First published in September 2004, one of Barricade's best-selling true crime titles is coming back in print in paperback to coincide with the film release of "To Kill The Irishman". With a new Introduction by the author, The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia is the fascinating chronicle of a once mighty crime family's birth, rise to power, and eventual collapse. The Cleveland crime family was third in power after New York City and Chicago, had influence with mega-mobsters like Meyer Lansky, and had a hand in the development of Las Vegas. Cleveland was also the site of the first known national meeting of the Sicilian-American Mafia that was hosted in 1928 by the author's grandfather and uncles-the notorious Porrello brothers. Although Danny Greene, "The Irishman," and La Cosa Nostra on the North Coast fall prey to this crime family, the central figure to The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia is Angelo "Big Ange" Lonardo. "Big Ange" boldly avenged his father's death in 1929, and then rose through the ranks to become acting boss of the Cleveland crime family.
He would serve two years of a life sentence before shocking family, friends, fellow mobsters, and the law enforcement community by cutting a deal with the Feds. He betrayed Omerta-the Sicilian code of silence-and his testimony helped put away mob bosses in New York City and across the country, and he provided a valuable and detailed education into the criminal society known as the Mafia.