Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal
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Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Bestselling author Sandra Harmon uses her inside access to the Mob, law enforcement, and jailed Mafioso Gregory Scarpa Jr. to tell an epic true story of crime and betrayal.

The Scarpas were a Mafia dynasty led by Greg Scarpa Sr., so notorious for his addiction to violence and murder that he was nicknamed “The Grim Reaper.” His son, Gregory Jr., a promising young athlete, wo...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Carmaletta Hilton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm sorry to have to give this one star, but it just doesn't deserve any more. Like Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss, it is not really a book. There's nothing new but some warmed-over sentimental childhood memories from someone whose half-assed reflections are presented as fact that I as a reader am supposed to care about, without either the insight or detail that should be brought to all memoirs or the investigatory qualities that belong in anything third-person about organized crime. Garde...more
Jun 04, 2009 Samantha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I found this easy to read book extremely boring even with the Mafia being the main subject. It's hard to believe, but true. I felt that Sandra Harmon was passionate about the subject, Gregory Scarpa but not really reliable about the facts and issues. This man was raised by his Mafia gangster father to be a killer and did kill about 25 men not to mention his drug dealing and racket schemes, however Ms. Harmon tries to portray that this man deserves to be out walking our streets because he didn't...more
Good book overall. Very hard to read how Greg Jr was constantly screwed by the fed government but overall good book.
Paul Pessolano
This book is not just another "Mafia" expose. This book tells the story of the Scarpa Mob Family that may be unlike anyh other Mafia book you have read.

Greg Scarpa, Sr. never was anything but a soldier in the Mafia organization. However, he was known for his hot temper and penchant for violence and murder, and because of this he became known as "The Grim Reaper".

What makes his story so unusual was that while he was working for the mob, he was also an informant for the FBI. Greg would give inform...more
Karen Syed
I love all things organized crime. I do. It is my weakness. So when this one came along, I knew I had to listen to it. This book was like stepping into the Scarpa family. Sandra Harmon has a unique way of making the most minor details seem important. Like most books about mobsters, there is death, and betrayal, and infidelity. But Harmon brings a little more emotion into this tale of a son who is torn between worshipping and despising his own father, while he willingly trails along behind his id...more
Harmon provides an intimate look at the Scarpa family and its long-term function as a link between organized crime and federal law enforcement. She details the underworld careers of Colombo crime family mobsters Greg Scarpa Sr. and Gregory Scarpa Jr., the amoral personal life of the elder Scarpa and his work as an informant for the FBI. The book is fast-moving, and many of its revelations are shocking.

In the book's Postscript chapter, Harmon describes herself as "someone who has gotten almost to...more
I don't know why I have an obsession with Mafia books (well, actually, I do), and this one filled my need! It was interesting to hear about a mafia crime boss that I've never even heard of, and how he was just a brutal as the ones you have heard of. Scarpa Sr. seriously gives John Gotti a run for his money. The brutality of the Mafia is showcased well in Harmon's book. There are some pretty gory details in there. The whole time it sounds like a story, and I actually had to remind myself that thi...more
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Well written read based on interviews with Gregory Scarpa Jr. Son of Colombo Capo Greg Scarpa SR. Both men killed several folks. Scarpa Sr got AIDS (through blood transfusion) and had his own Son vouch for him and left him in prison.

Scarpa Sr was aloose canon who was a killer. Had strange living relationship with 30 year Girlfriend. Linda Shiro. He seems like a meatball. Scarpa Jr, claims to have provided Feds with Info on Terry Nichols, and 911 information prior to the fact. Tried to help feds...more
Clint Mccoy
I read a lot of books that focus on Cosa Nostra so when I saw this at my library I picked it up with enthusiasm.

This was a good look into the Scarpa's (very romanticized though). It gave a lot of info on Scarpa Sr. and his FBI handlers. Not much to say besides it's very interesting on how far the FBI will go to get inside information... I was annoyed somewhat by the author's constant use of the word "mafia". Bahh anyway...

This was a quick read and it seemed like the author didn't have much to ba...more
Over all, a very interesting story. My main problems with it were: seemed overly long; excessive repetition of the use of "license to kill" phraseology, as in (paraphrasing) "the FBI gave Scarpa a veritable license to kill" (seriously, I think it was used at least 12 times in the book); and the fact that the author was serious biased in favor of Greg Scarpa, Jr. Yes, he got a raw deal, and probably shouldn't have ended up in ADMAX, he was still a cold-blooded killer. Still, it a fascinating stor...more
Tom Germain
It's a good read overall, but in fact it's two stories rolled into one. One is the fascinating story of mobster Greg Scarpa Sr's life, the other is about corruption in the FBI, including sensational revelations that Scarpa's son, while in jail, obtained information from an Al Qaeda terrorist which could have prevented 9/11 and in another instance key info from one of the Oklahoma City bombers. These conspiracy theories should have been put in another book, period, as lumped together they just do...more
Jim B
An unbelievable talk of cooperation between the FBI and murderous Greg Scarpa, Sr. (But this is nonfiction -- the author clearly believes that Gregory Scarpa, Jr., who is in maximum security is telling the truth.)

This book is a roller coaster ride that leaves you to conclude that either the FBI is very inept, corrupt and exists mainly to cover tracks for its mistakes, or Gregory Scarpa Jr., likes to spin tales.
Frank Taranto
The story of the Scarpa family and their life of crime. The most disturbing part about this book is the claims made about the FBI and the federal government.
The Scarpa's were evil people, especially Greg Sr. Greg Sr. was not only a mafia member, but also a top informer to the FBI. According to the book, his FBI handler, Lin Devechio aided him in committing crimes, including murder.
There is some interesting and shocking information in this book. Whether you believe it or not it's quite jaw-dropping. However, it's almost too overwhelming since it comes across as 2 or more stories wrapped in one. Also, the author jumps around a lot and includes random people do briefly it doesn't make the story flow. Just an ok read for a book purchased at the Dollar Store.
Tom Schulte
An amazing, two-generation tale of the mob and the man as the Scarpas flirt with the FBI and get gilted in the end. I am mostly immune to 9/11 conspiracies, but the 9/11 conspiracy of Scarpa, Jr.'s pre-9/11 terrorism leaks is the most compelling I've read.
A solid read. Again, in the same vein as "Black Mass," we learn that sometimes the U.S. government is even more corrupt that the Mafia. I think the most disappointing thing about this book is the preface, which gives away too much of the story.
This book is what I consider a "magazine book." It takes an idea that could have made a great long article in a magazine, and turns it into a full length book. The result is a boring work--had to believe given the content of the book.
Lauraley Dilgard
This one my husband and I read and discussed because he knew the Mafia Son growing up they went to school together. Not a good person.
Ugh! A real clunker, same old story but this time told really badly. Enough said my first one star in a long time.
Great book about the corruption of our government...a very interesting and surreal look at informants and the mob.
Really a great book. A lot of suprises that might make you think differently about our government agencies.
Joe Young
Sandra Harmon - author


This book is just fine. Nothing to write home about, so to speak.
Better written that most true crime books and well worth the dollar I spent on it at Dollar Tree.
Very interesting and I wonder if FBI has been as corrupt as this book attests.
Jerry Crispino
If 100% true, FBI agent-bad guy!
Much ado about very little.
Randy Heflin
Randy Heflin marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
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