Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wild Bunch’s Duke (Part 1)

BY J.P. RICH Off The Cuff/ganglandchicagowebsite@yahoo.com


“Too bad about Tony.”

Speaking was Joseph “Joe Nick” Ferriola, boss of the Outfit’s Cicero crew, consisting of a murderous enforcement faction known as the Wild Bunch.

Tony, or “Little Tony,” born John Anthony Borsellino, was a murdered member of the Wild Bunch.

Listening was Tony’s best friend, “Duke” Basile, another member of the Wild Bunch.

This dinner took place early in 1981. ...

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Anatomy of a Mafia hit (Part 1)

BY J.P. RICH Off The Cuff/ganglandchicagowebsite@yahoo.com


Ken “Tokyo Joe” Eto, alias Joe Montana, a Japanese-American gambling boss nicknamed “Tokyo Joe” by the media and “Joe the Jap” by mobsters, is remembered as one of a handful of persons ever taken for a “one-way ride” by Mafia hitmen who survived.

Ken Eto’s near-death experience can be reconstructed from detailed testimony he gave before the President’s Commission on Organized Crime on April 22, 1985. As he testified in front of that crime-investigating committee, the man he says ordered his murder two years before, Vincent A. “Vince Innocence” Solano Sr., then head of Chicago’s North Side rackets and Eto’s so-called “boss in the Outfit,” sat in the back of a courtroom in Chicago’s Dirksen Federal Building waiting for his own turn to testify.

Unlike his former underling, Vince Solano invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to every question he was asked except his name. His scheduled testimony immediately followed Eto’s. So the feared Mafia leader had to sit there and listen as Eto recalled how he (Solano) set him up for a hit.

Eto served the Outfit loyally for nearly 30 years before his life in the Outfit began to unravel overnight due to Solano’s paranoia. ...

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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Outfit’s downstate boss

BY J.P. RICH Off The Cuff/ganglandchicagowebsite@yahoo.com


Top St. Louis gangster Frank “Buster” Wortman hooked up with the Outfit while serving time in Leavenworth in the 1930s. From the mid-1940s to the late 1960s, he headed Outfit operations in downstate Illinois.

A report in his 2,500-plus-page FBI file dated January 31, 1958, notes:

“Wortman and Associates [are] alleged to have a wide financial interest in various organizations in the St. Louis/East St. Louis area. These organizations are involved in trucking operations, lounges and clubs, loan companies, auto dealerships, motels, cab companies, amusement companies and a race track. [They are] also alleged to have an interest in . . . a Las Vegas gambling establishment.

“The illegal activities operated by Wortman and Associates consist of casinos, policy and handbook operations.” ...

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