The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Mob Boss of Hollywood

by  Ori Spado & Dennis Griffin

I just finished this true crime book by Orlando (Ori) Spado better known as the Mob Boss of Hollywood, according to him and his cronies. He had a decades long friendship with mobster Sonny Franzese who kept him protected, on the street and in the joint. It was a good read, no dragging places, moved along well. I’ve been very blessed with the last several books, I’m on a streak. I love when that happens. Spado has his own things he does in Hollywood to make money, but he’s also know as a ’fixer’ for people who are having a problem they need handled, like a debt they are having trouble collecting, or people they are having problems with, things like that. With his connections, and all of the people he knows, he had no problem taking care of most anything for anyone and was quite successful at it.

There are photos in the book and a link where you can see them online too, along with some others, which I always enjoy checking out. The book is co-written with Dennis Griffin who is becoming one of my favorite true crime writers as I have read quite a lot of his work lately and enjoyed it.



Publisher: WildBlue Press – 344 pages
Published: Nov 12th, 2019
MY RATING: 4/5 Stars

The Co-Author- Dennis N. Griffin was born in Rome, New York in 1945. He joined the U. S. Navy in 1962. After being honorably discharged in 1966, he returned to central New York. He is married and has four adult children. Mr. Griffin began his career in investigations and law enforcement in 1975, when Pinkerton, Inc. hired …him as a private investigator. His duties included insurance fraud, missing persons, financial and background investigations, as well as undercover operations. In 1979 the Madison County, New York Department of Social Services hired him as a Senior Child Support Investigator. He was responsible for locating and conducting financial investigations of persons failing to provide legally mandated child support. In 1981 he joined the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, and attained the rank of sergeant. He was a shift supervisor and public information officer. During the same time-period, he moonlighted as a part time patrolman for the Village of Chittenango Police Department. In 1987 Mr. Griffin was hired by the New York State Department of Health as Director of Investigations, Wadsworth Center. The primary mission of his unit was to investigate violations of the Public Health Law relating to clinical and environmental laboratories, and health care fraud. He was responsible for hiring and training investigators, case assignments and general supervision. In addition, he personally handled the more difficult and complex investigations. Many of these cases received both local and national media attention. He retired in 1995. In 1996, Dennis was supposed to be retired, but decided to tell the story of what he learned while investigating the operation of a medical examiner’s office. It was an eye-opening experience and he felt compelled to share it with others. Dennis eventually authored a fictionalized account called, The Morgue. However, readers didn’t believe anything in the book could actually happen, but they liked the story and his style; rough edges and all. Six more mystery/thriller fictions followed. The author is an active member of the Police Writers Association. He attended Onondaga County Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College and the Central New York Regional Academy for Police Training. He has three other novels published through 1stBooks. The first, The Morgue, was published 1999. Red Gold, followed in 2000. In January 2002, his writing career was at a crossroads. Would he continue the uphill struggle for recognition in a genre with a number of well-established authors? Or was it time to find another hobby? The question was answered at a writers’ conference when a lady suggested Dennis try his hand at police-related non-fiction. That was the turning point. He began writing Policing Las Vegas, the history of law enforcement in Las Vegas and Clark County from 1905 thru 2004. Policing was released in April 2005. Writing that book opened his eyes to some interesting things about Las Vegas and the mob that he wanted to explore; leading to his second non-fiction book, The Battle for Las Vegas, the story of the Vegas reign of Chicago mob enforcer Tony Spilotro. In the movie Casino, actor Joe Pesci played a character based on Spilotro. The Battle for Las Vegas was released on July 1, 2006. In writing that book, Dennis relied heavily on resources such as retired FBI agents and police detectives from that era, and through his conversations with career criminal and former Spilotro lieutenant Frank Cullotta. Those conversations led to a third Vegas-based non-fiction, CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness, released nationally in July 2007. Since that time, Dennis has written several books on the true stories of the Las Vegas mob and the era in which they reigned. In 2007 Denny began hosting his own Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio.


2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW ~ The Accidental Gangster

  1. I think you’re right! I read 90% serial killer stuff and this blends in nicely. Next I’m doing another Errol Flynn book for a break haha. This is the one written by his biographer and it’s pretty good so far. I hope you enjoy The Accidental Gangster. I was just noticing there are quite a few books by that name, strangely enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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