by James Thornton Harris
T.J. English examines the relationship between jazz and organized crime in Prohibition America, and how the music moved on from the mob.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
by Mary Rizzo and Whitney Strub
The Sopranos prequel misses the chance to tell a rich story about the ethnic rivalries in Newark's city politics that unfolded in the 1960s.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
Federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s decimated experienced middle-management ranks in New York's organized crime families. Are they struggling today because their remaining workforce consists of boomers who can't quit and millennials who are on their phones too much?
SOURCE: New York Times
"The show’s depiction of contemporary America as relentlessly banal and hollow is plainly at the core of the current interest in the show, which coincides with an era of crisis across just about every major institution in American life."
by James D. Zirin
"When I was a federal prosecutor going after white collar criminals, I always looked for the accountant. He was the most likely witness for the government."
SOURCE: The New Yorker
by Adam Gopnik
"Generally, in Mob stories, the cute bits are not real, and the real bits are not cute. Given that grim truth, there’s something to be said for just shutting your eyes and repeating the cute bits." Some new books on the Mafia unfortunately follow the pattern.
SOURCE: News 3 Las Vegas
John Gotti allegedly maintained a low-profile skimming operation at an off-strip casino years after Nevada officials believed they had swept the mob out of the gaming business.
BOSTON — James (Whitey) Bulger, the mobster who terrorized South Boston in the 1970s and ‘80s, holding the city in his thrall even after he disappeared, was convicted Monday of a sweeping array of gangland crimes, including 11 murders. He faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.The verdict delivers long-delayed justice to Mr. Bulger, 83, who disappeared in the mid-1990s after a corrupt agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation told him he was about to be indicted. He left behind a city that wondered if he would ever be caught — and even if the F.B.I., which had been complicit in many of his crimes and had relied on him as an informer, was really looking for him.“This was the worst case of corruption in the history of the F.B.I.,” said Michael D. Kendall, a former federal prosecutor who investigated Mr. Bulger’s associates. “It was a multigenerational, systematic alliance with organized crime, where the F.B.I. was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses, or at least allowing them to occur.”...
BOSTON — James “Whitey” Bulger is an old man now.He wears reading glasses. His hair is pure white, but not much remains. And when he stood up in a federal courtroom Wednesday morning to finally face the music, to stand trial for a lifetime of gangster crimes, he rose slowly, no longer the menacing Irish mob boss who allegedly scratched out 19 lives while the FBI looked the other way.Wearing a long-sleeved green shirt, jeans and sneakers, Bulger sat passively as a prosecutor described his younger, more sinister years as leader of the Winter Hill Gang, including the time he allegedly marched a safecracker named Arthur “Bucky” Barrett to a set of cellar stairs after torturing him in a chair in pursuit of $40,000 from a bank robbery....
by Douglas M. Charles
Mobster Frank Costello testifying in front of the Kefauver Committee. Credit: Wiki Commons.The IRS "scandal" involving the “targeting” of conservative Tea Party groups is metastasizing. Congressional Republicans are seeking to open a broader investigation into the agency, with which, according to the New York Times, they "hope to ensare the White House."But an understanding of the true history of IRS scandals -- as documented in the mid-1970s Church Committee reports -- might better inform our understanding of this contemporary story.
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