Michael Franzese may now be an evangelist, but he once faced a life of danger and was warned by the FBI that he was a dead man. But everything changed when a prison guard left a Bible in his cell
All alone in a jail cell with no hope of ever getting out, Michael Franzese felt like he’d lost everything. Growing up as the son of the notorious underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family, Michael led a life filled with power, luxury and deadlyviolence.
In 1986 he was even named by Vanity Fair as one of the biggest money earners the mob had seen since Al Capone. At the age of 35, Fortune Magazine listed him as number 18 on its list of the ‘Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses’. But four years later at the age of 39 he was paying the price for this dangerous lifestyle.
And when Michael found God and be- came a Christian, he found true freedom for the first time in his life – despite still
being locked up. “I had done five years in prison after I took a plea to a serious racketeering case and I got a ten-year sentence,” he tells iBelieve.
“During that time, it became public knowledge that I was walking away from the mob because the media picked up the fact that I was trying to get away from that life and it was received very harshly. The boss in my family had a contract out on my life and my father turned on me as he went along with it.
“I had a rough time in prison because the FBI came in and told me I was a dead man. I got out and was on parole for 13 months and I was literally dodging bullets at times.
“Then I violated my parole and went back to prison – the first night in that jail cell was without a doubt the worst night of my life because they had told me I’d never see the street again.