than four decades, I have been a
reporter, columnist and author based in New York. During those
years, I have written breaking news stories about many landmark
events, investigative and analytical pieces, and the first column in a daily newspaper
devoted exclusively to organized crime. I began writing
my "Gang Land" column at The New York Daily News
in 1989. My work has also appeared in many magazines,
newspapers and journals in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. I have appeared as an organized crime expert on
numerous network and cable television news programs.
From Oct. 11, 1999 until March 2004, I
also served as Director of Communications for
Jay College of Criminal Justice, The
City University of New York (CUNY).
In 2006, the Criminal Justice Section of
the New York State Bar Association presented Gang Land with an award for
media excellence. In May 2001,
The New York Times wrote a
feature article about
the Gang Land column, the same year GangLandNews.com
Best Web News Story Award from the New York Press Club.
People Magazine chimed in with a full-page spread about Gang Land in June
My latest book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To The Mafia, Second
Edition" a comprehensive
look at American wiseguys and the way they make their money, was published
in 2005. I
have written several other books about so-called
traditional organized crime and have co-authored
major books about the Mafia with Gene Mustain -
Mob Star in 1988, Murder Machine in
1992 and Gotti: Rise & Fall in 1996. In July 2002, we
completed an updated edition of Mob Star that included eight additional chapters, a prologue
and epilogue that tells the complete story of
John Gotti - from his rise to the top of the Gambino family to his death from
throat cancer in 2002. My Gang Land column
appeared in The Daily News from
January 1989 through August 1995. Gang
Land returned to the newspaper world for a five plus year run in The New York Sun
from August, 2002 until October of 2007.
In September, 1995, I began an academic year of study at
Stanford University as a
John S. Knight Fellow.
While there, became aware of the breadth, depth and potential of the World Wide
Web and that through it, I
could reach more people, with more information, more quickly,
and created this web site on February 15, 1996.
That June, I returned to The News, and continued writing about organized
crime, labor racketeering and official corruption. With a glut of columnists at The News,
the editors decided not to resume my Gang Land
column. That gave me more time for the web site
Sept. 16, 1996, I took
the column online.
In October, 1996, Hap Hairston became the web
site's editor. Then a Daily
News assistant managing editor, Hap had earlier served as the paper's
business editor, city editor, and metropolitan editor. He had edited
the Gang Land column for several years and many of
my bigger news stories. Reporters working with Hap
have won three Pulitzer Prizes and scores of other major journalism awards. His decision to come aboard was
great news for me and readers,
because he was the best conceptual and line editor in the business.
Sadly, right before Christmas in 2002, Hap, who had
battled a myriad of ailments since 1996, died in his sleep of an apparent
heart attack. He was 53.
In April, 1997, we added a new regular feature, Ask Andy.
Andy is an organized
crime historian with a voluminous collection of books, magazines and research on the
subject. A voracious reader with a remarkable memory, he became intrigued with the Mafia
in 1963 when Joe Valachi became the first "made" mobster or officially inducted
member of La Cosa Nostra to publicly break the so-called code of silence (omerta)
and describe the inner workings of a secret criminal society of Italian Americans. He has
written histories of the five New York families for the web site. Each week, until he
resigned on Oct. 19, 1998, Andy fielded a question of general interest from a Gang Land
reader. Gang Land considers him our historian emeritus.
In May 1998, Suzanne
(Sue the Dream) Nicolucci joined the Gang Land family as director of
advertising and marketing. The youngest and most attractive member of the Gang Land team,
Sue had toiled for cyberspace critic/columnist Kim Komando and for American
Express. She became interested in the mob "after watching that stupid Geraldo
Rivera/Al Capone vault thing" and until she moved on
to better things was a major player on the team. "I worked
for peanuts before, but it was never
as much fun," says Sue.