Former Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale – believed to be the first sitting La Cosa Nostra boss to testify against his own crime family – is finally releasing his tell-all memoir this month.
Last Don Standing: The Secret Life of Mob Boss Ralph Natale is full of anecdotes about Natale’s violent tendencies “sprinkled throughout the book like locatelli cheese atop a plate of spaghetti,” according to a Philly Mag review by our colleague David Gambacorta.
While that sounds delicious to Clout, Natale’s ex-mistress Ruthann Seccio is none too happy that the married mobster, whom newspapers once dubbed “King Rat,” has kissed off their entire affair in a couple of sentences.
As in, we’re concerned that Seccio, 48, might actually be plotting to kill Natale, 81. He described her in the book as “the only regret I have.” Not so smart, Ralph!
Seccio, who still lives in South Philly, says she has been looking over her shoulder for hit men since 1999, when Natale flipped and “left me holding the bag.”
“For 17 years, I’ve been staying in my lane. If they would have done the book correctly, I would have stayed in my lane,” Seccio warned. “Now that you don’t think my life is worth it, I have to come back out. I’m coming at you, Ralph, with an 8-pack of TNT. If I got to, I will flip a car on I-95 just to be heard. My [expletive] life matters.”
Anyone get the sense that this might end badly?
Seccio said she carries a gun legally for her own protection and practices shooting at the range.
“I’m a great shot, believe me,” she said. “I just got another [gun]. I put a laser on it.”
Natale met Seccio – his “future goomah,” as he describes her in the book – in 1994, when she was sunbathing by the pool with his youngest daughter.
“I didn’t go looking for a bald man, my friend’s father, 34 years older than me,” Seccio said. “He came for me.”
Now, she said, she’s looking to “take down his book.”
Clout has a good idea where Natale is living these days – it’s within driving distance, we’re told – but our policy since Natale’s release from prison in 2011 has been not to disclose his whereabouts, for obvious reasons.
Last Don Standing is due out March 21. Seccio says, don’t bother buying it. “Why spend your money on bull-?” she asked.
But, coincidentally, Seccio says she has a helluva life story of her own if any writers are interested in collaborating.
Highlights include: getting “blown up by a stove when I was in kindergarten,” sitting in on “made” mob meetings, and hiding under her mattress with guns until being rescued by the Junior Black Mafia.
What else do you need?
Yo, that’s not John Lewis
It happened again.
During President Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday night, Rich Negrin, the former city manager running for district attorney, tweeted a photo of U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans standing beside “one of my heroes,” U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader.
Except that wasn’t Lewis. It was U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. Negrin promptly deleted the tweet.
But we can’t bust Negrin’s cojones on this one. Everybody makes this mistake – including Nelson Diaz’s campaign during the 2015 mayoral race.
Lewis and Cummings are practically twins. Even the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lewis’ hometown paper, wrote a quick blog post Wednesday with the headline, “That Wasn’t John Lewis — He Skipped Donald Trump’s Speech.”
"For what it's worth, Rich also thought that Joe Biden looked different sitting behind the president during the speech. We're thinking we need to get him some glasses. Or a better TV,” said Negrin flack Mark Nevins.
He’s kidding, people.
“Seriously though,” Nevins added, “that's not the first time someone has made that mistake, and when Rich looked more closely, he fixed it right away.”
Seth booted from Union League?
The story had the feel of what late-night comedian Stephen Colbert would call “truthiness.”
Ralph Cipriano, an ex-Inky reporter who now blogs at BigTrial.net, reported Wednesday that District Attorney Seth Williams had been barred from his favorite haunt, the prestigious Union League on South Broad Street, where he has long been known to hold court with a cocktail in one hand and a cigar in the other.
Cipriano wrote that Williams was turned away at the door for not paying his club dues and later in the evening was still not admitted when he returned with a check from his political action committee.
Williams, in City Hall on Thursday morning for Mayor Kenney’s annual budget address, denied the report.
"Not at all," Williams said with a shrug when asked if the BigTrial story was accurate. "It is what it is."
We hear Williams resigned from the Union League last year but could rejoin at any time if he starts paying dues again. And it is difficult to believe the august institution would turn away a former member, check in hand, at the door.
Nonetheless, Cipriano stood by his reporting Thursday, saying, “To quote the DA, ‘It is what it is.’ An accurate story.”
It has been public since August 2015 that Williams, who recently dropped his bid for a second term, was the subject of a FBI-IRS-federal grand jury investigation into his political and personal finances. He also took serious heat for the late reporting of more than $175,000 in gifts from 2010 to 2015.
Williams spent more than $28,000 in 2014 and nearly $19,000 in 2015 from his PAC funds at the Union League on dues, meals, and other expenses, according to campaign finance reports.
He apparently quit that practice last year, spending almost nothing from his PAC at the club, according to a 2016 campaign finance report filed Jan. 31. That report listed a $47.50 refund the PAC paid Williams for a “Union League expense.”
Staff writers William Bender, Jeremy Roebuck, Chris Brennan, and David Gambacorta contributed to this email@example.com@wbender99