Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who Says The Party's Over?

In 2006, Gang Land News carried the headline "The Party's Over for Paciello," a mob informant who traded Miami nightlife for Club Fed. Chris Paciello's party days might be over, but festivities for the film based on his life are just beginning. Tonight in Miami Beach, WCI's Michele McPhee will be the guest of honor at a soiree celebrating the production launch of UNMADE MAN, the feature film based on her best-selling true-crime book Mob Over Miami.

The event is co-hosted by Miami Magazine; producers John Sherman, Josh Kagan, and Marilyn Haft; PR man Alan T. Brown; and lead actor Jeff Marchettiwhose acting debut was on The Sopranos as mafioso "Petey," a role he enjoyed for several seasons, including the final episode, "Made In America."

This time he's the UNMADE MAN in Florida. In the film, Marchetti (pictured below with Sopranos co-star Joseph Gannascoli) plays real-life thug Chris Paciello, a former member of Brooklyn's "Bath Avenue Crew," a particularly violent cadre of Bonanno crime family henchmen. When Paciello left New York in the early '90s, he tried to reinvent himself in the club scene in Miami, where he became a "South Beach King," running the glitziest nightspots and dating women like Madonna (pictured together at right) and hanging out with stars like Jennifer Lopez and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Back home in New York, Paciello was the type of character real underworld figures had no respect for, but had occasional use for: "the type of man commonly found on the edges of organized crime, a fringe character who got some peculiar thrill or sense of power through his shady connections," Gay Talese wrote of another unmade Bonanno associate thirty years before Paciello assumed his own supporting role with the crime family. These types were never trusted "when situations were particularly dangerous," Talese added in Honor Thy Father: "types like [him] usually collapsed under pressure and could be coerced by the police into turning informer." History repeated itself with Paciello, who became a government witness.

"If Paciello did everything the government says he did," one of the former Club King's publicists told the Village Voice, "then he deserves an Oscar." Any acting awards won't be going to Paciello, who is doing his time at an undisclosed federal prison.

Michele McPhee (pictured left) was police bureau chief at the New York Daily News when she started covering the story. To learn how Michele became one of the nation's handful of women organized crime reporters, see her interview with South Beach Magazine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello: I have just recently discovered your site and found it very interesting. I am avid cable watcher of all things related to various crime shows. I watch FBI files, cold cases,and court Tv. I recently watched a story covered on We Tv regarding the Porco trial case where the son is accused axing the father to death and injuring the mother. He convicted and jailed of this crime. I wanted to comment on this trial although; I believe he is guilty; however could it be possible that he was stalked by the so called stranger that was reported lurking around weeks before.In this case I was thinking maybe the guy who installed the alarm system was stalking the son or someone he may have told the alarm code to. The jeep key could have been duplicated if he was stalked and being watched by somebody in the neighborhood etc. They did say their was a finger print on the phone box by an unidentified person. Other than that this is the only possibility open for another opinion or option. They did mention they investigated the stranger theory but nothing came of it but maybe their is more to it.