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Buffalo: Once a gangster’s paradise?

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Naked Buffalo tour guide Michael F. Rizzo delves into a subject that has yet to be fully understood: the Buffalo Mafia.

In his 256-page work entitled “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo: History, Hits and Headquarters,” Rizzo explores the life of mob boss Stefano Magaddino and strives to clarify the hazy details from 1900 through 1980. The book can be purchased from Amazon.com for $16.22 and for Kindle for only $9.99.

Here’s a bit of the book’s description on Amazon.com:

Close to Canada, Niagara Falls and Buffalo were perfect avenues through which to transport booze, and Magaddino and his Mafiosi maintained a stranglehold on the city until his death in 1974. Local mob expert Michael Rizzo takes a tour of Buffalo’s mafia exploits—everything from these brutal gangsters favorite hangouts to secret underground tunnels to murder.

It’ll be worth visiting the Buffalo sites that Rizzo links to organized crime; I bet many will be unexpected but still existent, and you’ll probably feel a little devious setting foot in Magaddino’s former stomping grounds. His deeds probably fall into the “don’t try this at home” category, though.

According to the press release, plenty of research—10 years and 691 references, actually—marked Rizzo’s quest for knowledge info a purposefully secretive group.

To understand just how much underlying control the Mafia held, check out this tidbit from the Buffalo page on AmericanMafia.com, and see if it’s verified and described in greater detail in Rizzo’s work:

Before Prohibition ended, Magaddino began peddling a non-alcoholic mixture called “Home Juice.” The local Italian population was compelled to purchase the concoction that was sold door-to-door. The immigrants quickly realized that refusal to buy the product could prove detrimental to their health, in which case another mob-run business was available to cater to their needs, the Magaddino Memorial Chapel funeral home.

Was Buffalo a gangster paradise? Browse Rizzo’s work and decide for yourself.

(Header photo courtesy of Flickr / sacks08).

TAGGED: gangsters and organized crime in buffalo, michael rizzo, naked buffalo, stefan magaddino

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