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Valachi Continues to Sing

Oct. 2, 1963 - The Cosa Nostra stopped accepting new members in 1958, Joseph Valachi (pictured right today speaking to counsel) told Senate investigators today. Adding more chapters to his account of the working of the crime syndicate, he said its “books” were closed in 1931, then reopened in 1954. “They were kept open until 1958 and then closed because of what Albert Anastasia and Frank Scalise were doing,” he testified at the open hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The organization, which tried to keep its membership limited except when it was engaged in an underworld “war,” he explained, was flooded with recruits by Anastasia and Scalise. “They charged as much as $40,000 to join and brought in a few hundred men,” he said. “That’s one of the charges against them.” Anastasia and Scalise, listed by Valachi as “underbosses” in the syndicate, were murdered in 1957. Law-enforcement officials present for Mr. Valachi’s testimony indicated they considered much of it creditable. The Justice Department hopes Valachi’s testimony will give impetus to legislation permitting Federal law-enforcement authorities to tap wires and use the information they obtain in courts.

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