Friday, July 22, 2011

July 2011 Issue of Informer

July 2011 Contents

Crime historians have puzzled for decades over FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s long denial of the existence of organized crime. Following the Apalachin Mafia convention of 1957 and Joe Valachi’s revelations in the early 1960s, Hoover and his Bureau joined the war on organized crime. Hoover, however, never explained his earlier reluctance , and various theories—some baseless and cruel—have emerged to fill the void in the historical record.

In this issue, author Alex Hortis shares with us a recently discovered handwritten Hoover memo from 1970 that serves as a window into the director’s earlier position (preview). Hortis and Informer columnist Richard Warner (preview) double-team many of the myths that have circulated about Hoover.

The New England Crime Family receives special attention in this issue. We begin with Part 1 of Richard Warner’s history of the Mafia in Boston (preview). A look at some of the better known underworld meeting places on Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island (preview), and Bill Feather’s New England Mafia Membership Chart (preview) follow.

In his first article for Informer, historian Ed Valin puts together historical clues to track down two of the FBI’s best confidential informants (preview).

Author Patrick Downey devotes his quarterly Dead Guys in Suits column to a discussion of siblings eliminated by their underworld rivals (preview). Then, in the issue’s final pages, Informer editor/publisher Thomas Hunt looks at an extremely early prediction of the Sicilian Mafia’s demise (preview).

Fifty-six pages. Published July 22, 2011.

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Hoover: 'Plagued Ever Since..."

July 2011 Contents
Feature Article

Nearing the end of a long career as the director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover
reflected upon his early denials of the
existence of the American Mafia.

'I have been plagued ever since...'

By Alex Hortis

Hoover
"One of the enduring mysteries about J. Edgar Hoover is why he resisted going after the American Mafia. For his first thirty-three years as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1924 to 1957, Hoover engaged in few sustained actions against organized crime.
"Absent any personal explanation from Hoover for his reluctance, others have filled the void with speculation. Their theories have ranged from plausible to wildly conspiratorial.
"A newly discovered handwritten note by the late FBI director provides fresh insight into this controversy..."

Fifteen and a half pages including nine photographs and two and a half pages of endnotes.

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Genesis of the Mafia in Boston

July 2011 Contents
Feature Article

Part One of a History of the New England Mafia

Genesis of the Mafia in Boston

By Richard N. Warner

G. Cocchiara
"The history of Boston’s Mafia goes back at least to the beginning of the Twentieth Century, yet it is a story barely touched by organized crime historians.
"Many are familiar with more recent Boston badmen – Irish-American gangsters, such as James 'Whitey' Bulger or Italian-American ones like Vincent 'the Rifleman' Flemmi. Raymond Patriarca may be the earliest Mafia boss known to most Bostonians. Some specialists may be aware of his predecessor, Philip Buccola. But the history of the New England outfit goes back much farther and is much richer than many realize..."

Ten pages including five photographs, one map and one page of endnotes.

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The 'Social Clubs' of Federal Hill

July 2011 Contents
Short Article
By The Wisconsin Kid

Luigi Manocchio
"Although many place the 'Golden Age' of American organized crime somewhere between 1890 and 1940, there happens to be a great deal of remarkable historical material related to much more recent mob activity. Considering the advanced age of most of those still involved much of today's activity may be merely an epilogue to events of days long past, but every story deserves an epilogue. Here is my attempt at providing one, utilizing research and recent personal observations of various business properties in the Federal Hill district of Providence, Rhode Island..."

Three pages including four photographs, one map and one half page of endnotes.

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Roemer's Men in the Outfit

July 2011 Contents
Feature Article
By Edmond Valin

Butch Blasi
"In 1965, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson ordered the removal of all devices used by the FBI to listen in on organized crime figures. The order was particularly devastating in Chicago, where for years the FBI had monitored activities and recorded conversations at Outfit hangouts through secret listening devices... In response, the FBI instituted an informant development program, in the hope of nurturing a “double agent” within the Outfit..."

Five and a half pages including three photographs and one page of endnotes.

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Dead Guys in Suits: Sibling Murders

July 2011 Contents
Column
By Patrick Downey

Oh brother! Rivals
target gangland sibs
"You dirty rat, you killed my brother... and me, and, in some cases, even another brother.
"Though numerous Cagney impersonators have delivered some form of the above sentence over the years, any number of hoodlums from America's Golden Age of crime could have uttered it. There was no shortage of gangster siblings during the Twenties and Thirties, and brothers in arms were not limited to one ethnic group of geographic location..."

Two and a half pages.

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Warner Files: Hoover myths

July 2011 Contents
Column
By Richard N. Warner

Anger and greed lurk
behind Hoover myths
"Since Anthony Summers came out with his book Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, the lightly spoken claims made about Hoover suddenly gained a veneer of legitimacy. While the FBI under his directorship clearly engaged in a number of questionable activities, some of his detractors have made a number of claims about Hoover personally to explain his decisions..."

Three pages.

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Just One More Thing: Mafia's End in 1884

July 2011 Contents
Column
By Thomas Hunt

Mafia's death-knell
sounded in 1884
"I was poking around in online newspaper archives recently, when I happened to find what may be the earliest published prediction of the Mafia's demise. We are accustomed to such talk today. With every large-scale arrest and every successful prosecution of Mafiosi, journalists suggest that the criminal society is on the verge of extinction..."

Three pages.

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New England Mafia Chart

July 2011 Contents
Membership Charts
By Bill Feather and Thomas Hunt


The July issue includes a New England Mafia Membership Chart by Bill Feather and Thomas Hunt. The five-page chart includes more than 100 documented and suspected Mafiosi along with birth, death, immigration, relationship, rank and other information.

Five pages.

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