Joe Barone was born into a life of crime from both sides of his family, became the longest-running mafia informant in the history of the FBI when his father was killed, and now lives in hiding from people in both camps who want him dead or behind bars. [This is part one of a two-part episode. Make sure to catch part two here!]
What We Discuss with Joe Barone:
- What it was like being born into — and growing up in — a crime family, and how Joe was swayed into the life in spite of aspiring to become a postman.
- The real glue that ties mob families together has nothing to do with honor or unity.
- How his father’s murder was used to turn Joe into an FBI informant for 18 years.
- What it was like for Joe to live a double life among mobsters — keeping his cool while fearing for his life — during those 18 years as an informant.
- How much does it cost to hire mafia “assistance” in intimidating or eliminating a personal archnemesis?
- And much more…
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It’s important to get this out of the way off the bat: if you’re looking for today’s guest Joe Barone, be aware that Jordan has no idea where he is. He’s scrambled and deleted all of their contact and internet connection information for his protection, so he cannot help you locate him in any way — even if he wanted to!
But who is Joe Barone? In short, he’s a man who was born into a life of crime from both sides of his family, was convinced to become the longest-running mafia informant in the history of the FBI when it was revealed that “wiseguys” killed his father, and now he’s on the run from people in both camps who want him dead or behind bars. Listen, learn, and enjoy! [This is part one of a two-part episode. Make sure to catch part two here!]
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Miss our two-parter with Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, former second-in-command of the Gambino organized-crime family? Start catching up with episode 587: Sammy “The Bull” Gravano | Mafia Underboss Part One here!
Like true crime tales? The Court Junkie podcast shines a light on the injustices of the judicial system by delving into court documents, attending trials, and interviewing those close to these trials to root out the whole truth. Check out the Court Junkie podcast on PodcastOne here!
Thanks, Joe Barone!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Joe Barone | Website
- New York Mafia Informant Loses Lawsuit against FBI | Reuters
- Mobster Turned Informant Joe Barone Hopes His Story of the Feds Turning on Him Appeals to a New Jury | New York Daily News
- Al Capone | FBI
- How “Crazy Joe” Gallo Started a Mafia War — And Paid For It with His Life } ATI
- ‘Most Ruthless Mafia Leader Left; Leader on the Lam Runs the Lucchese Family, Agents Say | The New York Times
- How Paul Castellano Became “The Boss of Bosses” — And Then Was Brazenly Murdered by John Gotti | ATI
- Sammy “The Bull” Gravano | Mafia Underboss Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Sammy “The Bull” Gravano | Mafia Underboss Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Anthony Spero, a Name in the Bonanno Crime Family, Is Dead at 79 | The New York Times
- Judgment Proof | Investopedia
- Michael Franzese | Twitter
- Former Mob Boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico Dies at 85 | CNN
- Mafia Org Chart | FBI
- The Godfather | Prime Video
- Wiseguy Jerry Chilli Was a One-Man Crimewave | Cosa Nostra News
- What Does the Abbreviation MAFIA Stand For? | Quora
- How the Cartels Were Born | Jacobin
- Weird Laws Still on the Books | Mental Floss
- Vincent Gigante: The “Insane” Mafia Boss Who Almost Outfoxed the Feds | ATI
- Liborio Bellomo | Wikipedia
- Luchese Boss Vic Amuso Almost Went Very Old School on Some Bronx Wiseguys | Cosa Nostra News
- What Is Known About Jeffrey Epstein’s Suicide | The New York Times
- Bonanno Crime Family Hitman Thomas “Karate” Pitera | Medium
- Gregory Scarpa Jr. | Wikipedia
- Bonanno Family Mobster Frank Salerno Sentenced | About the Mafia
- Purple Gang | Detroit Historical Society
- Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley | Classic Movie Musical Numbers
- What I Learned Spending the Day in a Maximum-Security Prison | Jordan Harbinger
- Former Mafia Capo Dominick Cicale Answers Your Questions | Cosa Nostra News
634: Joe Barone | Living in Dread Between the Mob and the Feds Part One
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Joe Barone: Basically, in Sicily, it was a small little island, so it used to get taken over all the time. And that's how the mafia used to start. It was taken over by the French people came in Spain, different people. It was a protection thing. They protected each other. They stood together for something. Well, later on as it went on and when they didn't get invaded no more, then they started saying, "Well, we will protect you and we're going to get something for it." The facade is that there's they're together. They're not together. It's greed. It's always about the power and the money and that's it. I lived it. So I know.
[00:00:35] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional mafia enforcer, rocket scientist, or astronaut. And each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:00] If you're new to the show, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about it, I suggest our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes, organized by topic to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. That's topics like persuasion and influence, disinformation and cyberwarfare, abnormal psychology, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start or take a look in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:24] Today on the show, a man who is a ghost, he came out of nowhere. Well, he came out of hiding, kind of to do this one. Joe Barone was essentially born into the mafia and after they killed his father, he turned to FBI informant. But he's not just any informant, he's the longest-running mafia informant in the history of the FBI, by far. For nearly two decades, Joe lived dangerous life with one foot in both worlds. And as a result, he's now in hiding from people who would like to see him dead. Today, we dive into the story of how Joe's mafia career began, what he did for the FBI along the way, and why now he's living every single day, looking over his shoulder. I'm actually a bit glad we couldn't do this one in person. Not because I don't want to meet my guest, but because being around someone like this is literally dangerous. I tried to send them to a studio and I don't even know what area he lives in. They wouldn't tell me, I tried to mail them a microphone. And let's just say they found another way to get a microphone instead of giving out an address. So this is kind of the real deal. I've never really experienced anything like this before. And that for me, of course, was extra interesting. And I think this conversation is quite fascinating as well.
[00:02:31] So here we go with Joe Barone.
[00:02:35] How did you find me? Because y'all emailed me out of the blue. I mean, I thought it was a prank at first.
[00:02:41] Joe Barone: I'm not sure about how that was all found. It was through a friend of mine, William, and then I looked at a couple of the things that you've done and I was like, "Wow, I like him."
[00:02:51] Jordan Harbinger: I'll take it. Flattery works with me. Okay.
[00:02:55] Joe Barone: Okay.
[00:02:55] Jordan Harbinger: But why reach out to anyone. I don't want to spoil anything and we'll get to this in a minute, but you're in hiding right now. So why suddenly be like, "I want to go on a podcast and let everyone know." What's going on there?
[00:03:07] Joe Barone: It's really not all of a sudden. I've been trying to sue the government for what they did to me since I got out of prison. It's just about me trying to, I guess you could say I'm like an FBI whistleblower. I want to just kind of tell the truth, at least from the way what happened to me, about what the FBI and what they really are.
[00:03:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. And we'll get to what happened in a bit here. We'll tease him with that one.
[00:03:32] Joe Barone: Okay.
[00:03:33] Jordan Harbinger: You were born into a mob family, right?
[00:03:36] Joe Barone: That's correct. On both sides.
[00:03:38] Jordan Harbinger: On both sides. Okay. So your mom was a mob daughter then I guess that's how that works, right?
[00:03:44] Joe Barone: Actually, no. Believe it or not. I'll tell you my mother's side of it first this way because it's a little bit more complicated. I guess you've heard of Al Capone.
[00:03:51] Jordan Harbinger: I guess I have. Yeah. I think if you haven't, that's a you problem at this point, right? He's a very well-known guy.
[00:03:56] Joe Barone: So anyway, most of my family came from Italy as you could well imagine.
[00:04:00] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:04:00] Joe Barone: But they moved to a part of Pennsylvania when they first came here. My grandmother's sister's husband's brother was involved with Al Capone.
[00:04:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:04:10] Joe Barone: If you can follow me that yet, we actually have pictures of them. It's a bit of a—
[00:04:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:13] Joe Barone: That's why I wanted to tell you this first because that's a little bit more difficult.
[00:04:17] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:04:18] Joe Barone: Well, anyway, he was doing the bootleg, and back in those days with the alcohol prohibition, all that stuff, but one day they killed him. So his brother, which is my grandmother's sister's husband used to be a barber in a barbershop. They came to him and they said they want the money. So he didn't really know anything about it. He wasn't involved with that. He goes, "I don't know anything about it." And they said, "Well, look, we're going to come here tomorrow and you better have the money so we wouldn't kill you." So the next day they all got everything together to ready to move. They went to the barbershop and my uncle, I guess, I call him my uncle. He killed them. He shot them.
[00:04:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, he killed them, instead of them killing him. He was just like, "Well, I'm moving anyway."
[00:04:58] Joe Barone: Yeah. Basically, if you're going to kill somebody, you don't want to give them advance notice.
[00:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. No, that makes sense. But from an extortion perspective, it's usually a bluff and you just want the money. So you have to kind of balance it. Like maybe you don't tell him you're going to kill him. Maybe just say, you're going to do something really bad unless they give you the money. But these were maybe — they thought he's a barber. He's not going to do anything. And then he did.
[00:05:19] Joe Barone: Right.
[00:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:19] Joe Barone: That's exactly right. So they packed up everything and they moved from Pennsylvania to a town called Mamaroneck, New York.
[00:05:25] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:05:26] Joe Barone: And then from Mamaroneck, New York, they moved to a town where I was born New Rochelle, New York.
[00:05:30] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:05:31] Joe Barone: And so my uncle went back into this business, cutting hair again. Well, 20 years later, somebody came and shot him.
[00:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Because of the previous beef.
[00:05:40] Joe Barone: But they didn't kill him. They shot him in the finger and the blood went squirting and it was all in the papers that it was because of the old Al Capone days.
[00:05:48] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. 20 years, I mean, that's a long time to wait for — so they just took forever to find them, I guess.
[00:05:55] Joe Barone: Yeah. Because don't forget too, back in those days, they weren't like the resources now. You get on a computer, you get a private eye, you know, records. There's more things. And don't forget to the mafia was a lot stronger back in those days as well.
[00:06:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That makes sense. Right. So now—
[00:06:09] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:06:09] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I mean, I guess I don't know anything much about it now, but it seems. Yeah, you can't really just Google somebody and be like, "Aha, there's a guy with the same barbershop and the same name. He's got a business license in New Rochelle now. Let's go have a look."
[00:06:21] Joe Barone: Mmhm.
[00:06:22] Jordan Harbinger: They just have to wait until someone's like, "Remember that story about those guys, there's a guy who's working here in New Rochelle and he looks like — maybe he just said, he'd just moved here a few years ago." I mean, how do you even find someone back then? I guess you probably don't know the answer to that either. I mean, that's tough.
[00:06:36] Joe Barone: No, but that's why it took so long, but—
[00:06:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:39] Joe Barone: Those just show you how long they can hold a grudge.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. That's scary.
[00:06:43] Joe Barone: I had felt bad for my, his name was Joe too, believe it or not. And we call him [Joesef], but he used to walk the streets. He started getting Alzheimer's and I used to walk up to him and I said, "Hey, Uncle Joe. How are you?". He got scared because he thought they were still coming to get him.
[00:06:57] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's terrible.
[00:06:58] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:06:58] Jordan Harbinger: That's terrible because he assumed — because he didn't recognize.
[00:07:01] Joe Barone: No.
[00:07:01] Jordan Harbinger: So, he thought, "Oh, it's them threatening me." Oh, that's too bad. Yeah, that's terrible. But on the other hand, he didn't die by getting shot. So they shot his finger off and they were like, "This is cool. We scared him. That's the end." Or they just, what—?
[00:07:13] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:07:13] Jordan Harbinger: That's weird.
[00:07:14] Joe Barone: I guess, with the blood, they just wanted to, they just shot him quick and ran.
[00:07:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:18] Joe Barone: It was in the newspapers in New Rochelle, I guess, The Times or whatever it was back in the newspapers back then.
[00:07:24] Jordan Harbinger: It seems weird to spend 20 years finding someone, shoot their finger off, and be like, "Well, my work here is done." What's the point of that?
[00:07:30] Joe Barone: Well, if you go back and you look at a lot of mob hits, a lot of them really, they were messed up.
[00:07:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, sloppy.
[00:07:37] Joe Barone: Sometimes they couldn't even shoot straight, I guess, because when you want to do with the spur of the moment. I mean, look how many times it took to shoot Joe Gallo. There was another guy called, from the Lucchese crime family, they call him Gaspipe. They didn't even shoot him and kill him though. He ducked under the car. He got out, he ran away. I mean—
[00:07:54] Jordan Harbinger: It was poorly planned, not that I'm complaining. I mean, I'm not trying or voting for anybody to get murdered, but it just seems like — look, I've never done it, but it can't be that hard when you've got a whole team of people and you're getting the jump on somebody to get a couple of shots in or block their escape route or something like that, I guess. I don't know. I don't know what I'm talking about, but it seems like there's a lot of sloppy mob hits.
[00:08:14] Joe Barone: Well, I mean, the Paul Castellano went down pretty smooth.
[00:08:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:17] Joe Barone: Or if you're going to kill your best friend, it's pretty easy because, you know, he don't think you're going to shoot him.
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah, you could put a couple of whiskeys and invite them over to your house and then he falls asleep and that's the end of that.
[00:08:27] Joe Barone: Yeah. That's why it always happens. It's always your best friend is going to come and get you because they know they can get easily that way, you know?
[00:08:32] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, that's such a terrible — yeah. I was talking with Sammy "The Bull" a couple of months ago. He was saying it's horrible because you have to kill everyone that you love because you're the one they pick to go after those people because they'll let you into the house when it's only them alone and then have a bunch of wine and let you stay really late until everyone goes to sleep. So they pick you for that. And he's like, it's awful for that reason.
[00:08:54] Joe Barone: Of course. Well, that's how one of the kids in the Bath Avenue in Brooklyn, he pushed Anthony Spero, and then his old friends had to go there and kill him. It's a lot harder when you know they're coming for you and then you're ready for it. Almost like they had to tell you a woman who is more prone to be raped if she doesn't have to defend herself, so you take precautions. Some girls take martial arts or they try to carry mace with them and hold it in their hand, anything. So it makes it more difficult for a criminal.
[00:09:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. So they know that you're not going to have any defenses up. Man., It's just such a crazy way to live.
[00:09:27] Joe Barone: That's correct.
[00:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: Just such a crazy way to live.
[00:09:29] Joe Barone: We'll look at the way I have to live.
[00:09:30] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah.
[00:09:31] Joe Barone: I always look it over my shoulder.
[00:09:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:33] Joe Barone: I mean, where I'm living in the place I'm at now, I can pretty much see what's going on and who might stand out in the crowd, so to speak.
[00:09:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, okay, so you're born into a mob family on both sides. So your mom was she like a mob granddaughter then, I guess at that point or—?
[00:09:48] Joe Barone: Well, you know, she just knew about it, but everybody knew that it was a big Italian thing. And basically, back in those days, they were very well respected or at least feared, you know? So my mom really didn't want no part of it because that's what she told my father. My father's family, of course, was involved. And my grandmother, my father's mother, her family was involved in it as well. And that's how my father got started but she like many other mothers don't want their sons to get involved.
[00:10:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:16] Joe Barone: And believe it or not, I really, wasn't going to be involved. I'm going to make laugh, Jordan, but I was going to be a postman.
[00:10:23] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:10:24] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:10:25] Jordan Harbinger: That's—
[00:10:25] Joe Barone: My uncle and two cousins was a postman. So I was going to follow that and just live a normal life.
[00:10:31] Jordan Harbinger: That's the opposite, if I had to pick one job that is the opposite of gangster hitman, it's probably mailman. Because it's like stable government job. The most dangerous thing in your job is like dogs and people who are not paying attention when they're driving or like the amount of time you spend on the road.
[00:10:50] Joe Barone: That's correct.
[00:10:51] Jordan Harbinger: And then it's like, "Well, nah, I'm actually just going to go and enjoy the mafia."
[00:10:55] What did your father do in the mafia? I know you have to like earn and everything. What did he do?
[00:10:59] Joe Barone: He started out in the card games, collecting money and that kind of stuff. And I guess my father was very mean when he wanted to be, he was a Gemini, so he was a true Gemini, but he was a good getaway driver. He actually avoided — they tried to rob him after a card game and he was able to avoid that.
[00:11:18] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:11:18] Joe Barone: Yeah. My cousin actually showed me the road they took and he showed me what he did back in those days. He learned from the ranks and that was it. Then, of course, he started hijacking trucks and things like that.
[00:11:29] Jordan Harbinger: So how did he end up getting you into it? If you are going to be a postman, how did he convince your mom? Or how did it end up that you did not do that?
[00:11:38] Joe Barone: He never convinced my mom, but what he did was — I saved like a thousand dollars and, of course, you know, when you're young, you want to buy a car.
[00:11:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:44] Joe Barone: So he said to me, "You want that money to make money for you?" I said, "Yeah, dad," so well, that's when I started loansharking.
[00:11:51] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay.
[00:11:51] Joe Barone: Yeah. The new way, if you're going to loan shark today is, if you want to give somebody a thousand dollars, make sure they have enough collateral to give you where it's at least $2,000. So this way, if they have to pay, you don't have to break their legs anymore or beat them up. You just tell them, "Okay, you don't have to pay me. I just take the thing that you gave me. That's worth the other thousand and I'll cash it in," and that's it.
[00:12:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So you take like a laptop or something.
[00:12:12] Joe Barone: Something that's worth I can get the money without having to do violence anymore because let's face it if I heard the guy he can't work or I get arrested again. And even if he signs a promise every note, the court says, yeah, he owes you the money, but he still don't get the money if you don't have it.
[00:12:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Right. Yeah. Judgment proof is what we call that. You can sue somebody for a million dollars and win but if they're homeless, they're not giving you anything.
[00:12:33] Joe Barone: Exactly.
[00:12:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:34] Joe Barone: But my father had still taught me the old ways. And of course, I had to go to certain places when I started earning my own money. And then, of course, I helped my father out with his, and basically, I hung around with a group of guys. We used to be called the third street guys or the third street boys. Every young guy kind of gets into a group, a gang, or a club or whatever. And so they kind of knew we would get into a lot of fights back then and stuff. They knew that I would beat them up and my father would bail me out if that was the case. So basically everybody paid. That's how I got started.
[00:13:06] Jordan Harbinger: How do you even find people that need money or do they just go, "Oh man, I really need money, so I don't have a choice, I got to find Joe Barone"?
[00:13:13] Joe Barone: Trust me, they find you.
[00:13:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:15] Joe Barone: Because they can't go nowhere else. They can't go to the bank. They tried every other route. They probably went to their own family members and they can't even do that as well.
[00:13:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. That makes sense.
[00:13:24] Joe Barone: Some of the family members don't even trust them.
[00:13:26] Jordan Harbinger: How do people get jobs in the mob? Like your dad came to you and said, "Hey, do you want to get your money working for you?" But later on, do you kind of come up with your own idea for a racket? Like, "Oh, Hey, I got this idea where, you know, my friend runs a store and if we run fake transactions on credit cards and we take some of the cashout and we say we sold the luggage, we can make like an extra thousand bucks a week." Is it kind of like that?
[00:13:50] Joe Barone: Okay. Anything that can generate money for the mafia is it.
[00:13:54] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:13:55] Joe Barone: Of course, now don't get me wrong. There's going to be a lot of guys, especially the old-timers who are going to shine down on you. Like here, for instance, you might know that they say there's no drugs. They don't want to deal anything with drugs.
[00:14:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mmhm.
[00:14:07] Joe Barone: That's not true. As long as I bring in an envelope, they don't care what I'm doing. They don't ask no questions. And if something happens to me and I get arrested and then they say, "Do you know he was doing this? He was bringing you an envelope." "I didn't know. He told me he was doing something else," they'll say. You know, they'll stick out for themselves. But anything that can make money, whether it be a legal, illegal, they're it. Look, they used to steal Viagra pills and then sell them on the street. Fake credit cards, they can make up. Whatever it takes as long as they don't have to spend their own money, if they have any, that's it. Because let's face it, most of the wise guys are broke today.
[00:14:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. That's one thing I've noticed doing a lot of these interviews. No one's like, "Well, I'm rich now and retired." They're all like, "Yeah. I went to prison and now, I don't have any money." I'm like, "Weren't you making six million dollars in the '90s? How are you broke?" And it's — yeah, maybe, you'll answer that.
[00:14:54] Joe Barone: You get a guy like Michael Franzese, I don't know nothing about him really, except what he tells you and stuff like that. But he was making almost like nine million dollars a week or whatever it was with the gas business. Now, he was giving big money to these people and it still wasn't even good enough. They tried to scare him sort of this way. You know, he could be like, "Hey, I'm going to make sure my loyalty is here." I mean his loyalty was always there. But the thing is though all those people with the money he was giving them, where's their money?
[00:15:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:22] Joe Barone: He was giving Carmine, I think like two million dollars a week or something like that or even more. Where was his money?
[00:15:27] Jordan Harbinger: Carmine, tell us who that is.
[00:15:28] Joe Barone: The snake, Carmine "The Snake" Persico.
[00:15:30] Jordan Harbinger: So he was the head of a crime family.
[00:15:33] Joe Barone: Colombo family.
[00:15:34] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah, because for people listening, they're probably like—
[00:15:37] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:15:37] Jordan Harbinger: "I don't know who that is." Right. So we got to keep that in mind. And for me, it all blends together. I've heard Carmine before because Sammy talks about it a lot. But even then it's like, okay, there's five families, but there's more than five, but also there's different bosses. And then some of them get killed. So then they change. So, yeah, it gets a little confusing if you're not in the business.
[00:15:54] Joe Barone: And it's always changing and it's like, anything else, I don't know everybody there is.
[00:15:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:58] Joe Barone: And Sammy, as well known as he is, he probably didn't even know everybody, you know?
[00:16:01] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. It makes sense that anything that generates money isn't. So my question is then if I'm generating money off an idea that I have. And it doesn't require violence or any sort of enforcement, why do I need the mafia for that? Right. Like why does somebody who's skimming gas money or whatever it was that Franzese was doing? Why does he need the mafia for that? Or is it just, he doesn't have a choice cause he's getting extorted, essentially.
[00:16:26] Joe Barone: Well, basically, I think in Michael's situation, he was already a gangster. I believe, so anything he earns now really is part of what he's a part of. So he has no choice, but to kick in and to do it, even though he came up with the whole thing himself. If you're like a guy like yourself and you come up with it, well, why would you have to go to a mob?
[00:16:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:16:46] Joe Barone: The only time you would have to go to the mob is if you need what they call a — there's this old movie called F.I.S.T. with Sylvester Stallone. And sometimes you need a little what they call push. Sometimes you need them to get involved like in unions, like strikebreakers back in those days. And you would need it to get an advancement in certain places.
[00:17:04] Like here, I got a deal. I want to buy a couple of houses, but the banks are going to give me a hard time with loans. So maybe I need a loan from the wise guys until I sell a house. But now, all of a sudden, they become your partner and that's why to get out of.
[00:17:18] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. So if I'm in the mob with Michael Franzese and I need a bunch of money, I say, "Hey, aren't you making nine million bucks a week from this gassing? I'll buy a bunch of properties, but I need you to finance them." And then I can't get away from it. Once I'm on my own two feet, he's like, "Well, wait a minute. I'm the one that helped you get it on your own two feet. You're not cutting me out now."
[00:17:35] Joe Barone: It's like getting famous. Like say you hit the lotto, all of a sudden you got old different people asking you for—
[00:17:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:40] Joe Barone: —a family is hurting. Or I got an idea and people start coming to you when you got the money.
[00:17:45] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Yeah. That makes sense.
[00:17:46] Joe Barone: Or, if you've got power and when you're in a mob, usually you have a lot of power. At least, that's what it used to be.
[00:17:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm thinking what I would do if I was in the mob, right, and it's the only thing that — I mean, I'm not, so I'm short on ideas, but you know, I buy a lot of advertising for The Jordan Harbinger Show on other podcasts. In fact, a lot of people listening right now are like, "Oh, I heard an ad for you on this show about crime or the show about politics." So it's very expensive to advertise as I'm sure, you know, you can guess, but I think, if I was in the mafia, I could just be like, "Hey, instead of me paying for these ads, you're going to run an ad for me on your show and you're going to do it for free." And if they're like, "Why would I do that?" I'm like, "Because I know where you live. And I know a lot of other people that you don't want them to know where you live. So just run a couple of ads for me for free. It's not going to hurt you. You don't have to do anything, you don't — you're not losing money. I'm just not giving you the money because I don't want to." And then they would be like, "Fine. If you're not going to break my legs, then I'll run an ad for you." It would save me a couple of million bucks a year but then now I have to kick that money back to the guys who are going to maybe enforce that particular thread, right?
[00:18:50] Joe Barone: Yes. But also there's a flip side to the coin, too. If somebody is going to be selling you — if you make it a deal with somebody to sell some of your stuff—
[00:18:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:18:56] Joe Barone: —basically, they're going to make money off of it too. So in other words, you're really working with them now. Just because you ain't coming up with no money upfront, okay, so they're helping you out, but at the same time, so instead of making $10,000 a year, I'm just throwing numbers out there—
[00:19:12] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:19:12] Joe Barone: —on your stuff, they're going to make 20.
[00:19:13] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:19:14] Joe Barone: So now you split the difference between the 20. So now you give 5,000 extra, that's not a bad deal.
[00:19:20] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It's about helping people.
[00:19:22] Joe Barone: Here, look, I had to collect money one time for a friend of mine, this guy owed him $6,000. So I told him, I said, "Look, let me know a little bit about the guy. I'll get the money for you because I don't want to drive all the way out to Pennsylvania to get it." So he told me, when I said, "I'll only charge you 1800," which is a third, I made a phone call to the guy and I told him a few things that I needed to tell him. And he understood that I was a friend and that I knew a little bit too much about him. Well, the next morning, I got a phone call from my friend to come down and pick up the money because the guy who owed him paid him that morning. You see that is a different tactic. He didn't have anything I could do to try to make them earn. He didn't own a club or a bar or anything like that. So those things work in certain situations, just like what you're saying, "I'm your partner almost in a way you're going to earn money here," so why not?
[00:20:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. That makes — well, the reason why not is because then you can't get away from it. But I guess people aren't thinking about that in the moment, right?
[00:20:15] Joe Barone: Well, it's always about the money.
[00:20:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:20:17] Joe Barone: Everybody's hungry for the money.
[00:20:21] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Joe Barone. We'll be right back.
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[00:21:36] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. Relationships, they take work, we'll go out of our way to treat other people well. But how often do we give ourselves the same treatment? I invest in myself. I hire a personal trainer, four days a week. Gabriel and I have done voice coaching once a week. I keep up with regular checkups at the doctors. And as I often remind you, taking care of your mental health is just as important. You are your greatest asset, so invest the time and effort into yourself, and that includes your mental health. Better Help is online therapy that offers phone, video, even live chat sessions with your therapist in the convenience of your own home or wherever you want to be. Rather than waiting weeks to get booked with a therapist, get matched with a better health therapist in under 48 hours. And if you don't jive with your therapist, get matched with another one, no additional charge. Over two million people have used a Better Help online therapy. Try it out.
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[00:22:31] Jordan Harbinger: If you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every single week, it's because of my network. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Now, the course is about improving your networking and connection skills and inspiring others to develop a personal and professional relationship with you. It'll make you a better networker, a better connector, and a better thinker. That's all at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on our show, subscribe and contribute to the course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[00:23:03] Now back to Joe Barone.
[00:23:07] And if you're born into it and you're already a gangster, you're already in any way, so what's the difference if you get in a little bit deeper, I mean, you can't just not associate if you're—
[00:23:15] Joe Barone: No.
[00:23:16] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it's too hard. So your father was a Genovese mafia associate and in the FBI documents that I looked at that you sent me, he said he can associate with — or you as a result of your dad being Genovese, can associate with Genovese, Bonanno, La Cosa Nostra. LCN is La Cosa Nostra, right? They use that abbreviation a lot.
[00:23:34] Joe Barone: That's correct, yeah.
[00:23:34] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. And that's just like a mafia term in general for the Italian mafia.
[00:23:38] Joe Barone: Right.
[00:23:38] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:23:39] Joe Barone: My father was in a Genovese family. Guess I was supposed to go into that family as well after they found him dead and everything like that too. Yeah, he know people in the Lucchese family, he knew people in Bonanno family. He knew a lot of people. Matter of fact, I guess you're familiar with the garment district in New York City.
[00:23:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Sort of a little bit.
[00:23:57] Joe Barone: It's a thing where all the clothes, everything it's mainly run by the Gambino family, but for some reason, there was some kind of problems going on there with people getting their money. Well, they called my father in. And as I believe three fractions, I don't know if it was Lucchese, Gambino, and I don't know who else was the other one in there, but because my father knew everybody and they all vouched for my father to make sure that everything, they knew him, they liked him, and they trusted him to make sure everybody got what they were supposed to get. That's what he did because he was well-liked. So basically, I knew different people from different families as well, too. And so I was able to talk to whoever I had to talk to, too.
[00:24:34] Jordan Harbinger: I know your world sort of got turned upside down in January 12th, 1992, your father was killed by somebody. I mean, do we know that story? What happened there?
[00:24:46] Joe Barone: My father had to go on the lam. He had wound up killing for the mob. This guy, Victor Mataro, I believe his last name was, he was a gangster. And supposedly they had suspicions that he was working with the FBI.
[00:24:59] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:25:00] Joe Barone: And it was true. He was working with the FBI. So my father was last seen with him, go into his house with some other guy. And then, of course, the next day they found the guy hanging and they said that it was suicide, but it wasn't suicide. They made it look like that. Well, they wanted to, I believe, get my father for that murder and maybe a couple more.
[00:25:17] Jordan Harbinger: Couple more murders.
[00:25:18] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:25:19] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:25:19] Joe Barone: My father, I think, had about four bodies under his belt that I know of.
[00:25:23] Jordan Harbinger: That you know of, yeah.
[00:25:24] Joe Barone: Anyway, he got tipped off that they were looking to arrest them, pinch him. He took off on the lam. And so then he gave me instructions on what to do with places to pick up money and this and that. And that's what I did.
[00:25:35] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay, okay, got you. So he's like calling you from a payphone and he's like, "Leave an envelope full of cash at Johnny's Bar and tell him that Mike's going to come in and get it." And then some other guy comes in and gets the cash for him and drops it off. He can't like go around using a credit card or like withdrawing from a Chase Bank down where he's staying, right?
[00:25:54] Joe Barone: No.
[00:25:55] Jordan Harbinger: He needs cash to survive.
[00:25:56] Joe Barone: It was actually trucking companies basically, and stuff like that. He was controlling and taking care of.
[00:26:01] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:26:02] Joe Barone: His job was to make sure that no other wise guys came in and took over the trucking company.
[00:26:06] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, right. So he's on the run and he's got to protect the thing that's earning for him because somebody else can just do it since he can't be around and calls shots.
[00:26:13] Joe Barone: The only problem is, when I went to go collect the money, I didn't know who to kick it up to and nobody came to see me. Until one day, I met the guy and a guy says, "Listen, we can't meet no more." And that's it. That means somebody else, you know, finally to higher-ups took the and that was it.
[00:26:29] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, okay. So what happened to your dad then? Like he was on the run, why get rid of him?
[00:26:35] Joe Barone: He was still on the lam. Matter of fact, he was with another wise guy someplace in, I guess, it was Honduras and I don't know, I guess they got wind that he was there. I don't know why. It was my impression that the wise guys killed him, maybe as a precaution. It's my intention now that I think the FBI had him killed and leaked to where he was to the mafia because he could expose them because don't forget, he knew a lot of judges. He knew a lot of politicians as far as trying to get me out of trouble and stuff like that.
[00:27:02] So I could maybe explain it better for the audience and for you, Jordan, as well.
[00:27:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:08] Joe Barone: John Gotti had his connections and Sammy "The Bull" had his, my father had his, just like I had mine. People have different crews. In other words, nobody knows everything that everybody else has. Somethings you keep quiet. And so my father would — you could almost actually see that movie in a Godfather. Remember, they wanted to use all his political connections to get the drug business going?
[00:27:29] Jordan Harbinger: Sort of, yeah. I mean, it's been a while since I've seen it, but yeah.
[00:27:32] Joe Barone: But he didn't want to do that. Same thing like my father's, certain things and certain people that he knew, he kept away because they were his own connections.
[00:27:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:40] Joe Barone: Same with me, I had certain things that nobody knows about, but I kept it quiet. Why'd I have to tell them everything?
[00:27:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Good point.
[00:27:48] Joe Barone: Yeah, because they take it from you.
[00:27:50] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense.
[00:27:50] Joe Barone: They'll take it from you. Listen, most people get killed in a mafia because they want what you have. There's no real brotherhood there.
[00:27:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:58] Joe Barone: They use an excuse or he was no good. We got word he was bad. All kinds of different excuses.
[00:28:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Of course. Man, so if you want to do something that earns in the mafia, you have to make damn sure that they can't replace you easily.
[00:28:12] Joe Barone: Right.
[00:28:12] Jordan Harbinger: Because they will otherwise, like, why give you the money if you've already set it up. And they don't need you anymore. They can just get rid of you and take the bait. So the podcasting examples, not really that bad because nobody else can do this show, right? So they would be like, "Well, don't touch Jordan," because nobody else is going to do this.
[00:28:27] Joe Barone: Exactly.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: Nobody else is going to do mediocre interviews. Like we got to keep him around.
[00:28:33] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:28:33] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:28:33] Joe Barone: I mean, if you listen to Michael Franzese, he even tells you the story himself too. He didn't tell them, everybody, who we knew and who was his partners in the gas business. He was a smart man. He knew what he was doing, but yet they still wanted to intimidate him. All the money he was given them, they still want it to intimidate him because — you know why? And you know this too. Money buys power. So let's say, "Hey Jordan, you're not going to sell it for a million dollars, right?" "Okay." "Would you sell it for five?" "Well, wait a minute. Oh, five is a lot different than a million, you know?"
[00:29:01] Jordan Harbinger: If you're making that kind of money, like if nine million bucks a week, you have to keep intimidating that person because otherwise, what if he starts donating to politicians and the police chief, and then he's closed with the commissioner in the FBI. And he's like, "Okay, look, man, I got these guys. They're looking over my shoulder. You're going to have to arrest this whole bunch of these crime family guys to get me away from them. And I'll keep you in the office." But if you're really scared of those guys, you're just going to be like, "You know what? I don't want to rock the boat because I'm going to end up getting killed. So I'm not going to do anything."
[00:29:28] Joe Barone: Always remember this, and this is just the truth. The facade is that there's they're together. They're not together. It looks like they're together, but it's all about — it's greed. It's always about the power and the money and that's it. And I know, yeah, I lived it, so I know.
[00:29:45] Jordan Harbinger: It makes sense. You see a lot of young people, especially, and I guess, older people, they really romanticized the mafia. Like, "Oh man, it's different now. They had the code of honor and all this stuff." But when you really look at all these stories from all these folks, they're always getting murdered by their cousins, brothers, or families, or other things like that. They end up turning on each other all the time. And also there's only honor up until it's like really inconvenient or more profitable to screw over somebody.
[00:30:10] Joe Barone: Well, yeah, here I'll give you a perfect example. When I was younger, I got into a problem at some party at a house. I made one phone — there was about four or five guys that were going to jump us or something like that and beat one of my friends. So my friend says, "Make the call, Joe." I made a call. I had two carloads of guys coming over there. There was about 15 guys. They left because the girl told them, "This guy knows some people. You better get out of here." Anyway, my friend said, "Don't worry about it. You better be safe than sorry. Let's go," and I left with them. But there's power in that, that makes you feel good that you can make a phone call and get somebody to back you up. You think that they do want it because they love you. I mean, these guys just love to fight. You know what I mean?
[00:30:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:47] Joe Barone: But you think it's like, "Wow, man, you can't thank them enough." And they saved you in a way.
[00:30:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:52] Joe Barone: So it feels really good. And the town talks about it for a couple of days but in the mafia, it's almost like that, but at the same time, they don't really care.
[00:31:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. It's just a profit and self-aggrandizement, and then beyond that, the rest of it is just lip service from the sound of it.
[00:31:12] Joe Barone: Listen, the mafia didn't start off like that. You know how the mafia started, right?
[00:31:16] Jordan Harbinger: Because I only hear, you know, you hear like the romanticized version. All I know is a little bit about in Sicily — you know what, why don't you tell it? I'm just going to ruin it.
[00:31:24] Joe Barone: My friend, Jerry Chilli, who was a captain of Bonanno family, told me exactly what mafia stood for, the letters M, and all of that stuff, but I forgot because after I was locked up for a while, I wound up getting PTSD and stuff like that. But basically in Sicily, it was a small little island. So it used to get taken over all the times. And that's how the mafia used to start. It was taken over by the French people, came in Spain, different people. It was a protection thing. They protected each other. They stood together for something. Well, later on as it went on, when they didn't get invaded no more, then they started saying, "Well, we'll protect you and we're going to get something for it," and that's how it started.
[00:31:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. So it started off as self-defense. It's interesting. That happens a lot with self-defense movements. Like you hear about it with drug cartels in Mexico. It's like, "You know what? We're sick of being pushed around by the cartels. We're going to start our own citizen militia, where we get armed and we don't let people push us around because the police are corrupt." And then it's like two, three, five years later, those are the people who are kidnapping and extorting people. And it's like, "Wait, well, aren't you supposed to be here protecting us?" "Well, we got to earn a living somehow. You know, we pushed out the cartels. There's a power vacuum. So now, we're the bad—" it just like, it really does, you trade hats really quickly after that.
[00:32:32] Joe Barone: What's the old phrase? Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
[00:32:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exactly.
[00:32:36] Joe Barone: I mean, the cartels got started because they did allow drugs in this country. Just like prohibition got started, you made the mafia rich by saying nobody could drink anymore. There's a law in Connecticut, after two o'clock in the morning, you can't have sex with your wife. That's a real law.
[00:32:52] Jordan Harbinger: Is that true?
[00:32:53] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:32:53] Jordan Harbinger: I got to Google that later.
[00:32:54] Joe Barone: Yeah, you check that out.
[00:32:55] Jordan Harbinger: That's crazy.
[00:32:56] Joe Barone: But they never got rid of it. Now, who would have even put something like that in the laws, but there's so many stupid laws. Nobody knows them all.
[00:33:02] Jordan Harbinger: I got, got to look this up. This is insane. Cohabitation law, let me see. You know what? This isn't going to come too easily.
[00:33:09] Joe Barone: No.
[00:33:09] Jordan Harbinger: Connecticut lawyers who are listening to this right now, tell us whether or not that's an urban legend, because that is very strange. I've never heard of that, but that doesn't mean — I mean, there are weirder laws on the books.
[00:33:19] Joe Barone: Oh, god.
[00:33:19] Jordan Harbinger: There's all kinds of stuff. If you look up weird laws like you can't have chickens out on Sunday morning before noon in Kentucky. And you're like, what? And it's like because they were disturbing church services or something like that.
[00:33:29] Joe Barone: Right.
[00:33:30] Jordan Harbinger: You know, there's a reason for it that doesn't make any sense anymore, but they don't bother to get rid of it because it's not enforced. That's funny.
[00:33:36] Joe Barone: When I was in the box and I was locked up for 15 months in a hole, why only five days a week if you could get 45 minutes outside? Why Saturday and Sunday you can't?
[00:33:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:44] Joe Barone: You know why?
[00:33:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They want you to relax on the weekend. I don't know. It doesn't make any sense.
[00:33:49] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:33:51] Jordan Harbinger: It doesn't make any sense. Yeah. So, okay. So your father was killed under, was it Vinny "The Chin"? Was he the head of the Genovese family at that point?
[00:34:00] Joe Barone: Yes. I think he was still around then. My father's boss was Bonnie, Bonnie Bellomo. Bonnie is still very powerful to this day, smart as a whip. When I say a good guy, I guess, he's a good guy, but he's very powerful, very well-liked. He can go anywhere in the world or in the country and be known.
[00:34:21] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah. So this is Liborio Bellomo. Is that his official?
[00:34:27] Joe Barone: Mmhm.
[00:34:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah. His father was a soldier, close to Fat tony Salerno — inducted in or initiated in 1977. How was he alive and not in jail? I mean, that's rare to be around for that long.
[00:34:38] Joe Barone: Oh, he was a jail for a long time. In fact, he's one of the youngest guys that would be made too, but he's very smart, but a good guy. You know, like as far as wise guy would be concerned, you know what I mean?
[00:34:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he's 65 now. I mean, you just never hear about that. A lot of these guys are gone or they're in prison or whatever. So how did the FBI then convince you to become an informant? It's a far cry from, "Okay, your father's dead, we don't really know who did it," to now you're working for the FBI.
[00:35:07] Joe Barone: So I was doing my time. I got arrested on extortion and gun possession charges, I guess I was facing maybe, I don't know. I think my lawyer said they shouldn't get me like three or four years or whatever it was.
[00:35:17] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:35:18] Joe Barone: It could have been longer. I don't know. And I was willing to take the deal and stuff. I was fighting to get a court. So I got moved from the prison I was into MCC. When I was in MCC, the boss of the Lucchese family came to me, which was Vic Amuso. I don't know if you heard of Victor Amuso.
[00:35:35] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:35:35] Joe Barone: He's the boss of Lucchese family. I was good friends with him.
[00:35:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:35:38] Joe Barone: He said to me, he says, "Listen, the FBI is going to come see you." I don't even know how he knew, but he knew.
[00:35:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, how did he know that.
[00:35:44] Joe Barone: We're at MCC. So he says to me, he says, "You tell them — you listened to what they got to say. You sit there, you keep quiet." He says, "And you tell them this. I love to help you, but I'm not even in a position to help myself." I never forget that. Anyway, I get pulled into the bullpen. All of a sudden, now the marshals come and get me and they take me to this hallway and I'm like, "Where's the courtroom?" You know?
[00:36:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:36:03] Joe Barone: And all of a sudden, two FBI agents are waiting at the bottom of the hall for me. He goes, "Okay, you're going to go with them now," and they left. Well, I go into a room. Who's there? It's the AUSA.
[00:36:13] Jordan Harbinger: Is that a US Attorney?
[00:36:14] Joe Barone: Yes.
[00:36:15] Jordan Harbinger: Assistant US Attorney. Okay, so—
[00:36:16] Joe Barone: That's correct.
[00:36:17] Jordan Harbinger: Federal prosecutor essentially.
[00:36:18] Joe Barone: Yes.
[00:36:19] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:36:20] Joe Barone: Benjamin Rosenberg, I think his name was back then, another FBI agent and the two that brought me in and my attorney. So I said, "So you guys mind if I talk to my attorney for a minute?" And so they left the room and I said, "What's going on? I told you I'm not going to cooperate with these people." He says, "Well, look, Joe, they just called me at a spur of the moment. Listen to what they got to say. You got nothing better to do you here."
[00:36:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. You're not really — you don't really have another meeting conflicting with this one, exactly.
[00:36:45] Joe Barone: Exactly. He's like, "What do you got going that's better than this?" Anyway, I said, okay. They call him back in. And they said, "Look, Joe," they started talking to me a little bit about this, that. You know, like, "Hey, this is the kind of life. You want this—" you know, that kind of stuff. And then also they showed me a photo. They took out these photos about this thick.
[00:37:04] Jordan Harbinger: So several inches high, yeah.
[00:37:06] Joe Barone: Yeah. And I took a look at it. So I said, okay, so they put the handcuffs in front of me. And I started looking through the photos. And of course, I noticed it's the cemetery where my parents are buried and I'm looking at it. I see them digging up my father's body.
[00:37:18] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:37:19] Joe Barone: They exhumed the body after three months. I never knew this. Nobody told me at home. That's the first time I saw my father. It was over a year. And so he had decay on his face and stuff and—
[00:37:33] Jordan Harbinger: Take your time. Take your time.
[00:37:36] Joe Barone: He had a big cut shape in his chest. And another stitch is going down here. They exhumed — and they tried this look for some bullet wounds and stuff like that, but they didn't find any, supposedly. I put the photos down. I asked them to, excuse me for a minute. I just hung out my lawyer. They came back in and they said to me, "Joe, we have reason to believe that the wise guys killed your father." They said, "We have information that three men went down there with — under your last name. Your father always met him in a mall and never took him back to his villa but at this particular time he did. We were going to arrest them that weekend and we found him dead." And that's what made me think that the wise guys killed him because they didn't know where he was in a way because my father did move from one place to another. He had to get a different phone number. So they knew that too. You know, they always know something.
[00:38:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:29] Joe Barone: So that was the first time I saw my dad. But then they said, "Is this the kind of life you want, or do you want to find out who killed him?"
[00:38:36] Jordan Harbinger: So pardon the — this might be a morbid question. So feel free to tell me you don't want to answer it, but if they didn't find any bullet wounds, what do they think happened to him? Was he stabbed or was he poisoned or something like that or what?
[00:38:46] Joe Barone: Later on, I went to my uncle who my father learned from, and he didn't exactly tell me either, but he told me this. He said, "Joseph," and that my family was calling me Joseph. But anyway, he says to me, he says, "Those are to cover up the stab wounds."
[00:39:01] Jordan Harbinger: I see.
[00:39:02] Joe Barone: It was a fake autopsy.
[00:39:03] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I see — right. So I don't know much about embalming, but I assume if there's a lot of damage, they probably cut out the damaged skin and then so the other skin up over it. So it looks a little bit better.
[00:39:13] Joe Barone: Right. And they never performed a full autopsy. Matter of fact, the guy that does it in California. He's pretty famous. He actually came there. They got him, at least that's what the FBI handler told me. They got him over there. My uncle was there and he didn't want them to, I guess, cut my father up and do all of that stuff to him because he was still intact pretty much, except he just had a lot of decay on his face and stuff like that.
[00:39:33] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:39:36] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Joe Barone. We'll be right back.
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[00:41:30] Thank you so much for listening to and supporting the show. Your support keeps the lights on around here. And I know there's a lot of discount codes and URLs, and they're kind of a pain to write down, we put them all in one place. You can check them out at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please consider supporting those who support us.
[00:41:46] Now for the rest of part one with Joe Barone.
[00:41:51] I guess it's probably not for appearance. It's probably because if they're going to embalm somebody, they can't really do it if there's a lot of open wounds on him, so they have to make sure that those are closed because otherwise — oops, sorry. I know I'm talking about your father here. I'm just going to shut up now.
[00:42:02] Joe Barone: No, no, that's okay. I understand.
[00:42:04] Jordan Harbinger: I'm just thinking out loud here for the audience because it was a little confusing. So I assume at that point you're like, "Well, I want revenge on these pricks who killed my dad.
[00:42:12] Joe Barone: You know, I'm not really that much of a mean person, but I would love to find out who killed my father, but I don't have it in me to kill somebody like unless — you know what I mean? I'm not a killer.
[00:42:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:24] Joe Barone: I mean, I'll defend myself, of course. I'm capable of doing that pretty good. Thank God.
[00:42:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:29] Joe Barone: But I was angry. Yeah. I was angry.
[00:42:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I bet.
[00:42:32] Joe Barone: The first thing you say is, you know, f*ck the mafia. You know what I mean?
[00:42:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:42:36] Joe Barone: And that's what I did. I thought about it. I told them, "Let me think about it," because I always learned that from a sit-down. You never agree to anything right there and then.
[00:42:44] Jordan Harbinger: Huh?
[00:42:44] Joe Barone: You always say, "I think about that."
[00:42:47] Jordan Harbinger: I got to think about it.
[00:42:47] Joe Barone: Or in legal terms. It's I'll take that under advisement.
[00:42:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Is that because you don't want to make an emotional decision in the moment and then have to — because you can't change your mind, right?
[00:42:58] Joe Barone: No, once you make a decision at the sit-down, you got to stick to it, but you definitely want to still go over it. And if you're unsure of some, you always never agreed to that.
[00:43:07] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:43:08] Joe Barone: And basically, a lot of times you don't want to agree to it, it'll never happen. You know, you'll do what you want anyway, and they'll do what they want.
[00:43:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, that's sort of negotiation, a good negotiation tactic right there. Like, you don't want to say, "I'll take it," right away. Unless it's really in your favor, then I guess you jump on it.
[00:43:24] Joe Barone: And you can act like you want it so bad, either.
[00:43:26] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:43:26] Joe Barone: It's like going to buy a brand new car. Oh my god, I love that car. You don't tell that to the salesman. Say, it's all right. I don't know, man.
[00:43:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Or well, I'm on the fence.
[00:43:33] Joe Barone: Yeah, exactly.
[00:43:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. If you're ever going to buy a car, the last thing you want to do is tell the salesman. You can find it anywhere else and you love it and can't wait to have it.
[00:43:43] Joe Barone: Exactly. Because he's going to club you right over the head.
[00:43:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, exactly. What surprises me here is these guys, these gangsters kill your father, they murder your father, and then they just expect you to be okay with it. Because you're still in the mafia, right? Do they not think like, "Oh, Joe's going to be upset if we do this."
[00:44:02] Joe Barone: Well, remember one thing too, I'm not really in the mafia. I got what they call papers with them.
[00:44:06] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:44:07] Joe Barone: You know what that means?
[00:44:08] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:44:08] Joe Barone: Okay. So papers mean it's almost like I'm supposed to be with a certain family because my father was. You know, I have to prove myself a little bit, but yet we give them a little, little leeway because we knew his dad type of thing.
[00:44:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, okay.
[00:44:20] Joe Barone: But because I was doing my own loansharking, and I wasn't really working for anybody else. I guess they would view you as what they call an up-and-comer. And of course, I paid respects to people and things like that. So I was connected if you want to say it that way. That's about the easiest way for regular people to know.
[00:44:37] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:44:37] Joe Barone: They do expect you to be okay with it because this is the life you've chosen. It's almost like a policeman or a fireman. If they get killed on a job, it's sad. But at the same time, that was their job.
[00:44:48] Jordan Harbinger: I get that. But it's also like they didn't get killed. If a police officer could shut in the line of duty, he doesn't get shot by another cop who says, "You know, I just didn't like that guy. And I wanted his job," right? That's different, I guess.
[00:44:59] Joe Barone: Yes. That's dramatically different. Yeah, that's apples and oranges.
[00:45:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:03] Joe Barone: But because that's why I said a lot of people, you've talked about the young generation glamorizing this life, all of this stuff. Well, what's glamorizing? So you wake up, your best friend might kill you that day. They might be waiting for you at six o'clock in the morning at your house. I have to make sure I earned money. So this way to boss doesn't want to — where is all the glamour? What? Because I got a new car.
[00:45:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:26] Joe Barone: Why? Because some people look like they respect me. Because maybe I go into a restaurant, I eat for nothing. You know what I mean?
[00:45:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:32] Joe Barone: You know, what is the real thing? But everybody's looking for something too, and it's enticing to think you have people that are behind you.
[00:45:39] Jordan Harbinger: I guess it makes sense if you grow up with nothing and also you don't get respect. It's like, then that's all you care about. But if you have other options, this is not really a good avenue for you to try to go down.
[00:45:50] Joe Barone: That's right. My father had nothing when he was growing up. When he was able to get money, like he did, he had spent $10,000 on clothes. He comes home with all shoes to match the color of his pants and sports jackets and things. He was so proud of it. He would change like two or three times a day and just bring all his clothes to the dry cleaners. He was spending about $300, $400 a week on clothes in the dry cleaners.
[00:46:10] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god, that's insane.
[00:46:11] Joe Barone: Yep.
[00:46:11] Jordan Harbinger: Keep that dry cleaner and good — I mean, that's a good business. Be a mafia dry cleaner, or a dry cleaner to a mob neighborhood is probably a pretty good business.
[00:46:17] Joe Barone: Without a doubt, yeah.
[00:46:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:19] Joe Barone: But that's how it started for me to join yet team America if you want to say it that way.
[00:46:24] Jordan Harbinger: So you become a confidential informant, which is essentially exactly what it sounds like, right?
[00:46:29] Joe Barone: That's right.
[00:46:30] Jordan Harbinger: The FBI is coming to you. You're still, essentially in the mob, informing on things that are happening. I've got some notes. You informed about corrections officers smuggling drugs into prison because you were already in prison.
[00:46:43] Joe Barone: Mmhm.
[00:46:43] Jordan Harbinger: So you told them, "Hey, these are the guys that are getting the drugs from," you know, whenever these corrections officers on duty, you can easily get, I don't know, pills or whatever it is.
[00:46:52] Joe Barone: Mmhm.
[00:46:52] Jordan Harbinger: And also it looks like there was a plot to release an inmate for a $50,000 bribe, which I don't even know how that works because corrections officers aren't supposed to be able to release inmates. But I guess that's part of the racket, right?
[00:47:02] Joe Barone: Well, corrections officers aren't supposed to do a lot of things, but yet they still killed that—
[00:47:05] Jordan Harbinger: And they're not supposed to get drugs in.
[00:47:07] Joe Barone: They still killed Epstein, didn't they?
[00:47:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, who knows? I don't know. I don't have any information about that.
[00:47:12] Joe Barone: Me neither. I was in a box. I was pretty surprised when I heard this thing, that two COs at the same time fell asleep and the cameras were off.
[00:47:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That sounds mafia asked now when you put it like that, right?
[00:47:25] Joe Barone: Well, you think about it too. Like I said, I wouldn't say this if I didn't know what was going on in the box. I knew what the hole was like. They had cameras there and usually it was a guy that was having a problem with one of his cells, well, what do you think happen? Just all the COs get together. They go there, they turn off the cameras themselves. So this way you can't see what's going on when they want to get the guy out of his cell.
[00:47:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:47:48] Joe Barone: It looks funny, you know? It looks very funny.
[00:47:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I mean, look, even if he did kill himself, no one's going to believe that because it's just too insane that the cameras were off and the COs were asleep. I mean, that doesn't make any sense.
[00:47:58] Joe Barone: Exactly. Well, you know, not to get off the subject, but I'm just saying—
[00:48:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:01] Joe Barone: Those things are a little bit hard to believe.
[00:48:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, for sure. Or even they just went in there and said, "You have 10 minutes to kill yourself right now or we're going to do it." And then he's like, "Well, I know how this ends," right?
[00:48:13] Joe Barone: Exactly. And going back to how the guy would have escaped from prison. I mean most security guards, what do they make? Maybe $30,000 a year, especially back in '90s.
[00:48:21] Jordan Harbinger: Probably.
[00:48:22] Joe Barone: Maybe I'm not sure.
[00:48:24] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know.
[00:48:24] Joe Barone: So if he had some connections. However, he knew how to get to the security guard and offer him $50,000.
[00:48:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:32] Joe Barone: Some people will take it.
[00:48:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course. I mean, especially if you don't have to pull the trigger yourself, all you have to do is say you were asleep and then you get fired.
[00:48:38] Joe Barone: There you go, yeah.
[00:48:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:40] Joe Barone: That's not the end of the world.
[00:48:41] Jordan Harbinger: No, not for a hundred grand, not for three or five years of your annual salary before taxes, right? I suppose.
[00:48:47] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:48:48] Jordan Harbinger: And you can rationalize something like that pretty easily too. Like, so this POS guy is going to, all I have to do is not stop him from killing himself and I get five years of money.
[00:48:57] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:48:57] Jordan Harbinger: This is no saint, I mean, this is a terrible person, Epstein, so whatever, good riddance.
[00:49:02] Joe Barone: Exactly.
[00:49:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I can see that rationalization working pretty well.
[00:49:05] Joe Barone: Who's really going to care? Exactly. Who's going to care about him?.
[00:49:07] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:49:08] Joe Barone: But yeah, the security guards, those were things that were going on while I was away. And also I saw a few unsolved murders for them as well.
[00:49:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I have notes on that. It says informed on Genovese crime family shooters aka contract killers, who they were — by the way, asking for a friend, of course, how much does it cost to have somebody killed generally? For journalistic purposes only, but I've always wondered that.
[00:49:30] Joe Barone: If you were going to do a mob contract for a hit, it shouldn't be low, less than a hundred thousand dollars.
[00:49:36] Jordan Harbinger: And that's, if I'm going after a gangster, or if I'm just going after, like some neighbor that's really pissing me off or something like that.
[00:49:42] Joe Barone: Yeah, usually a contract hit is a hundred thousand dollars to start. It's the way it is. But if you're a gangster and another gangster, the head gangster gives you to order, you don't get paid anything, you just—
[00:49:51] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah, that makes sense. I was just thinking like, what if somebody is just, you know, they're picking on my kid and they're really horrible. They're selling drugs at school. Nobody will do anything. The father, you know, is threatening me. And I'm like, this is somebody that's got to be taken care of. I guess at that point, you don't have to kill that person. You can just threaten them with credible violence. Right?
[00:50:11] Joe Barone: Exactly. There's some things that could happen to them. Somebody gets taught — listen, not everybody in the mafia is tough, but there are really some tough guys and scary people too. There was a guy like Tommy Karate. He was scary. He'll kill you. If he came to your house and told you something, you should listen to him.
[00:50:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:50:29] Joe Barone: Just like they had Greg Scarpa, back in those days, he was very scary too. If he told you something, you better listen. You know, then this is some people that will just know right away. There was a guy, Frankie Salerno, he was a tough guy. He was in what they call the Purple Gang. I don't know if you ever heard of that.
[00:50:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Is that the Jewish mafia out of Detroit?
[00:50:48] Joe Barone: No, that was the Purple Gang was in the Bronx in New York.
[00:50:51] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's a different Purple Gang. I swear there's a Purple Gang out of Detroit. I'm going to—
[00:50:54] Joe Barone: It probably was.
[00:50:55] Jordan Harbinger: —look this up.
[00:50:56] Joe Barone: Probably was.
[00:50:56] Jordan Harbinger: Purple Gang also known as the Sugar House Gang was a criminal mob of bootleggers and hijackers, primarily Jewish in 1910 to 1932. We're probably talking about something totally different.
[00:51:06] Joe Barone: Without a doubt. Even Elvis Presley, saying about the Purple Gang, when he was doing a Jailhouse Rock song, the whole rhythm section was Purple Gang, but this Purple Gang was in the Bronx and they were connected a lot of them too. Well, this one particular guy drove around with a dead body in his trunk for about three days. I guess he was fooling around with the guys, his girlfriend or something like that, but he killed him, showed everybody that he had him in a trunk, but this guy came to my house. And when I looked into his eyes, he had no soul. And I knew for a fact that he wasn't even bigger than me, muscular to me, nothing, but he was definitely somebody that would just kill you and just probably eat the sandwich at the same time.
[00:51:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Just a sociopath with no feelings.
[00:51:44] Joe Barone: Yep.
[00:51:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That is terrifying. You meet people like that. And you're just like, you see people look at you in a certain way. And you're like, this is a really bad, bad, bad person.
[00:51:52] Joe Barone: Yep.
[00:51:53] Jordan Harbinger: You talk to guys that have been in prison — I've done some work in prisons and volunteer work. And there's a lot of really nice guys, especially in the programs that I'm in. And they're scared of these other guys. Because they're like, "There's people in here, man, that you wouldn't believe." And I'm like, "Yeah, imagine your cellmate is one of these guys." And he's like, "I want the top bunk." You're like, "All right, no problem."
[00:52:10] Joe Barone: Yeah. Listen, I've seen people that never lifted a weight in their entire life could probably lift you up the floor with one hand. I've seen guys that never knew how to fight or anything, but their fingers, they will — some people just, you know, and if they're a real person, they grew up rough.
[00:52:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:52:25] Joe Barone: You can't beat them no matter what you do. I see people getting into baseball bats and the guy shrugged it off. They took the bat and beat the guy with it.
[00:52:32] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:52:32] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:52:32] Jordan Harbinger: That's not an environment that I would survive well in for sure, man.
[00:52:36] Joe Barone: I know it's not.
[00:52:37] Jordan Harbinger: Not this kind.
[00:52:38] Joe Barone: It's rough.
[00:52:40] Jordan Harbinger: So one of the FBI documents says, it says fingered, which is funny because they use this exact term in an FBI document, fingered 51 people according to, which has pointed out that, you know, informed on these particular guys and had them put away, I guess, is what that means, which is funny because you think the FBI would have all these — other parts of these documents have all these technical legal terms and then other parts look like they were transcripts of a conversation between two guys who live on a block. Like it's very funny to read these documents.
[00:53:10] Joe Barone: Yeah. Probably the whole time I was working undercover, which was like 18 years, I probably gave them a lot of information.
[00:53:18] Jordan Harbinger: 18 years is a long-ass time.
[00:53:20] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:53:21] Jordan Harbinger: Before we get into that, there's a lot of redacted stuff in the documents. Did the FBI redact that or did you redact that before you send it to me? The FBI did it, right?
[00:53:29] Joe Barone: That's correct. Yes.
[00:53:30] Jordan Harbinger: Do you know what that is? Is it mostly just people's names?
[00:53:33] Joe Barone: It could be names. Because their whole keys are, they say, "Oh, it's an ongoing investigation."
[00:53:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:53:39] Joe Barone: And that's their key to get out of saying anything or having to show you anything unless you were a judge, I guess.
[00:53:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:53:45] Joe Barone: So it's probably just probably some names, locations, maybe.
[00:53:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. Because it didn't seem like it. It actually seemed incredibly easy to understand, even with the redacted stuff, like it would be like Joe Barone on, and then there'd be like a date missing, went to go see, and it's clearly a name missing, and they weren't going to engage in and lists all this explicit criminal behavior. So I'm like, well, they're not hiding that part. I mean, that part is —
[00:54:07] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:54:08] Jordan Harbinger: So it's like, if you were involved in it, you know exactly what they're talking about, but if you're just me reading it, you're like, oh, who knows who that is?
[00:54:13] Joe Barone: It sucks. But that's what they got to do, I guess, you know?
[00:54:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:54:16] Joe Barone: Yeah.
[00:54:16] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it makes sense. Look, I didn't have any problems. They did a pretty fair job redacting it because it was really easy for me to find out everything I needed to know other than the name of the person who was informing on it or whatever other than you.
[00:54:28] Joe Barone: Right.
[00:54:28] Jordan Harbinger: And the documents are pretty effusive about your ability to provide good quality, timely information on a lot of pretty serious crimes and people in La Cosa Nostra over, like you said, 18 years.
[00:54:40] Joe Barone: Mmhm.
[00:54:41] Jordan Harbinger: It's got to be really stressful to do that though. I mean, you were you worried about getting caught? You have to be at some point.
[00:54:46] Joe Barone: Whether I was in public or even alone, I always had a portrayed up the man I was, you know, be the man I was portraying myself to be.
[00:54:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:54:55] Joe Barone: I had nightmares at night, even back then. I guess I couldn't have no relationship, really somebody I really loved and cared about because I was always afraid for them. I knew what I was doing myself, but even being in it though, I was not thinking of it, only sometimes when I used to get those calls for late-night meetings or, "Meet me in 15 minutes," I thought they found out who I was and I thought it was going to be killed.
[00:55:18] Matter of fact, that one guy, the captain of a family I was in, he called me, and says, "Can you meet me at 20 minutes at my cousin's house?" His name is Dominick Cicale. So I said, "Can you make it—?" He said, "15 minutes." I said, "Could you make it 20?" He said, "Yeah, but be there in 20." I said, "Okay." So sure enough, I called up the FBI guy and I told him, I said, "Look, I got a call down. I don't know what's going to happen." So he took the — "Make sure you call me after the meeting and get back home." I don't care what time it is. I'll be waiting for you. I said, okay. But I was scared.
[00:55:47] I went to the house and of course, his cousin said, "What's going on? My cousin called me. He told me you got to meet him here. Are you all right? And he knew who he was. He's a killer. I said, "Yeah, I guess so." So he had met his father come in and they're kind of cold to me a little bit. I said, "Hello." And then we left. So now I'm getting into the car with them.
[00:56:03] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, I'm getting goosebumps.
[00:56:05] Joe Barone: Yeah. So wait, hold on. I'm getting into the backseat. And I said, "This is kind of unusual. They'll let me get in the backseat." So I said, "Well, maybe they're going to take me someplace and not shoot me in the car." Be
[00:56:14] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because otherwise, you'd be in the front seat so they could shoot you in the back of the head.
[00:56:17] Joe Barone: Exactly.
[00:56:17] Jordan Harbinger: All right. I've seen a lot of mafia movies. You can tell now. I'm starting to get the hang of it.
[00:56:21] Joe Barone: But meanwhile, he had this kid's, baby's chair in there too. I said, "No, he's not going to kill me in the car with the baby seat." This is what I'm doing to say to myself—
[00:56:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, the car seat.
[00:56:28] Joe Barone: The car seat, this way could try to keep myself calm on a road that was supposed to be doing 30 miles an hour, he's doing 80.
[00:56:34] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:56:35] Joe Barone: On the way there, I'm talking to them. "What's up, guys? Is everything okay? Are we all right?" He said, "You don't know where we're going, Joe?" I said, "No, what's up. Everything good. I mean, what's up?" And I'm pretending, you know, like, "What are we doing? We've got to do something." I thought we had to do some bad. I'm trying to think. He said, "You don't know where we're going?" I said, "Nah, all right, whatever." So they said, "Hey Joe, what's the matter? You thought you're going to get whacked. We're going to go to this place." They took me to a strip bar.
[00:56:57] Jordan Harbinger: So they're just messing with you at this point.
[00:57:00] Joe Barone: Yeah. They're laughing in the car to themselves. They were like almost tears coming out. They said, "What's the matter, Joe?" I said, "No, I just thought we had to do some work. I was ready to go to—" I said, "I was going to change my shirt or something." I was making up any excuse.
[00:57:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:57:10] Joe Barone: But I'm going to tell you, Jordan, I'm not going to lie to you. I was afraid.
[00:57:14] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, of course, you were. And also why did they do that? That's so freaking mean.
[00:57:19] Joe Barone: That's not the only time they did it to me. They did it to me a couple of times and they used to get a kick out of it. But you see, this is how they test you. He asked me for 20,000. On a spur of the moment, I had to give them 20,00. Now, do you think the FBI was going to give me my $20,000 back? Or if I asked them on it, "I need 20,000 real quick. Do you have it?" It would have took them weeks to get to efficient just to get it. Good thing, I had $20,000 in my safe. Okay. Back then, thank God, I was doing good.
[00:57:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god.
[00:57:43] Joe Barone: I gave him the 20,000. He said, "I'll give you back to you in two weeks." And he paid me back at three weeks, but I could have been out of that money. What am I supposed to do?
[00:57:53] Jordan Harbinger: You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with former mafia underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.
[00:57:59] Sammy "The Bull" Gravano: My mother and father bought me a bike. They were broke. It was a Schwinn. I had to take care of it. F*cking pros, day out, somebody stole it. My friends come running to me. "Sammy, the bike, your bike is down the block." That's the bull story. I go running down there. The bar is right across the street where the wise guys hung up. So I grabbed the bike. These kids were older than me, bigger than me and I started fighting. I was fighting the two of them. I was crying. I was getting beat up a little bit, but I was fighting like a basket. One of the guys from across the street walked over. "Hey, come here. What's your name?" "Sammy." Another guy from across the street, "Yo, what's going on?" He said, "No. This kid, Sammy, you see him? He was fighting, these f*cking kids. You see how he was fighting? He's like a little f*cking bull."
[00:58:46] Friend of mine, Tommy Spero, his uncle Shorty Spero, he wanted to see me. He made an appointment. I went to see him, but he was good. He said, "Listen, Sammy, you got to hold up. You're a tough kid. You're in fights. You know, what's going to happen. Someday you're going to hit the wrong guy. They're going to find you in the truck. Whatever I ask you to do, I've done. And I will do it with you." And I know exactly what he was talking about. And I shook his hand. At 23, I was an associate in the Colombo family.
[00:59:15] I think a piece of me died on everyone else. It's a scar in my body. I feel it. When I talk about it in my podcast, maybe I'm getting old, I actually become emotional. I'm not a person who normally cries but it brings me close.
[00:59:31] Jordan Harbinger: To hear more about how Sammy rose in the ranks to become one of the most notorious gangsters of all time, check out episode 587 and 588 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:59:43] We'll be back in a few days with part two of this interview. And by the way, if you're looking for Joe Barone, just be aware, I have no idea where he is. I've scrambled and deleted all of our contact and Internet connection information for my protection. So I can't help you locate him in any way, even if I wanted to.
[00:59:59] By the way, another little special announcement here, if you know anyone who is an experienced cybersecurity professional, and/or a very capable IT professional, not the kid who set up your AOL email account, but a legit expert if you know someone like that and they want to help Ukraine, there are a lot of groups out there who may be interesting to you. And I did encourage you to take a look. I may also be able to help guide you here a bit as well. The best groups are going to be helping in the cyber defense arena. This stuff is all non-violent.
[01:00:28] You're not going to be poisoning a water system or something horrible that harms civilians. You're going to be making invasion, logistics that much slower and more difficult. Now I am not affiliated with any particular group. I'm simply offering some advice here for those who keep asking and in a group such as this, you would be reverse engineering new malware and threats, working on identification of unpatched and vulnerable systems and identification of supply chain, organization, et cetera. Again, happy to help guide you if you're into rooting for the underdog. And a lot of these groups are trying to make the world a safer place by buying some time here for Ukraine. This is a humanitarian effort. And again, I have nothing to do with these groups other than helping to spread the word like any other journalists and trying to save the lives of people on the ground.
[01:01:10] Of course, I wouldn't want you to do anything illegal. I've got a reputation as a law-abiding citizen to uphold. And if there's one thing you know about me, it's not I like to color inside the lines so you can reach out if you need any guidance in this area. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
[01:01:23] Stay tuned for part two of Joe Barone. Links to everything in the show notes. Please use our website links if you buy any books from any of the guests here on the show. That always helps support us. Transcripts are in the show. There's a video of this interview on YouTube. Advertisers' deals, discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or just connect with me on LinkedIn.
[01:01:44] I'm teaching you how to connect with amazing people and manage relationships using the same software, systems, and tiny habits that I use. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. The course is free. It's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you get thirsty. Most of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:02:04] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Misrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's into the mafia stuff, true crime, maybe a little police informant story, share this episode with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next.
[01:02:40] Jillian Jalali: Hi everyone. This is Jillian with Court Junkie. Court Junkie is a true-crime podcast that covers court cases and criminal trials using audio clips and interviews with people close to the cases. Court Junkie is available on Apple Podcasts and podcastone.com.
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