Carmine the Snake: Carmine Persico and His Murderous Mafia Family

CARMINE THE SNAKE                          FRANK DIMATTEO

In the golden age of organized crime, Carmine “The Snake” Persico was the King of the Streets. The de facto boss of the Colombo Mafia family since the 1970s, he oversaw gang wars, murders, and major rackets, even from prison. He is suspected of personally murdering as many as 60 people and ordering the hits of hundreds more. Sentenced to 139 years in the fed, he continued to exert power over a vast criminal empire from behind bars. His brutal rise and bloody reign is the stuff of legend.

In this blistering street-level account, “Mafia survivor” Frank Dimatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra. This is the real inside story of Carmine “The Snake” Persico,  from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the long-term jail sentences that didn’t stop him from controlling his criminal empire with the help of his brother, the equally kill-crazy Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico.

His deadly teen years as leader of the fearsome Garfield Boys. His recruitment into the Profaci—later the Colombo—crime family. His bloody betrayal of the Gallo brothers. His role in the hair-raising ambush-slaying of Albert Anastasia—the Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc.—as he sat in a barbershop chair getting a shave. The terror he struck into the hearts of the New York Mafia’s other families, and even his own crews. And the many courtroom trials where Persico walked after witnesses came down with sudden cases of amnesia.

Today, Carmine “The Snake” Persico schmoozes with Ponzi king Bernard Madoff behind bars where at age 84 his legend, packed as it is with cold-blooded brutality, continues to inspire Goodfellas everywhere.


An interesting read of how Carmine “The Snake” rose to power. The author takes you from the beginnings of his early childhood and then into the first few crimes that he was associated with. Even from the very beginning, he had a knack of getting off even when they went to court. This is explained in detailed. You are shown how he begins to rise through the ranks and the friends and enemies that he makes. But do they actually make any friends in the Mafia? He is always watching and learning seeing how the police and the FBI are taking the members down. He will not talk in cars, or in a bar he does not want to be on tape giving out any information. The book also goes into associates that were around him. Some that worked with him and some that wanted him killed. You also hear about the crimes he committed and how the government came up with the RICO laws for men like him so they could put him away since they could not actually tie him to any one thing but because of his association with certain people he was, therefore, a criminal. Trying to fight it in court he lost. Overall a good book and shows you what was going on during that time period. If you are into these books you will recognize most of the names that are mentioned. A really well-written book. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at

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