Before the notorious Five Families dominated U.S. organized crime, there was the one-fingered criminal genius Giuseppe Morello and his lethal coterie. Combining first-rate scholarship and pulse-quickening action, Mike Dash brings to life this little-known story, following the rise of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the villages of Sicily to the streets of Little Italy. Using an array of primary sources—hitherto untapped Secret Service archives, prison records, and interviews with surviving family members—Dash has written a groundbreaking account of the crucial period when the criminal underworld exploded with fury across the nation.
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|Title of History eBook: The First Family|
|Release Date: 08-04-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The First Family|
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The First Family
The Barrel Mystery the room felt like the bottom of a grave. it was damp, low ceilinged, windowless, and—on this raw—boned New York night—as chilly and unwelcoming as a policeman’s stare.
Outside, on Prince Street in the heart of Little Italy, a fine drizzle slanted down to puddle amid the piles of rotting garbage strewn along the edges of the road, leaving the cobbles treacherous and greasy. Inside, beneath a billboard advertising lager beer, a featureless, cheap workingmen’s saloon stretched deep into the bowels of a dingy tenement. At this late hour—it was past three on the morning of April 14, 1903—the tavern was shuttered up and silent. But in the shadows at the far end of the bar there stood a rough—hewn, tightly closed door. And in the room behind that door, Benedetto Madonia sat eating his last supper.
The place was advertised as a spaghetti restaurant, but it was in truth an eating house of the most basic sort. An old stove squatted against one wall, belching fumes. Musty strings of garlic dangled from the walls, mingling their odor with the smell of boiling vegetables. The remaining fittings consisted of several rough, low tables, a handful of ancient chairs, and a rusting iron sink that jutted from a corner of the room. Gas lamps spewed out mustard light, and the naked floorboards had been scattered with cedar sawdust, which, at the end of a busy day, coagulated in a thick mix of spit, onion skins, and the butts of dark Italian cigars.
Madonia dug hungrily into a stew of beans, beets, and potatoes, hearty peasant food from his home province of Palermo. He was a powerfully built man of ...