On Saturday at 11am pacific, 2pm eastern we will be launching our latest broadcast in the series Surviving The Mob.

My guests are going to be ex Gambino crime family associate Andrew DiDonato, and ex Colombo crime member Billy Cutolo Jr. Billy was in the the unique position of being the son of the number 2 guy in the Colombo family. Also joining us will be crime writer and author Denny Griffin and our resident expert on Organized Crime in Central and Southern America, D. Alan Johnson.

I am sure that most people think of crime families being closed knit, yes in some ways they are, they are after all effectively secret societies, but members of different families do interact. A case in point is Andrew DiDonato and Billy Cutolo Jr, they were friends from age 12, and even though they arrived at different destinations, they continued to not only be friends, but collaborate on crimes.

ny_dl_mug.jpgIn the early 90’s Andrew DiDonato found himself in jail, when he was released it was not the Gambino family that reached out to him, it was Billy Cutolo Jr that gave him some money, bought him clothes, and helped Andrew re-establish his life.

As Billy points out, this went against the express wishes of his father, Billy Cutolo Sr. In fact had it been anyone other than his son bucking the system the outcome likely would have been much more serious. Andrew tells a story of turning a street corner on a rainy day and walking right into Billy’s father! You might hear about it on Saturday. While amusing now, it was anything but amusing at the time.

Friendships transcend affiliations, I have learned that from many other conversations with Andrew and others. But friendships can also lead to conflicts that can have dire consequences.

Politics are not something that you generally associate with the Mob, yet, like any company,  politics in fact run rampant. Politics are a way of life. It was a political move to try and separate Billy Cutolo Jr from Andrew DiDonato. They were (and are) close friends. Andrew DiDonato likely is alive only today because of his friendship with Billy Cutolo Jr. For sure, Snr had little use for Andrew. It was not because of anything personal that Andrew DiDonato had done, it was because of Mob politics.

Politics are going to be a major discussion point on Saturday. Few people understand that the real world is so very different from Hollywood and the God Father.

Our final port of call is going to be lawyer Joseph Corozzo. He once again finds himself in the limelight. But is it fair? Both Andrew and Billy called Jojo friend. Both say that Jojo is a great lawyer. Both think that he has been put in the untenable position of being called the Gambino Family ‘in house council’.

Certainly Joseph Corozzo’s involvement in the latest Gambino adventure, the arrests of 14 members on not just RICO but running an underage prostitution ring has to give you pause for thought. Is Jojo taking this case for family, or for legal reasons?

The prosecutors have made it very clear that they do not want Joseph Corozzo representing the 14 defendants. It is part of court records that Joseph Corozzo was involved in a shooting incident that Andrew DiDonato was involved in. In fact the vehicle that the two were driving belonged to another Corozzo family member.

Both Andrew DiDonato and Billy Cutolo Jr became government witnesses, they come from different families, but they remain fast friends. Both have put the ‘life’ behind them. Both have important stories to share. Both share a healthy respect for staying alive, Andrew DiDonoto has opted to revert to his original name, Billy Cutolo Jr prefers his new name, one I do not know, and one that I will not ask.

On Saturday  suspect that we will be hearing quite a lot about the Colombo, Gambino, and Genovese families.

You can join us by using this direct link, or by going to www.blogtalkradio.com a few minutes before 1pm central on Saturday Jun/12, the link will be on the main page.

Simon Barrett

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