Vinny Gorgeous: The Ugly Rise and Fall of a New York Mobster (Paperback)

The Ugly Rise and Fall of a New York Mobster

By Anthony M. DeStefano

Lyons Press, 9780762785414, 264pp.

Publication Date: July 2, 2013



A vain man of good looks but no family ties to the Mob, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano worked his way up to acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, becoming its leader when official boss Joseph Massino went to prison in 2003. When the Mafia was crawling with secret operatives and informants caving to government pressure to flip, Basciano steadfastly obeyed the code of La Cosa Nostra. "I got faith in one guy," he said during a secretly taped meeting. That man was Massino, head of the Bonanno borgata. But for all his loyalty, Basciano was still a hot-headed, cold-blooded killer, which ultimately led to his arrest and downfall.Then in a remarkable betrayal that rocked the Five Families to their foundations, Massino secretly cooperated with the FBI--the first head boss ever to roll over. As a result, Basciano faced the death penalty, but a federal jury, disturbed by the prosecution's use of deadly criminal informants, reached a surprising verdict. Here from veteran crime author Anthony M. DeStefano comes the riveting story of the last true believer in the Mob's cult of brotherhood and his betrayal at the hands of the only man he ever trusted.

About the Author

Anthony M. DeStefano is a staff reporter for Newsday, covering legal affairs and criminal justice in New York City. Formerly a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal and Fairchild News Service, he has appeared on Biography Channel programs about Joseph Massino and Mafia killer Thomas Pitera as an expert on organized crime.

Praise For Vinny Gorgeous: The Ugly Rise and Fall of a New York Mobster

Critical acclaim for Anthony M. Destefano’s King of the Godfathers:

“DeStefano’s book tracks the downfall not only of Massino himself but all of the old
organized crime families. ... DeStefano gives us unique insights.”
New York Law Journal

“The last word and best work on the life and times of Joe Massino ... DeStefano brings the story to life … and adds special insight into Massino.”
—Jerry Capeci, creator of

“Thrilling American crime writing.”
—Jimmy Breslin, author of The Good Rat and winner of the Pulitzer Prize