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The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto Hardcover – 1 Sep 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 386 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470837535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470837535
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 724,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

In a mansion in an exclusive area of Montreal, Canada, lives a clan named Rizzuto. When the Rizzuto patriarch, Nick, arrived in the New World from a remote village in western Sicily, he brought with him his most valued possessions: his young family and the old code of the Mafia. He relied on both–his family and his code–to build a robust criminal organization that flourished in the shadow of the notorious Five Families of New York City. Decades later, three rebellious captains in the Bonanno crime family were slaughtered inside a Brooklyn social club. For 25 years the details of the crime remained a closely guarded secret while, at the same time, rumors of the bold attack became underworld legend. Now, mob turncoats have come forward, abandoning their oath of omertà , to point their finger at the man they say was the lead triggerman that night–Vito Rizzuto, the son of Nick Rizzuto. The Brooklyn purge protected a hard–won, billion–dollar drug franchise. In contrast to the deafening crash of gunfire in the narrow confines of that club, this cult–like Mafia family has been nurtured in a culture of silence, secrecy and the strength of relying on family––true family––to link the Mafia strongholds of Brooklyn, Montreal and western Sicily. Vito Rizzuto created a pure, near–perfect Mafia, an organization that seemed bulletproof to its rivals and immune to government prosecution at a time when the American Mafia was slowly being dismantled by the FBI. The Sixth Family is a chilling modern–day underworld saga, deftly researched and compellingly told. While it contains the expected ingredients—drugs, corruption, treachery and murder—the book is full of surprises. The Sixth Family reveals the hidden history of the rise of the Rizzutos, the alliances forged around the globe and the events that recently led to charges against Vito Rizzuto in both the United States and Italy. The FBI wants him to face racketeering charges after a massive anti–Mafia sweep in New York; Italy’s authorities wish to put him on trial for a conspiracy to infiltrate the nation’s largest public works project. He is fighting all charges in a determined and well–financed campaign. As police in the United States, Canada and Italy began to piece together the puzzle that is Vito Rizzuto, established notions about the nature of authority within the Mafia have been called into question. Who was this quiet don named Vito Rizzuto—the so–called "John Gotti of Canada"? And how did he come to be one of the biggest names in global crime? This book reveals the surprising answers.

From the Back Cover

From The Sixth Family , according to witness testimony: BROOKLYN, MAY 5, 1981 "We were in the closet. We all had our weapons loaded. We sat there and waited for the doorbell to ring," said Salvatore Vitale, a slender New York mobster known as Good–Looking Sal. "We left the door open a smidge to look out." The ringing of the bell at the private social club’s entrance signaled the arrival of the first of the invited guests. Vito Rizzuto crouched low, peeking out from his vantage point. Through the swelling crowd and loud chatter from tough men all accustomed to having their say, Vito kept his eyes on one man, Gerlando Sciascia, a fellow Sicilian who was a long–time Rizzuto family friend. Breathing deeply beneath his mask, Vito watched for the secret signal that would draw him from the closet, a signal that came when Sciascia slowly ran the fingers of his lean, right hand through the silver hair on the side of his head. That simple act of preening brought mayhem to the social club and radically changed the balance of power. "Don’t anybody move. This is a holdup," Vito said as he confronted the roomful of powerful mobsters, his words muffled by a woolen ski mask pulled down over his long, thin face. Despite those words, this was not about robbery. Nothing would be taken but three lives and the rights to an underworld throne.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
i cant agree with the first review at all although it was a couple years back when i read the 6th family(not to be confused with book of the same name on the gallos)i found it a great read going back to vitos father nicks rise to power(who has since being murdered)to vitos taking over and then vitos arrest and extradition for his part in the early 80s murder of the three bonanno captains alongside big (rat) joey massino vito is due out i think 2012 so it may be very intresting to see if that will lead to a power struggle in montreal between the bikies and other cosa nostra to be continued(im sure)
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By Mr. P. R. Perrin on 28 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
very good insight into the mafia and the workings of the different families and how they work together in money and murder.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bookworm. on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very badly written it goes from year 1998 to 2002 back to 1965
the content is repetitive and very boring would not recommend it dont waste your money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A long wait but worth it 11 Aug. 2006
By Connie R. Bryce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It took a long time to get ahold this book. But it was worth the wait. Unlike most books on organized crime, The Sixth Family concentrates on how criminals work but also why their so powerful.

As an American living in Canada I was surprised and shocked to discover this Canadian mafia family is in the forefront of the international drug trade and has been there for fifty years. I don't think this will make American mob watchers very pleased to find there is a sophisticated mafia family that holds control over the typical American family. But the facts are there.

The authors seem to have spent years gathering information on Vito Rizzuto and members of his family. Unlike some mafia books, the Sixth family isn't about blood and bullets, although there are some murders.

This is not a quick book and requires a little bit of knowledge about the under-world. The writers delve deeply into everything from the French Connection to the Piza Connection and along the way they find the Rizzuto family at work.

I recommend this book as a good read as well as a source of research.

Connie Bryce, Toronto, Ontario
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Read on the Canadian Mafia. Must for True Crime library 18 Feb. 2009
By J. Carbone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be highly enjoyable and informative. It wasn't lacking for information. I admit at times a lot of names were being mentioned and it gets hard to keep them all straight but that is nothing new with reading books regarding the Mafia.

I have read over 50 organized crime books regarding the Mafia/La Cosa Nostra/Camorra, etc. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to understand the workings of the Mafia in Canada. I have read books that dance around the topic such as Mafia Enforcer, Last Days of the Sicilians, Last Godfather, etc but this book really gives you all you want or need to know. This book debunks the myth that the Montreal or Canada mafia was just a faction of the Bonanno Family. It detials the international reach of the Rizzutos and the Sixth Family, who they worked with in other countries, other criminal organizations they partnered with, scope of the drug trade, etc. The book is also relatively current going up to 2004-2005. This book is a must for any true cime library.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Don't pass this one up--The Sixth Family 9 Nov. 2006
By Mafia Joker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was the most informative book I have read about the Canadian Mafia. Very interesting reading about the rise of Montreal Mafia.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A superb and amazing book about OC. 17 Aug. 2007
By The Historian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a well written and brilliant book which comes from two accomplished, experienced journalists who are experts on the global history of organized crime and the Mafia. The amount of research and analysis that has gone into this book is amazing and it fully enjoys a 5 star review. The book is very detailed and can be dense at times to wade through the facts and absorb the international and national ramifications of this book. Hang in there and read it carefully, l sometimes read some chapters two or three times to grasp fully the international links of Mafia clans based in North America, South America and Europe.

A branch of the Sicilian mafia has planted cells in the North and South America that have been active since the 1940's and have slowly grown into powerful criminal cartels with links all over the world. In particular Canada which is the home of the Sixth Family with clever and powerful Vito Rizzutto as first among equals. Drugs are the main game for the Sixth Family, but according to this book they are also active in counterfeiting, stock fraud and was even involved in a bizarre search for some lost gold ingots in the Philippines that used to belong to ex President Marcos, l would not even be surprised if they even made a buck out of this book too.

The Bonanno mafia family from New York sent its feared enforcer Carmine Galante to Montreal in the 1950's to setup an offshoot of its own in that city. Galante succeeded so well that for years tribute flowed from Montreal to New York and that city was used to traffic drugs into the USA from the French connection and later Sicily. The Sixth Family bloomed in Montreal from the 1950's onward and gradually became the Montreal crime power in its own right as the New York influence dwindled away to nothing. This book also contains much information about the Bonanno crime family and its operations and how it tried to handle an influx of Sicilian born wise guys into its midst from the 1970's. Eventually there was much suspicion on both sides and some wiseguys ended up whacked. This is a great read for the true crime history buff
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Montreal's Teflon Don 30 Sept. 2012
By Mickey Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well-written and researched, this is the story of a man the FBI considered just a mere soldier of the Canadian faction of the NY Bonanno Family. Yet to Canadian authorities he was possibly the most powerful gangster in the entire country. The Sicilian-born Vito Rizzuto shot up the ranks of the Canadian-based Cotroni family like a thug from hell controlling a vastly lucrative drug trade with connections all over the U.S., Italy, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. The Cotroni clan's territory is tremendous ~ more than a million square miles of Quebec and Ontario directly fall under the influence covered an area larger than one-quarter the size of the entire United States. This book covers the rise-and-fall from their bloody relationship with the American and Italian families, to authorities from all countries working to take them down. Recommended.
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