The Confessions of Johnny the Nose - Mafia Man

September is a bastard of a month. Truly, I hate it. But as a month, it is tinged with bittersweet happiness, as each passing of September 1st brings me one year closer to release.

My name is Johnny 'The Nose' Nostramo, and I am currently imprisoned in Sing Sing, serving a 17 year stretch for attempted murder.

This is my story.

It began when I was introduced to Johnny 'The Head' Capaduccio, a hulking, arrogant man in his late forties. Johnny the Head was a career criminal from the mean streets of Brooklyn, who had grown up running numbers for his father, Alphonso the Head, and his gang, the Head Breakers. Johnny yearned to take over the mantle for the Head Breakers, but when his talents for outright thuggery were noticed by Johnny 'Arms' Armando, well... let's just say the Head Breakers were the first to feel the wrath of the new team on the block.

When the two Johnnies started out jacking trucks and running small-time standover operations, they were making a decent living. For three years, they kept their operations low key, opting for the low-risk side of organised crime.

But one dark February evening, while they were burgling a warehouse, they heard a noise... guns were drawn, lights extinguished and an agonising ten minute waiting game began. The waiting game finished when Johnny the Head called 'Olly Olly in for Free', and everyone came out of their hiding spots. There was another gang in the warehouse, burgling it from the other end.

The other gang was a two-man operation as well. Johnny 'Legs' Licciardello and Johnny 'The Body' Bonaducci had grown up together, pilfering money from street vendors, graduating to selling stolen cigarettes to church-goers on Sunday mornings.

It was a tense few minutes as the gangs figured out what to do... should they fight to the death, winner takes all, or co-operate, and form a new gang, one where all of the pieces came together...

The answer should be obvious to you all, by now... the Johnnies came together as one, forming a ruthless partnership that became known as the Voltronio Gang - a group of career criminals that, when put together the right way, formed a super criminal that was easily greater than the sum of its parts.

I joined the gang in the summer of 1993. It was a heady time, made even more so by the fact that the Voltronio Gang was looking for someone to help with the books. My part-Jewish ancestry, the reason behind my now-ridiculous nickname, stood me in good stead with the other Johnnies, and I became the fifth gang member with remarkable ease.

Things went well for a number of years, and we slowly rose to the top of the crime ladder in Little Italy. We had it all... cars, women and a really, really cool hideout in the back of an old butcher shop, just like in the movies. We even had use of a small portion of the cool room - 15% of it was ours, as stipulated by the conditions of our lease, but we were so tough, we often used up to 20%... after all, what could old Johnny the Butcher do? It's not like we were ever late with the rent... I saw to that personally.

Our undoing came in the form of a woman. Her name was Johnny 'The Boobs' Booberini, and she was beautiful, like a carved statue of the Madonna holding twin baby Jesus' in her arms, cradled to her chest. She was Johnny the Head's girl, but she quickly began to exert an influence over the body of our gang. It was her idea to try to heist the shipment of diamonds from Johnny the Jeweller, a rich merchant who often stopped by the butcher shop to buy things, like steak, and sometimes sausages too.

Plans for the heist were laid out over several weeks of meeting at the old butcher shop, and we had the whole gig planned down to the tiniest detail.

Arms was in charge of the guns, Legs in charge of the getaway, Body was there for muscle and Johnny the Head was there to keep things calm and deal with unexpected situations. I was to stay back at the shop and man the radio, keeping an eye on the front of Johnny the Jewellers shop with a video camera we had installed the week before on a telegraph pole across the street.

Everything was going fine, until Johnny the Boobs came to the shop. The boys had just left, and I was preoccupied with watching the video monitor in front of me, checking up and down the street for the police.

It's my fault that it all went wrong, really... I will admit that I got distracted by Johnny the Boobs when she asked me how things were going... she really was a beautiful woman. I gazed into her eyes while I thought for a couple of minutes, trying to come up with a snappy reply. When I finally stammered out that everything was fine, it wasn't... I looked at the monitor, and discovered that the boys had been rumbled. The cops were everywhere, and they weren't there to buy engagement rings.

I don't know which one of the boys spilled the beans about the hideout after the shooting was done, but somehow Johnny the Cop, the chief of police, knew where to find me. Johnny the Boobs had done a runner already, but I knew that I had to stay behind, in case any of the other members of the Voltronio Gang made it home... but none of them did.

I waited there for two whole days, helping myself to frozen meat from Johnny the Butcher's stock, leaving him promissory notes to replace the steaks that I cooked over a lone gas ring in the corner of the office. We had nicknamed that gas ring 'Johnny the Burner', and it was the unofficial eleventh member of the gang. There were other unofficial members, but I can't remember who they were now... it all seems so long ago.

I was chewing a particularly satisfying piece of gristle when the door was kicked in from the outside, and Johnny the Cop stood there, alone. Always the glory hound, he had come to arrest the final member of the ruthless Voltronio Gang by himself, assuring that he would keep his job for at least another five years.

But age had wearied Johnny the Cop, and his nerves failed him. I reached for my gun, Johnny the 9mm Glock, and put a bullet in his chest. For some reason, despite all of my training on the mean streets, I resisted the urge to make sure he was dead with a shot to the head. Instead, I dragged him into the cool room, and left him there to die.

They found Johnny the Cop the next day. A combination of the shock of taking a bullet to the chest and the cool room's temperature had put him into a state of suspended animation - but he was alive enough to position himself on the floor before he passed out.

When they found him, he was lying on his back, spread eagled, except for his right arm - the index finger on his right hand was positioned delicately on the end of his nose. That's how they knew it was me.

I was arrested four days later in a hotel in Skokie, Illinois. I was brought before Johnny the Judge to plead guilty, and he sentenced me to 17 years for the attempted murder of a cop.

So that's where I am now... locked up in Sing Sing. My only hope now is that I can survive the next six years unscathed... and as long as I don't drop Johnny the Soap, I should be fine.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...