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Old 05-01-2014, 03:01 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 96,940,883 times
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Does anyone have any solid information about Clarksburg? I read the whole thread and many people mentioned that Clarksburg was hopping with mafia activity, but there were no details whatsoever.

The following post did somewhat validate what I was wondering:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neeley2152 View Post
Of course there is mafia in Wv, cities like: Wheeling, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Weirton, Boomer, Charleston, Huntington if it isn't Italians it is the Irish or people from both descents. you are naive if you don't think so I am a person from the underworld but do not talk or do business with these individuals but they have seemed to hide it very very well in wv there are no movies no books these guys are old school believe that they keep a low profile and always will
My mother was Irish as can be from both sides. Her mother's sister married a half Italian. Even though the family was mostly Irish, it identified as Italian. This family was very political. I never heard any whisperings of mafia. As a matter of fact, the only rumor (that I believe is true) is one was in the CIA, but that's another story that I won't be telling unless I can verify he's dead. (I'm old-ish so I'm talking about people who are mostly dead.) When I heard there was a strong mafia presence in Clarksburg, I couldn't help but wonder how could a political family in Clarksburg not be tied up with the mafia back then.

Nobody has mentioned the family name in this thread. I suspect because it's not an Italian name. I'm thinking the mafia utilized people of Italian decent who didn't have Italian names.

Then I remembered accidently meeting some distant cousin in "another town" who is related to me in a way I can't possibly understand. He has a very Italian name. He is very successful in a legal business that I learned originated via connections/suppliers in NYC. He didn't say mafia when he was telling me how he started his business. I'm sort of putting two and two together here. I can't go into details about this person. Although not political, his family has very prominent positions.

So I agree that newer generations are lower profile. I don't think they're outright mafia today. I think they used old family connections to establish what appear to be reputable businesses that may or may not involve stolen property. It seems WV does a good job of keeping things under the radar compared to elsewhere.

Here's a fun Pittsburgh story. My husband's family had some big time mob guys. A majority of the family disassociated themselves from them and refused to speak of them. The adults would whisper at family gatherings. It was may years before the children learned what they were whispering about. One mobster was in Detroit. I can't remember what city the other one was in. Baltimore, maybe, but I don't know. My husband vividly remembers them attending a family funeral. He had never met them. He had never even heard of them. They both arrived in separate limousines. They sat in the back of the church and had a meeting during the service. And then they left. As soon as they left the church, the adults went ballistic. How dare they use a family funeral for a meeting! (This is when the kids found out about it.) It became one heck of an animated funeral by any measure. But they sure didn't confront them while they were there. My husband instantly sensed they didn't just disapprove of these men. They also feared them. He knew this because it was the first and only time he saw his family (immediate and extended) not confront a family member with their disapproval about something.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:47 AM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,091,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Does anyone have any solid information about Clarksburg? I read the whole thread and many people mentioned that Clarksburg was hopping with mafia activity, but there were no details whatsoever.

The following post did somewhat validate what I was wondering:


My mother was Irish as can be from both sides. Her mother's sister married a half Italian. Even though the family was mostly Irish, it identified as Italian. This family was very political. I never heard any whisperings of mafia. As a matter of fact, the only rumor (that I believe is true) is one was in the CIA, but that's another story that I won't be telling unless I can verify he's dead. (I'm old-ish so I'm talking about people who are mostly dead.) When I heard there was a strong mafia presence in Clarksburg, I couldn't help but wonder how could a political family in Clarksburg not be tied up with the mafia back then.

Nobody has mentioned the family name in this thread. I suspect because it's not an Italian name. I'm thinking the mafia utilized people of Italian decent who didn't have Italian names.

Then I remembered accidently meeting some distant cousin in "another town" who is related to me in a way I can't possibly understand. He has a very Italian name. He is very successful in a legal business that I learned originated via connections/suppliers in NYC. He didn't say mafia when he was telling me how he started his business. I'm sort of putting two and two together here. I can't go into details about this person. Although not political, his family has very prominent positions.

So I agree that newer generations are lower profile. I don't think they're outright mafia today. I think they used old family connections to establish what appear to be reputable businesses that may or may not involve stolen property. It seems WV does a good job of keeping things under the radar compared to elsewhere.

Here's a fun Pittsburgh story. My husband's family had some big time mob guys. A majority of the family disassociated themselves from them and refused to speak of them. The adults would whisper at family gatherings. It was may years before the children learned what they were whispering about. One mobster was in Detroit. I can't remember what city the other one was in. Baltimore, maybe, but I don't know. My husband vividly remembers them attending a family funeral. He had never met them. He had never even heard of them. They both arrived in separate limousines. They sat in the back of the church and had a meeting during the service. And then they left. As soon as they left the church, the adults went ballistic. How dare they use a family funeral for a meeting! (This is when the kids found out about it.) It became one heck of an animated funeral by any measure. But they sure didn't confront them while they were there. My husband instantly sensed they didn't just disapprove of these men. They also feared them. He knew this because it was the first and only time he saw his family (immediate and extended) not confront a family member with their disapproval about something.
I don't know anybody who has information about those sorts of enterprises these days. From my experience in the criminal justice system, which admittedly is now nearly a decade in the past, most of the recent large scale criminal activities are associated with Russian (Jewish) Mafia immigrants and with the drug cartels from South and Central America and the Caribbean. The underworld has largely been taken out of the gambling business, with those activities having been taken over by state governments who now prey on the people with them. Prostitution is now not so much a matter of organized crime as it is a small time punk operation, although I believe the Russian Mafia is involved with sex slave trade activities.

Even during the prime of the Mafia years, it was never strictly an Italian matter. Sicilians speak an Italian dialect, but they do not really consider themselves Italian. Genetically, they are half Greek and right up until the past couple decades the Greeks and Italians have traditionally not gotten along in Europe. Sicilians don't get along with either group, although the Italian government does hold sway over the island. As a result, they have automatic ingress and egress to Italy and their tradition of secrecy and violence has enabled them to force themselves into criminal circles there. That followed the Italians to this country when they came here, and it was generally Italians who were Mafia victims.

The strict secrecy and violent traditions of the Mafia tended to concentrate itself at the top of criminal organizations, but they used alliances and employed people from several ethnic traditions in their activities. In Wheeling, for example, they took no direct role and had affiliations with Greek, Irish, German, Jewish, Italian, and especially Lebanese people for such activities so you will find people with last names historically associated there.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:29 PM
 
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I notice you fail to mention the family name in Wheeling that was responsible for much of the prostitution? Why is that? You mention Glessner and the Sparchane family freely and they still operate, although limited and mostly legit nowadays. I am familiar with both of them and had dealings with them regularly. Never hear anyone talk of the Orum family but yet they were among those that were Bombed in the 50's during the Gambling wars, I worked for them at the tail end of things. Are you aware of the Orum family and can you comment to them. I am working on some history, as I was involved, and would like to get things straight. Since I came in to the game late, all I have are the ramblings of the last of them, usually when he was fairly inebriated and God rest his soul -- He passed a few years ago. You seem very knowledgeable about Wheeling.

I think I know you CT -- Did we work together in the 1980's? LOL...

Last edited by jkc8560; 04-21-2015 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:13 PM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,091,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc8560 View Post
I notice you fail to mention the family name in Wheeling that was responsible for much of the prostitution? Why is that? You mention Glessner and the Sparchane family freely and they still operate, although limited and mostly legit nowadays. I am familiar with both of them and had dealings with them regularly. Never hear anyone talk of the Orum family but yet they were among those that were Bombed in the 50's during the Gambling wars, I worked for them at the tail end of things. Are you aware of the Orum family and can you comment to them. I am working on some history, as I was involved, and would like to get things straight. Since I came in to the game late, all I have are the ramblings of the last of them, usually when he was fairly inebriated and God rest his soul -- He passed a few years ago. You seem very knowledgeable about Wheeling.

I think I know you CT -- Did we work together in the 1980's? LOL...
We might well have worked together in the 80s in Wheeling. I'll PM you later. It is impossible to talk openly about organized crime in Wheeling because some of those involved are still alive, and others have close family members who are still alive. As for the prostitution, the real kingpin there was essentially Bill Lias' bag man when he was alive. He operated in Wheeling, but had Fairmont (Marion County) roots. He married into a family that later became prominent in the Wheeling business scene, and because of his association with the patriarch of that family he had easy access to city government there since the chief executive was a childhood friend of that individual. That relative by marriage also owned most of the "houses" that were used in the prostitution enterprises, but that was never made public.

In subsequent years, the prostitution kingpin's family became very prominent in Marion County with connections to the very highest levels of state government (and I am NOT speaking of the Manchins here). That is factual, but I will never speak of specifics in a public forum. There is no reason to demean anybody over things that happened decades ago, especially family members.
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:45 AM
 
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I agree with not demeaning anyone.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Rainy Ulster.
264 posts, read 224,911 times
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I just stumbled upon this thread by accident and have spent the last hour or so engrossed, and sometimes plain bewildered, in a completely fascinating subject about which i had no inkling of before. Thanks.
If West Virginia is ever mentioned over here, which it tends not to be, then the four things that come first to mind are, hillbillies, moonshine, coalmines and that song. And those first two have not a little connection to where I'm from.

I now also really want to see if I can find David Kennedy's books, if they have been published or are available on Amazon.
And also to thank CTMountaineer and the others for helping make a usually boring wait to go to work on an afternoon shift in a plastics factory into a compelling hour's reading which I think might have left me slightly late.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:31 PM
 
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Default Cerra Relative

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeBella View Post
Did you know or heard of the Cerra Brothers? My great uncle was Tony Cerra. Had a hit put out on him in New Orleans in the 50's.Of course they were successful

I am actually the granddaughter of one of the Cerra brother's from Wheeling WV, i.e. Robert Cerra who is Tony's older brother. Stumbled across your post and was shocked to see that I seem to have a distant relative of whom I was not aware and who has heard similar bits/pieces of the same history. If you wish further communicate, this site requires you to add me as a friend in order to exchange nonpublic correspondence.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:21 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
8,875 posts, read 13,270,794 times
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Don't know if there's any truth to it, but I've near that Montgomery and Fayette County have an Italian mafia presence especially in the past, and that the mob used to control the Montgomery police department and much of Fayette County too. Specifically I've heard that the Falbos and Fragales are the two major Italian crime families in that area.
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheelingWv View Post
Does anyone know of Charlie Maroon? My Grandmothers father worked for him back in the 40's 50's... I believe. & I Happened to be in his old house the other day and there were safes all over the walls hidden under layers of wallpaper. There was also hidden doors that were bricked over. I was freaked! But I can't find much on Mr. Maroon. Anyone else?. Oh this is in Wheeling.
Yes I knew Charlie my father and I worked for him at one time. Charlie had a trucking business that I was familiar with along with a construction business and a vending company . He died in his office in Bridgeport Ohio with a couple of what I will call lady freinds . Hit me up if you want more info.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:20 AM
 
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Charlie's "vending" company was into more than selling pop and candy. He was also shot in his office by unknown assailants... nobody knows why, but with many of the Lebanese of the Wheeling area there were those in the family who lived on the edge, and those who rose to prominence in professional circles. Charlie had a son who was a prominent Pittsburgh surgeon.
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