Warren Swanson was a former mental patient who'd been confined to the Camarillo State Hospital as late as January 1962. Following his release he made his way to Cincinnati. While there he claimed to have received a message to kill Jimmy Hoffa while he was reading a Bible in his hotel room. Finding an ad for an air pistol at the back of a magazine, he purchased the gun through the mail.
Los Angeles Teamster Frank Matula was one of many unsavory associates of International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa. During the U.S. Senate Rackets Committee hearings in 1957 details of Hoffa's corrupt friends and colleagues came to light. Among the most prominent was a relationship with garment industry hoodlum John "Johnny Dio" Dioguardi. Hoffa and Dio organized paper unions.
Frank Kierdorf's "human torch" ordeal made headlines throughout the United States in August 1958. A business agent for the Teamsters Union in Flint, Michigan, he arrived helpless near the entrance of St. Joseph's Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. His traumatic story also involved his uncle, ex-con Herman Kierdorf. Released after questioning, Herman later fled from Oakland County authorities.
The December 1966 bribery scandal involving Tony Ducks Corallo and the New York City Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity was a multifaceted kickback scheme. The fiasco proved an immense embarrassment to NYC Mayor John Lindsey. The crime began when Water Commissioner James Marcus borrowed $10,000 from Corallo. The loan contract stipulated that the loan be repaid in the amount of $40K.
Anthony Giacalone may have been part of the reason that the Detroit Tigers lost a close pennant race to the Boston Red Sox in 1967. Sports Illustrated reported that Tigers' star pitcher Denny McLain's toes were dislocated in a bizarre incident near season's end. An organist and bookie in a Flint, Michigan steak house, Denny paid out funds to a disgruntled bettor who'd lost money in a horse race.
Frank Cammarata was an instrumental figure as a Mafia enforcer and a mob connection to the lucrative record and jukebox industry. Summoned before the U.S. Senate Racketeering Committee in 1958, Cammarata took the 5th Amendment rather than incriminate himself. A shady figure among gangsters he moved throughout the U.S. freely until immigration officials discovered his illegal reentry to America.
Raymond Donovan was nominated to become Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Labor. The former Schiavone, Queens executive had associated with mob figures such as William Masselli. A night before government witness Nat Masselli was scheduled to give testimony about Donovan's past criminal associations, the contractor was killed. One of those responsible for the gangland slaying was Masselli's godfather.
The 1957 and 1958 McClellan labor racketeering trials were covered worldwide in newspapers and on television. Union boss Joey Glimco took the 5th Amendment to avoid incriminating himself on 70 separate occasions. Former Local 777 President Dominic Abata told U.S. Senate investigators that Glimco had thrown him out of the Teamsters affiliate. Abata later defeated Glimco as a rebel candidate.
William Bufalino came head to head with Senate Rackets Committee Chief Counsel Robert Kennedy in 1959. Kennedy and committee chairman John McClellan were convinced of Bufalino's ties to organized crime. Bufalino denied this as a witness and sued Kennedy following the conclusion of the Senate proceedings. Bufalino later defended Alan Markowitz, a topless dance club owner, before retiring in 1982.
Originally from Pennsylvania Harold Gibbons was of Irish descent. His rise as a labor leader was accompanied by many who disagreed with his methods. Among his opponents were union rivals and St. Louis law enforcement detectives. Some of these men testified before the United States Racket Committee in 1958. It is noteworthy that strikes called by Gibbons were accompanied by arson and violence.