Campus Life

'Little Chicago' author to visit Penn State New Kensington, talk organized crime

Former cop Dennis Marsili's latest book delves into city of New Kensington's mafia side 

UPPER BURRELL, Pa. — Author Dennis Marsili will provide a perspective of the duality of the Mannerino family’s ties to the city of New Kensington at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the Forum Theatre at Penn State New Kensington.

Marsili, a retired New Kensington police officer, will reference his new book, “Little Chicago: A History of Organized Crime in New Kensington, Pa.,” to detail Kelly and Sam Mannerino’s mobster connections in the city during the '40s, '50s and '60s.

The Mannerinos “ran” New Kensington, while simultaneously running weapons to Fidel Castro in Cuba and running a casino in Havana. Although they were involved in numerous illegal activities and a part of the New York City crime syndicate, the brothers were beloved by many city residents. Marsili proffers an understanding of the dichotomy.

A native of Vandergrift, Marsili earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He served as program coordinator of the Criminal Justice Training Center at his alma mater.

“Little Chicago” is the second book by Marsili, who retired in 2011 after 29 years as a police office, including 26 years on the New Kensington police force. His first novel, “Excessive Forces: A Pittsburgh Police Thriller,” came out in 2012.

Due to the expected large crowd at the New Kensington campus event, reservations are encouraged. Copies of the book can be purchased at the event, and Marsili will be on-hand to sign the books.

To reserves a spot, call the Continuing Education office at 724-334-6010.

To order the book, visit

Dennis Marsili will detail the Mannerino family’s mafia connections to the city during the '40s, '50s and '60s. Credit: Dennis MarsiliAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated December 03, 2015