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Friday, May 21, 2010

Meyer Lansky's Mafia Secrets Exposed By Daughter

By Robert W. Welkos

For decades, underworld boss Meyer Lansky kept mob secrets so explosive that if the truth ever came out it would alter American history. Now his little-known daughter, who kept her own Code of Silence over the years about her father’s activities, is drawing back the dark veil of the mob’s influence at the highest reaches of government and world events.

Sandi Lansky Lombardo, now 72 and living in an undisclosed location in Florida, carried on the mob tradition of silence to protect her late father and family all the while knowing revealing details about President Nixon’s threat to withhold the sale of fighter jets to Israel because Lansky refused to cut Nixon in on a casino deal; Lansky and Charles “Lucky” Luciano’s plot to assassinate Hitler and Mussolini; and, legendary singer Frank Sinatra hiding out in the basement of a Catholic Church to avoid being killed on the orders of Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana.
For years, Sandi was tailed by FBI agents trying to put her dad behind bars. The late underworld chief had built a far-flung gambling empire while forging a nationwide crime syndicate with his boyhood pal Luciano, leaving a trail of bullets and blood across a continent.
She even had a torrid love affair with one of J. Edgar Hoover’s boys before finally breaking off the romance and remaining true to her father. The agent was assigned to investigate Meyer Lansky.
Producer/writer Bob DeBrino, who owns the film and literary rights to her story and whose critically-acclaimed film “Find Me Guilty” starred Vin Diesel and was directed by Sidney Lumet, and producer/writer Nicholas Pileggi, whose screenwriting credits include “Casino” and “Goodfellas,” are working with Sandi on her memoirs. DeBrino, with Pileggi’s help, is simultaneously preparing a pitch for a feature film.
“The story is not about Meyer Lansky,” said DeBrino. “This is her story, how she saw her father. We all know about Meyer Lansky but we don’t know the truth about what she knows. There are many discrepancies and inaccuracies that she will clear up. The studios have told me that there will eventually be a big Lansky movie. The fact that there is a living family member involved in the project also is important to the studios and talent.”
In interviews with Sandi Lansky Lombardo, including DeBrino’s meticulous research as well as independent research, HollywoodNews has been able to piece together some of the bombshell revelations that most thought Meyer Lansky took to his grave, but that, in truth, he revealed to his daughter during the final years of his life.
They include:
–President Nixon, already angry that Lansky had supported JFK for President years earlier, conducted a vendetta against the underworld boss after Lansky rebuffed Nixon’s attempt to be cut in on a lucrative casino deal in the Bahamas because in those days only “wise guys” were partners with each other. After being tipped by an FBI agent that he was being framed, Lansky fled to Israel to avoid prosecution on U.S. tax evasion charges. Nixon then threatened to withhold the sale of Phantom fighter jets, which Israel desperately needed to defend itself from its Mideast neighbors unless Prime Minister Golda Meir had Lansky deported. Lansky voluntarily left Israel before he could be deported and later was tried in the U.S. and acquitted of the tax allegations.
–Frank Sinatra cancelled all his engagements and hid out in the basement of a Catholic church (giving the priest $50,000 for the church because he helped him hide out), after hearing that Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana was plotting to kill him. Giancana was upset that Sinatra was becoming too arrogant and carless and was pushing around members of Giancana’s gang. Sinatra called Lansky in tears, saying he would do anything – even playing a million gigs in all of Giancana’s joints – if Lansky would ask him to call off the plot. What Sinatra didn’t know was that Giancana was listening in on the other line and that Lansky quietly hung up the phone just as Giancana was about to burst out laughing.

–Concerned that President Harry Truman was wobbly in his support for creating a new nation of Israel, Lansky reached out to the Kansas City underworld and they used their connections in the White House to persuade Truman, whose home state was Missouri, to change his mind, reminding the President of the union support that helped elect him to office.
–Lansky plotted with “Lucky” Luciano to have gangster Vito Genovese assassinate Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. But by then, Mussolini had already been overthrown in Italy and Vito didn’t want to kill Hitler because he was raking in so much money on the black market that he didn’t want the war to end.
–The U.S. Navy sought out Lansky’s help to guarantee labor peace on the docks during World War II and to thwart any would-be Nazi saboteurs and spies on the waterfront. As a result of the cooperation with the mob, a Nazi submarine was reported by an Italian-American fishing fleet from the docks. The submarine was seen off the coast of Long Island where the Nazis helped several of their spies land on the each. This incident was reported by the fishermen to Luciano and Lansky, who gave the information to the FBI and Naval Intelligence. As a result, eight German spies were caught, tried, and six were executed. They had plans to blow up several key defense installations and to poison the water supply.
–The commonly held story that Bugsy Siegel was assassinated by the mob over money missing from the Flamingo Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas is a lie. Sandi said that according to Luciano’s lawyer, Moses Polakoff, and others close to Luciano and Lansky, Siegel was killed for disrespecting Luciano by telling the Boss of Bosses to “Go fuck yourself” after Luciano gave the cocky Siegel a dressing down for arriving late with bagels to an important meeting to discuss legal strategy to prevent him going to jail for life. She said there was nothing her father could do to save Siegel’s life after that happened.
–Joe DiMaggio tearfully asked Lansky if he could use his influence to reunite the Yankees slugger with his former wife Marilyn Monroe after Monroe’s divorce from playwright Arthur Miller. Lansky had his boys tail Monroe, but couldn’t do anything about Marilyn’s life spiraling out of control after her illicit affairs with John and Bobby Kennedy and her growing dependence on prescription pills.
As Meyer Lansky’s daughter, Sandi was always treated royally. She traveled the world, staying at 5-star hotels, attending private schools, driving luxury cars and having her pick of designer clothing. She met many high profile people from Sinatra and Dean Martin to Jack Kennedy and Revlon cosmetics executive Charles Revson.
But there were also men she called her “uncles” who drifted in and out of her life in those early days.
These “uncles” were mobsters like Bugsy Siegel (“We never used the name ‘Bugsy,’” she notes); Frank Costello, nicknamed the “Prime Minister of the Underworld” as head of the Genovese crime family; Santo Trafficante, the most powerful organized crime figure in Florida; Guarino “Willie” Moretti, an underboss of the Genovese crime family who was gunned down at Joe’s Elbow Room restaurant in Cliffside Park, New Jersey; Joe Adonis, a New York mobster who was deported to Italy; Anthony “Little Augie Pisano” Carfano, a New York gangster who was shot in the back of the head on his way to the airport; Samuel “Red” Levine, a member of Murder, Inc., and one of three hit-men reportedly sent by Lansky to assassinate Sicilian mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano; Abner “Longie” Zwillman, known as the “Al Capone of New Jersey”; Frank Erickson, right-hand man to early mob boss Arnold Rothstein; Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, who ran a $1million-a-year numbers racket in Harlem; and, Joe Fischetti, a Miami-based mobster who was one of Sinatra’s close pals.
Over the years, Sandi has turned down many offers to tell her life story. She even balked, she said, when “big shots” at Paramount Pictures tried to woo her cooperation’s for a movie.
“I was hounded by everybody,” she recalled. “They were like vultures. You can’t blame them. They wanted to do something about dad, but I wasn’t interested.”
Until she turned 13, Sandi said, she wasn’t aware of her father’s real line of work. As she tells it, she was heading home from school one day when she went to buy a movie magazine and saw her father’s picture staring at her from the cover of a magazine. This was in the early 1950’s, when Tennessee Sen. C. Estes Kefauver was conducting his much-publicized hearings on organized crime.
Her mother, Anne, who had been divorced from Meyer Lansky since 1947, discovered her daughter reading about him in her room and told her if she had any questions about her dad to ask her. “And then she told me how wonderful Dad was,” Sandi recalled.

Sandi moved frequently while living in New York with her mom and her brothers, Paul and Buddy. Today, Paul lives in the Midwest. Buddy, who suffered from cerebral palsy, died in 1989.
Sandi’s life changed after her mom began showing signs of mental illness. “She was in and out of hospitals,” Sandi recalled. “Up until I was 13, she wasn’t that bad. When I turned 14, it was terrible. She was a very good mother but she couldn’t take care of herself.”
At 15, Sandi moved down to Florida to be with her father, who had remarried in 1948. But Sandi said didn’t get along with Lansky’s wife, Teddy, claiming she treated the teenager like the “other woman.”
It was on a trip to a horse show at Madison Square Garden in New York that teenager Sandi Lansky met up with a childhood friend, Marvin Rapoport, whose family owned the Rapoport Dairy Restaurant in New York. She was 16 and he was 24 when they married. On a visit to Europe, the couple went to Italy and visited Luciano, who put them up in a top hotel and accompanied them to an A-class dinner. While visiting Luciano, Sandi noticed they were being followed everywhere. The couple returned to America on the SS Andrea Doria, which would sink the following year in one of the world’s most famous maritime disasters.
After the birth of a son, Gary, the couple’s marriage fractured and they were divorced in 1957.
By now, Sandi had been transformed from na├»ve schoolgirl and young wife to self-confessed “party girl,” dancing the night away at swank NYC watering holes like The Copacabana, El Morocco and the 21 Club. She also frequented Basin Street East, The Harwyn, Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, The International Nightclub and Danny’s Hideaway, often ending up for breakfast at The Brasserie.
She knew singer Vic Damone, comedian Joe E. Lewis, performer Jimmy Durante, actor Walter Matthau, actor/comedian Dick Shawn and jazz great Duke Ellington. She hung out so often with crooner Bing Crosby’s son, Gary, at the Essex House in New York that people mistakenly thought they were having an affair. She also became friends with columnists Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan. Through her dad, she was introduced to future President Jack Kennedy at the Warwick Hotel in 1958.
She met her current husband, Vince Lombardo, a one-time “made-man” in the Genovese crime family, while “on a dopey date with a friend of his, who was a horror,” Sandi recalled with a laugh. It was a Saturday night and they went to a restaurant that Vince helped run, but she grew bored with her date and spent the night in a phone booth talking to her ex-husband. “That’s where (Vince and I) met,” she said. “I couldn’t stand his friend.”
Meyer Lansky liked Vince, but told him if he was going to marry his only daughter, there was one stipulation: Vince had to get out of the “family business.” So, her dad made all the arrangements and Vince separated from the mob without an obligation, payment or continued stipend to the family, something unheard of at the time.
She was 26 when she married Vince in 1964, but there was a nine-month period when her addiction to diet pills forced the couple to separate.
“I wanted to become a model,” she recalled. “That’s when I got addicted to diet pills. I’d stay up for days and then sleep for days. I’d do everything my way.”
She and Vince got back together and settled in Florida, where they ran a janitorial and chemical business.
The FBI would follow her around whenever her father would be away, she recalled.
One of her most memorable encounters with the FBI occurred in the fall of 1958, after her divorce from Marvin and before she had met Vince.
An FBI agent named Ed Hartnett had shown up at her apartment and told her he had been a cadet at West Point at the time Sandi visited her brother, Paul, who was also was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy. It was obvious that Hartnett was using his connection to West Point to get close to Sandi so he could get information about her father.
Sandi phoned her father from a pay phone and told him about the encounter. Lansky told his daughter he would call her back in 20 minutes. When he called back, she told him that Hartnett’s visit made her uncomfortable. Lansky put his daughter in touch with an old time associate, Bobby Blanch, who met her at a restaurant on Broadway and instructed her to call the FBI agent and agree to meet him again. Then after the meeting, Sandi was to tell Bobby whatever the agent had told her. If they offered her money, he said, take it and say she needed it for her rent.
But the meetings with Hartnett soon turned into romance. Neither was sure if they were in love or if they were each being set up. Sandi eventually decided to call it off.
After Meyer Lansky’s death at age 80 from lung cancer in 1983, it was widely rumored that he was worth a staggering $400 million, and maybe as high as $600 million. Sandi scoffs at that rumor.
“He had almost nothing (when he died),” she said. “When he got in trouble (with the IRS), he turned everything over to his brother. We calculated it was about $15 million. But (Dad) said there was nothing.” Asked who got rich, she said it was her uncle’s family. “His two children got it,” she said. “They’re multimillionaires.”
Still, producer DeBrino is convinced Lansky left a vast fortune.
“He might have had $15 million but he was controlling over $1 billion,” DeBrino told HollywoodNews, noting that much of Lansky’s fortune was likely laundered through Swiss banks.
“Meyer was good at that,” Debrino explained. “He took for himself a well deserved, huge salary, but he controlled and invested all the mafia families’ money. Remember, during this time, there were 34 mafia families spread across all the major cities. I’m sure by now this money is all cleaned up and in legitimate businesses. Come on, how can anyone believe Meyer had no money at the end? He had over 100 casinos that were known, race tracks, dog tracks, slot machines and many legitimate businesses.”
hollywoodnews.com

59 comments:

  1. Alvin Melnik, Mel Kessler, Don Aronow, Ben Kramer

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  2. what an intelligent great mastermind of a man.very impressive.

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  3. Sorry Sandi & Vinny Love You,Forgive me.

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  4. i want to be like Meyer Lansky

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  5. GREAT PIECE, SO THANKFUL THAT SHE SHARED THIS INFORMATION!! Lansky was a very smart man, great with numbers, figures, helped make Vegas what it is today!!!

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    1. A shit hole in the dessert for gambling and drug addicts. Wasters

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  6. Ey Madsam, i think you mean Bugsy cuz' vegas was bugsy's idea

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  7. Bugsy was smart but, he disrespekted Luciano.

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    1. learn how to spell

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    2. Learn how to use grammar, you should always capitalize the first letter of a sentence and you should always use a period at the end. Oh yeah, and learn how to not be an asshole.

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    3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  8. just love the mob life!I look up to the great'Godfathers".

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  9. The part I found most interesting was the truth behind Bugsy's death.

    History already describes Bugsy as a moron. What a stupid and suicidal move to tell the boss of bosses to go f**k himself in that day in age. The reason the 5 families still stand among all this chaos is because of the genius of Luciano.

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    1. 100% agreed. Lucky was and always will be THE man!

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  10. What a load of rubbish most of this is. Maybe a few tidbits of truth. Truman listening to the mob on Israel, Nixon wanting a cut of casino money, what stupid comments and lies. Lansky was just a hood and a lucky one at that! Assasination plots against Hitler and Mussolini just plain nonsense. Or ganised crime had no where near the power this article claims, not did the Mob kill JFK. Dont give criminals, killers and parasites on society much credit, they are legends in thier mind and liars!

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    1. All that stori is tru,,, that are we are human species

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    2. I do think it is odd that Lansky was acquitted of his tax evasion charges. It's relatively easy to prove and the state usually waits till it has irrefutable proof until it prosecutes. I think a Nixon frame lends itself to that.

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    3. Exactly.

      Lansky is Jew mafia who killed Kennedy.

      Israel did 9-11. One day they will pay.

      America will wake up

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    4. Israel Jew mafia killed Kennedy

      Israel did 9-11.

      No doubt.

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    5. Inevitably the "Evil Jewspiracy" vermin show up peddling their delusions. Why don't you crawl back under the rock with your Anti-Semite Brothers in the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda?

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    6. What a fricking idiot you are. Vermin like you just need to crawl back under the muck-filled rock you slimed out from under. Yes, Lansky WAS involved with the plot to kill Hitler and Mussolini, and I absolutely do believe that scumbag crook Nixon would do such a thing. In fact Nixon and GWH Bush had something to do with the assassination of Kennedy. Not the mob.

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    7. I feel sorry for some of you guys you have no idea about the mafia or what it was like during that era.Back then a politician could not be a politican without the mob.So yes Meyer Lanksy one of the most powerful gangsters was prorbably in on a plan to kill Hitler and Mussonlni. I don't belive he was behind the JFK assaination but I belive other mobster Carlo Marcello New Orleans Godfather and Santo Traffancie Flordia Boss were in on it.I belive it was the CIA and the Mob together as the CIA already had strong connection with the mob after the plan to kill Castro in Cuba.

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  11. One of the few brilliant "real" gangsters. Nothing but Rats & wimps today.

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  12. lucky and meyer knew there were better ways to make
    money...yes they were bad guys,but have to give them credit...for standing out...because know can in this
    day and age can take away a true lengend!...HAPPY NEW
    YEAR...Sandi!!

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  13. lansky is a moogul, a tycoon of the mob.
    good laundry , boss

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    1. Everything in this book is true,and you can take that from me,anybody who does not believe it that's up to them,but they no nothing of the mob,

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  14. Though many other made men had the names and aura; Capone, Bonano, Gotti, Luciano, Costello, Gambino, and even the 'rat' Gravano--Lansky was probably the 'whole deal' and most underrated mobster of all time.

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    1. capone was never a made man

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    2. The Chicago Outfit is different. One is not "made" in the typical Mafia sense. Capone was the boss for a short time, no doubt.

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    3. Actually he started in new York he was a made guy but got in bit of trouble and was sent to Chicago to work as muscle for the boss at the time..learn your fucking history before use open your mouths''dumb asses

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  15. how many wives did h have?

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  16. If they were still alive, no Colombians, no Mexicans, no Jamaicans could create the actual chaos. No crime ethic, no boss of bosses, only gangs of stupids morons killing each other.
    We don't have organized crime now, we have generalized crime.

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    1. Lets be honest organized crime infiltrated all levels of society in America during these early dates. Because of these organized crime groups the United States penal code had to be changed in order to prosecute and make it less desirable to commit these crimes. For example mandatory minimums for drug trafficking, conspiracy, RICO statues. It wouldn't be far fetched to believe that O.C (organized crime members) had the money to influence people and capitalism in a time when America was prospering due to War with weak law enforcement capabilities. As for money? drug cartels make the mob fiscally look like the GDP of haiti after the earthquake. Remember the mafia imported heroin from Turkey in the 1930's in which non of the italian families wanted anything to do with it. Mexico's drug cartels were formed by Colombians entering mexico in the late 1970's and establishing those primarily mexican based DTO's that also make billions. People think that after Pablo Escobar died that the cartel's were dismantled.... go to CBS 60 minutes and type in the 'super cartel'. You will find revealing evidence that *WEEKLY * $40 million dollar bulk cash shipments from mexican cartels to colombian cartels represents a far greater capitalistic, organized criminal element than the mafia. RICO laws always stick because the mafia almost always ends up killing someone during their investigated periods. These cash shipments only measured money coming from the U.S and does not include bulk cash coming from Europe, Austrailia, Asia, and Africa !!! The aforementioned statements are hardly "GENERALIZED CRIME" !!!
      When's the last time you heard an italian mob boss assassinated a Federal agent, border patrol agent, journalist's, or entire villages and got away with it ? I haven't ....

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  17. Jewish gangsters run the country now. JDL

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  18. Well, it was my grandmother , sister Teddy who was married to Meyer Lansky till the end

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  19. It is nice to see Vince and Sandy still together I knew Vince back in North Miami in 1974. We had a mutual friend Jimmy Dee who's daughter had died in a car accident and ran the San Gennaro Feast in Sunrise that year.

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  20. Sandi Lansky is human garbage. A despicable excuse for a human being.

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    1. The above comment and writer is the garbage .
      Myer Lansky would have been chairman of G M
      if he gone in a legitimate business .
      He is Idol and insprition of every aspireing
      Russian Jewish Mob member & business man in the World .
      ,,

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  21. Wow.
    Dec.31st anonymous guy. you say "When's the last time you heard an italian mob boss assassinated a Federal agent, border patrol agent, journalist's, or entire villages and got away with it ? I haven't ...." as though its something to admire and praise.
    Growing up i was always intrigued by the mafia and people like tommy luchesse, lansky etc. but what i admired is that they mostly wouldn't kill innocent people. it was all strictly business. no drugs, no wars on the street, no killing of family member's of mobster's (usually) these guys had a certain level of class and doing these kind of things would be bad for business and draw heat on the mafia.

    There were rules. Here you come along and put these modern day cowards on a pedestal for killing villages of innocent people. Are you insane?
    The other day a wellknown international gangs killed a bus full of school children to send the governmant a message.
    Is that cool? you like it when you see their little dead bodies on your tv screen? you sadistic pig.
    Have you ever been affected by gang wars or seen someone being killed in front of you?
    a man was murdered last week, a police officer, two kids walked up to him and shot him in the head.for no reason.
    his wife and 3 little kids are traumatised, their lives are wrecked.
    Thats the reality of the situation. Not so glorious when you live through it.
    Get yourself booked into a mental hospital ASAP.

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  22. WHAT & HOW IS CINDY DOING NOW?

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  23. Your father had my father murdered. He was a piece of dirty shit. Your family owes me, but I'm sure you are still'IN', so your response would be to kill me, just like your soul-less freak of a father. He's burning in Hell, and you'll be joining 'Daddy'soon. Living high off the hog from Blood Money. Fuck You!

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    1. HE,S IN A BETTER PLACE

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    2. you're an idiot meyer killed your father bc he done something wrong or he was in the mob its not meyer's fault your father chose this life and he knew the consequences

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  24. Interesting to see so many people who idolize psychopaths. Even " want to be like them " adopt language straight out of movies. Claim dubious connections to mobsters. Post sttrongly worded pseudo threats toward dead people & an old woman. A bit childish & weird.
    Now do John Wayne next please.

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  25. Hi, Meyer. Hello, Benny. Hidee-ho, Charlie Lucky........

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  26. I would hire your dad on the spot !! everyone has a past and everyone has a secret.you have to look beyond what people say.Hell people will talk about others if your on top of the world or if your in the gutter...I always say thank God! There still talking about me. Thank you great story. Sincerly Phil Hart

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    1. and still in business just go to your local paycheck loan store @ 355 percent they made loan sharking legal ,and where the hell is Alvin

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  27. 90% of these big-mouthed know-it-all comments are Anonymous. Most of the comments are verging on illiterate and definitely have very little reading comprehension. I.E. the person attempting to explain Cartels vs. Mob money. Money was the point, NOT how cool it is to kill villages. I'm actually sorry I even bothered to read the comments section. Idiotic babble....

    BTW, I'm posting as Anonymous because I simply can't be bothered to register for this ridiculous site.

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  28. While the mob had a reputation that was based on fear, greed and murder, there are other attributes that are being over looked. For instance, I grew up in the garment industry and many jobs were saved because the unions were strong. From an economic development point of view, the mob stimulated the economy. In addition, members of the mob made deals with only a handshake as a contract and always honored, their word. I am afraid today, that honor is far a s few bwtween. The mob was good to my family as they protected jobs for just pennies on the dollar by paying union dues. I wish Meyer Lansky was alive today to continue to stimulate the economy.

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  29. Meyey Lansky a true legend of his time!

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  30. what I like the most about the italian mobsters was how much they loved America and respected the country even during war they kept a eye on the ports and other things. Even though they did a lot of shady things for the most part it was only against people who were involved it them same game. They actually Loved family and had family values. now look at the gangsters today. even the ones in office no values no respect for the country nothing.

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    1. They got paid for it, they did it for the love of money. Typical dickhead comment

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  31. good point by the person above

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  32. Well everyone read the words, but the encription in every photo was ignored. Add contrast and magnify, looks like Hebrew to me. Encription is everywhere. We just have to start looking and translating if you want to know the truth. It dates back to 473 BCE and is in current art and photos. Who are these guys? Don't let anyone tell you it's pixel artifact because artifact can't present itself in numbers or language. Don't be blind, start looking.

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