Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 21, 2013

GLYNN: Mob conclave drew area delegates

Niagara Gazette — For decades Niagara Falls was infamous for its connections to organized crime. 

Ironically, many local residents for whatever reason didn’t seem bothered by that image. In fact, they seemed to just accept it.

It took a meeting in November 1957 in the small town of Apalachin, 15 miles west of Binghamton, to convince the rest of the world that the Mafia really existed. If it hadn’t been for State Police Sgt. Edgar Croswell, that secret meeting at the home of mobster Joseph Barbara Sr., and the list of nearly 100 mobsters in attendance would probably never have been unveiled. On routine patrol, Croswell noted the steady line of sleek cars arriving at the Barbara residence and called for backup. When all the license plates were run, a roadblock was quickly in place and the crime figures soon in custody.

The riveting story is recounted in the “Mafia Summit,” by Gil Reavill (St. Martin’s Press, 301 pages, hardcover, 2013). Reavill, an author, screenwriter and playwright, co-authored “Beyond All Reason: My Life With Susan Smith.”

Area delegates at that session included Stefano Magaddino of Lewiston, known in crime circles then as “The Undertaker,” for the funeral home he operated. (Police investigators said he had a powerful voice in deciding the summit site); Anthony “Nino” Magaddino, 60, vice president of the former Magaddino Funeral Home, Niagara Street; James V. LaDuca of Lewiston, 45, secretary-treasurer of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, Buffalo, and John C. Montana, 64, owner of Van Dyke Taxi (Yellow Cab) & Transfer Co., Buffalo (The year before the mob convention, the Erie Club in the Queen City honored him as its “Man of the Year” for numerous civic contributions. 

Lest we forget, the Apalachin Summit was a kind of bust, as the author says. No blood spilled. No gunfights as the crime bosses dashed to avoid the roadblock. The federal conspiracy convictions of 20 of the participants were reversed upon appeal. Still, as Trooper Croswell said after the roundup: “I don’t know what is going to happen in the courts. But the State Police action threw the mobsters up in the air, where everybody could take a shot at them.” The author aptly noted: “The resulting exposure dosed the Mafia with its least favorite poison: publicity.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page