Local best seller: Early Organized Crime in Detroit

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5-star review from fellow crime writer Daniel Waugh, author of  Gangs of St. Louis: “This book is an outstanding and long overdue look at the rich and often graphically violent early history of Detroit’s Mafia family. A direct descendant of some of the protagonists, Buccellato’s impeccable research and writing skills elevate this work to the upper-echelon of American true crime literature.

I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, but suffice it to say that Dr. Buccellato’s work fills a crucial gap in American Mafia history. A must read? Most definitely!”

The book is available at Detroit area book sellers and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.

James’s past book events: Clinton-Macomb Main Library, Books-a-Million, Southfield, MI, Ferndale Public Library, Barnes and Noble in Shelby Twp, MI, Detroit Public Library (Parkman Branch), Liberty Comics, Roseville, MI, South Lyon Public Library, Pages Bookshop (One of the best indie bookstores around!), Detroit Mercantile in Eastern Market

Featured post


“Obscene Remainders: Neoliberalism and the Gang Crisis Narrative,” in The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology 

“Sign of the Outlaw: Liberal Boundaries, Social Banditry and the Political Act,” in New Political Science

James A. Buccellato, Editor Media, Crime, and Criminal Justice: A Reader

Organized Crime In Detroit: Forgotten But Not Gone CBS Detroit

Gangs Of Detroit: Examining Youth Violence CBS Detroit

“Detroit is Experiencing an Epidemic of Gang Violence” Current Controversies: Gangs

“The Detroit Drug Pipeline” in The Detroit True Crime Chronicles   

Media Appearances

“Detroit with Big Sean, Danny Brown” Documentary—Watch James Buccellato’s appearance on VICELAND television. The episode examines the relationship between street violence and the urban music scene in Detroit.

Listen to James Buccellato’s recent interview with CBS Detroit about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Listen to Stephen Henderson’s interview with James Buccellato on WDET Detroit.

 “Killing Jimmy Hoffa” Documentary—James Buccellato is interviewed as an expert on Detroit organized crime in this documentary which uses exclusive interviews, never before seen news footage and photographs, and reveals the real story of the day Jimmy Hoffa died.

Listen to James Buccellato discuss Early Organized Crime in Detroit with Detroit’s own Slack Jaw Punks.


See James Buccellato’s research cited in the following texts:

  • Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State by Andrew Pepper (2017: Oxford University Press)
  • Anarchism and Art: Democracy in the Cracks and on the Margins by Mark Mattern (2016: SUNY Press)
  • Keeping It Real: Dick Hobbs’ Legacy of Classic Ethnography and the New Ultra-Realist Agenda by Steven Hall and Simon Winlow in Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Control edited by Georgios A. Antonopoulos (2016: Springer)
  • What is the Nexus Between Organized Crime and Gangs? in Journal of Gang Research by Stephen L. Mallory et al. (Fall, 2015)
  • Pandering to Prejudice: The ‘Yardie’Problem of the 1990s as a Media-Constructed Moral Panic by MG Warenycia (2015: Ryerson University)
  • Revitalizing Criminological Theory:: Towards a new Ultra-Realism  by Steve Hall and Simon Winlow (2015: Routledge)
  • Understanding Street Culture: Poverty, Crime, Youth and Cool by Jonathan Ilan (2015: Palgrave)
  • Crime and poverty in Detroit: A cross-referential critical analysis of ideographs and framing by Jacob, J. Nickell (2014: Illinois State University)
  • The Mafia: A Guide to an American Subculture by Nate Hendley (2013: Greenwood)
  • Diary of a Motor City Hitman by Christian Cipollini (2013: Strategic Media)

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