Welcome to Tampa Mafia Magazine! I would first like to thank the readers of Cigar City Magazine a magazine we published from 2005 and ending its final print run in the fall of 2014.
At first I have to admit I was a bit leery of writing about the Tampa Mafia but I soon discovered as publisher of a history magazine like Cigar City, it was hard to overlook that part of our history. In a weird and maybe sorted may it was a part of our history that put Tampa on the map, good or bad.
As we began writing stories about the Tampa Mafia I discovered emails were flooding in, our social media pages were blowing up and our website was averaging about 35,000 visitors a month looking for these stories. It was obvious our Cigar City Magazine readers wanted more!
When you start talking about organized crime, things can get dicey. The people of Tampa, especially the ones still around to remember those days still feel a “duty” of sorts to keep quite of these things, as if these people are still amongst us and can hear our chatter.
We have to admit we are fascinated by the whole idea of the mafia and the people we knew and the whispers we grew up hearing. We can’t help ourselves when it comes to watching mob films like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and the iconic cable TV show, The Sopranos. We found ourselves in a love affair with Tony Soprano and we could not stop watching.
At this point in our collective history, we’re not sure anyone would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, something called “The Mafia.” What you might be surprised to learn, however, is how prevalent-even rampant–organized crime in Tampa was in the early and mid-20th century. From bolita–an illegal version of the now-legal Florida lottery–to narcotics, Tampa’s experience with organized crime is as notable as Chicago’s or New York’s.
Still, there’s a fine line between exploring a topic and glorifying it. Indeed, some people would rather not dwell on the less-than-noble aspects of our local history. In the 1950s, Tampa’s reputation for corruption and vice was so bad it prompted one national magazine to label the area the “Hell Hole of the Gulf Coast.” Given such negativity, who can blame people for just wanting to forget?
Despite all of this or, perhaps, because of it, a few writers and filmmakers have chosen to focus on organized crime, determined to give Tampa it’s due.
We are one of them!
Lisa M. Figueredo
Owner of Cigar City Magazine & Tampa Mafia Magazine
We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse!
Scott M. Deitche, author of 5 books on the mob including, Cigar City Mafia and The Silent Don: The Criminal Underworld of Santo Trafficante Jr, will take this group on a two hour long jaunt through Tampa’s Mafia history. The tour will take you to old gambling palaces, street corners and alleys where some mobsters met their demise, and restaurants where wise guys like famed boss Santo Trafficante Jr. held court.
Join us for this one-of-a-kind walk through Tampa’s most storied neighborhood. We guarantee you’ll never look at Ybor City the same way again.
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