January 12, 2017
This Week in Gang Land
Anthony Colombo, Son And Key Aide Of Mob Boss Joe Colombo, Dead At 71
Anthony Colombo, who spent two stretches behind bars for mob-related criminal activity after following his late Mafia boss father into the Colombo crime family, died peacefully in his sleep last week from diabetes related ailments that plagued him for decades. He passed away in San Diego, where he has been living for the past year. He was 71.
His death came a year after he likened the fatal shooting of his dad in 1971 to the assassination of President Kennedy in a book, Colombo, The Unsolved Murder. There is no doubt "who pulled the trigger," Colombo wrote, but no one ever learned "who pulled the strings behind the trigger man" in what was a "faulty investigation" by the FBI and NYPD from beginning to end.
Coauthored by Donald Capria, the book is an unapologetic story about Anthony's love and devotion to his father. But it also concedes that Joe Colombo was a powerful mob boss and close associate of Carlo Gambino. The book details talks that the duo had, including Gambino's initial support of Joe Colombo's role as a civil rights icon, and Don Carlo's later change of heart before the June 28, 1971 rally at which the Mafia boss was gunned down and mortally wounded.
The prevailing wisdom used to be that you had to take part in a mob hit to get "made." That morphed into you only had to promise to kill someone if you were ordered. Some mob turncoats have reported that being an "earner" – someone who can rake in the dough – or a relative of a made guy, can also win a mob associate his "button."
Sammy Bull Gravano kept his promise to Joey Bilotti and never had him whacked any time he summoned him to a meeting during the five years he and John Gotti were on top of the Gambino crime family in the late 1980s. But Gravano's old buddy Dee Bee wasn't so lucky. Like so many mob rubouts of old, his demise was quickly and efficiently executed on orders from the boss.
Unless you get really lucky, and find a copy squirreled away in the wrong section of your local bookstore, you won't be able to get a first printing of Mob Boss: The Life Of Little Al D'Arco, The Man Who Brought Down The Mafia. But there are still some second print versions of the hardcover available as gifts or for your own reading pleasure.
Because of the heavy demand, Thomas Dunne Books went to the well again for a second printing of Mob Boss, the book that The New York Times called a "gripping, novelistic biography – a bulls-eye."
The mass market, paperback version was published in 2015, however, and it is available online and at your favorite bookstores for about eight bucks. You still should be able to pick up a copy of the hard cover at your favorite bookstore, or, as Claude Raines might say to Humphrey Bogart, from any number of the usual online suspects: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and BooksAMillion, as well as an independent book seller near you.
See why Mob Boss has been praised by Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Nicholas Pileggi, Mister District Attorney Robert Morgenthau – as well as readers everywhere.
Mob Boss is also available in a special BIG PRINT edition. And for those who would rather hear every word of the 406 page book read to them, Mob Boss is also available on an MP3 CD from Tantor Audio.