MAFIA PRINCESS: Growing Up in Sam Giancana's Family by Antoinette & Thomas C. Renner Giancana

MAFIA PRINCESS: Growing Up in Sam Giancana's Family

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Sensationalist memoirs that prove, if nothing else, that the life of a den's daughter is no picnic. Sheltered and overprotected in Catholic boarding schools, ""Toni"" Giancana lost her virginity at 15, with a priest (they had ""torrid meetings at the rectory""), and ran into serious opposition from her old-fashioned dad when she tried to pursue a career as a model (""only whores and tramps go into modeling,"" said Sam) or an actress. Momma's death, after an argument with Toni (Sam blamed her), led to a suicide attempt at age 19, electric shock treatments, lots of drinking and running around--including a ""date"" with Bebe Rebozo--and a gruesome abortion. Then things got even worse: an ill-considered marriage to a bartender (she had five children in five years and, she says, he beat her); alcoholism; more running around; another abortion; divorce and loss of custody of the kids. Her father's total rejection of her after the divorce was shattering: ""all I had ever wanted from Sam Giancana was his love."" She never saw him again, alive, and she now regrets her comments to a reporter after his murder (""Sam lived by the gun, so he died by the gun"")--""it was a terrible thing to say, no matter that it was true."" Mob-followers will find little of substance here, aside from a few offhand remarks on personalities (e.g., Moe Dalitz: ""He was a gentleman and he had class""). More interesting are Toni's comments on the entertainment types Sam liked to hang around with: Durante (""that wonderful man""); Johnny Desmond (""down to earth, totally unaffected""); Sinatra (who, she alleges, was much closer to Sam than he now will admit); and Phyllis McGuire, Sam's longtime girlfriend, whom Toni initially disliked but later found to be a ""warm and really decent human being."" Aside from a bit of showbiz gossip, then: drab and pretty much a bore.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1984
Publisher: Morrow