“A treasure trove for true crime buffs and mob aficionados—the mug shots alone are worth the price of admission.”
“Make room on your true-crime bookshelf for this veritable high school yearbook of America’s criminal class.”
“Mafia is the Bible for Mafia-watchers and amateur detectives everywhere.”
“For mobheads and true crime fanatics, [Mafia] is the equivalent of a hijacked truck of unmarked bills. It’s also a quirky little slice of the American dream.”
Even though Herbert Hoover's FBI usually gets the credit for chasing the Mafia, it was the Treasury Department's Narcotics Bureau that spent the 1960s quietly collecting information on known members of the Cosa Nostra. Only 50 copies of the resulting dossier were ever printed; the little-known government document provided Robert F. Kennedy with valuable ammunition in his war on the Mafia once he became attorney general. Now the dossier is being published, and it is a gold mine for organized crime buffs and crime writers. More than 800 criminals are profiled in a plain, "just the facts" manner, one to a page. In short, this is a facsimile of the original compilation. Each profile includes name, nicknames, haunts, criminal associates, criminal history, and "modus operandi." Most include a mug shot. Among the dry facts are fascinating tidbits on an array of characters: e.g., two cousins with identical names, identified as "One Eye" and "Two Eye" for obvious reasons; a mobster whose criminal files disappeared from the Chicago Police Department; and a family that retired from the Mafia to go into the cheese business. This excellent resource belongs in both public and academic libraries.
Deirdre Bray Root