Let’s Make a Book!

 

Let’s Make a Book!

Sadly, no we are not going to be getting into bookmaking. I leave that to those with the right skill sets to pull it off but that wouldn’t be me, I lost my cash, fast, on the NFL this year.
What I am thinking about in regards to book making is writing a series of short ebooks on popular casino games found in Vegas and Atlantic City.
Right now, the games under consideration are black jack, craps and roulette. There would also be a fourth book that covers everything a beginner needs to know about hitting Las Vegas. From travel information to what you need to know before you hit the tables, the guide will make hitting Vegas a cinch.
These ebooks will cost $0.99 when purchased alone or you can get all four in a box set for $2.99. Proceeds from these books will go towards funding my next book on the mob in Vegas: Frank Goes to Vegas is about how the mafia skimmed millions of dollars from Vegas casinos and cover the mobsters and the bankers involved to show you how they did it using everything from fixed weight scales to hiding cash in a newspaper. It was a crazy story that left dead bodies all the way from Vegas to Mexico.
I will also be offering sponsorships for these books. For $50, you can have you or your company listed in the book with a hyperlink straight to your site. This is a great opportunity to include a discount code or other promotional gift that will help to invite readers to come stay in Vegas and spend money in your business. It costs next to nothing for your business but could bring a fine return.
The line of books should hit the shelves on Amazon by March/April.
If you are interested in sponsorship or have any other questions, please contact me at wclingman@wi.rr.com.

Frank Goes To Vegas The Fund Raising

 

 

Frank Goes to Vegas Crowd Sourcing and Sponsorships

(Not so) Fun fact: It costs money to create a book, even if you are self publishing it. Readers want (and deserve) a well written book with a great cover and top-notch editing by an expert so that their money is well spent on their purchase. Each book needs to be a reward for the reader, a joyful experience, because (let’s be honest) we’ve all suffered through books that could have benefited from that extra investment.
In order to ensure that Franks Goes to Vegas is of the highest possible quality, we will be obtaining documents for research through the Open Record laws and The Freedom of Information Act. Doing this requires funds, however, and so we are asking if you would kindly help. We have set up two ways in which those interested can help ensure that the story of Frank Balistrieri and the Vegas Skim is captured with as much quality as possible:
1) We have set up a GoFundMe campaign and welcome any donation that is offered. Even just sharing information with us is welcomed. You can find our campaign at: http://gf.me/u/xfcq2p
2) We are also offering sponsorship for Frank Goes to Vegas at a cost of $50. As a sponsor, a hyperlink to a website of your choosing will be added into the book. Our thought here is that Casinos or Hotels in Vegas could include a link to a discount code (perhaps for a free meal or upgraded room). We believe that many of our readers are also interested in visiting Vegas, both for gambling and out of history interest, and we are convinced that they would jump at the chance to get and use a discount code. At $50, this is an affordable marketing cost that we’re convinced will easily pay for itself.
Questions or to sign up for a sponsorship  please Email me at wclingman@wi.rr.com
Thanks!
Wayne (Mr. Big) Clingman

Back in the saddle to promote more books!

Back in the saddle to promote more books!

As you know, I enjoy podcasting and have been doing them on and off since 2008. Whether it’s on film, crime or anything in between, I love being on podcasts.

After my last stroke, I was having issues speaking as some of you might know. Because of this, I haven’t been on a podcast in some time. However, I keep having more and more books to promote and have continued to look into the best ways to achieve that promotion. With this in mind, I realized that a podcast which speaks about the strange going ons of serial killers, Mexican cartels and the mafia could make for entertaining listening. It helps that I also have books on these same topics!
So with that in mind, I am starting up a new podcast called Radio Free Mafia. We’ll talk crime and conspiracy theories and promote my books, as well as those of my guests!
We will quickly find out if the podcast will in fact help sell books. My bet is that it will but the real question is if it will increase sales enough to cover the cost of doing the podcast or get more visitors to explore my Chicago Outfit Blood on the Street website and purchase shirts or stickers, perhaps even book a stay at a casino in Vegas through the affiliate links there?
So over the next 30 days I will be doing 20-25 one-hour shows and posting them to my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds. I will also be posting them on my website and I hope that my guests will do so too. It is my hope that this will sell roughly 20 more paperbacks. That would be enough to pay for the podcast and net a tidy little bonus!
Guess we’ll find out!
Books can’t sell themselves and the more ways others can find out about them, the better. The key is to find out what works the best. What I can tell you is that Facebook Ads suck and Twitter blasts without engagement are not much better.
If you would like to be on the show, you can email me at wclingman@wi.rr.com

Let’s look at the mafia in upstate New York and their good pals the Outlaw MC Clubs.

 

Let’s look at the mafia in upstate New York and their good pals the Outlaw MC Clubs.

If we go back in time, we find that one of my first ever podcasts was with Michael Grogan, author of You Gotta Be Dirty: The Outlaws Motorcycle Club In & Around Wisconsin. Again, like Frank Balistrieri: The Last, Most Powerful Godfather of Milwaukee, Grogan’s topic is a little known part of Milwaukee history despite having a strong impact in Milwaukee and the surrounding area that ranges from the spread of drugs to human trafficking (along with war with the Hell’s Angels). This show was utterly fascinating and I learned a lot in the process. You can find the show at:

Part 1:  https://www.blogtalkradio.com/themilwaukeemob/2016/09/15/michael-grogan-you-gotta-be-dirty-the-outlaws-motorcycle-club

I bring this up because around the same time as I was recording that show, I caught a History Channel series on the Hell’s Angels and was able to score an interview with a former Hell’s Angel, George Christie. You can find that show here: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/themilwaukeemob/2017/01/10/george-christie-fact-from-fiction-of-the-hells-angels
Netflix also had a series that I was able to check out. It was about how the Hell’s Angels were doing all kinds of bad things around Buffalo, NY, and even into Canada. A very interesting show to say the least.
But as much as I was interested in these topics, I ended up drifting into focusing on (as the name suggests) the mafia’s relationship with Vegas and the more “classic” pieces of mob history.
Still, I held onto an interest in the role that Outlaw Clubs played, and still play, as allies/partners of the mafia in Upstate New York and Montreal/Toronto, Canada. Reading newspaper stories and watching what documentaries I could find was enough for me. At least, that was until two events came to pass:
1) I read a very interesting story that stated that the mafia was far from dead in the Buffalo area. I took the opportunity to talk with Anthony Scapelliti about this and the Buffalo Mob. You can find that show: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/chicagooutfit/2019/03/15/we-talk-buffalo-mafia-with–anthony-scapelliti
2) I heard on The Dark North podcast about a story of the mob in Montreal and how it for sure has links to the Hell’s Angels (and others).
I love this show but I think that what is needed is a well researched and detailed book on the mob in Buffalo and Montreal. A book that looks at how the Outlaw MC Clubs fit into the bigger picture: are they are doing their own thing but work with the mafia as is needed or are they their own family? A book that looks into the Biker Wars that left many dead and that still flairs up from time to time.
This book will be larger than the one that Zack Long and I did on Frank Balistriei  (You can buy that here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1098754697  since there is more to cover and all of it is very interesting. This book is sure to interest those who already know about the bikers, as well as those who haven’t.

 

Will Wisconsin make good money on cannabis after all?

Will Wisconsin make good money on cannabis after all?

As you know, the state of Illinois has full use cannabis. If you are over the age of 21 then, with proper proof of age, you can walk into a licensed sho[ and buy a wide range of cannabis for personal use, just like in eighteen other states in the Union. Wisconsin is not one of them (We should be but that’s a story for another time).
The press has done a damned good job at telling us here in Wisconsin that cannabis is not legal in the Badger State and that if you are caught with any you will be charged, perhaps as a felony, and you could find yourself having your cash property (including your car) fall prey to the Asset Forfeiture Program. That’s the program that allows the police to take away your assets (say your car for example) so they can sell them to fund further law enforcement efforts against crime. Sadly there are reports of abuses of this program by people who have been found not guilty. People who have had the charges against them dropped or dismissed have had a hard time getting their property back (if they even manage that much) and there are reports that funds acquired in this way are being misspent. Call for reform of the Asset Forfeiture Program laws have been made and of course both law enforcement and the Government are resisting them. No surprise, it is easy money after all.
Sorry, I meant a valuable tool for fighting crime…. yeah, that’s what I meant.
Back to cannabis in Illinois. So perhaps to bring in extra funds , and knowing that some in Wisconsin will buy cannabis for themselves and pals, we will see informants from Wisconsin (or hired in IL) serve as spotters to observe cars outside the shops and when they see a cannabis buyer get in a car, not just any car but a car worth money at auction with Wisconsin plants, they make a call to a law enforcement office. Law enforcement then set an officer on the Wisconsin side of the border to wait for the dumb ass to drive across the border so that they can pull him over for a routine stop and … Oh, what do we have here? I’m thinking that the guy that only has a couple joints will get a fine and let go but that the fool who buys enough for his pals, who has (god forbid) more than a few joints (or baggies and a scale), that guy will be losing his car and spending some time in jail.
Will this happen? Think it’s an easy way to make some drug busts and bring in some much needed money. to…”fight crime.” You teel me.

Let’s pay some bills!

Let’s pay some bills!

As do we all, there are bills to be paid in the Clingman household. The cats need to have food, the cat shelters could use a fixing and it would be great to get started on the books I’ve got planned for 2020. We’ve all got all kinds of bills and they have to be paid one way or another.

The books that I have out do indeed help and the book on Frank Balistiere especially. Words can’t express how grateful I am for the love that book has found.

However, I can do more to that effect. I will be posting affiliate links here and one there  own pages and will be doing an Amazon store. I will also be doing affiliate links to Vegas, perfect for those who love to gamble. I may also expand this to include Atlantic City Casinos and maybe even other cities as time goes by.

When you follow these links it really helps me to keep these cats fed and continue my investigation into all things mafia.

Thank you.

A Murder in Cleveland ?

A Murder in Cleveland?

On Saturday, July 14, 2018, Socrates S. Kokkalis, 34 died of a suspected drug overdose in his room at Cleveland Marriott Downtown. Son of Socrates P. Kokkalis, owner of Greek gambling tech company Intralot Interactive, was in Cleveland on business to meet with regulators regarding a sports betting project. Evidence found in the room indicates that Kokkalis died after he injected himself with a deadly mix of cocaine and fentanyl. Sadly, this combination of drugs has been killing drug users all across this country and around the world. From all the reports I read, it is my understanding that nobody had any idea that this young man had issues with drug use. Myself, father of an overdose victim, I can tell you that often family members have no idea what their loved one’s are struggling with. Even the wealthiest families have been blindsided by the discovery that a son or a daughter had died because of an OD.
From what I have been able to gather, the young Kokkalis was not in rehab or in a sober living home or chaperone, which is a common tactic used by many of the well off to help prevent their children from any drug use or destructive behavior.
Again, we may never know…
Now, to me, the troubling issue with this tragic death is why in God’s name would a man worth millions (if not tens of millions or more) be left alone in Cleveland? Perhaps it isn’t as dangerous as Chicago or Miami but it’s still a large city with crime issues. A man with that kind of wealth would just walk around in a hotel? That I find hard to believe. Worse is that Kokkalis knew who to call to score drugs, since it is my understanding from the papers that the dealer who the police caught was…
“A review of Kokkalis’ phone and other evidence revealed he had met with Christian on July 13 and several calls were made between them that day. Shortly after the calls and meeting, Kokalis made a hand-to-hand transaction with someone in a minivan, according to the affidavit…”
From News 5 Cleveland.
The alleged dealer, Terry Lee Christian, will be sentenced in January 2020. Perhaps more information on how a billionaire’s son from Greece meets a low level drug dealer in Ohio will be explained.
Where this gets interesting is in the number of times that Intralot and Socrates P. Kokkalis (the elder Kokkalis) have been alleged to be involved in incredibly wild activities such as money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, misleading investors and even espionage. As of now, no criminal convictions have occurred. Of course, Intralot has the contract to run the State Lottery of Malta, too.
My understanding is that since 1985, there is renewed activity of the Mafia in the State of Ohio and with at least one very mysterious death – that of Arthur Shapiro, a lawyer in Columbus, OH, who was working for Leslie Wexner (of Epstein fame) and may have had links to the East Coast Mob. As of yet, Shapiro’s death is still an open investigation.
Is it possible that somehow Kokkalis (the younger) was targeted for a blackmail effort that went wrong? Did the Mob want to have control or influence (here and abroad) over one of the world’s largest gaming companies?
Let’s see what the sentencing hearing brings out. After that, we should be able to access police reports and other information to follow up on this fascinating story.

Why I Write

 

Why I Write

Of course I write to make money. But the idea is to make the cash necessary to help the stray cats in my area and foster them when we can. We come across kittens all the time (and are currently fostering two of them).

For some background to this: We live in the inner city of a slowly dying city, Racine, Wisconsin. Moving into our home in the slums, we found out fast that one of the major sports here was dog fighting. Working with the Parks department and the police, we were able to put an end to this (at least in the park below our home). The monsters’ running this ring were up to the triple act: Stealing pets to use as bait to train dogs, shooting dogs that lost and simply letting them go when they had no more use for them (because of injury or age). We got real tired of having to call about another injured or dying animal.

At least we were able to stop this by our house.

An issue that still goes on here though is when a kitten or a puppy is no longer cute, the owner gets bored of taking care of it and just tosses it outside. Because of this we have a lot of stray cats and a few dogs in the area. The city is good at getting the dogs off the streets and into the new shelter that’s gone up. They’re not so good with taking care of the cats.

I know I can’t change the world but I am sure that I can do something for the cats.

The Gun Moll and I have built two cat houses (still need red lights) filled with straw for the outside strays, as well as two beds for them in the wind break that our front door creates. We feed them cat food and treat them with dewormer when we can. There’s not much more we can do but when we do find young kittens we have been very lucky in our ability to foster them. In a perfect world we would run a spay and release program but sadly we can’t afford that. Yes, the world is a cruel place and most of the outside strays only last a year or two. It is what it is but we have done everything that is in our power to do.

It is nice that the books I have written are able to help pay for the cats, something that being on a fixed income would not allow us to do.

I just wanted to take the time to tell you about why I write and how it helps greatly in our efforts looking after these poor creatures.

Thanks!

George Jay Vandermark or Lets not steal from the Mafia)

Vandermark

 

Born in 1923, George Jay Vandermark had worked in Vegas for some time already when 1976 found him working at the mob owned Stardust Casino. In May of that year, the Nevada Gaming Commission staged a raid and quickly found out that a wide ranging skim was being conducted to the tune of about $7 million. Nice money, that, too bad that George told the mob it was only $4 million (roughly $300,000 a week). That meant that George had put aside $3 million for himself. It is alleged that Vandermark’s job as a slot supervisor was to create opportunities to do this skim, such as rigging the scales that were used to weigh the coins from slots (For example, 1lb of coins would weigh in at 3/4 a pound to be reported to the IRS).

Mr. Vandermark vanished before law enforcement could interview him.

As you might imagine, this upset the mafia who were running the show. Such men as the alleged Godfather of Milwaukee, Frank Balistrieri (a man believe by many to have had others killed for simply insulting him behind his back).

Not a good thing to do, pissing those folks off.

The government reached out to George via his son, Jeff, to warn him that his life was in great danger. They offered to put him into witness protection. My understanding is that Jeff told the FBI that he was able to contact his father, who may have been living in Mexico at the time, and that George was willing to talk with the FBI. This might have been a fatal mistake on his part, since soon after Jeff was found dead with his skull crushed (1).

For a few years following, there were reports of Vandermark sightings both in Baja, Mexico, and Phoenix. These stopped by 1978.

Current rumor has it that the mafia caught up with George in Mexico where they had him killed and buried in the desert (2).

No one has been charged with Vandermark’s disappearance or murder, nor has any trace of the money looted from the Stardust ever been discovered.

Stealing from the mafia is never a good idea.

(1): Was his son, Jeff, killed to find the money that his father stole? Three million is a lot of money, after all.

(2). Another story is that the mob gave him a trip to Mexico, a thanks for all of George’s hard work, and then had him killed in Mexico and used a look alike to cause confusion through the subsequent sightings.

You can find me on Twitter @Themilwaukeemob

You can buy my book on Frank Balistrieri   Here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S15JL4B