Saturday, December 23, 2006

Le Cinque Famiglie

The 5 families.

Gambino, Gennovese, Bonanno, Columbo, Lucchese. All doing well, some very well, despite law enforcements protests to the contrary. What they've all learned to do is toss crumbs to the cops, sometime even full loaves if need be. Apprehensions, then prosecution takes time, lots of time and lots of money. They farm out work they can do without, then "rat" the perpetrators to a friendly member of law enforcement.

And more. Much more.

The Gambino family remains one of, if not the most successful crime family in the country. 200 made men and nearly a thousand soldiers. Acting boss: John D'Amico, but anyone who thinks that the Gotti's are not in charge needs to think again. What the Gambino family learned from the Gotti fiasco's was to keep a much lower profile and emulate the Genovese way of doing business.

The Genovese's are a close #2 if not the current #1. Famous for being well connected, smart, and employing far more lawyers than hit men. Lucky Luciano's old gang has over 200 made men, many soldiers, and Daniel Leo is in charge for the time being. Rumor has it that Don Leo is the smartest thing since Lucky himself, but you didn't hear that from me.

The Bonnano bosses were making a strong comeback but have been thrown to the wolves by the Gambino and Genovese families. Vinny Basciano is the current head of probably the most cut-throat gang of New York. Approximately 140 made men.

The Columbo's were making new waves until inter-family rivalries weakened them, but 80 made men remain to continue to carve out and hold onto their niche. What niche? Name a criminal activity and there's a Columbo who can point you to it, but ask me who's boss and the answer would be as accurate as ANY from the Feds. Who knows?

Lucchese family members were portrayed in "Goodfellas", and still hold the record for the single biggest cash heist in history. The problem with their present day gang is the fact that you can't tell the rat turncoat from the made man. They remain the kings of waste management and construction though, and a hot rumor offers that the 130 man family is getting ready to open the books, as per word from present Don, Steven Crea.

Some of the families are stronger than ever, as natural selection has winnowed the herd, but they are not merely more numerous, but lots smarter. Look for a blockbuster gangster movie sometime late this year or early next that will rival Goodfellas in popularity if Hollywood doesn't muck it beyond recognition.

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