Why Notorious Mob Informant R
 Natale Is Suing the United States Government

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 16 | Posted Aug. 22, 2012

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“I’m not a religious man,” he says. “But I thank the blessed mother that my sons took after my wife. And my daughters! If they were boys, they’d be doing 40 to 60 somewhere!” That’s a compliment—he means they’re tough. One of his daughters is, in fact, a federal prosecutor.

Framed photos of his family are all over the house; his eldest great-grandchild is a freshman in high school. “I never saw them,” he says of his great-grandchildren. “They were born when I was in prison.”

“I feel bad for my dad, because regardless of what he did in his life, no one should go blind,” says Frank. “My son ... would love to have him come to a football game … but there’s no way he could sit in the stands and watch him … when I grew up, he was always at every football game, every practice.”

The family doesn’t see Natale the way the rest of the world might.” I don’t picture him as this big mob guy,” says Frank. “I understand that, but here when you sit down and say hello and have a glass of wine, he’s my dad.”

Natale says that he doesn’t talk too much with neighbors. He figures once he starts chatting, they’ll eventually ask questions that he doesn’t want to answer. He says that now that he’s retired, so to speak, he’s reflecting on his life. “I’m not too proud of anything we did,” he says. “But hey, my life was my life.”

Does he ever think about the people he murdered?

“I can’t feel any way about them, because I’d have no life,” he says. “We didn’t go out and pick somebody who was selling apples or in the candy store or shoot at somebody and a kid gets killed. These guys were bad men … I only took the life of men who wanted to take my life. And that’s it. I can’t say any more.” 

At 77, Natale has given half his life to the streets and the other half to the system—and feels let down by both. He has his beloved wife. He has his family. For as long as his eyesight allows, he will work on his memoirs and run in the park. It is a race against time and light.

“Every night I go to sleep. I dream all night,” he says. “The last dream is that I’m in prison again. Every night.”

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Comments 1 - 16 of 16
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1. Mamabear1210 said... on Aug 22, 2012 at 02:23PM

“Excellent journalism.”

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2. Eric said... on Aug 22, 2012 at 03:31PM

“As far as mob journalism goes this is a boring article. Couldn't you have gotten a better writer? It should have just been a Q&A since there's not much writing. I guess this is what you get from a free rag like Philly Weakly.”

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3. ter and jon said... on Aug 22, 2012 at 06:09PM

“Several of us read the article and found it informative and interesting
Mr Eric must want more shoot `um up, drag out, sorted details and the inside dope (excuse the pun). Ralphie boy has to hold back some secrets. That`s why R N is writing a book. He might even hold out for movie rights . So, Mr E --pay up when the book comes out and get the inside info you want on hoods, mob, bad guys who lived, played and
did the deeds back in the day.
Meanwhile-----to the author....'Thanks for a good read ' and some sound observations.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Aug 22, 2012 at 06:49PM

“great story, great writing it really makes you kinda feel for the man, respect him, maybe not like his past actions but, understand who he is today”

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5. Gwen said... on Aug 22, 2012 at 08:27PM

“Fascinating piece, I wish we had more in depth stories like this shared!”

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6. Anonymous said... on Aug 23, 2012 at 05:12PM

“Maybe if this case goes to trial it will bring to light other neglect of the prison authorities toward prisoners. Truthfully, there is no sympathy for this man when the reality is of all terrible actions and results of those terrible actions to other families that he is responsible for .”

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7. Anonymous said... on Aug 24, 2012 at 04:59PM

“Thank god? Dont you mean God? Goos story though even if he was a puppet id still like to see his book get published, wouldnt have to worry about money at all then”

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8. Anonymous said... on Aug 24, 2012 at 05:01PM

“He is the only guy i know of that went to jail not even made and came out as the boss. Why that is not included i dont know.....”

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9. Anonymous said... on Aug 26, 2012 at 09:11AM

“Enjoyed the article. Natale should be appreciative to his wife, sounds like an amazing woman. Raise five successful children while her loser husband is doing life on the installment plan....good for her. He never should have gotten the sweet deal he got, he should have died behind bars. Only a corrupted, warped justice department gives a deal to the likes of Ralph Natale.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Aug 27, 2012 at 12:49PM

“Doubt he has a case. Natale and his wife claim the Feds "did nothing" about his condition, then go on to list a number of times he visited doctors while imprisoned. As for being denied a visit to Wills Eye, consider the circumstances. To allow a family member to arrange an appointment for an imprisoned former mob boss to visit a doctor in the city that Natale was once running... come on. Who in their right mind would approve that? Too many possibilities for shenanigans there.
Now, he's been on the outside for a year, and still doesn't have a diagnosis. Good luck with proving neglect on the part of the Feds, Ralph. It ain't gonna happen. You're an old man and you're falling apart. Happens to everyone. He should be thanking his lucky stars that he made it this far, and didn't spend the last years of his life in a cell, as he should have.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Aug 27, 2012 at 01:43PM

“This was a fantastic piece. Really interesting to see Natale's life put into this perspective. Great job”

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12. PhilCane said... on Aug 28, 2012 at 05:25PM

“Good Story. However, there is one thing I'd like to bring to your attention. Joey Merlino didn't secede Ralph Natale, he succeeded him. The South attempted to secede from the Union. Barack Obama succeeded George W. Bush as president of the United States.”

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13. Neal A. said... on Sep 8, 2012 at 12:32AM

“Silly girl, shotguns don't have bullets. No editors, or fact checkers?”

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14. Anonymous said... on Sep 13, 2012 at 03:53PM

“Interesting. By th way, where's he living now?”

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15. Anonymous said... on Oct 25, 2012 at 09:21PM

“Great story I'm happy he's out living life on the outside he's got his wife with him too you lucky son of gun God Bless you both!

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16. Sam said... on Jan 16, 2014 at 04:45PM

“I really liked this story! I hope to hear a follow up on it soon. Keep us posted please! http://www.albemarleeye.com/precision-optical/”


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