Behind every good man is a good woman, but what about the not so good men? It seems that these types have a penchant for smokin’ hot women.
Hollywood has glamorized the lives of mobsters and their families with the likes of “The Sopranos” and “The Godfather.” However, reality TV has brought the dark side to light.
“Mob Wives” and “I Married a Mobster” have shown us how hard it is for some of these women to pick up the pieces as their “better" halves serve time in the slammer. But what were the glory days like? When did the façade start to crack and the foundation crumble?
Here are some mafia wives, who used to be the envy of everyone around them. And because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, we’ve included some of their daughters as well.
10 Cheryl Caruso
Cheryl Caruso naïvely believed her husband ran a printing company that was somehow successful enough to give them a high-class lifestyle. The blonde bombshell’s illusion was shattered when a judge convicted her husband Phil “Phily” Caruso of racketeering and drug dealing – offenses that carried a sentence of 15 years to life.
The fairytale was over. There would be no happy ending. Caruso’s reality check meant she was forced to raise their two daughters alone, without the funds from her husband’s lucrative illegal activities.
9 “Big Linda” Schiro and “Little Linda” Scarpa
“Big Linda” knowingly married the “Grim Reaper.” The teenage bride stepped right into a love triangle that her husband Greg Scarpa, the Colombo mafia’s hit man, was obliged to resolve.
The gruesome realities of the mafia life didn’t stop there. Their daughter “Little Linda” may have been the apple of the Grim Reaper’s eye, but that couldn’t prevent her from getting caught in the crossfire of the ever raging mafia war.
“Big Linda” still believes that her husband, who became a victim of AIDS in 1994, truly cared for his loved ones, but she also knew that her husband was not someone you should cross. She admits that if you wronged him, you would see the Grim Reaper in due time.
8 Daniela Skinner
Daniela's parent's wanted a better life for their children, so her mother and her mafia boss husband Domenico Rancadore left Sicily for London. Mother Anne Skinner took her mother’s maiden name, and they lived a quiet life away from the fighting and crime associated with her married name.
The guise worked for 20 years, but all good things must come to an end. After being acquitted on multiple occasions, her husband “The Professor” was convicted of his mafia crimes in his absence in Italy. In 2015, a Westminster court ruled that he had to be extradited and must serve his seven-year jail term in his home country.
7 Love Majewski
Majewski was nearly untouchable when she married Chris Paciello, who was a part of The Untouchables and the Bonanno family of crime. The Untouchables were a part of the car theft operation led by Ray Merolle.
Majewski, a daughter of a kingpin, didn’t stay untouchable for long. Paciello became violent, and she had to call on Merolle to make a quick escape. She made it out, and Merolle’s operation became the inspiration for the film “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
Paciello later allegedly murdered an adult entertainment king’s wife in Miami, while Majewski relocated to Staten Island.
6 Drita D’avanzo
You don’t have to be Italian to get connected to the mafia. Albanian Drita D’avanzo’s first love was the streets and marrying mobster Lee D’avanzo was icing on the cake.
The honeymoon didn’t last long. Her husband, who is an alleged high-ranking gangster in the Bonanno family, was convicted of bank robbery and served his first sentence during D’avanzo’s first pregnancy with their daughter Aleeya.
Lee came clean after being released, and the couple had another daughter. It didn’t take long for him to relapse and get caught robbing the bank again. While her husband is serving time, D’avanzo is running a business as a makeup artist to support her family, which you don’t want to mess with – unless you want to be punched in the face by the volatile Drita.
5 Andrea Giovino
Marrying into the mob was not a big stretch for Andrea Giovino, who learned how to steal at the tender age of five. Her husband John Fogarty would bring home bodies in the trunk of his car and would be eventually arrested on drug and murder charges. Giovino was arrested as well, as a conspirator in the drug operation. In reality, she was a pawn in getting the guilty pleas of her husband and brother, who was a hitman.
Now Giovino masquerades in conservative garb in a wealthy Pennsylvania town, where the government agreed to relocate her and her four children when she refused to live in the Midwest under an alias in the Witness Protection Program.
4 Karen Gravano
When Gravano found a gun under her dad’s bed when she was six, she assumed it was just a memento from fighting in the Vietnam War. As time went on, she realized that, while they were a “traditional” Italian-American family, there was another tradition putting food on the table. People treated her daddy Salvatore Gravano like a king and eventually he explained to her that he was a part of a secret group from Italy that protected each other, even if that meant taking from others.
Eventually, Gravano understood the gravity of the double life her father was living, but what horrified her the most was that her father ratted out other mafia members to get a lesser sentence – something that she and her brother had been taught to never do. Now as an adult, she can see that her father was trying to protect her family, in the same way she tries to protect her own daughter.
3 Renee Graziano
Renee Graziano is the daughter of La Cosa Nostra kingpin Anthony Graziano. She stayed in the family business for a while, marrying mobster Hector Pegan Jr., eventually divorcing him.
Since then, she has tried to keep their son AJ mob free and has started a card company called Jail Mail that employs professional letter writers to bring encouraging notes to those behind bars like her father and ex-husband.
She still lives by the family code of loyalty and believes that betrayal is the cardinal sin – especially when it involves your family.
2 Ramona Rizzo
Ramona Rizzo is no stranger to the mob lifestyle as she is the granddaughter of Benjamin Ruggiero, a famous hit man for the mafia. Al Pacino played the role of Ruggiero, also known as 'Lefty Guns' or 'Lefty Two Guns' in the film Donnie Brasco. Rizzo, was turned off by the lifestyle when her grandfather had to spend many years away from her in prison. Karen shares her stories on the show Mob Wives, one of the stories include the fact that she grew up with other mob wives and daughters such as Karen Gravano and Renee Graziano.
1 Carla Facciolo
Facciolo also thought she had escaped her father’s mafia legacy when she married who she believed to be a straight-laced stockbroker. The façade shattered when her husband Joey Ferregamo was sentenced to jail for stock fraud, and Facciolo was left to care for the couple’s twins.
She didn’t mind visitations at the penitentiary though. It was more like a class reunion for her, where she could be reunited with half of the people she grew up with.