About the Authors
Thomas P. Hunt
Tom Hunt is the editor and publisher of the quarterly crime history journal, Informer: The History of American Crime and Law Enforcement. In partnership with Martha Macheca Sheldon, he co-authored Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia , silver medal winner in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards and now in its second edition. He also contributed a comprehensive American Mafia history for the book Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime (Millennium House, 2009).
Online, Tom publishes the American Mafia history website (mafiahistory.us) and moderates a related Mafia history discussion group on Yahoo!. He served for years as editor of organized crime and crime publications categories for the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). His online work put him in contact with Mike Tona in the summer of 2006. (Mike generously emailed corrections for some Buffalo-related information on the website.)
Tom has written many crime- and law enforcement-related articles for Informer and for the On the Spot Journal of Crime and Law Enforcement History. He partnered with Mike Tona on articles relating to the Good Killers underworld organization, the assassination of Pittsburgh crime boss John Bazzano, the 1928 Mafia convention in Cleveland, and the history of the northeast Pennsylvania Mafia organization known as the Men of Montedoro.
Tom is a graduate of Connecticut's Charter Oak State College with a bachelor's degree in History and Journalism. He also attended Western Connecticut State University, where he was Copy Editor of the student newspaper, The Echo, Copy Editor of the Economics Club Journal and winner of two prizes for journalism - the Grolier Award and the Arnold Brackman Scholarship.
He is a veteran of community journalism in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties in Connecticut and Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties in New York. He previously served as Managing Editor of the Bethel CT Beacon, the Pawling NY News Chronicle and the Putnam County NY Courier, as assistant editor of the New Milford CT Times, and as assistant editor of Aviation Digest magazine. He was publisher and editor of his own short-lived weekly newspaper in Danbury CT.
Born in the Bronx, New York, he was a longtime resident of western Connecticut and now lives in central Vermont with his wife and their three teenage children.
Contact Tom by email:
Michael A. Tona
Raised in a Sicilian-Italian family in the Buffalo area, Mike Tona became familiar with gangland history and legend at an early age. Family gatherings often included tales of mob violence recalled by relatives reared in the Italian colony of Buffalo's lower west-side. His uncle, Angelo Tona, added interesting stories of cases he investigated and prosecuted as chief of the Organized Crime Section of the Brooklyn District Attorney's office during the Gallo/Profaci mob wars.
During college, Mike's interest naturally turned toward that underworld history, a pursuit that was encouraged by family friend Joe Giambra. A detective in the Buffalo Police Department, and head of its Intelligence Unit, Giambra was an expert in local organized crime and taught a course in the subject at the University of Buffalo.
Mike's interest focused on underworld figure Joseph DiCarlo. The son of the region's first known Mafia boss, DiCarlo had achieved celebrity status as an elder statesman of the Buffalo Crime Family. In 1973, Giambra arranged for Mike to meet DiCarlo at his Santasiero's Restaurant hangout. The meeting triggered a DiCarlo-focused college research paper and made Mike a regular at Santasiero's.
After earning his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, Mike's interest in crime history momentarily waned. However, in 1980, Mike found himself being questioned by a special agent of the FBI. The agent was seeking information related to the recent murder of Mafioso Carl Rizzo. Mike was taken aback by the questioning as he discovered its cause: Investigators had found his college research paper among Rizzo's personal possessions.
Through the decades that followed that incident, Mike has pursued underworld history research as a mission, paying close attention to detail and accuracy. He has accumulated a vast collection of FBI files, newspaper articles, court transcripts and other documentation. When one long and difficult Freedom of Information Act process finally resulted in the FBI's release of DiCarlo's file, Mike discovered that his old DiCarlo college paper was part of it. It seemed an unmistakable sign that Tona was destined to tell the DiCarlo story.
A chance online encounter with Tom Hunt in the summer of 2006 resulted in collaboration on a series of articles for crime history journals, Informer and On the Spot, and evolved into a partnership on the DiCarlo book project.
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Copyright © 2014, Thomas Hunt and Michael A. Tona