ALL AMERICAN MAFIOSO by Charles Rappleye


The Johnny Rosselli Story
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 Los Angeles-based journalist Rappleye and Las Vegas p.i. Becker join forces in this exciting, appalling life of a high- echelon mobster. Johnny Rosselli, born Filippo Sacco in Italy in 1905, was a gangster's gangster--an urbane, handsome killer whose associates included Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, and the Kennedys. After a tough childhood in Boston's North End, Rosselli lit out for Chicago, jackknifing his way into the Capone organization. A bout of TB sent him to California, where he engineered a multimillion-dollar extortion of major Hollywood studios. There, too, Rosselli adopted his taste for hiding in the shadows, raking in money while his pals--Bugsy Seigel, Sam Giancana, etc.--soaked up the limelight. In the 1950's, Rosselli reprised his Hollywood success in Las Vegas, overseeing the construction of the Tropicana and other mob-connected casinos. His biggest scams came in the 60's--first ``Operation Pluto,'' the CIA-Mafia attempted hit on Fidel Castro, which Rosselli helped design, and then, according to the authors, a key role (as far as the fraying trail can be followed) in the Kennedy assassination (one eyewitness even places Rosselli in Dealey Plaza that fateful day). Filled with tidbits both salacious and violent (JFK's inauguration-night orgy, the disposition of Rosselli's bullet- heavy, dismembered corpse), but successful above all in its scary sense of how Rosselli epitomizes the dark side of the American dream. (Sixteen b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-26676-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1991


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