Home Regions Detroit Pump Up The Volume: More Musings On Life In The Mafia Courtesy Of Detroit’s Own ‘Tony Jack’

Pump Up The Volume: More Musings On Life In The Mafia Courtesy Of Detroit’s Own ‘Tony Jack’

Pump Up The Volume: More Musings On Life In The Mafia Courtesy Of Detroit’s Own ‘Tony Jack’

Longtime Detroit mafia street boss Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone was intercepted making the following statements on an illegally-placed FBI bug in his office at the Home Juice Co. in the 1960s. The thousands of hours of recorded audio surveillance never made it into court.

Talking with his brother and lieutenant “Billy Jack” about a previous conversation he had with fellow Detroit mob power Pete Licavoli regarding the rules of La Cosa Nostra

“I say to him, ‘So, now you treating me like an outsider, huh, Pete? He says, ‘well even if we’re both Friends of Ours, there are some things you don’t talk about’. I say, ‘Pete, maybe that’s the way you know it, but that’s not the way I know it. If you ask me a question, I have to answer it, I can’t lie. When I ask you a question, same thing. That’s what I was taught. That’s what Peppino (boss Joe Zerilli) and Pete Corrado (capo) told me when they made me, ‘you can never lie to another Friend of Ours.’ That’s the only way I know it’s ever been. Now, we’re changing the rules just cause you’re not happy about something someone says? Come on, that’s ridiculous. You just don’t like the fact that it’s coming from me. If it was coming from Tony D ( capo Tony D’Anna), Peppino, Mr. John (consigliere John Priziola) or Ange (underboss Angelo Meli), you’re saying you wouldn’t answer?…..Yeah, that’s what I thought”

Discussing with his brother a prior conversation he had with his protégé, Ronnie Morelli

“Ronnie comes to me the other day and asks what to do about that guy in Vegas. I told ‘em next time you’re out there and he tries to pull that nonsense, you knock the shit out of him, put him on his ass. He says, he went to (capos) Mike Polizzi and Dom Corrado, and they said, he’s gotta back off, that the guy’s with people. I said, fuck that bullshit. You’re with people. You’re with me.”

Debating with an associate of his about the merits of a Cadillac automobile compared to a Lincoln

“Forget about it, the Cadillac kills the Lincoln, no question. I bet you a 100 bucks you’ll be returning that Lincoln piece of shit by this summer. I’ll take you to Carl’s Chop House for a steak dinner if I’m wrong…. The Cadillac is a man’s car, the Lincoln is for little boys”

Chatting with his brother about Greektown capo Pete Vitale having trouble dealing with a recent change in syndicate leadership, going from the old school to the new guard, led by themselves and local mob princes Tony Zerilli and Jack Tocco

“This fucking Pete Vitale has a god dam chip on his shoulder. I told ya years ago he was no good. I hate this cocksucker’s guts more and more every day. He don’t want to listen to me. He don’t want to listen to Tony Z and your buddy Jack Tocco either. Jack took him aside the other day at the funeral home (Bagnasco’s, owned by Tocco’s brother-in-law) and said ‘listen, when I give an order, I want it followed.’ Pete’s saying to me, ‘You fucking kids have the wrong attitude, you don’t show no respect.’ I said, ‘Pete, first of all I ain’t a kid no more. Second off, respect goes both ways.”

Pontificating on his own rise through the ranks of the Detroit mafia

“I’ve had the experience, I’ve been in the fucking streets, I’ve been in the fucking trenches.  Now ,I’m in the office, now I’m administrating. I was the dice man, I was the driver, I was the collector. Nobody did it better than me. It’s like the kid at the track who starts shoveling the manure in the stables, then he’s walking the horse around the track, then he’s grooming it, until one day he finally he owns the fucking thing. It wasn’t, my father died, my father retired, so now all of a sudden I’m the boss”

Critiquing the tail end of his predecessor, “Scarface Joe” Bommarito’s rein as street boss

“Joe B was starting to lose it before he retired. He had all the wrong guys in the wrong places. He’s got Vince Meli (capo) running all the craps on that side of town? Vince is a fucking record guy, a business guy, he don’t know nothing about running motherfucking dice games, how the ins and outs of that kind of operation work. Let the business guys stay on the business end and the racket guys stay where the racket guys belong. It’s not rocket science, it’s not that difficult to figure out”

Recalling a conversation with Tony Zerilli about how to deal with strong-willed Teamsters union boss and well-known mob ally Jimmy Hoffa

“I told Tony Z, ‘Jimmy Hoffa isn’t the type of guy you bulldog, you gotta stroke him, you gotta finesse him, make him believe he’s calling the shots, when in reality the whole time we are”

Commenting on Pete Licavoli and his second-in-command Mike Rubino’s reluctance to green light a hit on a local mob soldier caught stealing who also happened to be Rubino’s nephew

“If Pete Licavoli and Mike Rubino don’t think this guy Barrels (Angelo Lombardi) needs to get killed, then they should get thrown out of La Cosa Nostra for all I’m concerned….We want to finish this motherfucker off and they’re the only ones stopping it, holding us up from getting done what has to be done….They should both be ashamed.”


  1. Mr. Bernstine, my name is Alan Tocco Lindbloom (Grace Tocco was my mother, Peter Paul Tocco my grandfather) and soon I will be releaseing one of 8 novels I wrote while serving the last 13.3 years in prison. The book is a fiction Mafia novel set in Detroit. I was hoping that you would grant us permission to quote some excerpts from Motor City Mafia in the forward. In exchange, we will promote all of your works at our website, PubbHubb.com
    Please feel free to call or email me at:


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