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Scott Deitche

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Everything posted by Scott Deitche

  1. Scott Deitche

    Michel Mertz

    I'm looking into the pre-Castro Cuban activities of French gangster Michel Mertz. I read somewhere that he may have been related to Paul Mondolini, another drug trafficker who was tight with Santo Trafficante Jr. Has anyone ever heard of this? Thanks.
  2. Scott Deitche

    SantoTrifficante sets up "Game of the Century"

    Thank you! I posted often while researching the Silent DOn, but haven't been around much in the past few years. But I'll go back and look through some threads to see where I can add some value.
  3. Scott Deitche

    R.D. Matthews (from Steve Thomas)

    Sammy Paxton's real name was Salvatore 'Sam' Amarena, a Tampa native who worked for Trafficante in Cuba, then headed out to New Orleans to work for Marcello, before ending up in San Francisco where he fell in with Jimmy "The Weasel" Frattiano.
  4. Scott Deitche

    SantoTrifficante sets up "Game of the Century"

    It's been a few years since I've posted, but started lurking around again. Whether the Mafia would fix the match if or course obvious- yes they would. It's their MO. However did Mr. Shaw see Santo Jr., Marcello, and Ragano at the Palma Ceia in late 72, early 73? Not likely. Marcello often came to Tampa (and Trafficante to New Orleans) to discuss business, but late 72, early 73 is problematic for Trafficante. As I detail in a recent piece I wrote: "The information on Trafficante during that time period is more detailed. According to an internal FBI memo dated September 12, 1975, “Trafficante left his Miami residence in late 1972 and not again physically observed in the United States until late 1974. During this Period Trafficante travelled extensively in Europe, Venezuela, Panama, and Costa Rica.” Another FBI memo relates that “On October 17, 1973, MM T2 (a confidential informant) advised that Santo Trafficante was residing in Catania, Italy, which is on the island of Sicily. According to the source, Trafficante has been residing there for approximately six months.” There are no memos or internal FBI documents that show Trafficante in Tampa at that time. Tampa PD and Sheriff’s department records from that time period have mostly been purged, so little record remains of local law enforcement surveillance." Also why didn't Ragano share this story in Mob Lawyer? His co-author Selwyn Raab never heard it, nor did another close friend Nicholas Pileggi. And Ragano's son, who had many secrets to share during my research on Trafficante,is equally dubious. We'll never know or sure, but I'd like more evidence before laying the fix at Trafficante's feet. And trust me, having him be the fixer would be great for book sales!
  5. Scott Deitche

    FBI, the mob, and 9/11

    My first official "new" topic. I read a few threads where references were made to either Clinton or GW creating an atmosphere of opportunity for the terroist to flourish and 9/11 to happen. I just picked up and skimmed through 9/11 Commisison Coverup by Peter Lance and he some interesting things about the Colombo family war and the first Trade Center attacks, TWA Flight 800 and 9/11. It dovetails with some of my thoughts about the FBI and their pre-9/11 priorities. The FBI, for most the the 1980's and 1990's was obsessed with bringing down the Mafia. By the mid 1980's they had some major successes against The Commission in NY, families in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, New Orleans, etc (except Tampa ) . By the late 1980's'/early 1990's transnational organized crime groups were moving into the United States in a big way and the FBI was slow to respond. Some points: - All the way back to 1980, investigators in some field offices complained at Senate Hearings that they were not allowed to look at any non-Mafia organized crime. - In 1988, the FBI listed their orgnaized crime priorities in various field offices- The Mafia was listed as #1 in Denver, ahead of Asians and Hispanic drug gangs, but the Smaldone crime family was withered down to 4 guys- all over 70 years old. In San Francisco there had not been an active Mafia family since the late 1980's but the mob was listed ahead of the surging Chinese triads and other transnational groups there. - The FBI did not dedicate a squad to Russian/Eurasian criem groups until May of 1994, 4-5 years after a huge upsurge in activity in the US and a full 20 years after they started in Brighton Beach. The list goes on. Anyway after the First World Trade Center attacks, there was still scant attention paid to terorism and transnational crime groups ( the financiers of terrorism) as opposed to the Mafia. In the mid 1990's while most Mafia families were shrinking (and a few totally gone) Janet Reno started a huge program- Operation Button Down - to go after the remnants of remaining families. So I wonder if this Mafia-centered obsession of the Justice Department did not divert resources that would have been better served in other areas, namely transnational OC (definitely) and terrorism (maybe). Of course hindsight is 20/20.
  6. Scott Deitche

    Joseph Merola

    Jospeh Raymond Merola was an associate of Norman Rothman and the Mannarino brothers (Sam and Gabe). The Mannarinos, members of the Pittsburgh Mafia under John Sebastian LaRocca, were the original owners of the Sans Souci in Havana. Merola was involved in flying guns to Castro with Rothman, Lou Pessolano, and the Mannarinos. He was convicted of transporting stolen guns from a National Guard Armory in Canton, Ohio (Pittsburgh Mafia territory) to Castro's forces in 1958. He got five years in prison. I believe that is the case in which Jose Aleman testified for the prosecution. DOB- 10/9/1925 - Pittsburgh, PA DOD- 7/14/1994 Associates (in addtion to those above): Charlie "The Blade" Tourine, Santo Trafficante, and astronaut Gordon Cooper (?!?!). Interesting sidenote to his file. His name was Joseph Raymond Merola, but there was another underworld character named Joseph Paul Merola whos einfo was included in the file. He had a bunch of arrests for bookmaking and beverage violations. The interesting thing is he is the only other wiseguy I know of who's primary business was a fish camp. He owned Popeye's Fishing Camp in Conch Key. The other fish camp wiseguy was Trafficante soldier Al Scaglione, who owned the Ruskin Fish Camp in Ruskin, FL.
  7. Scott Deitche

    Harvard Gates

    Bill- I found the breakdown: 990 brewpubs 446 microbreweries 65 regional craft breweries 20 large breweries (the Miller, Anheuser-Busch, etc.) 25 other non-craft breweries 1545 total US breweries in 2008 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jLfUyEuMrHk/SpM9...f+medal+map.jpg
  8. The Obama birther "movement" , peddled by far right talk show hosts and incompetent reporters, is gaining traction even against overwhelming facts. But the upside is that it has given us gems, like Orly Tatiz, the birther movement's legal representative. Behold: Orly Taitz MSNBC interview
  9. Scott Deitche

    The Far-Right Conspiracy against the NHS

    A simple plan to at least relax the skyrocketing costs of health care would be to cap medical malpractice and purge the system of the scum ambulance chasers who prey on people' greed. In Florida we have a big problem with OB/GYN"s leaving the field altogether because of runaway malpractice insurance and the foaming-at-the-mouth lawyers. As for the public option, I am probably one of the more fiscally conservative people on here and did not vote for Obama. However I think his public option is a potentially viable plan and is being dragged through the mud by talkign heads and their sycophants. The reality is that something is needed, and fast. And finally, the funniest thing to watch in the debates is when protesters yell "Get the government's hands off my Medicare". Hello?!?!?!
  10. Scott Deitche

    What? No Obama birth certificate threads?

    So basically I was wrong. It is out there enough for this forum. It's been a fun thread to read. I don't even know what to make of the Larouche stuff- bizarre. As for Obama's missing college papers- even his advisor remembers his thesis having only one or two copies- one of which the advisor had eventually lost. I mean seriously why would they be around? I know for a fact, just a few weeks ago researching some scientific theses from a local university that most of the paper ones from just ten years ago are lost or not around. new ones are in digital format and stored to some extent, especially those that were the product of grant research.
  11. Scott Deitche

    MCA, the Mafia and the corruption of Ronald Reagan

    The MCA/Reagan angle is the basis for the book Stiffed. I can't recall the author's name right now. Decent book- hard to say the Mafia corrupted Reagan, when under him the Justic Department launched their most coordinated offensive against organized crime. Then again, none of the MCA-connected guys were targeted.
  12. Scott Deitche

    Harvard Gates

    I agree the real issue with this summit were the poor beer choices- so many great Americna mocrobrews to be had, though I will say Sam Adams, now the largest American-owned brewery makes outstanding beer, including their Boston lager (my fave), and the Summer Ale. The article is not entirely accurate though. America now has over 1500 independent breweries, compared to less than 50 in 1980. We are definitely pushing against the grain in beer production. One only needs to look at the great beer snob websites like beeradvocate or ratea-beer. All the best are coming from the US- now easily the cutting edge of global beer production. I may stop for a Maduro growler at the Cigar City Brewery on the way home- locally produced ale aged in cigar box wood. Hey Scott, Thanks for paying attention, but I can't believe your 1500 independent brewers, up from 50 in 1980, unless that includes the pub brews - where the beers are made at the pub and sold there, but not for outside distribution, as I assume the Cigar City Brewery is one. Correct? Bill Kelly I htink you may be right- But I can tell you a local store by me has over 400 American microbrews (individual breweries) for pick your own six pack bottles, and those are only the ones distributed here in FLorida. In any case there are exponentially more American breweries now that in any time since probably pre-Prohibition. Cigar City Brewery distributes across central Florida and is adding South Florida. Or you can get your growler filled up at the brewery (conveniently located on my drive home). http://www.cigarcitybeer.com/
  13. Scott Deitche

    Harvard Gates

    I agree the real issue with this summit were the poor beer choices- so many great Americna mocrobrews to be had, though I will say Sam Adams, now the largest American-owned brewery makes outstanding beer, including their Boston lager (my fave), and the Summer Ale. The article is not entirely accurate though. America now has over 1500 independent breweries, compared to less than 50 in 1980. We are definitely pushing against the grain in beer production. One only needs to look at the great beer snob websites like beeradvocate or ratea-beer. All the best are coming from the US- now easily the cutting edge of global beer production. I may stop for a Maduro growler at the Cigar City Brewery on the way home- locally produced ale aged in cigar box wood.
  14. Scott Deitche

    Lamar Waldron: Legacy of Secrecy

    Santo Trafficante Sr. and Jr. were working with the Corsicans to finance some of the drug shipments through New York as far back as the 1940s. Drugs coming through Tampa , certainly in the early part of the 20th centruy, were primarily funneled through Cuba as they came from South America, or through part of the French Connection. The New York families, especially the Bonnao and Genovese were heavily into that connection, as were the Cotronis out of Canada. I never saw much indication that the Patriarcas were involved in the Boston heroin business, certainly not the Irish gangs of Beantown. I might look more into that angle.
  15. Scott Deitche

    Lamar Waldron: Legacy of Secrecy

    ] Hey, it's great for book sales. Hey Scott, What do you think of the thesis that the mafia - Roselli/Giancana/Traficante/Marcello mob were behind Dealey Plaza? And then what do you think of the (Waldron?) thesis that these mafia mobsters hijacked a plot to kill Castro that JFK/RFK had devised? As somone knowledge about the mob in Florida, you're opinion weighs more. Thanks, Bill Kelly I have not had a chance to read Legacy yet. I like the old school , 1"f" in Trafficante. The familial surname of Traficante in Sicily was changed to Trafficante after Santo Sr. emigrated to Florida through Ellis Island. Probably a slip of paperwork, but it stuck. I think there is certainly very many circumstantial pieces of evidence linking Marcello and Trafficante to Dealey's events. Problem is that everyone was playing together in the same sandbox and the dirt gets spread around. For me the complete invovlement of the Mafia does not account for enough of the plan to make it viable. Rather the Mafia's involvement as a subconsultant is more feasible IMO. Marcello, Trafficante, and Roselli were certainly in position to supply men (Santo had a virtual Cuban Mafia with him Miami full of refugee crime bosses from Havana), money, and connections. Trafficante was certainly happy about Kenendy's death as I spoke to eyewitnesses who saw him toasting the death many times the weeks after. Also, on a earlier post about Ralph Slaerno saying FBI wiretaps would have picked up any Mafia chatter- wiretaps were far from ubiquitous in 1962/63. Tampa had a few to none- there is no record of any wiretap of Trafficante from any where near that time period that I have found. I do not know enough about Marcello to make that same assertion for New Orleans.
  16. Scott Deitche

    Lamar Waldron: Legacy of Secrecy

    Hoffa was killed by the Detroit Mafia because of Teamsters/internal Mafia business. NO political motive there. He just pissed off the Giacalones and Tony Provenzano.
  17. Scott Deitche

    The creationist conspiracy

    As a scientist , I can say that there has yet to exist one single solitary piece of experimental evidence supporting either creationism or intelligent design. It just doesn't exist- nothing, nada. Every month there are dozens, even hundreds (in a good month) of experimental peer-reviewed scienctific papers from dozens of fields of inquiry all supporting evolution. In the last 100 years there has not been one single experiment, data analysis, or peer-reviewed published paper supporting ID or creationism. The one thing that will always trip up a creationist is to ask them to explain the mechanics of the actual creation. They don't have any idea because they never bother to theorize how creation happened. They postualte a theory basically stating, if we can't understand it, then it must have been created. It's intellectually lazy, and incredibly frustrating to hear people speak out against evolution and not be able to come back with an alternative. And of course the ultimate question is: If humans are too complex to have evolved and therefore must have been designed by a creator, who designed the creator? That question alone shatters their basic logic.
  18. Scott Deitche

    Lamar Waldron: Legacy of Secrecy

    ] Hey, it's great for book sales.
  19. It's a great book, TJ did a ton of research. He came to Tampa a few times. I set him up with good sources who gave him some first-hand accounts of workign for Lansky in Havana, as well as some Trafficante info. I go into more detail about Trafficante's CUban activities in The Silent Don, than I did in the first one. BUt TJ does the best at encompassing all the mob's activities on the island pre-Castro.
  20. Scott Deitche

    Frank Olson's death

    Hank Albarelli is the foremost expert on the Olson case, having researched the case for years. He wrote numerous articles as well as the (upcoming) book A Terrible Mistake: http://www.amazon.com/Terrible-Mistake-Mur...3441&sr=8-1
  21. Scott Deitche

    The Future of the Republican Party

    As a registered Republican (for the time being at least), I was initially attracted to a party of small government, fiscal conservatism, strong defense, pro-law enfocrement. What we have now is big government, fiscal incompetence, scattershot defense and misguided law enforcement. We also have a Republican party that is obsessed with irrelevant social issues like banning gay marriage- which I don't support nor see a need for government to get involved in. The final nails are the anti-science, religious nutcases that have hijacked a significant portion of the party. As someone who voted against McCain and Obama, I can symnpathize with a need for a viable third party. Maybe I'll start my own.
  22. Scott Deitche

    Congratulations To Barack Obama

    This really was a foregone conclusion. The day McCain picked Palin- well a couple days after when I actually heard her speak, I vowed to not vote for a Republican for President for the first time since 1992. And I know many others who feld- the intelligent ones . Though I did not vote Obama (voted Libertarian), I think Obama's victory was the better one for America at this stage. And based on much of what I see here and on other forums, it is certainly very welcome in other countries. I was sad to see McCain really floundering at the end. He came in with so much promise then had to work against a tide of bad decisions, and the complete idioacy that is Sarah Palin. For whatever disagreements you may have with his politics, McCain is an admirable American who went through a hell I think most of us cannot even begin to imagine.
  23. Author TJ English, who wrote The Westies (not only my favorite mob book, but one of my favorite non fiction books in general) is releasing Havana Nocturne this summer. I'm reading through the proof now- an excellent examination of the mob's role in politics, drug trafficking, and debauchery during the pre-Castro era. English interviewed a number of great sources. I put him in contact with some Tampa subjects that were helpful in relating the Tampa-Cuba connection. I think this will be the pre-eminent work on the subject. http://www.amazon.com/Havana-Nocturne-Owne...9353&sr=8-1
  24. Scott Deitche

    Top US scientist commits suicide?

    Not only was it a sideshow, I think from very early on few people thought they were Islamofacist related. Also the FBI were truly hobbled in their investigation by stonewalling from other government agencies. While I have been critical of the FBI in regards to other investigative priorities, the "too-long" span of time it took them to work through this case was not entirely their doing.
  25. Scott Deitche

    Best First Line in Popular Music

    Just found this 4-YO thread "The screen door slams, Mary's dress awaits, Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays." Bruce Springsteen- "Thunder Road" "It's not the heat It's the inhumanity Plugged into the sweat of a summer street." Rush- "Ceiling Unlimited" "I saw you from a foreign window Bearing down the sufferin road You were carrying your burden To the palace of the lord" Van Morrison "Foreign Window"