259 episodes

Gangland Wire Crime Stories is a unique true crime podcast. The host, Gary Jenkins, is a former Kansas City Police Intelligence Unit Detective. Gary uses his experience to give insigtful twists on famous organized characters across the United States. He tells crime stories from his own career and invites former FBI agents, police officers and criminals to educate and entertain listeners.

Gangland Wire Gary Jenkins: Mafia Detective

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 339 Ratings

Gangland Wire Crime Stories is a unique true crime podcast. The host, Gary Jenkins, is a former Kansas City Police Intelligence Unit Detective. Gary uses his experience to give insigtful twists on famous organized characters across the United States. He tells crime stories from his own career and invites former FBI agents, police officers and criminals to educate and entertain listeners.

    Buford Pusser and the Dixie Mafia

    Buford Pusser and the Dixie Mafia

    Buford Pusser

    True Crime author and blogger Synova Cantrell tells the true story behind the murder of Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser. The well-known Walking Tall movies depict the story of this tough southern named Sheriff Buford Pusser and his fight with the State Line Mafia or more [popularly known as the Dixie Mafia.   Actors like Joe Don Baker, Bo Svenson, and, in the most recent remake, “Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have portrayed this modern-day Wyatt Earp as he took a stand against this southern-fried version of the mob. Buford Pusser’s story of his battle against The Dixie Mafia was more than an action movie. He was real and so was the Dixie Mafia.

    The Dixie Mafia

    The Dixie Mafia was also known as the State Line Mob and they controlled many rural counties in the Mid-South states of Tennesse and Kentucky. A man named Carl Douglas “Towhead” White was an important lieutenant in this organization. White was in prison when Sheriff Burford Pusser had a confrontation with his girlfriend Louis Hathcock. She tried to get the drop on Sheriff Pusser and he retaliated killing her. Towhead White was enraged and he called his boss Kirksey Nix who ordered his men to set up and kill Sherriff Pusser and his wife, Pauline.

    Later that same year, 1967, Sherriff Buford Pusser and his wife Pauline were responding to the report of a disturbance in the early morning hours before dawn. As they passed a rural church where this disturbance was reported they found nobody was in sight. As they passed the New Hope Church, a black car drove out from behind the building and started following the Pusser’s car. The driver of the Cadillac flashed on its headlights raced up beside Pusser’s police car and opened fire. Pusser stomped on the accelerator and pulled away from their pursuers. They backed off and in a few miles he pulled over to check on his wife. The unknown assailants had hit Pauline Pusser in the head and as he checked on her, the Cadillac appeared again and shot Pusser in his face. He will survive but his wife died from her wounds.

    The Cadillac’s passenger opened fire, hitting Pauline in the head. The sheriff ducked and stepped on the gas. The engine roared to life, and the car lurched ahead of the assassins. He sped up the road a couple of miles until he was sure he had lost his tail, and then pulled over to check on Pauline. Moments later, the assassins again found their mark, and gunshots rang out, hitting Sherriff Pusser in the face and jaw blowing it apart. Somehow the sheriff would survive the attack, but Pauline was killed.

    At first, Pusser declared he knew who was responsible and named Towhead White, George McGann, Gary McDaniel, and Kirksey Nix. After 18 days in the hospital and a dozen surgeries to repair his face, Pusser declared he couldn’t tell who had shot him. This set into motion a vendetta that ended only when Buford Pusser died in a suspicious one-car accident.

    Synova Cantrell

    Synova Cantrell is a prolific true crime author and blogger as well as an expert coach and teacher in the art of writing. She is well-known for her distinctive fedora. Ms. Cantrell not only documents historical accounts of criminal activity and she volunteers with the a href="https://www.missourimissing.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.missourimissing.

    Ray Morrow – Broken Shield, An Undercover Officer’s Perspective

    Ray Morrow – Broken Shield, An Undercover Officer’s Perspective

    Ray Morrow – His Path to Undercover Work

    Retired F.B.I. agent Ray Morrow

    Ray Anthony Morrow grew up in Aliquippa, PA. He followed the proper path toward a career in law enforcement. He graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. Degree in Law Enforcement & Corrections/ Behavioral Science. His first job was with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where they hired him to be a File Clerk in the FBI’s Identification Division. As soon as he was old enough, he obtained an appointment from the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division. They assigned Ray to the White House Detail where he protected the President of the United States and the First Family. By 1980, he gravitated to private security and Allegheny International hired him away from the Secret Service as an Executive Protection Specialist. Here he used his skills to bodyguard the President of Allegheny International which is a Fortune 500 Company. After building this impressive resume as a personal security specialist, Ray was able to achieve his original dream, in February 1987, the FBI appointed him as a Special Agent. The FBI assigned Ray Morrow to Louisville, KY where he got his first taste working with undercover agents and informants in the division’s Drug Squad.

    In May 1989, just two years after his initial appointment, the FBI selected Ray for an undercover assignment where he served as the primary undercover agent in a 2-year police corruption matter. The Cleveland office of the FBI had received many reports of significant corruption among officers of the Cleveland, Ohio police department. This assignment will place at risk Agent Morrow’s life at times and his marriage at other times. In this podcast, Ray Morrow tells this gripping story of how he lived the life of an intermediate-level criminal, ran an illegal casino, convinced Cleveland cops to guard drug and money shipment that passed through Cleveland, ran a tee-shirt printing shop as a cover, and juggled his family life and his professional life with the professional life almost taking away his family life. Ray’s work resulted in the indictments and arrests, of 30 Cleveland Police Officers.

    Ray Morrow – Broken Shield, An Undercover Officer’s Perspective

    My fellow podcaster retired FBI agent Geri Williams writes this about Ray Morrow’s book. “What most people know about the FBI comes from novels, TV shows, and movies. However, with his memoir, Ray Morrow shows you what it’s really like to be an undercover FBI agent, including the personal sacrifices made by the agent’s family and loved ones. This is the real deal. Outstanding book. Must read!” I must say that I have read many similar books, but I never found a book that I found so hard to lay down and go on to sleep. Broken Shield depicts the tremendous technicalities of FBI work, the danger of undercover life, and the toll that life takes on families. My friend Ray Morrow did this in such a way that we all can understand it. you must get  Broken Shield: An Undercover Officer’s Perspective by clicking on the title.

     

    Show notes by Gary Jenkins

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    Michael DiLeonardo part 2

    Michael DiLeonardo part 2

    Michael Mikey Scars DiLeonardo

    This is a re-release of an interview I did last year but it must be listened to again or maybe for the first time. I was able to make contact with Mikey Scars DiLeonardo via telephone. This is a the second of a two part re-release of my first interview. Michael is a relocated federal witness in WitSec or Witness Protection. Mikey Scars is a Mafia legacy because his Sicilian-born grandfather, Vincenzo DiLeonardo, was a captain in the Brooklyn faction run by Salvatore D’Aquila who was the boss of bosses at that time.

    Mikey Scars

    Michael DiLeonardo grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn with many other future members of the New York Five Families. He got the nickname of Mikey Scars because a dog took a large chunk out of his check leaving a scar. Michael’s father nor his uncles became associated with the Mafia but his brother, Robert DiLeonardo was part of the Colombo crime family until he was murdered on the orders of the Cosa Nostra.

    Michael DiLeonardo and the Sammy the Bull Gravano

    Michael DiLeonardo knew Sammy the Bull for many years during his life in the Gambino family. he went into the construction business and found that was where Gravano focused most of his attention. Gravano presided over his mob induction ceremony and they both have ended up in the Witness protection. Cammy the Bull has gone outside the program after he took a hit for selling narcotics. He now has a podcast. We learn that Mikey Scars was left twisting in the wind by the Gotti family when he went into prison. They would pick up money from DiLeonardo’s business and not take anything to his wife while he was incarcerated. he told them that he would get out one day but nobody seemed to help.

    Mickey Scars on Turning  Government Witness

    Folks, this is one of the most interesting and revealing interviews I have ever done. If you want to get a peek behind the curtain of life in the Cosa Nostra in New York City, listen to Michael DiLeonardo’s interview. Mikey Scars describes his grueling decision to abandon every rule and ethic that he held as a made man when he turned witness. He felt the mob left him no choice in this matter after the way the family disrespected him.

    Show notes by Gary Jenkins

    To go to the store or make a donation click here

    To rent Brothers against Brothers, the documentary, click here. 

    To rent Gangland Wire, the documentary, click here

    To subscribe on iTunes click here, please give me a review and help others find the podcast.

    Michael DiLeonardo Part 1

    Michael DiLeonardo Part 1

    Michael DiLeonardo

    This is a re-release of an interview I did last year but it must be listened to again or maybe for the first time. I was able to make contact with Michael “Mikey Scars” DiLeonardo via telephone. Michael is a relocated federal witness in WitSec or Witness Protection. Michael DiLeonardo was a real mafia legacy in that his Sicilian-born grandfather, Vincenzo DiLeonardo, was a captain in the Brooklyn faction run by Salvatore D’Aquila who was the boss of bosses at that time.

    Mikey Scars

    Michael DiLeonardo grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn with many other future members of the New York Five Families. He got the nickname of Mikey Scars because a dog took a large chunk out of his check leaving a scar. Michael’s father nor his uncles became associated with the Mafia but his brother, Robert DiLeonardo was part of the Colombo crime family until he was murdered on the orders of the Cosa Nostra.

    Michael DiLeonardo and the Gambino family

    Michael DiLeonardo grew up around Paul Castellano’s Veterans and Friends Social Club and as he matured, the older guys noticed him and eventually took him into their confidence. Michael tells a riveting chronological story of his entry into a life of crime. In this first episode, he gives a detailed description of the night that Sammy the Bull Gravano presided over his induction ceremony. It seems that John Gotti Jr. was inducted the same night and John Gotti Sr. did not attend because he thought it would look bad.

    Folks, this is one of the most interesting and revealing interviews I have ever done. If you want to get a peek behind the curtain of life in the Cosa Nostra in New York City, listen to Michael DiLeonardo’s interview.

    To go to the store or make a donation click here

    To rent Brothers against Brothers, the documentary, click here. 

    To rent Gangland Wire, the documentary, click here

    To subscribe on iTunes click here, please give me a review and help others find the podcast.

    John Pennisi from Wit Sec

    John Pennisi from Wit Sec

    John Pennisi

    John Pennisi is the interview subject. A very unusual former mobster. john Pennisi writes a regular blog titled Sitdown News (click to find this). He has become an accomplished author as he creates a new life outside his former life as a soldier in the Lucchese crime family.

    John Pennisi and Staten Island

    The Lucchese crime family has held a strong presence on Staten Island for many years. John Pennisi tells Gary how he was actually a member of the Brooklyn facion of the Lucchese family but they operated out of Staten Island. over the years, with the Mafia clan holding a clandestine initiation ritual here and numerous members of its so-called Brooklyn crew operating on the borough, a mob snitch said last week.

    How John Pennisi landed in Witness Protection

    John describes himself as a “cooperating witness” because he never wore a wore or “worked” undercover. He started cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation sometime after October 2018, when he walked into the Bureau’s office to share his “concerns and basically crimes that he committed. That was just the beginning of his sharing the secret information about the Lucchese crime family and other New York City mobsters.

    www.sitdownnews.com

    Here is some information he wrote about:

    SECRET INITIATION

    Pennisi said he became a member of the Lucchese family in 2013, during a secret initiation ceremony at a house on Staten Island on his wife’s birthday.

    Matty Madonna, the acting boss of the Lucchese family, presided over the ceremony, he said. In the darkness of a basement, Pennisi sat in front of a table.

    “There was a gun, a knife, there was a picture of a saint, an ashtray, a lighter, and like a diabetic pin, needle to check your blood,” said Pennisi.

    Below are some interesting titles of his blog pieces

    The Fashion Of Cosa Nostra

    Bonanno Wiseguy Falsely Makes Himself A Boss

    Nefarious Way of Johnny Sideburns

    “A Mob Handbook,”

    Below are some excerpts from his blog

    A clueless La Cosa Nostra candidate John (Butch) Arpino allegedly seeks advice from Pennisi on how one wiseguy should let another know that he too is a wiseguy.

    When Pennisi repeats the curious inquiry to John (Johnny Sideburns) Cerrella, a then-acting Lucchese captain, the boss shakes his head and says, “It is truly unbelievable, a guy like that got no business [becoming a made man]. What’s it come to? They now gotta hand them a f–king handbook after they straighten them out!”

    “The Gotti Chaperone Ended Up with a Broken Bone” documents a circa-2000 snafu involving the Gotti family. Peter Gotti accompanied his niece, Victoria, on a trip to see her father, Gambino godfather John Gotti, in the federal pen at Marion, Ill. After the visit, Uncle Pete ordered a longtime associate to chaperone his niece, who wanted to take in a movie.

    “No harm was done, just two adults enjoying a night at the movies,” Pennisi writes. However, days later, Victoria’s hotheaded Gambino capo husband, Carmine (Bull) Agnello, “got wind of the movie night.” He summoned the chaperone to his Jamaica junkyard and allegedly broke his arm with a baseball bat.

     

    Show Notes by Gary Jenkins

     Support the Podcast

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    Paul Ricca – The Power Behind the Outfit’s Throne

    Paul Ricca – The Power Behind the Outfit’s Throne

    Paul Ricca – the beginnings

    In this episode, Gary examines the life of a young Italian immigrant named Paul Ricca who started his mob career with murder. He fled to Cuba in 1920. Once safely in Cuba, Ricca had the good fortune to meet a member of the Camorra mafia named Giuseppe Esposito who was known as “Diamond Joe” and a well-known leader in Chicago’s bootlegging business. Diamond Joe was just beginning to form a bootlegging gang and had joined with Sam Giancana and his Chicago street gang known as the 42 Gang.  When Ricca arrived at the Italian section of Chicago he reconnected with Diamond Joe and went to work as a waiter in a restaurant owned by his mentor.  Modern mob historians believe that was the source of his moniker. Paul Ricca was a very pleasant and charismatic young man who soon made many friends among the mobster of the day. One of these new friends was Al Capone who soon hired Ricca into his organization. He rose quickly in the Capone organization and was close personal friends with Capone He was Capone’s best man at his 1927 wedding.

    The rise of Paul the Waiter

    When the government convicted Capone and sent him to the Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary, he obtained Frank Nitti’s agreement that he would promote Paul Ricca to be the new underboss of the Outfit. Nitti was a poor excuse for a boss and the intelligent and resourceful Ricca would become the boss in reality while Nitti was the known boss. As a matter of fact, Charles “Lucky” Luciano refused to deal with Nitti and demanded that Ricca became Chicago’s contact with the National Crime Syndicate. Ricca would even overrule Nitti’s orders and Nitti never seemed to mind.

    Paul Ricca and the Hollywood Scam

    Prohibition ended in 1933 and the Chicago Outfit moved west to the untapped markets in Hollywood California.  The Outfit saw the film industry as a huge cash cow just waiting to be milked. Ricca sent Johnny Roselli out with a plan to infiltrate labor unions involved with the film industry. Once they got control of those unions, they used another mobster named Willie Bioff to extort money from the Hollywood moguls of the time. Bioff had already created a shakedown operation of Chicago movie theater projectionists and the National Union of Theater Projectionists. Bioff infiltrated the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and began to extort millions of dollars from major motion-picture studios. Bioff got a little too big for his britches and started living a lavish Hollywood lifestyle with a mansion, expensive suits, gold jewelry, expensive cars, and solid gold business cards.

    Actor Robert Montgomery, president of the Screen Actors Guild tipped off the IRS and a California federal grand jury was called to investigate. Bioff was indicted for tax evasion and related crimes, as well as extortion and racketeering in 1943. Bioff was unable to stand the thought of prison so he testified against Chicago Outfit bosses Paul “The Waiter” Ricca, Philip D’Andrea, Charlie “Cherry Nose” Gioe, Johnny Roselli, Lou Kaufman, and Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti.

     Book Promo for the Crooked Sourwood: Kentucky’s Forgotten Tragedies

    Click on this title to learn more about this Crooked Sourwood: Kentucky’s Forgotten Tragedies by Steven Wright.

    Show Notes by Gary Jenkins

     Support the Podcast

    Hit me up on Venmo for a cup of coffee or a shot and a beer @ganglandwire

    To go to the store or make a donation Click Here.









     

    To rent Brothers against Brothers, the documentary, a href="https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-against-Civella-Spero-War/dp/B081ZKBVRC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=20I5V6JFYZ1PQ&keywords=brothers+against+brothers+the...

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
339 Ratings

339 Ratings

Eugene the Animal ,

Cleveland Mob

Great stuff guys. I don’t know if u still do this podcast but Rick Porello is an expert on the mob here. Went to school with his cousin also named Richard Porello, who’s grandfather gunned down the boss in the 1930s. It appears this episode is from 2016 but I would love to hear what the former policeman Rick Porello has to say.

ChrisTennessee ,

Very enjoyable and good story telling

I just started listening to this podcast after reading a book about the Mob staring Las Vegas which led me to Gangland Wire on Amazon.

Great story telling and great inside information from someone who worked cases.

I grew up in Cleveland and lived through the Jackie Presser era and had stories from my dad about Danny Green so I enjoy hearing the stories about these guys.

I recommend this podcast for sure!

hoodlumsaint ,

Rob the mob

Enjoyed the facts after seeing the Hollywood movie. The spoof of surveillance footage was hilarious. I from Chicago and have intrigued by mob. A great aunts in-laws told about Phyllis McGuire and Sam giacona show bowing the entire neighbor.

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