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The FBI makes every effort to hide the identities of its confidential underworld informants, even long after the informants have passed away. Unlike the famous Joe Valachi and other Bureau cooperating witnesses, who exchange public testimony for government protection, confidential informants continue in their dangerous underworld roles while secretly feeding information to investigators. In reports, …

Historian reveals identities of Mafia informantsRead More »

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The website recently added a collection of articles by writer (and history detective) Edmond Valin. Based in the Toronto area, Valin’s specialty is deducing the identities of confidential underworld informants through clues left in government documents, such as FBI files, and other sources. We are calling the article collection, “Rat Trap.” At the moment, there …

‘Rat Trap’Read More »

Three author-signed trade paperback copies of Wrongly Executed? The Long-Forgotten Context of Charles Sberna’s 1939 Electrocution will be awarded through a promotional drawing on Goodreads.com. No purchase is necessary to enter. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 5, 2017, the anniversary of Charles Sberna’s meeting with the Sing Sing Prison electric chair. Details are available …

Chance to win a copy of ‘Wrongly Executed?’Read More »

Cover of Wrongly Executed

In his book on The Barrel Mystery, legendary crime-fighter William Flynn discussed what he viewed as the two great organized outlaw elements in American society: violent political radicals or “Reds” and a growing Sicilian underworld organization he knew as “The Black Hand.” Flynn feared that the Red and the Black might someday combine to form …

‘Wrongly Executed?’ book now availableRead More »

Early Mafia timeline

A great deal of information, along with source citations, has recently been added to Timeline Part 1, 1282-1899. Later parts of the Timeline – largely neglected for more than a decade – will soon receive similar attention.

Recent additions to the Who Was Who collection of American Mafia biographies: Frank “Butsey” Morelli (1896-1965) Frank “Butsey” Morelli was an early leader of Italian organized crime in Rhode Island, mentoring a number of later Mafiosi, including Raymond Patriarca and Henry Tameleo. Morelli and some of his brothers long have been suspected of involvement in …

Additions to Who Was WhoRead More »

Currently under construction: We are adding an extensive timeline relating to Jimmy Hoffa and his involvement in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. At this moment the timeline features nearly 200 events up through the year 1959. All timeline items provide source information. Click on the document icon in an item to acquire source reference …

Hoffa / Teamsters timelineRead More »

A biography of Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo has been added to the website’s Who Was Who section. Alo, a longtime pal of Meyer Lansky, was the inspiration for a number of fictional underworld characters, including “Johnny Ola” of the movie, The Godfather Part II. In real life, Alo was born in Harlem and became …

Alo biography addedRead More »