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











Al CaponeI have been researching for my next podcast. I have invited FBI (Ret) Agent Bill Ouseley to participate. We will discuss the relationship between and connection between Nick Civella, the Chicago Outfit and the Kansas City Outfit. One thing I learned is the relationship between Chicago and Kansas City started before Nick Civella was of any importance. Al Capone was a frequent visitor to KC.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Bellerive hotel at 214 E. Armour boasted a parade of famous guests: actress Mary Pickford, silent-film actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish, contralto Marian Anderson and Scarface Al Capone stayed there. Stars like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Liberace, Al Capone Bellerive_HotelBob Hope and Jerry Lewis performed at the hotel’s swanky Casbah nightclub. Old Scarface was also known to vacation at the famous Elms Hotel and Resort in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Al Capone also stayed at the Rieger Hotel, 20th and Main. The Rieger has been preserved and currently contains a upscale bar and grill. the owners have created a special blend whiskey named J. Rieger & Company.

Hank StramWith the Chiefs heading for the playoffs, I think back to the 1969-1970 season. The KC Chiefs were headed to the Super Bowl against the favored Minnesota Vikings. Nationally, the Vikings were getting all the action to win. Locally, the money was going down on the Chiefs. Nick Civella called¬†the tapped North View Social club’s phone. This was the clubhouse known as “The Trap.” The main bookies, Dude Fontanello¬†and Frank Tousa were¬†worried about the “Book” being out of whack. Dude noticed too much local money going down on the Chiefs. They needed to “lay off” the Chief’s action to another city. At another city like Chicago or Minneapolis where there would be more money down on the Vikings.

You see, the Mob does not gamble with the “Book.” They equalize the number of bets on each team in any given contest. The losers pay the losing bet and a 10% “Vig” to the bookie. The winner gets his win while the Mob keeps the “Vig.” Vig is short for vigorsh.

My Oklahoma friend, Richard M. Mullins, has released his true crime book on Oklahoma criminals. What first drew my attention was his chapter on the James S. “Jimmy” Duardi attempt to take over the Grand Lake area and open it up to illegal gambling, prostitution and other criminal behavior.

So, if you want the definitive book about a crew of dangerous Oklahoma criminals,  click hereOklahoma book.