7 books about Cleveland Mafia

51kgSGtAMRL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_Local historian Dennis Sutcliffe visited earlier this week to talk about the history of the Cleveland Mafia. Here are some reading recommendations for those interested in the topic.

1. The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia: Corn Sugar and Blood by Rick Porrello

Porrello has a unique perspective on the Cleveland Mafia. His grandfather and three uncles were killed in the Corn Sugar Wars during the late 1920s and early 1930s, but he’s also a police chief. His book is well-researched and an excellent primer on organized crime in Cleveland during the Prohibition Era.

2. To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia by Rick Porrello

A sequel to Rise and Fall. This book follows the Mafia’s long and fatal war with Danny Green’s Celtic Club. It was later turned into a film.

3. Mobbed Up by James Neff

Neff tells the story of Jackie Presser, a Teamsters leader who was connected to the Cleveland Mafia. After decades of working with the mob, he became an informant for the FBI.

4. Brancato: Mafia Street Boss by Frank Monastra

Frank Brancato was a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years. He bridged both the Corn Sugar and Celtic Club eras. (In fact, Brancato’s credited with introducing Greene to the Cleveland underworld.) In his lifetime, Brancato went from gambler to capo to consigliore. The author, Monastra, is Brancato’s grandson

5. The Sly-Fanner Murders by Allan May

May recounts the infamous Sly-Fanner Murders, a payroll robbery turned fatal, committed by Little Italy’s first mob boss, Dominic Benigno.

6. Shocking Stories of the Cleveland Mob by Ted Schwarz

Schwarz traces the wild history of the Cleveland Mob, which includes the origins of everything from Las Vegas to the Cleveland Browns.

7. The Silent Syndicate by Hank Messick

Messick describes—in minute detail—the actions of The Syndicate, a Jewish organized crime unit that was contemporary to the Mafia. While they grabbed fewer headlines than the Mafia, they were arguably more successful by favoring the bribe over the bullet.

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