Casey McBride is credited with this piece. He examines the three stories about how the Prime Minister of the Mob, Frank Costello inherited an interest in the Crescent City. Which of them, if any, is true I cannot say, and will leave it for the reader to decide.

Story number one:

As many readers will no doubt already know, Louisiana Senator, Huey Long, was a notorious boozer. This story claims Long was so drunk at a country club one night he got impatient waiting at a urinal, and let loose between the mans legs who was using it. Apparently, he had terrible aim and the man began stomping a hole in Huey. An attendant called for Frank Costello, who was also at the club, and Frank, as always, smoothed things over. Long was grateful, and the two struck up a mutually beneficial friendship.

Story number two:

New Orleans legend, Diamond Jim Moran received a phone call from Frank Costello, warning him of a plot to assassinate Huey Long, at the Roosevelt Hotel. Diamond Jim, passed this information on to his friend Long, who’s bodyguards immediately raided the residence at an address Costello had provided. Though they did not find their suspects, they found evidence that a plan had indeed been put in the works. Long told Moran to pass a message on to Costello, and the message was, “tell him he has a friend.”

Story number three:

In a much less dramatic, though likely more accurate telling, Frank Costello himself insisted he had met Long over dinner at a country club. Both men had a penchant for politicking, gambling and chasing women. The two simply liked each other and struck up a friendship which lasted until Long’s death.

So I suppose the answer to Joe Gallow’s question would be, Huey Long. He would invite Costello to bring his slot machines to Louisiana in 1935, and the pair would prove to be a successful partnership; but that is another story…

By Casey Robert McBride

Curator at Uncle Frank’s Place

Lead editor at the NCS, Casey was the first blogger to set foot in the Social Club, and is the curator at Uncle Frank’s Place, that little corner of the NCS dedicated to the discussion and preservation of the life and times of racketeer Frank Costello. Casey’s philosophy is to specialize. “There is simply too much information for one person to know it all.” he claims. “That’s the beauty of the NCS. We have folks from all walks of life, all with different interests and expertise, and it’s growing all the time.”

Gaspipe Casso last days

To learn more about Gaspipe Casso please go to my two-part podcast on the life and times of Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso. “Gaspipe” Casso hated John Gotti and tried to avenge the death of Paul Castellano. He also disclosed that two retired NYPD detectives had been on the Lucchese payroll. These detectives were later determined to be Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa committed eight of the eleven murders Casso had ordered. Carracappa and Eppolito had also given Casso information which led to many others as well, revealing the names of potential informants. They were subsequently found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life in prison.  Casso enraged the US government by accusing Gambino turncoat Sammy Gravano of committing multiple felonies. Gravino would deny those crimes under cross-examination by Gotti’s lawyers. Casso claimed to have sold large amounts of narcotics to Gravano over two decades. The government was not interested and thought Casso was trying to discredit Gravano as a witness. Casso was vindicated later when Gravano pleaded guilty in 2000 to operating a massive narcotics ring while in Witness Protection. Casso was the second confessed underboss of a New York crime family to break his blood oath and turn informer, after Gambino underboss Gravano.

The government has enough of Gaspipe

In 1997, Casso was thrown out of the Witness Protection Program. Prosecutors found he had been bribing guards, assaulting other inmates, plus they added in the aforementioned false statements about Gravano and false statements discrediting another Lucchese turncoat witness named Alphonse D’Arco. the prosecutors sent him back for sentencing and Judge Block sentenced Casso to 455 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Casso later told mafia author Selwyn Raab, “I help them and I get life without parole,” he said. “This is really a fuckin’ joke.”

In a 2006 letter to Casso said he regretted his decision to cooperate.

I am truly regretful for my decision to cooperate with the Government. It was against all my beliefs and upbringing. I know for certain, had my father been alive, I would never have done so. I have disgraced my family heritage, lost the respect of my children and close friends, and most probably added to the sudden death of my wife and confidant for more than 35 years. I wish the clock could be turned back only to bring her back. I have never in my life informed on anyone. I have always hated rats and as strange as it may sound I still do. I surely hate myself, day after day. It would have definitely been different if the Government had honest witnesses from inception. I would have had a second chance to start a new life, and my wife Lillian would still be alive. It seems that the only people the Government awards freedom to are the ones who give prejudiced testimony to win convictions. “The Truth Will Set You Free,” means nothing in the Federal courts. Even at this point in my life, I consider myself to be a better man than most of the people on the streets these days.

He made several attempts to appeal this decision, but he had no luck. Casso tried to redeem himself in 1998 and talked to 60 Minutes. 

Anthony Casso was a member of the Lucchese crime family. He is currently serving several life sentences. He was at a Supermax prison in Colorado. In 2013, he was transferred to a Residential Reentry Management (RRM) facility in Minneapolis. RRM is a type of halfway house for inmates in federal custody. However, it is doubtful if he will be released.

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Aaron and I want to include our fans on the show. Either record and email the audio file or call me at 816-931-3535 and I will record you announcing the show on the phone or via skype for our international friends. Below is the suggested announcement.

Hello, this is (your name) and I welcome you to another thrilling episode of Gangland Wire Crime Stores with Gary and Aaron, so sit back and be entertained. 

Plus the password for the free calendar is stardust.



Angelo Lonardo

Angelo Lonardo

Angelo Lonardo was the highest ranking mob member to ever break the code of Omerta. Lonardo was born in 1911 in Cleveland to Joseph and Concetta Lonardo. His father, Joseph Lonardo was the first mob boss of the Cleveland family. Joseph Lonardo was murdered in 1929. At the time the 18-year-old Angelo Lonardo swore revenge and murdered the suspected killer, Salvatore Todaro . The young Lonardo was tried and sentenced to life in prison. Within a few years, his lawyer was able to get a second trial and he was released. Angelo or “Big Ange” Lonardo worked his way up to underboss in 1976. He was promoted to boss after the 1980s mob war between Danny Greene and the Cleveland La Cosa Nostra family. Shortly after, Lonardo was convicted in a drug conspiracy and he had

Danny Greene

Danny Greene

enough. He became a government informant and testified against his former colleagues and several mob figures throughout the US. He eventually went into the federal witness protection program, but left it to return to Cleveland. Lonardo died in his sleep on April 1, 2006, aged 95. He was buried in Calvary cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

Below I have copied his depiction of the scene he remembered when he was inducted into the Cleveland family.

“I was invited into a room at the Statler Hotel in Cleveland and asked if I knew what I was doing there. You naturally say, “No.” Present were John Scalish, the acting boss; Tony Milano, the underboss; John Demarco, a capo; and Frank Brancato. They explained to me that I had been proposed to be made a member of La Cosa Nostra and defined the rules and regulations of the organization. They told me that you cannot fool around with narcotics; you cannot own a house of prostitution or have prostitutes working for you; you cannot fool around with a woman that’s married to a member of La Cosa Nostra; and that whatever illegal activity you engage in, you have to report to the boss and receive permission to engage in that activity: After I was told the rules, I was asked if I still wanted to join the organization.

One can still leave at that time, but the person usually accepts. In my case, I joined and became a member of La Cosa Nostra.

Once you accept the rules of membership, they lift a cloth off a table; underneath is a gun and a dagger. You are told that you now live and die with the dagger and the gun. You die that way, and you live that way. You are then given a card with a picture of a saint on it. This card is placed in the palms of your hands and lit. You shake the burning card back and forth until it is burned down to ashes. They then pinch your finger to draw blood, and then everyone gives you a kiss on the cheek and says, “You are now a member.” I later learned that to be invited to be a member you must have killed somebody and stood up to police pressure.”
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During the Casino Skimming investigation known as Strawman, Kansas City Mob boss,  Nick Civella and Carl “Tuffy” DeLuna (Artie Piscano played by Vinny Vella) were discussing where or not Nick could call Lefty Rosenthal (Ace Rothstein played by Robert DeNiro) without asking permission from the Chicago Mob boss, Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa (Remo Gaggi played by Pasquale Cajano) . In this clip, you can hear a little of the actual discussion.

The rest of this tape and many more will be in my new Kindle book soon.

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Skimming from the Casino

I am working on a book about the Las Vegas Casino skim investigation. With the new Kindle format being so popular, I have the idea that I would put a link to the actual audio when I use part of the actual transcript in the book. I am looking for feedback. Does this work or not? Read down this post and click on the hyperlinked words, WDM-38 PAY TELEPHONE. Please be critical, this is a lot of work and I don’t want to do it for nothing.

Segment from book


By August 4, 1978, the deal for the Tropicana owners to purchase the Stardust was off. Agosto called Deluna. He reported that Transmission (Jack Ulrich), Hunter (Diel Gustafason) and La Femmena (Mitzi Stauffer Briggs) had backed out of any effort to buy the Stardust. Tuffy asked why and Agosto replied, “Because of the Aladdin.” Tuffy said that bothered him and he did not understand why they would have been “shook up” over the incident.  Agosto replied that people getting arrested is not just every little thing. DeLuna wonders if Agosto would fall apart if something happened in his house. Agosto reports that Transmission and Hunter are relieved the deal is off, but the La Femmena is disappointed.

The Aladdin hotel/casino, famous for hosting the wedding of Elvis and Priscilla Presely in 1967, had long been of interest to the F.B.I.. In 1968, a consortium of veteran Las Vegas casino investors purchased the Aladdin. Casino executive Sam Diamond, St. Louis politician Peter Webbe, Sorkis Webbe, and Richard Daly paid $5 million. Using Teamster’s pension money, they gave the Aladdin a $60 million facelift including the addition of a 19-story tower, and the new 7,500 seat Performing Arts Center. F.B.I. agents began looking into the casino affairs at that time.

Apparently the Tropicana owners backed out of purchasing the Stardust because two days before this conversation, on August 2, 1978, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Aladdin Casino executives James Tamer, James Abraham, Edward Monassum and Charles Goldfarb. They were  charged for  participating in a scheme of unlawful control and management, or hidden ownership, of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. The press reported that the real targets of this hidden ownership investigation were Detroit Mob figures, Anthony Giacalone, Vito Giacalone and Anthony Zerilli.


August 4, 1978



AUGUST 4. 1978

1:56 P.M.


Exhibit 186


DELUNA: What do you say?

AGOSTO:       Well, the only thing I want to tell you that I talk to my people and I told the deal is off.

DELUNA: Uh huh.

AGOSTO:       And ah, ah, Transmission, ah, and Hunter were kind of relieved.

DE LUNA: Kind of what?

AGOSTO: Relieved.

DELUNA: I can’t hear you.

AGOSTO:       (overlapped) relieved.

DE LUNA: Relieved?


DE LUNA: Well okay. Why though?

AGOSTO: On account of this deal in ah, Aladdin, they’re really shook up about it, you know.

DELUNA: Oh yeah?




DELUNA: Something like, something like that

AGOSTO: La femmena (the woman) was really disappointed.

DELUNA: Yeah, well I don’t, I don’t, ah,


DELUNA: It kind of bothers me that, that something like that would bother them two guys.

AGOSTO: Yeah, it did, it did bother them.

DELUNA: Well, Jesus Christ, can’t get shook over every little thing that happens.


DE LUNA: Ah, they shouldn’t get shook up over every little thing.

AGOSTO:       Every little thing. They arrested everybody, what do you mean little thing.

DELUNA: Yeah, but it ain’t got nothing to do with ah, with ah,

AGOSTO: Have you read the paper on the Aladdin?


AGOSTO: You read them all?

DELUNA: Yes. But I mean it I don’t see why Transmission and Hunter should get so terribly

AGOSTO:       Because he feels the situation is hot here right now and if there is ah, you know if there is a, a, a, a cooling off period, you know, they, they, I mean they

DELUNA: I could understand

AGOSTO: Can you understand what I am saying?

DELUNA: Sure I do.


DELUNA: I understand the atmosphere.



Itunes imageI mentioned this last week and it is now a reality. I was not busy and decided to take a look at how to create an interactive map. I have two court dates next week and some other legal business, so this week was the right time.

I created a special page just for the map. I placed a Kansas City Mob Map button at the top of each page. Please go back to the home page and access the Mob Map there.

Aaron, Retired FBI Agent Bill Ouseley and I recorded a 3 part series on the relationship between the Kansas City Mob and the Chicago Outfit. Look for that next week. And, please give me a review on Itunes if you have not done so.

AiuppaJoseph Aiuppa was the Chicago mob boss depicted as Remo Gaggi in the film Casino. In his early years, he was known as Joey O’Brien. In 1962 Chicago mobster Joseph Aiuppa was stopped in the Pittsburg, Kansas area by the local police and F.B.I. agents. He was found to be in possession of 567 frozen mourning doves.  Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 it is illegal to possess more than 24 doves per person outside of hunting season.  Following a series of appeals, Aiuppa was eventually sentenced in August 1966, and received a 3-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. Prior to this conviction Aiuppa was never referred to as “Doves.” After this conviction, he would be forever known as Joey Doves. I found these FBI documents reporting an informant telling the Bureau that Aiuppa was making arrangement to go dove hunting in the Frontenac, Kansas area. The same informant said that Aiuppa had hunted previously in that area with some Kansas City residents who had extensive contacts with the “hoodlum element.”

Aiuppa informant 30001

Aiuppa informants 20003