18 Stories

1930s Letter Shows Al Capone Was a Big Softie

At least when it came to his son, 'Sonny' Capone

(Newser) - Did notorious gangster Al Capone have a soft spot? An intimate letter he penned from prison suggests so. The three-page letter, which being auctioned off next week, is addressed to Capone's son, Albert "Sonny" Capone. The mobster signed it, "Love & Kisses, Your Dear Dad Alphonse Capone... More »

'Surreal': Mob Victim's Body Found—23 Years Later

Former mob boss eyed in Steven DiSarro's 1993 murder

(Newser) - Nick DiSarro's father disappeared in 1993 when he was only 7. "We've waited 23 years for somebody from the FBI to call us and say we found him," he says. That call came Thursday when the FBI said it had identified a body unearthed in March... More »

Cops Crack Mafia's Bizarre Sheep Farming Code

Communication pointed to messages hidden at Sicily farm

(Newser) - Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been on the run since 1993, but Italian police hope a series of raids early today will bring them closer to putting one of the most wanted criminals in Europe behind bars, per Deutsche Welle . Authorities say they arrested 11 alleged associates of... More »

Crime Boss Whitey Bulger Sends Letter to 3 Students

In which he calls his life 'wasted' and 'best forgotten'

(Newser) - When three Massachusetts high school students wrote to crime leader James "Whitey" Bulger in jail—where he's serving two life sentences (plus five years) for racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and murdering 11 people— they weren't sure if he'd write back. But he did, and the tone... More »

How a Criminal Found America's First Big Sex Tape

And distributed it with money from a mobster's son

(Newser) - Remember an old sex tape, before Kim Kardashian, starring an actress and a rocker on a yacht? Well, the 1996 video that fully unveiled Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee only went public because an electrician stole it, a mobster's son funded it, and lawyers couldn't contain it, Rolling ... More »

Top-Secret Mafia Ritual Caught on Video

Recruits reportedly seen taking 'holy' oath, promising to commit suicide if disloyal

(Newser) - A double-kiss on the cheeks. A loyalty oath to keep up your end of the "holy chain … the holy society." A reminder to always carry an extra bullet to take yourself out if you ever betray said society. Authorities in Milan say that's exactly what they... More »

Family: We Know Who Killed Bugsy Siegel

Descendants of Siegel's business partner name the gunman

(Newser) - Before dying of cancer, a 71-year-old realtor sat down with Los Angeles Magazine to make a startling claim: He knows who killed infamous mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. What's more, he says, the gunman did it for love. The story goes back to the 1940s, when LA mobsters began... More »

Ex-Mobster: I Have Secrets to Confess to the Pope

Vincenzo Calcara wants to meet with Pope Francis

(Newser) - In what could be one of history's more intriguing cases of a Catholic confessing his sins, a former mobster has asked for a meeting with Pope Francis so he can confess three "very important secrets." Vincenzo Calcara, described by the BBC as a "mafia turncoat" who... More »

35 Years Later, FBI Busts 5 in Goodfellas Heist

5 alleged mobsters taken into custody

(Newser) - More than 35 years later, the FBI is finally charging mobsters in connection with the notorious Lufthansa heist at New York's JFK Airport in 1978, a crime made even more infamous by the film Goodfellas. Five alleged mobsters said to be associated with New York's Bonanno crime family... More »

Inside the Ignoble Burial of a Russian Mob King

Aslan Usoyan laid to rest yesterday

(Newser) - Aslan Usoyan, the Russian mob boss killed by a sniper on Wednesday , was buried yesterday outside of Moscow, and the New York Times' description of his ignoble burial stands in stark contrast to what these funerals are typically like. While past mob bosses found a final resting place in some... More »

Sniper Kills Russian Mob Boss

'Grandpa Hassan' gunned down while leaving Moscow restaurant

(Newser) - The third time was not the charm for Aslan Usoyan, a prominent Russian mob boss who was assassinated today after surviving two previous hits. Officials say "Grandpa Hassan" was killed by a single bullet fired by a sniper as he was leaving a Moscow restaurant. The 75-year-old last survived... More »

Girlfriend of Mobster Whitey Bulger Gets 8 Years

Catherine Greig: No regrets

(Newser) - The longtime girlfriend of mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced today to eight years in prison for helping one of the FBI's most-wanted men stay on the run for 16 years, a life her lawyer said she doesn't regret because she still loves Bulger. Catherine Greig showed... More »

Mobster Asks For Break After FBI Blasts Puppy

Lawyer says the dog has 'never been the same'

(Newser) - A lawyer for an alleged mobster is asking a judge for leniency in sentencing, saying his client's small Maltese puppy was traumatized when an FBI team stormed into his Staten Island home and tossed concussion grenades. The dog was thrown across the room by the blast and "has... More »

Whitey Bulger's Politician Brother Back in Spotlight

William Bulger was president of state Senate, Massachusetts University

(Newser) - Whitey Bulger saw at least one familiar face in court yesterday : his brother, William, the former president of the Massachusetts Senate who steadfastly refused to help authorities bring in his brother. The former fugitive mouthed "hello" and nodded. The reunion of sorts has led to a spate of stories... More »

Whitey Bulger: I Could Afford a Lawyer if...

... the feds would give 'me my money back,' he tells court

(Newser) - Suspected mobster and longtime flight risk James "Whitey" Bulger will be cooling his heels in lockup after a federal judge denied him bail in his first court appearance yesterday. Bulger, who had $800,000 stashed in his Santa Monica apartment, asked to be declared indigent so that he could... More »

After Mob Bust, Heads Will Roll

Police expect retaliation against informants

(Newser) - After last week’s massive mob bust , officials fear a bloody mob war is coming. Investigators got their information from informants who taped conversations—and those who managed to escape the bust are probably “going to kill people,” one source close to the investigation tells the New York ... More »

Awesome Nicknames From New York's Mafia Bust

You don't mess with Benjamin 'The Claw' Castellazzo

(Newser) - The FBI pulled off the biggest mob bust in New York history yesterday. Maybe that’ll reduce mob crime. Here’s hoping. But one thing it will definitely do is acquaint us with some of the weird, straight-out-of-the-movies nicknames New York’s mobsters are using. The Village Voice pored over... More »

Mob Sent Secret Notes Via Texts Aired in TV Ticker

Scrolled messages kept godfathers up to date

(Newser) - Mafia gangsters have been sending secret missives to imprisoned godfathers via text messages scrolled along the bottom of a popular Italian soccer program, a judge has revealed. The notes, which kept mob bosses informed of nefarious ventures, were tucked among innocent messages from fans that ran constantly throughout the program... More »

18 Stories