A six-part television drama that began on City TV last month is based on the bestselling true crime novel “Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War” authored by Queen’s University lecturer and organized crime expert Antonio Nicaso.
“Bad Blood” – which premiered on September 21st and airs on Thursday nights – stars Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace, Empire Records) as Montreal mobster Vito Rizzuto. The series is about the mobster’s life and death as researched and recorded by Mr. Nicaso and co-author Peter Edwards, a Toronto Star reporter.
The two interviewed around 200 people and spent 20 years conducting research about the kingpin who allegedly led a criminal empire and was connected to a many highly placed politicians and business men.
Mr. Nicaso also provided expert testimony to the Charbonneau Commission during a two and a half year investigation of organized crime and corruption in Quebec.
“It’s a great feeling to see your book turned into a television show, as it underlines the power of ideas,” Mr. Nicaso told the Queen’s Gazette. “I have spent most of my life trying to deconstruct the myth of mobsters to show that the real Mafia is not the one glamorized by Hollywood. I hope this series helps to remove old stereotypes.”
Currently, Mr. Nicaso is teaching courses at Queen’s University on the social history of organized crime in Canada, as well as Mafia culture and the power of symbols, rituals and myths.
Bad Blood is broadcast Thursdays on City TV and past episodes can be viewed online.
Image source: City TV