Here are some choice nuggets of wisdom and candor from deceased Detroit mob street boss Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone caught on an illegal FBI wiretap of his office at his one-time headquarters, the Home Juice Company, – won by him and his little brother and fellow capo Billy Jack, in a dice game – in the 1960s.

The menacing Giacalone ran day-to-day affairs for the mafia in Michigan from 1960 until he died of kidney failure in 2001. The bug in his office was up and running for more than two years (1961-1963), but since it wasn’t a court-sanctioned surveillance it couldn’t be used in court against him or his baby bro. Tony Jack would be convicted of extortion and tax evasion in unrelated investigations and did seven years behind bars in an Atlanta federal correctional facility (1979-1986). At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial on racketeering charges.

So, with no further adieu, Tony Giacalone unfiltered:

Commenting on the constant surveillance from law enforcement he encounters 

“They practically get me up in the morning and put me to bed at night. I was out golfing the other day and this big blue Plymouth with the top down kept following us around the course from the road. I hit a shit drive off the tee right after I noticed the cocksuckers. I hope they took a picture of it, so I could get a copy to show to a club pro and fix my swing (laughs). Anyway, so they come up on us from the parking lot when we’re walking off the 18th hole. Its me, Mike Polizzi, Tony Z, and my brother Billy. And they’e taking fucking home movies of us from their fucking car. I gotta god damn camera pointed at my face when I’m going into the fucking clubhouse. Who needs this shit?”

Discussing with his younger brother and fellow capo Billy a recent plea deal accepted by Jewish underworld figure and local bookie Charles (Chickie) Sherman 

“There something wrong here, Billy, this cocksucker has been giving them information. I don’t care what anybody tells me, this Jew motherfucker is fucking us, giving us up to save his own ass, you’ll see.”

On the phone trying to round up Beatles tickets for his children 

“How ya feeling buddy? Listen, this is what I need, my kids are driving me crazy, can you get me 40 beatles tickets, 40 good tickets for this weekend’s show? What do you mean 4? I need 40, let me ask you something, I know its sold out to the public but you’re the boss over there and you cant get me 40 tickets? Are you serious? Listen, I want you to go down to the ticket office and get me 40 seats. Quit the bullshit, now. Do you want me to come over there and show you how to do it? You’re giving me the runaround, you’re givibg me the millionaire shuffle over there, I’m not big enough for you to help out here? Come on. You don’t want me coming down there mad do you?”

On being upset with his protégé Ronnie Morelli for acting out and telling his brother Billy to relay a message to him

“Tell him stop trying to be a pimp and stop hanging out in Greektown and get back here on the eastside where you belong, ass hole. And tell him it’s coming directly from me. Say it just like that.”

On the testimony of New York mobster Joe Valachi in front of the U.S. Senate

“He’s gonna blast Home Juice, I know it, there’s no question about it, he hasn’t yet, he just mentioned fruit juice businesses, its coming though, he’ll name us specifically next…the Little Guy (Jimmy Hoffa) called Senator McClelland up personally on the phone when Valachi implicated the union, the Teamsters, and their relationship with Cosa Nostra…you ought to hear what this guy says about Cosa Nosta, this no-good motherfucker.This Valachi cocksucker is a mental case, I heard his mom and brother were in the loony bin. This guy’s a nobody. He was a lackey for Vito (Genovese). He’s just a drug pusher, who is he?”

Scolding an underling for out-of-control behavior

“Just quit this shit about drinking and getting out of hand. You know we don’t go for that type of shit around here. We don’t take that shit from nobody, I don’t care how big or small.  I’m gonna tell ya right now, Howard, if you get out of line one more time, they’re ain’t gonna be no more passes given out. You respect me, I respect you. Don’t be stupid or you’ll end up in a ditch.”

Pontificating on the state of the Corrado crew in the extended aftermath of clan patriarch Pietro (Machine Gun Pete) Corrado passing away five years earlier of a sudden heart attack while vacationing in Florida

“What happened with Pete a few years ago was horrible, it tore all of us up. His two boys (future capos Dominic and Tony), nice young men, both of them, but they can’t shine their dad’s shoes, not one toe. You’d never know Dominic was Pete’s kid. He doesn’t have the same presence. Pete was as serious as cancer. That whole crew’s bottom line is dropping like the Titantic. Bonamo (Pete Corrado’s Sicilian nickname) has probably turned over in that mausoleum 40 times by now. Look at the Art Caplan (Corrado crew bookie) situation. Dominic should have gotten ahold of this guy from the start, now he’s running loose. He should have grabbed that Jew motherfucker and said ‘you going to act like that with Tony Giacalone?, would you be acting like this if my father was here?’. Then he should have told him, ‘listen cocksucker, from now on, when you’re talking to me it’s like you’re talking to Tony Giacalone or you’re talking to my dad, you got that?’ When Bonamo was around, this little Jewish motherfucker never acted like this. Art’s thinking because it’s Pete’s son, he can sway him, not pay what he’s supposed to pay. This kind of shit would have never flew with Bonamo, that’s a fact, I guarantee that. Everybody paid what they owed or else. I called Tony (Corrado) last night and told him to be sure to watch out for this sneaky motherfucker ’cause I don’t know if his brother is or not.”

Talking about a sitdown between himself and Chicago mob street boss Sam (Mooney) Giancana mediated by Detroit don, Joe Zerilli, his mentor in the mafia.

“Peppino (nickname for Joe Zerilli) told Mooney we get 10 percent as a finder’s fee and them guys can take the balance. It ain’t the money for me, it’s the principle. Mooney don’t want to be around none of this anyway. He wants to take what’s his and move out of the country, get away from all the heat. Who could blame him?”

 

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2 comments

  1. Dan levitt

    Happy holidays Scott.My name is Dan Levitt. I grew up at 841 Westchester. Paul “the cousin” was on my baseball team. He liked to constantly spit in the dugout! I lived about half a block from Theodore “Forman”. He was a very talented baseball player. He Didn,t like people who smoked pot…etc. he was basically the big deal jock and was against drugs etc. I had friends all through then hood who knew..lived near all the ..guys. I had lost track of the fact that Tony jack lived on Balfour..one block up. Everything was always so low key,when we were younger,no one even really paid a lot of attention. I have friends who grew up in areas of detroit where the black gangs operated,at same time the mafia was doing all kinds of things..here and around the suburbs. My mom remembers when they bought the Westchester house,some people said one reason neighborhood is and will remain pretty safe..the mafia. Amazing
    I believe it was either tony or billy who were laid out at St Michaels in Clinton township…right before me and the wife were married in 2002. When I heard that I said to the marriage prep…congregation member,so if you are a mob enforcer and you come in and confess,knowing you will be going back to the same stuff,does God forgive that? I was bored! She said she thinks God is smarter than that.. I guess he had relatives who managed to get him laid out at the ole Catholic Church! Thanks really enjoy your writings/research. So while my dad was administrating courts on Westchester..they were trying to stay OUT of court,killing etc”…just a few blocks over. Well maybe not in there actual houses!

    • Scott Burnstein

      Thanks for the kind words, buddy!
      Scott