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Title : Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal
Author :
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ISBN : 9780312370244
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal Reviews

  • Carmaletta Hilton
    2019-03-17 14:26

    It would be a gross simplification (as well as a mitigation of the crimes) to suggest that murder was simply a cost of doing business with Greg Scarpa Sr. While this may have been occasionally true, it would be erroneous to paint Scarpa with a romantic brush (as Mario Puzo did so elegantly with the Corleone family--"it's only business").Ms. Harmon starts out her story with an idea that she doesn't uphold. She not only manages to romanticize Scarpa Sr., but the rest of his family as well. She gives us a family of liars, murderers, adulterers, and hypocrites, and yet, she wants us to feel sorry for them. Ms. Harmon extols on the love between Scarpa Sr. and Linda Schiro, but wholly dismisses the twisted relationship that they carried on, and caring nothing of the other family, the legitimate family, that Scarpa Sr. all but abandoned to be with his mistress. Linda Schiro's hypocrisy when her son, Joey, was killed me me sick to my stomach. Ms. Harmon presents a woman that we should feel pity on, even going as far as to give us a throwaway paragraph that says that Linda, at her son's death, realized how the families of Senior's murder victims felt, and yet, she doesn't elaborate on that. Instead of portraying Schiro as the hypocrite that she is, uncaring that every person murdered by the men in her family was someone's daughter, someone's son. Linda Schiro and Greg Scarpa Sr. were dispicable human beings and their life paths (Schiro's bankruptcy and Scarpa's AIDS death) were karma coming back to bite them.Romanticized the most in this book is Scarpa Jr. Ms. Harmon expects us to believe that he is really just a victim in all of this. Who cares that he murdered dozens of people, that he stole, extorted, and committed a number of other crimes. Yes, I am angered by the actions of the FBI (if I am to believe that Junior's accusations are true), but not because of how they've treated Junior. I am angry because, if the accusations are true, they could have stopped the attacks on 9/11 and saved so many lives. Another major problem I had was with Ms. Harmon's lack of consistency. The biggest example of this is the description of Senior's place in the Mafia. On page 9, Harmon writes, "Although Greg Sr. never rose above the rank of soldier--the lowest rank among made men--he was considered a "good earner" (in the parlance of the Mafia)." Ms. Harmon also makes it clear at numerous times throughout the book that Senior was at the bottom of the totem pole, even mentioning that his son was ranked higher than him when Junior made "capo." However, throughout most of the book, she speaks of Senior as though he were a high-ranking officer within the organization. At one point, she even references someone else incorrectly calling Senior a capo, and yet, Harmon feels no need to fix that. She speaks as though Scarpa Sr. was underboss, ready to take over the Colombo family when he was merely a soldier. Even the subtitle of her book is misleading in accordance with the Scarpa family placement in the Mafia hierarcy. "Mafia Son - The Scarpa Mob Family, The FBI, and a Study of Betrayal." Again, Scarpa senior was only a soldier, Scarpa junior was only a capo. The Scarpa men were party of the Colombo crime family. They were not one of their own.Ms. Harmon poorly put together this book. I feel as if she allowed herself to be seduced by the excitement and the intrigue surrounding the story of the Scarpa men and their relationship with the FBI. Instead of giving us an accurate portrayal of what happened, she gives us a one-sided love affair with the Scarpa men, with Scarpa Jr. even more romanticized than Puzo's Michael Corleone. This book was a definite disappointment. The only positive was that it lends to be a quicker read than most Mafia books, and I can only attribute that to the romantic feeling of the book as opposed to having a lot of journalistic qualities.

  • Samantha
    2019-03-08 21:19

    I found this easy to read book extremely boring even with the Mafia being the main subject. It's hard to believe, but true. I felt that Sandra Harmon was passionate about the subject, Gregory Scarpa but not really reliable about the facts and issues. This man was raised by his Mafia gangster father to be a killer and did kill about 25 men not to mention his drug dealing and racket schemes, however Ms. Harmon tries to portray that this man deserves to be out walking our streets because he didn't have a chance because of his father and because he was in prison with a mastermind of 9/11. The first part of the book is very quick and interesting. However it feels like she's writing more about the father than the son. Then she switches about middle of the book to the FBI agent that was supposedly dirty and back to the son. The book then becomes extremely boring and bogged down. Once the son goes to prison then there is almost no thought about what has happened and why. It's more about the oh poor me syndrome...I'm like this becauase of my dad. There is very little citations and documentation. I wonder if Ms. Harmon got most of her material from the son himself instead of other sources. I felt this book was poorly written about a fascinating family. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

  • Thomas
    2019-03-07 17:40

    I'm sorry to have to give this one star, but it just doesn't deserve any more. Like Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss, it is not really a book. There's nothing new but some warmed-over sentimental childhood memories from someone whose half-assed reflections are presented as fact that I as a reader am supposed to care about, without either the insight or detail that should be brought to all memoirs or the investigatory qualities that belong in anything third-person about organized crime. Garden-variety historical realities are presented out of context and in rapturous tones as "revelations." It's obvious throughout that the author has brought very little of her own to the table in terms of knowledge of organized crime, and yet has presented Scarpa Jr's recollections as factual, sometimes uncorroborated and far too often unquestioned third-person accounts, which is a huge mistake when dealing with an obviously unreliable confessor. The moment the intro asserted that Harmon's principal interviewee had tipped the authorities off to 9/11 before it happened, and the FBI ignored him, I should have known I was in for a rocky road. It only got rockier.In my opinion, this adds nothing new to the literature on organized crime. Sorry.

  • Marissa
    2019-03-01 13:37

    I don't know why I have an obsession with Mafia books (well, actually, I do), and this one filled my need! It was interesting to hear about a mafia crime boss that I've never even heard of, and how he was just a brutal as the ones you have heard of. Scarpa Sr. seriously gives John Gotti a run for his money. The brutality of the Mafia is showcased well in Harmon's book. There are some pretty gory details in there. The whole time it sounds like a story, and I actually had to remind myself that this really happened. I'm not sure if Harmon's intention was to draw sympathy for Scarpa Jr., but whether it was or not, I do have some sympathy for the guy. Yes, he murdered people, sold drugs, etc., but I really feel like he got the short end of the stick, especially when there were several others just as guilty as he was, and they got much lighter sentences. Such is life.

  • Jerry Crispino
    2019-03-25 17:44

    If 100% true, FBI agent-bad guy!

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-03-20 18:21

    This book is not just another "Mafia" expose. This book tells the story of the Scarpa Mob Family that may be unlike anyh other Mafia book you have read.Greg Scarpa, Sr. never was anything but a soldier in the Mafia organization. However, he was known for his hot temper and penchant for violence and murder, and because of this he became known as "The Grim Reaper".What makes his story so unusual was that while he was working for the mob, he was also an informant for the FBI. Greg would give information to the FBI concerning mob activities and the FBI literally let Greg get away with murder. His handler, Lin DeVecchio, would inform Greg if any of his illcit activities were being monitored by the FBI. For his part, DeVecchio, was getting paid extra by the FBI for the information he was providing and was also getting paid by Greg.Greg, being the upstanding person he was, had a wife and family, and also a mistress. Having a mistress was not unusual and was usually overlooked by the loving wife and family.In a show of true loyalty, Greg, Jr., was asked to plead guilty for his father's transgressions and to take a prison sentence for him. Greg Jr., thought that his sentence would be for only a few years, however, to this day he remains in almost solitary confinement in ADMAX, the most secure federal prison in the country in Florence, Colorado.The story takes a bizarre twist when Greg Jr. becomes a friends with Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi was the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Greg Jr. looking for a way to reduce his sentence is able to obtain information from Ramzi concerning the 9/11 attacks. It is still uncertain why the FBI did not heed the warning.This is a well told story that sometimes defies belief and will be of special interest to those who enjoy books concerning the Mafia, and those looking for information about this organization.

  • Karen Syed
    2019-03-21 17:19

    I love all things organized crime. I do. It is my weakness. So when this one came along, I knew I had to listen to it. This book was like stepping into the Scarpa family. Sandra Harmon has a unique way of making the most minor details seem important. Like most books about mobsters, there is death, and betrayal, and infidelity. But Harmon brings a little more emotion into this tale of a son who is torn between worshipping and despising his own father, while he willingly trails along behind his idol in awe of his horrifying deeds.At times, Mafia Son seems more like Greg Sr.'s story, but I guess it almost is. I found myself torn between feeling sorry for them all and being disgusted by their misrepresentation of values. The details Harmon gives in this tale are shocking and almost unbelievable. I am guessing her publisher made her offer viable proof on all she tells, but it still gives one cause for pause.With compelling narrative and information that should change the world, Mafia Son is a gruesome look into just how easily a man can justify his own shortcomings by inflicting his own kind of justice on the world. The world has stopped being surprised by each new daring tale of organized crime, but it is a never-ending source of curiosity for most.I have read nothing else by Sandra Harmon, but she tells a captivating story and is surely worth another look. I am impressed with the way she intertwines the needs and desires of all the characters while never once letting us forget that they are in nearly every regard, evil.

  • Thomas
    2019-03-13 21:28

    Harmon provides an intimate look at the Scarpa family and its long-term function as a link between organized crime and federal law enforcement. She details the underworld careers of Colombo crime family mobsters Greg Scarpa Sr. and Gregory Scarpa Jr., the amoral personal life of the elder Scarpa and his work as an informant for the FBI. The book is fast-moving, and many of its revelations are shocking.In the book's Postscript chapter, Harmon describes herself as "someone who has gotten almost too close to this story." She is almost right in that assessment. Harmon was a participant in some of the events she describes, and she seems far too willing to go out on a limb in support of incredible claims made by Scarpa Jr. She does not directly discuss the antagonistic relationship between local and federal law enforcement in Brooklyn, but she repeatedly reveals bias for the Brooklyn district attorney's office and against the federal investigators and prosecutors.Though a partisan account, Mafia Son still has much to offer as an exploration of the family and "professional" relationships of these career criminals.

  • Julia
    2019-03-25 13:35

    Audio Book. Very interesting and easy to listen to on a long car ride. I loved the first half, but only ended up giving the book 2 stars because I thought the author took an overly sympathetic view of Gregory Scarpa Jr. The book was well researched, and the story was well told, but if you don't like being force fed a very biased opinion than beware. Scarpa Jr. was a mobster and a murderer, even if he wasn't the big boss, but Harmon elicites sympathy that really left me shaking my head. Conspiracy theories also abound in the second half. I don't believe that TWA 800 was downed in an act of terror, but I do believe that Scarpa provided good intelligence about 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing that because of our corrupt legal system was not heeded.

  • Clint Mccoy
    2019-02-25 20:18

    I read a lot of books that focus on Cosa Nostra so when I saw this at my library I picked it up with enthusiasm.This was a good look into the Scarpa's (very romanticized though). It gave a lot of info on Scarpa Sr. and his FBI handlers. Not much to say besides it's very interesting on how far the FBI will go to get inside information... I was annoyed somewhat by the author's constant use of the word "mafia". Bahh anyway...This was a quick read and it seemed like the author didn't have much to back up the "facts" she was putting through. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but if you're into the subject matter and are looking to kill time.... then read it.

  • Matt
    2019-03-07 17:20

    Well written read based on interviews with Gregory Scarpa Jr. Son of Colombo Capo Greg Scarpa SR. Both men killed several folks. Scarpa Sr got AIDS (through blood transfusion) and had his own Son vouch for him and left him in prison. Scarpa Sr was aloose canon who was a killer. Had strange living relationship with 30 year Girlfriend. Linda Shiro. He seems like a meatball. Scarpa Jr, claims to have provided Feds with Info on Terry Nichols, and 911 information prior to the fact. Tried to help feds convict Lyn Delvachio of the FBI for cooring with Scarpa Sr. Case fell apart. Greg Jr in Supermaxx for rest of life. Feels used..(Hard to feel sorry for this guy)

  • Jim B
    2019-03-08 17:42

    An unbelievable talk of cooperation between the FBI and murderous Greg Scarpa, Sr. (But this is nonfiction -- the author clearly believes that Gregory Scarpa, Jr., who is in maximum security is telling the truth.) This book is a roller coaster ride that leaves you to conclude that either the FBI is very inept, corrupt and exists mainly to cover tracks for its mistakes, or Gregory Scarpa Jr., likes to spin tales.The author clearly believes that Scarpa (who is in maximum security) is telling the truth.

  • Anne
    2019-03-26 21:31

    Over all, a very interesting story. My main problems with it were: seemed overly long; excessive repetition of the use of "license to kill" phraseology, as in (paraphrasing) "the FBI gave Scarpa a veritable license to kill" (seriously, I think it was used at least 12 times in the book); and the fact that the author was serious biased in favor of Greg Scarpa, Jr. Yes, he got a raw deal, and probably shouldn't have ended up in ADMAX, he was still a cold-blooded killer. Still, it a fascinating story, and the whole twist with the FBI cover-up was fascinating, yet appalling.

  • Tom Germain
    2019-03-16 20:22

    It's a good read overall, but in fact it's two stories rolled into one. One is the fascinating story of mobster Greg Scarpa Sr's life, the other is about corruption in the FBI, including sensational revelations that Scarpa's son, while in jail, obtained information from an Al Qaeda terrorist which could have prevented 9/11 and in another instance key info from one of the Oklahoma City bombers. These conspiracy theories should have been put in another book, period, as lumped together they just do not make any sense.

  • Frank Taranto
    2019-02-23 19:43

    The story of the Scarpa family and their life of crime. The most disturbing part about this book is the claims made about the FBI and the federal government.The Scarpa's were evil people, especially Greg Sr. Greg Sr. was not only a mafia member, but also a top informer to the FBI. According to the book, his FBI handler, Lin Devechio aided him in committing crimes, including murder.

  • Sabrina Laitinen
    2019-02-26 13:36

    I enjoyed this book about the Scarpa family, it was an eye-opener to organized crime. Sandra Harmon does an excellent job detailing the events and lives of this family, in particular Greg Sr. and Jr. I recommend this to anyone who has an interest in organized crime. Well detailed and easy to read.

  • Adela
    2019-03-25 19:28

    There is some interesting and shocking information in this book. Whether you believe it or not it's quite jaw-dropping. However, it's almost too overwhelming since it comes across as 2 or more stories wrapped in one. Also, the author jumps around a lot and includes random people do briefly it doesn't make the story flow. Just an ok read for a book purchased at the Dollar Store.

  • John
    2019-02-25 13:28

    This book is what I consider a "magazine book." It takes an idea that could have made a great long article in a magazine, and turns it into a full length book. The result is a boring work--had to believe given the content of the book.

  • Amy
    2019-02-24 13:37

    A solid read. Again, in the same vein as "Black Mass," we learn that sometimes the U.S. government is even more corrupt that the Mafia. I think the most disappointing thing about this book is the preface, which gives away too much of the story.

  • Tom Schulte
    2019-03-22 17:36

    An amazing, two-generation tale of the mob and the man as the Scarpas flirt with the FBI and get gilted in the end. I am mostly immune to 9/11 conspiracies, but the 9/11 conspiracy of Scarpa, Jr.'s pre-9/11 terrorism leaks is the most compelling I've read.

  • Joy
    2019-03-23 17:39

    An easy read.

  • Michael
    2019-03-08 20:44

    Great book about the corruption of our government...a very interesting and surreal look at informants and the mob.

  • Joe Young
    2019-02-25 19:25

    Sandra Harmon - author3/5This book is just fine. Nothing to write home about, so to speak.

  • Tom
    2019-02-27 20:45

    Very interesting and I wonder if FBI has been as corrupt as this book attests.

  • Greg Cox
    2019-03-04 15:39

    Very interesting and insightful. This book is just more proof of how crooked and corrupt our government is. Pretty good for a book I picked up at the Dollar Tree.

  • Bill
    2019-03-11 20:17

    Really a great book. A lot of suprises that might make you think differently about our government agencies.

  • Angie
    2019-02-27 21:21

    Much ado about very little.

  • Trisha
    2019-03-13 18:34

    Better written that most true crime books and well worth the dollar I spent on it at Dollar Tree.

  • Lauraley Dilgard
    2019-03-09 14:45

    This one my husband and I read and discussed because he knew the Mafia Son growing up they went to school together. Not a good person.

  • Darragh Mc
    2019-03-19 19:28

    Interesting read and well written. Should make a movie based on the book!