Written by David Strege
I was contacted by Made Men Productions producer Wayne Clingman who runs a Milwaukee mob podcast here in Milwaukee on blog radio who participated and executive-produced a new local documentary on the Milwaukee mob syndicate starting with Frank Balistreri this documentary is directed by Jason Love And involves a local historian and researcher that has written at least one or two books about the subject at the Milwaukee Mafia using documents public photos of the balistreri family and its connections to the mafia using a narration By Michael Corley a voice actor and the narrator behind the documentary Milwaukee Mob for 2018.
I’d like to say that this is a special interest story because not on a normal basis do we have a group of people who wants to get together and talk about the crime families behind some of the most historic events that have happened in the city of Milwaukee. I mean I know we know that Al Capone had a hideout here in Wisconsin we also know when the Johnny Depp movie Public Enemy was filmed here in Milwaukee it was also based on a true event that happened in Milwaukee at one point in time but how many people have focused upon the Balistreri’s and their influence in the city of Milwaukee.Even I know that there is an influence of the balistreri family still here with in Milwaukee which I believe that part of the family owns Mo’s Irish pub downtown as well as managing a pizza chain here in Milwaukee.
the documentary begins with introducing us To both Wayne Clingman and local historian and author Gavin Schmitt and going between voice actor and narrator Michael Corley to bring about how the hierarchy of the Milwaukee mob works from the boss to the underboss to the consigliere to the soldier and how one becomes a made man or an associate of the Milwaukee mob.
We learn of how Frank Balistreri was able to rise from Rock Bottom associate to becoming a boss of The Syndicate in Milwaukee for you have to be of Sicilian or Italian race to be a mob man a made man which in actuality everyone close to the Mob has something to do with real estate or if someone own the club or had something to do with prostitution they were considered Associates even in the late 70’s there was some mob members of African American descent but they could never be part of the Full-blown mob if they weren’t Italian or Sicilian. You also had to be trustworthy just like everyone else in learning the ropes you had to gain the trust of each and every member to rise up within the ranks of the mob and I believe this goes with all the family members of the mob in any City. Traditionally in order to become a made man you had to kill someone and go through some kind of a ceremony confirming that you were in fact the one who killed in the name of the job in order to become a made man. Although the interesting fact is that the man who is called Big Frank, fancy pants And or the mad bomber and probably many other nicknames it is not known whether Frank Balistreri has ever actually killed anyone even though We know exactly how a man becomes a made man so it could be just because of his family name and his connection to a previous boss that helped wager his influence in becoming the head boss of the Milwaukee mob.
Ultimately I think this was a very informative documentary on the rise and the fall of this man I love that it connects the teamsters and doesn’t exactly rule out that the Teamsters behind the union factions that were supposedly run by Joe Campanella Where in fact one in the same even though it doesn’t exactly that the two are the same it makes a suggestion that there really is no difference I don’t want to say too much more about documentary because I do want people to go and see themselves. If anything the one thing that I learned was how far the Milwaukee mob was connected and how much Frank Balistreri did not want to share power was anyone and it was because of this that eventually his power fell, and though I knew about his nickname the mad bomber about as possible influence in Las Vegas.
I think that if you enjoy this kind of documents very about the made men in the mob family, I think you’ll find that you’ll enjoy how informative Gavin Schmitt is and how matter of fact he is and how he describes how the hierarchy works and you can almost see that he almost admires How the organisation was run. I think you’ll also enjoy how informative Wayne Clingman is for I believe that Clingman is obviously a man who knows the history and how the mob factions work maybe because it has been his focal interest and I’m glad that they brought their vision of how the Milwaukee Mafia worked to light. I hope that you have found my review of this documentary factual and hopefully you get a chance to check the film out. I was very intrigued when I was contacted to see what I thought and maybe I said too much. But I being a man living in Milwaukee have always been intrigued by the criminal Syndicate in the mob classes and the organizations behind all the business dealings that go under the radar as there is an air of Mystery and who wouldn’t want to make money in some way shape or form. Ultimately it will be up to you if you go about and enjoy informational films then I suggest that you seek the film out. I do and will certainly recommend this to all you documentary lovers out there. I do believe that it was very well put together with clips and possible reenactments of men making business deals and card games so there you have it.
Here is the Trailer: