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Declassified FBI documents show that more than ten Chicago Outfit members began to "talk" soon after Sam Giancana was deposed as boss and fled Chicago. The turnaround, up from virtually zero high-value informants in 1965, was due primarily to a more aggressive approach by law enforcement and the ongoing turmoil within the Outfit after a succession of bosses were quickly jailed.
According to Roemer, the three “best” Outfit informants were Richard Cain and two others who to this day are known only by their codenames, "Sporting Goods” and “Romano.” But who were "Sporting Goods" and "Romano"? A careful reading of Roemer’s books provides compelling clues. When combined with declassified FBI reports, the identities of these informants can finally be revealed.
In the 1960's, the FBI developed a high-level source within the Bonanno Crime Family. The source identified members, shared mafia gossip and provided an invaluable window into the intra-family turmoil often called the Banana War. The cooperation began in 1964 and continued periodically until 1967 at least. The source was never identified but a careful reading of FBI documents from the period is revealing.
As the FBI entered the fight against organized crime on a national level in the early 1960s, it benefited from considerable information supplied by confidential informants from within the Mafia families of northern California. The identities of the sources were kept secret, but declassified FBI documents from the period include enough clues to finally reveal them.