AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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February 24th, 2010 at 10:01:38 AM permalink
I love both the movie and book "Casino." I was wondering if anyone out there met or worked with either Frank Rosenthal or Tony Spilotro and had some real-life stories to share.

Or any other personal stories form the pre-1980 "mobbed up" era of Vegas.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
pacomartin
pacomartin
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March 3rd, 2010 at 10:31:39 PM permalink
Tony died in 1986, and Frank was forced out of Vegas in 1988 never to return for the last 20 years of his life.
DennyGriffin
DennyGriffin
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March 4th, 2010 at 1:26:32 PM permalink
During the research for my Vegas and the Mob books I met Frank Cullotta, Tony Spilotro's boyhood friend from Chicago and former lieutenant here in Vegas. In Casino, Frank Vincent played the "Frankie" character based on Cullotta. Frank and I co-authored his biography in 2007.

I also met and interviewed a lady who worked for Lefty. She has some great stories about "the day."
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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March 4th, 2010 at 1:57:51 PM permalink
Quote: DennyGriffin

During the research for my Vegas and the Mob books I met Frank Cullotta, Tony Spilotro's boyhood friend from Chicago and former lieutenant here in Vegas. In Casino, Frank Vincent played the "Frankie" character based on Cullotta. Frank and I co-authored his biography in 2007.

I also met and interviewed a lady who worked for Lefty. She has some great stories about "the day."



Any you care to share? I love that stuff.

I haven't decided if I will buy that book or not.

BTW" Culotta has a cameo in "Casino." But I'd guess you knew that.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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March 4th, 2010 at 1:59:26 PM permalink
Quote: DennyGriffin

During the research for my Vegas and the Mob books I met Frank Cullotta, Tony Spilotro's boyhood friend from Chicago and former lieutenant here in Vegas. In Casino, Frank Vincent played the "Frankie" character based on Cullotta. Frank and I co-authored his biography in 2007.

I also met and interviewed a lady who worked for Lefty. She has some great stories about "the day."



Any you care to share? I love that stuff.

I haven't decided if I will buy that book or not.

BTW" Culotta has a cameo in "Casino." But I'd guess you knew that.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
DennyGriffin
DennyGriffin
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March 4th, 2010 at 3:02:50 PM permalink
Prior to co-authoring Frank's bio in 2007, in 2006 I wrote The Battle for Las Vegas - The Law vs. the Mob. I hadn't met Frank yet and most of my sources were the retired FBI agents and Metro detectives who had worked the Spilotro investigations. Along with them I found some former casino employees who had rubbed elbows with the gangsters and this one lady who had worked at the Stardust in an executive position. Her immediate boss was Lefty. In the book I gave her the fictious name of Connie. I enjoyed her story of the time Lefty sent her to San Diego to help edit his first taping of "The Lefty Rosenthal Show." The owner of record at that time was Allen Glick, president of the Argent Corp. There were all kinds of rumors floating around the stardust as to who was really running things. This one incident made it clear to Connie who the real boss was. As she explained it:

“One day I was asked to fly to San Diego to do some editing on our first television show. Upon returning the next day, I was called into Mr. Glick’s office. He wanted to know where I had been and who gave me permission to go. I told him. He was anything but nice as he gave me the choice of never again doing what Mr. Rosenthal asked me to do or being fired. I’m sure my loyalty to Mr. Rosenthal was evident to Mr. Glick. But as a young single mother with two children to support, his words scared me and my mind went into freeze mode. I didn’t know what to do and stewed over it the rest of the day.

“That evening as I was leaving the casino, I passed Mr. Rosenthal and several of his associates, who were on their way to the Moby Dick restaurant, their favorite place to meet in the Stardust. Mr. Rosenthal said hello to me and I replied back, but without my usual enthusiasm or smile.

“After taking a few more steps I heard my name called. I turned around and Mr. Rosenthal motioned me over to him; he wanted to know if everything was okay. I told him no, it wasn’t. I explained about my session with Mr. Glick. Mr. Rosenthal then asked me to come with him to the Moby Dick.

“Inside the restaurant he had the maitre d’ bring a phone to our table. He called Mr. Glick, who had already returned to his home in La Jolla, California. The conversation from Mr. Rosenthal’s end went like this: ‘Good evening, Allen. I hear that you had Connie come to your office today on a matter that doesn’t really concern you. We need to get something straight, Allen. I run things around here; Connie works for me, not you. And if you ever approach her or threaten to fire her again, I’ll break both of your legs. Do you understand? That’s good. Good evening, Allen.’ He hung up the phone and told me I didn’t have to worry about anything like that happening again. From that point on, Mr. Glick never bothered me again. In fact, he didn’t even speak to me.”
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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March 5th, 2010 at 8:33:32 AM permalink
Quote: DennyGriffin

Prior to co-authoring Frank's bio in 2007, in 2006 I wrote The Battle for Las Vegas - The Law vs. the Mob. I hadn't met Frank yet and most of my sources were the retired FBI agents and Metro detectives who had worked the Spilotro investigations. Along with them I found some former casino employees who had rubbed elbows with the gangsters and this one lady who had worked at the Stardust in an executive position. Her immediate boss was Lefty. In the book I gave her the fictious name of Connie. I enjoyed her story of the time Lefty sent her to San Diego to help edit his first taping of "The Lefty Rosenthal Show." The owner of record at that time was Allen Glick, president of the Argent Corp. There were all kinds of rumors floating around the stardust as to who was really running things. This one incident made it clear to Connie who the real boss was. As she explained it:

“One day I was asked to fly to San Diego to do some editing on our first television show. Upon returning the next day, I was called into Mr. Glick’s office. He wanted to know where I had been and who gave me permission to go. I told him. He was anything but nice as he gave me the choice of never again doing what Mr. Rosenthal asked me to do or being fired. I’m sure my loyalty to Mr. Rosenthal was evident to Mr. Glick. But as a young single mother with two children to support, his words scared me and my mind went into freeze mode. I didn’t know what to do and stewed over it the rest of the day.

“That evening as I was leaving the casino, I passed Mr. Rosenthal and several of his associates, who were on their way to the Moby Dick restaurant, their favorite place to meet in the Stardust. Mr. Rosenthal said hello to me and I replied back, but without my usual enthusiasm or smile.

“After taking a few more steps I heard my name called. I turned around and Mr. Rosenthal motioned me over to him; he wanted to know if everything was okay. I told him no, it wasn’t. I explained about my session with Mr. Glick. Mr. Rosenthal then asked me to come with him to the Moby Dick.

“Inside the restaurant he had the maitre d’ bring a phone to our table. He called Mr. Glick, who had already returned to his home in La Jolla, California. The conversation from Mr. Rosenthal’s end went like this: ‘Good evening, Allen. I hear that you had Connie come to your office today on a matter that doesn’t really concern you. We need to get something straight, Allen. I run things around here; Connie works for me, not you. And if you ever approach her or threaten to fire her again, I’ll break both of your legs. Do you understand? That’s good. Good evening, Allen.’ He hung up the phone and told me I didn’t have to worry about anything like that happening again. From that point on, Mr. Glick never bothered me again. In fact, he didn’t even speak to me.”




Thanks, this is the kind of story I find interesting. Was there a title to Frank's Bio? You have added three books to my reading list.

I have heard Frank was a George Patton type of leader. Everyone hated the SOB but at the same time they followed the strong leadership and he even eventually had some fans among the workers.

BTW: I found about ten minutes of his show on the net somewhere (lost the url.) I couldn't believe it was a #1 local show.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
DennyGriffin
DennyGriffin
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March 5th, 2010 at 8:38:46 AM permalink
Frank's bio is CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness.

Connie considered Lefty to be her main male mentor after her father. He was a tough boss - perhaps the Patton type as you said. But she respected him as a leader and enjoyed her time with him.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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March 5th, 2010 at 8:53:14 AM permalink
Quote: DennyGriffin

Frank's bio is CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness.

Connie considered Lefty to be her main male mentor after her father. He was a tough boss - perhaps the Patton type as you said. But she respected him as a leader and enjoyed her time with him.



Did you do Culotta's Bio as well as Lefty's or am I getting my Franks mixed up?

Lefty sounds like this guy I worked for only for about a year. I wish I met him years before but at a younger age I might not have appriciated it. Anyways, there was a problem with our union medical plan. It was near a major grievence with the Teamsters. Guy calls me form Buffalo and says, "GET ON THE PHONE AND GET IT FIXED." I was in Rochester, about 90 mins away. It was one of those things you could fix in one phone call and I did. He gets back and I tell him I fixed it and would see it thru monthly. He started to apologize for being too direct. I said, "Hey, Tony, don't apologize. You are the only one here who said fix it. Everyone else wanted to just have a meeting." We worked very well after that, though I later learned he was the same as Frank and would want to fire someone he saw loafing in the plant one time. 50/50 employees loved/hated him.

From what I read Rosenthal appriciated competence and had no time for incompotence. OC or no OC I can see where running a casino would make you that way.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
DennyGriffin
DennyGriffin
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March 5th, 2010 at 9:19:22 AM permalink
AZ,

I think you're giving a very accurate description of Lefty. A real no-nonsense kind of guy. No dead wood tolerated. And you're right, we've got an abundance of Franks lol. But Cullotta and Rosenthal were similar in their management styles - they both demanded competence and performance.

I was contacted by Connie last night seeking my opinion on her writing a book about working for Lefty and the Mob in general. I encouraged her to go for it.

And here's an announcement for a Blog Talk Radio show on Saturday:

Former Mobster Frank Cullotta, retired Metro detective Louie DeTiberiis and I, will be part of a panel on the Simon Barrett Show on Blog Talk Radio tomorrow to discuss crime in Las Vegas and the Mob days.

The show starts at noon Pacific - three pm Eastern. The annoncement and additional show info are at:

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