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A Cautionary Tale

The immigration is understandable. America is, after all, the land of opportunity, where those who are ambitious can rise. Most of the young men who leave depressed, poverty-stricken Sicily, with its stifling traditions and high unemployment, work their way toward this goal in their new homeland by digging ditches, laying bricks, driving taxis or waiting on tables in restaurants owned by more affluent relatives. But a few do not. Their choice of employer: the Mafia.

Cesare ("Tall Guy") Bonventre was one of the latter. When he entered the U.S. 16 years ago from Castellammare del Golfo at the age of 17, he...

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