Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Call Him the Mob Whisperer: Man Hopes To Launch TV Show

Think of it as the supernatural "Sopranos."
Actors, cameramen and the curious went deep into Staten Island's William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge Friday in search of spirits of the dead.
Not just any dead - but those snuffed by the mob whose relatives hope to reach them in the great beyond.
Searches for "Ghostfellas" is the concept of a possible new reality show whose pilot was shot in the sanctuary known to be a favorite gangland graveyard.
No ghosts dropped in Friday, but James McBratney, the brains behind the project, insisted "the shoot was great" because a woman whose father and brother were slain when she was 11 "found closure."
"She said the deaths left her unable to have long-term relationships for fear of more painful loss," said McBratney. "I told her that her loved ones want her to write a love story. It was like a burden lifted because she's in fact writing a music album."
And how did McBratney, a 48-year-old Staten Island private eye and substance abuse counselor, receive that message from the dead?
He shies away from the word psychic, even though he proudly says he nearly was a winner on "American Psychic Challenge." And he admits he has yet to talk to any of the departed, although he hopes to.
"I call what I have intuition," said McBratney. "I've always had the ability to read people, know what they're thinking and tell them to watch out for this or that. It's like this fortune cookie opens up in my mind and tells me things."
He also believes he's especially suited to do what he does because his dad, also named James, was gunned down in a Staten Island bar, allegedly by John Gotti and two cohorts when McBratney was just 10.
McBratney said he never really knew his dad. "He was in jail for four years, out for two and then they killed him."
But with research and his "intuition," McBratney said he learned "all about my father, what he did, who he was, what his choices were."
McBratney said an eyewitness told him his father was gunned down fighting for his life in a Staten Island joint called Snoope's on May 22, 1973.
The witness said the killers burst into the bar, fired a shot into the ceiling, then went after McBratney.
Investigators said it was Gotti's first hit.
"To a lot of people, he was a tough guy, a hoodlum. But he took me swimming, crabbing, on picnics. I can still see him at the dinner table as big as life, happy, smiling and covered with tattoos. He was like a God to me, and no matter what, I loved him. And now I believe he's resting peacefully."
So who'll be first to break death-imposed Omerta?
"I'd welcome the chance to chat with Jimmy Hoffa's son," said McBratney, and Crazy Joe Gallo's stepdaughter has already talked to me. So who knows?"



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