Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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On October 25, 1957, Albert Anastasia’s murderous reign in the New York underworld closed under a barrage of bullets from two assassins at the Park Sheraton Hotel barbershop. As reporters swarmed and cameras flashed over Anastasia’s bloodied corpse, speculations began running rampant on the causes behind the first public execution of a Mafia boss in over 30 years. Was another conflict on the level of the 1931 Castellammarese War brewing? Was this related to the shooting of another tenured mob boss, Frank Costello, five months earlier? As expected, dozens were brought in for questioning. Perhaps most surprising among them was a tough local lightweight boxer named Johnny Busso.

Busso had turned pro in 1952 and built a strong following in the Northeast by being a tough out for any opponent. In June 1957, Busso scored an upset 10-round unanimous decision win over Larry Boardman, but then suffered an immediate setback in dropping a decision to Ralph Dupas in August. Busso’s next bout was scheduled for October 25 against Gale Kerwin at Madison Square Garden. The night before, Busso had a room booked at the Park Sheraton Hotel with his manager Andrew Alberti.

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Andrew Alberti (NYC Municipal Archives)

Boxing manager wasn’t the only professional title Alberti had. The 37 year old was a member of the Mafia and associated with the Anastasia crime family. Busso would later tell the NYPD that he received a call in his room the morning of October 25 from Alberti, who requested he come down to the hotel lobby to meet some colleagues. Alberti would later admit to authorities that he and Busso ran into Anastasia in the lobby and discussed Busso’s fight that night against Kerwin. However, Busso stated Alberti introduced him to “numerous” people and he could not recall if one of them had been Anastasia.

1957 was the year the underworld had enough of Anastasia’s antics. The former “Lord High Executioner” of Murder Inc. was rumored to have set his sights on becoming the fabled “Boss of Bosses” in the Mafia. He had begun meddling in the financial interests of other bosses, most notably wanting a piece of the Cuban gambling rackets held by Santo Trafficante and Meyer Lansky. With the sheer amount of soldiers under Anastasia, there was a fear that the Brooklyn boss was growing too strong.

“Albert Anastasia was doing so much wrong and it was up to his family to act,” Mafia informant Joe Valachi would recall years later.

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The plan for Anastasia’s removal allegedly went into motion from his underboss Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese and Joe Biondo. According to an FBI report dated 1/3/63, Biondo and Alberti recruited a heroin trafficker Stephen Grammauta as the lead shooter. Organized crime writer Jerry Capeci would identify an Arnold “Witty” Wittenberg as the second assassin, and mobster Stephen Armone as an additional conspirator.

Anastasia’s movements had been tracked for months. The surveillance yielded the opening the conspirators had been waiting for — Anastasia ventured out twice a month to the Park Sheraton Hotel barbershop for haircuts. The hit team arranged for the weapons, .38 and .32 caliber handguns, to be placed in Johnny Busso’s hotel room before the hit.

At 10:20 am on October 25, Anastasia was at ease in the barber’s chair. He failed to notice two men enter the room clad in black gloves, fedoras and aviator shades. Anastasia’s back was to them as they flanked both sides of the chair and discharged their weapons. The 55 year old kingpin jerked out the chair as bullets ripped through him. A shot to the back of the head would be the coup de grace.

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Anastasia’s organization would be renamed the Gambino Family as it remains today. The murder would inadvertently lead to the national exposure of the syndicate when police broke up a Mafia summit meeting held in November 1957 at the Apalachin home of Joseph Barbara. One of the topics to have been addressed was the reallocating of Anastasia’s various criminal enterprises.

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No one was ever charged in Anastasia’s slaying. Andrew Alberti’s suspected role was enough for the New York State Athletic Commission to suspend his license as a boxing manager. In 1964, he committed suicide with a shotgun over being called to testify before a grand jury in a case involving fellow Mafia figure Carmine Lombardozzi. Stephen Armone passed away in Sicily in 1960. His younger brother Joseph would go on to become a caporegime in the Gambino crime family before passing away in 1992 at 74. The second shooter’s history, Arnold Wittenberg, becomes elusive after Anastasia. However, a public record does list him as passing away at 74 in 1978. Stephen Grammauta is reportedly still a Gambino family caporegime and will celebrate his 100th birthday on December 6.

The night of Anastasia’s death, Johnny Busso won a competitive 10-round decision over Gale Kerwin. Despite the story of the murder weapons being stashed his in hotel room prior to the crime, police were satisfied their interrogation showed Busso was not involved. Busso would achieve his greatest success in 1958 with decision wins over future Hall of Famers Carlos Ortiz and Joe Brown. He would lose rematches to both, including a 1959 decision to Brown in his only lightweight title opportunity.

Busso retired in 1961 with a record of 36-12-1 (15 KOs). He died at age 66 in 2000 following a long battle with cancer.

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Sources

NY Municipal Archives, Box 2, Anastasia Files 1957

New York Daily News, October 26, 1957

New York Times, November 10, 1964

Mob and The City, Alexander Hortis

Gangland News, October 1, 2001, Jerry Capeci

The Valachi Papers, Peter Mass

 

 

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Troy Ave was shot and his manager BSB Banga killed by unidentified assailants last night during a T.I. concert at NYC’s Union Square.

The venue-clearing incident occurred during the set of Brooklyn’s Maino and Uncle Murda. Eyewitness accounts a fight happened near the backstage entrance and spilled on stage. Shots rang out as another fight broke out on the concert floor.

Representatives for Troy Ave confirmed to Karen Civil that he was grazed by a bullet. In addition to BSB Banga, another man and woman were shot.

At press time, police have not confirmed any suspects.

 


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A Hip-Hop mystery has finally been solved. From the moment The Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous Life After Death hit stores in March 1997, fans have been vexed by the anonymous Knicks player that was robbed and cuckolded by his woman on the narrative classic “I Got a Story to Tell.” A few years back on ESPN’s Highly Questionable, former Knick John Starks confirmed the story was based in truth but declined to name the “victim.” Today, Fat Joe reveals the name as none other than Knicks enforcer Anthony Mason.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mase, he was one of the toughest players in the 90s and built like a tank. For some, it’s hard to imagine him getting played like this, but someone having the drop of you with a gun is a great equalizer. Another thing to keep in mind, as Joe mentions, is rappers embellish everything to the extreme. What could have been Biggie running out the back door could easily morph into the more entertaining cheating turned stickup fiasco.

Whatever happened, credit to Biggie for displaying his greatness and turning it into a classic and at times humorous song (a basketball game getting rained out???). We’re left to imagine if Biggie would have kept Mase’s name a secret had he lived.

After checking out the below video, check out this earlier piece that goes in-depth on Fat Joe other story about Roy Jones.


 

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Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

NEW YORK — Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are officially back on the schedule. The two young welterweights are (hopefully) set to clash June 25 at the Barclays Center. Originally scheduled for March, a Thurman car accident forced the new date. Let’s hope everything goes smooth over the next two months — the PBC brand has a strong list of upcoming and potential matchups in the 147-pound division.

Thurman and Porter had the below comments at today’s presser. Televised coverage begins June 25 on CBS at 9 p.m. ET. On the undercard is Abner Mares vs. Jesus Cuellar.

 

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KEITH THURMAN

I made you wait. But it’s worth it. This is a tremendous fight. Arguably the best matchup of the year. We’re going to work our butts off to make it the Fight of the Year.
Our two teams go way back. This is the most beautiful moment of my professional career and I’m about to compete with somebody I grew up with. I’m happy for my success and I’m happy for Shawn’s success. We come from the same boat. When you’re a young kid in the gym training and then you’re here today, that takes a special kind of person. Shawn and I are both that kind of person.
We took six weeks off after my accident, with three days a week of physical therapy. I was relaxing at home. I didn’t like it. As a fighter, I wanted this fight as bad as the fans wanted this fight.
This isn’t just the biggest fight of my career. But it’s the most anticipated fight of my career. Sometimes it pays to add some drama to the game. It wasn’t our intention, but I think it worked out.
Barclays Center makes this a big fight. We get to promote here in New York City. New York is a fight town. My favorite fighter of all time, Mike Tyson, is from Brooklyn. This just happened to work out for the best.
I anticipate most of the welterweight division being in attendance on June 25. The situation that division is in right now is that we’re all in a frenzy. Everyone wants the spotlight and everyone wants to be the top dog. We all have that opportunity.
I want to have two titles by the end of this year. People talk about replacing Floyd Mayweather, but you can’t become the man without beating all the people in front of you. One fight at a time. I want to stay at the top by grabbing another belt. I’m going to show that I’m the big dog at 147 pounds.
June 25, my friend is about to become my enemy. I’m going to treat him like any other enemy.
Get your tickets. Get your seats. Get your popcorn. Whatever you need to do. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. This is going to be a knockout you don’t want to miss. I love you Shawn, but I’m doing my best to put you to sleep.

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SHAWN PORTER

I’m very excited about this fight. I’m blessed to have this opportunity. Not only to go for this title but to be a part of a record-breaking show at Barclays Center. This night is going to be memorable.
Keith Thurman is bringing out the competitiveness in me to a level I’ve always wanted. It’s a level I expect. I have a guy next to me who is challenging me more than ever. Me and Keith Thurman are going to put on a show. Everything you talked about, you’re going to get it.
It is amazing to be a part of something great like this. I’ve always considered myself to be a very good fighter and a very good athlete, but I’ve always wanted something like this and to have it is very humbling.
I wasn’t surprised that Keith said he would knock me out. He has to pump himself up and be confident. When he looked at me I think he was trying to convince me that he was being real and I was looking at him to find out if he was convinced. He thinks he’s going to knock me out, I say he’s not. I’m going to do everything it takes to beat him and make it look easy.
This is forming to be a big fight, one of those fights that we’ve looked forward to since we were kids.
This is my second time fighting at Barclays Center. I’m 1-0 with a championship so now I’m looking for another one. I’ve been to some of the other fights at Barclays too and it is really an electric atmosphere. People are coming out to see something great and that’s what I’m going to give them.
I’m not changing anything in camp because of how familiar Keith and I are with each other. I have to do it at the right time in the ring. We’re going to do everything we do to prepare for a world championship fight.
Thurman is a little unorthodox at times so we’re prepared for that. It’s about going 12 rounds or less and looking good doing it. We’ve done a little sparring as pros but nothing as competitive as I’m expecting on June 25.
I have a feeling Keith is going to say he’s knocking me out a lot. I want to know if he believes that. He’s a cutthroat kind of fighter. I know that. The hands will be up, the defense will be taken care of, and we’re taking care of business.

StylesP_WelcometoNY

Styles P has backup on his travels through the grimy streets of New York. “Welcome to NY” is off his latest project, A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy.

Murda Mase Returns on “WhenNYWasNY”

Posted: August 11, 2015 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Music News
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Mase discards his pulpit robes for a different form of pontificating on “WhenNYWasNY.” Using a bit of trolling via the “California Love” instrumental, Mase gains some real steam as the track goes along. Spiritual hypocrisy aside, the man could still go with the right production. Unfortunately, too many false starts have likely closed the door on a high level comeback.

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Jamaica’s Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) holds the WBA featherweight title and makes his Madison Square Garden debut Saturday (June 13) against Miguel Marriaga. These two faced off in the amateurs with Marriaga spoiling Walters’ 2008 Olympic hopes.

The bout airs live on HBO.