Is John Torrence the richest and most powerful man of the 20th century? 

What is his relationship to Al Capone’s boss and mentor, Johnny Torrio?

JOHN TORRENCE  is a beyond wealthy immigrant businessman enjoying a day of golf at one of Chicago’s finest courses. He is in the company of society’s elite.

Against all odds, he has accumulated staggering wealth, and is driven by a life of “more.” His net worth is over $100M. Perhaps not overly impressive considering today’s billionaires, but this is Chicago, 1919.

In sharp contrast, across the world in rural Italy, the almost “saintly” Marietta devotes her existence to her large family. She loves her life but often misses her brother, Donato, who emigrated to the U.S. with their mother at two years old.

She does not like living under Mussolini’s rule. He is ruining her beloved Italy.

Montréal, Canada, 1972.

JOSEPH is an average boy from an Italian middle class family. He is Marietta’s grandson, so not surprisingly, he has been instilled with high morals and family values. Despite this, he is totally indoctrinated by the American Dream. 

He is in awe of the rich and famous.

JFK is his idol. Joseph’s near perfect life is disrupted by a deep internal struggle. He is driven towards achieving financial success, yet he is constantly warned about the

evil of money. Could the pursuit of the American Dream possibly have a poisonous side? Unfathomable to Joseph.

Joseph’s fascination with the rich and powerful begins to extend beyond JFK. After viewing the movie, “The Godfather,” Joseph believes that this man has it all. His

fascination with the Mob goes beyond the norm, yet he has no understanding of Mafia life. His parents worry about his obsession. The movie further ignites the fire

within him. Is wealth the barometer of success or is money the root of all evil?

Several years later, Joseph accidentally discovers a newspaper clipping headlined “The Mafia at War.” It depicts a familiar shooting scene from “the Godfather,” but with real life men from Chicago’s Prohibition era, specifically a man named JOHNNY TORRIO. Why does his father have this in his night table drawer? 

When confronted, Nicola is mortified, but resignedly reveals a deep, dark family secret. The revelation floors Joseph. Joseph is informed that JOHNNY TORRIO , Al Capone’s boss and mentor, is a blood relative, specifically his great uncle. 

An unquenchable thirst for knowledge ensues. This life-altering revelation sets a relentless quest for information in motion and, for Joseph, there is no turning back.

With the help of his father’s sister, Aunt Tina, he takes an epic journey into a world and family poisoned by money. 

Come along, the book is filled with fun-filled facts and analogies to today’s world, life lessons to cherish and an insight to Torrio’s life never before explored. Enjoy the tumultuous ride of this fascinating novel.


The Poison of Money book examines this obsession as the story chronicles a teenager’s in-depth look at the pursuit of the coveted American Dream and its sometimes dire consequences. Is money really poisonous? And, is it really the root of all evil?  It's a story for anyone who enjoys stories that bring the past to life and make it relevant and inspiring to present day and their quest for self-improvement. And, of course, the story will resonate with the large demographic that continues to be fascinated by the Mafia.

The Poison of Money book


Just like the famous movie scene from “THE GODFATHER"

Capone took the spotlight but Johnny Torrio was the mastermind. Torrio led such an obscure life that his natural death by heart attack went undiscovered for 3 weeks.  In the famous movie scene from “the Godfather,” Don Vito Corleone is shot while returning home from grocery shopping and then guarded at the hospital. Torrio, a real life Godfather, was shot in the same way and Capone was the principal guard. 

* Background image of Johnny Torrio, courtesy of the book 's author has never before been seen until now. *

for the first time in history we hear from marietta torrio


The Poison of Money is the first book to introduce Torrio’s only blood sister; to chronicle his life obsession to reunite with her; to tell an almost incredible family tale of triumph and tragedy including a reunion that is repeatedly thwarted by greed and jealousy. The Poison of Money chronicles the far-reaching repercussions of money and its deadly venom.   

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