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MOB CON 2013 Las Vegas Part I

Submitted by on Wednesday, 25 September 2013One Comment
Sign at Mob Con 2013

Sign at Mob Con 2013 for the Mob Attraction at the Tropicana in Las Vegas

At the beginning of this month I was at Mob Con 2013 in Las Vegas. This was the very first Mob Con and it was a huge success. Mob Con even got the attention of ABC News in Chicago and of ABC News in Las Vegas. ABC News in Las Vegas covered Mob Con twice that week, and you can click on each link to see the coverage. The panel of people that made up most of Mob Con were former mobsters and the cops that chased them. There were also a couple of others like myself, that have been touched by the mob or have written about the mob that was there as well. The first night was a cocktail party at the Tropicana.

The Tropicana has the Mob Attraction, the Mob Attraction also co-sponsored Mob Con. The Mob Attraction was a lot of fun. It was part museum and part theater. You walk from room to room were the settings change. Sometimes it would be an exhibit, or you may run into someone that may give you a job on behalf of Big Tony. The one thing that I did not expect was an exhibit of the Hole in the Wall Gang,

Tony Spilotro Display Case at the Mob Attraction at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Tony Spilotro Display Case at the Mob Attraction at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

not sure why, but I wasn’t. I was walking through the Mob Attraction and explaining some of the history of the pieces and exhibits that we were seeing to my friend Laurin. Her dad Rick Adornetto, was the former Chief of Police in Lakemoor and he was also at my father’s crime scene. We rounded a corner into the Hole in the Wall Gang display; and I pointed at Larry Neumann pictured in the exhibit and said “that is the guy that killed my father.” I think that we were both taken back by that. I have seen Larry plenty of times on TV, books, and written articles myself about him, but I was still taken back that this is also a part of history and I will always be connected to it. One of the displays was for Tony Spilotro and his brother when they were buried in the cornfield out in Indiana. Part of the display was a Holy Card from Tony Spilotro’s funeral. I was looking at the Holy Card and it was the exact same one as my dad’s. This makes sense because they were both waked at Salerno and Son’s Funeral Chapel on Harlem Avenue, and they both were laid to rest at Queen of Heaven in Hillside; just five years apart. The Mob Attraction winds you back to where you started and that is where everyone was for the cocktail party.

The Hole In the Wall Gang Display at the Mob Attraction in the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

The Hole In the Wall Gang Display at the Mob Attraction in the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Bertha's Burglary Display at the Mob Attraction at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Bertha’s Burglary Display at the Mob Attraction at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

I was really excited to see some old friends. I always look forward to seeing Frank Cullotta and saying Hi. I feel a kinship with Frank because of his book and his help in getting Larry Neumann named as the killer of my father. Dennis Arnoldy is another friend who helped in getting Larry Neumann named as the killer of my father and Pat. He was on the other side of crime, as he was the FBI agent that brought down Frank and the Hole in the Wall Gang. Getting to the bottom of naming Larry Neumann as the killer of my dad and Pat would have never happened without my good friend Dennis (Denny) Griffin. He is a well known true crime author and co-author of Frank’s book Cullotta. Everything that I did that created awareness of my father’s case and driving the McHenry County Sheriff’s office in naming Larry Neumann as the killer, all started with a conversation with Denny. We were in communication on almost a daily basis. I talk about this in my book MURDER IN MCHENRY. Believe it or not, I rarely ever see my co-author Keith Bettinger. It took us three years to write our book (a fact that he often reminds me about) and I never even have met his wife Lynn, until this trip. I wanted to catch up with my friend Andrew DiDonato. He is a former Gambino Crime Family member, and I first met him in person when he released his book SURVIVING THE MOB. I also did a radio show that he hosted with Dennis Griffin, a couple of months before the release of my book. It was great to see all of these guys.

The stories being told at Mob Con were incredible, but that should be no surprise because many of the stories are told in Movies, books and TV Shows. It is amazing to see on stage a mobster, that was at one time committing crimes, and a cop, that had brought him down speaking together.  I am talking about Dennis Arnoldy and Frank Cullotta. They were talking about the Bertha’s Robbery. You can see them talk about Bertha’s on National Geographic’s LOCKED UP ABROAD. Frank started to tell stories about the Hole in the Wall Gang and brought up Larry Neumann. I was mentioned as being present by Frank when he was talking about Larry. For those that did not know me at the conference, they did after that moment. Not only does it create opportunity to talk about my book, it also allows me to tell people what we have going on at home in McHenry County.

When I tell people about our story, the story of McHenry County and it’s corruption, highlighted with my personal experience with my father’s murder, I am able to make friends. Besides being very interesting and great story tellers, these friends want to see us succeed and root out the corruption in McHenry County. They have their own stories about the very same subject. Not only do they encourage me but they also help by telling the story. Others even help beyond that and I will leave it at that. Next week in MOB CON 2013 Las Vegas Part II, I am going to introduce you to some of the people that I met. We also are going to address a question about Mob Con itself. Are we glorifying mobsters or celebrating the lifestyle, when hosting or going to an event like Mob Con? I have been personally asked this question, and I know the question exists in the mind of the media and the public.  There were some very interesting people to say the least at Mob Con. I made some great new friends. I cannot wait to introduce them to you next week.

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One Comment »

  • Duncan Mchenry says:

    Let’s see, who else is willing to stand up to be counted, for the crusade against corruption?

    Keith Nygren You can sit down.
    Mark Gummerson Take a seat on the left side of Keith Nygren.
    Andy Zinke Take a seat on the Right hand side of God Almighty, Keith Nygren
    Scott Bentley and Ray Flavin Stay Seated.. By the way where is Beth Bentley???
    As a matter a fact all dirty Judges can sit down too.
    Rockford FBI All of the dirty agents remain seated.

    Well tax payers of Mchenry County, time to stand up and be counted. You can take a stand against corruption at election time… Bill Prim is already taking a stand for the citizens of Mchenry County… Get those running shoes on and get to the voting booths.

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