Last Rites: The Final Days of the Boston Mob Warsby William J. Craig
From Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang and the Patriarca crime family to Sacco and Vanzetti, New England – especially Boston and Providence – boasts a long history of mob activity, and an equally long fascination with these incidents of organized crime. The legal trials and Mafia scandals are well-publicized in the media, and have even infiltrated… See more details below
From Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang and the Patriarca crime family to Sacco and Vanzetti, New England – especially Boston and Providence – boasts a long history of mob activity, and an equally long fascination with these incidents of organized crime. The legal trials and Mafia scandals are well-publicized in the media, and have even infiltrated popular culture. For example, the 2006 hit film The Departed (which grossed $26,887,467 its opening weekend) is based on Boston’s Whitey Bulger. This book follows the life of local mobster Gigi Portalla (aka Vincent Marino) and examines the mentality of Revere in 1950s and 60s that made the city a center of mob activity through the last 90s when the mob fell apart. With a police force known for corruption – its sergeant’s scam made headlines and its police chief was tapped by the FBI saying to a mob member “I’ll give you the town if you can guarantee me $1 million a year—Revere Beach became a mob hangout, attracting local bookies who sent money-filled briefcases to the Patriarca family of Providence, a member of “La Cosa Nostra” who controlled New England mafia operations. Portalla’s journey began uneventfully – he was an A student, prom king, and a promising recruit for the Massachusetts State Police – until he discovered his family’s darkest secret—that his biological father was actually “Big Eddy” Marino, a leg breaker for Gennaro Anguilo, who controlled the racketeering throughout Massachusetts and worked for Patriarca. After learning this, Portalla began working for Gennaro Anguilo, the same mob boss his father served. And so began a long and storied career of crime in New England’s seedy underworld. Eventually Frank Salemme took over the crime organization from Patriarca and moved the family’s base back to Boston. Salemme’s ascension to the position of boss, however, sparked tensions among family factions. Gigi Portalla was one of the six men who formed a “renegade faction” to take over the mob from Salemme, whom they attempted to assassinate in the early 90s. Today Portalla is serving a 35-year sentence in a federal prison. William J. Craig will paint a realistic picture of the man behind the legend while simultaneously detailing the historical climate of Revere and Boston that shaped Gigi Portalla’s destiny.
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