Cop-Turned-Author Looks Back on the Mob; Organized Crime Can Be a Compelling Subject to Explore. [Derived Headline]

By Yerace, Tom | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

Cop-Turned-Author Looks Back on the Mob; Organized Crime Can Be a Compelling Subject to Explore. [Derived Headline]


Yerace, Tom, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Organized crime can be a compelling subject to explore.

It becomes even more alluring when you're a former police officer, and the organized crime was rooted in the city where you worked.

That's what motivated Dennis Marsili, an author and retired New Kensington police officer, to write his latest book, "Little Chicago: A History of Organized Crime in New Kensington, PA."

The book will be released Sunday at the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society's Heritage Museum in Tarentum where Marsili will talk about his work on the book and sign copies.

The book centers on the organized crime family in the 1940s, '50s and '60s that law enforcement officials said was headed by the late brothers Sam and Gabriel "Kelly" Mannerino.

A native of Vandergrift, Marsili, 63, said he grew up only 2 miles from the home Kelly Mannerino built in Allegheny Township and heard stories about the brothers.

"Then, working as a police officer in New Kensington and hearing stories from people who lauded what the Mannerinos did for the town, that coupled with my interest in law enforcement made me think, 'What a great topic for a book,'" Marsili said. "I knew that people would be very interested in reading it, too."

He said he was looking for answers to questions he formed growing up and then over his 24 years as a New Kensington police officer.

Questions such as: How did organized crime in New Kensington get started? Why did it last so long? Why didn't federal authorities simply arrest everyone involved?

"Some things are left to interpretation," Marsili said, "but I think after reading this book people will have a much better understanding of how it came into being and how it lasted so long -- not only in New Kensington but in other places around the country."

He said the bulk of his research was compiled from FBI reports that emerged from the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

"There's a website that I subscribed to that has all the reports related to the JFK investigation," Marsili said. …

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