Sopranos May be Over But Chicago Mob Trial (Family Secrets) with Joey the Clown Lombardo Just Beginning


While so many people are still talking about the ending of the fictional mob TV series, The Sopranos, a real life mob trial will be taking place in Chicago. Well, its not like Chicago has a long history of mob activity. I guess Boston isn’t a college town either.

Federal prosecutors have targeted individual Outfit street crews and their leaders in the past, but Family Secrets will essentially put on trial the structure and enterprise that was the Chicago mob during the last few decades.

Expected to go on trial with Lombardo for racketeering conspiracy will be James Marcello, named as the boss of the Chicago mob at the time of his arrest; Frank Calabrese Sr., a made member of the Outfit’s 26th Street crew and once Chicago’s reputed top loan shark; Paul “the Indian” Schiro; and former Chicago police officer Anthony Doyle. (Chicago Tribune)

Crime buffs speculated that Lombardo (Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo)  was hiding out in the hills of Sicily or enjoying a life of ease in the Caribbean. Chicago mob hiding in the Caribbean? That could never be.

To read the on goings on the Chicago mob is to be like watching the Sopranos, Good Fellows or Casino.

That witness – Nicholas Calabrese, brother of Frank Calabrese Sr. – knows four decades of mob history from the inside and really does have a link to the movies. He is expected to testify against his brother.

Nicholas Calabrese pleaded guilty to several counts in May and admitted that he took part in 14 mob murders including that of Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, known as the Chicago Outfit’s man in Las Vegas. Spilotro, who inspired the character played by Joe Pesci in the movie “Casino,” and his brother were beaten to death and buried in an Indiana cornfield in 1986. (Yahoo News)

Other discussing: Talk Left

Posted June 18, 2007 by
Corruption, Crime, Murder | 6 comments

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  • Comments

    6 Responses to “Sopranos May be Over But Chicago Mob Trial (Family Secrets) with Joey the Clown Lombardo Just Beginning”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on June 18th, 2007 1:03 pm

      Dead mobster’s don’t talk

      But wives do.

    2. Miss-Underestimated on June 18th, 2007 1:23 pm
    3. LilPuma on June 18th, 2007 6:54 pm

      “Chicago mob hiding in the Caribbean? That could never be.”

      Everyone has to do their laundry some time. Why not do it in the sunshine with the beautiful blue ocean at your back?

    4. Maggie on June 18th, 2007 8:00 pm

      Around 1980, my husband I lived in a town in Illinois called Paris, not a big town. We used to go to a pizza place called Joe’s Pizza.. Best pizza in town. Joe usually had his wife and small kids there. Most of them didn’t speak English. Another woman my husband knew opened a new pizza place, so we decided to give it a try. When we went in, she started telling us she had been robbed at gunpoint by a young person in a ski mask. She said when he was running out the door, she yelled Johnny.. and he turned around and looked. She told us she thought they were from Joe’s Pizza, trying to run her out of business. She said something is not right at that place. Well, she told us not to say anything. She and her husband got a gun.

      We kind of avoided both places somewhat. One night sat down to watch 20/20 and they were in Paris, Illinois. The guy running Joe’s Pizza was arrested in the Pizza Connection mafia, turns out they were laundering money, and dealing and receiving drugs and using the Pizza place to do it. Was part of much bigger Mafia drug ring. Don’t remember how many years Joe got, but it was quite a few. Some of the defendants were killed or shot during the trial. I seriously doubt if that woman who opened her pizza place, had any idea how big the story was when she said there’s something not right over at Joes. I often wonder if she had them investigated, after she was robbed.

      Boston, May 2, 2004. Gaetano Badalamenti, once described by federal authorities as the ‘boss of bosses’ of the Sicilian mafia and ring leader of a billion-dollar drug smuggling operation, has died, a Justice Department spokesman said Friday. He was eighty. Mr. Badalamenti was sentenced in 1987 to 45 years in federal prison for being one of the ring leaders of the so-called Pizza Connection, a $1.65 billion heroin and cocaine operation that used pizzerias as fronts to distribute the drugs from 1975 to 1984

      The nephews of Gaetano Badalamenti operated pizzerias-and distributed heroin-out of small mid-western towns. The Sicilians dominated the heroin trade, while the American mobsters received a cut for allowing the Sicilians to operate in their territory. Manufacturers of cheese, olive oil and tomatoes could also be useful export vehicles for smuggling drugs into the United States. Joe Pistone, an FBI agent who infiltrated the Bonanno family, quoted one Bonanno member: ‘The zips are Sicilians brought into this country to distribute heroin. They set up pizza parlors, where they received and distributed heroin, laundered money. The zips were clannish and secretive…the meanest killers in the business.’” (A. Stille, 1995)

    5. Janinne on January 22nd, 2010 11:27 pm

      A link to the Karen and Dyke Rhoads murders? hmmmm…big fish in a small pond?

    6. Robert Schunk on July 25th, 2010 2:27 pm


      Yes, there is a link to the Rhodes murders. Illinois State Police Detective Michale Callahan and an FBI agent learned that Callahan’s captain was present at Joe’s Pizza on several occasions (actually every occasion they were aware of) when phone calls to Sicily were placed from Joe’s Pizza. The Owner, Joe Vitale, is the nephew of Tano Badalamenti, the recently deceased “Boss of Bosses” of the Sicilian Mafia.

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