Published on April 29th, 2020 | by Percy Crawford


Part I: Anthony Caucci Shares His Unbelievable Life Story in His New Book, “Mafia Made!”

Anthony Caucci recalls being in the center of organized crime at an early age in South Florida!

Racketeering, drug trafficking and murder were just some of the crimes being committed in front of 5-year old, Anthony Caucci. The crimes were instantaneous, the impact of witnessing those crimes lasts a lifetime. Throughout his life, Anthony Caucci witnessed various acts from wise guys. Being around his father taught him many lessons and codes of honor that you didn’t break. Those lessons would pave the way for Caucci for the rest of his life. He lived a risky lifestyle and after several run-ins with the law, serving a prison stint and even being on the run from the FBI, Caucci stood firm, never snitched and did his time like a man. All lessons that he had learned at an early age. See, Caucci saw firsthand what happened to guys who broke those codes. Caucci fully understood the consequences of cooperating. His book, “Mafia Made,” is an eye-opening intense look inside of his mafia upbringing down in South Florida. Caucci pulls no punches in recalling some of his wild encounters.

We discuss the who, what, why, when and how’s during a recent conversation.

I read your book, “Mafia Made.” Amazing book. What made you want to share your story and put it to print?

Anthony Caucci: Well, I told the story a few times from start to finish. I think you’re about a third… maybe a little more than a third through it in that book. There is two more books to come. When I was telling the story people jaws would hit the floor and they would say, “That’s a movie.” You gotta write it.” I’m not the writing type. I didn’t go to school long, 8th grade maybe. But then I got married, my wife is a college graduate and she’s from Australia. And she said, “Let’s write the book. I’ll write it and you tell the story.” We sat down and she would ask me all these questions because there were so many things that I just completely forgot, and I would have never thought about it if no one wouldn’t have asked me about it. and then one memory brought up another and I’m like, “Oh my God, the amount of stuff I forgot.” The amount of stuff that I didn’t put into book one, I can do two more.

There comes a point you have to end it, or I would still be in Hollywood [Florida] and I would be 25-years old. We had to think of a way to make it sound good, let it keep going and keep people interested. There is so much stuff that people have no idea what happened down here in South Florida as far as the mob goes. You think, New York, Chicago, Vegas, but down here in South Florida in the 70’s, the families got together. First of all, it got real cold in New York and they said, “Shit on this.” They used to come to Florida anyways for vacations. Florida was open territory. Anybody could go down there, and nobody had the rights to any particular section. In New York, between 23rd St. and 45th St. belongs to the Gambino’s. They would have different areas where certain groups would operate. Down here, let’s have it open. So, there was a huge influx of mobsters in the 70’s and 80’s. And up until about, I would say around the 2000 mark, the Feds started getting very aggressive.

In what ways?

Anthony Caucci: Let’s just say, someone ordered you to do a hit, you wanna be a “Made Man.” In order to be a “Made Man” you had to kill someone. That was the old rules. Now, they’ve changed the damn rules so many times, anybody can be a freakin’ “Made Man.” To be a “Made Man, you would have to do the hit, right. So, they put a name on a piece of paper, you have to do the hit. The hit could be your best friend. You couldn’t say anything, you just had to do the hit. Then they would say, “You’re straightened out,” or “You made your bones,” and you become a “Made Man.” There would be a little ceremony where they prick your finger. It’s stupid. It’s like child shit. You kill someone and you become a “Made Man.” So, what happened was, the Feds changed the way they applied the laws. This racketeering law that is called, the “RICO” Law. The guy who actually pulled the trigger, could turn and flip on the “Boss” who gave the order, and the “Boss” could end up doing 50-years… 100-years and the guy that pulled the trigger end up doing 2 to 3-years. So, now, the mafia is afraid to even say, go do this, go do that. They don’t want to do anything. That “RICO” Act crippled them.

At one time they had 5 bosses of the 5 families in prison at the same time. And one boss flipped. A boss flipping is the biggest thing in history. To have one of the boss’s flip. He became an informant and he doesn’t walk, but he doesn’t do life. He takes down 90% of his crew. His family… he takes them all down. So, getting back to where I was, there is so much stuff in organized crime down here that people don’t know of. They did that one movie, “Donnie Brasco” that shows a little bit of it. That movie actually had to do with some friends of mine. They came down to South Florida and Donnie Brasco, the FBI agent infiltrated the Bonanno Family and that was in South Florida. I had to write the book, it was my wife’s idea, we sat down, it took a couple of years, but there is so much to tell. If it goes well, and looks like it’s going to go well, I can keep writing. I’m tired of looking at the computer.

I was going to ask if you are currently writing your second book or you just have so much more material that you know you can complete a second book?

Anthony Caucci: I was going to start on it this morning actually. And then the guy called me and said they had to fix the website a little bit, so I’m going to start doing that. But here is the thing about writing a book that’s true, it’s so damn easy. All you gotta do is tell what you know. Now, if you gotta make something up I understand these guys get what they call writer’s block. I don’t have that problem. If someone was to tell me to make something up, I would probably be staring at the walls. I’m just telling a true story and as I’m writing, things start triggering. “Ah man, damn I forgot that story.” When I wrote this one, my wife said, “Oh, you forgot to say that story about Alabama.” And I said, “Dang it, I did, but we can always tell it in book two and refer back to when I was a child.” There is always ways to do it.

I’ll address the elephant in the room because anyone who reads this book, a couple of chapters in they will say, “This guy is a racist.” I understand why you told the story the way you did, but why were you so matter of fact and blunt during the storytelling of this book?

Anthony Caucci: Here’s how it goes, they got the generation nowadays, they call them, “Snowflakes” or “Millennials.” Whatever they call them. I don’t know what the group is. They are growing up with this political correctness. I don’t know if you want to call it political correctness. Whatever it is it is. And they can’t grasp how things used to be. Things are so easy nowadays. They got the phones and things are just so easy and everyone’s gotta be on edge of what they do and say. You can’t offend someone. Everyone just gets offended. It’s ridiculous how easily people get offended. You wear a red hat and you can get hit with a fucking baseball bat. It’s so simple to get offended.

So, on the first few chapters we were writing. And the first few chapters were even worse because I was talking about when I was 5-years old, and my dad’s in the bar and he’s watching football games and he’s screaming at the TV and this black guy is running and they are using the “N” word. That’s just what they all did. It was the reality of what they did. So, we tried to say, how do we replace that? We wrote it a few times and we said, “Hey, run you black… this,” and it just didn’t come out right. It didn’t give it the grasp. But as I was writing, I’m thinking to myself, hold on, this story goes both ways. It’s not just white on black because when I went to prison, trust me, it was no fun being a white guy in jail. It was worse. It was straight up, “White cracker, fuck boy.” If they could think of a different word that was more offensive, they would’ve. They came up with every offensive word they could. So, telling it the way it was, was the only way to give it the real impact. Because there are scenes in there, jail scenes like the poor fucking kid, Peter… it was worse than that. It was really worse than that. my wife said, “We have to tone this down.” I said, “Well, we can tone it down if you want to.” She said, “People are just going to vomit when they hear.” And what you read was the R rated version because it was a lot worse than what we wrote.

So, the reason I wrote it the way it was back then because in the book from my childhood to now, there is a change. There is a change from when I was a kid to when I was in my twenties to when I went to prison the first time. I’m not going to blow it for you, but I went to prison again a second time. There is a change as you get older and you become more mature. And you get an understanding for, this is this and that is that. If you don’t tell the book the way it was and the way we said it and the way we acted back then, no one is going to appreciate the change that took place as I got older. If I grew up this guy that didn’t say this and didn’t do that and go through all these things, it doesn’t give you the same impact because it’s like, I was a good boy from the beginning. Where you have to see how fucking horrible, I was to see the change and then you go, “Wow! This motherfucker really did change.” It wasn’t prison that changed me. It was just getting older and meeting different people and then understanding things are different.

It’s a very honest depiction of the way things were, and I agree, it doesn’t have the same impact if you had sugarcoated it.

Anthony Caucci: You know, I spoke to several people including the guy that did the editing for the book. And I asked, “Whatdayathink?” He said, “We need to take out some of the racial slurs and stuff in chapter one.” I said, “Why? It’s all through the damn book.” He goes, “Because you don’t want someone to read chapter one and go, “Ugh,” and put it down. Let them read chapter one and two and get an idea and the feeling of the book, and then you could introduce the language.” He made a really good point because it really didn’t matter where it is, its there, so we sugarcoated chapter one a bit and as it went on… no one is left out. Don’t matter if you’re black, white, Chinese, Puerto Rican. We got em all. The Jews… you name it. Even the Italians. We got the Italians too. I think my dad called me a fucking “greaseball ginny.” No one’s left out.

Would you say being around the wise guys as a kid with your father somewhat molded your adult life because that’s all you knew?

Anthony Caucci: Yeah! That’s exactly what happened. Being around the guys and the way I act, talk and think even today in business and everything I do… I’m just one of them old school mob guys that think different than everybody else. I see something and everybody is like, “This is this, that and the other thing.” And I say, “Shit, that’s not how I see it.” People always tell me I look at things in a different way. I look at outside the box. There’s all types of different ways if someone is saying something or doing something or has something, I’m trying to figure out, “Alright motherfucker, what are you really talking about? I hear what you’re saying, but I want to know what you’re doing.” To be honest, it helps me. In business and everything else. As long as you don’t walk around like you’re some sort of mobster. But the mentality, growing up and the way that they thought, don’t trust anyone, remember the code of honor and things like that. I have a daughter and I teach her… not in a gangster way, but the same way to think. Think like this and don’t take what anyone says as truth. Figure it out for yourself. Even if it comes from me if you doubt it, do your own research. So yeah, growing up around them definitely taught me a few things and I have carried it with me my whole life.

Be sure to purchase Anthony Caucci’s book, “Mafia Made!”

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