November 26, 2015
This Week in Gang Land
It's A Happy Thanksgiving For Vinny Asaro, But Not For The Family Of Paul Katz
It's a pretty safe bet that Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro will enjoy Thanksgiving Day today, whether or not he celebrates like most Americans with a traditional turkey dinner with stuffing and all the usual trimmings. No matter what, it will taste much better than the meal he had last Thanksgiving at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
It's also a safe bet that Lawrence Katz, his sister Ilsa, their siblings and their families won't be quite as joyous or thankful as Asaro on this Thanksgiving Day, knowing that he was acquitted of the brutal 46-year-old murder of their father Paul, some of whose remains were unearthed by the FBI back on June 17, 2013.
What's less clear is how the 12 jurors at Asaro's trial will celebrate our great American holiday now that Asaro has stated loudly and clearly that he was "shocked" by his good fortune. It also remain unclear how the jury managed to acquit the Bonanno capo on a slew of complicated charges in less than two days of deliberations. In those few hours, jurors managed to dispatch with the 1978 $6 million Lufthansa Airlines robbery, Katz's 1969 slaying, a racketeering conspiracy charge with 13 separate crimes called predicate acts, and two extortion counts included in the indictment.
Last week, after considering the issue for two months, Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes reduced the unusually stiff 14-year prison term she gave mob associate Francis (BF) Guerra for selling some of his legally prescribed pain medications by nearly three years.
The Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office admits issuing three unlawful subpoenas in its probe of a family-run Queens drug ring but insists that the offending subpoenas were "finalized by support staff" and issued by mistake. But a defense attorney says the claim "is not credible" and wants a hearing where the error-prone members of the support staff can explain their remarkable foul-up under oath.
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 March, however, and 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.