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Liberty City Mafia Families..

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Money Over Bullshit
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#1

Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:58 AM Edited by Money Over Bullshit, 25 July 2011 - 11:16 AM.

As many of you may be aware The Liberty City Mafia Commission is based on The Real Life Comission more specifically New York City's "Five Families"

This got me thinking about how similar they actually are to their NYC counterparts. And what I found was that much like Liberty City being a near carbon copy of New York City, It's Mafia Families shared some similarities with those from New York City aswell. These are just my opinions though and there has been no official clarification in game or otherwise which families are based on which so it is open to interpretation. It is also important to note that I have matched the families solely based on which LC family is Most similar to their real life counterpart on the list from the information I have. However - probably the most important thing to note through out is that all of the Liberty City families appear to be an emalgamation of all five of the New York families so it's almost impossible to draw definitive comparasens between two families that indicates that one family is 100% based on another. With that in mind here is what I've come up with:

The LC "Five Families" - Gambetti, Lupisella, Messina, Pavano and Ancelloti

New York "Five Families" - Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Colombo and Lucchese

(Listed in order of equivalent e.g. Gambino = Gambetti etc.)

I will now list the similarities that I found Starting with the most powerful Family The Gambetti's.

Gambetti (Gambino)

1. Like the Gambinos, The Gambettis are the most powerful of the five families

2. The Gambettis are based in Broker - The Gambinos started off in Brooklyn

3.Both Families were led by a Man named John. (The Gambettis by John Gravelli and The Gambinos by John Gotti)

4. John Gravelli and his son share the same name as did John Gotti and John Junior

5. John Gravelli dislikes the drug trade as did Former Gambino Boss Carlo Gambino

6. John Gotti Snr. was aquitted of federal charges three times. John Gravelli's friendship with U.L. Paper could be a reference to this since it is something that prevents him from going to jail.

7. John Gravelli jnr. was disowned by his father - It is said that John Junior Gotti had a bad relationship with his father also.

8. John Gravelli died of Kidney failure in hospital. John Gotti Snr. died of throat cancer while in a prison hospital.

9. The name Gambetti seems to be a mixture of Gambino and Gotti

Lupisella (Genovese)

1. The Lupisellas are one of the founding Families of the Commission - The Genovese Family, more specifically Family member Lucky Luciano, was the one who first suggested a Mafia commission be put in place.

2. Both Families have known ties with Jewish people (Moe Schwartz the lupisella's jewish accountant, Meyer Lansky a Jewish gangster who worked with the Genovese's)

3. The Genovese Family was at one time run by Tommy Eboli when Boss Vito Genovese was sent to prison although he still very much ran things from inside much the same as Mark "Loopy" Lupisella is the families street boss even though Vincent Lupisella really runs things

4. Genovese member Vincent Gigante for a time tried to convince people he was insane by acting strangely in order to avoid being put in jail if convicted. This is possibly where they got the idea for Mark Lupisella being dubbed "Loopy" due to his erratic behavior. Gigante is also said to have a low I.Q. as is Mark Lupisella.

7. Gigante is also said to have been extremely paranoid and would only talk "business" to a select group of people. This could by where they got the idea of Moe Schwartz spending "340 days in 2002 only communicating through spreadsheets".

It has also been suggested that they are based on the Lucchese Family because of the territorry they hold and both names beginning with an L.

Messina (Bonanno)

1. The name "Messina" probably comes from "Massino" which is what the Bonanno family was almost renamed when Boss Joseph "Big Joe" Massino took over. Although it could come from the area of Messina in Sicily which could be both a hint at the area in which the family originated and also a reference to The Godfather wherein Don Vito Corleone is named after the region in Sicily that he is from. In the early days the Bonanno Family was made up of Sicilians from the same town so it is possible that this was the case with the Messinas too.

2. There is talk of there being rats in the Messina family (The Volpe Brothers) - The Bonanno family once inducted the most famous Mafia rat of all time, Donnie Brasco (real name Joe Pistone) an undercover FBI agent. Also in 2003, two respected capos from the Bonanno family turned states putting Joe Massino in prison for murder. He then became an informant himself to get out of the dead penalty.

3. In the past a lot of fighting went on in the Bonanno Family (The Bonanno war). It is possible that Harvey Noto establishing himself at the top of the organisation after " a long and bloody power struggle" is a reference to this.

It is worth noting aswell that the Messinas have a half Irish consigliere called Harry Hall. This is a play on the Name Henry Hill (Ray Liotta in Goodfellas) who was actually a member of the Lucchese Family but was only an associate rather than a Consigliere.


Pavano (Colombo)

1. A member of the Pavanos (Joe Carolla) is involved with African american gangsters who dealt in drugs as was Colombo family associate Joe Gallo before his death.

2. The meeting that the Pavanos have with the Pegorinos could be a reference to a famous sit down that the Colombos organised between the New Jersey based DeCavalcante family and the Gambinos about letting them conduct business in New York specifically Manhattan. Similar to why The Pegorino met with the Pavanos. It has been said that one time Colombo Boss Joe Profaci believed in the use of charges and tributes, along the lines of the old Sicilian Mafia families which also appears to be the way of The Pavanos judging by the same meeting in which Jimmy Pegorino offers Pavano members a Tribute as a gesture of good will.

3. The Matriarch of the Pavano Family Maria Valvona is from Sicily as was Former Colombo/Profaci Boss Joe Profaci who was dubbed a "Moustache Pete" because of the old style, Sicilian way he ran the family. The patriotism attached to having a sicilian Matriarch may also be a slight reference to ethnic pride involved in previous Boss Of The Colombo family Joe Colombo's setting up of a movement called The Italian American Civil Rights League which was set up to protect italian americans from stereotyping imposed by New York city police.

It has also been suggested that the Pavano Family is based on The Genovese Family due to their similarity in size and their history of trouble with the Gambetti (Gambino) Family and the Italian Camorra organization because of them both having a female boss at one time or another. Other similarities have also been noted in the name Pavano and Bonanno and that both families (Bonanno and Pavano) have or have at one time had major dealings in heroin.

Ancelotti (Lucchese)

1. In the past the Lucchese Family were rivals of the Gambino family. In GTA 4 the Gambettis appear to be working against the Ancelottis

2. Both families have bosses who are really old, The boss of the Lucchese Family Victor Amuso is 73. Giovanni "Old Man" Ancelloti is 78.

3. In the past the Lucchese have been known to work with Latin Gangsters such as Anthony "Tony" Rodriguez. Much the same as The Ancellotis work with Luis Fernando Lopez.

4. The Lucchese Family once had an underboss Nicknamed "Tommy Brown" The Ancellotis had a capo called "Tony Black"

5. The Lucchese have a "Jersey Crew" and The Ancellotis also appear to have one as some of it's key members are seen opperating out of Alderney. The Jersey crew of The Lucchese Family also worked at, among other things, importing alcohol during the Prohibition and drugs in the Infamous "French Connection" much the same as Ancelloti members in Alderney are seen Importing cocaine with the help of the Russians. The Lucchese Family also had ties to the Russian Mafia according to FBI informant and Lucchese Underboss Anthony Casso in a statement he made to the Feds after his Indictment.

It has also been suggested that the Ancelotti Family is Based on the Colombo family due to them both being the smallest of the NY/LC Families.

The Pegorinos
Although the Pegorinos are not on the commission they do play a big part in the story of GTA IV so I think they deserve a mention here.

The Pegorinos appear to be based on the DiMeo family from the HBO hit series "The Sopranos" which are based on the real Life DeCavalcante Family from New Jersey who operate in Elizabeth NJ the real world equivalent of Tudor in Alderney.


Furthermore on the subject of The Mob in Liberty City here are some insights into where the ideas for some of the other Mob affiliated characters in GTA IV came from (thanks to vinniegorgeous)

Harry Hall = Henry Hill
They are both Irish associates of the mob but that is where the similarities end.
Harry Hall is said to be consigliere, and in charge of a prostitution ring where as Henry Hill, was a drug wholesaler, and never made it further than being a wannabe, he certainly was not in contact with the family don like Harry Hall is. For more information on Henry Hill see here.

Moe Schwartz = Meyer Lansky
Contrary to his representation in popular culture Lansky never once sat in on any mafia discussion let alone the commission, he was very much an employee not a partner, it was actually Senators who attributed seniority to him at hearings on the mafia. For more information on Meyer Lansky see here.

Jon Gravelli = Carlo Gambino
The Gambetti family became the most powerful Liberty City family under Gravelliís leadership, the Gambino family became the most powerful criminal organization in the western world under Carlo Gambino. Gravelli is said to be an old school mafioso just like Gambino and very unlike Gotti. Gambino and Gravelli also look quite similar to one another.

Sammy Bottino = Sammy "The Bull" Gravano
If Gravelli is a Gotti who never went to prison then his right hand man would have carried on being Gravano. (probably)

McReary Mob = The Westies
Not cosa nostra but the Westies were with the Gambinos in much the same way as the McRearys are with the Pegorinos, as hit men and thugs. For more information on The Westies see here.
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#2

Posted 16 March 2009 - 01:23 AM

There were five fictional families in The Godfather too. In both cases I imagine they don't WANT the real families to be able to say any part of the fiction is about them. Mario Puzo had enough trouble with Sinatra thinking he was Johnny Fontane.

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#3

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE (Magic_Al @ Mar 16 2009, 01:23)
There were five fictional families in The Godfather too. In both cases I imagine they don't WANT the real families to be able to say any part of the fiction is about them. Mario Puzo had enough trouble with Sinatra thinking he was Johnny Fontane.

Obviously they can't state that they based them on the real Mafia families but Rockstar often bases characters on real life people and things. Then the disclaimer at the start of the game covers there asses.

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#4

Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:11 PM

I was doing some research on the five families a few weeks ago, the similarities are great.

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#5

Posted 16 March 2009 - 02:48 PM

Nice info. I wonder if the real five families will get piss over this

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#6

Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:01 PM

If the Mafia got pissed every time they were referenced in something they'd be veeeeeeeerrry angry. There's countless things that involve the Mafia, books, films,games,TV Shows... you name it. Plus they have bigger things to worry about than a GTA game. Its not like Rockstar are using anybody's real name or likeness so there's not a whole lot they could do about it even if they wanted to. I think the similarities are still pretty evident none the less though.

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#7

Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:27 PM

I agreed with you until you said that the Pavano's was based on the Colombo's and the Ancelotti's was based on the Lucchese's. The Colombo's are the weakest family now and so are the Ancelotti's in GTA IV. Plus the Pavano's seems to have much business in Alderney just like the Lucchese's in New Jersey.

Other than that I think you've done great research icon14.gif

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#8

Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:49 PM

Nice info, but as someone said, the disclaimer at the beginning of the game keeps the real mafia families from doing anything. And yeah, they've got more important things to do. I bet they enjoy playing GTA IV as much as we do; they must be laughing about the similarities. tounge2.gif

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#9

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:05 PM

Brilliant work mate! icon14.gif cookie.gif

Interesting read. I was on holiday in new york a few years back eating in a restaurant in little italy and saw the most Mafia-esq guys ever. I love the sopranos and the mafia in general so it was quality! lol.gif

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#10

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:17 PM

QUOTE (Rucke @ Mar 16 2009, 18:27)
I agreed with you until you said that the Pavano's was based on the Colombo's and the Ancelotti's was based on the Lucchese's. The Colombo's are the weakest family now and so are the Ancelotti's in GTA IV. Plus the Pavano's seems to have much business in Alderney just like the Lucchese's in New Jersey.

Other than that I think you've done great research  icon14.gif

Yeah I started off thinking that too and what your saying is correct but I found more similarities with The Pavanos and the Colombos than I did with The Pavanos and the Lucchese so I just went with that. The Pavanos and The Ancellotis seem to be based more on original Ideas than the Other 3 Families who drew quite heavily from their New York Counterparts.

All feedback is appreciated thanks guys

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#11

Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:52 PM

Great work.

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#12

Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:42 AM

QUOTE (Money Over Bullsh*t @ Mar 16 2009, 00:58)

5. John Gravelli dislikes the drug trade as did John Gotti


John Gotti and his crew sold heroin, it was Paul Castellano who didnt like the drug trade.

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#13

Posted 19 March 2009 - 07:58 AM

QUOTE (hurricane13 @ Mar 19 2009, 04:42)
QUOTE (Money Over Bullsh*t @ Mar 16 2009, 00:58)

5. John Gravelli dislikes the drug trade as did John Gotti


John Gotti and his crew sold heroin, it was Paul Castellano who didnt like the drug trade.

hahahaha... yeah i read that and was like, "Ehh...."

Anyways... a couple of things; I always thought the Lupisella's were supposed to be the Bonannos as both are based in the Bronx/Bohan (if my memory is serving me right). And as other people said the Luccheses definitely aren't the Ancellotis. I dunno, it's been awhile since I read all that stuff on the LCPD database, but I also thought it said the Pavanos... not the Lupisellas were the second most powerful.

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#14

Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:25 PM Edited by Money Over Bullshit, 19 March 2009 - 07:31 PM.

QUOTE (hurricane13 @ Mar 19 2009, 04:42)
QUOTE (Money Over Bullsh*t @ Mar 16 2009, 00:58)

5. John Gravelli dislikes the drug trade as did John Gotti


John Gotti and his crew sold heroin, it was Paul Castellano who didnt like the drug trade.

Yeah your right. I just got a bit confused. I'll change it. And I'm pretty sure its the Lupisellas who are the second most powerful family.

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:31 PM

Great work. Real life mafia families always fascinated me, ever since I first saw Goodfellas...

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#16

Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:53 AM Edited by vinnygorgeous, 27 May 2009 - 10:00 PM.

This is a question which I have also spent many hours pondering, and I'm pretty sure that,

1. The Pavanos are defintely the Bonannos, aside from the names sounding simmilar the Pavanos are said to have a heroin distribution network run by Joe Corrola. The Bonanno's were known for being the heroin family especially in the Carmine Galante era with the famous 'pizza connection' heroin distribution network.
There is also a reference in a Liberty Tree article that says 'in the old days it was the Gambettis v's the Pavanos' it is the Gambinos and Bonannos who have historically been opposed to each other. The Gambinos instigated the Bonannos being excluded from the commission and turned into pariahs, they are the only New York family ever to have lost its commission seat, the then boss Joe Bonanno responded by putting out a contract on the commission members.

2. Messina family is the Lucchese family, as MOB stated Harry Hall is blatantly Henry Hill who was a Lucchese associate. Also boss Harvey Noto transformed Messina's from one of the least powerful to a dominant force on the commission. The Lucchese's are one of the weakest families but thier current acting boss is nick named 'wonder boy' a nick name which suggests respect amongst peers say on the commission maybe.

by the process of elimination then

3. The Ancelottis are the Colombo's, Rucke already said that the Colombo's are currently the smallest family, with an estimated membership of less than 100 made guys, compared to the second smallest luccheses with 90-120 made guys, the Ancelottis are according to Gerry the smallest so it would fit.
something which I thought was intersting was the Ancelottis leadership living in Jersey which is where the Genovese leadership have historically lived although given that they are the 2nd biggest family its just a coincidence.

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#17

Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:28 AM

icon14.gif good post

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#18

Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:50 PM

Bumping with info added to the Ancelloti Family colgate.gif

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#19

Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:16 PM

Nice work here mate, it just shows how many links there really are in the story of IV and real life. icon14.gif

Oh, 1999th post!

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:12 AM

Nice research and an interesting read. icon14.gif

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#21

Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:36 AM

Good to see a La Cosa Nostra post here. The only thing I thought was kinda understated was the Decavalcante (Pegorinos) family. Yes they are not on the Commission, but it is made clear the Pegorinos do have a hand in Mafia politics. I was just disappointed you only added a few lines about them. They in my opinion are the most interesting family in GTA IV, with incredibly stunning similarities to the DeCavalcante family.

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#22

Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:35 PM

QUOTE (barbwiregrind @ May 25 2009, 02:36)
Good to see a La Cosa Nostra post here. The only thing I thought was kinda understated was the Decavalcante (Pegorinos) family. Yes they are not on the Commission, but it is made clear the Pegorinos do have a hand in Mafia politics. I was just disappointed you only added a few lines about them. They in my opinion are the most interesting family in GTA IV, with incredibly stunning similarities to the DeCavalcante family.

The Reason I only added a few lines on them is because the post is primarily about the Five Families on The New York Commission and their counterparts in GTA IV's Liberty City and The Decavalcante Family are from New Jersey as are the Pegorinos and so are not technically a New York/Liberty City Mafia family.

Feel free to post some similarities if you wish though and I'll add them to the Original Post.

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#23

Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:49 AM

Personally I'm hoping the next DLC concentrates more on the five Mafia families...there's plenty of scope there for at least two DLC's and maybe even a full game! The Mafia has always fascinated me too and in previous GTA games I loved missions involving them.

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#24

Posted 27 May 2009 - 06:13 PM Edited by vinnygorgeous, 30 May 2009 - 12:22 AM.

The DeCavalcante family is on the commission, the original 1931 commission had the five families plus the New Jersey, Buffalo and Chicago mafia families. Also all the New York families have Jersey crews.
MOB most of your reasons are so subtle that they are meaningless, you should use information that is actually in the game and database rather than rely on abstract clues, the rackets and size of the families is the only information available that distinguishes the families. We know the size of three of them so it only leaves two open for debate; the Pavanos and the Messinas.

Bonannos are closely tied with Sicilian mafia and import heroin, they (Pavanos) are the only family referenced in the LCPD database as being involved in the heroin trade. Joe Massino (not Messino) did change their name but he is a disgraced stool pigeon so they did not keep it, also he didn't allow family members to use his name and law enforcement didn't even know about the name change until after it changed back.


Tommy Three Finger Brown is the nickname for Gaetano Lucchese who was not just an underboss the family took his name after he became boss. His name or nickname sounds nothing like Tony Black, all the families will have had a Tony Black at some point itís a common mob nickname.

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#25

Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:19 AM

I just went on what I found while looking up stuff about the Five Families.
You seem to know a lot about this so how bout you copy my OP and change what you think needs to be changed and post it for me to copy to the first page. I think that's the easiest way of doing it.

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#26

Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:08 PM Edited by vinnygorgeous, 03 June 2009 - 07:21 PM.

Alternative answer to which GTA mob outfit is which NY outfit



The Gambino family = Gambetti

The Genovese family = Lupisella

The Bonanno family = Pavano

The Lucchese family = Messina

The Colombo family = Ancelotti


My answer is mainly based on the size of the families, the Gambinos and Gambettis are the largest, Genovese and Lupisella are the second, and the smallest are the Colombo and Ancelotti. There are also clues in the personnel of the families, e.g. the Oddfather and Loopy etc.
I have covered the Bonanno/Pavano relationship in two other posts, but the gist is their involvement in the heroin trade, more than the other families in both universes.
Messiness, key reason here is the Harry Hall/ Henry Hill relationship, as one of the most famous mobsters of all time I think it is highly doubtful they would include him as a Bonanno member when most people would know he was with the Lucchese family. Also the reference to a bloody leadership contest could be a reference to the Amuso/Casso blood purge (they killed 40 of their own men in a paranoia fuelled bloodbath.)

Harry Hall = Henry Hill
They are both Irish associates in the Messina/ Lucchese Family but that is where the similarities end.
Harry Hall is said to be consigliere, and in charge of a prostitution ring where as Henry Hill, was a drug wholesaler, and never made it further than being a wannabe, he certainly was not in contact with the family don like Harry Hall is.

Moe Schwartz = Meyer Lansky
Contrary to his representation in popular culture Lansky never once sat in on any mafia discussion let alone the commission, he was very much an employee not a partner, it was actually Senators who attributed seniority to him at hearings on the mafia.

Jon Gravelli = John Gotti ?

I am really not that sure about this one, if Gotti was still alive would he look as bad as Gravelli? Probably, but I think what is more likely is they picked a name that had a similar ring to the Gambinos most notorious leader. But the back story is different, Gravelli took over from his uncle Sonny Cangelosi, Gotti took over from Paul Castellano in a bloody coup.

Jon Gravelli = Carlo Gambino ?

The Gambetti family became the most powerful Liberty City family under Gravelliís leadership, the Gambino family became the most powerful criminal organization in the western world under Carlo Gambino. Gravelli is said to be an old school mafioso just like Gambino and very unlike Gotti.

Sammy Bottino = Sammy the Bull Gravano
If Gravelli is a Gotti who never went to prison then his right hand man would have carried on being Gravano. (probably)


McReary Mob = The Westies

Not cosa nostra but the Westies were with the Gambinos in much the same way as the McRearys are with the Pegorinos, as hit men and thugs.

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#27

Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:53 AM Edited by vinnygorgeous, 30 May 2009 - 12:24 AM.




6. John Gotti Snr. was aquitted of federal charges three times leading some people to believe that he had connections inside the organisation. John Gravelli's friendship with U.L. Paper could be a reference to this.

The first occasion the witness recounted because he realised who Gotti was, it was reported in the NY Post with the famous headline 'I Forgotti'. His first RICO trial, one juror George Pape, volunteered for a price, to hold out for an acquittal, he reached out to his friend Bosko Randonjich, who happened to the new leader of the Manhattan Westies, Pape received 60 grand for getting a hung jury.
His second RICO trial resulted in a conviction.



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#28

Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:56 AM

I know this is proberly random, but it's mob related. The so-called "Pizza Connection" Heroin smuggling in the 70's/80's was mainly fronted by a resteraunt in Queens, called Al Dente's.

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#29

Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:58 AM Edited by vinnygorgeous, 30 May 2009 - 12:42 AM.

The family that had the most contested and bloody leadership battle is the colombo family, so maybe they are the Messinas

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#30

Posted 31 May 2009 - 09:20 AM

Interesting stuff vinnygorgeous... you seem to really know what you're talking about here. And interesting that you mentioned Bosko Randonjich... someone that it has been suggested Niko may have been at least partially inspired by.

Couple things that are confusing me is that in the LCPD database it makes it pretty clear where some of the families are based... Gambetti in Broker, Messina in Dukes, and Lupisella in Bohan. Does this have any parallel with real life? Because this was something that was kinda throwing me off as I didn't think the Genovese were Bronx based.

Someone else mentioned the fictional Five Families of the Godfather, a little off topic but I was just curious if you had any insight onto who they are supposed to be. For my limited knowledge I would guess that the Corleones are the Genovese (based on a lot of the stuff I've read about Frank Costello that seems to run parallel, also the association with Jewish gangsters that opened up shop in Vegas) and the Barzinis are the Gambinos (as they are the other powerful family). The other family mentioned throughout the Godfather were the Tattaglia who were supposed to be the smallest and weakest if I remember correctly. I also remember that line, "Tattaglia's a cheap pimp." I don't know what real life family would fit that description but in IV I would think the Ancelottis, but that may just be because we saw everything from the perspective of the McRearys and Pegorinos. I guess you also have the fact that the Godfather takes place in the 40s and GTA IV takes place in 2008. But just curious as to whether there is one family real family that would fit that image of the lowly drug pushing pimps... I know you guys said the Colombos are the Ancelottis... would that image fit them?




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