Rick Porrello – the author of The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia, To Kill the Irishman and Superthief – talked about his new book on the life and crimes of notorious Cleveland mobster, Alex Shondor Birns, when he visited us earlier this month.
Birns was an important figure in the Cleveland underworld for nearly half a century. He was killed after falling out with fellow Cleveland gangster Danny Greene.
Porrello is also the former chief of the Lyndhurst Police Department. However, his interest in the Cleveland mafia is personal. His grandfather, Raymond Porrello, and great-uncles were involved in the underground and helped supply the corn sugar that bootleggers used to make liquor. He was killed in 1932 during a card game.