Crime: Their Thing

In the back room of a New York restaurant in 1930, Joseph Valachi swore his dark oath of allegiance to organized crime. Blood ran from a ceremonial wound in his finger, and the young ex-convict vowed unquestioning obedience to his Mafia overlords. He muttered a final pledge: "If I talk, I'm dead."

For 30 years Valachi kept faith with "omerta" the underworld's blood rule of silence. Then, in 1960, he was imprisoned on a narcotics violation. Suspecting that he was turning informer, the underworld marked him for death. Crazy with fear, Valachi...

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