The death in Italy of James Gandolfini, who played Mafia boss Tony Soprano on the popular HBO show "The Sopranos," was part of an unusual convergence of mob-related news making headlines this week. Here's a look:

JAMES GANDOLFINI'S DEATH

Gandolfini, whose portrayal of an emotionally delicate mob boss on one of TV's greatest drama series earned him three Emmy Awards, died Wednesday while on holiday in Rome, HBO and his managers said. Gandolfini, who was 51, played Soprano on the HBO series from 1999 to 2007. He also appeared in movies including "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Killing Them Softly."

THE SEARCH FOR JIMMY HOFFA

FBI agents with shovels on Monday began combing through dirt and mud in a weed-grown field north of Detroit looking for Hoffa's remains or clues to the disappearance of the former Teamsters boss, who many people suspect ran afoul of the mob. Detroit FBI chief Robert Foley said Wednesday he was disappointed the excavation failed to turn up anything linked to Hoffa, who's been missing since 1975.

JIMMY THE GENT'S HOUSE

In New York, an FBI excavation turned up possible human remains at a home once occupied by gangster James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, the inspiration for Robert De Niro's character in "Goodfellas." Burke, who according to mob lore orchestrated a nearly $6 million robbery, one of the largest cash heists in American history, at Kennedy Airport in 1978, lived at the home while an associate in the Lucchese crime family. The dig, apparently unrelated to the Hoffa dig, started Monday, and an FBI spokesman confirmed Wednesday agents found organic material they want to test. The FBI isn't discussing the investigation.

WHITEY BULGER'S TRIAL

In reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger's racketeering trial, a former hit man who admitted killing 20 people, including a close friend, insisted Wednesday he told authorities the truth when he implicated Bulger in 11 slayings. Earlier in the week, the ex-hit man, John Martorano, was unemotional when describing his work but said he was heartbroken when he learned Bulger had become an FBI informant. Bulger's lawyers deny he was an informant and say he didn't kill 19 people.

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  • Alfred “Indian Al” Notorangeli

    The Boston Mafia asked the Winter Hill Gang to execute Notorangeli in 1974. After several failed hits that took the life of at least one innocent bystander, John Martorano shot Notorangeli from a car. Martorano testified that Bulger was driving in a backup car ready to help if anyone intervened.

  • Whitey Bulger

    Bulger cradling the infant son of John Martorano, Bulger's longtime partner, at his christening in an undated photo from the US Attorney's office.

  • This 1980 black and white surveillance photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the first day of a trial for James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, shows Bulger, center, with Ted Berenson, left, and Phil Wagenheim at a Lancaster Street garage in Boston's North End. Bulger is on trial for a long list of crimes, including extortion and playing a role in 19 killings. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows several weapons from an arsenal that investigators say the Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a weapon from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a weapon from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a weapon from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a weapon from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a weapon from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows weapons and ammunition from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a panel of black and white photos including the alleged Winter Hill Gang leader, left, and other members of the organization in 1975. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows several weapons and ammunition from an arsenal that investigators say Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows several weapons from an arsenal that investigators say the Bulger and his gang owned. Bulger is charged with a long list of crimes in a 32-count racketeering indictment, including participating in 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This 1980 black and white surveillance photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the first day of a trial for James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, shows Bulger, right, with another man at a Lancaster Street garage in Boston's North End. Bulger is on trial for a long list of crimes, including extortion and playing a role in 19 killings. (AP PhotoU.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This 1980 black and white surveillance photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence during the first day of a trial for James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, shows Bulger, left, with George Kaufman at a Lancaster Street garage in Boston's North End. Bulger is on trial for a long list of crimes, including extortion and playing a role in 19 killings. (AP PhotoU.S. Attorney's Office)

  • Richard Castucci

    Richard Castucci was a nightclub owner in Boston who did business with the Winter Hill Gang. But he ran afoul of them when he told the FBI where to find one of their criminal associates who was on the lam. He was shot by John Martorano and Whitey Bulger was there to help clean up. His body was stuffed in a sleeping bag and then stored in the trunk of his own car.