Inside America's Most Violent Mafia Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra
by Phil Leonetti and Scott Burnstein
Mafia Prince is the first-person account of one of the most violent eras in Mafia history -"Little" Nicky Scarfo's reign as boss of the Philly family in the 1980s-written by Scarfo's underboss and nephew, "Crazy" Phil Leonetti.
The youngest-ever underboss at the age of 31, Leonetti was at the crux of the violent downfall of the traditional American Mafia in the 1980s when he infiltrated Atlantic City after gambling was legalized, and later turned state's evidence against his own. His testimony directly led to the convictions of dozens of high-ranking made men including John Gotti, Vincent Gigante, and his own uncle, Nicky Scarfo-sparking the beginning of the end of La Cosa Nostra.
Just as The Godfather and Boardwalk Empire defined the early 20th century Mafia, and Wiseguy and Casino depicted the next great era through the '70s, Mafia Prince concludes this epic genre revealing the Mafia's violent final heyday of the 1980s- straight from the horse's mouth.
Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti was the youngest underboss in the history of the American Mafia at the age of 30, and, along with his uncle and boss-"Little" Nicky Scarfo, head of the Philadelphia crime family from 1981-91-was responsible for what is arguably the most violent reign organized crime has ever seen. Leonetti's major role was mobbing up Atlantic City after gambling became legal-a goal he was thoroughly successful in reaching. After the Scarfo family careened out of control amid incredible violence in the late '80s, Leonetti was convicted of murder and racketeering and, in an effort to reduce jail time, became the then highest-ranking official in Mafia history to turn state's evidence and cooperate with the federal government. His testimony directly led to the convictions of dozens of high-ranking and other made men, including John Gotti, Vincent Gigante, and his own uncle, Little Nicky Scarfo. He has been living in the Witness Protection Program for almost two decades.
Scott M. Burnstein is a true-crime author and staff reporter on the Oakland Press in Detroit. He authored the 2007 regional bestseller Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in the City of Detroit, and in 2010 published Family Affair: Greed, Treachery and Betrayal in the Chicago Mafia. He graduated from Indiana University in 1999 and received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2004. He has been a featured expert on organized crime on numerous TV shows including the History Channel's hit show Gangland, and in 2009 he produced, wrote, and appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Detroit Mob Confidential. His writing has also appeared in the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Magazine, and AOL.com.