Dan Gross: Natale needs a ghost

is looking for a writer to help him tell his mob tales.
is looking for a writer to help him tell his mob tales. (Ralph Natale)
Posted: July 28, 2011

MOB TURNCOAT Ralph Natale, recently released from federal prison, is working on a memoir.

We hear that Natale, who is still under federal witness protection and lives within two hours of Philadelphia, has been looking for a writer to help him with the book. He's approached retired Daily News mob writer Kitty Caparella, and South Philly author and historian Celeste Morello.

Caparella says she has seen Natale's manuscript. "It's a great project. It's his take on the Philadelphia mob from the very beginning. He touches on stuff that hasn't been reported before such as how the mob spread to Atlantic City," says Caparella, who is too busy with art and other projects to write the book.

Morello, author of the three-part "Before Bruno" series on the Philly mob, said yesterday she "can't go forward with this guy. He's too emotional. I have a problem with his credibility."

Inquirer mob writer George Anastasia tells us he was approached a few years ago by Natale's wife, Lucy, to help write the book, but he wasn't interested either.

We were unable to reach the still-in-hiding Natale yesterday.

Ryan's Florida palace

Ryan Howard is building a $23 million, 17,500-square-foot home called Casa Del Howard in Belleair Shore, Fla., near Clearwater, reports the Belleair Bee newspaper. Howard's architect, Dan Dawson, recently testified before a Town Commission about plans for the house, which he estimates will take between 3 and 3 1/2 years to build. Dawson told the township that a "Venice-style lazy river running from the swimming pool underneath a series of bridges" was an integral part of the design and that the house will also contain a bowling alley on the ground level. Belleair Commissioner John E. Hayes Jr. told the Bellair Bee that Howard and his family would be a welcome addition to the town. "[Howard] is a down-to-earth human being, and the family has rock-solid, sound values," he said.

Howard's family includes his fiancee, teacher and former Eagles cheerleader Krystle Campbell, and his 10-year-old son, Darian.

Byko's a 'Best'

Congratulations to Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, who earned Philadelphia magazine's Best Columnist award in its annual Best of Philly issue. And that wasn't the only People's Paper honor. Baseball writer Dave Murphy shared the Best Twitter War award with former Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez over an online feud they had months ago.

Broadcasters online

Flyers broadcaster Jim Jackson and Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy will be regular guests on the Philadelphia Internet Broadcasting Venture which Phillies beerman and former 1360 WNJC host Mike Phillips launches at noon Monday. The online radio station can be found at philadelphiainternetbroad castingventure.com.

South Philly block fete

Unity in the Community President Anton Moore presents the annual celebration from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 20th and Snyder. Rapper Trina will perform, and Power 99's DJ Diamond Kuts and Uncle O will appear.
Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's

latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@ phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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