New York City Mob Tour

John (Cha Cha) Ciarcia hopes to bring some of the city's old gangland history back to life with a new bus tour."Everybody loves the mob," said Ciarcia, a restaurateur, radio host and actor who had a bit part in "The Sopranos." "We'd like to give them a taste of history in the mob."There are plenty of Mafia walking-tour guides - famed mob rat Henry Hill himself wrote "A Goodfella's Guide to New York."Bus tours of "Sopranos" filming locations in New Jersey are still popular nearly three years after the TV show's finale.Ciarcia's bus tour of blood-soaked Manhattan will be the first of its kind, say organizers, who were surprised by the lack of competition.
"There's a lot of things that are hidden in plain sight," said tour guide Moses Gates, 34, who intentionally looked the part in his black gloves and heavy gold chain.The gory front-page photos of the executed executioner ensured the hit went down in history.The Dapper Don's Mulberry St. den, where the FBI recorded damning tapes, is now a store that hawks $300 minimalist leather shoes to oblivious hipsters.
Most people rushing through Columbus Circle have no idea that Colombo crime-family boss Joe Colombo was shot there just before addressing an Italian Unity Day rally in 1971.The New York City Mob Tour ( offerings will include newsreels and film clips showing the way the locations once looked. The tours also will show tourists where famous fictional mob scenes were filmed.Ciarcia came up with the idea for the mob bus tour with his childhood pal Vinny (Skinny) Gione.They plan to charge $50 per person for a two-hour tour leaving from Ciarcia's Mulberry St. café, Bocca al Lupo, and driving through Little Italy to midtown and back.

large collection of Howson paintings in the possession of his ex-manager, William O’Neil, were reportedly seized in October

Back from the edge of financial and mental collapse – legal guardians for the painter have now agreed two mainstream exhibitions in London and Edinburgh.
First images were released yesterday of a show of Howson drawings to take place in late March at the prestigious Flowers East gallery in London. He called them the “cream of the crop” from works he had kept for himself.A second exhibition has been provisionally agreed at the Scottish Gallery, one of Edinburgh’s oldest and best-known private galleries, in early 2011. It will be his first show there since 1988.
Last month a court appointed legal guardians for Howson at his own request after sales of his work threatened to descend into chaos.He suffers from a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome and was described as struggling in social interaction and business dealings.Howson, 51, has been showing at Flowers, which has branches in London and New York, since 1987. But he has had an on-off relationship with the gallery. He said: “The reason the exhibition was done was to re-establish contact with the gallery. I’ve fallen out with them but also been friends.

“It’s drawings I’ve earmarked over the past five or six years that are the best of my work that I’ve kept to myself, the cream of the crop. We were trying to get back into the London market, we are also trying to establish contact with a major Scottish gallery.”His last major exhibition of oil paintings at Flowers in October 2008 reportedly sold out for over £700,000 before it opened.The new show features a selection of mostly pastel, pen and ink and pencil drawings.One – Falling Star – was a study for The Harrowing of Hell oil painting which sold in 2008 with a £300,000 price tag. But it bears an uncanny resemblance to the artist himself, visibly in trauma, while another work, Tilting At Windmills, is also full of angst.
A spokeswoman for Flowers said: “Howson is an incredible draughtsman and he has produced an outstanding body of work. It is a comprehensive selection of recent studies. Frankly, we were blown away by the pieces.”
Howson has been a driven and hugely productive artist despite personal turmoil, including past battles with addiction and alcoholism. In late 2006, a show devoted to St Andrew, at the council-run City Art Centre in Edinburgh, featured more than 80 paintings and drawings.Last year, as part of the celebrations of Robert Burns’s 250th anniversary, he produced scores of artworks inspired by the bard. Three galleries at the Glasgow Art Fair feature his work next month.A large collection of Howson paintings in the possession of his ex-manager, William O’Neil, were reportedly seized in October by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.

Howson was recently commissioned to paint the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie at the renovated St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow. It is expected the Pope will view it when he visits in September.

The artist says: Thanks for reading my contemporary art blog! If you are involved in the art and culture industry in any way, and would like to syndicate content from or to this blog, or if you simply enjoy art and would like to get in touch, please leave a comment! This article has been kindly provided by: art / top stories news stories aggregated by

Tags: Contemporary Artists, pen and ink, flowers in october, Contemporary Artist, Modern Artist, business dealings, tilting at windmills, Paintings, falling star, cream of the crop

Alberto Hurtado Osorio, 60, was behind bars in Colombia last night

Alberto Hurtado Osorio, 60, was behind bars in Colombia last night. His arrest came two years after the Australian Federal Police and counterparts in South America and Latin America launched a sting to smash his cartel, which is suspected of smuggling drugs across the world through the post.Osorio, who served two years in Sydney on drug charges in the early 1990s, had been on the AFP's secret "top 10" target list for years.But the Colombian, a senior member of a well-known Bogata-based cartel, had eluded police by constantly moving throughout the South American country and keeping the operation at arm's length.It is alleged the drug cartel was smuggling cocaine to contacts in Australia in comparatively small amounts -- about 300g -- via air mail, certified mail and private parcel companies.Police have no idea how much cocaine the cartel had managed to smuggle into Australia. It was sent from Peru and Argentina in a bid to disguise its Colombian origins.Police began to close in on Osorio late last year after the AFP intercepted three consignments of 300g of cocaine in Sydney. At the same time, Peruvian authorities seized two consignments bound for Australia.
The gang is also suspected of smuggling drugs into other major Western markets worldwide.Peruvian police arrested two men at the same time Osorio was picked up. All three have been charged with trafficking and will face trial in their respective countries.
The investigation into the cartel's Australian connections is continuing.
AFP investigators said yesterday drug-smugglers had returned to using the post after the post-September 11, 2001, security crackdown on ports and airports made it increasingly difficult to smuggler large amounts of drugs.AFP national manager for serious and organised crime Kevin Zuccato said Osorio's arrest was a significant development in Australia's fight against drugs."This guy has been on our radar since 1992," Mr Zuccato said. "Increasingly, smugglers are sending comparatively smaller amounts of drugs through the post and with `swallowers' on planes."It is difficult to know how much drugs this gang got in to Australia. It is not about the quantity of the drugs seized but the quality of the crook we arrest and stop from bringing drugs into this country. He was a very senior member of a significant drug syndicate in Colombia, with suspected links to other syndicates."
Police arrested 25 people in Australia this week for allegedly mailing drugs around the country hidden in different items, including a teddy bear.The AFP said it had seized 145 parcels and 73kg of drugs.The teddy bear was used to hide a new drug called "miaow", which has been likened to ecstasy.

Scott William Schneider, 30, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to driving while impaired and possession of a prohibited firearm.

Scott William Schneider, 30, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to driving while impaired and possession of a prohibited firearm.He was handed a two-year and nine-month sentence, a 10-year firearm ban and a two-year driving ban.
Schneider was carrying a loaded handgun when he was arrested early Christmas Day after a hit-and-run in the 800-block Parker Street in White Rock.His passenger, a 27-year-old White Rock man, is scheduled to appear in Feb. 18 in Surrey Provincial Court, where he will face charges of uttering threats and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.In 2008, Schneider was acquitted, alongside White Rock Angel Villy Roy Lynnerrup and chapter president Douglas Falconer Riddoch, for assault charges stemming from a home invasion and assault in 2007.

Bomb blast killed two men in Adelaide.

The man, of suburban Munno Para West, has not been charged in relation to the fatal explosion that claimed the lives of a Hells Angels bikie gang associate and a convicted drug dealer.The pair died when a homemade bomb went off in a car at suburban Enfield before dawn.Police believe the bomb was triggered by accident and a rival gang member was the intended target.The man charged was detained after police went to the home of one of the dead men and found a second bomb.He was also charged with drug and firearms offences and was remanded in custody to appear again in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court in March.

Joseph Ferraiolo was targeted.

"To me it seems like there was some inside or some targeting here because we never ever had problems here," says Steve Frydman who has owned a real estate business on the second floor of this building for 20 years.
In that time he says he's never experienced the violence police say took place right below his office, "the space that they rented here was always quiet and discrete I never saw any unusual amount of people at once that would come here."
Things changed Tuesday just after 8pm. Hamden Police were called to a Touch of Color tattoo parlor where they found 64-year-old Ferraiolo shot to death.
There were signs of a struggle inside the shop but few clues pointed to the shooter. Now investigators are looking at all leads, including Ferraiolo’s possible affiliation to motorcycle gangs.
"Summer time they have a lot of bike guys coming over there," Jimmy Patel owns a package store close to Touch of Color, he remembers seeing the bikes parked outside.
But Kaleb Edgar, a tattoo artist at the parlor tells NBC Connecticut News that nothing illegal happened in the shop.
Bob Piccirillo, the owner of Hamden Barber Shop, also calls the connection police are trying to make between Ferraiolo and a gang a stretch, "have I seen bikes? I’ve seen some but it’s not like they all congregate. Like I said, I’ve seen a couple of them but that is kind of surprising to me."
Edgar says Ferraiolo is survived by four adult children. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Hamden Police Department.

“RIP King Of The Hill.”

Another said: “True Bad Man. RIP bro. Never forgotten.”
And another said: “Words cannot explain how we all feel as you were a true friend to us all and you did many good things for us all and helped us out in ways others would not.
“You were at the top but still had time for us at the bottom. Just to know you and call you a friend was an honour. The respect you had for others around will be very missed. We all turned to you in our times of need. And now we all seem so lost now you have gone.”‘King of the Hill’ who was found shot dead in the Cheshire mansion of a controversial businessman Arran Coghlan.

Stephen ‘Aki’ Akinyemi, 44, was said to be a prominent member of the notorious Cheetham Hill gang, which is believed to be behind major crime and the supply of drugs in Manchester.He was known for enjoying champagne and cruising Manchester’s clubland in his silver Porsche, with the private registration AKI.He had a string of previous convictions and most recently had been jailed for 13 months in 2006 for violent disorder.At the time of his death, he was on bail for allegedly attacking someone with a baseball bat outside the Lounge 31 nightclub in the city centre in November.He was found with serious stab injuries at Mr Coghlan’s Alderley Edge home on Tuesday afternoon. He was wearing a stab vest.But a post-mortem examination revealed he had died of a gunshot wound, not knife injuries.Mr Coghlan was also discovered with stab injuries at the scene and he was taken to hospital under police guard. He was later discharged although he remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.Last night a tribute page to Mr Akinyemi on social networking website Facebook, titled ‘RIP AKI’, had more than 600 members.
Another said: “True Bad Man. RIP bro. Never forgotten.”
And another said: “Words cannot explain how we all feel as you were a true friend to us all and you did many good things for us all and helped us out in ways others would not.“You were at the top but still had time for us at the bottom. Just to know you and call you a friend was an honour. The respect you had for others around will be very missed. We all turned to you in our times of need. And now we all seem so lost now you have gone.”Mr Coghlan was cleared in 1996 of murdering Stockport ‘Mr Big’ Chris Little, who was shot dead at the wheel of his Mercedes.In 2003, Mr Coghlan stood trial for the murder of drug dealer David Barnshaw, who was kidnapped and forced to drink petrol before being burned alive in the back of a car in Stockport in 2001.But the case collapsed when it was revealed police had failed to pass on important information about another possible suspect.

Chris Little was known to police in Stockport as an empire-builder

Chris Little was a product of Greater Manchester, a city now coping with some of the most viciously criminal neighbourhoods in urban Europe. As a local villain, he was known to police in Stockport as an empire-builder rather than 'self-employed builder' as he had lately styled himself. In reality, he was a feared racketeer. One man who betrayed him was bundled into a small dark room with only the Rottweiler for company.
Little's gangs of doormen provided 'security' at nightclubs in Stockport. One club run by rivals was targeted in a gun attack recently.Earlier this year, Little recruited young men to launch a spate of arson attacks in Stockport in which schools, shops and vehicles were damaged by firebombs. No one was hurt, but about pounds 1m worth of damage was done.Although the police suspected Little of organising the attacks (thought to have been carried out as a show of strength), he was never charged.Lately, Little had tried to expand his empire into the Stretford area, stepping on the toes of drug barons there.He owned a nice house in a good area of Stockport, but probably his greatest pride and joy was the Merc - a black 500 SLE. With the Rottweiler, nobody would surprise him; with the car, nobody would catch him. It turned out to be a fatal double delusion.As he stopped at traffic lights in Stockport Road, Marple, on Friday night, a white Ford Granada travelling in the same direction pulled up alongside. The shots came from its open window.Under the dying man's foot, the automatic Merc sped off, colliding with two vehicles and injuring four people.At the dead man's home yesterday, the Rottweiler could be heard barking.

Arran Coghlan, 39,guarded by armed police in hospital while being treated for knife wounds.

Arran Coghlan, 39,guarded by armed police in hospital while being treated for knife wounds.His business associate Stephen ‘Aki’ Akinyemi, 36, was found stabbed to death in his bathroom following an alleged row.Yesterday, officers were searching Coghlan's £2million converted chapel in Alderley Edge, Cheshire – known as ‘Millionaires’ Row’ where Premiership footballers rub shoulders with soap stars.
Members of his family have been taken into protective custody.Police said yesterday: ‘A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is receiving hospital treatment.’Akinyemi, from Cheetham Hill, Manchester, suffered fatal knife wounds despite wearing a stab proof vest.Coghlan, dialled 999 as Akinyemi lay dying, suffered serious knife injuries to his upper body.The call, made at 2pm on Tuesday, occurred after father of one Coghlan - who survived an attempt on his life in a bar on New Years Day 2009 - was suspected by police of building a multi-million pound crime empire.In 1996 he was acquitted of the gangland murder of drug baron Chris Little dubbed the Devil Dog Mobster because he set rottweilers on rivals.
Little, 32, was shot dead at the wheel of his Mercedes.Coghland was cleared .In 2002 Coghlan stood trial accused of murder again after claims he kidnapped and burnt to death petty drug dealer David Barnshaw, 32, in the boot of a car in September 1999.
Jurors were told that Coghlan – who has a bed shaped like a pirate ship – had ‘built an empire through ruthless violence, demanding respect and loyalty from all those who worked for him.’ The case against him and others collapsed when it was revealed police had failed to pass on important information about another possible suspect.
Coghlan, nicknamed ‘Az’ on the registration plate of his Bentley Turbo, has always denied any involvement in wrongdoing and claimed detectives were involved in a ‘campaign to get him at all costs’.
He is now suing the Greater Manchester force after it emerged a disgraced senior detective had withheld vital evidence from a file which linked the second of the murders to another suspect.
Despite his alleged underhand connections, many neighbours thought he was an accountant. Residents of Alderley Edge include Manchester City star Carlos Tevez, cricketer Freddie Flintoff and Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie.
On New Year’s Day 2009, Coghlan was stabbed in the head face and back as he partied with friends at Cobdens bar in his native Stockport, Greater Manchester.
The knifeman was never traced but police suspect the attack was linked to mobsters from the Cheetham Hill gang.

Danielle Bardsley, 30, wept as she was imprisoned after ignoring a court order

Danielle Bardsley, 30, wept as she was imprisoned after ignoring a court order demanding she pay back some of the money stolen by her boyfriend Peter Anderson.
Last year the M.E.N. revealed how Bardsley, of Barrow Street, Salford, enjoyed a footballer's ‘WAG’ lifestyle thanks to Anderson’s life of crime.
A court ruled she had benefited to the tune of £112,000 but a VW Golf car and a few pounds in a bank account were the only assets of hers police could find.
She was handed a suspended prison sentence and given four months to hand over £5,036 of ‘realisable assets’, mainly the VW Golf.In December, she flouted her suspended prison sentence by failing to keep appointments with her probation worker as required.But judge Anthony Gee gave her another chance after hearing she had become ‘depressed’ because her boyfriend was locked away.She was allowed to walk free although she was handed a curfew to prevent her partying over the Christmas period.But she still couldn’t stay out of trouble.Bardsley was arrested on Monday after snubbing six police letters and a court summons.Yesterday Bardsley sobbed as magistrates in Bolton invoked the jail term handed down last year in the event she failed to pay up.The court heard she had paid £2,000 on November 27 after selling the Golf but she later ignored two letters and a court summons about the outstanding amount.
She claimed she had again been ‘depressed’ and that the value of the Golf had been slashed due to damage.Giving her 72 days behind bars, chairman of the bench Dr Derek Tate told her: “We believe there’s no evidence that you have made a concerted effort to discharge this order.”He added there was ‘no merit’ in her bid to adjourn the hearing to, as her solicitor Vic Wozny said, ‘beg or borrow’ the money from her family.Bardsley’s boyfriend Anderson was jailed for six years in 2006 for a terrifying armed bank raid in Preston.At the previous hearing, a court was told how she had enjoyed a luxury lifestyle while claiming benefits.She wore Prada designer clothes and jewellery, went to a private gym and lived behind wrought iron gates in a comfortable semi-detached house equipped with the latest mod cons, including a Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TV.Bardsley boasted a permanent tan thanks to holidays in Mexico, Florida and Tenerife and had access to a fleet of cars including a Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and Audi A4.Despite all that, for nearly 10 years the mum-of-two claimed she was unemployed and sponged £30,000 from the state in income support as a ‘single mother’.
She also claimed free school meals for her two children.She admitted money laundering but escaped jail at the first hearing because of concerns over the care of the two children she has with Anderson.

Stephen Marshall, 38, admitted having butchered the bodies of four other men while working as a doorman for a London nightclub

Stephen Marshall, 38, also admitted having butchered the bodies of four other men while working as a doorman for a London nightclub run by gangsters in the 1990s. Police will reopen a number of cold cases involving missing people and body parts found in the past 15 years.Described as both "charming" and "highly volatile", Marshall will serve a minimum of 36 years for murdering Jeffrey Howe and then scattering his body parts across two counties before emptying his bank account and selling his possessions. His 21-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Bush, was sentenced to three years and nine months for helping Marshall cover up the murder.
Howe's body had been so expertly dismembered that pathologists who examined the macabre finds correctly concluded that the person responsible must have "previous experience of such activity". St Albans crown court heard that Marshall had previously boasted that he used to cut up and bury bodies on behalf of the notorious Adams family, who ran a crime empire in north London. One witness told the jury that Marshall worked as a bouncer for the family and would carry out "additional jobs after hours" – decapitating and dismembering murder victims and burying them without a trace.
Today Marshall's barrister Peter Doyle, QC, told the jury his client had described between 1995 and 1998 working as a doorman at clubs where on four occasions he had been asked to assist in the dismemberment of four unidentified men who had been killed earlier and brought to the clubs during the night. Doyle said Marshall had thought it "sensible" not to ask questions, and following the chopping up of the bodies the parts would be collected by others and taken to Epping Forest in north-east London and buried.After sentencing it emerged that Marshall had a string of previous convictions, including one for battering his first wife in 2003. He was also arrested on suspicion of murdering Minesh Nagrecha, whose corpse was disfigured and burnt when found by police in 1996. Marshall was never charged with the crime, instead appearing as a witness.

When the trial opened three weeks ago Marshall denied being the murderer, instead blaming Bush, a "vulnerable" young sex worker who had given birth to the first of her three children just a few days after her 15th birthday. But in a dramatic about-turn last week Marshall changed his plea and admitted being responsible for the whole crime.Sentencing him, the judge, Mr Justice Cooke, said that Marshall, a heavy cocaine user, now admitted stabbing Howe twice on March 8 last year. The judge said Marshall carried out the murder in a "muddled and no doubt drug-befuddled state" as Howe lay sleeping in bed in his house in Southgate, north London, which he shared with the couple.Today Bush finally admitted perverting the course of justice by helping Marshall cover up Howe's murder. She said she was with Marshall when he dumped Howe's head, unwrapped, in a field near Ashfordby in Leicestershire.
She admitted misleading police and friends of Howe by claiming he had simply "upped and left" while secretly using his money to buy shoes, a laptop, takeaways and other goodsHer barrister told the judge she was "terrified" of Marshall and helped him because she was scared of becoming his next victim. To Bush, the judge said: "You were well aware of what Stephen Marshall had done. You took advantage of Mr Howe in life and then after his death you used his money."Bush was acquitted of murdering Howe but pleaded guilty to helping to dispose of his body parts and giving false information about his whereabouts when police were investigating his disappearance.She was sentenced to three years and nine months for the first offence and to two years and three months for the second one, with the two terms to run concurrently.
She received a relatively lenient sentence because of her upbringing. The court heard she had spent most of her life in care before falling into prostitution and that her first baby died when he was 10 days old. After the verdict, police admitted being "quite surprised" when Marshall's previous involvement in dismembering bodies was aired in court.Detective Superintendent Michael Hanlon, who was in charge of the investigation, said Marshall would be visited in prison and asked to expand on the 11th-hour admissions made moments before his life sentence was handed to him.
Parts of Howe's body began turning up last March, a few days after Marshall had stabbed him to death. Police quickly realised they were dealing with a murder victim whose identity at the time was not known. As more pieces were discovered the victim became known as the "jigsaw man".
Howe's hands have not been found and police say they hope Marshall will show "decency" to the victim's family by giving their location. After the verdict Howe's family issued a statement that described him as a "a jovial, charming character who had a heart of gold". They said they would never be able to comprehend "Jeffrey's death and the macabre actions of those who killed him".

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has said that he always feels "relaxed and safe" whenever he stays in Dublin.

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has said that he always feels "relaxed and safe" whenever he stays in Dublin. Adair (46) is currently living in Troon in Scotland but plans to end his self-imposed exile and return to Ireland. In an interview with Dublin's Herald newspaper, the gangster ruled out living permanently in Dublin but said he never felt threatened in the Irish capital. "The thing that struck me about Dublin is how relaxing it was and how safe I felt there," he said. "I wouldn't be as easily recognised in Dublin as I would be in the North or in Britain, so I feel more at ease. "I've been recognised on a few occasions while I was in Dublin but I was never threatened and had no negative experiences, no one seemed to have a problem.
The notorious gangster led one of the most brutal loyalist companies in the history of the Troubles. A spokesperson for the newly decommissioned UDA said: "It will be up to the police to deal with him if he comes back and there's no doubt he'll be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life," he said. However, Adair is determined to come home and start a security firm. He said: "I'll be going back to the North, absolutely. It's not an option at the moment because there are still threats against my life from the UDA."


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