If you’ve been tuning in to the 2nd season of VH1’s docu-series Mob Wives, and apparently many of you have, you certainly noticed new addition Angela “Big Ang” Raiola.
She’s more outspoken than the other cast members (what a statement), lives up to her large nickname and even larger lady lumps (as she likes to joke about) and seems to fit right in with “the lifestyle” of the NYC mob scene. Turns out that “Big Ang” should fit in because girl is connected not only through blood but through business dealings and just her everyday living. Raiola rolls with it, so I thought I’d key you in on her connections to “the lifestyle” and why you see her frequently getting respect from the peeps on Mob Wives.
UPDATE: Peeps have got so much big love for “Big Ang” they’ve went and got tattoos of her. Check the amazing ink out here. Also, it turns out her uncle wasn’t the only one onthe wrong side of the law as court papers reveal that Angela is a convicted felon and former cocaine dealer.
But…. Just in case you haven’t caught an episode yet featuring the gravel voiced lady who is proving to be the calm head and peacemaker of the bunch, here’s a clip from Vh1 for a little taste of Angela on screen:
On to “Big Ang” and her connection to the New York City Genovese crime family. According to VH1’s official bio for Raiola, she is the niece of the late notorious gangster Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi. Sally Dogs is a reputed former capo of one of the most powerful families in organized crime in America. The Genovese family is one of the “five families” and has been nicknamed the “Ivy League” of organized crime. The family was run for years by “The Oddfather” Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, who would roam the streets of Greenwich village feigning insanity, unshaven, bedecked in a robe while muttering to himself and urinating on the street.
This was a ruse of course and under The Chin’s leadership the Genovese family ran a tight ship. How tight? According to a write up in MafiaToday:
He was never picked up on a wiretap, and avoided prosecution for far longer than the other family bosses. In more than 30 years as head of the family, he was able to consolidate the family’s power over labor unions, the Javits Convention Center, the Fulton Fish Market and the San Gennaro Festival, among other lucrative rackets.
Made guys who even uttered his name had a death warrant placed on their heads. Instead, they could only point to or rub their chins when they wanted to reference him.
Utter his name and they’re coming for your life. That’s how tight.
Sally Dogs is deceased now but just for another taste of the very real entrenched mafia lifestyle Angela grew up around here’s an article from The New York Times about a double homicide involving a former crime member and his lover. In 2009 William Romano (70) and his companion Elviza Aronova (36) were found murdered in Romano’s duplex apartment. Romano was drowned in a bathtub while Aronova was found beaten and stabbed to death.
The one connection made to these murders? It was Romano’s known affiliation with Sally Dogs:
State and federal law enforcement officials said Mr. Romano had long been associated with the Genovese crime family, in particular with the capo Salvatore Lombardi, known as Sally Dogs, who was heavily involved in narcotics trafficking.
Here is Ang’s bio via VH1 that would seem to indicate that Angela is very much still a part of “the lifestyle.”
Angela Raiola aka “Big Ang” is the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family. Angela, a single mother of 2 was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY with her two sisters and four brothers. Big Ang always strived to be popular with “the mob.” She is what many consider a mob moll. Owning many mafia hangouts over the years, she became like “one of the guys” – even catching a case with some high ranking members of the mob. She was loved by them all. She is like a character straight from the movie Goodfellas and lives by the lifestyle code.
Ang has dated many gangsters throughout her life but has always remained independent. She is not the typical women who would depend on a man. Big Ang has managed to make her own way and provide her own means within this world, though she was always lavished with houses, cars, jewelry, furs (you name it) by many well known mob wise guys. One would believe that they call her Big Ang for “E Cups” or her even larger lips, but is really because of her larger than life personality. She is hysterically funny without even meaning to be. Often referring to herself as “bad girl” she will have you laughing upon meeting her and keep you laughing until you leave.
Laughing indeed. I just wouldn’t mention too many of her associates by name and I certainly would keep your opinions about her late uncle to yourself if you catch my drift.
Big Ang also still parties with Wise Guys. On Mob Wives, she’s seen nursing a hangover with her friend Linda after they went out drinking with the WGs. Of course, the ladies didn’t have to spend a penny on libations.
“Last night me and my friend were out partying with the guys like we were 21 . . . I like the wise guys because they know how to treat women. They bought me nice houses, gorgeous furs, diamonds, cars. They’re very generous, and they’re very good lookin.’ I’ve dated plenty of wise guys, and I’m lookin’ forward to meeting another one!”
Top Photo: Demis Maryannakis / Splash News