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$100,000 Bounty on Valachi's Head

Aug. 6, 1963 - The underworld has set a $100,000 bounty on the head of Joseph Valachi. The reason: he talked. “If we let Valachi out on the street, he’d be dead in half an hour,” a Government source remarked today. Valachi, serving a life term for murder, was a member of the nationwide syndicate he calls Cosa Nostra, on which he has informed at length. Valachi’s whereabouts are a closely held secret. “We don’t know what we’re going to do with him,” said the source, “but we’re going to keep him in a safe place. We’ll keep him alive.” His testimony, which he spilled to federal agents and which he will relate to the U.S. Senate, provided what was termed “the biggest intelligence break-through yet in combating organized crime in the United States.” On the basis of Valachi’s testimony, the Justice Department has concluded that these men form the high command of the syndicate: Vito Genovese, Joseph Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, Thomas Lucchese, and Joseph Magliocco, all in New York City; Sam Giancana, Chicago; Joseph Zerilli, Detroit; Sebastian La Rocca, Pittsburgh; Angelo Bruno, Philadelphia; Stefano Magaddino, Buffalo; Raymond Patriarca, Boston; and John T. Scalish, Cleveland. Valachi’s testimony also included previously undisclosed details of the murder of crime boss Albert Anastasia — known as “Mad Hatter” and “Lord High Executioner” — on October 25, 1957. The two men who murdered Anastasia in the barber shop of the Park Central Hotel were reportedly gunmen from the Gallo mob in Brooklyn. One of the two, Ralph Mafrici, 31, now doing 7½ to 15 years for assault and robbery in Brooklyn, has been brought down to the New York D.A.’s office from Greenhaven Prison in futile efforts to break him. The second hood, Joseph (Joe Jelly) Gioelli, has been missing since August 1961 and is presumed violently dead.


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