, thanks to one heckuva intriguing author…Joe Bruno!
I’m reading this book now on my Kindle, and it’s beyond terrific…
Price: 99 Cents
I’ve always been fascinated by the world of organized crime and write about it in my fictional series, but Joe has lived it! Here’s the scoop about his series…based on his life experiences:
Introduction – By Mathew J. Mari
I have been a criminal defense lawyer in New York City for 34 years, specializing in organized crime cases. Like Joe Bruno, I was born in New York City’s Little Italy. Also, like Joe Bruno, I lived in Knickerbocker Village for more than three decades. Our neighborhood was filled with unforgettable characters, most of whom were criminals, and many of whom were in the Mafia. Joe got to meet and see many famous criminals during his years in Little Italy (in the 6th Ward), and in Knickerbocker Village (in the 4th Ward). It is no surprise to me that Joe was fascinated not only with the mafia characters, but with the entire history of Lower Manhattan, and New York City in general.
Joe Bruno’s book, “ Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” is a composite of characters and events, that weaves the denizens of New York City’s underworld with the rich history of New York City, from the early 1800’s, through the early 1900’s. Although Italian-American criminals are covered, this is not just another Italian mafia book. The book covers the Jewish gangsters as well (who truly were the pioneers of organized crime) and the Irish gangs, who were one of the first ethnic groups to run the New York City rackets. Joe even presents a few “lady gangsters” too.
Most of all, “ Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” is easy to read. The short-chapter format is a stroke of genius. It is interesting, informative, entertaining, and to the point. You won’t be bored reading it.
Joe Bruno has hit the mark in presenting Old New York the way it really was. Rough and bloody!
From the Author
Starting in the late 1860s, new gangs, the most prominent of which was called the Whyos, started cropping up again in the Five Points Area. In the late 1880’s, the most prestigious gang in the area was the Five Pointers led by Paul Kelly, real name Paulo Vaccarelli. Kelly’s chief nemesis was a crude, guerrilla-like individual named Monk Eastman, who ran a mob called the Eastman Gang. Kelly was a former boxer, who changed his name so that he could get more fights (Being Italian was not very popular in those days). One day, Kelly, at the urging of Tammany Hall, challenged the hulking Eastman, to a fist fight to determine who controlled the rackets in the Five Points area. Even though Eastman was 50 pounds heavier than Kelly, the two men fought to a brutal draw. When the fight was over, both bosses returned to their gangs and continued doing exactly what they were doing before, as if the fight had never taken place.
The New York gangs were not confined to the Five Points Area. To the south of the Five Points, was the Fourth Ward (where I lived for 32 years – in Knickerbocker Village, the same place where the Rosenbergs lived and were arrested). In the 1840s – 1850s, the notorious Daybreak Boys prowled the streets of the Fourth Ward and the nearby piers on the East River, killing people with the utmost viciousness and enthusiasm. Approximately one mile to the north, a gang called the Gophers fought with the Hudson Dusters for control of the West Side docks on the Hudson River, and the area called Hell’s Kitchen, which runs north from 23rd St. to 57th St, and west from 8th Avenue to 12th Ave.
Not all the crimes were committed by gangs, but also by individual gangsters, some of whom formed organized crime syndicates. Men like Lucky Luciano, Joe “The Boss” Masseria, and Salvatore Maranzano, fought for control of the Italian mobs. They were joined by such notorious Jewish gangsters like Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter. Then there were the brutal Morello brothers, who along with Ciro Terranova and Ignazio “Lupo the Wolf” Saietta, formed the vicious Black Hand, which robbed, tortured, and killed other Italian immigrants, who did not pay the extortion money the Black Handers demanded.
In “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps,” I also describe several riots and natural disasters that occured in New York City. In 1835, The Great New York City Fire took place, decimating the entire financial center in downtown Manhattan. It remains the worse fire in New York City’s history. When the three-day conflagration ended, 17 blocks and 693 buildings were entirely destroyed. Amazingly, only two people died, but the damage was estimated at $20 million dollars, almost $1 billion in today’s money. A year later, the area was rebuilt with stone buildings, much more resistant to fires. Some of these buildings exist to this very day.
There were also The Anti-Abolition Riots of 1834, The Grain Riots of 1837, The Astor Theater Riots of 1848, and The Police Riots of 1857 and the The Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.
“Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” starts in the period around 1825 and ends at approximately 1940. “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 2 – New York City,” will pick up at that point and continue up until the present time. Yet, there may be some miscreants that I didn’t write about in the time period covered in Volume 1, that may find their way into Volume 2.
The problem is, the more I look, the more felons I find.
After finishing “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps – Volumes 1 and 2,” I will start a third, and possibly a fourth volume, which will cover the criminals in other parts of the United States America.
Of course, New York City, having the most concentrated population in the country, has more than its share of mobsters, gangs, crooks and other creeps. Yet, the northeastern areas of upstate New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, have their share of lowlifes too. Cradles of criminality are also located in the Midwest; in cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City. And don’t forget, the states of Texas and California are teeming with hooligans too.
“Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” is written in alphabetical order, starting with “Ah Hoon – The Murder of Chinese Comedian Ah Hoon,” and ending with Max Zwerback (Kid Twist).
I hope you enjoy mingling with some of the worst human beings God has ever created. I know I enjoyed writing about them.
Facebook Page- Mobsters, Gangs: http://www.facebook.com/mobstersgangs
Who all would like an Ebook Gift Copy of this first book in Joe’s fascinating series? Let us know below, and you just might win one!!!
The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder