Author: William Bastone

  • The Devil and Michael Alig

    Busting the King of Club Kids By William Bastone and Jennifer Gonnerman In the final deluded days before his arrest, Michad Alig had convinced himself that he could trade Peter Gatien’s scalp for Angel Melendez’s torso. For the 31-year-old club kid, this surely seemed like a fair barter: in the debauched demimonde he once ruled, […]

  • The Priest and The Mob

    1989 Village Voice article by William Bastone on Father Gigante and his brother the mobster Vincent

    CHRISTMAS EVE MASS has just ended at St. Athanasius Church in the South Bronx. Three little girls in angel costumes and a trio of pa­rishioners dressed as the three wise men stream outside into a cool mist blowing on Tiffany Street. Inside, the 80-year-old church is glow­ing in the warm light of hundreds of red […]

  • The Mob is Dead! Long Live the Mob!

    WHERE WERE YOU when the Mafia died? It has been more than a year since that historic Thursday when a Brooklyn jury adjourned for lunch and found John Gotti guilty before the soup arrived. “The mob as we have known it in New York City is on its way out,” eulogized James Fox, head of […]

  • Why’s a Nice Man Like David Dinkins Running for Mayor?

    Except for a 109-year-old woman and some of her family members, the Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge in Bedford Stuyve­sant was nearly empty on a recent April night. The 17 people in the masonic hall’s main meeting room were waiting for David Dinkins, mayoral candi­date, to arrive to present a proclamation — on the oc­casion […]

  • The Tax Evaders

    1986 Village Voice article about rich people, including Donald Trump and Mary Tyler Moore avoiding sales taxes

    The Voice has learned that Henry Kissinger, Frank Sinatra, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Trump, and other celebrities were involved in a sales tax evasion scam that result­ed in the indictment last year of an exclu­sive Fifth Avenue jeweler and two of its executives. Danaos Ltd., which operates the Bul­gari jewelry store in the Hotel Pierre, […]

  • Snapshots of Stanley’s City

    Phone Log Fixes The following snapshots of the polit­ical life of the city — some sinister, some bizarre — are taken from the appointment diaries and phone logs of convicted former Bronx Democratic boss Stanley Friedman. The Friedman records, seized by the feds ear­ly last year and released as part of his criminal case, were […]

  • How Ed Koch Handed Over City Hall

    Violation!  “After eight years of charisma and four years of the clubhouse, why not try competence.” — Koch slogan, 1977 mayoral race Ambitious people of­ten become the thing they hate. His­tory is full of young idealists obsessing about some en­trenched evil and then replicating that evil when they come to power. The Aya­tollah has become […]

  • How To Win Contracts and Influence People

    Stanley Friedman and Donald Manes, the twin towers of insider trading during the Koch years, are now the twin tar­gets of the probes that have marred the mayor’s reign. The two Demo­cratic county leaders emerged as heavyweights in the political life of the city while Abe Beame was mayor — Friedman was Beame’s “Deputy Mayor […]

  • Rudy Guiliani: The Friend Within

    The Friend Within October 12, 1993 The 1989 mayoral race was one of the dirtiest in New York history. What ap­peared in print was bad enough — age-old tax matters, race- and red-baiting — but the gossip floating around political circles was far worse: speculation about Ed Koch’s sex life, rumors that a stack of […]

  • Donald Trump: All Talk, No Votes

    Donald Trump likes to lecture about how Ed Koch is duping the public and how, under the mayor’s lead­ership, the city has begun to fall apart. The developer/civics instructor talks a good game — and he has the newspaper clips to prove it — but when it comes to stepping into a voting booth, Trump falls […]

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