Jimmy Duardi was the nephew of a made man named Gaetano “Tanno” Lococo. He had Jimmy Duardi“made his bones” by the 1960s and after a cooling off period in California, Jimmy was back in Kansas City. He was a big (6’2′ 275 lbs.) man with a big dominating personality. It appears that he was given the south part of Kansas City because he did not live in the Little Grove Ok 2Italy (5th and Troost area) or north of the river as did most of the mob guys. Jimmy lived close to Gregory and Ward Parkway. In the early 1970s, Jimmy Duardi and another KC Mob associate (an associate is not a made guy) named Nathaniel Brancato (connected to Fairyland Park) used an ex-con and Native American named Clifford Bishop to connect with another Native American gangster from Oklahoma, Jack Michael King. If you Click on the above names, you will get many more details about this conspiracy. I will give you the shorthand version.

Jimmy Duardi and Nate Brancato used Bishop and King to make connections with club owners in the Grove, OklahomaGrove Ok 1 area. They wanted to have an open county with gambling and prostitution in this resort community. They bribed Frank Grayson, the county prosecutor, and an investigator to assist them. Duardi used Bishop to muscle in on the ownership of a club named Mr. Yuk. That club owner, Jess Roberts, got nervous and wanted out. Roberts was kidnapped and shot three times. He lived to testify and all the conspirators went to jail.

This case was an important interstate organized crime conspiracy case and the judge in this case refused to sentence the participants to more than short sentences. Jimmy Duardi will soon be back on the street.

Now, gambling is legal at the Grand Lake Casino.

PlayPlay

I think back over my life as a young cop and I realize that I was just playing cops and robbers, only with real guns. Winchester_Model_1873_Short_Rifle_1495 The Three MesquiteersActually, I was playing Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger (click here to listen to the famous opening) , Gene Autry, Sky King, Sgt. Preston and Yukon King, The Cisco Kid, and who could forget the series of old “B” films, The Three Mesquiteers. These western heroes all rode around on beautiful horses with names like White Cloud, Trigger and Champion. They carried either one or two .45 Colt revolvers on hand tooled leather holsters with a lever action Winchester Model 1874 in a saddle scabbard.

Now it was my chance to carry a .38 Smith and Wesson Police Service Revolver, a .12 gauge Winchester pump shotgun and ride around a 1970 Plymouth Fury. We would roll up on calls where the townspeople had problems with bad guys and do something. We tried hard to catch someone in the act or at least follow up and identify and arrest a real bad guy. The district officer does not have the time or resources to do this and very few had the luck to arrive before the bad guy was long gone. We only caught the angry spouses or neighborhood squabblers.

Street patrol could be exciting. I remember making friends with some neighborhood kids at 38th and Euclid. The KC Chiefs had a program where they would send out a bus to the police station and we would invite kids to go to the game. I made arrangements with the mother of this 10 year old boy to attend. A few days later, I got as call from the dispatcher to go to their home. I figured the mom wanted to thank me. As I rounded the corner on 38th Street, there was Mom hiding behind a stone pillar pointing a handgun at a neighbor man a few feet away. I saw her 2 daughters, both had kitchen knives, screaming at other teenagers down the street. The little boy was standing there screaming at Mom. The Postal Carrier was trying to reason with the neighbor to back off and go home.

I broke all the rules. Without a word to the dispatcher (if others arrived Mom would go to jail), I yelled at Mom to take the gun inside and put it up. She complied immediately for some reason. The Postal Carrier and I got between the neighbors and the two girls with kitchen knives and convinced them to go inside with Mom. I walked to the neighbor and he was screaming for Mom to be arrested. I ordered him inside his home and he complied.

I returned to Mom’s home and she told me of her grievance, something about the neighbor man yelling at her kids. I returned to the neighbor’s home and calmed him down. I drove to the station because it was end of the shift and never mentioned this to anybody.

Lone ranger

Lone Ranger

Kind of like the Lone Ranger where I ride in, settle a dispute and drive away with no paperwork required. And all they could say was: “Who was that masked man?”

Tuffy

Carl “Tuffy” DeLuna

 

Gangland Wire  illustrates some funny situations showing how inept these mob guys really can be. One was in the area of telephone codes. One that did not get in the film follows. The film, Casino, failed to show the dumb things done by the mob guys. Gangland wire has a bunch of them.

Joseph Agosto

Tuffy told Joe Agosto that he could not tell him a phone number over the phone. They worried around on how to get Joe the number when Joe and Tuffy agreed on a brilliant code. Tuffy would give Joe the number backwards? These guys were brilliant.

Jimmy DuardiGaetano Lococo was known as one of the “5 Iron Men” in Kansas City La Cosa Nostra history. He started as an enforcer for a 1930s Kansas City political boss named Johnny Lazia. In the famous 1950s Kefauver hearings on Organized Crime, Senator Kefauver described “Tano” Lococo as  “Lococo was a mousy, insignificant, bespectacled little man whose appearance belied his reputation as another of Binaggio’s enforcers.’”  It is said that a well known Kansas City Italian restaurant “Gaetanos” was named after him. He had a nephew named James S. “Jimmy” Duardi. Jimmy Duardi began in the Kansas City Rackets during and just after WW II. Jimmy first came to law enforcement attention when he was suspected of being involved with Nick Civella in the Binaggio and Gargotta murders and later in 1952 he was arrested in another murder.  Jimmy moved to Vallejo California for a few years until he cooled down in Kansas City.

Gargotta-crime-scene-with-Truman-300x223I was once following Lococo and another of the original “5 Iron Men”, Joseph Filardo. Filardo was famous for being caught with Nick Civella at the 1957 Mob Conference in Apalachin, New York. I entered an elevator with these famous gangsters and they were like a couple of little (under 5-5) old men. It was hard to see them as men who struck fear in the hearts of others.

Back to Jimmy Duardi. When I was first assigned to the Intelligence Unit, my friend, Bobby Arnold was also a new guy in the unit. He had been out looking for the movements of known mob guys and noticed a large gregarious man at a restaurant frequented by mobsters. He was back at the Unit and saw Duardi’s picture on the wall. He claimed this was the man he saw. The older detectives hooted him down because they just knew Jimmy was in prison in LeavenworthLeavenworth. Bobby calls Leavenworth and learns that Jimmy is assigned to the minimum security farm and one of his jobs entails him taking a prison vehicle into Kansas City to pick up supplies. And, Jimmy was supposed to be in Kansas City on that date.

My next post will be the story of why Jimmy was in Leavenworth and then on to Bobby Arnold and I monitoring Jimmy when he was released from prison.

 

MET-AJ-NAMES-LOMBARDO.jpgJoseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo came up the usual way in Chicago organized crime. As a young man he was a bold and clever thief gravitating to high end items like jewelry and because of his toughness he was a collector of “juice” loans. Lombardo was actually nicknamed Lumpy because of his ability to put lumps on people who were not paying back the “vig” or interest on the mob loans. He was arrested for hanging a construction worker from a beam in a basement and beating him senseless. Lombardo was subsequently tried and acquitted of this crime and many others during the 1950s and 1960s. Chicago courts were not unfriendly to members of La Cosa Nostra or as they call it in Chicago, “The Outfit.” In the 1970s, he had risen to the level of capo or boss of a crew known as the Grand Street crew with about 30 “soldiers’ under him.

Joey was tapped to help oversee Chicago mob interests in Las Vegas for Underboss Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa.  He soon began spending most of his time with Teamster’s official Allen Dorfman. You can hear him threaten casino owner Morris Shenker in the featured video in the top section on the front page.

When the Las Vegas skim investigation brought Lombardo, Aiuppa and other Midwest mob bosses down, Lomabrdo spent about 14 years in prison. When he was released he placed the following classified ad in the Chicago Tribune:

“I never took a secret oath with guns and daggers, pricked my finger, drew blood or burned paper to join a criminal organization. If anyone hears my name used in connection with any criminal activity, please notify the FBI, local police, and my parole officer, Ron Kumke.” Joe Lombardo.

In 2007, after a Chicago Outfit guy named Frank Calabrese came forward to testify, Joe Lombardo would face his last judge and jury. He was convicted in 2007 for an old murder and for taking part in Outfit loan sharking, extortion and racketeering and sentenced to life in prison.

I met Calabrese at Mob-Con 2013 and he was a very interesting guy. I recommend his book, Operation Family Secrets. He talked about how the real mob guys acted, how they related to law enforcement, how they conducted family life and how they conducted Outfit business. Frank was born into a mob family and his father was asking him to take over his crew when Frank had enough. He actually wore a recording device or “wire” on his own father.

During his talk at Mob-con, he explained how mob guys never drove expensive flashy cars nor wore flashy clothes. I say “true that.”  He said they would drive under the flight pattern at airports to lose airplane or helicopter surveillance and I say again “true that.” He said if they realized they were being followed, the good mob guys wold not tip to the surveillance crew that they had been spotted. The mob guy would drive into a multi-level garage and drive out in another car and again I say, “true that.” I asked him if they had a Mafia School that taught these techniques.

Frank obviously was torn emotionally about wearing a wire on his father and his uncle. He made it clear that was the only way he could get out and be a normal father for his own children. He did not want to do to his kids what had been done to him by his father.

A mafia interest blog contacted me about posting article about Gangland Wire.I have been getting a lot of interest from other mob interest websites.I believe I will do a radio interview on October 31, with  North Carolina station. Getting ready to go to Las Vegas for Mob-Con 2013 l hear there was an article in the LA Times.

Click here to see the article.

A mafia interest blog contacted me about posting article about Gangland Wire.I have been getting a lot of interest from other mob interest websites.I believe I will do a radio interview on October 31, with  North Carolina station. Getting ready to go to Las Vegas for Mob-Con 2013 l hear there was an article in the LA Times.

Click here to see the article.

Gangland Wire DVD Cover

Waveform smallI just put up a new clip on You Tube. Click here to see it or go to the Kansas City Mafia in the banner on the front page.

LeiuThe Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU) was the most elite unit on the KCPD. LEIU was also the name of a national organization of police intelligence units.  In the 1950s as criminals became more mobile operating across state lines, larger city police departments found it difficult at best to learn about criminals who were from far off cities. In particular, La Cosa Nostra families, were committing criminal conspiracies that encompassed several jurisdictions.  The F.B.I. and most notably, J. Edgar Hoover, did not trust local police departments, sometimes for good reason. Hoover did not believe there was Sicilian based organized crime families either. Not all local police departments were riddled with corruption and in 1956,  representatives from 26 local and state law enforcement agencies met in California and formed the LEIU to share information. One of the first rules was that they allowed no new members if any existing member accused the new applicant of allowing any kind of corruption inside the department. They knew that to be effective and foster an atmosphere where confidential information could be freely shared, they must remain more virtuous than Caesar’s wife. At one time, a paranoid J. Edgar Hoover ordered agents to investigate this new organization. Hoover soon learned the new organization was above corruption and could be an asset. LEIU could be called the Interpol of the United States. At one time they were so secret that most officers of the member agencies were unaware of the national LEIU organization. Today they have a public website and a LEIU Facebook Page you can like.

I was selected to join the KCPD Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit in 1976. I was just in time to take part in a major investigation of the mob in Kansas City. During my 13 years as a detective I investigated members of the Civella crime family, groups advocating civil disorder, the KKK and other professional criminals operating across jurisdictional boundaries. In my next posts I will begin telling stories from my career.