We have begun the process of making the autobiographical notes of Joseph Valachi, a manuscript titled, The Real Thing, available online for the free access of those interested in the subject. The manuscript is the foundation of the 1968 Peter Maas book, The Valachi Papers. In it, Valachi recalls his early personal life, his career as a burglar in New York City, his participation in the Castellammarese War, his induction into the American Mafia and a great deal more.
To this point, The Real Thing has been out of reach for most. To our knowledge, it has never been published. The original is held in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Copies can be obtained, but with the document running more than a thousand pages long, obtaining copies can be prohibitively expensive.
Our collection of The Real Thing pages is far from complete. We are hopeful that researchers who have obtained portions of the document will decide to share them.
Our thanks to crime historian Alex Hortis for his assistance in this project.