By Rick Porrello
Rick Porrello writes in regards to the very important reference to mega-mobsters Charles fortunate Luciano and Meyer Lansky, the Cleveland mob's circulation to Las Vegas, and the 1st top-level nationwide assembly of the Sicilian-American Mafia.
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Additional resources for The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia. Corn Sugar and Blood
Sicily is an unforgiving land, with a harsh climate and soil that reluctantly yields up its bounty. Nonetheless it was strategically situated and the largest island in the Mediterranean so it was a prize that won for its people a long history of foreign invasion. Over the centuries Greeks, Romans,Byzantines, Normans, French, Spanish and Austrians conquered the island, and the Sicilian peasants were little more than slave labor for their foreign overlords. The Catholic Inquisition also raised its iron fist to the Sicilians, as Norman Lewis, author of The Honored Society, explains.
Sentenced to two to twenty years was Michael Harwood, then a captain. ) Salvatore Vella, the leader of a small organization of bootleggers, prospered by underselling rivals. He also provided the police with information about the Lonardo business operations. On Monday, June 13, 1927, Vella was sitting in his car, which was parked in front of the Piunno Funeral Parlor on lower Woodland Avenue. A lone gunman walking by the car turned suddenly and fired three shots through the open window. Vella slumped out of the car and to the sidewalk, where the assassin fired several more shots into his crumpled body and fled to a waiting car.
While picking up a load of whiskey at a railroad yard, he was jumped. The attackers made off with five barrels of Rini’s booze. In May, more of his whiskey was hijacked. In early June, he escaped a third attempt. Rini, like Louis Rosen, had made enough money to move his family to a better neighborhood. He kept his office in the same area though: East 25th and Woodland Avenue, near Lonardo territory. He was becoming successful not only because of his constant supply of whiskey but because of his efforts at politics.