Friends of ours, Johnny Rosselli, Al Capone
Big news this week when the CIA released several internal reports known as the "family jewels". The plethora or reports brought out additional confirmation the Mob was hired by the CIA to kill Castro. Cheri Rohn, who co-wrote Thief! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artistwith Slick Hanner reminded me that this CIA material was spelled out in detail in the 1991 book, All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli. It was written by Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker. Proving it is a small world, Ed Becker was the literay agent for Thief.
In All-American Mafioso, Rosselli, brought to this country from Italy as a child, was a key figure in organized crime for decades until he was murdered in 1976. Los Angeles freelance journalist Rappleye and private eye Becker trace the rise of this gangster who began his career working for Al Capone, moved to Hollywood at a time when the mob was making inroads into the film industry, switched his residence to Las Vegas when the first Cosa Nostra-financed casinos were built, and played a major role in the CIA's abortive attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. The book draws a deeply depressing picture of American life with its contention that many important figures in business and politics are beholden to the Mafia, including John Kennedy, who, the authors suggest, was killed by the mob.
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