Edmond Valin in 2021 added four new articles to the growing Rat Trap collection. The articles are described below:

Chicago Outfit

Extortionist ‘Jukebox Smitty’ informed

(January 2021)

Fred “Jukebox Smitty” Smith’s brutality allowed him to dominate the jukebox industry in Chicago for decades. Secretly, he provided information about Chicago Outfit members, rackets and murders to the FBI beginning early in 1964.


Chicago Outfit

The politician, the singer and the Mob

(April 2021)

George Vydra, a businessman and local politician in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, became obsessed with local singer Jane Darwyn. In an effort to aid Darwyn’s career, Vydra began dealing with Chicago racketeers. In 1962, he began providing information to the FBI.


Chicago Outfit

Car-bomb corrected Cerone’s biggest mistake

(May 2021)

Louis Bombacino, Jr., was killed in an Arizona car-bomb explosion in 1975. He had been living in the Grand Canyon State under an assumed identity since betraying Chicago underworld bosses, talking to the FBI and taking the witness stand against crime boss John Cerone.


Kansas City Mafia

Member’s son guided Feds on KC Mafia

(November 2021)

Joseph Crapisi, son of Kansas City racketeer Salvatore “Charles” Crapisi, provided the FBI with information about local mob bosses. His cooperation with the feds may have made him a target for the mob.


Tura Satana movie

Tura Satana first earned notice for the physicality of her “tassel act” on the burlesque circuit in the 1950s. In the next decade, she became better known for her on-screen performance in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! In later years, she was open with the press about various intimate relationships, but she never revealed one relationship – the one she had with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tura Satana had supplied the FBI with information about boyfriends connected with the Chicago Outfit.

Satana’s informant role is discussed in Edmond Valin’s Rat Trap article, “Busting the Mob.”

You may notice some “construction work” taking place in various areas of the website in the weeks ahead. Much of the work is minor in nature. But one major project concerns how visitors get around the site. The American Mafia website menu, which has (for too long) occupied the rightmost column of the screen layout, is being condensed and moved to a horizontal drop-down menu bar at or near the top of the page.

American Mafia history website article page with new menu bar
The new menu bar will be seen at the very top of most pages.
American Mafia history website home page with new menu bar
It will appear a bit lower on the home page, with a logo and the Today in History box occupying the very top of the page.
American Mafia history website Rat Trap article page with new menu bar
It will take the place of the cumbersome American Mafia logo at the top of Rat Trap articles on the site.

In addition, a condensed text-only menu will appear at the bottom of every page, along with the copyright notice. Freeing up the column (which occupied as much as 50% of a screen window, depending on the device being used), should permit greater flexibility in article layout and easier readability for article text.

While doing the work of juggling layouts to spread content over the wider available area, we are also editing and updating. The web links page was the first to experience this overhaul. Non-functioning links were eliminated, others were updated and a few were added. The logos for linked pages were eliminated in favor of a cleaner-looking and better organized listing.

American Mafia website Web Links page
The new Web Links page

We are also making a few concessions in the interest of search engine optimization (nothing that should affect the visitor experience in any way) and taking back some concessions made to our affiliate advertising service. We had allowed an “experiment” in the unrestricted placing of ads that resulted in ads being plastered all over the site, including full-screen advertisements at the top of main access pages and others thrown at visitors before they were permitted to access linked pages. While this did generate additional revenue and was probably considered a very positive change for advertisers and the advertising service, in our opinion it was not worth the terrible disruption in the visitor experience. We are working to ensure that ads do not occupy the top portions of any pages and do not impede visitor access to linked pages.

Valachi testifies

The unpublished autobiography of turncoat New York Mafioso Joseph Valachi is an important primary source of information on American Mafia history. The document, which runs 1,201 pages, was written by Valachi while in federal custody in 1964. Used as source material for The Valachi Papers by Peter Maas, Valachi’s document has been available to the public through the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston since the end of 1980. It is now presented online for the first time.

Our effort to provide the document to web visitors began some years ago with a selection of several hundred pages. Most of the document was photographed at the JFK library in the summer of 2019, and we stepped up the web publication of the document at that time. (Project progress was tracked through this Blog post.) We also won access to related National Archives documents at about that time and added those to our online collection.

Images of some missing pages were acquired through the assistance of researcher Richard N. Warner in the fall of 2020. Creation of the web-formatted document was completed on November 11, 2020.

Our work on the project continues: We intend to complete an online index of the document, to add explanatory footnotes and to closely proofread and correct the web document.

Our Valachi material is separated into a number of web pages:

  • A Contents page includes an introduction, a partial index, links to the four online sections of the Valachi autobiography, links to individual pages in the work and a link to the papers included in the National Archives Deed of Gift and Donor File. [LINK]
  • Part 1 of the autobiography, which includes 313 pages (due to reuse of some numbers, the pages are numbered 1 through 299). In this section, Valachi discussed his home life, friendships, burglary career, time in prison and early associations with Mafia organizations in East Harlem and the Bronx. [LINK]
  • Part 2 of the autobiography, which includes 307 pages (due to reuse of some numbers, the pages are numbered 300 through 599). In this section, Valachi discussed the Castellammarese War, Salvatore Maranzano, the post-Maranzano Mafia in New York and his experiences in horseracing and the WWII black market. [LINK]
  • Part 3 of the autobiography, which includes 300 pages. In this section, Valachi discussed more about horseracing, narcotics and counterfeiting rackets and the assassination of Guarino “Willie Moore” Moretti. [LINK]
  • Part 4 of the autobiography, which includes 281 pages. In this section, Valachi discussed the assassination of Albert Anastasia, the Apalachin convention, his own narcotics convictions and the events that led him to provide information to the FBI. [LINK]
  • Deed of Gift & Donor File page shares the text of the documents involved in author Peter Maas’s donation of Valachi’s memoirs to the JFK Library. [LINK]

Organized crime and illicit traffic in narcotics

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 1965

We have added the introductory and Mafia-related portions (forty-seven pages) of the 1965 report, Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics, to the Government Documents section of the website. This document provides some history for the American Mafia as well as extensive leadership and membership lists of the crime families in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Buffalo and Boston/Providence. Names, criminal activities and law enforcement reference numbers are provided for hundreds of Mafiosi.

Valachi Memoirs

UPDATE (Oct. 25, 2020): The first 1,045 pages (and 1,078 pages in all) are available online. There are just 122 pages of Valachi’s text left to digitize and format.

  • Part 1 – Complete, 313 pgs, numbered 1 thru 299*.
  • Part 2 – Complete, 307 pgs, numbered 300 thru 599*.
  • Part 3 – Complete, 300 pgs, numbered 600 thru 899.
  • Part 4 – 158 pgs, numbered 900 thru 1025, 1096 thru 1103, 1106 thru 1115, 1138 thru 1140, 1158 thru 1163, 1165 thru 1168, 1179, 1180.

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2020): The total number of Valachi manuscript pages online has reached 888, including the first 826 consecutive pages. Visit The Real Thing section of the Mafiahistory.us website to see what is available.

UPDATE (Jan. 7, 2020): Dozens of new pages have been added to Part 3 of the Valachi manuscript The Real Thing. The total number of available document pages is now 761. That includes the first 687 consecutive pages.

  • Part 1Complete, 313 pgs, numbered 1 thru 299*.
  • Part 2Complete, 307 pgs, numbered 300 thru 599*.
  • Part 3 – 108 pgs, numbered 600 thru 666, 670, 761, 762, 771, 772, 798 thru 801, 803 thru 805, 808, 809, 826 thru 830, 832 thru 853.
  • Part 4 – 33 pgs, numbered 1096 thru 1103, 1106 thru 1115, 1138 thru 1140, 1158 thru 1163, 1165 thru 1168, 1179, 1180.

*Note: Some page numbers are used more than once, causing the page count to disagree with the page numbers.

UPDATE (Dec. 12, 2019): Part 2 of the Valachi manuscript The Real Thing is now available in its entirety. There are 307 pages, numbered 300 through 599 (with some numbers used more than once). Visitors may now read the first 621 consecutive pages of the manuscript. An additional 77 pages are available in scattered portions of Parts 3 and 4. The total number of pages now online is 698.

  • Part 1 – Complete, 313 pgs, numbered 1 thru 299.
  • Part 2 – Complete, 307 pgs, numbered 300 thru 599.
  • Part 3 – 45 pgs.
  • Part 4 – 33 pgs.
  • Current overall – 698 pgs.

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2019): Fifty-four pages have been added over the past ten days. These have all gone the second section of the Valachi manuscript, The Real Thing. That section now features a total of 247 pages, including the first 243 consecutive pages. With the first section already entirely in place, visitors can read through the first 556 pages of the memoirs (due to the insertion of information between already numbered pages, this includes from Page 1 through Page 535). An additional 77 pages are available in scattered portions of the third and fourth section, bringing the total number of pages now online to 637.

UPDATE (Nov. 25, 2019): Another fifty-six pages have been added to the second section of the Valachi manuscript, The Real Thing. Available page totals are shown here:

  • Section 1 – Complete – 313 pages, numbered 1 through 299*
  • Section 2 – 193 available, including the first 189 pages of the section (allowing visitors to read from numbered Page 1 through numbered Page 481 – a total of 502 consecutive pages*).
  • Section 3 – 44 available.
  • Section 4 – 33 available.
  • Current overall total = 583 pages.

(* Valachi inserted some pages between previously numbered pages, so total page count does not match the assigned page numbers.)

UPDATE (Nov. 15, 2019): Twenty-two more pages were added to the second section of the Valachi manuscript, The Real Thing, bringing its total to 137 available pages (Visit: https://mafiahistory.us/a023/therealthing2.html ) The total number of online document pages – all four sections – has reached 527. Consecutive available pages run from Page 1 through Page 407. Due to oddities in the page numbering (some sheets were inserted between previously numbered pages), this actually includes a total of 428 consecutive pages of the manuscript.

UPDATE (Nov. 12, 2019): Twenty-two pages were added for the second section of the Valachi manuscript, The Real Thing, bringing its total to 115 available pages. (Visit: https://mafiahistory.us/a023/therealthing2.html ) The total number of online document pages – all four sections – has reached 505. The second section includes discussions of the Castellammarese War, Salvatore Maranzano and the post-Maranzano Mafia. There are nearly 400 consecutive available pages from the start of the document.

UPDATE (Nov. 9, 2019): With the addition of 65 more pages, the first section of the Valachi manuscript, The Real Thing, is now all set. (Visit: https://mafiahistory.us/a023/therealthing1.html ) The pages are numbered 1 through 299. However, some of the page numbers are duplicated. The actual total number of pages available in this section totals 313. In the section, Valachi describes his home life, friendships, his career as a burglar, time in prison and his early associations with Mafia organizations in East Harlem and the Bronx. The manuscript has been divided into four sections. The total number of pages – all sections – now available online is 483.

Nov. 8, 2019 – About 100 pages were recently added to the Joseph Valachi memoirs on the website, bringing the total pages to 418. It is our goal to make all pages of Valachi’s The Real Thing manuscript – the source material for a book entitled, The Valachi Papers – available to our web visitors.

The document, which runs well over one thousand pages in length, has been divided into four sections. We now have available 248 pages of the first section, 93 of the second section, 44 of the third section and 33 of the fourth section.

We have added an introductory “Contents” page with direct links to all available pages.

With help from the fine people at Google, we have incorporated a search tool into the main entry page of the Mafiahistory.us website. The tool will search for relevant articles on Mafiahistory.us and related sites (including Writersofwrongs.com and Buffalomob.com). We hope that this will guide visitors to items of interest to them and prevent them from getting lost in the hundreds of pages on these sites.

UPDATE (April 4, 2021): To reduce front-page clutter, the search box has been moved to its own page on the site. It can be accessed through the This Site / Site Search main menu selection. You can reach it directly using this link: Mafiahistory.us Site Search

The first few items in any search result are likely to be advertisements. These should be grouped separately from the main body of search results and each advertisement should be clearly designated with the boxed word, “Ad.” We hope our visitors do not mind these advertisements. (The fine people at Google need to make a little money every now and then.) Of course, visitors are encouraged to click on any advertising links they find intriguing. (The fine people at Mafiahistory.us might make a little money too.)

We would be happy to receive feedback from visitors regarding this new addition to the website.

Since the start of 2019, there have been many changes and additions at Mafiahistory.us. Here are the major developments:

Our forum

The planned April shutdown of the Google-Plus social network, where we hosted a longtime “community” on American Mafia history, prompted us to look into alternative methods of communicating with the 437 existing members of the community and other interested individuals. After some research, we decided to assemble a phpBB-based Forum. In its opening months, the forum welcomed more than 70 new members. We expect that the membership total will grow significantly following the death of Google-Plus next week.

A great many formatting changes – including table styles, fonts, photo sizing, link button sizing, logos, colors, … – were made in order to improve site usability and readability. We became aware that some of our old methods of presenting material were incompatible with the smaller handheld devices so often used today. We took steps to achieve a responsive design that works well on devices ranging from small smart-phones to large-screen desktop machines. (Note: There is still some work to be done on the Bibliography page.)

With website security becoming an important issue for visitors, we took a number of security-related steps. First, we added “Cookies notification” messages to our main entry “Home” page and our “About” page. We hope that this will be sufficient to address tracking-cookie concerns expressed by countries in the European Union. (While the site does not directly engage in the creation of tracking cookies, it does benefit from Google analytics and advertising programs that track visitor IP addresses and browser software.) The “About” page now also includes a discussion of user privacy. We do not directly engage in e-commerce on the site and have no logical need for encryption. However, we became aware that web search engines were lowering the search results rankings of sites – even non-commercial sites like ours – that were not security-verified and encrypted (regular “http” sites). As a result, we added security encryption. Site pages can now be accessed through the secure “https” protocol.

New articles and new research materials have been added. These include:

There have been a few updates and additions to Mafiahistory.us recently. These have included:

Detroit Bosses – new research, reorganized, reformatted.

– Biographies for Frank Calabrese Sr of Chicago, Salvatore Giannola of Detroit, Antonino Giannola of Detroit, Vito Adamo of Detroit, Thomas Altamura of Florida, William Dara of Florida, Gus Alex of Chicago.

– Article “Robbing from the mob: Christmas Eve killings bring to end couple’s foolhardy criminal career.”