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.

https://mafiahistory.us/rattrap/infsmitty.html


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.

https://mafiahistory.us/rattrap/infgeorgevydra.html


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.

https://mafiahistory.us/rattrap/infbombacino.html


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.

https://mafiahistory.us/rattrap/infcrapisi.html

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.”

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.

Rat Trap logo

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, the FBI refers to its informants only by code numbers. Before any reports are made available to the public, revealing details about the informants are deleted. But subtle clues to their identities may remain within the text.

For years, Toronto-based crime historian Edmond Valin has been combing through publicly available information, including declassified files of the FBI, for these clues. He has shown a remarkable ability to discover the identities of some of the most important and most secret Mafia turncoats by comparing seemingly insignificant details from different documents.

Valin has consented to allow the American Mafia history website to publish a collection of his ground-breaking articles online. These articles, grouped under the heading of “Rat Trap,” deal with informants from major U.S. Mafia organizations, including the Chicago Outfit, the Philly Mob, the Bonanno Crime Family and the Gambino Crime Family. Six articles are in the collection at this time, and more are on the way.

Valin’s often shocking conclusions are painstakingly defended through document citations (many of the related documents can be accessed online through links provided in the articles’ endnotes).

Visit Edmond Valin’s Rat Trap articles.

‘Rat Trap’

Rat Trap logo

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 are three articles, and we hope to add more soon.

Valin’s articles all provide source citations. And we have tried to include web links to online source material and book purchase sites whenever possible.

Click here to check out the Rat Trap articles on the site.