gangster turned into a pastor? Unlike most mob
stories that end in tragedy, the dramatic life story
of Rocco Morelli is a
tale of total triumph.
"I was a Mafia wise guy—rich, powerful, and greedy,"
Morelli says of his former life in his book
Forgetta 'bout It. "I
was arrested and imprisoned.
But when released from prison, I was a changed man."
(the family) ran "Little Chicago," Morelli's
hometown of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, nicknamed
for its mob connections.
According to Morelli, the Mafia bosses on the east
coast all had ties to the family in Little Chicago.
"The Mafia curse was passed down to me from my
great-grandfather. I was doomed from birth to be an
heir of the mob."
Morelli became a cop at age 19, but at the same time
his love for the underworld. "I became a player,
eventually messing up my mind with drugs and
alcohol. Less than 10 years later, I had the world
in the palm of my hands. I was part of the action
and the boss gave me the opportunity for
membership." That boss told Morelli, "Kill Tony and
you're made!" He needed an ironclad alibi. As he was
about to do the hit, something happened that changed
his plans and his life forever:
God the Father and said no to the Godfather.
Morelli now speaks his message of a changed life to
prisoners, at-risk youth, and the lost around the