Scott M. Burnstein

Scott M. Burnstein is a true-crime author and staff reporter on the Oakland Press in Detroit. He authored the 2007 regional bestseller Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in the City of Detroit, and in 2010 published Family Affair: Greed, Treachery and Betrayal in the Chicago Mafia. He graduated from Indiana University in 1999 and received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2004. He has been a featured expert on organized crime on numerous TV shows including the History Channel’s hit show Gangland, and in 2009 he produced, wrote, and appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Detroit Mob Confidential. His writing has also appeared in the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Magazine, and AOL.com.

Published in Authors

Mafia Prince: Inside America's Most Violent Mafia Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra

Mafia Princeby Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti and Scott M. Burnstein

Mafia Prince is the first-person account of one of the most violent eras in Mafia history —“Little” Nicky Scarfo’s reign as boss of the Philly family in the 1980s—written by Scarfo’s underboss and nephew, “Crazy” Phil Leonetti.

The youngest-ever underboss at the age of 31, Leonetti was at the crux of the violent downfall of the traditional American Mafia in the 1980s when he infiltrated Atlantic City after gambling was legalized, and later turned state’s evidence against his own. His testimony directly led to the convictions of dozens of high-ranking made men including John Gotti, Vincent Gigante, and his own uncle, Nicky Scarfo—sparking the beginning of the end of La Cosa Nostra.

Just as The Godfather and Boardwalk Empire defined the early 20th century Mafia, and Wiseguy and Casino depicted the next great era through the ’70s, Mafia Prince concludes this epic genre revealing the Mafia’s violent final heyday of the 1980s— straight from the horse’s mouth.

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Published in Memoirs

Family Affair - Treachery, Greed & Betrayal in the Chicago Mafia

by Sam Giancana and Scott M. Burnstein

Facing a court-ordered blood test matching his blood to that at the crime scene, as well as a murder contract placed on his head by the mob, Nick Calabrese has turned government witness and spilled the beans on a series of gangland homicides.  One of these murders is the infamous double execution of Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro and his younger brother, Michael.  Until now, this has been one of the most notoriously unsolved gangland assassinations in U.S. history.  

Sam Giancana, the godson and nephew of Mafia Godfather, Sam “Momo” Giancana, along with investigative crime journalist, Scott M. Burnstein, have delved into the mysterious inner world of the deadly Chicago mafia.  Following a federal racketeering indictment, an enormous governmental legal effort titled, "Operation Family Secrets" charged 14 defendants, several of who are members of the current Chicago crime family administration, with 18 previously unsolved gangland homicides.  Family Affair - Treachery, Greed, & Betrayal in the Chicago Mafia provides scintillating details about the ferocious gangsters who rule the Midwest.

Published in True Crime