The Last Don

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U.S. DEPT. OF JUSTICE/AP

Survelliance photo of Sciascia, Rizzuto and Liggamari outside the Capri Motor Lodge

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From the gaudy days of Prohibition to today, the Mafia has misplaced more than its traditions. It has lost a lot of its power. Meanwhile, the Mafia-mauling feds have become stars. Rudy Giuliani, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney whose anti-Mob crusade unmade a lot of made men, went on to two terms as New York City mayor. As for Pistone, his next project has sent old fed-heads shaking. Called The Good Guys, it's a novel about an FBI agent and a mafioso, both looking for the same man. Pistone's co-author: Bill Bonanno, onetime boss of the family that Pistone's testimony nearly shut down.

What must Big Joey think of these singing bosses and their new partners, the celebrity feds? Sitting in his Brooklyn cell, awaiting a trial that could send him to prison for life or put him to death, he may be wondering if he chose the wrong line of work in an America where a man who keeps secrets can be worth less than a man who spills them. His one rueful consolation may be that much of the public thinks the Mafia is less dirty business than show business, and that a few will be rooting for him to be the Last Don standing.

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