Edmond Valin’s recent addition to the Rat Trap section involves a New York mobster who relocated to the Windy City and deceived and betrayed the Chicago Outfit.
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).
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.