My informant grew up in New Jersey in the 1960s and 1970s, a classic period of Italian mafia activity in the United States. As a child he lived in Secaucus, New Jersey with his parents and three siblings. His father worked driving a cement truck for the Teamsters Local 560, the union local that was run by the mob boss Tony Provenzano.
My informant now lives in Monterey, California, and will occasionally tell stories about New Jersey when his family from Jersey comes to visit. I was able to take notes on this story during one such family gathering.
According to my informant, Certo’s Tailor Shop was a store in his hometown of Secaucus, New Jersey that was perhaps not-so-secretly run by or, at least used by, the mob. My informant does not know if it was ever proven, but as he put it: “It was reputed that interesting people gathered there, and that interesting things would sometimes be kept there overnight until they could be… uh, well, buried.”
My informant’s belief that Certo’s could have been used to store bodies for the mob temporarily is absolutely plausible to him. Hudson County, New Jersey, where Secaucus is located was the home of notorious Italian mob boss Tony Provenzano, and so stores that were “fronts” for mob activity were simply a fact of life. My informant explained that this was accepted and never something that caused him or his family any anxiety as a child. “This was the lore of the area,” he told me. “And it wasn’t untrue.”