“Big” Linda tells how, at age 17, she met Greg Scarpa while growing up in Bensenhurst, Brooklyn, where the neighborhood was full of mobsters. Linda insists, when questioned, that everyone in her neighborhood was a mobster. Finally Joy and Linda agree, that not every household was in the mob, but a lot of them were. And Linda tells how her grandmother ran crap games in her basement, so she grew up around the mob. The first time she witnessed a hit was when Greg took her with him to meet someone, got out of their car and walked over to the car across the parking lot. He tells her he is getting some collector’s stamps, but what he does instead is whack the guy and then take the stamps. But Schiro wasn’t at all afraid that she was with a murderer at 17. It was like a normal thing and afterwards they went out to dinner. Joy is somewhat shocked that a young girl would take murder in stride…bookies and crap games yes, but murder is a stretch. But, it didn’t phase Linda. Then they discuss Greg’s “work” for the FBI. And how he got the information for the KKK as to where civil rights workers bodies were located. Schiro says he wasn’t a rat, he just did jobs for them.
Over to Andrea Giovino, who says she was 16 or 17 when she started becoming attracted to mobsters. She says she had low self-esteem at the time. She had no education and didn’t feel good about herself and she felt comfortable around mobsters; she could be herself with them, she didn’t fit in with other people. Joy asks if Andrea would have reacted to witnessing murder like Linda did, and Andrea says no, it would have been devastating. Andrea adds she has never witnessed a murder, although she did know about many of them. They discuss her marriage to John Fogarty. Andrea says he was a “freelance” mobster. He couldn’t be in the mob because he wasn’t Italian. But the crime families would give out work to associates to do for them. That’s what John did. Eventually she became a mobster herself. But then Andrea clarifies, she wasn’t exactly a mobster, but she did need to go out on the street and collect the money that was owed to John when he went to prison. Then she lent out the money to make more money to support her family. But a time came when she was arrested for giving out information or instructions to mobsters, was recorded, and got in trouble with the DEA. Linda Schiro blurts out Andrea was in the drug business…this starts a little war of words.
A little tiff between Linda Schiro and Andrea ensues when Linda is trying to make it sound like Andrea was dealing drugs and collecting money for it. Schiro insists that Andrea was selling drugs and Andrea denies it. Andrea explains she was not selling drugs, she was arrested for putting the money up, like the bank. And that money went into drugs deals. She says she never sold or was a party to drugs! Schiro clarifies, saying Andrea was indirectly associated to drugs. Andrea agrees. Joy adds so you were part of the problem…time for break!
Andrea says the day the DEA came to her house was the worst day of her life. Andrea’s whole crew was arrested. Both Andrea and Linda Schiro answer that they were never afraid of all the violence of the lifestyle. Neither was worried their husbands would get killed. Linda says Greg was so powerful she felt he was invincible and she was always safe with him.
On to the daughters…”Little Linda” Scarpa says she realized her father was in the mob when she was a teenager. Joy wants to know what Little Linda thinks when she hears her mother had no reaction to witnessing a murder. Linda answers, she doesn’t get it, her mother doesn’t see things the same way she does when it comes to the mob. Linda thinks her mother knew nothing else but the life her father showed her, and he had her trained for the lifestyle. And she was even trained before she met her father, by her grandmother. Linda Scarpa says there was nothing normal about her childhood. Schiro says they tried to give them a normal life inside the home. Andrea interjects, saying she can see what both Linda’s are saying. She explains when you grow up in that environment that is what your “normal” is, you don’t know anything different. Then Schiro says it was normal in her neighborhood to have mobsters and crap games…and Joy says that’s what is abnormal and Schiro doesn’t get it. Joy explains, you go to school just like other kids while your father is a murderer, that abnormal. Other kids fathers aren’t murderers. Scarpa tries to explain on her mother’s behalf.
Over to Brittany, Andrea’s daughter. She was eight months old when her father, John Fogarty, went to prison. She says that when she was about two the family was relocated to Pennsylvania and she has no memory of any of the mob life. Joy wants to know if it was shocking that her mother was a mobster? Brittany says not shocking, because it was always openly talked about in their household. She grew up hearing all the stories. Her father, John, is currently in witness protection. When asked about her relationship with her father, Brittany says he came back when she was about 11 and tried to establish a relationship with his children. But, the years of bonding were lost.
Joy asks Linda Schiro if she has fond memories of Greg and she says she does. Joy seems shocked. Linda says Greg was always giving gifts and the greatest gift she got was a Mercedes. They always had family dinner on Sundays and Greg and their son would always be home at 5 for dinner during the week. It was like living two lives, the one outside with violence and the one inside with family.
Linda Scarpa says that she also has some find memories, but she has a lot of anger issues with both her parents and the whole mob lifestyle and everything she saw. Schiro doesn’t understand why Scarpa is angry with her. Scarpa says her mother lived the life and she enjoyed it. But, Scarpa says she lived the life and enjoyed it up until the time she knew what was really going on. Until countless guys came up to her and her father’s cars shooting.
Schiro mentions that she didn’t like it that her son was murdered. She says it wasn’t a mob hit it was a kid fight. And Joy says that her daughter “Little” Linda was almost killed. So those are the risks you take when you chose to live that lifestyle. Linda says but aside from that, her 30 years with Greg were good, until he died of AIDS in jail.
Well I hope Joy keeps doing interviews with the women of I Married A Mobster. She seems to be getting more out of them then the show is. Kudos Joy for a job well done, and it looks like there was a little unforeseen pressure this time around!
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