The Chicago Syndicate: Frankie Carbo
Showing posts with label Frankie Carbo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frankie Carbo. Show all posts

Thursday, October 31, 2019

John Gotti Once Ordered a Mob Hit on Don King, According to Sammy "The Bull" Gravano

It’s pretty much common knowledge that the mob and boxing had a long standing connection. And, although gangsters are no longer known to dominate the fight game, names like Owney Madden and Frankie Carbo will always stand out for having tarnished the sport’s reputation. Now another famous gangster, or former gangster, has come out with some rather revealing stories and opinions regarding the sweet science and organized crime.

Sammy “The Bull”Gravano was about as big a mobster as one could find. Connected to nineteen murders, he stood as underboss of the powerful Gambino crime family up until he early 90s, when he decided to testify against his boss, notorious mobster John Gotti.

Now in his 70s, Gravano is out of jail and going public in a big way. He recently was the subject of a terrific, if not disturbing,interview with Patrick Bet-David, where he talked about Gotti actually putting a hit out on famed promoter Don King. As Gravano tells it, he had a fighter who he wanted to have face Mike Tyson during Tyson’s prime. “He was a tough fighter,” Gravano says of the possible opponent in the interview, “and he was a little bit over the hill.”

Someone Gravrano refers to as “a street guy” was sent to King, who was promoting Tyson at the time, in order to generate interest. To his credit, the controversial King, who had done time in prison himself, didn’t want to get involved with the Gambinos. “I’m not doing any of that bullshit,”Gravano quotes King as saying. Taking the news of King’s refusal back to family boss Gotti, Gravano was given a pat order. The “street guy” was “to go back,make another appointment (with King), and kill him.” Gravano expressed surprise, but Gotti claimed the “street guy” should return to King and “hit him with a proposal” that would essentially stand as an offer King couldn’t refuse.“If he says no,” Gravano quotes Gotti as saying, “take a gun out and shoot him.”

Fortunately for King and the world of boxing, the hit never went down. Gravano claimed the “street guy” got cold feet and disappeared. Left without a hit man, Gravano had no interest in pursuing a matter he wasn’t crazy about to begin with. “I’m definitely not going after him,” Gravano reflects with a laugh, “because this is insane now. We’re hitting a guy because he doesn’t want to do a deal? We’ll be hitting guys every other week.”

Yet Don King isn’t the only figure Gravano talks about inthe interview. “Teddy Atlas is an asshole,” the former hit man says to Bet-David. Gravano, who liked to box, was once questioned by Atlas: “Are you afraid?” Gravano said no. “He took it,” Gravano goes on to say, “to a different level, meaning that’s cowardice.” While admitting Atlas is “a tremendous trainer,” Gravano also presents a personal challenge on camera.

“Teddy,” he says, “come down and put the fucking gloves on with me, I’ll show you how scared I am of you. And you’re a fucking bitch.”

It ain’t Shakespeare – but it gets the point across.

Thanks to Sean Crose.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science

More than any other sport, boxing has a history of being easy to rig. There are only two athletes and one or both may be induced to accept a bribe; if not the fighters, then the judges or referee might be swayed. In such inviting circumstances, the mob moved into boxing in the 1930s and profited by corrupting a sport ripe for exploitation.

Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science, Jeffrey Sussman tells the story of the coercive and criminal underside of boxing, covering nearly the entire twentieth century. He profiles some of its most infamous characters, such as Owney Madden, Frankie Carbo, and Frank Palermo, and details many of the fixed matches in boxing’s storied history. In addition, Sussman examines the influence of the mob on legendary boxers—including Primo Carnera, Sugar Ray Robinson, Max Baer, Carmen Basilio, Sonny Liston, and Jake LaMotta—and whether they caved to the mobsters’ threats or refused to throw their fights.

Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science, is the first book to cover a century of fixed fights, paid-off referees, greedy managers, misused boxers, and the mobsters who controlled it all. True crime and the world of boxing are intertwined with absorbing detail in this notorious piece of American history.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Legitimate Wiseguy Movie to be Directed by Roland Joffe' Featuring the Story of Chicago Outfit Mobster Tony Spilotro and The Kid He Mentored

He was one of the most ruthless, feared and notorious criminals ever to come out of the Chicago Outfit: Anthony ‘Tony the Ant’ Spilotro. Now, Roland Joffé and Chicagoan Nicholas Celozzi, who is the grand nephew of the late mob boss Sam Giancana and thought of Spilotro as his second father, are bringing Celozzi’s personal story with the mobster to the big screen. The film, The Legitimate Wiseguy, will be directed by Joffé, who was nominated for two Oscars for his brilliant work in the 1980s with The Mission and The Killing Fields.

The film is being described as a contemporary Bronx Tale and was scripted by Celozzi and James McGrath.

Monaco Films, founded by Celozzi and partner Michael Sportelli, will co-produce with financier/developer John Vojtech. The producers will start casting for the film’s three main lead roles — Spilotro, Celozzi and Celozzi, Sr.

Once casting is complete and the film is fully financed, locations will be in Los Angeles. and Las Vegas (where Spilotro’s rise and fall unfolded in the 1970s and 1980s, first as a team of burglars known as the Hole in the Wall gang that operated out of the Gold Rush and later as Chicago’s man in Vegas).

Most audiences will remember Spilotro as portrayed by Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s Casino which was based on the Mafioso’s life and work in Vegas during that time. Celozzi’s mentor and a father figure was an enforcer for the Chicago Outfit and oversaw illegal gaming profits, known as “the skim” on behalf of the Chicago mob at a Las Vegas hotel.

Tony Spilotro and his brother Michael Spilotro would eventually both end up dead, buried in a pre-dug grave in a cornfield in the Willow Slough preserve (which is close to the Indiana-Illinois state line) after they left from their homes in Oak Park, IL for a meeting and ended up in the basement of a house in Bensonville, IL only to be mercilessly beaten/murdered.

Celozzi has been in the film business for long while. His film producing and writing credits include the documentary Momo: The Sam Giancana Story, which provides a more personal glimpse into the life of Celozzi’s infamous grand uncle. He also served as executive producer on the 2018 installment of the Kickboxer film franchise, Kickboxer: Retaliation and produced the 2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dave Bautista. Celozzi also wrote and produced, among numerous other films, the psycho-thriller The Lost Angel, Nightmare Boulevard and Shattered.

The Legitimate Wiseguy, based on the true coming-of-age story of veteran Hollywood writer/producer Celozzi, showcases his complex relationship with Spilotro while the Las Vegas gangster quarterbacked the young Celozzi’s acting career in Hollywood.

He credits Spilotro with getting him cast as an actor in The A-Team, Hunter, Magnum P.I. and Pretty Smart. The story of how will be told in the upcoming film.

The Legitimate Wiseguy is described as “a story about family loyalty, an influential but deadly uncle, an oppressed father and an impressionable young man who’s background clashes with his desire to succeed in Hollywood at any cost.”

“I didn’t have the best relationship with my father and he and I argued, and Tony filled that void for me. It was like a Bermuda triangle. The more my father and I argued, the closer I relied on Tony. My father cut me off, I didn’t have a dime, where was I supposed to go? He is the one who went to Tony to ask him to help me. He didn’t like me going to Vegas all the time, but what was I going to do? Though Tony and I had a father-son relationship, I was playing checkers while he was playing chess,” Celozzi told Deadline. “He was always many moves ahead of me. At some point, he brought me further in.”

Celozzi added, “People say he was a sociopath and I understand that and I do believe it and I’m not pretending that he wasn’t, but I also saw a different side to him so when he died, it was very rough for me.”

Monaco Films is currently overseeing development and production of several feature-length films, including 2 Days/1963 which explores the underbelly of the Chicago Mob and their role in the JFK assassination.

A saying during that time in the upper echelon of organized crime circles was: “Kill a man he dies once, kill his son, he dies 10,000 deaths” referring, of course, to the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of the then 46 year-old President John F. Kennedy. Prior to the election, patriarch Joe Kennedy had asked for a favor from the Chicago Outfit via Frank Sinatra who, in turn, went to mob boss Sam Giancana. Chicago delivered by messing with voting process and destroying ballot boxes to ensure a win. The project is being developed with Mark Wolper at Warner Bros. as a six-hour, limited series.

Afterwards, Bobby Kennedy was appointed Attorney General by his brother (the President) with one of his main missions to expose and erase organized crime and dragged a number of people to testify against the mob in the Senate’s Rackets Committee. It was under Kennedy’s reign that the national organized crime syndicate came under attack and resulted in a number of convictions including Anthony ‘Tony Ducks’ Carello, John Ormento, Frankie Carbo, Carmine Galante, Frank ‘Blinky’ Palermo and Alfred Sica and a slew of other men were exposed for having connections. It was seen by the syndicate as the ultimate betrayal by Joe Kennedy, who was a former bootlegger during prohibition.

For 2 Days/1963, Celozzi will relay the story told to him by his Uncle Pepe, Sam Giancana’s brother. The project is being sold by The Exchange and executive produced by Bonnie Giancana (Sam’s daughter). Also, Monaco Films has a crime thriller Revelation (formerly known as 6ix) in pre-production.

David Gersh of The Gersh Agency and Craig Baumgarten of Zero Gravity Management brokered the deal between Joffé and Monaco Films for The Legitimate Wiseguy.

Thanks to Anita Busch.

When You Get Serious About Tailgating


Crime Family Index


Operation Family Secrets