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39 Reviews
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Great read, goes into many areas that have up in till now been unknown. Gives insight to Massino's family life, his Crime life and how he got where he did.

This book gives you a feel for all the players, the FBI, the US Attorneys,the defense lawyers. It goes into the history of the crime families, how they started and how the Bonnono's were looked down on and...
Published on September 13, 2006 by read4information

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read If You're A Mafia Head
I'm a huge mafia head and I know almost everything about New York's mafia scene. This book opened up a few new things to me ESPECIALLY about the murders of Sonny Black. This book is a touches with the intro the La Cosa Nostra, How the Bonanno crime famlily got started, How the murder of Carmine Galante went down, Who actually murdered Sonny Black & ends with Why Big joe...
Published on June 18, 2007 by The Boss


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, September 13, 2006
This review is from: The Last Godfather (Hardcover)
Great read, goes into many areas that have up in till now been unknown. Gives insight to Massino's family life, his Crime life and how he got where he did.

This book gives you a feel for all the players, the FBI, the US Attorneys,the defense lawyers. It goes into the history of the crime families, how they started and how the Bonnono's were looked down on and how Joseph put them back into power. Good background in his crew and the men that ratted him out. Lots of facts, author met with Massio's family and also gets information from a unknown source. Anyone interested in true crime stories or Mob stories will love this book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Is No Trust Within The Mob, December 26, 2006
By 
Bill Emblom "Bill Emblom" (Ishpeming, Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Godfather (Hardcover)
Joe Massino used the name of the Massino family instead of the Bonanno family because he felt Joe Bonanno sold out the mob by writing a tell-tale book that spilled family secrets. The Massino family suffered the embarrassment of being infiltrated by Joseph Pistone (Donnie Brasco). Massino's paranoia led him to mark for assassination those who had knowledge of the hits he had orchestrated throughout the years. The book centers around three captains that Massino had marked for assassination, and whose deaths among others, led to a trial in which he was sentenced to prison for life. The old mafia rules of not singing to the authorities apparently doesn't hold today as several members told what they knew regarding Massino's role in order to seek a lighter sentence. A virtual treasure trove of information was provided to the authorities as the dominoes began to fall. Massino, himself, fell in line with the other informants in order to avoid a death sentence. The book includes some nasty photos of mob hits in addition to some cartoonish photos of mobsters with bulging bellies who attended too many meetings where pasta was a staple. The book includes a number of mob hits in addition to a significant section devoted to the trial of Joseph Massino. The book clearly illustrates loyalty within the mob is in the past tense. Massino certainly knew that as he dispatched anyone who knew about his sordid past. The author did a fine job with the book, and fans of crime books will enjoy it.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read If You're A Mafia Head, June 18, 2007
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This review is from: The Last Godfather (Hardcover)
I'm a huge mafia head and I know almost everything about New York's mafia scene. This book opened up a few new things to me ESPECIALLY about the murders of Sonny Black. This book is a touches with the intro the La Cosa Nostra, How the Bonanno crime famlily got started, How the murder of Carmine Galante went down, Who actually murdered Sonny Black & ends with Why Big joe became a rat. Towards the end the book does dry out, but it's still worth the buy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mob Expose, June 20, 2008
This review is from: King of the Godfathers: Joseph Massino and the Fall of the Bonanno Crime Family (Pinnacle True Crime) (Mass Market Paperback)
i liked the way this book gave alot of info about the wives of mob figures.I've always wondered what the wives knew about their husband's activities and how they rationalized it. The wives are a convenient way to hide and transfer the assets of mobsters and they should bear some(or alot) of the guilt.The one DA in the book was putting pressure on mobster wives and this was a tactic I was unaware of and have wondered why mobsters' wives were considered,"untouchable".After all who is too often pressuring the mobster to bring in more money?
Joe Massino or "Joe Wagons"(nicknamed for his sandwich and coffee truck business) is represented in this book as one of the "Last Dons".Because law enforcement techniques (but mainly "legalized" gambling) are making the "family" less profitable and more dangerous, more and more mobsters are turning "states evidence".This book tells the tale of how law enforcement is breaking the comraderie of mobsters who previously took a "blood oath" to be faithful to the mob.Behind the facade of the "ham sandwuch guru",the story of Massino, is one filled with scams and murder.Apparently there's not much money in ham sandwiches,but it does get a person out into the working world to promote their scams.This book will keep you glued.Lots of gruesome photos which initially shock,but then as you read the history of the poor unfortunate you feel alot less sympathetic.(Just the mob's way of cleaning it's own house)!Well researched and highly readable
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource on La Casa Nostra!, July 24, 2007
This review is from: King of the Godfathers: Joseph Massino and the Fall of the Bonanno Crime Family (Pinnacle True Crime) (Mass Market Paperback)
Joseph Massino and others known to be involved in New York and New Jersey's Mafia families. This book is the real truth behind organized families (mostly Italian Catholic) just as in the Godfather movies and Sopranos television series. For those fans of the Sopranos who can't get enough of organized crime families will be shocked to read about the carnage in this book. I had run out of space writing all the names of those murdered or died in the blank pages of the book. I live in New Jersey and most of those names ring a familiar bell especially the Pizza Connection murders that was publicized all over television during the 1980s on the local news. Before he ran for President, Rudy Giuliani was going after the New York City crime families and of course, Leona Helmsley, for tax evasion. Giuliani himself an Italian Catholic New Yorker is barely mentioned in this book but he was partly responsible for the downfall of the families. Granted, this book is not for the squeamish. It's graphic and the pictures show the depravity and seriousness of the murders committed by Sammy the Bull Gravano and Joseph Massino. The pictures also show a close-knit family oriented activities like weddings and celebrations. Behind those photos lurks the darkness and evil, the organized crime families' downfall was brought upon by their pride, their several errors, and mistakes that often destroy businesses. Greed and pride are two big causes of the downfall. This book is about Joseph Massinio probably the last of the godfathers who survived only to go to prison with his family heartbroken and distraught over the family's betrayal. The book also has an index of those who survived and what has become of them. I think an index would have been a good idea. The book is well-written and researched but I wished an index and a family tree explaining the roles of the godfathers, associates, and others involved in organized crimes would have been useful too but it's a great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Suberb and "Must" Read!, April 16, 2008
By 
Jay Carollo (Central Iowa USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: King of the Godfathers: Joseph Massino and the Fall of the Bonanno Crime Family (Pinnacle True Crime) (Mass Market Paperback)
King Of The Gordfathers is an extremely well written book! I found it very deep and informative, so much so that I wondered how Anthony DeStefano got the 'members of the family' to reveal all of the inside stories. This book opens up the silence that was for so many years repressed and only speculated about. Mr. DeStefano also shows the work of the FBI and law enforcement agencies in finally putting pieces together that brought down one of the last of the 'old world' families. A big plus are the crystal clear photo section and an epilogue on 'Where They Are Now' King Of The Godfathers is a very detailed book that one needs to take the time to think about as you read through its chapters. Being of Sicilan heritage, I was very impressed, enlightened and educated, let alone a bit surprised! This book also shows why Mr.DeStefano won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. You will not be disappointed in reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mob in the 21st Century, July 30, 2008
This review is from: King of the Godfathers (Paperback)
If you are like me, you thought the mafia would die out when John Gotti went to jail. That is clearly not the case, as this book perfectly illustrates. Fantastic, entertaining book about one of the bosses of one of the powerful Five Families in New York. The man only recently went to prison in 2003. Book (the softbound edition) covers his entire life of crime all the way through his trial in 2004 along with developments through early 2008. It is an entertaining, educational, informative read, covering not only the boss, but the Bonnano family and NY mafia families in general. If you want to learn what the modern day mob is like and have a good time while doing so, then buy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Mohegans, December 27, 2012
This review is from: The Last Godfather (Hardcover)
This is the story of the low-keyed but brutal Capo of the Bonanno crime family, Joe Massino. Joe was born in 1943 and worked his way up the food chain to become the chairman of the board -- based mostly on his steely resolve, his earning power, his brutality and on his ability to keep his mouth shut, his head down, and by stepping over more than just a few dead bodies, at least ten of which he had commissioned himself. He was the opposite of the flashy John Gotti, who he was close to and had counseled (to no avail) to keep his head down.

The book is a chronicling of the family's exploits under Joe's reign: his closeness to John Gotti; how he set up the hit for three rivals in a Brooklyn Social club, the mob wars of 1981, and the most famous incident during his 20-plus year reign that embarrassed the family into exile: The Joe Pistone incidence. The reader may recall that Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco was in reality an FBI agent mole absconded inside the Bonanno crime family. The FBI was forced to pull the plug on the operation when incredibly, Massino was about to induct "Danny boy" into the exclusive Sicilian Mafioso club. The result of the two-year undercover operation was mass arrest within the Bonano family.

Although "Big Joe" escaped the FBI net at the time of the big take-down, Massino's and the family suffered unrecoverable embarrassment and he had to take the rap and pay the price for allowing an FBI mole to get so deep inside the mob that he was about to become a "made man." It so embarrassed the family that for an important stretch afterwards the Bananno Family was sidelined and cut out of the New York concrete, drugs, and cement contracting action. However, as luck would have it, this turned out to be a fortuitous turn of circumstance for Big Joe, as while the Bonanno family was "put on ice" in semi-exile, the FBI wiretaps had "rolled up" the other families based primarily on wiretaps of precisely the industries the Bananno's had been exiled from.

For most of his life Joe Massino had waxed eloquent about being loyal to the Mafia "code of omerta," and being a "standup guy," who would not "rat out" his friends. However, when his number two, his underboss and brother-in-law, Salvatore Vitale, "ratted him out" for the murder of the very man who had allowed Pistone to sneak into the family, Massino too got "rat religion" and began singing like a canary to save his own skin.

Massino's life spans both the glory days of the mob and the final days of its demise -- he being the "last of the Mohegans." For with his capture, all of the five New York families had finally been rolled up. As for the book itself, as far as mob prose goes, the writing here is uninspired. Add to that the fact that the author seemed less sure of his sources and facts than I am, and this is at most a three star production.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well balanced portayal of life in the mafia..., April 26, 2010
This review is from: King of the Godfathers: Joseph Massino and the Fall of the Bonanno Crime Family (Pinnacle True Crime) (Mass Market Paperback)
It is rare that you can get a book that is so detailed about the mafia. Oftentimes you are left with speculation and guessing, never really knowing for sure how or why something happened in the world of organized crime. With King of the Godfathers we are treated to a rare and complete glimpse at the head of the Bonanno crime family by the sheer number of made men who turned on their family.

I couldn't help but be fascinated in reading about Massino. We are shown a very detailed account of his life in crime as he moved his way up the ranks from soldier to godfather. We see where his alliances were held and, as often was the case, in how luck was on his side in the side that he chose. For example, the murder of the three captains. They were amassing an arsenal before Massino, but he got the drop on them and was able to eliminate this threat, which could have easily been him going to a meeting and obtaining his "receipt". The irony is that the very thing that saved him and his side was also the very same thing that ultimately turned his family against him and put him in prison for the rest of his life.

You see, that is the nature of the beast. The shady organized crime soldiers, captains, underbosses and bosses will ultimately do what is best for them. They are selfish and if the noose is wrapped too tightly, they will do all they can to get out of it. Thus the reason so many turned against their "family". Turn a highly placed underboss and everyone under him is threatened, so they all must turn against the boss in order to save themselves. Of course not all of the Bonanno family went to prison because most turned coat and then, after Massino was threatened with execution, he turned coat and betrayed the rest of his "family" to take execution off the board.

This highly detailed account from eyewitness accounts is not only great for Massino's life, but also for writing small vignettes of many a made men and associates of not only the Bonanno crime family but of the other crime families as well. With this well rounded and balanced portrayal of a dangerous and insidious man we are also treated to a well balanced account of life in the mafia. A must read for all mafia aficionados.

5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars King of Godfathers was just ok, April 13, 2013
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Nothing great. The start was good, but the trials were too long and kind of lost me along the way.
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King of the Godfathers: Joseph Massino and the Fall of the Bonanno Crime Family (Pinnacle True Crime)
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