Spring Break Destinations Ideas – Sunny Beaches, Big Cities, and Ski Trips

It’s finally spring time again. When it comes to spring break destinations, Americans have always loved fun, sunny beach vacations. While beaches will always be popular, there are still a few other types of vacations that are appealing to spring break goers these days. Where are you planning to go? Are you trying to narrow down your list?

Here are a few ideas:

• Cancun – This really isn’t a surprise. Cancun is usually #1 on most lists. With its turquoise waters and pristine beaches, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this Mexican destination every year. Airfare is usually cheap and there is no shortage of resorts offering discount rates. Hotels, restaurants, and bars really cater to spring breakers and party-goers.

• Miami – Those without passports can still enjoy similar weather in South Beach. You can relax under the sun during the day and party at night when the skyline neon-lights come on. The city has always been known for its reputation as a “nightlife haven”. Not only are there tons of resorts and hotels along South Beach, there are also many apartment and condo rental options.

• Jamaica – You get a few popular spring break destinations in this Caribbean island: Montego Bay, Negril, Kingston, and Ocho Rios. Jamaica isn’t all sand and water, either – there are rainforests and mountains. Head to Negril if you want to do some diving or snorkeling. In Montego Bay, there are many infamous all-inclusive resorts and British-colonial architecture. Kingston, the capital city, is notorious for reggae and the Bob Marley Museum.

• Las Vegas – If you’re not looking for a beach vacation this year, then head to Vegas. Just go on a road trip to Sin City or take advantage of discount airfare. There are plenty of things to do on a budget. Vegas is much more than just a city filled with casinos. The live entertainment is second to none.

• New Orleans – Interested in spring break destinations that offer a cultural experience? Just go down South to NOLA. It’s not just popular during Mardi gras season, it’s popular for spring break as well. This is a city that prides itself on culture and tradition, and you can experience everything it has to offer, from Creole food to ghost tours.

• Park City – Not everyone associated “spring break” with “ski resorts”, but if there is one destination that offers spring break goers a good time, it’s Park City, Utah. It’s especially appealing to families who want to spend spring break together. It’s not all about skiing either; there are plenty of other fun activities as well.

Final Remarks

Go to any of these spring break destinations and you’re sure to have a good time!

Expedia discount codes don’t last forever, so grab one now while they’re still available this spring! You can often get good deals if you book early. Shop around and compare vacation packages at popular spring break destinations and apply the coupon when booking the trip!

Plan A Vacation To Eleuthera In The Bahamas

If you want your vacation to be different from the normal resort-type experience, then Eleuthera awaits. However, know in advance that it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for nightlife and casinos, then Eleuthera is not for you. If you hope to spend time just relaxing and enjoying an amazing tropical location in a friendly, slow-paced location, they this is the right place.

Just Where is Eleuthera

Eleuthera is a Bahamian Family Island, sometimes referred to as an out-island, about 60 miles east of Nassau. When you look at a map of the Bahamas, it’s a long, thin island with a “whale tail” at the southern end. It is actually almost 110 miles long, yet only 2 miles wide at its widest point. The majority of the island is much narrower than that. The narrowest part of the island can be found at the Glass Window Bridge.

Ways To Get To Eleuthera

Eleuthera is home to THREE international airports – North Eleuthera (ELH), Governor’s Harbour (GHB) and Rock Sound (RSD).

When departing from Florida there are a number of options for flying to Eleuthera. American Eagle, which is part of American Airlines) has regularly scheduled flights from Miami to North Eleuthera. Continental Airlines flies from Fort Lauderdale to North Eleuthera and Governor’s Harbour. TwinAir/Calypso (a small private airline) flies from Fort Lauderdale to all three airports on Eleuthera.

You can also get to Eleuthera via BahamasAir, however, you’ll need to make connections through Nassau.

From Nassau you have a few more options as well. All three airports are serviced by BahamasAir. SouthernAir also offers flights from Nassau to all of Eleuthera’s airports. You can also opt to take the Bo Hengy, a high-speed ferry, from Nassau to Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and Governor’s Harbour.

Naturally, you’ll need to check the schedules for all of these options.

Accommodations in Eleuthera

You won’t find any high-rise hotels or huge resorts on Eleuthera, and that is part of it’s charm. You’ll find the priciest resorts on Harbour Island. This is also where the rich-and-famous have some homes.

You can also find a few deluxe resorts on the main island of Eleuthera – The Cove, Pineapple Fields and Cape Eleuthera Resort. However, the majority of hotels on Eleuthera are low-key, laid-back and comfortable. There are many such hotels in Eleuthera. A few that come to mind are Surfers Manor, Rainbow Inn, Duck Inn and Unique village.

For a more private, home-away-from-home experience, there are several vacation home rentals available. Just do your research and you’ll find something that suits your taste and budget.

The Amazing Beaches of Eleuthera

Eleuthera has more than 50 fabulous beaches, but many of them are hard to find and if you’re only here for a short visit, you might miss some of the best ones.

While a few can be seen from the Queen’s Highway (the main road running North and South), many are down dirt roads that don’t look like they’ll lead you to a beach.

There are pink sand beaches, white sand beaches, pebbly beaches and ones where you can find some fabulous shells. Most of the are also deserted, so expect to have an amazing beach all to yourselves, once you’ve found it.

The more famous beaches of Eleuthera are Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island, Surfers Beach, French Leave Beach, Cotton Bay and Lighthouse Beach, to name just a few.

What’s the Best Time to Visit Eleuthera

It’s wonderful to visit Eleuthera any time of year, however, you’re likely to encounter the best weather from November to April. Summers tend to be hot and humid with a lot more rain and even the possibility of tropical storms or hurricanes. The summer season also produces more thunderstorms. I’m actually a big fan of thunderstorms and the ones in Eleuthera can be pretty amazing.

We have only scratched the surface of all that Eleuthera has to offer. Even though it takes a little more effort to visit Eleuthera, it’s well worth the trip.

It’s Better In The Bahamas!

Discover The Excitement Of The Bahamas Without Breaking Your Wallet

We all need a vacation now and then, right? There are few places that offer more relaxation as well as something for virtually everyone as the Bahamas. Travelers, business people, and vacationers from all over the world visit the Bahamas on a regular basis. New Providence Bahamas is recognized as the center of both business and industry for this island nation. One of the largest industries here is the very well-known international offshore banking center.

The islands of the Bahamas have attracted travelers for centuries, starting with sailors who jumped ship to pirates who are rumored to have buried many treasures on the islands. (Many of which are claimed to be still undiscovered!) The majority of the night life in the Bahamas happens in Nassau, where there is usually more night life than is found in many major cities in the US.

Probably the best way to get to the Bahamas is to take a Bahamas cruise. There are cruise ships leaving from many locations such as Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Cape Canaveral in Florida who have regular cruises scheduled to the Bahamas, and the prices are extremely attractive. What better way to start your vacation than to be pampered aboard a cruise ship and spending a day at sea before continuing your relaxation in the Bahamas! A large percentage of the cruise lines make the Bahamas one of their stops or “ports of call” because they have found that the passengers really enjoy spending time here.

Things you can do in the Bahamas for relaxation are almost endless. The dancing and night life in Nassau is upbeat, friendly and fun. There are many shops in Nassau where excellent deals can be found on things like jewelry, handmade nick-nacks from seashells, clothing, and much more. This area is well known for finding incredible deals on higher-end jewelry like Rolex watches. The white sandy beaches with the crystal blue ocean is a particular attraction to people who enjoy the water, the beach, or just laying in the sun on the sand. There are snorkeling trips that can be scheduled, as well as motorboat and sea-doos that can be rented.

The Atlantis Hotel and Casino is a must-see, even if you are not a gambler. The large casino offers the usual Las Vegas-style table games like blackjack, poker, and roulette, as well as row after row of slot machines of various denominations. But even outside the casino, the Atlantis is an architectural wonder, combining modern luxury with Old World touches. The large indoor aquarium just a few steps off the lobby is a definite must-see and very impressive.

During your stay in Nassau, you should definitely consider taking the short trip over the bridge to Paradise Island, a world famous destination with beaches beyond description and a world class golf course for hardcore golfers. You will find some of the most luxurious hotels and casinos to be found anywhere. One of the largest events in the Bahamas is the festival of Junkanoo which is celebrated from the day after Christmas through New Years Day, and promises fun for all participants.

Whether you take a Bahamas cruise or fly in, be sure to allow yourself enough time to enjoy all that the Bahamas has to offer. After visiting there, you will understand why the saying exists: It’s Better in the Bahamas!

Carmine "Lilo" Galante – The Cigar

He was as vicious as Mafia boss Vito Genovese, as ambitious as Vito Genovese, and he was deeply involved in the heroin business as was Vito Genovese. However, Carmine “The Cigar” Galante, would not die of natural causes as did Vito Genovese (albeit in prison). Instead, Galante was murdered in one of the most memorable mob hits of all time. After his body was filled with lead, he lay sprawled on his back in the tiny backyard patio of a Queens restaurant, his trademark cigar clenched tightly between his teeth.

Camillo Galante was born on February 21st, 1910, at 27 Stanton Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Because both his parents, Vincenzo, a fisherman, and his wife (maiden name Vingenza Russo) had been born in the seaside village of Castellammarese del Golfo in Sicily, Galante was a pure first generation Sicilian/America. Galante had two brothers and two sisters, and when he was in grade school, Galante ditched his given name Camillo, and insisted he be called Carmine instead. Over the years it was shortened to “Lilo,” which was the name most of his associates called Galante.

Galante first got into trouble for petty theft from a store counter when he was fourteen years old. But since he was a juvenile at the time, an account of this arrest is not in his official police record.

At various times, Galante attended Public High Schools 79 and 120, but he dropped out of school for good at the age of fifteen. Galante was in and out of reform school several times, and was considered an “incorrigible delinquent.”

From 1923 to 1926, Galante was ostensibly employed at the Lubin Artificial Flower Company at 270 West Broadway. However, this was a ruse to satisfy the law that Galante was gainfully employed, when, in fact, he was engaged in a very lucrative criminal career.

In December 1925, Galante was arrested for assault. However, money changed hands between Galante’s people and crooked policemen, and as a result, Galante was released without serving any prison time. In December 1926, Galante was arrested again, but this time he was found guilty of second degree assault and robbery, and sentenced to two-to-five years in prison. Galante was released from prison in 1930, and in order to satisfy his parole officer, he got another sham “job” at the O’Brien Fish Company at 105 South Street, near the Fulton Fish Market.

However, it was not Galante’s nature to stay on the right side of the law. On March 15th, 1930, five men entered the Martin Weinstein’s shoe factory on the corner of York and Washington Streets in Brooklyn Heights. On the 6th floor of the building, Mr. Weinstein was in the process of getting his weekly payroll together, under the protection of police officer Walter De Castillia of the 84th Precinct. The five men took the elevator to the 6th floor. While one man stood guard at the elevator, the other four men burst into Mr. Weinstein’s office. They ignored the $7,500 sitting on the table, and opened fire on Officer De Castillia, a married father of a young girl, with nine years on the force. Officer De Castillia was hit six times in the chest and he died instantly.

The four men walked calmly back to the elevator and joined their cohort, who was guarding the elevator operator Louis Sella. Stella took the five men down to the ground floor. He later told the police that the men had exited the building, calmly walked to a parked car, got into the car, and fled the scene. When the police arrived minutes later from the station house just 2 blocks away, the killers were nowhere to be seen. Sella described the five men as “early to mid-twenties, with dark skin and dark hair.” Sella said the men were all “very well-dressed.”

The police theory was, that since no money had been taken, that this was a planned hit on Officer De Castillia. On August 30, 1930, Galante, along with Michael Consolo and Angelo Presinzano, were arrested and indicted for the murder of Officer De Castillia. However, all four men were soon released due to lack of evidence.

On December 25th, 1930, four suspicious men were sitting in a green sedan on Briggs Avenue in Brooklyn. Police detective Joseph Meenahan just happened to be in the area. He spotted the men in the sedan, drew his gun, and approached the sedan cautiously. One of the men shouted at Meenahan, “Stop right there copper, or we’ll burn you.”

Before Meenahan could react, the firing commenced from the green sedan. Meenahan was shot in the leg, and a six-year-old girl walking nearby with her mother was seriously wounded. The driver of the sedan had trouble starting the car, so the four men leaped from the sedan and tried to escape on foot. Three of the men manged to flee the area by jumping on a passing truck, but the fourth man slipped as he tried to get onto the truck and was apprehended by the wounded Meenahan. That man was Carmine Galante.

When Meenahan brought Galante to the station house, a group of detectives, angry that one of their own had been wounded, started to give Galante the “police station tuneup.” Despite getting his lumps, Galante refused to give up the identities of the men who had escaped. He was subsequently tried and convicted as one of the four men who had robbed the Lieberman Brewery in Brooklyn. On January 8th, 1931, Galante was remanded to Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. He was later transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where he remained until his release on May 1st, 1939.

While Galante was in prison he was given an IQ test that revealed he had a lame IQ of only 90, which, even though Galante was well into his twenties, equated to a mental age of 14-years-old. It was also noted that Galante was diagnosed as having a “neuropathic psychopathic personality.” A physical evaluation showed that he had a head injury incurred in a car accident when Galante was 10-years-old, a fractured ankle when he was eleven, and that Galante was showing the early signs of gonorrhea, probably incurred at one of the many brothels controlled by the mob.

In 1939, after he was released from prison, Galante was again given sham employment at his old job at the Lubin Artificial Flower Company. In February of 1941, Galante obtained membership in Local 856 of the Longshoreman’s Union, where he ostensibly worked as a ” stevedore.” However, it is likely Galante very rarely showed up for work; one of the perks of being a member of the Mafia.

There is no record of the exact date, but Galante was induced as a made member of the Bonanno Crime Family in the early 1940’s. Despite the fact his boss was Joe Bonanno, at the time the youngest Mafia boss in America, Galante performed many hits for Vito Genovese, all throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s.

While Genovese was in self-imposed exile in Italy (he was wanted on a murder charge and flew the coop before he could be arrested), Genovese became fast pals with Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini had a stone in his shoe in America called Carlo Tresa. Tresa was causing Mussolini much agita by incessantly writing anti-fascist sentiments in his radical Italian-language newspaper, Il Martello, which was sold in Italian communities in America.

Genovese sent word back to America to Frank Garofalo, underboss to Joseph Bonanno, that Tresa had to go. Garofalo gave Tresa contract to Galante, who shadowed Tresa for a few days to determine the best time and place to whack him.

On January 11th, 1943, Tresa was walking along Fifth Avenue near 13th Street, when a black Ford sedan pulled up along side him. The Ford stopped and Galante jumped out, hot gun in hand. Galante blasted Tresa several times in the back and in the head, killing the newspaper editor instantly. Amazingly, Galante was seen by his parole officer fleeing the scene, but due to the wartime rationing of gasoline, the parole officer was unable to follow the black Ford containing Galante and the smoking gun. No arrest were ever made for the Tresa slaying.

In 1953, Bonanno sent Galante to Montreal, Canada to take control of the Bonanno Family interests north of the boarder. Besides the very lucrative Canadian gambling rackets, the Bonannos were heavy into the importation of heroin, from France into Canada, and then into America – the infamous French Connection. Galante supervised the Canadian drug operation for three years. But in 1956, the Canadian police caught wind of Galante’s involvement. Not having enough evidence to arrest Galante, they instead deported Galante back to America, classifying Galante as “an undesirable alien.”

In 1957, Genovese called for a big summit of all the top Mafioso in America, to take place at the upstate New York Apalachin residence of Joseph Barbara, a captain in the Buffalo crime family of Stefano Magaddino. In preparation for this meeting, on October 19th, 1956, several New York crime bigwigs were summoned to Barbara’s home to go over the guidelines of the proposed meeting; the prime purpose of which was to anoint Genovese as the Capo di Tutti Capi,” or “Boss of all Bosses.”

After the meeting ended, driving on his way back to New York City, Galante was nabbed for speeding near Birmingham, New York. Because his driver’s license had been suspended, Galante gave the police a phone one. He was immediately arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison. However, the tentacles of the Mafia also reached right into the police department in upstate New York. After a few mobbed-up New York lawyers made the right phone calls to upstate New York, Galante was released within 48 hours. Yet, a state policeman named Sergeant Edgar Roswell took note of the fact that Galante had admitted to the police he had stayed the night before at the Arlington Hotel, as host of a local businessman named Joseph Barbara. This prompted Roswell to pay especial attention to the Barbara residence in Apalachin, New York.

Less than a month later, on November 17th, 1957, at the insistence of Don Vito Genovese, Mafia members from all over America made their way to the Barbara residence. These men included Sam Giancana from Chicago, Santo Trafficante from Florida, John Scalish from Cleveland, and Joe Profaci and Tommy Lucchese from New York City. Galante’s boss Joe Bonanno decided not to attend, and he sent Galante instead.

Sergeant Roswell took note of the fact that on the day before the nearby Arlington Hotel had been booked to the rafters with suspicious-looking out-of-towners. Roswell asked the right questions, and he was able to confirm that the man who made the reservations for these men was Joseph Barbara himself. Roswell drove to the Barbara resident and he spotted dozens of luxury cars parked outside, some with out-of-town plates.

Roswell called for back-up, and in minutes, dozens of state troupers arrived with guns drawn. The troupers raided the Barbara residence and chaos ensued. Men wearing expensive suits, hats, and shoes bolted from the house. Some were immediately arrested; some made it to their cars and drove off the property before roadblocks could be put in place by the police. Others jumped out of the windows and hightailed in through the thorny woods. One of these men was Carmine Galante, who hid in a cornfield until the police had left the Barbara residence. Then made his way back to Barbara’s home, and made arrangements for his safe passage back to New York City.

The next day, when the news of the raid on Barbara’s house hit American newspapers, blowing the lid off the misguided idea that the Mafia was a myth, Galante went into the wind, or in mob terms, he “pulled a lamski.” On January 8th, 1958, the New York Herald Tribune wrote that Galante had run to Italy to hook up with old pal Salvatore “Lucky” Luciano, who was in exile in Italy, after serving nine years in American prison on a trumped-up prostitution charge. Another report said that it was not Luciano Galante was with, but rather Joe “Adonis” Doto, another mob boss in exile in Italy. On January 9th, the New York Journal American said Galante was not in Italy at all, but in Havana, Cuba, with Meyer Lansky, a longtime member of the National Crime Commission, who had numerous casino interests in Cuba.

In April 1958, it was somehow leaked that Galante was now back in the United States and living somewhere in the New York area. The local law went to work, and in July, Galante was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics while he was driving near near Holmdale, New Jersey. He was charged with taking part in a major heroin deal, one of many Galante had been involved with. Also arrested in the same case were Vito Genovese, John Ormento, Joe Di Palermo, and Vincent Gigante. Galante, again making use of his cadre of New York attorneys, was released on $100,000 bail. Galante’s lawyers were able to delay any further legal proceedings for almost two years. It wasn’t until May 17th, 1960, that Galante was formally indicted, and again released on bail.

On January 20th, 1961, Galante’s trial finally began, and the judge, Thomas F. Murphy, revoked Galante’s bail, ordering Galante to be put right into the slammer. However, Galante’s luck held up when, on May 15th, a mistrial was declared. It seemed the foreman of the jury, a poor chap named Harry Appel, a 68-year-old dress manufacturer, had the misfortune of falling down a flight of stairs in a building on 15th Street in Manhattan. After the medics arrived and Appel was taken to a nearby hospital, it was determined that Appel had suffered a broken back. No one had seen Appel fall, nor did the hurt and frightened Appel say that anyone had pushed him. However, although they had no definite proof, law enforcement believed that Appel had been pushed by a cohort of Galante’s, with a warning not to say anything to anybody, and they would allow Appel and members of his family to live.

Galante, now feeling alive and chipper, was released from prison, secured by a bond of $135,000.

Alas, but all good things must come to an end.

In April 1962, Galante’s second trial commenced.

At the trial, there was a bit of mayhem in the courtroom, when one of Galante’s co-defendants, a nasty creature named Tony Mirra (who was said to have killed 30-40 people) became so unhinged, that he picked up a chair and flung it at the prosecutor. Luckily for the prosecutor, the chair missed him and landed in the jury box, forcing the frightened jurors to scatter in all directions. Order was restored to the court, and the trial proceeded, which was bad news for both Galante, and for Mirra. Both men were found guilty, and on July 10th, 1962, Galante was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Mirra also was sent to prison for a very long time. It is not clear if any additional time was tacked onto Mirra’s sentence for the chair-throwing incident.

Galante first was sent to Alcatraz Prison, which was located on an island fortress in San Francisco Bay. He was then moved to the Lewisburg Penitentiary, in Leavenworth, Kansas, before serving the final years of his prison term in the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Galante was finally released from prison on January 24th, 1974, all full of fire and brimstone, and ready to get back into business. However, Galante was to be on parole until 1981, so he had to be careful not to keep a high profile. Unfortunately, being in the background was not in Galante’s makeup.

While he was in prison, Galante made it known that when he got out of prison he was going to take control of the New York Mafia by the throat. The accepted head of the five New York City Mafia families at the time was Carlo Gambino, the head of the Gambino crime family. Gambino was shrewd, and generally quiet and reserved; well-respected for his business acumen, and his ability to keep peace amongst his own family, as well as the other Mafia families. However, Galante had to use for Gambino, or his method of doing business.

By the time of Galante’s release, his boss Joe Bonanno had been forced to “retire,” and was living in Tuscon, Arizona. The new Bonanno boss was Rusty Rastelli. But since Rastelli was in the slammer at the time, Galante took over as the “street boss” of the Bonannos. Still, Rastelli was considered the boss of the Bonannos, and was none too happy about how Galante was strutting his stuff on the streets of New York City.

Galante took the unusual step, and not appreciate by other Bonanno crime family members, of surrounding himself with Sicilian born Mafioso like Caesar Bonventre, Salvatore Catalano, and Baldo Amato. Theses men were derisively called “zips” by the American Mafia, due to the quick way they zipped through the Italian language. These zips were heavily involved in the drug trade, and in direct opposition to those in the Genovese Crime Family, which was run by Funzi Tieri, every bit as cunning and vicious as Galante.

Galante had a minor setback, when in 1978, he was arrested by the Feds for “associating with known criminals,” which was a violation of his parole. While Galante stewed in prison, he began ordering his men to kill mobsters in the Genovese and Gambino crime families, who were cutting in on Galante’s worldwide drug operation. With Carlo Gambino now dead (from natural causes), Galante figured he had the muscle to push the other crime family bosses into the background. From prison he sent out the message to the other bosses, “Who among you is going to stand up against me?”

On March 1st, 1979, Galante’s was released from prison and walking on air because he truly believed the other crime bosses were afraid of him. Like Vito Genovese before him, Galante envisioned himself as “Boss of All Bosses,” and it was only a matter of time before the other bosses cowered before Galante and handed him the title.

However, Galante underestimated the might and will of the other Mafioso bosses in New York City. While Galante swaggered around the streets of New York City, the other bosses held a meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, deciding Galante’s fate. At this meeting were Funzi Tieri, Jerry Catena, Paul Castellano, and Florida boss Santo Trafficante. These powerful men voted unanimously, if mob peace was to exist in the streets of New York City, Galante had to go. Rastelli, who was still in jail, was consulted, and even the aged Joe Bonanno, living in Arizona, was asked if he had any reservations at his former close associate being hit. Both Rastelli and Bonanno signed off on Galante’s murder contract, and Galante’s days were numbered.

On July 12th, 1979, it was a hot and sticky summer day, as the 69-year-old Carmine Galante’s Lincoln pulled up at 205 Knickerbocker Avenue, in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. For more than 50 years, Knickerbocker Avenue had been the turf of the Bonanno crime family, and over the years numerous mob sit-downs had taken place in one of several storefronts on the block.

Carmine Galante stepped out of the Lincoln, then he waved goodbye to the driver: his nephew James Galante. Carmine Galante was wearing a white short-sleeved knit shirt, and, as was his custom, he was sucking on a huge Churchill cigar. Galante strutted inside the tiny restaurant, and was greet by Joe Turano, the owner of Joe and Mary’s Restaurant. Galante had made this visit to meet with Turano, and with Leonard “Nardo” Coppola, a close associate of Galante’s, over some undetermined mob business.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., Cappola strolled into the restaurant, accompanied by zips Baldo Amato and Cesare Bonventre, who were cousins, and from the same village as Galante’s parents: Castellammarese del Golfo. By this time Galante and Turano had already finished their meal, so while the three newcomers sat inside and had their lunch, Galante and Turano slipped outside into the backyard patio, and sat under a yellow-and-turquoise checked umbrella. After Cappola, Bonventre, and Amato finished dining, they joined the other two men outside. Galante and Turano were smoking cigars and drinking espresso coffee laced with Anisette (only tourists and non-Italians drink Sambuca).

Galante was sitting with his back to a small garden, while Amato sat to his left and Bonventre to his right. Turano and Cappola sat on the opposite side of the table, their backs to the door leading to the restaurant.

At approximately 2:40 p.m., a four-door, blue Mercury Montego double parked in front of Joe and Mary’s Restaurant. The car had been stolen about a month before. The driver, wearing a red-striped ski mask that covered his face, stepped out of the car and stood guard, holding a.3030 M1 carbine rifle menacingly in his hands. Three other men, also wearing ski masks, jumped out of the car and jogged into the restaurant. They sped past the few startled diners who were still eating lunch, and rushed into the patio area.

As they entered the patio, one masked man said to the other, “Get him, Sal!’

The gunman called “Sal” began firing a double-barrel shotgun several times at Galante, propelling Galante, as he was rising from his chair, onto his back. Galante was hit with 30 pellets, one knocking out his left eye. Galante was probably dead before he hit the ground, his cigar still stuck tightly between his teeth.

As Galante was shot, Joe Turano yelled,”What are you doing?”

The same gunman turned to Turano, and with the shotgun pressed against Turano’s chest, he blasted Turano into eternity.

Cappola jumped up from the table, and either Amato, or Bonventre (it’s not clear which one did the shooting) shot Cappola in the face, then five times in the chest. Cappola landed face down, and the killer with the shotgun, blasted off the back of Coppola’s head.

The three masked men then hurried from the restaurant, and into the waiting getaway car. According to witnesses outside the restaurant, the car sped up Knickerbocker Avenue to Flushing Avenue, then disappeared around the corner. Bonventre and Amato, who were both wearing leather jackets despite the stifling heat, soon followed the three gunman out of the restaurant. They calmly walked down the block, got into a blue Lincoln, and drove away, like they had nary a care in the world.

Galante’s body was laid out in the Provenzano-Lanza Funeral Home at 43 Second Avenue on the Lower East Side. The crowds that usual accompany a Mafia wake of this kind were notably absent. Galante was buried on July 17th at Saint John’s Cemetery in Queens. With the Feds doing the counting, only 59 people attended Galante’s funeral mass and burial. The Feds also reported that not one Mafia made man was captured on surveillance cameras, either at the wake, or at the funeral.

One Fed, commenting at the sparse turnout, said, “Galante was so bad, people didn’t want to see him, even when he was dead.”

Even though the newspapers played up the killing with gruesome front page photos, the general public seemed imperious to the magnitude of the event. A young boy strolled up to a police officer standing guard the wake.

“Was he an actor?” the kid said to the cop.

The cop replied, “No, he was a gangster.”

Corn Sugar and Blood And the Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia

Chapter I

“Big Ange” and the Death of the Cleveland Mafia

In 1983, Angelo Lonardo, 72, one-time Cleveland Mafia boss, turned government informant. He shocked family, friends, law enforcement officers and particularly, criminal associates with his decision which was made after being sentenced to life plus 103 years for drug and racketeering convictions. The sentence came after a monumental investigation by local, state and federal agencies had all but wiped out the Cleveland Mafia.

“Big Ange” as he was called, was the highest ranking mafioso to defect. He testified in 1985 at the Las Vegas casino “skimming” trials in Kansas City and in 1986 at the New York Mafia “ruling commission” trials. Many of the nation’s biggest mob leaders were convicted as a result of these trials.

During his testimony, Lonardo told how at age 18, he avenged his father’s murder by killing the man believed to be responsible. He further testified that after that murder, he was responsible for the killings of several of the Porrello brothers, business rivals of his father during Prohibition.

Chapter II

Birth of the Cleveland Mafia

During the late eighteen hundreds, the four Lonardo brothers and seven Porrello brothers were boyhood friends and fellow sulphur mine workers in their hometown of Licata, Sicily. They came to America in the early nineteen hundreds and eventually settled in the Woodland district of Cleveland. They remained close friends. Several of the Porrello and Lonardo brothers worked together in small businesses.

Lonardo clan leader “Big Joe” became a successful businessman and community leader in the lower Woodland Avenue area. During Prohibition, he became successful as a dealer in corn sugar which was used by bootleggers to make corn liquor. “Big Joe” provided stills and raw materials to the poor Italian district residents. They would make the booze and “Big Joe” would buy it back giving them a commission. He was respected and feared as a “padrone” or godfather. “Big Joe” became the leader of a powerful and vicious gang and was known as the corn sugar “baron.” Joe Porrello was one of his corporals.

Chapter III

The First Bloody Corner

With the advent of Prohibition, Cleveland, like other big cities, experienced a wave of bootleg-related murders. The murders of Louis Rosen, Salvatore Vella, August Rini and several others produced the same suspects, but no indictments. These suspects were members of the Lonardo gang. Several of the murders occurred at the corner of E. 25th and Woodland Ave. This intersection became known as the “bloody corner.”

By this time, Joe Porrello had left the employ of the Lonardos to start his own sugar wholesaling business.

Porrello and his six brothers pooled their money and eventually became successful corn sugar dealers headquartered in the upper Woodland Avenue area around E. 110th Street.

With small competitors, sugar dealers and bootleggers, mysteriously dying violent deaths, the Lonardos’ business flourished as they gained a near monopoly on the corn sugar business. Their main competitors were their old friends the Porrellos.

Raymond Porrello, youngest of his brothers was arrested by undercover federal agents for arranging a sale of 100 gallons of whiskey at the Porrello-owned barbershop at E. 110th and Woodland. He was sentenced to the Dayton, Oh. Workhouse.

The Porrello brothers paid the influential “Big Joe” Lonardo $5,000 to get Raymond out of prison. “Big Joe”

failed in his attempt but never returned the $5,000.

Meanwhile, Ernest Yorkell and Jack Brownstein, small-time self-proclaimed “tough guys” from Philadelphia arrived in Cleveland. Yorkell and Brownstein were shakedown artists, and their intended victims were Cleveland bootleggers, who got a chuckle out of how the two felt it necessary to explain that they were tough. Real tough guys didn’t need to tell people that they were tough. After providing Cleveland gangsters with a laugh, Yorkell and Brownstein were taken on a “one-way ride.”

Chapter IV

Corn Sugar and Blood

“Big Joe” Lonardo in 1926, now at the height of his wealth and power left for Sicily to visit his mother and

relatives. He left his closest brother and business partner John in charge.

During “Big Joe’s” six-month absence, he lost much of his $5,000 a week profits to the Porrellos who took advantage of John Lonardo’s lack of business skills and the assistance of a disgruntled Lonardo employee. “Big Joe” returned and business talks between the Porrellos and Lonardos began.

They “urged” the Porrellos to return their lost clientele.

On Oct. 13th, 1927 “Big Joe” and John Lonardo went to the Porrello barbershop to play cards and talk business with Angelo Porrello as they had been doing for the past week. As the Lonardos entered the rear room of the shop, two gunmen opened fire. Angelo Porrello ducked under a table.

Cleveland’s underworld lost its’ first boss as “Big Joe” went down with three bullets in his head. John Lonardo was shot in the chest and groin but drew his gun and managed to pursue the attackers through the barbershop. He dropped his gun in the shop but continued chasing the gunmen into the street where one of them turned, and out of bullets, struck Lonardo in the head several times with the butt of his gun. John fell unconscious and bled to death.

The Porrello brothers were arrested. Angelo was charged with the Lonardo brothers’ murders. The charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. Joe Porrello succeeded the Lonardos as corn sugar “baron” and later appointed himself “capo” of the Cleveland Mafia.

Chapter V

The Cleveland Meeting

The trail of bootleg blood continued to flow with numerous murders stemming from the Porrello-Lonardo conflict.

Lawrence Lupo, a former Lonardo bodyguard was killed after he let it be known that he wanted to take over the Lonardos’ corn sugar business.

Anthony Caruso, a butcher who saw the Lonardos’ killers escape was shot and killed. It was believed that he knew the identities of the gunmen and was going to reveal them to police.

On Dec. 5th, 1928, Joe Porrello and his lieutenant and bodyguard Sam Tilocco hosted the first known major meeting of the Mafia at Cleveland’s Hotel Statler. Many major Mafia leaders from Chicago to New York to Florida were invited. The meeting was raided before it actually began.

Joe Profaci, leader of a Brooklyn, N.Y. Mafia family was the most well-known of the gangsters arrested. Within a few hours, to the astonishment of police and court officials, Joe Porrello gathered thirty family members and friends who put up their houses as collateral for the gangsters’ bonds. Profaci was bailed out personally by Porrello. A great controversy over the validity of the bonds followed.

Several theories have been given as to why the meeting was called. First, it was thought that the gangsters, local presidents of the Unione Siciliane, an immigrant aid society infiltrated by the Mafia, were there to elect a new national president. Their previous president, Frankie Yale had been recently killed by order of Chicago’s notorious Al Capone. Second, it was believed that the meeting may have been called

to organize the highly lucrative corn sugar industry. It was also said that the men were there to “confirm” Joe Porrello as “capo” of Cleveland.

Capone, a non-Sicilian was reported to be in Cleveland for the meeting. He left soon after his arrival at the

advice of associates who said that the Sicilians did not want him there.

Chapter VI

The Second Bloody Corner

As Joe Porrello’s power and wealth grew, heirs and close associates to the Lonardo brothers grew hot for revenge.

Angelo Lonardo, “Big Joe’s” 18-year-old son along with his mother and his cousin, drove to the corner of E. 110th and Woodland, the Porrello stronghold. There Angelo sent word that his mother wanted to speak to Salvatore “Black Sam” Todaro. Todaro, now a Porrello lieutenant, had worked for Angelo’s father and was believed to be responsible for his murder. In later years it was believed that he was actually one of the gunmen.

As Todaro approached to speak with Mrs. Lonardo whom he respected, Angelo pulled out a gun and emptied it into “Black Sam’s stocky frame. Todaro crumpled to the sidewalk and died.

Angelo and his cousin disappeared for several months reportedly being hid in Chicago courtesy of Lonardo friend Al Capone. Later it was believed that Angelo spent time in California with his uncle Dominick, fourth Lonardo brother who fled west when indicted for a payroll robbery murder in 1921.

Eventually Angelo and his cousin were arrested and charged with “Black Sam’s” murder. For the first time in Cleveland’s bootleg murder history justice was served as both young men were convicted and sentenced to life. Justice although served would be shortlived as they would be released only a year and a half later after winning a new trial.

Chapter VII

Rise of the Mayfield Road Mob

On October 20th, 1929, Frank Lonardo, brother to “Big Joe” and John was shot to death while playing cards. Two theories were given for his death; that it was in revenge for the murder of “Black Sam” Todaro and, that he was killed for not paying gambling debts. Mrs. Frank Lonardo, when told of

her husband’s murder screamed, “I’ll get them. I’ll get them myself if I have to kill a whole regiment!”

By 1929, Little Italy crime boss Frank Milano had risen to power as leader of his own gang, “The Mayfield Road Mob.” Milano’s group was made up in part of remnants of the Lonardo gang and was also associated with the powerful “Cleveland Syndicate,” Morrie Kleinman, Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker and Louis Rothkopf. The Cleveland Syndicate was responsible for most of the Canadian booze imported via Lake Erie. In later years they got into the casino business. One of the their largest and most profitable enterprises was construction of the Desert Inn Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. Dalitz would become known as the “Godfather of Las Vegas.”

Joe Porrello admired Milano’s political organization, the East End Bi-Partisan Political Club and, seeing the value in such influence, wanted to ally himself with the group. Milano refused. Later, Porrello was reported to have affiliated himself with the newly formed 21st District Republican Club. He hoped to organize the Woodland Avenue voters as Milano was doing on Mayfield road.

Chapter VIII

More Corn Sugar and Blood

By 1930, Milano had grown quite powerful. He had gone so far as to demand a piece of the lucrative Porrello corn sugar business. On July 5th, 1930, Porrello received a phonecall from Milano who had requested a conference at his Venetian Restaurant on Mayfield Road. Sam Tilocco and Joe Porrello’s brother Raymond urged him not to go.

At about 2:00 p.m., Joe Porrello and Sam Tilocco arrived at Milano’s restaurant and speakeasy. Porrello, Tilocco, and Frank Milano sat down in the restaurant and discussed business. Several of Milano’s henchmen sat nearby. The atmosphere was tense as Porrello refused to accede to Milano’s demands.

Porrello reached into his pocket for his watch to check the time. Two of Milano’s men, possibly believing that Porrello was reaching for his gun opened fire. Porrello died instantly woth three bullets in his head Simultaneously, a third member of Milano’s gang fired at Tilocco who was struck three times but managed to stagger out the door toward his new Cadillac. He fell to the ground as the gunmen pursued him, finishing him off with another six bullets.

Frank Milano and several of his restaurant employees were arrested but only charged with being suspicious persons. The gunmen were never actually identified. Only one witness was present in the saloon when the shooting started. He was Frank Joiner, a slot machine distributor whose only testimony was that he “thought” he saw Frank Milano in the restaurant during the murders.

Cleveland’s aggressive and outspoken Safety Director Edwin Barry, frustrated by the continually rising number of bootleg murders, ordered all known sugar warehouses to be padlocked. He ordered a policeman to be detailed at each one to make sure that no sugar was brought in or removed.

Meanwhile, the six Porrello brothers donned black silk shirts and ties and buried their most successful brother. The showy double gangster funeral was one the largest Cleveland had ever seen. Two bands and thirty-three cars overloaded with flowers led the procession of the slain don and his bodyguard. Over two hundred fifty automobiles containing family and friends followed. Thousands of mourners and curious on-lookers lined the sidewalks.

Cleveland’s underworld was tense with rumors of imminent warfare. Porrello brother Vincente-James spoke openly of wiping out everyone responsible for his brother’s murder.

Three weeks after his brother’s murder, Jim Porrello still wore a black shirt as he entered the I & A grocery and meat market at E. 110th Street and Woodland. As he picked out lamb chops at the meat counter, a Ford touring car, its’ curtains tightly drawn, cruised slowly past the store. A couple of shotguns poked out and two lasts of buckshot were fired, one through the front window of the store and one through the front screen door.

The amateur gunmen got lucky. Two pellets found the back of Porrello’s head and entered his brain. He was rushed to the hospital.

Chapter IX

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos”

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos. I think maybe they will kill all of us except Rosario. They can’t

kill him – he’s in jail.” Thus Ottavio Porrello grimly but calmly predicted the probable fate of he and his brothers as he waited outside Jim’s hospital room. Jim Porrello died at 5:55 p.m.

Two local petty gangsters were arrested and charged with murder. One was discharged by directed verdict and the other was acquitted. Like almost all of Cleveland’s bootleg related murders, the killers never saw justice.

About this time, it was rumored that the Porrello brothers were marked for extermination. The surviving

brothers went into hiding. Raymond, known for his cocky attitude and hot temper spoke like his brother James did of seeking revenge. Raymond was smarter though, he took active measures to protect himself.

On August 15th, 1930, three weeks after James Porrello’s murder, Raymond Porrello’s house was leveled in a violent explosion. He was not home at the time since he had taken his family and abandoned his home in anticipation of the attack.

Four days later Frank Alessi, a witness to the murder of “Big Joe” Lonardo’s brother Frank, was gunned down. From his death bed, he identified Frank Brancato as his assailant. Brancato was known mainly as a Lonardo supporter and suspect in several murders. Brancato was acquitted of Alessi’s murder.

Chapter X

In March of 1931, Rosario Porrello was paroled from Ohio’s London Prison Farm where he had served one year for carrying a gun in his car.

In mid-1931, National Mafia “capo di tutti capi” (boss of all bosses) Salvatore Maranzano was killed. His murder set in motion the formation of the first Mafia National Ruling Commission created to stop the numerous murders resulting from conflicts between and within Mafia families and to promote application of modern business practices to crime.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano was the main developer of the commission and was named chairman. Also named to the commission were Al Capone of Chicago, Joe Profaci of Brooklyn and Frank Milano of Cleveland.

In Dec. of 1931, Angelo Lonardo and his cousin Dominic Suspirato were released from prison after being acquitted of “Black Sam” Todaro’s murder during a second trial. Because he had avenged his father’s death and (for the most part) gotten away with it, he became a respected member of Frank Milano’s Mayfield Road Mob.

The thirst for revenge had not been satisfied for members of the Lonardo family. It was generally believed

that “Black Sam” Todaro instigated and perhaps took part in the murders of “Big Joe” and John Lonardo. However it was believed by members of the Lonardo family that the remaining Porrello brothers, particularly the volatile John and Raymond and eldest brother Rosario still posed a threat because of

the murders of Joe and James Porrello.

On Feb. 25th, 1932 Raymond Porrello, his brother Rosario and their bodyguard Dominic Gulino (known also by several aliases) were playing cards near E. 110th and Woodland Avenue. The front door burst open and in a hail of bullets the Porrello brothers, their bodyguard and a bystander went down. The Porrellos died at the scene. Gulino died a couple of hours later. The bystander eventually recovered from his

wounds.

Several hours after the murders, Frank Brancato, with a bullet in his stomach, dragged himself into St. John’s hospital on Cleveland’s west side. He claimed he was shot in a street fight on the west side. A few days later, tests on the bullet taken from Brancato revealed that it came from a gun found at the Porrello brothers murder scene. Although never convicted of either of the murders, Brancato was convicted of perjury for lying to a Grand Jury about his whereabouts during the murder. He served four years after a one to ten year sentence was commuted by Governor Martin L. Davey.

In 1933, Prohibition was repealed. The bootleg murders mostly stopped as organized crime moved into other enterprises. Angelo Lonardo continued his crime career as a respected member of the Cleveland family eventually rising through the ranks to run the northeast Ohio rackets in 1980.

In early 1933, in a sequel to the tragedy of the large Porrello family, Rosario’s son Angelo, 21, was killed in a fight over a pool game in Buffalo. It was said that he and his Uncle John were there trying to muscle in on the corn liquor business.

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