Gary Jenkins will appear in the first ever Mob-Con at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on September 8, 2013. Gary will give a one-hour program at 11:30AM in the Grand Ballroom. This event is organized by Mr. Robert Allen, a veteran convention promoter and a retired mobster named Frank Culotta. Starting with a cocktail party on Thursday, September 6th, this event features speakers from made members of La Cosa Nostra and F.B.I. agents and Police Officers who investigated Mob activity.


Mario Puzo took from real life in his novel, The Godfather. In New York City younger Sicilian immigrants were seeing their fathers victimized by the old fashioned “Mustache Petes” by the Black Hand organization. The young guys  were also being kept out of the more lucrative rackets. They struck back eventually. In 1940s Kansas City, a young Nick Civella showed his independence from the Mustache Petes by holding up “protected” gambling games.

In William Ouseley’s Mobsters in our Midst, former F.B.I. Agent Ouseley writes that on January 22, 1946 a confederate of Nick’s named Joe “Buggy” Anch was murdered. Eight days later, Nick was meeting with  Jackson County Deputy Sheriff named Louis Cuccia at the Trucker’s Liquor Store, 1901 E. 15th. Nick sat in the passenger seat of his car while Deputy Cuccia sat in the driver’s seat. Gunfire erupted and the Deputy was killed. Nick got away and fled to Chicago, Illinois. He had connections there and was protected until he could negotiate his return.

The Chicago Outfit has its roots in Sicily as with other La Cosa Nosta (LCN) style organized crime organizations of La Familia. As with the New York based LCN families, the old world  Mustache Petes were usurped by  the younger mobsters in the 1920s. Al Capone and Prohibition brought national attention  to the Chicago family. Capone made millions from illegal booze and along with government officials of the City of Chicago and Cook County they created an institutional system of corruption that lasted until the 1980s.

The origins of the Kansas City Crime Family, known better on the street as the “Outfit,” date back to the early part of the 20th Century. A small band of immigrant Italian/Sicilian predators, operating in the Little Italy north end section of the city, coalesced, organized and united during prohibition to become an organized crime entity. During Prohibition the Kansas City mob became part of a nationally structured Italian/Sicilian syndicate that came to be known as La Cosa Nostra. Chosen as the Kansas City boss of the Outfit in 1953, Nick Civella was arrested at the famous 1957 meeting of La Cosa Nostra Bosses in Appalachia, Mew York. The Kansas City Outfit was riding high during the 1970s.  This video tells about those beginnings.

Two unrelated events would result in the end of the Outfit’s Las Vegas money train and the incarceration of Outfit leaders from Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Kansas City.

The first event was the murder of an Outfit member named Nick Spero in November of  1973. Nick was a Teamster’s union official. Nick was seen as ambitious and seeking to expand his power with the outfit. The Civella dominated Outfit could not allow anything to threaten their influence over the Central States Teamster’s Pension Fund. In true gangland fashion, Nick Spero’s body was found in the trunk of his car in an isolated area of North Kansas City.  Nick’s brothers did not let the murder of their brother go unanswered.

The second event began with an entertainment district development known as the River Quay. A businessman named Marion Trozollo parlayed his Teflon-pan success into revitalizing the rundown City Market district. The River Quay quickly became the hippest entertainment area in Kansas City. The Outfit believed they had a proprietary interest in the City Market area. The son of an Outfit soldier, Freddie Bonnadonna opened a successful River Quay bar called Poor Freddie’s. Freddie Bonnadonna had an exclusive contract to lease night-time parking rights in City Market parking lots. Outfit members became jealous of Freddie’s success. This, in addition to Freddie’s resisting the introduction of mob controlled strip clubs into the Quay, set into motion a series of violent and deadly events.

Gangland Wire tells the story of how revenge, greed and jealousy put the F.B.I. on a path leading to the end of Mafia influence over Las Vegas casinos and over the Teamster’s union and their Central States Pension Fund.