Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins brings you the best in mob history with his unique perception of the mafia. Gary discusses the Youngstown Mob. with special guests Johnny Chechitelli and James Jimmy Naples, who share their experiences and insights. The conversation is about a tragic bombing that took place in 1962, where Charlie Cavallaro Sr. and his two sons were targeted. This incident sparks our interest in further exploring the history of the Youngstown mob. Jim Naples started a Facebook group called Youngstown Mob, which gained an impressive membership of 31,000. This online community eventually led to the creation of the Youngstown Mob Talk podcast, and their live shows also gained significant attention. A particularly intriguing guest who joined their group was Charlie Cavallaro Jr., who survived the bombing despite severe injuries. Despite his involvement in the mob, Charlie had never spoken about his experience. However, he agreed to talk to the podcast hosts, forming a friendship with them through their online platform. The guests tell us about an event they organized that focused on the Cavallaro bombing. They brought in Cecil Moses, the last living FBI agent who worked on the case codenamed CAVBOMB. Throughout the discussion, we learn about the various mafia factions involved in the Youngstown mob, such as LaRocca in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Naples faction, with Sandy Naples as its leader, engaged in racketeering and gambling operations. The story follows a familiar pattern of mafia conflicts, with the established mafia seeking a cut of Sandy’s successful operations. The hosts share their experience organizing the CAVBOMB show, where they brought together the Naples and Cavallaro families for a memorable evening with dinner and live music. The event was filmed, and plans are underway to release it on pay-per-view for Christmas. The conversation also touches on the history of remote car starters, the creativity of mob bombings, and Charlie Cavallaro Sr.’s involvement in the mob. Charlie traveled and worked in various cities, including Rochester, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. Interestingly, despite facing numerous challenges and near-death experiences, Charlie survived and even became a family man. The hosts discuss the Youngstown mob’s involvement in gambling, including policy operations and the tradition of gambling in Youngstown dating back to the 1940s. They also explore the FBI’s investigations into the mob’s activities but acknowledge that their efforts were often ineffective in bringing down the mob due to their ability to care for themselves. To shed further light on the Youngstown mob, retired FBI agent Cecil Moses joins the conversation. He shares intriguing documents, including the story of an informant who was offered induction into the local mob and J. Edgar Hoover’s directive to persuade the informant to accept the offer. Moses also reveals that Youngstown was not under the rule of either Cleveland or Pittsburgh but operated separately by Italian factions. The conversation weaves in personal anecdotes, emphasizing the deep ties between Youngstown and the mob. The hosts discuss their interactions with judges and their grandfather’s behind-the-scenes influence on local politics. They also mention various live shows and events, including a master class with a prominent burglar and the role of Eddie Allen, the former chief of police who consulted on the Godfather film.
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[0:00] Well, welcome all you wiretappers back here in studio gangland wire. Got two guests today.
Got Johnny Chechitelli and James Jimmy Naples from Youngstown, Ohio. Welcome guys.
Thanks for having us. Thanks Gary. Appreciate it. Now I talked to Johnny before about Youngstown and he’s did this limited series podcast.
And today we’re going to talk a little more about another podcast that he’s working on and some live events he’s been doing in Youngstown.
It’s kind of interesting.
I’ve never done a live event. I did a mafia film festival with another guy.
We had about three different mob films that we showed, documentaries.
[0:40] And there’s a huge, huge, huge interest in those mob film festival or mob films.
And you’re bringing the live people in to talk. So we’re going to learn a little more about that and then we’re gonna learn a little bit more about this horrible bombing that happened in 1962.
They bombed this guy named Charlie Cavallaro Sr.
And he had his two sons, what, 12 year old or 11 year old, Charlie Cavallaro Jr.
And his brother who was about a year older and you’ve talked to him and one child was killed and Charlie was killed.
Just, you know, we never had anything like that. I don’t know if I’ve heard anything like that in the other rest of the United States, have you?
No, well, I did research on that very question and I couldn’t find anything.
Closest thing you can come up with was, remember the Untouchables movie they did with Costner and Sean Connery, the opening scene is a child killed in a bombing.
[1:36] And, you know, it’s, but I haven’t, I wasn’t able to find any recorded history of that happening. Yeah. Even any accidental, you know.
You know, somebody’s shooting at somebody and missed them and hit their wife or their brother or their child or anything like that.
Unusual Targeted Bombings in Youngstown
[1:51] The mob is usually pretty well targeted, and that’s really unusual.
That’s the thing about bombs is they like to set them off by remote control usually so they can see who’s around, and that way you won’t have any collateral damage.
And are they really sure when the guy gets in the car and starts it, there’s nobody else in there?
That’s Well, that’s not the definition of a Youngstown tune-up is the dynamite under your hood.
[2:19] It’s under the seat, under the car itself.
In this case, the Cavallaro bombing, how many sticks was it, Jim?
I thought he said it was like 12 sticks. 10 to 12 sticks of dynamite. 12 sticks. It was crazy.
It was- It was overkill. Yeah. Yeah, and it really was the end of a vendetta, a two year vendetta, it wasn’t even so much a turf war, a mafia turf war as you’d think, it was the end result of a vendetta and we went through a lot of the history the last time you interviewed me.
When we talked about, I believe your episode was called Crooked City, the interviewer, Crooked City Youngstown, because we were talking about the podcast that I was a producer on, Crooked City, from Mark Smerling, very proud of that.
You guys can check that out. That’s out there anywhere you download podcasts.
[3:13] But you and I talked about the history of the 1960s last time and.
You know that’s what more interest in me after that conversation and jim jim and i got to work and we said you know.
What’s it what’s what’s doing up a tire episode retired thing on the cable no case for one of these one of these big cases so at the same time jim started up the facebook group.
Youngstown mob tell about that. Yeah, so we started Youngstown mob a little over a year ago And it was kind of a kickoff to what Johnny had done for good city podcast And I said, you know, hey, we should capitalize on this We have a lot of people in town that are still interested in this, you know, why why aren’t we doing something about it?
So I created the Youngstown mob group and Now we have 31,000 members It’s grown leaps and bounds, and that’s caused us to start our own podcast, Youngstown Mob Talk.
Success of Live Shows and Growing Interest in Youngstown Mob
[4:09] And it was great. People loved the episodes that we were putting out, people we were talking to, the things we were doing.
[4:16] And so then Johnny and I said, well, let’s take this further, and we started doing live shows.
Our first live show was last February at the Robbins Theater, and it was just a nice overview of Youngstown Mob. We talked to some, you know, some associates, things like that, and it, you know, it was a really great show. We sold that show out.
1,400 people showed up to that event, you know, just come see it.
So then we, you know, put Youngstown Mob Talk on the marquee, and people really showed up.
So we actually wanted to follow that up with another another big show and this past november about last month we did one at the stand auditorium which is a historic venue in youngstown and it’s on youngstown’s north side.
Will that’s the same part of town where charlie capoleros just a few blocks away and. And through this Youngstown Mob group, things happened organically for us, Gary, where people joined that group.
He mentioned 31,000 people in just over a year.
Among them were an FBI agent who worked the Cavallaro Bombing case, the last living FBI agent we were able to find who worked that case.
[5:30] And then we saw a name that we recognized right off the bat.
We see all those names. Anytime, all 31,000 people that joined that group, we’ve seen the members and who they are. I might just say that.
So Cavallaro, to see the name Charlie Cavallaro, at first I thought, well, is this really Charlie or is this somebody just creating one of these fake accounts?
And no, it was actually the surviving son. As you mentioned, Cadillac Charlie Cavallaro, the gangster, was the target of a Youngstown tune-up of a car bombing in 1962.
Survivor Charlie Cavallaro and the Car Bombing Incident
[6:06] His two young kids were in the car with him, it was the day after Thanksgiving, he was taking them to football practice.
He was 10, young 11-year-old.
Between 10 and 11, Tommy Cavallaro and Charlie Cavallaro, Jr.
Were older, and Charlie went to go get his helmet, something to bring back to the car.
His father and his brother were already in the car, he turned the key, and blew up.
Charlie Sr. survived horrific injuries, his hip was blown away, people said he would never walk again, and he proved them all wrong.
[6:45] He’s had multiple hip replacements and multiple surgeries, but he’s lived a good life.
He was able to work his whole life, and has family and kids now of his own.
He’s about to be a grandfather himself, so Charlie’s an amazing person, inspiring person.
So when he joined our group, we thought, oh, I didn’t know what to think, to be honest.
But we struck up a conversation and friendship with Charlie through what we posted and messages and everything.
Turns out he was a fan of what we’re doing, Youngstown Mob Talk and talking about it. A fan of the podcast and all those things.
And in 61 years, he’s never talked to me. He’s never told the story.
He said all the big news organizations, media organizations reached out to him over the years to tell the story.
And he never wanted to tell the story. And I asked him, foolishly, sheepishly, I don’t know, if he would talk to us about it. And he said yes.
[7:48] And so we thought, okay, we just did this big event in February, kind of an introduction to Youngstown Mob Talk, what it is.
CAVBOMB Event: Filming and Interviews with Charlie Cavallaro and FBI Agent
[7:56] Let’s do another event, Stambaugh Auditorium. And we called it CAVBOMB, which was the FBI’s investigation, what they called their investigation, of the case.
And we brought Charlie back to town, back to the north side.
We walked through his old house. He stood on the spot where his garage used to stand and told me about it and everything.
We did a lot of filming with him and shot a lot of things, like a documentary that we’re going to put out.
But we also brought Cecil Moses, the last living FBI agent who worked that case, who came down from Cleveland after Bobby Kennedy ordered all the FBI agents to come to Youngstown and investigate the Cavallaro case.
We heard all the sides of law enforcement, we heard the sides of Charlie and what it was like growing up before and after that bomb.
[8:57] Just amazing night and we really trace the roots in the history of.
Why that happened and it happened the beginnings of it was two years earlier.
And a vendetta one guy was killed and then it’s part of war that several guys killed in succession and brutal fashion are bombings shotguns.
You know, you name it, innocent bystanders killed.
[9:26] Sadly, Tommy Cavallaro wasn’t the only innocent bystander killed in this war.
Sandy Naples, girlfriend, Marianne Fransich was also struck down when they killed Sandy with shotguns, they killed her as well.
So all told about eight or nine people were dead in this two year span of dumps.
Some 1960, 1962, and it all ended with the Cavallaro car. And that was the end.
So now was this, was this more connected to La Roca and Pittsburgh or was this more connected to Cleveland?
Youngstown Mafia: Connections to Pittsburgh and Cleveland
[9:58] Or neither? Neither? Okay. So what we found out through a lot of the research we did, my great-uncle Sandy Naples, his group that he ran, he basically ran his own faction.
He wasn’t, you know, he had connections to Pittsburgh and they even had some Connections up in Cleveland, but they were their own family at Youngstown, right?
And so you had you had the Cleveland group which Cavallaro was a part of you know pushing in into Youngstown and then of course you had the old-timers Jimmy Prado and, And those guys from Pittsburgh that were all and big dumb, you know Malama those guys from Pittsburgh that were kind of push and, There was a meeting held three days before Sandy was killed between guys from Cleveland and guys from Pittsburgh, where they determined that Sandy refused to kick up any money to any of the, to either side.
And so they determined the only thing that they could do was kill him.
[10:54] And so then three days later, he was gunned down on his girlfriend’s front porch as he arrived from leaving the Center Sandwich Shop, which was about a mile away from the ground.
He was gunned down. Yeah. So that was the genesis of this, that ends in the killing of Cavallaro.
That was the beginning, because then, of course, after they kill Sandy and his girlfriend, the next one to go is, of course, Vince Tenero, who was aligned with Charlie Cavallaro in Cleveland.
And then after him, it was Billy, Billy, Naples, Billy, Naples, you get blown up in us in 62 earlier part of 62 in July, a few other bombings, shootings, people killed him between and, and then eventually it’s, and then eventually it winds up with the Caballero. Yeah.
So the Naples faction now, what was their kind of profit center, if you will, gambling or yeah, it was like racketeering.
What was their profit center? Theirs was gambling, numbers.
[11:52] Funny little story, a friend of ours owns a liquor store here in town, and he told me, he said, back in the early 80s, when your Uncle Joey and your grandfather used to come and pick up cases of wine to give away, parties and all that, he goes, they’d pay with this dirty old money.
And he goes, I looked at it, and he goes, it was bills from the 40s and the 50s. He goes, but they were still using that money in the 80s.
That’s how much money they were supposedly making back then.
They, they, they were the Sandy was policy King that he was big, the number, big in the numbers as others, other stuff as well. They expanded.
[12:31] This is a quintessential mafia story in that you’ve got a real successful policy operator that doesn’t really want to kick up the mafia finds out about them and they say, I’m, we get a piece of that action.
You handle all the business, but you just give us some just because we are who we are.
That happened in Chicago, it happened in New York, it’s happened everywhere.
It’s a quintessential market story there. Up to that point, up to 1960, Youngstown was pretty wide open.
It was anybody’s territory. Guys came from Buffalo. Joe DiCarlo came from Buffalo.
He and a few local guys organized people together and they ran Youngstown for a little while, but he was forced out and this guy would come in, you know, guys came from Detroit and all over Cleveland, Pittsburgh, they all kind of planted roots in Youngstown and it didn’t get hashed out until about 1960.
[13:27] When they killed Sandy, Jim’s great uncle.
So you know, it was, it’s kind of interesting. And like I said, from that event that we just did, that CAVBOMB show.
We brought these families together. We brought the Naples family together, the Cavallaro family together.
You know, over a dozen people from families all in this room.
We had dinner, broke bread before.
We had a great musician come in from Vegas. It was a good show.
And we filmed that whole thing. We’re going to put that out on a pay-per-view for Christmas time this year.
So in case anybody wants to check that out, follow us.
Amazingpodco.com, the amazing podcast company is our podcast company, that’s AmazingPodCo.
You’ll have links to what we’re doing and pay-per-view and all that stuff to watch that Capcom show.
And those that are on Facebook, they can always check us out, Youngtown Mob Group. Come join the group.
We have links to all our amazing podcast stuff. There’s links to that all in there.
There will be a link to the pay-per-view in there as well. We know, we know you get a lot of listeners from Youngstown and from around that area. People love you, Gary.
You’ve got the gangland, the gangland wire.
I’ve been a fan. I’m a wiretapper. Yeah.
[14:46] Here we go with our lights. Motion sensors.
Well, I appreciate that. I, you know, I’m kind of the first guy that started any of these mafia podcasts back in whatever, 2015, I think.
So I appreciate that. I’ll give you another little quick quick tidbit that we found doing in some of our research so back in the early 60s This is I believe this is after the Cavallaro.
Oh, let’s say about 63 or 64 My uncle Joey has associated kids that build these remote car starters Yeah And they were putting remote car starters in these cars back in the in the 60s And he goes these things he goes they were huge They were like this big and they mounted up underneath the dash you had this button that you would push it Start your car for you, But Johnny and I were talking, said, you know, wouldn’t it be funny if those guys would have patented that they would have they would have been millionaires with that kind of back.
[15:42] Yeah. Interesting. Now, I was just doing a story on St. Louis and they were talking about some bombings.
There was this leisure war and there was bombings going on to the Syrian mafia, Syrian mob guys, and they started wiring the bombs to the brake lights.
The remote starter wasn’t any good.
As soon as you got it, you stepped on the brakes. We had one in Kansas City.
We had the same kind of a war between the Spero brothers. It was a vendetta.
And the Savella brothers. And they did one on Carl Spero in which they put a mercury switch.
It’s like a little glass ampule of mercury. And they get the mercury away, and they put two wires into it.
And it’s an open circuit. It got a battery in the circuit, but it’s open circuit until that mercury ampule is jostled just a little bit.
So as soon as he opened the door on the car, it was going to go off.
Now his nephew came out and saw something up underneath the car.
They had lodged the bomb up underneath the driver’s seat, but you could see just a little bit of it hanging out and he walked around the car and he sees this wire coming out from under the car taped up against the side of the passenger door.
So, you know, there’s no place safe, is there, from these guys?
[17:00] No, no. If they want to get you, they’re going to get you, you know?
Cavallaro, Charlie Cavallaro, what was his main thing?
And he was connected, he came in and was connected to Cleveland?
Or was he originally born in Youngstown and then throw in with these other guys?
So, you know, through the research we’ve done and the filming that we did, we really got to dive into that.
Interesting guy, Charlie Cavallaro. We made a joke that if they had mob baseball cards, Charlie’s would have like four different teams that he played for.
He was traded. He was one of these guys who was traded. He came in, I’ll back it up to, I asked Charlie Jr., was your father known for in the mob?
That same question you asked there.
And he said, well, to get in the mob, there’s two ways, right?
You have to be a big earner or you have to do heavy work. He was never a big earner.
[17:59] So Charlie Cavallaro Sr. did heavy work.
He came into the country through New Orleans illegally, went up to Rochester, New York, where he had some acquaintances and family, allegedly did some work in Rochester before he moved to through New York to Buffalo to Pittsburgh he was part of a crew the guys who killed a few of the volt brothers in Pittsburgh caused a little war there you know retribution a boss was killed Pittsburgh boss was killed because of that that move the guys from the other brothers went to New York and complained to the commission.
And this would have been one of the 30s. 1930. Yeah.
And so they went to the commission and they got their retribution.
The commission called a meeting with that boss of Pittsburgh, John Bozzano.
He went to New York, to New York thinking he was going to have a dinner in his honor.
They all ice picked them and they left them out on the road at Brooklyn. After that happened.
Charlie’s connections with Albert Anastasia and the mob
[19:09] The guys that Charlie was with, they were going to get killed until Albert Anastasia, who Charlie had made friends with in his passings earlier through New York.
Albert Anastasia sponsored him and another guy to join the family.
I think it was Nicola Gentile was the other guy. No, he went back to Italy.
[19:32] Because I know Gentile was involved. But there was one of them, the other one stayed in Pittsburgh. One of the other guys, Nicola Gentile, went to Italy.
Okay. I’ve heard that name. He wrote a book about his time in the mob.
That’s why. And it’s all in Italian, so it’s hard to decipher.
The guy who stayed in Pittsburgh, Charlie Cavallaro, went to New York, went under Albert Anastasia and the Mangano family at that time.
The guy who stayed in Pittsburgh was killed shortly thereafter.
So after he goes to the, And he’s with Albert Anastasia.
He ends up going to do some work for Detroit, comes down through Cleveland, settles in Youngstown.
So he was traveling.
And the government was always trying to deport him. Even at the end of his life, the government was trying to deport him because they came in illegally and they couldn’t pinpoint the year he came in.
And I believe it was, you know, he was trying to tell them he came in in 1921 and they thought they were saying it was 24. so they were trying to deport him all the way up to the end.
But yeah, he really did travel. But he set his roots in Youngstown.
[20:41] Married later in life, had his kids.
Charlie was 60 years old when he was killed.
He had an 11, a 10, an 11-year-old in the car with him.
So he was an interesting character, an interesting guy.
Like we said, he was never a big earner. He had pool halls and supposedly ran Barboot, which is a dice game, originally a Turkish dice game.
Yeah, I don’t know that. That the Greeks brought.
You got to do a whole episode on Barboot. Really? It’s a game that got controlled by the Italians in Ohio from Cleveland to Youngstown.
They ran Barboot games where, you know, what’s the line from Crooked City, if you ever wanted to break a man without killing him, just introduce him to the game of Barboot.
It was any gambler, you know, high stakes, real fast, and they’d hustle you, they’d get you because it’s you playing against another guy, usually, and then the house takes kind of everything. So, eventually the house takes everything.
But Barboot was…
You know, big money maker for the mob and Youngstown gambling in general, not just the lottery and policy gambling in general, Youngstown.
[21:58] Widely accepted people. Now that it’s legal, they just legalized it this year. Sports betting.
It’s the kind of town where everybody, you know, it took off. People love it.
Right. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s, we had a conversation the other day in our, in our mob group about, uh, about gambling in the old steam sheets and things like that. You know guys were talking about it.
He said, you know, there’s still some of them guys around because what’s one thing you can’t do with the government He goes that’s bet on credit.
He goes they don’t take any credit. He gonna got some of those guys are But but I remember as a kid man, we used to get the steam sheets I used to get him every week, you know eight-year-old kid.
I’m over here picking teams going Yeah, I’m like something and they’re like a parlay card.
Yeah big different. Yeah. Yeah Yeah, and you know, they had the four for 20 you hit for you get 20 bucks Then it is like 10.
It was like 101 or something The guys the guys from Youngstown even all the way through the 90s were very famous for casinos You know, they have the all-american casino They called it here in Youngstown which at the end of the 80s 1980 he’s was bringing in the FBI said 20 million a year from these, So, you know, they were involved in an Indian casino in San Diego.
[23:16] It was, gambling is a big Youngstown tradition.
It goes all the way back to the Cavallaros in the Naples in the 40s.
And we, you know, we used to have, I can remember as a kid, you know, you’d have stag parties, you know, somebody in the family would be getting married, they’d throw a stag party and, you know, somebody that was connected to somebody, you’d come in the house, there’s Roulette table over in the corner, there’s crabs over here, there’s okra over here, you know.
You know, they ran every stick. Yeah, you know those steam sheets, you call them the parlay cards, I have my own story here.
My son, when he was probably a freshman.
[23:52] Sophomore, maybe he had this other buddy whose dad was a big gambler who started getting parlay cards, I guess, and he’s giving them to his kid, who’s then giving them to my kid, who’s got pregnant.
He’s like picketing things. I said, where’d you get that? He said, oh, Eddie got that for me.
I said, man, I said, don’t tell me anymore.
I know Eddie’s dad I got it for you, hell yeah, these men got it for me.
Just keep that away.
The Bug: Youngstown’s Unique Name for the Lottery
[24:25] Funny. Yeah, this town goes back, I mean, I remember my grandfather, you know, eventually they made the lottery legal, right, in 74 in Ohio, I believe.
My grandfather still called it the bug until the day he died.
And in Youngstown, it was a unique name for it.
They, you know, it was known as the bug around town and they would, the, the cops would bust guys, numbers, runners, and they’d call them bug run.
[24:54] And, you know, the whole town just knew it as the bug. Like I said, it was, you know, so Sandy, you know, they were Kings of the bug, him and Vince De Niro, 1950s before the mob knocked them off.
Well, yeah, they were some of the, from some of the FBI records that we got back in like the late 50s and early 60s, some of these places were bringing in like 30 grand a month.
And if you equate that to today’s money, about $284,000.
Yeah. So, they were bringing in tons and tons of money.
Which brings up another question I wanna ask you. You found a lot of FBI reports and that PDF you sent me had a lot of FBI reports.
So what did you learn about the FBI’s investigation?
How effective were they? and it looked like they really never solved anything, which is pretty common in mob stuff, unless you really get lucky, especially back then.
Well, yeah, well, they did. They really, you know, they spent about two years and they came to the conclusions that, you know, the mob took care of its own.
[25:57] A lot of interesting things, having Cecil Moses, the retired FBI agent, available to tell us about these documents and explain certain things.
[26:12] Like a technical informant. I learned that.
The technical informant is, that’s just the wire he’s sitting on, right? That’s the off the books wire, yes. Yeah, exactly.
So there’s the different informants and the different everything else.
But what was really interesting, the most interesting thing, I think, from the FBI files was the agent in charge, a guy named Stanley Peterson.
He would go on to become the SAC there, I guess.
Stanley Peterson: A Long-Standing FBI Agent in Youngstown
[26:42] I don’t know if he was ever SAC, but he was in charge of the Cavallaro case, and he was there for 20 years in Youngstown, signed for 20 years in one town.
It was by his doing and he wanted to be there he started a relationship with a guy who became an informant for him in the 1950s, friendship between him and this guy.
[27:03] And by the 60s this guy was offered, he was an Italian guy, he was offered induction into the local mob.
Peterson writes a letter to J Edgar Hoover and he tells him about this guy.
And in the letter, Peterson states that the guy also said, quote, my brothers are members, and I don’t want any part of it. I don’t like the guy that runs it.
Big Don Malamo, he’s talking about, this local guy.
And he didn’t want any part of it. Well, J. Edgar Hoover writes a letter back to Peterson, the agent, and he says, use your persuasion techniques, and if the offer comes up again, persuade him to take it.
And sure enough, a few more months go by and he does.
[27:48] And they get a mole, this guy tells them how they did the induction ceremony in a basement in Camel, Ohio, which is right outside of Youngstown.
And it was eye-opening to me because there’s something you have to understand as well.
The FBI also figured this out, that the town wasn’t run, Youngstown wasn’t run that time by Cleveland or Pittsburgh.
It was split between Italians of two different backgrounds, Sicilians and the Calabrese.
And they worked together. They never really fought, these guys. They were intertwined.
Some, you had some Calabrese and some Sicilian members of Pittsburgh.
You had some Calabrese and some Sicilian members of Cleveland.
So it was very much intertwined but Youngstown since it wasn’t under the rule of a family.
What is under the rule of you know the local group is these guys big domino is nephew briar hill jimmy credo they ran a club was a local social club.
And all these guys is the time guys over you know select members and.
And a lot of these guys were made within their own little family because they would go and take them to an old retired mobster named Romeo.
[29:11] And Paul and Mike Romeos, they were the kind of retired originators of the Calabrese there.
And they would make them just in the Calabrese.
[29:24] So we always thought Cleveland or Pittsburgh, this guy was made in Cleveland, this guy was made in Pittsburgh. But there was a whole faction, whole groups there in Youngstown that were just kind of unchecked and, you know, I don’t know who they reported to, to be honest.
So they all eventually, by 1960, as we mentioned, they all gathered and decided that Sandy Naples had to go.
And again, that is what started this war, this vendetta.
And over two years, it crippled that whole society in Youngstown, and Youngstown became Cleveland family really took over parts, and Pittsburgh took over parts.
And that’s the way it got divided from there. So it’s an interesting history of it.
[30:11] I think a lot of that was what surprised me the most from the FBI files, was they had a top echelon and form it.
And a guy who was a made member there in Youngstown.
Yeah, that is interesting. And then learning that, how they were breaking down between those other families, I’ve never heard that anyplace else before. And it made sense too.
So ties back to the old country were still huge.
And even in 1960, they were still huge. It wasn’t been that long since a lot of people came over from there.
Absolutely. And a lot of the guys, the Sicilians that were involved behind the push from Cleveland becomes, that’s Jack Licavoli, Jack White, they called him.
He ends up becoming eventually about the 70s, the boss of Cleveland.
So he’s very powerful, figured his group was pretty powerful, and they were kind of behind some of the push to get rid of Sandy.
Because again, we told you that Sandy Naples in the 1950s It was a policy king along with his friend, Vince De Niro.
But at the end of the 1950s, De Niro fell under the Cleveland faction.
Those guys tied to Cleveland and Sandy wouldn’t join, wouldn’t join up.
So that was kind of the beginning there. So definitely interesting stuff.
[31:36] We learned so much. What do you think, Jim? What was the craziest thing you learned?
It was nice to figure out exactly what was going on in those days, because you hear so many different things.
When you finally sit down and do the research to find out that my uncle was basically running his own family, it all broke down to them trying to control Youngstown, right?
Because even after Cavallaro gets killed, you have this meeting between Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown and you have the Pittsburgh guys, the Mannorino brothers, Kelly Mannorino to be specific.
He tells the Cleveland guys that Joey’s his guy in Youngstown.
He sponsors, you know, Sandy’s young youngest brother. Yeah, he’s the youngest Joe Naples.
And that’s how Joey Naples gets his affiliation with the Pittsburgh Mafia and becomes their guy. And, you know, it’s time for it.
He becomes a made man by mid 80s there.
[32:33] So it’s yeah, eventually one of the Naples brothers becomes a made man.
And I see, you know, family that was going to be my question where the Naples were your family, were they from Sicily?
And what was their origins? How did they line up historically with these other?
Well, so our family is from, we’re in between the hill and the boot in Italy. Neapolitan.
We’re from a little town called Colobraro. Sits up on top of the hill.
I still have cousins that live there to this day.
And it’s, like I say, it’s weird. You think they would probably be more affiliated with the ‘Ndrangheta over in Italy. Really?
They’re closer by location to ‘Ndrangheta.
These guys all worked together eventually.
[33:22] That was the main thing. Yeah, there was disagreement there, but it started over just not kicking up.
Wasn’t so much the old Vendetta, where they were from, but because Sandy had brothers, His brothers, and you know that well in the story of Kansas City, that’s the brother vendetta.
You set out to kill one brother, you better be ready to kill them all.
Grandfather’s Connection to Corrupt Judges
[33:50] And you know, I remember as a kid, I used to go with my grandfather, used to go out to eat, he would meet one of the local judges, and he always had a newspaper with him, and I could never figure out why when we met the judges, he was always giving the judge the newspaper.
Well, that’s how they were paying off all the judges as they pass it to one and then first it to the rest of you know, but My grandfather was never you know, he was never really like a big guy or anything like that He’s the one you guys talked to prior podcast.
He went by jinx and He you know, he was as far as I know.
He was an amazing guy there since that he may have been made in Detroit things like that.
Nothing substantial. It’s ever proven it But he was more of the brains behind everything, you know, he sat in the background and took care of the politicians, things like that.
My dad used to tell me as a kid we used to go to the local judges house, they’d have, you know, 4th of July cookouts and stuff over at the judges house.
Everybody meet with the judge over in the corner and then it was back, it was just family time.
We talked to Ed O’Neill, a famous Youngstown actor, Al Bundy, Al Bundy and Jay Pritchett from Modern Family.
We did a mob talk with Ed O’Neill and Ed, you know, the judge that he’s talking about, that’s Ed’s uncle.
Ed’s Uncle: The Inspiration Behind Al Bundy
[35:09] What did Ed remember about his uncle, anything? Oh, Ed told us great stories.
And here’s the craziest part.
He was also the inspiration for Al Bundy, that character.
So- That’s a good one. That’s a good story. Yeah.
But there’s so much history there.
It’s unbelievable. And the crazy thing is Gary we haven’t even tapped like we’re just like on the surface, right?
There’s just so so many little intricacies and like crazy characters that stick out that have done crazy stuff around here for the Bob And it’s just like there’s so many stories to tell Like, you know, we just scratched the surface with it.
You know, we’re doing these live shows. We did two in 2023 We have another one already booked at a big theater here at the Robbins Theater in February, coming up 2024.
We’ve got that one, we’ve got a master class with a master burglar, a guy named Emil Denzio.
He and his crew, they rob Richard Nixon’s bank out in Laguna Niguel, stealing Jimmy Hoffa’s money, all kinds of craziness.
[36:21] We’ve got a big show with him, but that’s one of the characters that he’s talking about.
There’s so much history from all the way up to the end of the Youngstown Mob, which was in the late 90s.
From the 1940s all the way up, the old chief of police in Youngstown in the 1940s was named Eddie Allen.
He was one of the first anti-mob crusaders in this country, and he wrote a book after After spending a couple years in Youngstown, he wrote a book called The Merchants of Menace, and it was all about the mob and its history and Jim’s great uncle and everybody else.
[36:58] In this book, he goes on to talk about, it’s a very interesting read, he ends up getting hired by Francis Coppola and is an advisor on the Godfather.
I mean, Youngstown’s kind of, the characters that came out of this were brilliant, and any of this is fascinating, all the way up through the 1990s and 2000, where it ends with Jim Traffick. I mean, it’s insane.
It is. It really is. You know, there’s, there’s links, like, for example, like with my uncle Sandy’s murder, one of the shotguns that was used to kill him was stolen from a Canton police department armory, right?
Yeah. Well, in the, in the late fifties, there was a tie between them and the Pittsburgh mob, that were taking stolen guns that were stolen from a Canton armory and shipping them down to Cuba because they had the casinos in Cuba they were trying to protect.
So there’s, you know, Youngstown’s kind of involved in, in, in, in all of this stuff across the country. And it’s just amazing every time we find something new.
One of the weirdest, you know, non sequiturs, one of the weirdest kind of coincidences in all those JFK files we came through, Jack Ruby’s sister and brother lived in Youngstown.
And there was, it was so random.
Yeah, that is random.
[38:19] They lived, they lived like a block from one of the, one of the lottery houses that the Naples brothers ran and had a, they had a piece of land that didn’t come out on the side street.
But yeah, it was just crazy. All the different ties from all these different families across the country that kind of one way or another, something linked back to Youngstown.
Wow. I think it’s because it was such a crossroads of, of mafia people or something.
And it, it, it’s exactly halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and it’s halfway between Chicago and New York.
So yeah, that was, that was what made it, you know, traveling spot.
And actually the lick of oldies came out of St. Louis at one time, St. Louis and Detroit, that’s all mixed up in there too.
Yeah. Yep. They came up till they joined their cousins and Detroit. That’s right.
There were like a bully. St. Louis, Fats Alio, big Youngstown character, came from there, came from St. Louis.
[39:16] Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So there’s so much history to it, Gary, and you just scratched the surface, as he said.
Right. Well, this has been great, guys.
Run by again what people need to look for, because you got so much going, it’s hard for me to even remember now. I was just fascinated listening.
So run by for the guys, so they can find out more about your work and what you’re doing.
All right, so for those of you that are on Facebook, you could find us in the Youngstown Mob group on Facebook.
You can check us out there. We have all our podcasts in there.
For those of you that are on YouTube, you can go to youtube.com forward slash amazing podcast company and you can find all our live shows that all our shows that we tape live on there.
All our podcasts, lots of old news footage, lots of old stuff like that too.
Documentary I made, Youngstown still standing.
That’s all on the YouTube site.
And now we’re available everywhere you get your podcasts.
[40:15] So, you know, download us wherever you get your podcasts. Youngstown Mob Talk.
We also produce another podcast with Rick Porrello and Vince Guerreri called The Vice Squad Podcast, which is more of a regional thing from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.
[40:32] That’s out there as well, wherever you get your podcasts. And, uh, yeah, the big thing for us is have bomb this summer, or I’m sorry, this, this Christmas will be out there on pay-per-view from our big event.
We just did, we got a lot of interest in our group or Youngstown mob group and, you know, some in the gangland wire group as well.
Just people asking, you know, where they can see it. And we said, well, we got to put it up online. So we filmed it.
We’re going to put it up online this Christmas and yeah, just follow us and follow us and you’ll find the link.
All right. Good, great guys. I really appreciate you coming on.
It’s been some wonderful information that really we don’t know.
You know, everybody knows everything about Gotti, it seems like, and a lot about Al Capone and even Tony Accardo.
But this important segment of mob history is a lot of people don’t know about it.
And you guys are really doing a good job getting it out there to the folks.
And I applaud your effort and I’ll support you and promote you any way that I can.
So guys, don’t forget, I like to ride motorcycles, so watch out for your motorcycles when you’re out there.
And if you have a problem with PTSD and you’ve been in the service, go to the VA website and get that hotline number.
If you’ve got a problem with drugs or alcohol, go see a real deal made guy or originally was a made guy, I think, Anthony Ruggiano.
He’s down in Florida. He has a hotline number on his website or his YouTube page or probably both.
[41:58] Just, you know, like and subscribe and check my friends out.
Hear Johnny Chechatelli and Jimmy Naples and Youngstown Mob and all that.
It’s just, you know, there’s just so much mob information out there anymore that we’re almost getting overwhelmed by it.
But these guys… Hopefully we bring you the new stuff. Yeah, we’ll bring you stuff that you’ve never heard before.
These guys have got the new stuff, right. They’ve got stuff you haven’t heard before and it’s interesting and it really provides a lot of insight into that part of our culture that that we all have come out of.
I really appreciate you all tuning in. And thanks, guys, for coming on the show.
Thanks for having us. Thank you, Gary