The shocking true story of the most ruthless and deadly mob boss in the annals of the American Mafia.
In the golden age of organized crime, Carmine “The Snake” Persico was the King of the Streets. The defacto boss of the Colombo Mafia family since the 1970s, he oversaw gang wars, murders, and major rackets, even from prison. He is suspected of personally murdering as many as 60 people and ordering the hits of hundreds more. Sentenced to 139 years in the fed, he continued to exert power over a vast criminal empire from behind bars. His brutal rise and bloody reign is the stuff of legend.
In this blistering street-level account, “Mafia survivor” Frank Dimatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra. This is the real inside story of Carmine “The Snake” Persico, from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the longterm jail sentences that didn’t stop him from controlling his criminal empire with the help of his brother, the equally kill-crazy Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico.
His deadly teen years as leader of the fearsome Garfield Boys. His recruitment into the Profaci—later the Colombo—crime family. His bloody betrayal of the Gallo brothers. His role in the hair-raising ambush-slaying of Albert Anastasia—the Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc.—as he sat in a barbershop chair getting a shave. The terror he struck into the hearts of the New York Mafia’s other families, and even his own crews. And the many courtroom trials where Persico walked after witnesses came down with sudden cases of amnesia
Today, Carmine “The Snake” Persico schmoozes with Ponzi king Bernard Madoff behind bars where at age 84 his legend, packed as it is with coldblooded brutality, continues to inspire goodfellas everywhere.
Praise for Frank Dimatteo’s The President Street Boys: Growing Up Mafia
“Frankie D was born and raised in this life—and he’s still alive and still free. They don’t come any sharper then Frankie D. A real gangster story. Read this book!”
—Nicky “Slick” DiPietro, New York City
“I know Frankie D from when i was a kid living in South Brooklyn. It was hard reading about my father, Gennaro “Chitoz” Basciano, but I knew it was the truth. Frankie’s book is dead on the money—I couldn’t put it down.”
—Eddie Basciano, somewhere in Florida
“It’s been forty years since I’ve been with Frankie D doing our thing on President Street. This book was like a flashback. Frankie D nails it from beginning to the end. Bravo, from one of the President Street Boys.”
—Anthony “Goombadiel” DeLuca, Brooklyn, New York
“As a neighborhood kid I grew up around President Street and know firsthand the lure of ‘the life’ as a police officer and as a kid that escaped the lure. I can tell you the blind loyalty that the crews had for their bosses—unbounded, limitless, and dangerous. As the Prince of President Street, Frank Dimatteo is representative of a lost generation of Italian Americans. If any of this crew had been given a fair shot at the beginning they would have been geniuses in their chosen field.”
—Joseph "Giggy" Gagliardo, Retired DEA Agent, New York City
“The President Street Boys takes me back as if it was a time machine. Its authenticity is compelling reading for those interested in what things were really like in those mob heydays; not some author’s formulation without an inkling of what was going on behind the scenes. I loved the book because I was there, and know for sure readers will love it too.”
—Sonny Girard, author of Blood of Our Fathers and Sins of Our Sons