Life of Mafia Underboss Who Lived to be 103 Captured in New Book, Film Optioned by D4E Productions

September 22 14:12 2021
Legendary crime boss John “Sonny” Franzese refused to squeal but agreed to talk to award-winning reporter S.J. Peddie in “Sonny: The Last of the Old Time Mafia Bosses.”  

Legendary crime boss John “Sonny” Franzese became a “made man” at the age of 14 and went to prison for the last time at age 93 after damning testimony by his own son. This true story of a mafia boss from a different era — who mingled with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Boxer Rocky Graziano and never turned state’s witness long after many, many others had done so — is captured in a new book and upcoming film by D4E Productions. 

Sonny: The Last of the Old Time Mafia Bosses, by award-winning writer S.J. Peddie stems from interviews given by Franzese shortly before his death in 2020 at the age of 103. D4E Productions CEO and Founder, Dan Pearson, who was a close friend of Franzese and his family. The book is based on more than 200 interviews, historical research from media files and FBI wiretaps. D4E productions optioned the film rights based on the book for an upcoming feature film.

Pearson’s D4E Productions is the industry leader in true crime film and books. Pearson is the co-author of Last Don Standing — published by St. Martin’s Press, the story of the deadly reign of the last great mob boss of Philadelphia, Ralph Natale — and the creator and executive producer of the highly rated TV series I Married a Mobster, for Investigation Discovery.

Peddie, is an investigative reporter at Newsday Media Group and has won more than fifty awards for her work. She was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service and winner of the 2008 Seldon Ring Award for investigative stories that get results.

Between Pearson’s personal relationship with Franzese and Peddie’s expertise in investigative journalism, Sonny: The Last of the Old Time Mafia Bosses, offers one of the most revealing looks at the real life behind the patina of an old school mafia underboss.

To schedule interviews with Peddie and Pearson, please contact, info@D4E.tv 

About the producer: 

Dan Pearson founded D4E in 1995 through which he created, produced and managed many successful projects in TV/film, music, sports, and more. During his lengthy career, he managed talent, produced music, provided A&R and consulting services to major record labels. Dan is the creator and Executive Producer for the highly rated TV series I Married a Mobster, for Investigation Discovery. In addition, he was Producer for the award-winning documentary Harlem Diaries: Nine Voices of Resilience and acclaimed documentary Justifiable Homicide at Gabriel films. Dan is currently an Executive Producer for an 80’s Mafia series with Appian Way and Leonardo DiCaprio Dan has worked and continues to work with companies such as Discovery Channel, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Major League Baseball, Maxim, and EA Sports. 

About the author: 

Sandra J. Peddie is an investigative reporter at Newsday Media Group and has won more than fifty awards for her work. She was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service and winner of the 2008 Seldon Ring Award for investigative stories that get results. In 1995, she was a member of the team that wrote a Pulitzer prize-winning series on police disability fraud. In 2011, she was named Long Island’s Outstanding Journalist of the Year and was later inducted into the Long island Press Club Hall of Fame. In 2018, she won a New York Emmy for co-producing the documentary Cost of Corruption. Peddie has also been a featured speaker at national conferences and has taught journalism at Hofstra and Stony Brook universities.


Dan Pearson, CEO D4E Productions

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