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Did you know old “Scarface” Capone had an impact on the Chicago’s African American community? What does Alcatraz have to do with Harlem’s most famous godfather? Why is Denzel Washington in this book? Who is a modern day desperado who died by the gun but managed to live on through rap music? How did a stick-up artist from Brooklyn become Hip-Hop’s Answer to Lee Harvey Oswald? Each of the following stories may be amazing, but all of them are true. Straight from the hood.
Carl Russo’s The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide is a seminal piece of work that manages to bridge the gap between John Dickie’s Cosa Nostra and Lonely Planet Sicily. The insights into The Mob are at once fascinating and lurid, made all the more appealing by the in-your-face reality of the many iconic images of the raw underbelly of Sicily.
“Carl Russo takes his readers deep into the heart of the Sicilian Mafia. A must see/read!” — David Amoruso, Gangsters Inc., the Web’s largest crime forum
In this page-turning narrative, noted true crime writer Ron Chepesiuk chronicles the story of one of history’s lesser known but most important mob dynasties. For nearly seven decades, Santo Trafficante, Sr. and his son, Santo, Jr. were prominent gangsters on the Tampa crime scene. Santo, Sr. arrived in Tampa in 1902 and settled in the Ybor City area where he slowly began his climb to the top of the Tampa mob scene.
There were many shoot outs, home invasions, beat downs, violent rapes, police raids, graphic explicit sex, human trafficking and even a murder. Today, all of Valdespino’s friends are in the penitentiary, dead or their whereabouts are unknown. Yet, by some miracle he went unscathed and experienced no penitentiary time. All of Valdespino’s story—the bad and the ugly — is in The White Boy Confessions. It’s story of not just survival but also redemption.
In the early 1930s, Velvalee Dickinson moved to New York City where she opened her own exclusive doll shop. She built her reputation as an expert in rare, antique, and foreign dolls. She traveled extensively around the country lecturing and exhibiting her dolls while building a wealthy clientele.
Due to her husband’s poor health and her failing business, she accepted the role as a spy for the Imperial Japanese Government. By hiding coded messages in her correspondence about dolls, she was able to pass on to her Japanese contacts critical military information about the US warships.