Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 2015 Issue of Informer

June 2015 Issue Contents
Editorial

Often neglected in discussions of United States Mafia history, Calabrian-American organized criminals take center stage in this issue of Informer. Our feature article is a biography of Albert Anastasia, researched and written by Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley and Steve Turner. The bloody early years of Calabria-born Anastasia’s underworld career and his supervision of the activities of the Murder Incorporated enforcement arm are the focuses of the piece. (Preview)

In a much lengthier-than-usual column at the back of the issue, Thomas Hunt considers the possibility that the Calabresi themselves formed an extensive criminal network in the U.S. and Canada before they were absorbed into the American Mafia’s Sicilian dominated crime families in the early years of the Prohibition Era. (Preview)

Also in this issue:
  • Edmond Valin clears up the questions of how, when and why the American Mafia became known as “La Cosa Nostra,” and he shows that Mafiosi themselves were strongly influenced by the official nomenclature of J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Preview)
  • Richard N. Warner examines the ironic role played by America’s white racism (and Hoover’s FBI) in the founding and growth of African American street gangs. (Preview)
  • Warner also reviews Gary Krist’s most recent work, Empire of Sin. (Preview)

We expect that our regular readers already have noticed our change in format — a return to the full magazine size we formerly used from September 2008 through June 2012. While there were benefits to the more compact “digest” size we used from October 2012 through November 2014, the move back to a full magazine format was made due to the same irresistible force that lies behind all changes in the publishing world: the publisher likes it better.
Seventy-six pages, including covers and six pages of advertisements.

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Anastasia - 'Lord High Executioner'

June 2015 Issue Contents
Feature article

The bloody underworld career of Albert Anastasia

‘Lord High Executioner’ 
of the American Mafia
by Lennert van`t Riet, David Critchley and Steve Turner

"Albert Anastasia must be counted among the most violent and ruthless American Mafia bosses. As director of a Brooklyn band of gunmen known popularly as 'Murder Incorporated,' Anastasia was implicated in a staggering number of 1930s-era homicides. His activities earned him the news media nicknames 'Lord High Executioner' and 'Mad Hatter'..."

Thirty-six and a half pages, including five and a half pages of endnotes and thirty-three images.

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How 'Mafia' became 'La Cosa Nostra'

June 2015 Issue Contents
Feature article

How ‘Mafia’ became ‘La Cosa Nostra’
by Edmond Valin

"In the early 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) developed information that indicated the criminal organization commonly known as the Mafia was in fact called La Cosa Nostra by its members. Mafia turncoat Joseph Valachi would go on to make La Cosa Nostra (LCN) a household name through testimony at the McClellan Hearings in 1963. Some critics at the time said the new term was 'fabricated,' since no one else in law enforcement had ever heard of it. Now, declassified FBI documents can show how this obscure Italian phrase entered the lexicon of American crime..."

Thirteen and a half pages, including six and a half pages of endnotes, an appendix and a sidebar article.

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Books

June 2015 Issue Contents
Books

Krist explores Louisiana’s ‘Empire of Sin’

Richard N. Warner reviews Gary Krist's latest nonfiction work, Empire of Sin, set in early 20th Century New Orleans.

Book announcement: Kill-Crazy Gang by Jeffery King is now available as e-book.

One page.

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The Warner Files: Racism and Organized Crime

June 2015 Issue Contents
Column

The Warner Files:

Racism’s connection to organized crime
by Richard N. Warner

"With fresh allegations of police racism surfacing in cities around the United States over the past year, it’s worth asking if racism has had a
ny connection to the creation or development of organized criminal groups in American history. The answer would be in the affirmative..."

Two pages.

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Just One More Thing: Calabrian Organization

June 2015 Issue Contents
Column

Just One More Thing:

Just how ‘organized’ was 
Calabrian organized crime?
by Thomas Hunt

"There are a number of unanswered questions related to the American Mafia's incorporation of Calabrian gangsters - those who trace their origins to the southernmost portion of the Italian mainland. We may ask: How did this combination occur? Precisely when did it occur? Was it the result of a decision of the American Mafia as a whole or did it result from decisions of individual crime families? Were Calabrian gangsters welcomed on an individual basis or was a Calabrian crime network consumed by the Mafia en masse? This last question touches on a subject that I have found particularly interesting: Was there a distinct, organized Calabrian criminal network in the United States and Canada before Calabrian gangsters were absorbed into the known Sicilian-based Mafia crime families?"

Fifteen pages, including eight images.

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