Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins and Camullis Robinson deconstruct Joe Valachi. What was his criminal background? What kind of crimes did Joe Valachi commit? Who was he connected to? Why did he think he was targeted for murder?
Joe Valachi was born in 1904. He was not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. Joe Valachi was uneducated but possessed great native intelligence and good memory for mafia stories. In 1963, he will put that memory to work for the government and gave the American public the first glimpse into the secretive world of the Cosa Nostra mafia. Unlike many of these guys, Joe Valachi’s family came from southern Italy, not Sicily. They came from Campania. The father was a brutal alcoholic. Joe left school and took to the streets and gang life. Joe Valachi earned his lifelong nickname of “Joe Cargo” as a young kid because he could build scoters from wooden crates better than anybody.
He started his criminal career with a Smash and Grab gang known as the Minutemen. He graduated to burglary and armed robbery. He served about a year in Sing Sing, where the guards assigned him to break rocks with a sledgehammer. After release, he was shot in the back of his head by a passing police officer who interrupted his gang in the middle of a burglary. They got away in a stolen car. The gang thought he was dead, so they dumped his body and fired several shots in the air to attract the cops. The gang thought the cops would find his body and believe he was shot in a gang fight. No cops showed up, and the gang returned. They noticed he was still breathing and took him to a neighborhood doc who used Scotch as an anesthetic while he removed the bullet. He later claimed all that work breaking rocks in Sing Sing made him so tough that this bullet could not kill him. He married a member of the Reina family and joined the Gaetano Reina mob family.
Please listen to this story because we will change your mind about the most famous Mafia turncoat until Sammy the Bull testifies. For example, Joe was the first man ever to reveal the Mafia induction ceremony. We know what he said was true because his description matches every mob guy’s description since that time.
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Hello, welcome Wiretappers out there. Back here in studio gangland Noir. We have our good friend that many of you guys keep asking about when are you going to get cam back on Camilliuss “cam” Robinson welcome cam Hey Gary, how you doing glad to be here as always, hey, I get jealous of you people never asked me course I’m always here. Are you gonna have com back?
I tell you this in my industry I’m in the railroad man business has been you know, things have been crazy. So work has been Yeah, our work schedule has been something so yeah, it’s, it’s I’ve not been doing as much as I like
to you know, my son’s in the railroad business too. And they you guys are busy trying to keep those that supply chain going from the West Coast to the East Coast and it’s hard to do. It’s difficult. There’s so many parts that have to go together. It’s amazing.
Yeah, it’s it’s it’s quite a spiderweb All right,
well, it’s World Series time. I wonder if we’re gonna have a Yankees Phillies World Series again, you know, they had one back in I think 2009 I believe and and the Yankees won. So we’re looking at maybe Yankees Phillies? I don’t know what do you think you’d love it that
I don’t keep up so much. My mother was born in the Bronx. So she’s she’s my brother likes Pittsburgh, so he doesn’t really feel it too much. So yeah, I think that they will be happy with it. We’ll be happy with the gangs.
Yeah, well, I think the Phillies play the Padres and the Yankees are playing let me think I made a note here. The Astros Yankees are playing the Astros tonight. So by the end of the week, we’ll know our next person next week. We’ll know who who’s in the World Series this year. And but we’re gonna talk about job Laci today. But first, before we get started talking about job, Laci cam, I know you got a book coming out you’ve been working on for quite a while it’s kind of an exciting, different look at the Chicago outfit and in and look at the pilot the most important crew, the Calabrese a crew in Chicago and you got an insider that you’ve been talking to so tell the guys a little bit about that book, and the title and some timeline when it might be available. So
it’s a little bit different than consumer what we’ve traditionally not I met with Frank Calabrese who’s ex wife, Lisa swan. And we’ve been together and a lot of you may have seen our air interview that we did about a year and a half ago. And she has seen incredible story to tell and the idea of what goes on in behind closed doors and what goes on in the household and what happens with the kids when somebody gets arrested. And I think that it was important to get a woman’s story out there and let people hear what it was like for her as a mother and as a wife to go through that what it does to marriage what it does to you don’t get a female perspective. And she really opened up she gave incredible insight and incredible information about what it was like and what it was like sitting down across the table from Frank Calibrese senior
and what kind of man he was and how he could just switch it ON switch it off and what she went through and what what Frank Jr went through and how they came together and came apart during hard times. It’s really an incredible story with a lot of real new insight into Calabrese senior and thing and we talked about Nick a little bit and there’s there’s just not been sort of in depth family. Look on this level with the not not not really like you see something like the sopranos Carmela story, that’s one of those lines. The we were back and forth with titles a little bit but I think we said what do you got
to talk about the Sopranos? This is gonna be a true real life who sopranos look at the life inside the family. Nobody else has really done that. And Gravano is the Mob Wives stuff that they’ve done. It’s all scripted reality TV, but it’s all scripted. Nobody’s ever really done what you guys are doing.
Yeah, I think it was it was important. It was an important aspect to tell. And I think that she was she was an open book. I mean, I couldn’t have worked with anybody better. I mean, Lisa was really, she’s really a powerhouse and it’s really something else listening to her just laugh one minute and really talk that up into what’s the next and how scary it got at times and because nobody was off limits and then there was there were men and women on Frank Calabrese these notches. So nobody’s and he didn’t pull any punches literally with anybody in the family. So
interesting. I know what and her husband Frank Calabrese a junior he’s still hundreds of 1000s of dollars from his dad during this time. So I don’t be interested. per view of that, but that was
her view in his view, and then you’ll get sort of the full story similar sort of thing but yeah, it was really an incredible process working with her during the pandemic. So we did everything on Zoom. Yeah, it’s coming together we’ve got a lot of great pictures that have never been seen a wedding and people so the time we’re at right now is the real Chicago mob wife Marriage Marriage money myths about Chicago mob wife. And I think that it’s it really sums things up and sort of plays on what’s what’s going on media sort of a play on words that also is the real story. It’s not glamorize there’s there’s really no flavor to it. It’s just how a very strong woman protected their families, but she could during some incredibly difficult times in
the story, we all look forward to that. I’m really interested in that I’ll be looking forward to an interview with you. And Lisa, whenever anyone so
of course, you’ll be the first on our first almost guarantee you I want everything done. As you said many times, you’re my rabbi here.
I plucked you out of obscurity due to the big die, but then the dust
from obscurity to somewhat unknown.
That we all got these up. So let’s talk about Joe valachi. Really interested I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while, as we were discussing before we turn the camera on here about how one important person he was to come in and tell that inside story for the first time and then tell them public they put him on television on the McClellan here. Yeah. And and the Senate I was at the Senate hearings. He was telling this story in public The Inside Story The mafia and in the United States that you know, Jagger Hoover, it pretty much denied and, and is really as pivotal moment as Apple Lakin was, I think, yeah.
Oh, absolutely. I mean, that when you hit her, like it was sort of a flash in the pan. I mean, it was a big to do. But it really didn’t give any insight. I mean, it was just the most you guys were these guys all together. But really the only, you know, a seismic change from that was the FBI and suddenly had to become involved. But as far as the public, they sort of, you know, things are forgotten. In short, just just like today, I mean, the news cycle lasts just so long. But once Laci came in and really pull back the curtain, and people say, Well, he was a low ranking guy, but that really doesn’t matter, because he was a made guy. And he had insights into that world that a lot of their their non Italian informants couldn’t provide. So he just really opened the door and literally wrote the book in a way that only somebody inside that life could
- Really, you know, Joe Valachi wasn’t educated, of course, like most of them are one who have ever looked at dropped out of school at some point in time. And many times back then in the 20s, and 30s. And teens, they dropped out in grade school, even in what
Yeah, yeah. And he knows is one of learning disorders or whatever. I mean, he was a
bit of a slow guy, but yeah, but he had a native intelligence and made him a survivor. Yeah. And he had a good memory for mafia stories. Most importantly. You know, everybody can’t tell the story didn’t have a memory to tell the story. But this dude had a memory and could put it together and tell a story. And he ended up putting the memory to work for the government. Absolutely. You know, and I look back at him, you know, he was not front. He was not Sicilian. His family was from Southern Italy. Came from Campania believer company. I’m not sure how you pronounce that matrix, Naples. It was Neapolitan, like Al Capone. And as usual, I don’t know how many of these stories I’ve done is father was a brutal alcoholic, and he left school went into the street gang life. He earned his lifelong nickname when he was a kid was Joe cargo because he could build those handmade scooters and wooden crates? And I guess cargo were like cargo in the woods or the crates and so he could build those better than anybody so I knew him was Joe cargo.
Here my aunt Delphinus and Joe pago I will finish you know, because they just run over those ours completely shut that leftover vintage Italian accent from from th Bronx. It was a Cago JOe Cago okay. Just mash up the whole end and bar so it’s like and I’ve seen it written with Joe’s name ca h. Gao. You know, but yeah, it is common.
I might be when I saw it, they had it spilled. Yeah. I wouldn’t like cargo but it’s great yeah so anyhow you know he started out in the street gang smashing grab kind of gang knows man because you know within a minute they could it gets Mason when does it go in and grab a bunch of stuff and and get out now they now they take a car and crash it into the gun stores something or liquor stores grab all extent expensive stuff and have the other stolen car waiting for Fred so everything old is new again but he graduated a burglary and armed robbery like they all do. I mean, this is the same story for air from that. Lucky Luciano to yo yo cargo went to sing sang like they all did. Interesting story. I found it just like in the old movies when I was a kid they just said you’re gonna have to go break rocks. If you went to MIT and Gentry Well, I guess up in SingSing they did give you a big sledgehammer to break rocks down must add up some kind of a quarry. They’re
bringing rocks over for them to break but it really when I read that detail that’s really making them harder, you know, like lift weights now the breaking rocks then?
Well, after his release his thing saying he had to get shot in the back of the head by a police officer who had rapid his gang in the middle of a burglary and getting away in a stolen card. And the policeman shot him in the back of the head and they thought he was dead. So they just dumped his body said they fired several shots in the air to attract the cops and so the cops would show up and think he was just killed or shot. They thought he was dead killed out there and another gang fight. No cops showed up when the game is buddies returned and said Hey, Joe still breathe in here. So they took him to a neighborhood daki who gave him some scotch, gave him some booze as an anesthetic and took out the bullet and he later claimed that all that work breaking rocks made him so tough that a bullet bullet couldn’t kill him.
They probably use that same Scotch is in septic to clean out the wound, you know, probably probably a different kind of doctor.
Now he will end up marrying into kind of a well known mafia family the Raiders. Gaetano Raina was a captain in the Morello family during those times and you know, started out the teams and and other people at the time was Salvador baccala and Joe Masseria those were you know these were like the early for as a black handlers kind of moved in and got more organized these were the guys is just
as it was transitioning from the backhand when the you know, the individual gangs and stuff to where it was was really we’re getting more and more organized guys from from Sicily as the real influx of immigrants came in and it really started picking up they started organizing in their neighborhoods and organizing in geographical locations. And and under people who were powerhouses back in the old country, they would come and maintain that status in in America, their representatives would come in it’s the same thing with with Marzano. He was representing someone from Sicily. So I mean, it was the same way with all those groups. They had some clout they brought with them that sort of helped them become leaders.
So Joe is kind of coming of age almost when they had the big customer He’s a war. Joe Masseria Joe the boss and Salvatore maranzano Start this war which is gonna start forming the modern day national crime syndicate it had to had this war first and and they kill Masseria, Joe the boss and, and blotchy ends up in the marriage zato family along with these raiders is Gaetano Reyna. Now, later, when he comes in, he’ll describe his induction ceremony which would have happened about that time, which I thought was really interesting. It’s just like the modern the most what’s the most modern one? The Patriarca family? Well, yeah, the Medford Medford oregon and Oregon,
Everybody talking about the people are with it. Those are pretty interesting people who were in the room that day, powerhouses and powerhouses, kz and
Wynonna Banano and a lot of others.
paci was there to pro 5g here three things sort of Casey told me three fingers Brown.
Real real who’s who of me Nanos, the mob leadership Yeah, that must have been a huge ceremony but I think that they were trying to fill the ranks got you know, guys just come over. They really were trying to build up the mob and some you know, prohibition was really picking up for him so they need to pull the ranks and they need the guys into like a trust, I think
was all So kind of during this mob war, this custom reset war two so Mirjana was trying to get a needed recruits out there, but he described it, you know, I put a gun a knife in front of him. And Marin zato looked at him. And he says, this represents that you live by the gun and the knife and you’ll die by the gun in the knife. And then he asked him, which was his trigger finger, and he showed him his right front finger now. And here it is, he didn’t prick it. But then Mariano gave him this piece of paper and put it syncope hands and and he didn’t say in the Peter mosses book, it didn’t say it was a saint scarred, but I gotta assume that’s what it was. It was just a piece of paper, and then he lit it on fire, you know, they like juggling between your hands as it burns up. And, and this is a way I’ll burn if I betray the secret of Cosa Nostra. So that’s what he was told to say,
I’ve heard saints card, and I’ve heard paper. And I think a lot of you know, unless you’re Catholic, you don’t really know what a saints card is the cards with the different saints and the information on the back and you’d have your saint of your day of birth. And, you know, I think that that sort of might add a holiness but burning a paper, you know, imagery is really important to games. I mean, you know, this, I mean, whether it’s whether it’s tagging, or whether it’s, you know, a knife and a gun on the table, or whatever it is, that sort of imagery in a shin mythology is
important, right? We really are wearing red or blue. Right, exactly this huge
as far back as blocks, and we start to see that.
Another really interesting thing is explained the rules to him afterwards, just like they’re in Medford, Massachusetts bureau. Patriarca, Jr. Did you know hey, you don’t violate a members wife. You don’t never lay your hands on another member. That kind of thing. And so it’s exactly like every mob guy that I explained about when I talked to to Michael de Leonardo. He said, I’ve watched exactly the same thing. I mean, almost exactly. So you know, you can’t say but he was lying about that for sure.
No, and those traditions are important tying them together. Yeah.
Another interesting thing was he explained when he started talking about how you introduce another member. And you saw Donnie Brasco. Right? That’s right. Yeah. So if you remember the left your cheerio, told that he Brasco. Well, you know, this is how we do this. If I say this guy is a friend of ours, that means he’s another member but but if you hear me introduce a guy is just a friend of mine, then he’s not a member of the bar. So they’re still doing that today, too. And that’s why
they testify the same thing. And you can you hear in wiretaps, they talk about you know, even recently the guys say that, and they try and get it right. And in the metric when they’re trying to stow away, he’s a friend of so you know, and it takes him a minute to get it and but they that same tradition that and that was in New England, and this is this is New York, and you see it in the ceremony, you know about in Chicago, and in 1981, you see similar Lanesville been told, and you know, so that’s a tradition that they really tried to carry everywhere, when they get in Chicago, and they did it all over New York in the students.
You know, another thing about his story about this making ceremony that I think it’s just, it’s like, this has got to be real. This is how many people were there is Marian Zano asked the man sitting around this big table to start counting off your 12345 When he got to 48 he was at Joe Banano. And it burns Nanos, it stopped counting and look at Joe, but I know it says you’re gonna be as Goomba or his godfather. And, and so then later on, then Binondo not later on, but binotto then goes to blotchy and pricks his trigger finger with a pen and say he’s now a member of the family and and so that’s when they explained this thing about friend of ours and friend of mine, then they had a big meal. And that’s all like, that’s just that’s how they do it. It’s just amazing when I read that,
the you know, it’s funny, um The Weasel talks about when Cleveland when when Scalise died, they had made anybody since the 40s, and lips mosteiro. And none of those guys could remember the ceremony in Sicilian. And you know, Friday Otto says they did a ceremony in a car in Los Angeles but they did the same thing. They just did it just sitting in a car so they can make hello and they can didn’t remember the ceremony in Sicilian listen just do it in English you know in your head it makes you guys in Cleveland fill the ranks and like that yeah you see that the same thing and trying to maintain that that that tradition but you know the I thought it was funny they couldn’t remember how to do it What’s up
Angelo LoadRunner Lonardo KB and sometimes he had to skip tryouts and he I found his you know his description of it yeah exactly like this so you know in Kansas City we have a family and but we’ve never had anybody come in that was was a made guy that talked about a these things that minor people came in and testified when witness protection on minor cases but they weren’t people that really were we’re close to make guys close enough to know this but I finally got I wonder do we have ceremonies here and I finally got a guy to verify Yeah, we have ceremonies here now he wouldn’t give me any more details but he did verify that so so we have a very good that city do although I bet they wouldn’t know how to do it today. Like these guys.
really that went out with Nick’s Avella they wouldn’t next Avella died quirky way all that institutional knowledge that is we talk about when an older person leaves a unit somewhere you lose all that institutional knowledge all that Yeah. And everybody’s got to start all over again.
Yeah, like you said that leadership gone that the dominoes that lead all the leaders fall I mean, he’s you take off the dominoes and will be blotchy but kick them off and know the information, you’re going to need to turn it back. That’s just how important this guy writes.
So he arrives just to time, the 30s, early 30s. That’s when Lucky Luciano and Bo Genovesa and Joe Adonis and Albert Anastasia, kill Joe the boss, Joe massery. And Marin Zano took over was kind of the the boss of bosses in New York City for a while and, and you know, he was right there. And Lucky Luciano then partnered up with Mayor Lansky, to form the National Crime Syndicate. And to do that, he sent these four Jewish killers disguises federal agents to kill Mirjana when they took him out and that’s where it you know, I finally have I remember reading about this and I know it’s been discounted. The night of the Sicilian Vespers, that kind of took on a myth all of its own. Have you heard of that? Okay. Yeah.
You know, I think like you said, it has become mythologized, because we in that period of time, there was a big turnover of old school and you see that from from Los Angeles when, when dragon it took over to US coast, and like, there were a few guys killed here and there. I think that the idea of that guy became a legend in the underworld, and the FBI sort of heard about it through the through the cracks, and Laci sort of verified it because he believed it to be true, but there were a bunch of there must have been a bunch of guys killed it, but all of a sudden, they’re all new leaders. So I think the idea of a time together guys like Morello, in tequila and all those guys who have already been dead but you know, there was a whole generation of old leaders that were wiped out over the course of a few years I think he conflict that in your mind and it becomes not necessarily investors one night there I’m sure everybody is it’s always the not take like you said the legend sort of built in the lake
there were some other guys killed about that time the lacI would claim that the agenda base he talked about a couple of them are killed because they were been hijacked and Luciana goes liquor trucks and were given the money to Verizon. Oh, so they were Mirjana those people but they were gonna go anyhow they didn’t have anything to do with Luciana taken over and the new boss the new marathon, oh and, and former to the National Crime Syndicate and formed the five families divided up into the five families because that happens. So but that’s just to let you guys know, that’s when Joe valachi is coming of age where he’s part of all this. He goes into the blood, Luciano family, he’s like the Forrest Gump of the early mafia formation in New York City and he worked for Tony benders Groleau and that crew and had a slot machine he was supposed to develop and maintain and and like he’s there when LaGuardia cracks down on the slots and Frank has done all that you know, he takes
them all in the river and the river
because fellow has to take his slots down into Louisiana. I mean, this is this is the formation of the modern day crime syndicate and Malachi was right there. It really he goes into numbers and loan sharking, that usual source As a vincom, but at during these years, they had also started getting into heroin from the Middle East, you know, through Sicily, and maybe usually to Cuba, up to Tampa and then on up to the United States and or maybe up to Canada down to New York, Detroit, New York. And so, let’s start, I figured out primarily the Italians were getting to heroin and and they were flooded in the black areas of the cities with heroin and had a huge heroin epidemic during that time. And, and so that’s, you know, that’s when he’s coming of age. And he gets involved in that next during the 40s. During the war, just before the war and during the war. And right after the war. That’s when it really started to go then and they he had he and a guy named Pasquale pagano had done something for Genovesa Genovesa. If you remember, he was he was in Italy during the war. I never figured this word out. You know much more about that.
So he had he had he was deported. He was he was threatened with deportation. And so he stayed, he fled. And he spent time in Italy, while he was in Italy, he worked as a racketeer for the US, US Army. They came into Italy so he worked for US Army basically, as a local guy, you know, is there is the local fixer, and he also smuggled a lot of a lot of US Army equipment and rations and everything and saw that and he had a partner and a partner there, but there was a gun. Remember, it’s been a while since I’ve been a Genovese, there was a journalist who was killed and he had to flee. And then he came back when, when the witness against him was murdered, and he was able to come back and he was, he was because of his ties to government and all he assumed he would be pardoned, and there was no more. They were no longer trying to deport him, because he had letters of commendation from several Iraqi military, which is also interesting, you know, I mean, and he was getting with Mussolini in you know, in in a few years and then he would be in with with the US military. I mean, do generations really
he was a survivor? Yeah, absolutely.
20 out, you know, blotches gonna end up close to Genovese. They are in fact he thinks Genovesa A is trying to have him killed when when he killed somebody but that’s we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Here’s how I became close with Vito Genovese, A is Genovese A comes back, and he wants to take some revenge on a guy named Steven Prince say, Fra en es E. And it seems that Jin Ave se had given France a job, if you will, of overseeing and taking care of his wife while she was he was in Italy. And for that she was at a mind of her own. She had affairs. She had filed a lawsuit against UNLV say, I don’t know any more details about that, and there may not have ever been
Genovese, but I don’t. Really
interesting. But anyhow, so he got Laci and his partner, Pasquale Pagano, to lower French cheese brands, these parentheses represent the Canada France sees a brand cease to a restaurant and they strangled him and nightmares in 1953. And they’ve been there kind of this is a precursor to the French Connection heroine, and these two guys had already been involved in bringing heroin from France, originally from the Middle East to the United States.
Right, and I think that was also I mean, what was he got? He had busted was he was complaining about the quality of it. And I think it goes to show how disorganized that heroin Smuggling was, at that time, they weren’t getting the top tier, you know what, they were getting such pure heroin. Later on, once the they were in Marseille and getting stuff out of Turkey and, you know, the heroin, from what I understand the quality was so pure and so strong when it came in and could be cut up a bunch more money could be made. What they were getting in at that time was apparently just just low grade. Not, I don’t know, my heroin varieties, but I think that it was not, it was not the quality to get in because they were still establishing inroads. So Right.
It’s kind of interesting the story about how you know how this came about how this got exposed with with falacci. The guys he was involved with, started in 1949 are the case out there online, researched it there, and also in Peter bosses book of Laci papers, but the Federal Bureau Rome narcotics. They were the only people that were working the mob because of this heroin thing. And they were documenting. People that were in the mob they identified there was a La Cosa Nostra mafia. They had it during a great big book out there. All these guys in it is Bill Owsley. And my FBI agent friend says, this is the Bible that they were able to use when the FBI finally started looking at the mafia. So they were onto it, because this heroine connection. So the story about how he got popped, there was a guy named Joseph Orsini who was a one of these traffickers, and he was in Ellis Island and they were trying they are gonna deport him, I guess, you know, they brought people in Ellis Island, so they had, you know, places to hold people and to, you know, have facilities for that. And they, I guess, when they were gonna get deported in the early 50s They sent you to some kind of a holding place at Ellis Island and yeah, he’s there and I would imagine the Federal Bureau of Narcotics put this guy and a guy named feet and I don’t know anything more about him but he was an informant for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and, and he got in with with the RCT and are working together in some kind of a smuggling ring and, and, and you know, what’s kind of interesting the agent and I found this name the agent that ran the feat. His name was Giuliani, I don’t know if he’s what Rudy’s relatives or not, but yeah, this thing was Giuliani anyhow, the feet gets in with Orsini and our city starts using him like he sent him to somebody else and, and the guy was little leery of live feed and, or Sydney. Yeah, this was weird too. But I mean, it’s pretty straight, good sources. He someone sent back a letter of introduction, Sandler pizza, oh, gay. And that guy trust him then. And Giuliani knew that our city was a pretty major trafficker and it would import as much as 1020 kilograms of heroin at a time. And probably this little deal here. This is a small deal was to test the feet and see, you know, what he was made of and where this would go and some little small deal and seem to pass that and then he got introduced to another traffic, traffic or name show Sheila teeny. He was going to make a deal to buy a quarter of a healer a kilo of 30 for $3,300 from Silla teeny. And this is where falacci enters the picture. You talked about how the quality one very good well, they got this quarter kilo from Silla teeny, and he brought it back to our Sydney and then they complained that the quality was crap. So he goes back to Silla Tina and Sheila taneous, as well, you know, let’s go back to where I got it from and talk to that guy. Because they go back here. Yeah, the heroine, and so they go back this restaurant and the guy doesn’t appear, but they leave and they walk down the street, and Jove, Laci appears. And Sheila teeny says, Oh, there he is. And so they confront Joe valachi. And he makes this statement, he says, I can do nothing. The way I get it is the way I give it, I give my word. I never touch it. So you know, he admitted that and of course, that statement and statement gets interesting, and connects him to that heroin and the field continues working on their cover of the next few years. And they have another deal. They have a courier named Salas, who was from Saudi was an Argentinian and worked on as a steward on a steamship that went between the heart of Puerto Rico, the Harvin, France and New York City. That’s why I say this kind of early precursor The French Connection. So they were paying Solace $2,000 to bring in 10 pounds of heroin. And Job Laci was supposedly part of that that was this is all part of the case or building on the lacI that gets him down to Atlanta for a long stretch infinity penitentiary. He said he used a guy named legato, which he was connected to Gado. Gado went from New York to LA Harv. And he somehow got the heroin over there and then gave it to solace. And then he flew back to United States while solids transported the heroine then they sent somebody else to get the 10 pounds from solace. And then Oregon okay back here and they keep everything compartmentalized and gave him 900 bucks. This is typical Bob activity here. Give him 900 bucks and say what gave you the other $1,100 later and they never paid the balance. Right? And that is when they ended up charging joba Laci with part of this whole ring and he got 15 years in And he went to Atlanta. So that’s how he ends up down at Atlanta, where he ends up killing the guy.
It’s funny Can you imagine somebody like a Vito Genovese or somebody just being stopped on the street and guy saying you know that that hearing you gave me is no good and he’s saying well what can I do I just give it to you in the same quality I did it. Really not seeing that for what it clearly was. I mean, I’m not I wouldn’t consider myself especially the street smart compared to the average mobster, but I would smell a rat at that situation. But really falacci
Yeah, it’s it’s what we call a statement against interest. It was in his interest, keep his mouth shut and he made that statement, which was not in his best interest. But
what can I do? We used to go to guy selling heroin.
So this is during these last couple of years here before blotchy went to the penitentiary. I mean, this guy is he’s around and he’s working for Genovese a and Tony Bender Stroh, lo and during this time, and that’s when Genovese a makes his move to take over the old Luciano family, you know, track Costello has been run into this kind of a caretaker. And if you remember that story, first thing Genovesa has got to do, he’s got to get Albert Anastasia out of the way, because he is the guy that’s gonna protect Frank Costello. And he also is one bad dude.
You know it also it was a long when he got Willie Moretti in 1951. And that allowed Genovese to take over New Jersey. I mean, he was really consolidating his power for years to make that move. I mean, he was working behind the scenes for a long time before that strike. I mean, it’s really the way the way Genovese work. Yeah, he played the long game. Really, really something else
he was. And of course, you know, the famous story that he then sends the chin. Vincent and you got day to kill Frank Costello and he didn’t get him killed. Costello says that, you know, I don’t really know who that was a shot me. And by the way, I’m stepping down from brand new when they get out. They
make a brand new out of
- Genovese. I see. He wanted to make money out of heroin and Genovesa. I mean it Costello didn’t want anything to do with that. He was making plenty of money with gambling and he wanted he would like to podcast Alonso versus John Gotti. Yes. Costello want to make this more like a business. And God he wanted to make them more like street rackets. Well, the same thing was going on here, you know that. Business and Genovesa was more in the realm of street rackets. So
yeah, it’s a good way to put an end castella could meet with political figures and judges and that, you know, you know, Genovese would send other people to do
Yeah, yeah, he couldn’t do it himself was way to dirty sitting. So this sets the scene now how did energy’s Genovese say, How did Vito Genovese a ended up being convicted of a narcotics charge and ended up down in Atlanta with job lacIs. I looked into that now, but I can tell. It’s claimed that the Federal Bureau of Narcotics wanted him so bad that they just paid a Puerto Rican narcotics dealer to give testimony against him. I don’t know
the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. You know, they they’ve been beating their heads against the wall with the mom for a long time. And I think that, you know, once after, after have Lake and there’s rumors that’s it wouldn’t have been that hard to get somebody in the underworld to be paid by the Bureau of Narcotics or by the mob themselves to implicate Genovese and get rid of him. And there’s that story goes both ways that the Bureau of Narcotics did it, but also that the mob did it and had a lower level guy informed to get it that was his sort of punishment for setting up and again and for being too. He was he was just living too broadly and he was too violent. And this was way too many people were killed to me all of Genovese is Cabos were. He killed so many of us Kappos and they were alternative to one another. I mean, the Genovese family 100 visitations was really we didn’t have a long retirement plan. I mean, it was just really a lot of those guys in the dead ones. Vito took over and Pisano and tele Bender Stroh Lo and they to each other and then they they would kill themselves and I think the mob wanted to be rid of. I always thought the mob wanted to be rid of generally sold the mob had something to do with selling. Yeah. But to be a knockout It makes just as much sense because they would have had all the insiders. Yeah, it would have had enough dirt on them. They could have, they could have motivated somebody to give testimony.
And it might have been a combination of the two. You know, those both those FBI agents and the mob guys, we’re not above you know that. If they could combine their forces to get something that both of them wanted, then you know, they just, you could work together. I mean, I could see how that could happen. Two answers
Bureau of Narcotics was not Hoover’s FBI. Not the same, not the same organization. Oh,
they got stuff done.
That’s the thing. The answer is organization was was more willing to get dirty. And they were and they got a lot more done. And part of the reason the FBI was so far behind the curve is because we were just didn’t like answering and so he refused to acknowledge what I’ve been working on for decades
now. That’s interest. That’s Harry Anslinger. He was a came out of World War Two, some kind of a spy and and then he took over the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. And then he went into CIA, didn’t they, later on and, and was a big guy who was obsessed with finding moles and yeah, so he had a long, illustrious career in spy work, if you will, yeah. Intelligence and undercover work and all that and it was just obsessed with things. Yeah.
Yeah, when he got you in your crosshairs, I mean, he’s going after Billie Holiday pretty heavy. I mean, the Hail Mary, as you said, you get obsessed Vito Genovese was is an easy person for him to obsess on.
Yeah. And and he would like you said it and he would do what was necessary to get the job done as we used to say, there’s a guy that will do what’s necessary which is translation rough translation of that he’ll lie or cheat, or he pled empathy, or do whatever he has to do you know, a say, in slang are also as a guy that helped turn the whole country against heroin. I made against marijuana and made marijuana schedule one narcotic and we’re still paying the price. Are they still a schedule one narcotic just like heroin or meth or something as great as putting a
Yeah. we digress. Social problems of the day. We’re gonna love history here. So here’s what I can’t figure out. Why did Laci think that Genovia say thought he was an informant to just like pick up word that there’s this contract out on his life? Or you
said that? He’s I understood the way that yeah, he heard word that Donald was upset with him or he said, Look, the dawn gave him a kiss. Yeah. And it was the kiss of death. And then he thought that when Genovese gave embracing gay because he was kissing him for death, for getting busted for selling heroin. And it’s like the Genovese really wasn’t, might not have even had a good idea of cannibalism, especially familiar philosophy. And the lacI thought that gentleman, his man was coming to kill him. And it was just that wasn’t doesn’t seem to have been the case at all. I mean, the launch he just seems to been so paranoid since he got busted with heroin and got to prison with his boss. I mean, I think he was just paranoid. You know, there is a certain level of paranoia that comes at that with that lifestyle and you know, during those guys are cagey. Yeah. And they only seem to be the the block to just just paranoid and I don’t I don’t think there’s any there’s no source that I’ve ever seen that validates the Genovese wanted blotchy did, there’s just the lacIs version against it doesn’t quite add up.
So you know, long story short, he killed her, it killed a guy with a lead pipe in prison that he thought was coming to kill him who wouldn’t, but I didn’t know anything about what was going on. And so now he’s got a murder charge on him. And that’s when he needs to start to talk and now he never ever gets out of jail. He spends the rest of his life in jail. Anyhow. They didn’t like make a deal and put in witness protection send him out to Podunk Texas to try to fit Ethan bike.
Yeah, they built a special cell the blotchy cell, it was like little little sweet. Okay, kitchen and an apartment. It was but he was still incarcerated. When Vinnie Teresa became an informant. He went to stay in that apartment with Joe valachi because it had bedrooms and then when Sammy Gravano became he stayed in the blotchy suite. It’s called the valachi scene. Yeah, so they couldn’t they couldn’t like Laci out on the street. We packed them they couldn’t. There was no like you said there was no witness protection. So you just had to live the rest of his life in his cloistered in this little, little small little apartment. And it was only as old friends being in the FBI agents.
Wow, why, and then they start, they put him in public, like we talked about earlier at the start of this. And he named names, he names the names of the bosses, the different families induction ceremony, the oath of America. A totally real story behind a lot of Bob murders during his lifetime. And this is in the early 60s. So I graduated from high school in 1963 is when it was when he was talking, I’ve got to have some vague memory of this being in the news at the time when I was in high school.
It’s like you tell the story of the guy you knew who is the the professional verifier not an informant. He’s a verifier. That’s what I when I think of velocity, that’s when I think you verify things he told them things he was aware of, and verified things that he had heard and he verified some things that he didn’t know anything about. But he wanted the guys to like it. So
I don’t think he really testified against anybody and put them in jail like Gravano did. That’s what they really require you to do today is you gotta go testify against against Gotti and help put him in the penitentiary for make the case on even getting convicted. He just, you know, told the general story about the mob. And here’s what who they are and here’s what they do. And they’ve those names and took took the kind of shroud of secrecy off of them. That’s really interesting. I never really thought about that for till I got into this. He didn’t he didn’t make cases for the FBI. He just told him this is what really happened. This old case.
Yeah, he just he just is pulled back the curtain explained, you know, because the FBI had been watching the guys since 1958. And you know, they, they had a rough idea of it. This guy was important. And this guy this, they didn’t know that you know about the ceremony that I that I’m aware, they didn’t know a lot about the structure. They didn’t know all these guys and all these far off towns. I mean, he gave them places like Munich in New York and you get, you know, they give you all over the place. And some of them were placed, the FBI was aware of and said, Hey, you heard of this guy, you know, there was is the incident when blotches testify and the guy says what about what who’s the boss of Omaha? And Bellagio is one second senator, he looks over. And they they said what did he say? He said, How was Omaha? So, you know, senators were asking about their own states. But you look up that if you can find that clip. It’s really funny because gentlemen, you know, the logic engaged with this is one second senator. And he talks to his lawyer and it comes back and he says no, so there’s Omaha
he did talk about a cargo though being the man in Chicago and some of those things, other cities, that’s about as far out as he got. That’s how important the cargo was.
Yeah. I wonder how much falacci knew and how much he was willing to just nod and say yes, because he was leaving a big brotherhood, you know, he lost all his friends, always a lost, he lost. His wife was what I mean, he lost that fraternity. That was so important to those guys. He lost all his friends and everything. So when he joined this new group of guys, the FBI, and he cooked for them, and everything in his little sweet, um, you know, he get excited to be around is ramen again, and his own his own sort of ill. And I think that the lacI gave up a lot of really important information. And I think that, you know, the FBI also asked him questions, maybe he didn’t know, and he will just not be happy to get patted on the back.
Yeah, it’d be pretty easy to run your pet theory about who killed somebody, and why they were killed and run that by him. But and he could see his native intelligence. As I said, he had a huge amount of native intelligence. He could see that he wanted this guy’s protection. He wanted this guy’s approval. And he just have say, yeah, oh, yeah, that’s the way that happened. And you know, and then it becomes fat. So exactly. But I think not maybe the details in the weeds of the details was not what’s so important about. What’s important about him is, is the overall picture that he painted for the American public,
the structure of the mob, it didn’t make the I didn’t have that they didn’t have CAFOs and soldados, and underboss, and boss, Gary, and they didn’t have those because we didn’t have any of that. They didn’t know that associated and no one was the main guy. They just didn’t. They didn’t. They didn’t have the insight. You see those senators asking questions. You know, it’s like today when they question the guys in Silicon Valley they don’t know what questions to ask. They just leave they sound like they don’t know anything and it was centered like asking about who’s the boss of Omaha, Nebraska you know, they didn’t know anything and so blotchy opened the door
and there was a boss in Omaha Nebraska. I can’t remember his name but if you go back and check by Midwest Bob tour went to Omaha and and did some research on it. They have a little lately. They’ve got a really nice Italian restaurant that ate at it a little bit ly and Sons of Columbus hall there the whole nine yards same way with the boys Des Moines was their boss was Charlie trade. Oh god and then Chicago. Yeah, really like a crew. Oh, she was but the Moines was and and Omaha was not such a big deal. There’s a lot of gambling over there. But but they did have their own boss. Anyhow, I digress again. But you know what was another interesting thing with my last things here about this whole deal is his handlers would later say that being with this guy this career mafia soldier, the organization after being with him this organization couldn’t been too big a deal because he hates this reference tool in the toolbox. Anything we worry about that really?
Which which by the 1990s turned out to be true. The mafia didn’t have a chance against Rico and technical surveillance.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s always true. Once they got rolling, they just knock all those pins down.
Yeah. So that’s, you got anything else about the lacI that you remember, you’ve read about him? Or?
No, I just, you know, I remember many vintage races, talking about how sad and sort of a broken guy Billups he was later in life. Because he said, You know, I guess that it’s important to have your fraternity around you. And you’re sort of, you know, those guys who come from broken families and all they grow up with those guys in the street. And that always kind of struck me because I never thought of philosophy like that is just back and talks about the novel. It really gave up everything, including yourself when he gave up that information to the FBI. And in the end, he was a real sad little guy who would do pry and he loved to cook but yeah, in the end, he was just prolonging this little sell that on there. And now he was he was really lonely. And so kind of net that’s kind of kind of an interesting detail that I don’t remember seeing him but Vinnie Teresa tells us those anecdotes I thought that was kind of interesting. Yeah,
that is now is this in this was in March last week was that in Tesla tuna Texas Yeah, prison Federal Prison down there. Okay. And and Gravano ended up down there too. That’s appropriate.
Yeah, I want to say that I’m from Philly. Younger boss Philly. He went down there.
No, yeah. Oh, God.
Right. And he ended up I believe he stayed there briefly before moving on to to Arizona. I think they’ve used that to house several high ranking guys, Leonardo Viola and I know Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil, daddy
And I come from but I think they use that cell for years the valachi
the blotchy suite interesting well I hadn’t really heard that before that’s I seem to have some vague memory of reading that but then when I was going through this doing this research I did find that but it’s good to remember that but Laci sweet All right cam anything else on this?
No, no, I was I was glad to be back and had a lot of fun as always.
This was a good one. Yeah, this was a fun one. Yeah, so don’t work too hard. And remember you guys out there. ride a motorcycle although so bit cold for that write down from there here on out I would imagine. And by the time you get this will know who the Champion of the World Series is. If you have a problem or you have a friend if you’ve been in service or you have a friend has been in service, you have a problem with PTSD. Be sure and go to that VA website and get that hotline give them a call because there is help available. Thanks a lot, folks. And thanks a lot cam for helping with this story. Absolutely