Vinny Gorgeous

Vinny Gorgeous, US Attorney’s Office

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

U.S. Attorney’s Office photo of Vincent Basciano.

For some reason, Vincent Basciano, aka Vinny Gorgeous, reputed head of the Bonanno crime family, is the subject of an AP story about the kind of language he uses in his private letters:

Some of [Basciano’s] letters from federal prison, which are being intercepted and scrutinized by authorities, are full of such words as “thespian,” “flippant” and “sagacious,” his lawyer said Thursday.

A new form of gangland slang, or a coded message to fellow wise guys? No, attorney Ephraim Savitt said, just vocabulary Basciano wants the recipient — his 7-year-old son — to learn.

He wants the kid to go to college and be a success,” Savitt said, claiming his client’s fatherly aims are being frustrated by authorities’ slow pace in reviewing the letters.

Basciano “enjoys using $10 words and uses them correctly, I might add,” his attorney said.

Seems like a non-story to me except for the weird violation of Basciano’s civil rights by prison officials scrutinizing and disclosing the content of his letters. Except it’s his lawyer quoted by the AP. What exactly inspires Basciano’s lawyer to disclose this information to the press, given that it’s prison officials who are reviewing the letters?

Erudite mobsters being one of my life’s obsessions, I hereby document Mr. Gorgeous’s proclivities at Skid Roche, with a big fat WTF appended.


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