Material presented on The American Mafia history website ( and was gathered through decades of research into the history of American organized crime. A childhood interest in the subject blossomed into a full-time obsession in the late 1990s, when I began organizing collected newspaper clippings, notebook pages and index cards. That effort gave rise to this website in September 2002. The website is more of a process than it is a document. Very often new historical data becomes available and causes old assumptions to be revised or abandoned. Over the past few years, many underworld legends appearing on these pages have given way to more defensible statements. And other revisions are sure to be made in the months and years ahead. It is a pleasure to be able to share my interest with you. I welcome your emailed comments, questions, criticisms. I hope that the site is useful to you and that you check in from time to time to see what is new. Copyright © 2011, Thomas Hunt. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hoffa / Teamsters timeline

Currently under construction:

We are adding an extensive timeline relating to Jimmy Hoffa and his involvement in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. At this moment the timeline features nearly 200 events up through the year 1959. All timeline items provide source information. Click on the document icon in an item to acquire source reference details.

You can access the timeline through this link:

As always, we welcome your comments / criticisms.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Alo biography added

A biography of Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo has been added to the website's Who Was Who section. Alo, a longtime pal of Meyer Lansky, was the inspiration for a number of fictional underworld characters, including "Johnny Ola" of the movie, The Godfather Part II. In real life, Alo was born in Harlem and became an important figure in the Genovese Crime Family, organizing rackets in Bronx and Westchester Counties, as well as in eastern Florida. He helped to link the crime organization led by Frank Costello, and later Vito Genovese, with Lansky. (Three dozen sources are listed following the article.)

Click here to jump to this biography.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

'Murder While You Wait'

After his retirement, former NYPD Homicide Bureau leader Arthur A. Carey penned an autobiographical book called, Memoirs of a Murder Man. A chapter in that book looked back at the 1903 Barrel Murder and police efforts to put the early Mafia organization of Giuseppe Morello out of business. Carey's account is noticeably different from the better known story told by William Flynn of the U.S. Secret Service (significant when you note that Flynn's was published first in book and serial forms and was certainly available to Carey at the time he wrote his book). That chapter, entitled "Murder While You Wait," has been added to the website.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Additions to Who Was Who

Several biographies have been added to the Who Was Who section of the website (click on a name to jump to the bio):

All of these biographies have source listings at the end.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Morello article

A brief biography of early New York Mafia boss and U.S. Mafia boss of bosses Giuseppe Morello has been added to the website. Entitled, "Sinistro: The Underworld Career of Giuseppe Morello (1867-1930)," the article includes more than 40 endnotes containing references to numerous sources.

Click here for a direct link to the article.

Monday, August 10, 2015

'Frankie Shots' Abbatemarco

A biography of Brooklyn Mafioso Frank "Frankie Shots" Abbatemarco has been added to the American Mafia site's Who Was Who. Abbatemarco, brother of Mike Abbatemarco, became a powerful and independent-minded capodecina in the Profaci Crime Family. His 1959 murder appeared to be intended to restore discipline in the Profaci organization but, instead, triggered a determined revolt by the Gallo group in South Brooklyn.

Read more: Abbatemarco, Frank (1899-1959)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

'Mike Shots' Abbatemarco

A biography of Brooklyn gangster Michael "Mike Schatz (or Shots)" Abbatemarco has been added to the American Mafia site's Who Was Who. Abbatemarco reportedly was a close associate of Frank Yale, who met his end at about the same time and in about the same manner as Yale.

Read more: Abbatemarco, Michael (1894-1928)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Flynn's 'The Barrel Mystery' (1919)

About one hundred pages of The Barrel Mystery by William J. Flynn can now be accessed on the American Mafia history website. 

The Barrel Mystery, published in 1919 (copyright has expired), is the story of U.S. Secret Service efforts to help solve the "barrel murder" of 1903 and to dismantle Mafia counterfeiting operations supervised by Mafia boss of bosses Giuseppe Morello and his brother-in-law Ignazio Lupo. Author Flynn was head of the New York office of the Secret Service when Morello and his men were finally brought to justice.

Portions of the book were previously published on our Caged Wolves website. It is our hope to soon have the entire book available online.

Click here to read The Barrel Mystery.

Update 23 July 2015: The available portions of this book now total almost 130 pages.
Update 26 July 2015: About 175 pages of the book, plus an index, are now available.
Update 27 July 2015: More than 225 pages of the book, plus photos, are now available.
Update 28 July 2015: The entire book text is now available.