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The Real Thing
The Autobiography of Joseph Valachi
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Joseph Valachi

Valachi

Editor's note: Joseph Valachi, a turncoat Mafioso, provided federal investigators with detailed information on his criminal activities and former colleagues. His information was shared with Congress, the press and the public. Many of his recollections were discussed in The Valachi Papers (1968) by Peter Maas and presented in a 1972 motion picture with the same name.

Through his underworld career, Valachi was at various times member of the Reina/Lucchese, Maranzano/Bonanno and Luciano/Genovese crime families of New York. He was an active participant in the Castellammarese War of 1930-1931. He became involved in narcotics trafficking in the late 1950s and was convicted and sentenced to a long prison term.

Crime boss Vito Genovese received a similar sentence for narcotics and became convinced that Valachi had betrayed him. Valachi learned of his boss's suspicion and feared for his life. In the summer of 1962, Valachi beat to death another inmate who he mistakenly believed was attacking him. That resulted in a Valachi life sentence for second-degree murder. Valachi subsequently began cooperating with agents of the FBI.

In the autumn of 1963, he testified before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (McClellan Committee). He then wrote this autobiographical manuscript, "The Real Thing," while in federal custody in 1964. It was reportedly used as source material by Maas in the writing of The Valachi Papers. The original manuscript has been preserved at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.

Valachi spent the rest of his days in federal custody under heavy guard. He was held for a time in the "death house" of a prison in Washington, D.C. He was transfered on March 22, 1966, to federal prison at Milan, Michigan, and on Sept. 14, 1968, to a combined pair of cells (later known as "the Valachi suite") at the medium security federal prison at La Tuna, Texas. He died of an apparent heart attack, April 3, 1971, at the age of sixty-six.

Following his death, federal officials went in search of a family member to claim the remains and provide for burial. His wife Mildred and his son Donald refused. An April 6 announcement indicated that the remains had been claimed and moved to a burial location but did not identify the claimant or the location. A month later, news reports stated that Valachi's burial spot was in the St. Matthew Section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. Arrangements were made not by a family member but by a local woman, identified as Marie Jackson, who corresponded with Valachi while he was in prison. The reports were later confirmed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Our intent is to provide online a complete and searchable edition of Valachi's unpublished work. This has turned out to be an enormous project, and visitors are asked to be patient as we add to the collection of available pages (listed below). In formatting these pages for the web, we have tried to remain true to the original. Page numbering and the author's misspellings have been preserved. We initially attempted to preserve the original length of typed lines, but that caused readability problems for some mobile devices. An ellipsis at the end of a page indicates that the last line(s) of that page are missing. Due to the length of the document, it has been broken up into four parts. Some footnotes have been added to the pages for clarification.

 
 

Available Pages in Part 1

001 002 003 006f 006f1 006f2 006j 006l 006m 006n 008 011 012 013 014 016 017 018 021 022 033 034 035 036 037 040 041 043 046 047 093 146 147 152 181 275 276 277 279 280 281 282 283 285 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 297 298 299
 

Available Pages in Part 2

304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 333a 333b 333c 333d 333e 333f 333g 334 335 336 337 338 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 382 383 399 400 403 404 405 406 407 421 423 424 425 427 428 443 444 446 447 448 449 450 451 478 479 480 481 584 585 586 587
 

Available Pages in Part 3

664 665 666 670 761 762 771 772 798 799 800 801 803 804 805 808 809 826 827 828 829 830 832 833 834 835 836 837 838 839 840 841 842 843 844 845 846 847 848 849 850 851 852 853
 

Available Pages in Part 4

1096 1097 1098 1099 1100 1101 1102 1103 1106 1107 1108 1109 1110 1111 1112 1113 1114 1115 1138 1139 1140 1158 1159 1160 1161 1162 1163 1165 1166 1167 1168 1179 1180
 

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PARTIAL INDEX

1
14th Street, 363,
104th Street, 47,
105th Street, 34,
106th Street, 6f2, 36, 43, 275, 299,
107th Street, 36, 41, 43, 146,
108th Street, 6f1, 6f2, 8, 14, 16, 22, 93,
109th Street, 14, 16, 22,
110th Street, 297, 357, 358, 359, 363,
111th Street, 6L, 16,
114th Street, 47,
116th Street,1, 2, 275, 321,
124th Street, 34,
125th Street, 35, 40, 41, 308,
126th Street, 34, 308,
138th Street, 309,
139th Street, 309,
143rd Street, 40,
187th Street, 316, 318, 322, 323, 330,
4
42nd Street, 40, 181,
46th Street, 355, 357, 359,
5
59th Street, 37,
8
86th Street, 41,
9
96th Street, 6f1,
A
Accardo, Sam, 328,
Adonis, Joe, see Doto, Giuseppe "Joe Adonis."
Aiello, Joseph, 291,
alcohol abuse, 8,
Alliemove, 40,
Arthur Avenue, 316,
artichokes, 6m,
B
Badami, Stefano "Don Steve," 328, 363,
Baker, Joe, see Catania, Joseph "Joe Baker."
Bel Monte Motor, see Zoo cabaret.
Bell, Tom, 328,
Bender, Tony, see Strollo, Anthony "Tony Bender."
Bloomingdales, 37,
Boiardo, Ruggiero "Richie," 328,
Bonanno, Joe, 305,
boss of all bosses, 282,
Boston Post Road, 317, 320,
Briguglia, Vincenzo, see Rannelli, Stefano "Steve."
Bronx, New York, 11, 43, 93, 297, 315, 316, 318, 322, 338,
Bronx River Parkway, 308,
Brooklyn, New York, 333, 335, 363,
Buck, 337,
Buffalo, Charlie, see DiBenedetto, Calogero "Charlie Buffalo."
Buffalo, New York, 355, 359,
burglary, 6j, 18, 21-22, 33, 34, 43, 46, 47, 181, 287, 331, 335, 358,
Buster, see Domingo, Sebastiano "Buster."
C
Callace, Frank "Chic 99," 297, 298, 304,
Camorra, 146,
Capone, Al, 291, 355, 362,
Capuzzi, Nick, 285, 305, 323,
Caruso, Angelo, 362,
Castellammarese War, 280-338,
Catania, Joseph "Joe Baker," 316, 317, 323, 324, 326, 327, 328,
Central Park, 6f2,
Charlie Jones Restaurant, 363,
Charlie, 33-35, 41,
Chic 99, see Callace, Frank "Chic 99."
Chicago, 291, 329, 333c, 333e,
Chinaman, see Masseria, Giuseppe "Joe the Boss."
Clementi, Carmine "Dolly Dimples," 146-147, 152,
Clutching Hand, see Morello, Giuseppe.
Coll, Vincent, 355,
Coney Island, New York, 337, 355, 360,
Coppola, "Trigger Mike," 357,
Cosa Nostra, 6n, 305,
Costello, Frank, 17, 362,
Cotton Club, 40,
Crazy Chuck, 6f1,
Crescent Avenue, 323,
D
Danny, 330, 331, 332,
DiBenedetto, Calogero "Charlie Buffalo," 305, 359, 363,
Dinty Moore Restaurant, 357,
Doc, 304, 305, 314, 315, 322, 323, 337,
Dolly, see Clementi, Carmine "Dolly Dimples."
Domingo, Sebastiano "Buster," 285, 287, 288, 289, 290, 292, 294, 295, 304, 305, 314, 315, 316, 320, 321, 322, 324, 328, 329, 330, 333a, 333c, 333d, 333e, 333f, 336, 337, 355, 356, 358, 360, 361,
   - background, 288, 333c,
Don Steve, see Badami, Stefano "Don Steve."
Doto, Giuseppe "Joe Adonis," 291, 362,
Dottie, 277,
Doyle, Bobby, see Santuccio, Girolamo "Bobby Doyle."
Dream Land, 41,
Dyckman Street, 181,
E
East Harlem, 6f, 275,
East New York, 363,
Eighth Avenue, 41, 181,
electric chair, 147,
extortion, 6m,
F
Ferrigno, Steve, 298,
First Avenue, 6f, 6f1, 6L, 8, 14, 16, 22, 34, 35, 93,
Fordham, 283, 316, 323,
Fordham Road, 11,
Fort Lee, New Jersey, 362,
Frank's Cloth Shop, 47,
Freddie's Restaurant, 357,
friend of ours, 307,
G
Gagliano, Tom, 304, 305, 321, 322, 337, 338, 362,
Gallo brothers, 333g,
Gambino, Carlo, 322,
Gambino, Paolo, 319, 320, 322,
gambling, 333e,
gang fights, 6f2,
Gap, The, see Petrelli, Dominick "the Gap."
garbage scows, 18,
Garden Inn, see Viserti, Joseph / Zoo cabaret.
Genovese, Vito, 291, 307, 329, 333f, 333g, 359, 362,
greaseball, 6n, 280, 312,
H
homicide, 11, 12, 16, 17, 91, 146-147, 275, 280, 321, 327, 337, 355,
I
Irish mob, 40,
J
Jersey City, 21,
Joe the Boss, see Masseria, Giuseppe "Joe the Boss."
Johnnie D., 331, 333, 358,
joy-riding, 12,
junk, see narcotics.
junk business, 3,
K
King, Dot, 91,
L
Leibowitz, Samuel, 355,
Lexington Avenue, 33, 41, 275, 297, 358, 359, 363,
Livingston Manor, New York, 277,
Livorsi, Frank, 275,
loansharking, 14,
Long Island, New York, 289, 315, 328, 331, 332, 335, 358,
Louie the Baker, 14,
Louie the Shoemaker, 147,
Lucchese, Tom "Tommy Brown," 305, 332, 333, 334, 337,
Luciano, Charlie "Lucky," 291, 329, 355, 357, 359, 360, 362,
Lucky, Charlie, see Luciano, Charlie "Lucky."
M
Mafia induction, 305-306,
Mafia rules, 306, 333b,
   - against narcotics, 333b,
   - retirement, 333g,
Magaddino, Stefano "Steve," 355, 359,
Mangano, Vincent, 362,
Maranzano, Salvatore, 289, 304, 305, 310, 314, 316, 318, 320, 321, 323, 325, 328, 329, 333c, 333d, 333e, 333f, 334, 335, 336, 337, 355, 356, 359, 361, 362,
   - greed, 355, 356, 361,
   - plans another war, 362,
Masseria, Giuseppe "Joe the Boss," 280, 283, 285, 287, 291, 292, 298, 305, 321, 329, 330, 333c, 333e, 333f,
   - death sentence against Castellammaresi, 285, 321,
   - greed, 287,
   - murder of, 337, 360,
May, 277, 285, 311, 312, 331, 332, 334,
Mineo, Al "Manfredi," 298,
Miranda, Mike, 357,
Monaco, Sam, 328,
Monk, 331, 333, 335, 337, 358,
Montana, John, 359,
Moore, Willie, see Moretti, Willie.
Morello, Ciro, see Terranova, Ciro.
Morello, Giuseppe, 275, 280, 282, 321,
Morello, Nick, see Terranova, Nicholas.
Morello, Peter, see Morello, Giuseppe.
Moretti, Willie, 17, 291, 362,
murder stable (108th Street between First and Second Avenues), 6f1, 8, 11, 16,
mustangs, 16
N
Naples, 285,
narcotics, 333b,
Navy Street Gang, 146,
Neapolitan vs. Sicilian gang conflict, 146-147,
New Jersey, 18, 279,
New York Catholic Protectory, 6f, 6n,
New York City garbage strike of 1911, 14,
Newark, New Jersey, 328, 363,
O
O'Brien Brothers, 18,
P
Padovano, Nick, 181, 275-276, 280, 295, 304, 305, 309-311, 314, 315, 325, 327, 337,
Pagano, Joe, 307,
Palisades, Joe, see Rosato, Joseph "Palisades."
Park Avenue,1, 2, 297,
Pavilion Royal, 332,
Pelham Parkway, 283, 287, 291, 292, 304, 306, 330,
Pellegrino, George, 147,
Pepe, Diamond Joe, see Viserti, Joseph
Pete the Greek, 152,
Petrelli, Dominick "the Gap," 43, 91, 276, 279, 281, 282, 283, 305, 331, 332, 363,
   - auto accident, 91,
   - murder charge, 91,
Pinzolo, Bonaventura "Joe," 280, 282,
Pompeii Restaurant, 308,
Port Jervis, New York, 279,
Profaci, Giuseppe, 285, 287, 305, 314, 324, 333c,
Public School 83, 6n,
Q
R
Rainbow Gardens, 276, 282, 283, 285,
Rao, Joe, 308, 309,
Rannelli, Stefano "Steve," 275-276, 280, 281, 282, 283, 285, 305, 316, 317, 318, 319, 321, 322, 328, 333a,
rape, 11,
Reina, Gaetano, 280, 321,
Reles, Abe, 333a,
Rinaldo, Salvatore, 333b, 333c,
Ritz, 40,
Rochester, New York, 359,
Rosato, Joseph "Palisades," 288, 299, 305, 315,
S
Santuccio, Girolamo "Bobby Doyle," 282, 283, 305, 314, 316, 321, 326, 356, 357, 359, 360, 362,
Scalise, Charlie, 359,
Scalise, Frank, 322, 323, 355, 359, 362,
Scalise, Joseph, 359,
Schultz, Dutch, 291, 357, 362,
Scoperto, Charlie "Scoops," 315,
Second Avenue, 6f1, 6j, 8, 14, 22, 35, 47, 275,
Selvaggi, Frank, 333c,
Seventh Avenue, 40, 308,
Sharky, 6L, 16, 17,
Shields, Sally, see Shillitani, Salvatore "Sally Shields."
Shillitani, Salvatore "Sally Shields," 276, 277, 280, 288, 304, 305, 308, 309, 315, 320, 322, 323, 326, 327,
Sicilians, 147, 285,
Sicily, 285,
Sing Sing Prison, 12, 17, 146,
Solly, see Shillitani, Salvatore "Sally Shields."
South Street, 18,
Spike, 181,
Spinella, Pasquarella, 11
St. Anne Avenue, 309,
Staten Island, New York, 280, 281, 282,
stealing, 6f, 6f1,
Steinway Street, 335,
streetcars, 16,
Strollo, Anthony "Tony Bender," 338,
Sutton, Willie, 152,
T
Tangle Land, 41,
Terranova, Ciro, 146, 147, 275, 291, 316, 321, 328, 360, 362,
   - lost his nerve, 360,
Terranova, Nicholas, 147
Third Avenue, 34, 36, 275, 299, 318,
Tombs Prison, 91,
Tonno (cousin of Joseph Viserti), 11, 12,
truce man, 334-335,
U
V
Valachi, Joseph,
   - admiration for organized criminals, 12, 17,
   - arrest in Jersey City 1920, 21,
   - automobiles, 33,
   - block parties, 6f2,
   - Buffalo, New York, 359,
   - and Buster, 333d, 333e, 356, 358,
   - childhood, 1, 8, 22,
   - Christmas, 1,
   - driver, 35-36, 40, 46-47, 288-289, 317-318, 336,
   - first burglary, 1-2,
   - imprisonment, 12, 146,
   - Joe Cargo nickname, 2,
   - learns about racketeering, 6L, 12,
   - Mafia induction, 305-306,
   - and Maranzano, 304, 305, 337,
   - and Masseria, 292-293,
   - parents, 1, 8, 14, 41,
   - school, 3, 6f,
Valley Stream, New York, 332,
Van Nest, Bronx, New York, 280, 283,
Venero, Alexander, see Vollero, Alessandro.
Viserti, Joseph, 12-14,
Vollero, Alessandro, 146,
W
West, Fat, 181, 331, 358,
West Side cabarets, 40,
Westchester County Jail, 333b,
World War I, 3, 6f2, 6L,
X
Y
Yonkers, New York, 310, 314, 315, 317, 318, 328, 334, 336,
Z
Zoo cabaret, 13,

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