New Books on the Mob, Fighting Crime

Manila Bulletin, March 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

New Books on the Mob, Fighting Crime


Byline: Elinando B Cinco

MEMBERS of the few book clubs in the country may find three new books reviewed by Time magazine irresistibly page-turners. They relate intriguing matters that Filipinos love to read crime syndicates, and how to fight them.

These are compelling topics that can jolt to attention and interest of the otherwise lethargic book club members.

Two of these titles are The Way of the Wiseguy by Donnie Brasco (who was actually an undercover FBI agent named Joseph Pistone), and Gangsters and Goodfellas by Henry Hill.

What makes these volumes really absorbing is that they unravel secrets of the Mafia or what crime reporters and police officers call the Mob.

The fact that the two authors were themselves former members of the Mafia make the new covers even more intriguing. In the Mob, nobody breaks the omerta, or the code of silence. Death comes to the violators.

The whistle-blowing authors brought into the open the involvement in organized crime of the families Bonanno and Luccheses in major cities of the United States.

Brascos tale even included how-to chapters, according to Time.

For example, How Wiseguys Take Over a Business. This the Mafiosos did by staging mock-up free-for-all inside a bar.

Of course, the owner of the joint would prefer that such violent rumbles would not occur again in his place. The Mob would then propose an "insurance protection" which the owner would readily buy.

What else do those "wise guys" do? For one, their tablemanner is worse. Dining in restaurants with a group, they order food or drinks before the ladies do. What punishment do they mete out for violators of the family code? "Method of execution is two behind the ear."

The other book is Gangsters and Goodfellas by Henry Hill. He is a former mobster himself who squealed on the crime syndicate. And applied for the witness-protection program. His handlers from the FBI gave him a cover and sent him to deep south to Hicksville, Kentucky. …

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