Paul V. Coates — Confidential File, June 29, 1959

 June 29, 1959, Gordo

Confidential File

Kid Racketeers Outdoing Mafia

Paul CoatesI can tell by looking at you that you are a wide-awake member of this community.

When
you read this daily newspaper you don't limit yourself to the dated
happenings of the Paleolithic Age, as reported by Alley Cop. Nor do you
think the open sesame of all knowledge is when you "Ask Andy."

You
are the rare type who — on occasion, at least — turns from the comic
pages to digest the more significant text of the news pages.

And
since you do, you are well aware that Page 1, in recent weeks, has been
devoted to the hue and cry about an alleged fraternity of bocce ball players called the Mafia.

It's
being intensely investigated by congressional committees, state Senate
subcommittees, women's clubs, Sunday supplements and Sam Katzman.

June 29, 1959, Bury I am not unsympathetic to this widespread probing.

 If there is a Mafia, we should know about it at once and do something about it.

What
we do, we make a movie on it starring Julius La Rosa as the nice
Italian kid whose old lady always hoped he would be an opera star, but
he winds up being a torpedo for the mob. However, he goes straight in
the last three scenes and marries Anna Maria Alberghetti, a nice Italian kid.

But look at me. I digress.

What
I started to say is that I don't object to their looking into crime.
Trouble is, they haven't come up with anything conclusive about the
Mafia.

The authorities disagree. Parker says there is one. And Cohen says there isn't one.

 Or, more specifically, there ain't none.

And while they've been haggling, another syndicate has moved in right under their very noses.

It
has come to my attention from a number of sources that a mob made up of
little 11-year-old moppets is working the old Girl Scout cooky racket all over town.

First reports came from South L.A. where citizens began calling in complaints that pre-teen youngsters were knocking at their doors and representing themselves as bona fide Brownies. They announced that they were taking orders for Girl Scout cookies at 50 cents a box.

Collect Money and Lam

They collected in advance, lammed, and you know the rest — no cookies.

The
MO has been pretty well defined. The smallest one in the mob makes the
pitch and affects an appealing lisp. They work a neighborhood dry in
approximately one week and then move to another section.

For example, after South Los Angeles, they were reported in the central district. After that in the vicinity of Melrose
and Virgil. And just yesterday I got a call from a lady in the heart of
Hollywood, saying she and all her neighbors had been taken by the
little tykes.

The situation is really out of hand.

If you
ask me, our law-enforcement agencies should stop debating the existence
of the Mafia and concentrate on bringing these phony Girl Scouts to
justice.

And once we get them, what we do, we make a movie on
it, starring Judy Garland as the nice little kid whose old lady always
hoped she would be an opera star, but…

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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