On Friday at 1pm central we will be running another in our ongoing series Surviving The Mob, an opportunity to peek inside the world of the American Mafia through the eyes of people that have personal experience.

This week we have a new panel member joining us, Jack Garcia. Jack’s story is a unique one and his book Making Jack Falcone was a New York Times best seller. He is a veteran FBI agent, and in the early 2000’s went underground, his mission was to infiltrate the Gambino Family. So successful was he that his name was put forward to become a Made Man. That did not happen, the FBI decided to roll up the operation and Jack Garcia’s evidence wrought chaos on not just the Gambino Family but other New York operations as well. Jack retired from the FBI in 2006, he has been featured on 60 Minutes twice. I doubt that many FBI agents can add a line item on their resume that while on active duty they ran a Strip Club for the mob!

Also joining us will be ex Gambino Family member Andrew DiDonato, Andrew had already turned government witness when Jack started his quest, however they both share many connections within Organized Crime circles. He recently released a documentary Surviving The Mob that details his life within the Gambino family. He has withdrawn from the Witness Protection Program and reverted back to his real name, his is however cognizant that one day someone from the past might come calling. He is careful about concealing his whereabouts. His mission these days is one of informing the public about the true nature of Organized Crime, a game that you will eventually  lose if you choose to play.

Our final panelist will be crime writer and author Denny Griffin. Denny specializes in books about the American Mafia. And is currently working with Andrew DiDonato on his biography. Denny brings a very broad spectrum of knowledge to the table. His entrance into the True Crime genre has become the ‘must read’ history of Las Vegas and its relationship with Crime Families. His most recent book is a joint venture with ex Chicago Mob member Frank Cullotta. A book that believe it or not solved a 27 year old cold case. Because of this book a double homicide in McHenry County, Illinois was finally solved. The killer had died some years prior while in Jail on an unrelated case, but for the families involved, at least there was some closure to the case.

The four of us got together via phone yesterday and the subject of John Gotti Jr. came up. In particular what his legacy to organized crime has been. And the answer is that it has not been a good one. The American Mafia flourished only when it was a ‘secret society’, and one with a rigid code of ethics. Yes, I know that sounds surreal, but it is true, it was the code of ethics that kept the family running.

The one thing that I have noticed in my dealings with both ex Organized Crime members, and the people that pursued them is the high level of respect that each has for the other. It was interesting yesterday, when the subject of John Gotti Jr. came up, both Jack Garcia and Andrew DiDonato went into overdrive. Clearly they both were incensed over John Gotti Jr. and his recent appearance on 60 minutes has done nothing to clear the air.

The goal has always been about money, organized crime is a business, but increasingly it has become a business that has lost its core values. In the old days, if you were a respected member of a family and somehow found yourself behind bars, you sucked it up. You knew that the family would protect and look after the needs of your wife and children. That cradle to grave mentality has been lost. Any member that finds himself on the outs with law enforcement is also likely to find himself on the outs with his protectors as well.

Our broadcast on Friday is one that you will not want to miss. If you are interested in the ‘real story’ rather than the drivel that comes out of Hollywood, and to a large extent even respected TV programs (I am still marveling at how John Gotti can hold an interview and manage to avoid the word Mob and Mafia) you will want to tune in. The link to listen live is here.

You might also want to listen to a couple of our earlier broadcasts, they set the stage for this program.

Surviving The Mob – The Inside Track

Surviving The Mob – Anatomy Of A Bank Heist

See you all on Friday.

Simon Barrett

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