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Saturday, 10 November, 2001, 11:28 GMT
Website tracks mob activities
Jerry Capeci, BBC
Jerry Capeci: Expert on organised crime
By BBC Click Online's Ian Hardy in New York

A website run by an experienced New York crime reporter has become a crucial source of information about Mafia activities in the city.

The site, called Ganglandnews, is run by Jerry Capeci, who hounded the most dangerous criminals in America for nearly 25 years.

During the 1980s and 1990s, his column in the Daily News was the way many New Yorkers followed the rise and fall of the Mafia.

Now, he is a public relations executive at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, yet is still fascinated with the mob.

"I think the Mafia is as American as apple pie. We've always had an interest in the bad guy," he says.

Underworld web

Every day, Jerry keeps up-to-date with his underworld contacts and scours court records for small details that often lead to big stories.

He writes a weekly column that many FBI officers, Mafia bosses and curious web surfers read with great interest.


The Mafia in America has had this wonderful rule, hopefully they'll maintain it, where they don't generally go after law enforcement officials or newspaper reporters. They see us as a necessary evil

Jerry Capeci
Much of the website is taken up with the tale of John Gotti, one of the most charismatic and elusive Mafia bosses of the last century who was sent to a Missouri prison for the rest of his life in 1992 after his one-time associate Sammy Gravano turned against him.

"On the web I've got plenty of information about John Gotti and the other Mafia bosses here in New York and also around the country and each week I update the stories," says Jerry.

"As far as Gotti's concerned you can actually hear him on tape talking to and about Sammy Gravano ... you can also hear him admitting taking part in three murders, the actual evidence that got him convicted and sent to prison."

Ugly picture

Many pieces on Ganglandnews paint an ugly picture of mob activity and the individual within the Mafia.

This is the sort of negative information that you would think might put Jerry in danger.

"The Mafia in America has had this wonderful rule, hopefully they'll maintain it, where they don't generally go after law enforcement officials or newspaper reporters. They see us as a necessary evil," he says.

But while newspaper front page headlines about the Italian mob have become less frequent since Gotti's imprisonment, Jerry Capeci still finds plenty of current stories to write about to fill his website.

One quick glance makes it clear the Mafia still exists and continues to skim hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the economy.

There is a lighter side too, with little bits of gossip on the site, like the tale of two real life gangsters who turned up to TV auditions for the hit show The Sopranos only to be told they were not convincing enough.


Click Online is on BBC World on Thursday at 2230, Friday at 1030, 1430 and 2030, Saturday at 0730, 1430 and 1930 and on Sunday at 1030. All times GMT.

See also:

07 Sep 00 | Americas
New York Mafia bosses arrested
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