”Goodfellas,” which tells the story of real life mafioso turned FBI informer Henry Hill, opens with a familiar wish: ”I always wanted to be a gangster.” Now that Hill, 57, has left both the Mob and the Witness Protection Program, he’s telling a new story: He’s always wanted to be a Netrepreneur. To that end, he’s just launched GoodFellaHenry, a sometimes nostalgic, sometimes humorous guide to living the wiseguy life.
”A lot of people are just into this stuff,” says Hill. ”I’m still trying to figure that out.” While he’s thinking on it, he’s got plenty of company, because dozens of mobbed up sites are now scrambling in a cyberturf war to cover all things Cosa Nostra. With a new season of ”The Sopranos” starting March 4, it’s time to go to the mattresses.
?Sopranoland No site brings you closer to being a Jersey crime boss. It’s got an episode guide, dense cast bios, Mafia bowling shirts for sale, and (coming soon) temporary tattoos like the ones worn by Tony and Paulie. ”People want to be Tony Soprano,” says webmistress Ivy Hover. ”I get the strangest questions: ‘There’s a recliner in Tony’s living room; where can I get one?”’ So she packs the site with all sorts of minutiae, including the on the set exploits of gadfly fan SopranoSue and a gallery of the characters who now sleep with the fishes. A?
?Gang Land Jerry Capeci spent six years covering the Mob for New York’s Daily News; now he slings evenhanded, reliable dish about the Five Families online. ”I get a grudging amount of respect from the wiseguys,” he says, declaring that news about Italian crime syndicates has always been as American as apple pie. A
?Free John Gotti Breathless and indignant, this plea to release cancer stricken celeb Mob boss John Gotti from custody (he’s now serving his life sentence in a secured Springfield, Mo., hospital) includes tips on getting your letters into the Dapper Don’s hands (no snipes at the FBI; no porn). Creator Nanci Meek insists the page is serious — but she peppers it with pics of herself and runs it on her Mafia humor site. C
?The Godfather Trilogy Plenty of Mob movies claim a corner on the Web (see The Ultimate Gangster & Crime Films Web Site). But Francis Ford Coppola’s trilogy gets the respect a don deserves: transcribed scripts (with comparisons between the films’ alternate cuts), sound clips, autographs, and a floor plan of Don Corleone’s office. Someday this site may ask you for a favor. Return it. B+