Book Description – Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps – NY City-Volume 1 – Introduction – by Criminal Attorney Mathew J. Mari

          I have been a criminal defense lawyer for 34 years, specializing in organized crime cases. Like Joe Bruno, I was born in New York City’s Little Italy. My first residence was 146 Mulberry Street on top of Angelo’s Restaurant. At the age of six years old, I moved a mile south to the Lower East Side to a place called Knickerbocker Village, which borders the East River, and is located between the historic Manhattan Bridge and the majestic world-famous Brooklyn Bridge.

          Like Joe Bruno, I lived in Knickerbocker Village for three decades. Our neighborhood was one filled with unforgettable characters, most of whom were criminals, and many of whom were in the Mafia. Joe got to meet and see many famous criminals during his years in Little Italy and in Knickerbocker Village. It is no surprise to me that he was fascinated not only with the mafia characters he knew and heard of, but with the entire history of Lower Manhattan, and New York City in general.

His book, “ Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” is a composite of characters and events, that weaves the criminal characters of the underworld with the rich history of New York City, from the early 1800’s, through the early 1900’s. It is not just another mafia book, although Italian-American criminals are covered. The book covers the Jewish gangsters as well, who truly were the pioneers of organized crime, the Irish gangs, and the Englishmen, who were one of the first ethnic groups to run the New York City rackets. Joe even presents a fair amount of “lady gangsters”.

Most of all, “ Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks and Other Creeps-Volume 1- New York City” is easy to read. The short chapter format is a stroke of genius. It is interesting, informative, entertaining, and to the point. You won’t be bored reading it.

Joe Bruno has hit the mark in presenting Old New York the way it really was. Rough and bloody!

Mathew J. Mari


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