Blog

Fifty years ago this spring, Mario Puzo changed the way we view organized crime

April 10, 2019

Mario Puzo needed money. His first two novels, The Dark Arena (1955) and The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965), received good reviews but were not best sellers. He had an idea for his next novel, but his publisher wasn’t seeing dollar signs attached to it. “I was 45 years old and tired of being an artist,” Puzo wrote in The Godfather Papers and Other Obsessions. “I owed $20,000 to relatives, finance companies, banks and assorted bookmakers and shylocks. It was really time to grow up and sell out as Lenny Bruce once advised.” Puzo didn’t want to write about the Mafia, as his editors ...

Learn More

Happy New Beer’s Eve!

On the evening of April 6, 1933, lines formed outside of bars and breweries. In Chicago, WGN Radio broadcast special…

Learn More

New movie rekindles debate over Jimmy Hoffa killing

Martin Scorsese’s upcoming movie The Irishman is reviving a dispute over who killed former national labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. The…

Learn More

‘Mob Cops’ saga still reverberates 10 years after their life sentences

A former New York garment dealer, Burton Kaplan, sat down with DEA agents in 2004 to tell them an incredible…

Learn More

Ninety years ago, Thomas ‘Fatty’ Walsh died as he lived — by the gun

The setting was a suite on the 14th floor of the lavish Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. Thomas Walsh,…

Learn More

The Mob hit that wasn’t

It could have been a classic “Mob rub-out,” a new case for the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division and the U.S….

Learn More

The inspiring rise and tragic fall of the ‘Italian Sherlock Holmes’

On the evening of March 12, 1909, New York Police Department detective Joseph Petrosino left his hotel on the east…

Learn More

Dealing death in drag

It was February 6, 1939. A loud bang at three a.m. disrupted the winter silence and slumber for residents of…

Learn More