Historian Russell Shorto, delved into his own family and his grandfather who was a mob boss in the industrial town of Johnstown, Pa. Shorto says his grandfather's involvement with the Johnstown mob initially began as an offshoot of Prohibition, which opened doors for Italian Americans facing employment discrimination.
Reporter George Anastasia has been covering the Philadelphia mob scene for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 15 years. Hell discuss the recent trial of reputed mob boss Joseph 'Skinny Joey' Merlino and his associates, which just wrapped up last week. The jury acquitted Merlino and his associates of the serious charges of murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking, but convicted them of racketeering. During the 15 week trial, 90 witnesses took the stand and 943 evidentiary exhibits were introduced.
Journalist Alfredo Corchado covers Mexico for the Dallas Morning News. His new book, Midnight In Mexico, is part memoir and part recent history of the upheaval in the country. He talks to Fresh Air about the power of the cartels, the rampant corruption and the hopes for the future of Mexico.
Frank Calabrese Jr. wrote a memoir about bringing down his father's murderous Chicago crime family. In Operation Family Secrets, Frank detailed how he helped the FBI convict his father of several murders by wearing a hidden wire and taping his father's conversations. His father died Christmas Day.
This interview was originally broadcast on March 14, 2011. Frank Calabrese's father, the Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., died on Christmas Day.
Frank Calabrese Jr. has written a memoir about brining down his father's murderous Chicago crime family. In Operation Family Secrets, Frank details how he helped the FBI convict his father of several murders by wearing a hidden wire and taping his father's conversations.
Jonathan Eig's book Get Capone reveals new insights into the famous Chicago gangster -- including how freely he spoke to reporters, the time he shot himself in the groin, and how general disease eventually robbed him of his health and sanity.