War of the Godfathers

William F. Roemer, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (340p) ISBN 978-1-55611-193-8
The author, who wrote of his 30 years as an FBI agent in Roemer , here covers some of the same material as a preface to his story of the gangland war for Las Vegas. The background: the five New York Costa Nostra families were to have Atlantic City as their territory to reap gambling profits, while Nevada was reserved for the Chicago mob. Joe Bonnano of the Brooklyn family, who retired to Tucson, Ariz., attempted to upset the arrangement by taking over Las Vegas; his chief opponent was Tony Accardo. The violent struggle lasted from 1986 to 1989 and ended in a victory for the Chicagoans, with Roemer working on the case as a consultant to the Chicago Crime Commission and as an investigator for the U.S. Senate Rackets Committee. The victory, however, was a Pyrrhic one, for it led to a trial in which a dozen leaders of organized crime in the Windy City were found guilty and much of the Mafia's power there broken. The author's encyclopedic knowledge makes the book a unique contribution to U.S. crime history. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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