Scandals, Secrets & The Mob

Nearly forty years ago, Vito Colucci Jr. of the Stamford Police Department was almost murdered by Sgt. Albert “Duke” Morris as Colucci backed his car out of his grandfather’s driveway. It wasn’t the first time he’d receive a death threat.



Vito Colucci

William Taufic

In Rogue Town, Colucci’s account of corruption in Stamford, readers will discover a city quite different from the Gold Coast gem they live in today. It was “a crazy era,” the author says, “but Stamford, at night, was quiet.” However, underneath the mellow façade lay organized crime, and atop the criminal food chain perched Lt. Larry Hogan, Colucci’s superior, and Morris, Hogan’s enforcer. “There were so many dollars bound up with city contracts and kickbacks,” Colucci says. “Stamford was a totally corrupt city; I can’t even say ‘partly.’ ” 

Still, the story is dimly recalled, even now. “Most of the younger generation today have no idea what was going on then,” Colucci says. “Even older people have said that. Their bottom line with the book is: ‘I didn’t know the extent of it.’ ”

Were it not for Anthony R. Dolan’s reporting, it might have stayed buried. In the book’s foreword, Dolan relates how Stamford’s “classic matrix of organized crime and municipal corruption in eight city departments” had developed. Beginning in 1974, in roughly seven-dozen articles for The Advocate (for which he would win the paper’s only Pulitzer), Dolan traced the corruption that Colucci had been working to bring to light. “The unique thing about my situation is I wore a wire and put in a fake resignation,” Colucci notes. “And I went out on the street as a disgruntled ex-cop, and became like a sounding board for people who would give me information.” 

This was part of the plan concocted by Stamford’s then new, hardline Police Chief Victor I. Cizanckas to flush out the city. 

Dolan’s career trajectory relates a more national story: He went on to become President Ronald Reagan’s head speechwriter (coining the phrase “Evil Empire”), and as a result of meetings with administration officials about Stamford’s situation, the Presidential Commission on Organized Crime arose. 

There will be a Rogue Town sequel, detailing the time after the book’s events, but for now, Colucci has been contacted by Hollywood, and a film or TV adaptation is, perhaps, in the offing. 

More important, though, was simply telling his story. “I’m having a ball seeing this book do so well,” he says. “It’s near-and-dear to my heart; I almost died for it. It’s in the history of Stamford, its dark past.”

Stamford Agenda

  • Juliska Annual Tent Sale!

    2014.09.15

    Juliska's annual shopping event is happening now until September 22nd, 2014 from 9am- 6pm daily. The sale will be held under a big top...

  • JCC Sara Walker Nursery School Registration

    2014.08.11

    Registration for the 2014/15 school Our Nursery School programs are designed to help children learn in an interactive and playful way while...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • FAll 2014 Semester beginning - Ballet School of Stamford

    2014.09.15

    Our Fall semester begins on September 15th in our beautiful studios at Old Town Hall in Stamford. We offer classes for children age 3 to 18. Our...

  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center Facility Use

    2014.09.01

    September 1 – December 31, After 5pm For a truly unique and memorable venue, host your event or meeting on the picturesque 118-acre...

  • "China's Second Continent"

    2014.09.17

    Howard French, Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Journalism, will speak at the World Affairs Forum on September 17 at the...

  • BU8: DJ Trivia | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Come test your Wit and skills with TRIVIA. The top 3 teams claim prizes. Great specials and a great time for those who...

  • Let’s Talk

    2014.09.04

    Thursdays, Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, 1 – 2 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet new people or...

  • Gino Vannelli and Bernie Williams

    2014.09.19

    Since Grammy-nominated,singer-songwriter Gino Vannelli’s debut release of Crazy Life, in 1973, he has remained one of the most distinctive...

  • Neshama Yoga

    2014.09.12

    Fridays Sept. 12 – Dec. 19 (No class Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Nov. 28), 9 – 10:30 am Neshama Yoga is a fusion of Kundalini...

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • PRETTY OBSESSED

    2014.09.20

    We're Pretty Obsessed this season and you'll see why…. Let our Beauty Experts introduce you to all of the crush-worthy looks and...

  • The Bounty of Summer

    2014.09.20

    The Stamford Museum & Nature Center invites you to its inaugural farm-to-table supper celebrating the bounty of summer. Join us for an...

  • French Market (Farmers’ Market)

    2014.06.14

    Visit our farmers’ market with vendors offering the freshest fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods and more! Straight from the farm and...

  • The Way We Worked

    2014.09.20

    September 20 through November 4, 9am – 5pm The Way We Worked is a fun and nostalgic look back at the history of working people in...

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURES:Stream Hunters

    2014.09.21

    From mayflies to salamanders, there is another world beneath the rocks and leaves of the stream. Join SM&NC staff for a chance to explore...

  • Market Madness Sundays

    2014.09.07

    Sundays, September 7 – October 5, 10 am – 3:30 pm Support local farmers and explore the SM&NC through hands-on activities...

  • Restaurant: Family Night | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Every Sunday evening from 5:30PM - 8:30PM Bring the kids to enjoy our Magician, special kids menu, fun for the entire family!


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