June 21, 1990 |
Frank Friel spent eight of his 28 years with the Philadelphia Police Department chasing mobsters. He studied their history in FBI files, heard their oral tradition from bad guy raconteurs like Harry "The Hunchback" Riccobene, visited their homes and haunts. He watched them, warned them, and put a lot of them in jail. He knows what makes them tick, even if he doesn't pretend to understand all of it. Why, for example, would a guy who was marked for death hang around the old neighborhood?
May 1, 1990 |
John Gotti's son, John A. "Junior" Gotti, was married two weeks ago, and the New York tabloids went crazy. Blaring headlines and breathless stories were built around bits and pieces of information - some factual, some little more than gossip - about the 26-year-old bridegroom and his 21-year-old bride. There was even more about the wedding reception, a splashy affair at the Helmsley Palace in Manhattan, where, it was later reported, 240 guests were served tenderloin of beef, stuffed veal loin, pasta, shrimp, seared medallions of veal and lobster, mousse and fresh fruit.
January 7, 1990 |
Antonio "Tony Bananas" Caponigro whacked Angelo Bruno. Frank "Funzi" Tieri offed Caponigro and his brother-in-law, Alfred Salerno. Raymond "Long John" Martorano and Al Daidone popped John McCullough. Frank Narducci zipped Philip "Chicken Man" Testa. Testa's son, Salvatore, did Narducci. And "Little Nicky" Scarfo hit Frank "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso and stuck a knife in the guts of some poor schlub in a South Philadelphia diner. This Mafia armageddon turns up in a most unlikely place, Channel 12, in one-hour programs tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 p.m. The WHYY-TV series is called Mobfathers, and it's a disjointed production, fascinating and informative one minute, confusing and overly graphic the next.
August 27, 1987 |
Federal prosecutors yesterday unveiled a novel legal weapon to rub out the Mafia by "hitting them in the pocketbook" and preventing recruitment of new members. Andrew Maloney, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, announced the filing of a multimillion-dollar civil suit to recover ill-gotten loot from the Bonanno crime family - with a new twist to allow a judge to prohibit the racketeers from inducting new "soldiers" or associating with each other in businesses. Maloney said FBI surveillance could be used to enforce the ban. The penalty for flouting a judge's injunction could be an open-ended jailing for criminal contempt of court.
July 9, 1986 |
The man at the heart of Neil Jordan's extraordinary Mona Lisa is a tarnished knight who discovers that he has no armor to protect himself when he sets out to protect a lady of the evening. Set in the dingiest brothels and porn shops that line the narrow streets and alleys in London's Soho, Mona Lisa is an essay on the boundless cruelty of men toward women and on a singular relationship invested with an equally boundless amount of self-delusion. Jordan has been remarkably successful in placing a heightened romanticism against a grittily seamy reality.
May 2, 1986 |
"Trouble in Mind. " A drama starring Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Lori Singer and Genevieve Bujold. Written and directed by Alan Rudolph. Photographed by Toyomichi Kurita. Edited by Tom Walls. Music by Mark Isham. Running time: 111 Minutes. An Alive release. At the Budco Olde City and Bryn Mawr. Alan Rudolph operates on his own wavelength, commanding the look, feel and, most important, the movement of his movies (which include "Choose Me," "Roadie," "Welcome to L.A. " and "Remember My Name")
March 7, 1986 |
With Subway, the young French director Luc Besson has given a new and literal meaning to the idea of a criminal underworld by rewriting the definition of an underground filmmaker. Most of his characters and nearly all of his movie are confined to the vast subway system beneath Paris. Down there - after the last Metro has departed in the small hours - petty criminals, lost souls, pimps, vagrants and hookers form a subculture in the remote corners and dark tunnels that commuters never see. For them the sunlight is a rumor.