April 27: Mob Stories: True Tales of Organized Crime. The Underground at The Mob Museum
Everybody loves a good story — but a good Mob story is even better. A veteran journalist, an author of books on organized crime and an ex-mobster will gather in The Underground at The Mob Museum for an evening in our speakeasy of drinks, laughs and stories that are guaranteed to shed light in the dark corners of organized crime.
Michael Franzese will recall his days as a high-ranking racketeer in the Colombo crime family in New York. Gus Russo will relate his experiences digging into the JFK assassination and the dark corners of organized crime in Chicago, and Scott M. Deitche will share stories from his years researching organized crime from Florida to New Jersey to Havana as well as tips on good Mob cocktails from his book, Cocktail Noir: From Gangsters and Gin Joints to Gumshoes and Gimlets.
The program, hosted by Mob Museum Senior Director of Content Geoff Schumacher, will be informal and conversational, allowing the storytellers to improvise and guests to interact with the panelists.
Scott M. Deitche is an author specializing in organized crime. He has written seven books and more than 50 articles on organized crime for local and national publications, including a book on Mob cocktails, Cocktail Noir: From Gangsters and Gin Joints to Gumshoes and Gimlets. He has been featured on the History Channel, A&E, Discovery Channel, AHC, C-SPAN and Oxygen Network. In addition, he has appeared on dozens of local and national news shows, as well as more than 40 radio programs. His latest book is Garden State Gangland: The Rise of the Mob in New Jersey.
In 1986, Mafia boss, Michael Franzese, son of an underboss with the Colombo crime family, was named “one of the biggest money earners in the Mob” by Vanity Fair. At the age of 35, Fortune Magazine listed him as No. 18 on its list of the “Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses,” just five behind John Gotti. Tiring of the life and meeting the love of his life, Franzese walked away from the Mob, taking the rap on racketeering charges with a 10-year prison sentence. Since leaving prison, he has become a motivational speaker and author of two books about what he learned while in the Mob.
Gus Russo is a veteran investigative reporter, documentary producer, screenwriter and author of several books. His book, The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and he collaborated with former New York gangster Henry Hill on Gangsters and Goodfellas, a sequel to Hill’s first biography, Wiseguy, which was the basis for the 1990 movie Goodfellas. His first book was Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK.