Marc Songini’s BOSTON MOB Reviewed

BOSTON MOB
Marc Songini
St Martin’s Press

Ok, first off, this book came out 2 years ago when I was off in my self imposed exile. However, in the last 2 years, I have read it at least 5x.
I’ve made myself a student of American Mafia History. It always seemed to me that cities other then Boston had the most notable myths and legends.
Yeah, Boston had Whitey but at this point, who gives a fuck about Whitey. I’m so sick of everything related to that motherfucker. I’m just gonna leave it at that.
For years I thought Boston was rather boring concerning organized crime.
I knew there was some sort of war between Irish gangs during the 60s but the details were always vague.
BOSTON MOB by Marc Songini changed that view in a huge epic way.
Labor Day weekend 1961, members of 2 crews are at a party on the North Shore. The North Shore is a loose term for the beaches north of Boston. One guy from a crew based out of Charlestown got hammered and insulted the girlfriend of a guy from a crew based out of Winter Hill in Somerville and those cities are about 500 yards apart.
The guy from Charlestown got a severe beating. Charlestown wanted scalps even though their guy was in the wrong. Winter Hill said go to hell, your guy had it coming. Winter Hill was lead by a man named Buddy McLean. To this day McLean is still talked about in reverential tones. He was a serious capable man. One night that same week somebody from Charlestown planted a bomb on McLean’s wife’s car. Buddy in return walked up to a Charlestown guy at noon on the street and put 5 rounds from a .38 into him, did a mic drop with the piece and walked away.
Game On.
For the next 8-10 years it was open warfare on the streets of Boston and the surrounding cities. Bodies were left on streets, found in the trunks of cars, some just plain disappeared. And more then one head was found left in public places. They say somewhere between 65 to 80 people were killed.
Other crews used the mayhem to dispose of their own problems. You also had the Boston Strangler or Stranglers depending on your theory doing his things as well.
Some of the shit that went on….. Hollywood couldn’t have written it.
At the center of all this was a man named Joe Barboza. He was a Portuguese psycho who thought if he killed enough people, he would be inducted into the mafia despite being not Italian. Barboza did something that touched my own family in a tangential way but that’s a story for another time. And in all honesty I’d be talking out of school to tell it.
This book is absolutely incredible. I wish I could thank Marc Songini for writing it.
A piece of Irony I will leave you with. Most of the dead, guys from both crews are all buried at the same cemetery, some mere feet apart. This cemetery is 10 min from where I’m sitting at this moment.
Dave Wahlman
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