As New York mobster stories go, there seemed to be no shortage in 2011. Mob expert Jerry Capeci should know.
Capeci, a former New York Daily News reporter, runs the website Gang Land News. On Thursday, he picked the top mob stories of 2011.
Hands down, he writes, the top story was the Mafia Takedown arrests of 127 wiseguys and “various cohorts.”
Runner up story, Capeci writes, was the appearance in April in fed court in Brooklyn of ex-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino on the witness stand at the capital murder trial of successor boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano. Massino made history, becoming the first mob boss from one of the 5 New York crime families to take the witness stand for the feds.
Though Capeci picks the massive takedown in January as the top mob story of the year, he is not without some skepticism.
On the day of the announcement, Capeci writes that the “feds put on an overblown dog and pony show at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn in a pretty transparent effort to send a message to mobsters that they were still a top priority of the federal government.”
“Six weeks later, as Gang Land reported on March 3, the priority claims went down several notches when it was learned that FBI bosses had combined the five squads that had been investigating the Five Families into three, and cut the number of mob-busting agents by 25%, to about 45, the lowest number since the days of J. Edgar Hoover.”