#21: Illegal FBI Wiretaps, the Kennedy Brothers, and the Mafia: What Was The Mob Saying in the 60's?

The Gangland History Podcast: An Organized Crime & Mafia History Podcast

Aug 2 2023 • 1 hr 6 mins

We cover instances of FBI wiretaps picking up mobster conversations related to both the FBI in the early 1960's and the Kennedy brothers pre-and-post JFK's assassination.

We share and help you interpret excerpts from the 1978-1979 Senate report entitled, "House Select Committee on Assassinations: Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" which breaks down possible mob-involvement in the 1963 assassination of the 35th President John F. Kennedy, as well as other potential players and scenarios.

We briefly cover the mob's involvement in the election of the 35th president, and discuss his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who was named Attorney General in the early 1960's, and who'd launched an all-out war on the American Mafia, spear-headed by advancements within the FBI focused on the outing Cosa Nostra in this country.

Robert F. Kennedy's efforts led to significant increases in legal action against the Mafia across the United States, and put immense pressure on many of the mob's key players.

We briefly touch on the findings of the 1964 Warren Commission, and then dive into the wiretaps, first sharing more well-known stories, but then sharing lesser-known conversations.

Mobsters mentioned in this episode include:

  • Carlos Marcello
  • Santo Trafficante, Jr.
  • Sam Giancana
  • Charles "Chuckie" English
  • Tony Accardo
  • Jackie Cerone
  • Dominic "Butch" Blasi
  • Stefano Magaddino
  • Peter Magaddino
  • Antonio Magaddino
  • Sam Rangatore
  • Fred Randaccio
  • Anthony DeStafano
  • Carlo Gambino
  • Carmine Lombardozzi
  • Mike Scandifia
  • Peter "Petey Pumps" Ferrara
  • Michelino "Big Mike" Clemente
  • Angelo Bruno
  • Charles "Pinky" Costello
  • Salvatore Maggio
  • Peter Maggio
  • Mario Maggio
  • Willie Weisburg
  • Morris Schlitten
  • Joe Magliocco
  • Sal Profaci
  • Joe Biondo
  • Joseph Riccobono
  • Joseph Valachi
  • Russell Bufalino

Others mentioned:

  • Ed Becker
  • Frank Ragano
  • James Riddle Hoffa
  • Jack Ruby
  • Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Michael Fiorito
  • John D'Arco
  • Anthony DeTolve
  • Madeline Costello
  • Selwyn Raab
  • Ben Golub
  • Harry Zimand

So it’s clear that they, the Mafia, had the means and the motive to commit the crime. But did they actually play a part in it? My personal opinion is that maybe they were the primary executioners, but we’d be naïve to believe that they played no part at all.

That being said, we may never actually know the truth until the government releases every single record, many of which are still classified to this day, about the plot.

Until then, I’ll let you decide.

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