Have You Ever Met a Mafia/Mob Guy?

I did, on two occasions:

  1. while employed at the local marina (college summers), I met a very affable gentleman by the name of Bobby DiFranco. He owned a large cabin cruiser at the marina, and used to hang out at the bar. Everybody seemed to like Bobby-, and one day he disappeared-I learned that the state police stopped him on the highway, and opened the trunk of his car-he had a machine gun in the trunk-Bob went away for a few years. I learned that Bobby was a “soldier” for the local mob.
  2. My late uncle had a neighbor named “Sal”-Sal made great spaghetti sauce, and I dined at his house once. Sal was a driver for a local mob “captain”-again a very nice guy.
    Have you ever met any such gentlemen?

On three occasions, kind of.

A had dinner with a guy who was involved in a pyramid scheme with another guy. Their accountant was about to go to the cops so he and his accomplice strangled him.
A Hell’s Angels associate was my cousin’s boyfriend. He broke up with her. She got a boyfriend from a rival gang and stole drugs from the associate’s place. He shot and killed her.

My sister’s (by alliance) boyfriend was a drug dealer at the retail level which likely meant he had protection from organized crime.
In all cases, they seemed nice enough and had at least sufficient social skills. They didn’t go out of their way to talk about what they did for a living but had sufficiently detailed answers. I didn’t notice anything particularly angry/sinister about them aside from one comment about how a celebrity was getting the most out of what she had, which can be interpreted as greedy.

My grandfather and a couple of my father’s brothers were in the Mafia. I kid about my cousin Vinnie, but yeah, I really am related to mobsters. Mind you, they were very low level, I think at the bottom level. Grandpa got into it because he could make more money by being a bootlegger than by being a fisherman. I’m pretty sure that all he and his sons did was run booze, they were never in the violent activities. My father wasn’t in it because he wasn’t born at the time.

I don’t remember much about Grandpa Bodoni, other than he had a very thick Italian accent, and it was hard to understand him. He was nice enough, and my uncles were also very nice. Grandpa had quite a temper, though.

If we’re counting gangster activity that isn’t specifically Mafia stuff then yes. I’m not going to go way into it but I know people who’ve sold drugs, pimped (sort of) and killed. They get them young; a particular friend of mine was in jail from 12 to 16 for it.

Considering the neighborhood I grew up in in the Bronx, I almost certainly have, although I don’t know anyone for sure. However, a tenant in my brother’s apartment building was a low level soldier who shot and killed another patron in an Italian bar/restaurant in Manhattan when he insulted the singer. He’s now in prison.

I know a victim of sorts. A friend of mine from high school who is now a television actor was rubbed out by Tony Soprano in the sixth season. :wink:

Numerous times. At work.

Just about when I was a year old or so, a boyhood friend of my dad’s was convicted of shooting and killing someone during a grocery store hold up. He was, according to everyone, connected. One day, I was about 18 months old, we came back from a trip to the zoo. There’s a note on the front door from the guy. He stopped, we weren’t home, he wouldn’t bother us by coming back but wanted to let my dad know he was innocent, not even in the area when it happened. All kids of remorse, miss you and the old gang from the church football team, etc…

He was eventually caught and sentenced, serving his time in the state penitentiary near our house. One day, I was about 12-13. My sister and I are in the car with Dad driving past the prison. It wasn’t uncommon to see the trustees walking down the road to and from the prison farm. As we’re driving, there’s a guy walking down the side of the road in the same direction we’re going, we approaching from behind.

Dad says “hey that guy walks just like Mike”. We drive past, Dad turns and looks at the guy.

Sonofabitch, it is MIke!!"

He’s walking from the prison to the warden’s house which was located on the grounds. Dad, without any hesitation, pulls over into the driveway about 50 yards ahead of Mike. In plain sight, and assuming, range of two guard towers.

Dad jumps out of the car, sister and I hit the floor, convinced we were all about to die in a hail of bullets. Dad’s screaming, “MIke, Mike, hey!” And jumping like a nut.

Mike comes running down the road, waving his hands, yelling my Dad’s name. Looks like a reunion at the docks. I peek up and watch a CO coming out of the house (didn’t know it was the warden’s house til later), carrying a big long gun. Not in a ready position, but it’s a gun nonetheless. Dad and Mike by now are dancing and hugging like kids. The CO stands there while Mike makes the introductions. I decide it might be safe to come out of the car. My sister never did.

Turns out that, partly because of his ‘connections’ and because he’s been a model prisoner, Mike has been assigned as the warden’s valet/housekeeper/gardener. I met the warden’s wife, nice lady. Every other Sunday, Mike’s wife would join their family, along with her and Mike’s two kids, and everyone would enjoy a huge Italian dinner. The warden, also a good Italian boy.

While Mike was inside, his wife enjoyed a decent job as a paralegal in the law firm that defended Mike. His two kids went to the best Catholic schools, BOTH then to Notre Dame.

Sometime in the mid 80’s, Mike got paroled. Within a year he ballooned from his prison weight of maybe 180, up to 250. He said it was the good bread he couldn’t get in prison. He was even at my wedding. I told him I’d heard the story of the note on the door. He apologized, and said he felt lousy, not even thinking he might have been putting my dad in a bad position. I said, yeah kinda like him getting us all gunned down by the warden’s house? We laughed remembering that.

He insists he wasn’t the robber, or the shooter. Someone else fingered him to the cops, and tossed the gun in the garbage in the alley behind his house. Like he’d do that, and toss the gun in his own trash? The job for his wife, the privileges inside, the nice schools for his kids he said were all arranged so long as he kept his mouth shut. He says it wasn’t a choice offered to him, but as long as “they” took care of his family, he’d be a good boy and wait his time. Yeah, prison sucks because it’s still prison, but after the first couple years, he got to see his kids every couple weeks, got to have ‘private’ time with his wife, help the kids with homework…

Last tine I saw Mike was at my dad’s funeral in 1992. But in an odd twist, about 6 years ago I accidentally met his daughter. She was presenting at a seminar about labor law. I was talking after and said I knew someone with her last name, well technically the first part of her hyphenated name. She asked, I said his name and my dad’s name and she about fainted before she told me who she was. She’s one of my Facebook friends now, her son is the spitting image of her dad. And she says her folks are happy and retired in Arizona.

My sister’s ex is in jail for a double murder. His brother, who I met, apparently ran a crack gang, and my sister was present when someone was killed by this guy. The ex gave my sister a knuckleduster with her name on it as a birthday gift. Thankfully, he is an ex.

The weirdest one for me is that, according to a friend who saw him recently, a guy I went to drama school with has stopped being an actor and now drives a Merc with blacked out windows, with a (highly illegal in this country) handgun in his glove box, for some kind of drugs/mob setup. Knowing what he was like at college, I don’t doubt it.

A friend of ours is of Sicilian heritage (and I think still has family “back home”). Don’t know if she has “mob connections” - can’t even picture a mob presence in this sleepy little burg - but if anyone would have some, she might. Not only from being Sicilian (I know, racial profiling in a way), but, being a long-time resident of our neighbourhood, she has a lot of connections around here, knows everyone and can find where to get you the best deal in the neighbourhood. (Got my hair cut for my wedding at a barber she recommended, run by another Italian). She’s a wonderful person and great friend, if it turned out that she did unequivocably have Mob connections, or was in the Mob (do they have women in their ranks?), or something like that, wouldn’t change my opinion of her one bit.

(I do remember when her previous engagement went sour (she married (a non-Italian friend of ours) several years later) her ex was soon after audited by Revenue Canada - I’m convinced the timing was not a coincidence.)

I worked for a guy who was asked to leave Vegas by the police in the late 70s. He was defintely a mob guy. But he was one of the best guys ever to work for, although you had to curb is more…eccentric tendencies. I was his credit manager and he solved a lot of problems for me. “Hey Bobby? It’s John. Yeah. Gimme my fuckin’ money. I’m comin’ over and I can either bring a bat or some whiskey for us to share, you pick. No excuses Bobby.” click Then he’d look at me and wink and say, “See, that’s how you do it!”

I was all of about 23 years old. I boggled. :eek:

We once repossessed a horse together at 3am. It remains the single most funny thing that has ever happened to me at work.

When I was much younger and working in the freezer/freight department of a feed manufacturer a sales guy named Cecchini was reputed to be the real deal. He moved a lot of beef livers out of the midwest beef industry.

My boss said he was with the mob and asked me to go out on a salmon fishing excursion with “Larry” instead of my boss. So I went and we talked about seemingly mundane things and I even caught a fish. If he was feeling me out for a future use, I couldn’t tell.

But he had along with him the typical ‘goon’, big quiet guy who hung around in the background and never had much to say. It was sort of surreal. I was thinking “you have got to be kidding me! Mob-related beef livers?” I was just a 20 something truck loader. What the hell was this really all about? Why would the Italian mafia be in the beef liver business? Why are they in the garbage business?

This same guy is now a financial backer for a large seafood processor with questionable morals, at least he was a few years ago, he should be getting quite old by now.

Years later when I met my current wife she mentioned this guy who would stay at the resort where she was a waitress and we both went “oh my god, you know Larry the mob guy too!” because it common knowledge there too.

Maybe the guy just needed a fishing partner, maybe the big goon who never talked was his son in law.

But it was a damn weird experience, with a nice guy, who wanted to move beef livers.

And he looked a lot like this guy:


My grandfather may have been connected–there are certain hints about it–but he didn’t talk about anything like that. Which may be why he lived to 80 and died of natural causes.

My father was a paperboy when he was a kid and one of his clients was Jake Lansky. Once Lansky’s wife made an offer he couldn’t refuse–she invited him in and offered him a soda.

As a prominent political science professor, during the 70’s he received mysterious letters from East Germany. He didn’t reveal the contents but since the letters stopped arriving after October 1977 I suspect they might have had something to do with Baader Meinhof.

He later met what appeared to be a terrorist in a car park in NYC. He went in and the attendant was on the phone talking about various paramilitary stuff. A woman told the attendant to get her car and he yelled “Lady, my cause is more important than this garage!” At this point my father decided to find his car himself.

Me, I’ve just known the neighborhood dealer and had a member of a neo-nazi gang whom a college roomate brought home prove his Aryan superiority by passing out on our couch.

My partner is Japanese. His oldest brother, and the brother’s son, were both in the Yakuza. This brother once told him that if he ever found out he was gay, he would have him killed. They’re both dead now, nephew died fairly young, possibly from hepatitis (those tattoos they get aren’t doing them any favors). I never met them, however. The brother died a long time ago, I think before my partner and I met; and the nephew was in jail for years before he died.

Same here. I’ve probably come into contact with at least one member of every major prison gang and street gang operating in Texas.

When I was little, we lived in a duplex. The guy who lived in the other half of our unit was a small time mobster. He got busted for running illegal gambling out of our building when I was eight. We were advised to move when that happened because he figured my parents snitched on him. That advice was immediately taken.

When I was unemployed, I got offered an interview at a job less than 2 miles from the Good-Fellas dinner. I linked this link to it in another thread, but I’ve eaten breakfast there. Great eggs, really good coffee, and lousy parking.

The job was in construction. The guy who was the owner didn’t like me, but his wife Loved me. She said I had the job… but that I’d have to sign all the certified payroll docs going to the government. She said it was ‘family’ run. Not his family but Her family. And that I and mine would be too.
Now, I interviewed my heart out for that job, and even though it was way out of commuting range for me, I did my damnedest to make a good impression. And after I knew it all, I said I’d have to go over the money with my wife. I thought it all over, and as I started my car for home, listening to News Traffic & Weather on the 8s, I did the only thing I could reasonably do. I gunned the engine & got my ass back to Jersey so fast I nearly got a ticket between the Midtown & the Holland tunnel (not far from 1 Police Plaza).

That recruiter left me 3 messages in the coming week on why I wasn’t jumping at that job. I told her that it was too far, that it wasn’t enough money, that I’d never make it in to work on-time every day, and that I’d never see my kids anymore.

I’m pretty sure that last part was true.

…I live in Rhode Island.

I few guys I went to high school with are/were involved in the drug trade in northern BC. Super low functionaries (probably wouldn’t qualify as a ‘gangster’ in the OP) but they loved to really play up their involvement in the organization, who they ‘knew’ etc…and talked and dressed like they were living The Wire…I suppose they would qualify as hoppers, perhaps.

One of my classmates was the granddaughter of Vincent Solano, longtime president of Local 1 of the Laborers Union and alleged capo regime for the Chicago Outfit. I met him once at a school function and he seemed like any other grandfather. It wasn’t until I read his obituary that I found out about his mob connections.

My boss’ boyfriend is part of the Chicago Outfit and if you google his name you get all kinds of articles about his ties to the group He did time for kidnapping a long while back and he has also been charged with two separate murders but was acquitted both times. Nice enough guy but I try to not spend too much time around him.