Ralph Natale the former Philadelphia mafia boss turned government witness is set to tell his life story in his upcoming book “Lost Lives and Forgotten Vows” to be published in 2016. Natale will become only the second mafia boss ever to write a book telling his own life story following in the footsteps of fellow mob boss Joseph Bonanno. Dan Pearson producer of (I Married a Mobster) and New York Daily News investigator Larry McShane will help Natale tell his story and the book will be published by Thomas Dunne Books.
After being released from prison in 1994 he became the boss of the Philly mafia from then imprisoned boss John Stanfa with the help of young mob power Joey Merlino. Natale held the title of boss from 1995 until 1999 when he was jailed on a parole violation and Merlino took over control of the family cutting ties with the former boss. While in prison Ralph would be indicted on drug charges and decide to turn rat and become the first American mafia boss to turn government witness.
Natale is believed by many to have been nothing more then a front boss for Philly mob power Joseph Merlino although its not quite the way Natale see’s things. Concerned about heat from law enforcement Merlino took the position of underboss and allowed Natale to hold the title of boss in hopes he would be the lightning rod. He would go on to testify against Merlino in a 2001 racketeering trial and as part of his deal with the government was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2005 but was released into witness protection in 2011.
The upcoming books claims to be a behind-the-scenes master’s class on organized crime and a glimpse into not only mafia but American history. Producer Dan Pearson said “Ralph out killed and out smarted his adversaries” and now he gets to tell his story giving readers a look into the mob.