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.

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.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mobile-friendly adjustments

We have been working on a number of adjustments to the website in order to make it more "friendly" to mobile device users. 

Changes include less reliance on table formatting, scalable images and typesizes, and larger link buttons. These were prompted by Google's announcement that sites deemed unfriendly to mobile users would be ranked poorly in web searches from mobile devices. But we believe the site generally benefits from a cleaner, more streamlined look.

Even desktop users will find the site easier to use, as most pages will require no specific web browser width - the page contents should size to fit whatever area your browser window is sized to.

As always, we welcome your feedback on these changes and on any other issues you may have with the American Mafia history website.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pages added to Valachi text

Additional pages of Joe Valachi's autobiography, The Real Thing, are now on the website ( Click here ). Readers are cautioned that groups of pages remain unavailable to us and some of the available pages have missing portions.

Update 5 Feb 2015: About 150 full and partial pages of the Valachi manuscript are now available on the website.

Update 6 Feb 2015: About 225 full and partial pages are now available. These represent the entirety of the pages available to us at this time. As we acquire additional pages, they will be added to the website.

Update 7 Feb 2015: We are experimenting with an index to the available pages of the Valachi autobiography.