Posts Tagged ‘Mobster’s son’

Press Release: Operation Family Secrets by Frank Calabrese, Jr.

February 14th, 2011


Contact: Dyana Messina

(212) 572-2098








Speaking out for the first time,

 the son of the most violent mobster in Chicago

shares the gripping true story of how he worked with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to put his own father behind bars and

bring down one of the last great American crime families.



How a Mobster’s Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago’s Murderous Crime Family

By Frank Calabrese, Jr.,

Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman, and Paul Pompian



“I couldn’t stop reading this gripping account of Frank Calabrese Jr.’s decision to cooperate with the FBI that took down his father, uncle, and the last American crime syndicate.”

—Nick Pileggi, author and screenwriter of Wiseguy, Goodfellas, and Casino


“This suspenseful account, punctuated with riveting excerpts from the tapes, reads like a thriller.”

Publishers Weekly


 “An undeniably engaging tale, capturing the nitty-gritty of daily life in the ‘crews’ of the Outfit.”

Kirkus Reviews 


On a cranky old Smith Corona manual typewriter in the Federal Correction Institution prison library in Milan, Michigan, Frank Calabrese, Jr., began writing a letter that would change his life forever. The son of notorious mobster Frank Calabrese, Sr., Frank Jr. had spent his life working alongside his father and Uncle Nick in loan sharking, gambling, labor racketeering, and extortion as part of Chicago’s murderous crime family known as “the Outfit.” At age thirty-nine, he was locked away on RICO charges with his father and uncle. Estranged from his wife and children and facing a lengthy prison term, Frank Jr. made a decision he never thought himself capable of—he would betray his father. In that letter, later sent to the FBI, he wrote, “I feel I have to help you keep this sick man locked up forever,” and so began the landmark case that would come to be known as “Operation Family Secrets.”

Now, for the first time, Frank Jr. shares his story in OPERATION FAMILY SECRETS: How a Mobster’s Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago’s Murderous Crime Family (March 8, 2011; Broadway Books). In a dramatic tale that reads like the best of thrillers, Frank discusses what life was like growing up as the son of a violent mobster, his own entrance into the Outfit at the age of eighteen, and the painful, life-threatening chain of events that would follow as he and a dedicated team of FBI agents and federal prosecutors worked to put his father away for good. For six months, unmonitored, unprotected, and asking nothing for his cooperation, Frank Jr. wore a wire in the prison yard, where his father would reveal over a decade’s worth of crime, corruption, and murder. Sharing with his son intimate details, it was these recorded conversations and Frank Jr.’s testimony that would earn Frank Sr. a term of life in prison. While the FBI had previously solved only eight mob murders in one hundred years, Frank Jr.’s work helped them solve forty murders and sent two Outfit bosses and twelve of its highest-ranking members to prison, effectively bringing down one of the last great American crime syndicates. To this day, the “Operation Family Secrets” trial stands as the most extensive mob-murder racketeering case in U.S. history.


Frank Calabrese, Jr., holds nothing back, sharing previously unreported details from the case and offering an insider’s look at the real inner dealing of organized crime. OPERATION FAMILY SECRETS lifts the veil on the mafia’s infamous web of secrecy and details its shattering effects on a real family.

About the Author

Frank Calabrese, Jr., lived in his native Chicago for thirty-nine years. Mentored by his father and brought into the Chicago Outfit at age eighteen, Frank Jr. became a key member of the notorious 26th Street/Chinatown Crew led by Angelo “The Hook” LaPietra and his father, Frank Calabrese, Sr. As a result, Frank Jr. learned firsthand of the widespread organized-crime corruption in the city of Chicago. After going to prison on racketeering charges, Frank turned his life around and, through his testimony in the landmark 2007 Family Secrets trial, helped the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys bring down his father and the Chicago Outfit.




By Frank Calabrese, Jr., Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman, and Paul Pompian

Broadway Books

 March 8, 2011 * Pages: 336

Price: $24.99 * ISBN: 978-0-307-71772-6

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The Crown Publishing Group