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COVER STORY

The night I took my oath, in October 31 1975 for the Mafia, there were six of us who took this and I’m the only one alive today, the others were murdered..

THE GODFATHER: WORDS: LYNN GOLDSMITH

H

ow do you interview someone who was in the Mafia and walked away from the notorious crime gang alive? Well, that was an experience and, I must say, an amazing one. Michael Franzese is a gentle, softly spoken, humble and sincere man. He is totally committed to God and wants the world to know his story. I feel privileged to have met Michael and to be part of relating his wonderful and powerful story to the public. Michael Franzese was a New York mobster and captain of the Colombo crime family. After finishing high school, Franzese entered Hofstra University and started a pre-med program studying to be a doctor. However in October 1975 Franzese decided to quit college to take care of this father and work for the Colombo family. By the late 1980s, he had become a caporegime, or captain, of a crew. I asked him how dangerous it was while working with the Mob. He

LEAVING THE MAFIA AND LIVING TO TELL THE STORY....

explained, “There were high and low points. High was that I had a tremendous amount of success - with that came money and power. I had everything, my own jet plane, helicopter, houses, and travel; I had 300 guys in my crew who answered to me. I had all the trappings of that. The low – I become a major target of the US government, fighting the law. I was charged five times and went to trial five times – I did eight years in prison and had to pay $15 million in fines. I had to pay a Restitution of $5 million and forfeit my assets. I was constantly fighting the law.” When talking about his work with the Russian Mafia Michael said they were just becoming a factor in the US in his hay day. He organized for them to be involved in the gasoline business – they were partners with him. He says they are very sophisticated and intelligent – they are the ones to now be concerned with. A lot of black market goes on in Russia. Regarding the Mafia in general,

Michael told me, “However, you always know danger is around you – you are told certain rules and policies and if you violated them you could pay with your life. There is a lot of jealousy and treachery – some of the old timers didn’t appreciate what I was trying to do. You may walk into a trap; you had to be conscious of this all the time. I always knew I couldn’t let my guard down. “The night I took my oath, in October 31 1975 for the Mafia, there were six of us who took this and I’m the only one alive today, the others were murdered,” Michael points out. “I’m so blessed and protected. I’m trying to be faithful to God.” I asked Michael how he actually got away from the Mob. “I had a plan and this was to marry the young Christian girl who had been put in my life,” he said. “I had been successful against government indictments, so I wanted to take a guilty plea on a racketeer motion - I received a 10 year sentence and a fine www.mychristiandaily.com.au | 11

The Christian Pulse issue 3 September 2015  

The latest issue of The Christian Pulse is out now! We have an exclusive interview with ex-mafia man Michael Franzese. We discuss God's view...