Jeff Coen’s Family Secrets gives a comprehensive overview of the infamous Chicago trial in the summer of 2007 which effectively brought down the Chicago mob.
The book goes into detail about the five members on trial - the Calabrese brothers (Nick and Frank); an ex-Chicago Cop (Anthony “Twan” Doyle); and two other mobsters (Joey “The Clown” Lombardo and James Marcello) - which kept the Chicago-land residents on the edge of their seats that hot summer. It all started with a letter from the son, Frank Calabrese, Jr., to the Feds in 1998, and hence the beginning of wiretaps, prison visits, and how this family imploded and eventually crumbled.
Family Secrets takes months of testimony and condenses court hearings into readable chapters which go into detail about various extortion plans, murders, bombings, and other ruthless crime sprees. One of the cases details the Spilatro brothers murder in an Indiana cornfield (on which the movie Casino was based) and also describes how in the beginning, Nicholas Calabrese entered The Family business as a bookkeeper, only to be elevated to a cold-blooded killer. Nick testified in detail about his brother, Frank, and others in a matter-of-fact, robotic recollection of more than 30 years of murder and extortion, eventually landing all in prison.
I will no longer drive through the suburbs of Chicago without thinking of the members of The Chicago Mob while passing locations mentioned in this book. One cannot help but feel the pain and sorrow when using the on-ramp of I-294 at Ogden Avenue, where a remote car bomb ended the life of one businessman who refused to give in to the extortion demands of the Mob. Family Secrets is a great read and highly recommended for anyone who wants to know the “secrets” aired in open court that brought down the Chicago mob.