Goodfellas? Bedfellas.

The one night he’d spent in the joint facing armed robbery charges was life-changing. When Gregory walked out of jail on the 21st of March, 1962, he was a new man. That wasn’t to say that he’d turned over a new leaf and would walk the straight and narrow.  As a matter a fact, if anything, he would henceforth ply his trade with even more élan. What changed that morning was his status, for a deal was made with the devil. Just which side in the transaction played the role of Satan and which side lost its soul has still proven to be ambiguous.

Over the next thirty years, Gregory Scarpa “informed” - he informed the FBI - of plans and crimes and conspiracies, of conversations and rumors and goings-on among the Five Families of organized crime.  Gregory Scarpa also committed assault, supervised  bookmaking operations, hijacked trucks, trafficked in cocaine, loan-sharked, stole mail, laundered money, ran credit card scams, extorted, kidnapped, and tortured. And he personally murdered no less than a dozen people. From that day in 1962 when he was first “turned” until the very end of his long reign of terror in 1992, only when his behavior could no longer be hidden, Scarpa had spent a total of 30 days in jail. He had been known by other wise guys as the Grim Reaper; as the man who’d leave 666 as his calling card with his victims. And he’d collected over $150,000 in informant fees from his “handlers” while he was being protected.
One is naturally led to ask the question, like concerned citizen and freelance investigator Angela Clemente has done in a 300 page report to the Justice Department: Which is worse, a mafia that operates outside of the law or a government that knows no law?


Stubborn to Live, Stubborn to Die

The West Branch Susquehanna River zigzags its way through central Pennsylvania , passing to the east of the small community of Kelly Township, about 170 miles west of Philadelphia. Cornfields patina the countryside a brassy yellow, accentuating the thick boundaries of oak forests teeming with deer and fox. Farming and hunting naturally dominate the local activities but other than that there’s nothing to explain the unique group of men who’ve called this out-of-the-way place home… except: the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary.

On December 23, 1971, a man walked out the doors of the prison having served only five years of a thirteen year sentence thanks to a Presidential pardon. At the time, he was already more well- known than some of the men who’d occupied his cell-block before him – Whitey Bulger, Wilhelm Reich, and Alger Hiss – better known than any he served time with – Paul Vario, RobertLee Johnson, and John Gotti – and even more infamous than those that would follow – Henry Hill, John Wojtowicz, and Robert Hansen. His fame, however, didn’t help him “post-prison” and he met resistance in regaining the glory of his old life, so three years later he began to write his autobiography.
And then he disappeared.

His autobiography was published a few months later but it didn’t include his obituary. That was to be written and rewritten over the years by a countless parade of surmising G-men, deathbed thugs, and barstool theorists: “Disintegrated in a fat-rendering plant… Mixed in the concrete below Giant’s Stadium… Sealed in a drum in a toxic waste dump… Buried under the helipad at the Sheraton Savannah Resort… Crushed in scrap-metal and shipped to Japan.”

Etcetera. Etcetera.
Since Jimmy Hoffa mysteriously disappeared from a restaurant near his Detroit home in 1975, he’s died a thousand deathsand counting, yet refuses to die.


Hi Trina!

Welcome to Three Hundred Words and thanks for the "follow!" A new story to come this weekend!